Help support essential local newspapers with Journalism Matters campaign

The Journalism Matters campaign highlights the importance of local journalism, which is especially important during the...

The Journalism Matters campaign highlights the importance of local journalism, which is especially important during the pandemic. - Credit: Archant

Journalism Matters. That’s the title of an annual campaign that kicks off again this week; a chance for the news media industry to shout about the good work we do for our regions and for our society as a whole.

Never before have those two words held as much resonance as they do in 2020. Journalism matters more than ever in a pandemic, when there is a pressing need for accurate local information from trusted sources rather than the wild speculation on social media.

Journalism matters more than ever in lockdown, when those excluded from digital news by age, by social status or by choice, rely on the regular arrival of their paper to keep in touch with their community and the world outside.

At the Comet, we felt keenly our responsibility to keep you informed, to keep readers connected and to keep supporting the businesses that serve our regions.

So we provided verified news, data and explainers on the Covid-19 outbreak to our readers in whatever forms they wanted it – in print, on our websites, via our social media channels and newsletters.

We highlighted the amazing work being done by local residents and we called out national and local authorities when we were justified in saying that their response was not good enough.

We offered free delivery for our newspapers to help vulnerable readers and gave free publicity to the local firms who innovated in order to survive. We were there with you and you were there with us in huge numbers, supporting us by buying papers and visiting our websites just as we supported you. Thank you.

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Together, we face more uncertain times ahead. Many industries remain in a precarious state, and the news media business is no different.

We will need each other to get through this. We promise to keep you informed and to keep fighting on the issues that matter to you; holding power to account through our investigations. And in return, we’d like you to do something for us.

Our industry has set out several proposals for how the government can help us out by reducing the huge imbalance in bargaining power between the news media and the giant tech companies, which free-ride on our valuable content. You can read more about these proposals at

You can help by emailing or writing to your MP and asking them to put pressure on the government to implement these proposals. A list of local MPs’ email addresses is at the bottom of this article; or you can write to them at House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.

If you prefer to read our work in print, please guarantee yourself a copy by taking out a subscription. You can do this by calling 01603 772138 or emailing

If you are reading on your smartphone, laptop or tablet, you can help out by pledging a one-off or recurring amount to support our journalism. Just click on the ‘Become A Supporter’ boxes on our sites and in our newsletters.

The worst of circumstances has shown the best of local journalism. As we move forward, news media will be a critical part of our recovery by continuing to keep the you informed and also by providing a unique boost to local business.

So if you agree that Journalism Matters, get behind our news media industry so that it can continue to perform this vital role and deliver the journalism we all want to read.

For Stevenage contact Stephen McPartland at, for Hitchin contact Bim Afolami at, for Mid Bedfordshire contact Nadine Dorries at, for North East Bedfordshire contact Richard Fuller at, and for North East Hertfordshire contact Sir Oliver Heald at