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Local newspapers and their websites are the most trusted providers of news in this country. They are also fierce defenders of the communities they serve.
But to train a journalist to the highest professional standards and to deliver the quality of writing and research on which readers rely costs money.
So across Britain a new campaign has been launched #buyapaper which urges residents to purchase a copy of their local title every week.
Newspapers have been in existence for more than 300 years – the Arran Banner has been in existence since 1974 and our sister title the Oban Times has been serving Argyll, the Highlands and Islands for 157 – and in recent years the online version of this paper and many others has grown exponentially.
But the importance we place on the integrity of our journalism has not changed.
Our priorities are our communities and our focus is unwavering…if it affects our readers we are interested.
That means our content covers a huge range – from local events and charities to sports and council meetings.
We hold our politicians to account and we support them when they try to get a better deal for local people. We champion the issues raised by our readers and highlight their achievements.
The digital age – when more information is available to us all than at any other point in history – the reliability of that information is becoming more critical than it has ever been.
Our journalists are not merely trained to the highest industry standard but they are independently accountable as well.
We are accountable to the law, we are accountable to the Independent Press Standards Organisation and we are accountable to our readers.
This accountability is vitally important. We are not faceless or hard to find – we engage with our audience hundreds of times every day. If we make a mistake we are quick to correct it.
The vast amount of news available online and the rise of Facebook and Google has meant challenging economic conditions for local news publishers. Politician and respected academic Toomas Hendrik has said: ‘Fake news is cheap to produce. Genuine journalism is expensive.’
This newspaper and its sister titles – the Lochaber Times, The Argyllshire Advertiser, The Campbeltown Courier and the Oban Times – are proud to be part of our communities, serving you day in and day out.
But to continue to do that we will need your continued support. You can give that support very easily – please subscribe to our websites and digital editions, follow us on social media, and just as importantly, buy a newspaper. Encourage a neighbour, colleague or friend to do the same.
We will repay you by continuing to focus everything we do on reporting the local news and issues that affect you, and supporting local businesses: Buy a copy of The Arran Banner every week – paper or digital.
Last week’s Arran Banner front page. Page 1-AB