Readers at the heart of our coverage
8:11am Saturday 26th May 2012 in Your Town
IN the last of our Local Newspaper Week articles, celebrities explain why newspapers such as The Bolton News are at the heart of the community.
With the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee approaching, we make sure local people and events are at the centre of everything we do.
Lord Sebastian Coe, chairman London 2012 Games THE Olympic and Paralympic Games are the perfect local story.
I have said this at least a hundred times since we started on our journey to the London 2012 Games almost a decade ago.
Although the Games can only be awarded to one city, in our case it is London, every local newspaper can have its own story to tell, connecting their readers to what is being trumpeted as this year’s biggest global story happening right here in the UK.
I am a product of local newspapers and have always been an avid reader of them. I was born in London, grew up in the West Midlands and Sheffield, trained in Loughborough and was a local MP in Falmouth.
When we were bidding for these Games a decade ago, we promised to make these Games UK-wide and it is our local media, particularly local newspapers, that are helping us do this.
They are carrying the stories of the thousands of businesses who have benefitted from the Games, the millions of people who are helping to stage the Games — from volunteers to performers, the thousands of athletes and coaches preparing to participate in the Games and the 57 million people across the UK who are just 10 miles away from the Olympic flame as it travels around the UK.
These stories are brought to life in local papers up and down the country and it is for this reason that I am supporting this year’s Local Newspaper Week.
The sporting events may not be taking place in your town or your city, but there will be possibly hundreds of people gearing up to welcome the world and celebrate the Games.
My commitment is to work with all local newspapers to make sure they know when the events are so they can alert readers and capture the moments for all their readers to share.
Sir David Jason, actor WHEN I first joined my local theatre group as a teenager in North London, the Barnet Press was a very important part of my life.
Each performance I gave was written up for the local community to see, whether good or bad, and I used to run down to the corner newsagent and come home and scour the pages hoping for a success.
The main critic for the paper was a lovely and respected man named WH Gelder, and he gave me a lot of encouragement and support through his observant reviews and words of wisdom.
When I eventually went on tour, the local paper would still support me with an update of my endeavours and so the Barnet Press was a very supportive and comforting factor in my life then.
I know my local paper now, the Bucks Herald, supports local communities and ambitious individuals in the same way and I really do think that local papers are a valuable and constant source of stability, giving informative news to its local readers.
Sharron Davies, former Olympic swimmer IN this Olympic year, local newspapers such as The Bolton News have an incredibly important role to play in helping to make the Games come alive for communities across Britain.
They do this by telling the stories of their local athletes — local heroes — as they prepare for and then compete in the 2012 Games.
Many papers will have followed the careers of these athletes since the very beginning, helping to promote and publicise their development all the way to a place in Team GB at London 2012.
Even before I started competing as a professional swimmer at the age of 11, my local newspaper, the Plymouth Herald, reported on my progress through the ranks.
Local newspapers are fantastic at promoting grassroots sports and bring new sporting talent to the public’s attention. It is for this reason, and their key role in helping communities feel part of London 2012, that I am proud to support Local Newspaper Week.