Peterborough community leaders and residents spoke today of the vital role our trusted news service plays in keeping the region strong, safe, and vibrant.
Last week, we launched a campaign Fighting Fake News and highlighted the very real dangers of fabricated stories peddled across social media.
It is a campaign that is being supported by local papers across the UK. Here are some views:
Abdul Choudhuri, Chairman, Faizane Madina mosque
“It is very important to have a local media you can trust. It is important to present the report in a factual way, with accurate stories. We see in the national press very exaggerated reporting which can create problems. The local press is part of the community, and it is important to have a good relationship, as we do with the Peterborough Telegraph.
Canon Ian Black, Vicar of Peterborough, Residentiary Canon, Peterborough Cathedral
“Truth matters. And getting to bottom of what is real and what is fake is tremendously important.
“In an age when anyone can circulate stories at the click of a mouse, knowing that a report has been rigorously checked means that it is reliable. Well-researched local journalism treats all people with respect, strengthens democracy and contributes to a healthy society. Jesus had sharp words for those who lead people astray – who deliberately lie. As we approach an election where social media will play an ever increasing role, we need sources that we can trust more than ever.“
John Bridge, Chief executive of Peterborough Chamber of Commerce
“Local newspapers serve the community and it is really good that they employ local people and reporters who you can get to know and trust and who will convey the news accurately and as it is. People want to be able to ensure that what they are reading is reliably reported. But social media can be a challenge for some people working out what is true or not. The problem is that no one has any control over social media - there is no good mechanism to ensure control.”
Cllr John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council,
“I think it’s absolutely essential that you should have a local paper that does not print inaccurate news because people have a lot of trust in a newspaper which can be destroyed by just one article.
“I believe in the main that our paper has the trust of people of Peterborough.
“Some of the stuff you see on social media rather disgusts me and you would never see that in a local paper. There’s no substitute in my view for a community newspaper that reports community news and reports it factually.”
Amanda Rose, service manager for communications at Peterborough City Council,
“There’s been a lot in the media recently about fake news and it’s highlighted quite how many sources there are available now for people to get information - from social media like Facebook and Twitter to the broadcast media, the national and local press.
“It shows that we all need to be discerning about what we read. There are always two sides to a story so being able to rely on balanced and well-researched reporting is really important.
“The Peterborough Telegraph keeps people abreast of council news, developments and decisions and is an important source of information for councillors and officers on how people feel about the work we do. It helps us communicate and consult with people and always keeps us on our toes.”