With Local Newspaper Week upon us this week, it is worth remembering that the publication of local news remains a hallmark of democratic societies, providing a voice for communities across the country.
Local news media can offer a sense of community identity and belonging at a time when disengagement from local democracy is the norm.
Newspapers have been the archivists and chroniclers of their local and regional communities, recording the various rites of passage (births, marriages and deaths) of people of those communities, as well as the activities of civic and political groups and institutions.
They provide a forum for communities to stick together in difficult economic times, as well as representing their readers and campaigning on the issues that matter to them, providing a voice to those who sometimes struggle to be heard. Local papers also have a role to play in lobbying councils to help local people, and in raising the profile of local businesses.
We now want to know what you think and how you see the role and importance of local newspaper. Do you think that local newspapers are still as important as they were and why?