Les Reid, political correspondent for the Coventry Evening Telegraph; Mark Dodson, CEO of Guardian Media Group’s regional media division; and Neil Hodgkinson, Cumberland News and News & Star editor, have responded passionately to George Monbiot’s criticism of the UK’s local press earlier this week.
“For many years the local press has been one of Britain’s most potent threats to democracy, championing the overdog, misrepresenting democratic choices, defending business, the police and local elites from those who seek to challenge them. Media commentators lament the death of what might have been. It bears no relationship to what is.”
“They [local newspapers] continually uncover stories that need to be told. They campaign for and champion the underdog with a tenacity that would shame many in the national press. Their community relevance is what keeps local titles alive,” writes Dodson in response.
“In Greater Manchester our journalists stand up in court at least three times a week attempting to have reporting restrictions lifted so that stories can be told in full. I know that other regional press publishers share our commitment to real local reporting.”