LOCAL newspapers are the voice of the people.

In print, they are read by 31 million people each week and 62 million unique users visit local newspaper websites every month.

Demand for local news and information has never been higher, with more people accessing it than ever before through printed newspapers, their sister websites, smartphones and tablets.

What these millions of people have in common is that they place extremely high value upon the trusted news and information provided by local papers.

They trust their paper to report accurately and fairly on the issues that matter most to their lives.

Reporting on important events isn’t always as easy as it might appear.

We believe passionately that you have the right to be kept fully informed about what is happening. Journal editor Hayley Smith attended a reception at Downing Street where Prime Minister David Cameron said he was fully behind the cause of the local press.

He said: “For decades, local newspapers have faced fierce competition.

First there was the radio, then television, now of course, the internet. But despite all these challenges, they continue to play a vital role and that’s testament to the extraordinary creativity and versatility of all those people who work in local media.

“Local newspapers are hugely important to our country – for two good reasons. First, they strengthen our democracy, holding the powerful to account.

“Second, local papers are hugely important in helping to build a bigger, stronger society.”