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Public vote to decide between 26 local newspaper campaigns

A 26-strong shortlist has been unveiled for an annual award for the best local newspaper campaign of the past year, with the winner to be chosen by public vote.

The Making a Difference award, organised by local press marketing body Local Media Works, is designed to highlight the power of local newspaper campaigning.

The 26 campaigns shortlisted for the prize are all adjudged to have delivered meaningful changes to their communities.

The public vote will go live on Monday 14 May – the start of Local Newspaper Week – with the winner to be announced at the Regional Press Awards ceremony on Friday 18 May.

Two of the shortlisted entries for the Making a Difference award

Two of the shortlisted entries for the Making a Difference award

Shortlisted entries include the Manchester Evening News’ powerful campaign #WeStandTogether following the arena attack in 2017, which raised £1.5 million in a day for families of the victims.

Also on the list are the Sling the Mesh campaign from the Cambs Times which highlighted the dangers of pelvic mesh and took the campaign to parliament, and Kent Live’s Save Our Buses campaign which successful helped reverse bus service cuts.

Other contenders include Newcastle daily the Chronicle’s fight to help a local blind woman who also suffered from epilepsy and arthritis successfully win her appeal against the DWP’s call for her to work.

And the Glasgow Evening Times is nominated for its Opt for Life campaign which saw a change in Scotland’s organ donation laws.

Lynne Anderson, deputy chief executive of the News Media Association, said: “Making a Difference highlights the powerful campaigning work of local newspapers in delivering real change for people and communities across the UK.

“Earlier this year, YouGov research showed that local newspapers are three times more trusted for local news and information than social media platforms. Local Newspaper Week celebrates local newspapers’ long history of producing fact-checked journalism which readers can rely on.”

This year’s LNW will also see the return of #TrustedNewsDay on Thursday 17 May with local papers across the UK encouraged to open up their newsrooms to readers through interactive initiatives such as live blogs and Q&As, to show how their trusted content is produced.

The full shortlist is as follows.  More details of each entry can be found on the Local Newspaper Week website

Bradford Telegraph & Argus  Stop the Danger Drivers
Bristol Post     Street Lives
Cambs Times     Sling the Mesh
Coventry Observer     Bring George Eliot Home
Daily Gazette    The Cancer Centre Campaign
Dudley News    The Big Push
Eastern Daily Press     Kerri’s Campaign
Edinburgh Evening News     Maggie’s Centre
Evening Times    Opt for Life
Express & Star     Feed a Family This Christmas
Guardian Series     Save Jessel Green
Hexham Courant    Your Right to Know
Irish News     Public benches campaign
Islington Gazette    Sandy Marks
Jersey Evening Post     Our Island
KentLive     Save Our Buses
Manchester Evening News     #WeStandTogether
Oxford Mail     OX5 Run
South Wales Echo     Reaching out to rough sleepers
Sunday Post     Remember Them
The Chronicle     Hazel Macrae campaign
The Courier    Frank’s Law
The Mail    Tonnes of Tins
The Westmorland Gazette     Readers to the rescue
Watford Observer     Save Nascot Lawn
Wells Journal    Dementia Friendly District
Weston, Worle & Somerset Mercury     Cleaner Coastlines