Nigel, pictured left, made the comments in launching a new creative writing competition for schoolchildren, which is being run by the EDP and Norfolk County Council.
He will chair the judging panel for the contest, which is open to children aged between five and 13 across the county.
Said Nigel: “Writing and reading is a good way to spend many magical hours, and encouraging our youngsters to write stories and read stories is right at the top of the educational agenda.
“If we don’t maintain longer-form writing, and if we become a slave to social media and short forms of communication, we regress as a society.
“We have got to be absolutely au fait with that, but we have to maintain the ability to read and write, because in that way our society will advance.
“There are elements of society that many people fear have gone backwards, and we need to re-double our efforts to read and write, and encourage inspirational thoughts and story lines, and that is why we got involved in this competition.”
Nigel told HTFP: “Social media is a vital and fascinating part of our world – and will continue to grow and develop. Our Write On Norfolk competition celebrates the joys of longer forms of creative writing and we are delighted to be working with Norfolk County Council on it.
“We anticipate hundreds of entries – and are spreading the message of the competition via print and social media.”