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Public to vote on best local newspaper campaign

The public are to be asked to choose the best local newspaper campaign of the past year in an online vote this month.

This year’s Local Newspaper Week, which starts on Monday 12 May, is entitled ‘Making A Difference” and aims to highlight the good work that local papers do for their communities.

As part of the week-long event, members of the public will be invited to vote for the campaign that has made the biggest difference.

The winner will be announced as part of the Regional Press awards ceremony at London’s Lancaster Hotel on 16 May.

The Newspaper Society has selected a shortlist of 30 campaigns which can be seen here.

They include the Hull Daily Mail’s successful bid have Hull named UK City of Culture for 2017, the Yorkshire Post’s campaign against loneliness, the Manchester Evening News campaign to save the city’s science museum from closure, and a bid by the Edinburgh Evening News to halt police station closures,

Several papers which launched Regional Growth Fund initiatives to distribute government cash are also represented, including The Journal and the Express & Star.

Other successful campaigns nominated include the Carlisle News and Star saving the city’s Rape Crisis Centre from closure, the Reading Post’s Robbie the Robot Appeal to raise £1.2m for prostate cancer operations, and the Eastern Daily Press appeal to help flood victims in Norfolk and Lowestoft.

Winter Olympics gold medalist Lizzy Yarnold is one of a number of high-profile figures, alongside Dame Helen Mirren, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, former Olympic champion Jonathan Edwards and TV presenter Richard Madeley.

Said Lizzy: “Local media plays an incredibly important role in making a difference to the lives of individuals in local communities across the UK in a way that no other media can – whether it is raising funds for a life-saving operation, campaigning to stop a sports centre from closing, raising awareness of a local charity or cleaning up a local park.”


Lynne Anderson of the Newspaper Society said: “People have always turned to the regional press for help when they have nowhere else to go. This Making a Difference showcase gives a flavour of how the local paper as the trusted voice in its community can go into battle on behalf of readers, give voice to their concerns and change lives for the better.

“What’s fascinating today is how editors are using online and social media, harnessing their growing audiences and armies of Twitter followers to amplify editorial campaigns and get results faster than they could in print alone.”

A recent NS-commissioned study into local media influence on consumer behaviour found that 53pc of respondents believe local media to be the best medium for standing up for people in the local area, ahead of BBC local radio and any other commercial media.