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04 July 2019

Powerful Journalism Matters Campaign Reaches 17.4 Million

Journalism Matters, the NMA’s annual campaign highlighting the vital role of trusted news media plays in society, reached 17.4 million UK GB adults in print, online and social media over the course of the week.

Thirty three per cent of all UK GB adults saw the campaign in its inaugural year, which ran from 13-19 May 2019, via hundreds of local media platforms plus The Sun.

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Titles across the industry celebrated the week in a variety of ways. The Bolton News wrote about how their have encouraged residents to shop locally and the work of its local democracy reporter scrutinising Bolton Council. The Stroud News and Journal and Hexham Courant carried articles with quotes from local MPs. 

 The Maidenhead Advertiser showed how stories unfold and develop, the Hull Daily Mail and Manchester Evening News highlighted their own campaigning achievements while the Worcester Observer produced a podcast on the future of local journalism. 

Journalism Matters was backed by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, in an article available for NMA members use. Mr Hunt said: "By holding authority to account and allowing the free exchange of ideas, journalism acts as a powerful force for progress. When everyone is able to share their ideas, a society benefits not just from the brains of the people who happen to be at the top, but from the originality and creativity of the entire population."

He continued: "In this the week of Journalism Matters, I would also like to pay tribute to the news media here in Britain.

"Journalism is more in demand than ever before as people seek out trusted content, with 48 million people in the UK viewing a local or national news brand every month.”

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The initiative attracted international support from organisations such as the News Media Alliance in the United States and WAN-IFRA backed the campaign as well as UK bodies such as the NCTJ which published a video message from its patron Alex Crawford and the Society of Editors.

A core part of the initiative saw the public to vote for their favourite shortlisted campaign in the Making a Difference showcase of 24 local newspaper campaigns from the past year.

Thousands of votes were cast over the course of three days and the winner, The Yellow Advertiser with its investigation into a paedophile ring in the 1980s was announced by NMA vice chairman Henry Faure Walker at the Regional Press Awards.

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The industry also showed readers how trusted news is produced by opening up their newsrooms for a #trustednewsday with titles such as Northern EchoThe LeaderLiverpool Echo, and Swindon Advertiser inviting readers to get involved, while the Daily Gazette published an explainer on court reporting.

Trusted News Day initiatives included, interviews with local residents, live blogging of newsroom activity, meeting the newspaper editorial team, and activity showing what goes into producing newspapers.

NMA chairman, David Dinsmore, also backed the campaign. In article he said: "The ability of journalists to speak truth to power is one of the most precious freedoms in our democratic society.

"Acting on behalf of the public, local and national news media journalists reveal truths that would otherwise remain hidden, exposing them to public scrutiny.

"We campaign on the issues that matter to you and fight for wrongs to be righted.”

He concluded: "Journalism makes a positive contribution to society and this should be celebrated.”