RESEARCH shows local newspapers to be the most trusted source of information providers — but reading comments posted online by keyboard warriors in response to almost every story published you wouldn’t think so.
“Fake news,” they type in response to articles as if the story is actually the opinion of the newspaper rather than the person/authority quoted.
It’s largely Donald Trump’s fault. Everything he doesn’t agree with is “fake news”.
Trusted News Day (today) aims to persuade the public that local newspapers are not to blame for fake news. We don’t make things up. We don’t hack phones. We don’t troll people.
At the Rotherham Advertiser our aim is to tell you what is going on locally, provide you with useful information, hold authority to account and give you a platform to express your views, whether that be online or through our various social media platforms.
Misinformation and unsubstantiated stories can be published to far bigger audiences on Facebook and Twitter, with no regulation, which makes it easy for untrusted sources to gain readership. It may be entertainment. Just. But it’s not trusted news.
The Rotherham Advertiser has a long history of providing you well researched journalism, fighting the people of Rotherham’s corner in an increasingly difficult world.
We do not make stories up. We check our sources. When a source accuses another person/organisation of something we give them the right to reply. They do not always take it and are often quick to criticise afterwards.
We play an important part in local democracy — if we do not highlight the concerns of people living across the borough, who is going to question the actions of those in power?
It cannot be disputed that newspaper sales across the world are in decline, though audiences are on the way up, through increased readership via the likes of Facebook.
We are reaching more people than ever before, but our journalists need support. We need people to buy the paper and to take out advertising, otherwise there will be no platform for the people of Rotherham to air their views or advertise their businesses.
We are a public service with a loyal readership and a proud tradition. We are not a here today-gone tomorrow operation hoping to profit through providing gossip and scandal to local people. Those are the people who are giving the phrase “fake news” airtime it does not deserve.
The Rotherham Advertiser was first published at the beginning of 1858. We would like to think it will continue for a long time yet.
Fake news can be beaten if Rotherham people and others across the country put their trust in us and other local newspapers.