Prince Charles declares support for local journalism

Local newspapers and journalists can an act as 'powerful and effective champions' for communities, The Prince of Wales has said.

Writing for Local Media Works, part of the News Media Association, The Prince of Wales' letter highlights his support for local newspapers and local journalists.

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The letter, published one week after Local Newspaper Week, also reveals the Prince's feelings towards local trusted news sites in times where fake news is rife.

The Prince of Wales wrote: 'There are countless examples of local newspapers acting as powerful and effective champions for their communities, and very often it is the local media that are first to a story and who stay with it long after the national media have moved on.

'Local journalism is about giving communities a voice and empowering people with the knowledge to make informed decisions. Sometimes, a good local newspaper communicates the aspirations or concerns of the local community to a wider audience, putting local issues on the national agenda.'

Earlier this year local newspapers were found to be the most trusted source for local news and information, and more than three times more trusted than social media sites, according to a report released from YouGov in March.

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The study revealed that almost three quarters (74 per cent) of people said that local press in print and digital is their most trusted source for local news and information, and despite the rise and dominance of social media, only 22 per cent said they trust the local news read on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.

The Prince of Wales added: 'In a rapidly changing media landscape, the advent of digital media has transformed the way we consume our news. Despite this rapid change, I am very encouraged by the evidence that suggests that local journalism is adapting well and remains in robust health with audience numbers remaining strong across print and digital platforms.'

'Indeed I am told by the News Media Association that, according to a recent survey, local newspapers remain the most trusted source of community news and information, ahead of all other media.  The importance of trusted media sources cannot be under-estimated in the era of so called 'fake news' and misinformation.'