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Largan column: 'Our local newspapers have done a fantastic job keeping us all informed'

High Peak MP Robert Largan.

In his latest column, High Peak MP Robert Largan writes about the importance of local journalism and institutions like the Glossop Chronicle.

Every week, I write a column in the Glossop Chronicle. But it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on the importance of local papers like the Chronicle. When done properly, local news keeps communities connected and well-informed. It’s also vital for our democracy, scrutinising both the government and local councils.

A free press is one of the cornerstones of a free society and while I might not agree with every editorial decision every newspaper takes, I’ll always defend their right to make that decision and stand up for freedom of speech.

There are some amazing personalities who have made local journalism a vital institution in places like High Peak. One such person is David Jones, who retired this year after 56 years as the voice of local people at the Glossop Chronicle.

David embodied the old school of local journalism, carrying out balanced reporting with integrity at its core. His combination of good humour with professionalism is an example to many and shows just how much of an impact our local journalists can make to their area.

That is why it is exciting news that Peak Sounds, a new High Peak radio station, is being launched online, supported by advertising from local businesses.

I hope the new radio station is a real success as an extra local news outlet for people in High Peak, adding another local voice for the area and working to keep people like me on my toes!

As the local MP, I make every effort to help keep people informed on what is happening both locally and in my work in Parliament. You can keep up to date by following me on Facebook at facebook.com/robertlargan4highpeak and on Twitter at @robertlargan.

I also send out a regular email newsletter to over 7,000 local people to keep them updated on what I’m up to and what’s happening locally. You can sign up to my newsletter at robertlargan.co.uk/newsletter.

This pandemic has been a difficult time for so many businesses, and it is a good thing that local media has been able to benefit from business rates relief as well as furlough and the VAT cut for digital newspapers. I will keep pushing Ministers to do everything possible to help local media to be a part of the recovery from Covid.

More than that, local news has brought us together. That has never been more important than during lockdown. Despite our isolation over those difficult months, our local newspapers have done a fantastic job keeping us all informed. Whatever the future brings, I will keep backing our local press to help make High Peak better than ever.

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