OPINION

A plea to support our local media

Posted On 02 May 2020 at 4:19 pm

We all rely on our local media. From letting us know what’s happening in our communities and neighbourhoods, to holding local politicians to account – local and regional media are important.

We are lucky in Brighton and Hove to have a range of strong local media outlets from print media, newspapers, radio, and television to online news.

Now, more than ever, we feel the benefits of our local and regional press who are helping to keep us informed, entertained and connected whilst indoors.

I want to thank all of our local journalists across various platforms who even under these difficult circumstances are continuing to report on the issues that matter to local people.

Reliable journalism is ever more crucial as we respond to the covid-19 pandemic and we are fortunate to have that here.

In particular, I want to pay tribute to Sarah Booker-Lewis who is the BBC local democracy reporter for Brighton and Hove.

You’ll have seen her work across the various local media channels and in this public health crisis she is still following the “virtual” council meetings and reporting on council business to keep residents informed and engaged with the key decisions for the city.

What is so heartening about this challenging period is the way people across Brighton and Hove are supporting one another.

From donating and volunteering at food hubs set up with the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, to setting up mutual aid groups and checking in on neighbours – our city has really come together, and our local media organisations have played a big part in that.

They’ve been signposting people to where they can access support, reporting on the community volunteering efforts and highlighting the real stories of kindness and generosity taking place across Brighton and Hove.

Unfortunately, local newspapers and media organisations are struggling. As their advertisers are impacted by covid-19, so are they.

I’m asking everyone to please do what you can to support our local media. Pick up a paper, buy a subscription and tune in – because we need our local media and right now they need our help too.

Councillor Nancy Platts is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. bradly Reply

    i can not “support” the local argus and nor the facebook brighton-people ect in any way as it promotes Govt. line that social distance and fake data about COVID deaths and snitching ,,,,, and sometimes i even worry about this organ ,,,,

  2. Billy Reply

    I cannot support our local paper the Argus at the moment.
    Instead of becoming the much-needed community hub for news and information they have instead gone down the sneering and naming and shaming route.
    Every ‘news’ article, often lifted straight from facebook, carries a clickbait headline that is usually a distortion of the story itself. The lack of proof reading is sometimes obvious. Why anyone would pay to read their tabloid drivel is beyond me.
    Local businesses are shamed when they re-open legally and with new social distancing measures in place – and the accusation is that they put wealth before health when what they are actually doing is trying to claw back some income lost so that they can still pay the bills and cover the business overheads they can’t avoid.
    The truth is that with the coming recession we need our local businesses to survive and all will have to adapt to a ‘new now’ with a virus that will not go away anytime soon.
    I also hate the way the Argus are complicit in the shaming of people who are simply taking exercise on the promenade or on Hove lawns. And one day they say ‘look how busy our seafront is’ and then the next they say how quiet it is! As a walker I can tell you that the truth lies somewhere between these two extremes and with most people being very careful about social distancing.
    The Argus reporting is the lowest of the low at the moment, looking for dramas and with no thought towards the future.
    As we come out of lockdown and learn to live with Covid19 we have to find new ways of getting back to what we need and want to do, be that for work or social reasons. Local media – and our city council – should be leading the way in showing us how to safely say yes to things, instead of just screaming ‘No!’
    Beyond the valley of the curtain twitchers there is an intelligent audience out there.

    • Chris Reply

      ….although you might not think so if you bother to read the Argus comments which seem to have descended into a slanging match between the same few people. I stopped doing more than having a cursory look at the article headlines a couple of years ago.

      • Rolivan Reply

        They are only interested in revenue from Advertising and the numbers they can give to prospective clients which are not an accurate figure as there are commenters using multiple names.

  3. Rolivan Reply

    It would be good if the media could give us some real figures on the number of deaths since the beginning of the year, which in recent average years would up until now be about 180,000 of which Dementia is listed as the highest cause of Deaths.Most of those would have been residents in Nursing Homes and Hospitals.

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