Making a Difference Highlights Power of Local Newspaper Campaigning

Twenty-six local media campaigns have been shortlisted for the 2018 Making a Difference award and highlight how local newspapers effect real change for their communities. Organised by Local Media Works, Making a Difference sees local newspaper campaigns showcased on the Local Newspaper Week website.

The shortlisted campaigns all delivered meaningful change to their communities, including the Manchester Evening News’ powerful campaign #WeStandTogether following the arena attack in 2017, which raised £1.5 million in a day for families of the victims; Sling the Mesh campaign from the Cambs Times highlighted the dangers of pelvic mesh and took the campaign to parliament, and Kent Live’s Save Our Buses campaign which successful helped reverse bus service cuts.

Other campaigns include Hazel Macrae from the Chronicle in Newcastle which helped a local blind woman who also suffered from epilepsy and arthritis successfully win her appeal against the DWP’s call for her to work; South Wales Echo’s awareness campaign Reaching out to Rough Sleepers raised money for the homeless in Cardiff and, the Glasgow Evening Times’ Opt for Life which after five years of tireless campaigning saw Scotland’s donation laws change.

At the start of LNW, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, a public vote will go live at 9.30am on 14 May where members of the public will be able to vote for their favourite campaign over the course of three days.

The winner will be announced by David Dinsmore, News Media Association chairman, at the Society of Editors Regional Press Awards on 20 May. Last year, the award was won by CN Group titles for a powerful campaign against proposed cuts to health services across north and west Cumbria.

LNW will also see the return of #TrustedNewsDay on 19 May where local papers across the UK will open up their newsrooms to readers through interactive initiatives such as live blogs and Q&As, to show how their trusted content is produced. Supporters can also participate in a Thunderclap will which will go live on #TrustedNewsDay and hail the importance of trusted local journalism.

NMA deputy chief executive Lynne Anderson said: “Making a Difference highlights the powerful campaigning work of local newspapers in delivering real change for people and communities across the UK.

“Earlier this year, YouGov research showed that local newspapers are three times more trusted for local news and information than social media platforms. Local Newspaper Week celebrates local newspapers’ long history of producing fact-checked journalism which readers can rely on.”