The invaluable service provided by local newspapers will be highlighted next week as some famous faces promote the good work they do.
In an ever-changing world where new technology makes global communication commonplace, local newspapers, like the edition of The Falkirk Herald you are reading just now, are still a vital tool when it comes to letting people know what is going on in and around their area.
The Herald is one of hundreds of titles taking part in Local Newspaper Week which runs from Monday to Sunday. An annual initiative organised by the local newspaper industry and the Newspaper Society, the week will see big names like actress Dame Helen Mirren, television presenter Richard Madeley, gold medal-winning triple jump hero Jonathon Edwards and Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney giving their views on how important local papers are to communities across Britain.
This year’s event also sees the launch of a new campaign entitled Making a Difference, which focuses on the ability of local media to make a difference to the lives of ordinary individuals in a way that no other media can.
The Falkirk Herald’s editor, Colin Hume, said: “Whether it’s raising funds for a life-saving operation, fighting to keep a vital community resource open, campaigning for justice or cleaning up a local park, local newspapers, in print and nowadays online, on mobile and social media, bring about real positive change in their communities.
“There are many examples of instances when people have come to The Falkirk Herald as a last resort and we have been able to help them with their situation, or at least make a positive difference by highlighting their plight through our stories.”
Obviously it is not just the local newspaper that can make a difference to a local area.
Mr Hume said: “The Falkirk area has a lot of initiatives and projects, some which are ongoing and some which are completed, that aim to make people’s lives better in various ways.
“While The Falkirk Herald has not initiated these projects, it has played its part by reporting on them and drawing public attention to them though our newspaper, website and social media sites.”
The Falkirk Herald and other titles taking part will be endeavouring to enlist groups and individuals in their local area to help them mark Local Newspaper Week, inviting them to take part in various events and interviews.
Everyone in Falkirk, and the rest of the country for that matter, will be aware of the Helix project and the Kelpies and the sense of optimism they have brought to the district as a whole. As part of Local Newspaper Week, chief reporter Jill Buchanan will be talking to the people behind the project and discovering how their hopes for this monumental task were successfully realised.
In Grangemouth, reporter James Trimble will talk to Flight Lieutenant Tom McMorrow, former commanding officer of Grangemouth 1333 Squadron, to get his thoughts on the importance of the air cadets’ Spitfire memorial project and how it has really made a difference to the youngsters and the town.
Denny reporter Chris McCall will turn the spotlight on the Communities Along the Carron initiative and the committed band of volunteers making a real difference to the area by working to regenerate the River Carron.