Why trusted news keeps our community safe and vibrant

Community leaders and residents have spoken of the vital role our trusted news service plays in keeping the region strong, safe, and vibrant.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 14th May 2017, 2:00 pm
Clockwise from top, Gordon Castle, Norma Redfearn, Ivor Dixon, Wayne Daley, Kate Cairns.
Clockwise from top, Gordon Castle, Norma Redfearn, Ivor Dixon, Wayne Daley, Kate Cairns.

Last week, we launched a campaign Fighting Fake News and highlighted the very real dangers of fabricated stories peddled across social media.

We highlighted the exemplary standards of training we invest in and the robust codes of conduct we are committed to provide news that is wholly trusted. It is a campaign that is being supported by local papers across the UK.

This week, residents said our quality journalism was essential in holding those in authority to account and keeping them fully informed of local decisions and information.

Experienced Northumberland County Councillor Wayne Daley, who retained his Cramlington North seat in the local election last week, said: “I wholeheartedly support this campaign.

“I have lived in this area for more than 25 years now and the News Post Leader has been a consistent source of local news and activities.

“Local newspapers are very important and I would encourage people to read them and go to their websites to find out what is going on in their area.”

Coun Gordon Castle, who retained his Alnwick seat, said: “Fake news is a lot more than a story you don’t like or an item you don’t believe. It’s a way of abusing the power of the press and media to influence it’s readers by exploiting the trust in news that can normally be taken for granted. It also debases the value of the free press by undermining it’s reputation and raising permanent doubts in everyone’s mind about everything they read and hear.

“Fake news is deliberate misinformation dressed up to seem credible for ulterior motives.

“We need to maintain trust in the free press or we won’t have or deserve one.”

Berwick Mayor Ivor Dixon said: “I support the Berwick Advertiser’s Fake News campaign. One just needs to look at some sites which are able print anything, whether it is the truth or not. Too many times innocent people have suffered from this. It can be really hurtful.”

Norma Redfearn, North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor, said: “Local newspapers like the News Guardian play a vital part in communicating fair, honest and factual information to residents and it is important that their role is protected as the ways in which news is reported changes rapidly.”

Kate Cairns, from Newton-by-the-Sea, who lost her seat on Northumberland County Council last week, said: “At certain times in life, the Shakespeare I learned and loved as a pupil at the Duchess High School, Alnwick, with teachers Arlene Cadman and John Whelan, comes flooding back.

“On reading your article on Fake News last week, I was reminded of the Prologue to Henry IV, Part 2:

Open your ears, for which of you will stop

The vent of hearing when loud Rumor speaks?...

… Upon my tongues continual slanders ride,

The which in every language I pronounce,

Stuffing the ears of men with false reports….

…Rumor is a pipe

Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures,

And of so easy and so plain a stop

That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,

The still-discordant wav’ring multitude,

Can play upon it.

“Shakespeare still has pertinence in today’s world. I am heartened by your campaign and wish you every success.”