Newspaper entrepreneur Sir Ray Tindle has pledged £250,000 to kick-start a campaign to promote the important role of the local press.
At a lunch held for the Newspaper Society’s Council and industry guests to celebrate his 85th birthday year, the founder of Tindle Newspapers said the local press should be proud about how long it had served the country for.
Sir Ray pledged £250,000 to fund a campaign which will be run by the Newspaper Society to highlight the unique and valued role of local newspapers.
NS president Georgina Harvey thanked him for the donation and promised to put it to the best possible use with a campaign to benefit the whole industry.
During the event, Sir Ray said: “The first weekly newspaper in England appeared in 1622 so the local press can be proud that it has served the country for so long. Even my small group has papers which have survived many recessions.
“There are 1200 [local newspapers]. 1100 are local weeklies. We are the largest medium in our towns. We reach a higher percentage of residents in our areas than any other medium.
“Collectively we reach 38 million of our UK population – more than the internet or any printed medium – and we perform a different function.”
His connection the with the Newspaper Society goes back more than 55 years, with him being elected president in 1971 and serving as an honorary treasurer for more than 14 years.
Sir Ray was praised by Ms Harvey who spoke about the appropriateness of the motto of the Tindle family coat of arms – Noli Cedere or Never Surrender – which appears on all his newspapers.
She said: “It could not be more appropriate Ray – you have never surrendered, you have never given up, and you never will.
“It is an attitude and state of mind that has seen you rise from ‘General Dogsbody’ – your words, not mine – on the Croydon Times in 1947 to a Knight of the Realm celebrating 63 years in the newspaper industry.”