A weekly paper has launched a campaign to lift the mood of its town by highlighting positive news from the area.
The Hastings Observer has started its ‘I Love Hastings’ drive to celebrate the town and its people throughout 2011 and shake off its negative reputation.
It is urging readers to contact it with good news from the area, such as charity events and the achievements of youngsters, and each week’s positive stories will be stamped with a special logo, while badges and car stickers are also planned.
The paper has launched the campaign after a string of bad news in the town over the last 12 months, including the fire at Hastings Pier, cuts in government funding, a continuing high unemployment rate and crime stories such as the sham marriage scandal.
Launching the campaign to readers, editor-in-chief Keith Ridley said: “What’s special about Hastings is the spirit of the people who live here. And for all the issues and challenges we face, it’s so easy to fall in love with the place.
“Community matters here and we want to reflect that. The Observer can’t hide from some of the sadder and serious stories, but we promise to help you feel good about this very special town whenever we can.
“Let’s celebrate all that’s special about Hastings in 2011. Please help us to do so.”
The title says it still has a responsibility to report on bad news in the town but it will highlight the reasons why local people should be proud of Hastings, such as the work of volunteers who help out the local community.
An editorial in the paper said: “Here at the Observer we realise the role a local newspaper can play in lifting the mood of a town.
“We will still report the crime as and when it happens and no paper in the country would dream of imposing a blanket ban on bad news. A paper has a responsibility to report everything that goes on – positive or negative.
“But what we can – and will do in 2011 – is highlight the very best of local achievement and flag up the many reasons to be cheerful here in our unique corner of East Sussex.”