OVER the last month, the South Wales Argus has joined with newspapers across the UK to champion our highly-trusted credentials and ability to make a difference.

Through the Local Newspaper Week (LNW) and Fighting Fake News (FFN) campaigns, papers up and down the country have highlighted the importance of local journalism and the investment and expertise required to produce it.

Organised by the News Media Association’s marketing arm Local Media Works, the campaigns have shown how local journalism produced by news media publishers upholds and strengthens democracy whereas fake news spread via social networks subverts and undermines it.

Last week, the industry held a Trusted News Day which saw newsrooms open up to their readers and invite them to participate in the local newsgathering and distribution process. The aim was to give a flavour of how local news is produced.

Where a story starts and how it is developed, the decisions that have to be made when deciding what to run, and the rigorous checks and balances that are required to produce highly trustworthy news content.

The interest that Trusted News Day provoked was astonishing. Local papers across the country were deluged with input from readers all keen to participate and engage with their local paper in a new way.

This week is Local Newspaper Week and, through Making a Difference, newspapers have turned their attention to the role of campaigning journalism in our communities.

To celebrate, papers across the UK have showcased their best campaigns from the past year and highlighted to readers the successes they have enjoyed.

Making a Difference has shown that local papers take up and fight an extraordinarily broad range of causes for on behalf of their readers.

Over the past year, local papers have exposed serious wrongdoing in care services, fought to improve transport links, successfully opposed cuts to police services, highlighted the plight of those suffering from mental illness, and raised money for children with serious medical conditions.

The common theme of all these campaigns is that they all have clear and tangible civic benefits. And, without local papers, those benefits would be lost.

Your continued support and engagement will ensure that local papers have a long and bright future.

With your support, we can continue to champion the causes that matter to you, ask the questions you want answers to, and publish the highly-trusted news and information which you want to read.

So, at the end of this year’s Local Newspaper Week, all that remains is for us, your local newspaper, to offer a huge thank you to you, our readers and advertisers, for your continued support, and to wish you all the very best for the future.