The Forfar Dispatch and Kirriemuir Herald are celebrating Local Newspaper Week from May 12 to 18 by reflecting on the papers’ roles in the local community.
The theme this year is ‘making a difference’ and every week we cover a vast array of stories, reporting on local achievements by groups and individuals who make a difference in the local area.
Over the year we have supported a number of campaigns in the local community, most recently with our Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local campaign supported by Guild Homes (Tayside) Limited.
We have also publicised attempts to have a statue of Bon Scott erected in Kirriemuir, as well as campaigns to clear the Forfar streets of dogs’ mess and litter.
We have also supported the successful ‘Forfar in Flower’ group and its efforts to brighten up the town.
Every month, in conjunction with the Forfar Roof Truss Company, we choose a worthy winner of a monthly £250 sponsorship cheque.
This project has now run for over 10 years and provides a much needed cash boost for community projects in the area - groups we feel really do make a difference.
We are delighted the valuable role played by local newspapers has been highlighted by a number of celebrities during local newspaper week, including Dame Helen Mirren.
Dame Helen is a well known and widely respected actress with an international career that spans stage, screen and television and has won many awards, including the Academy Award in 2007 for her performance in ‘The Queen’. She was appointed a Dame of the British Empire in 2003.
She said: “Through their reporting on local events and performances, local and regional newspapers play an important part in promoting and sustaining the arts at a local level.
“Theatres up and down Britain rely on this exposure and support from their local papers to communicate effectively with both new and existing audiences.
“Of course, this is not the only important function performed by local newspapers - they campaign on behalf of their readers, expose wrongdoing and corruption, and uphold free speech.
“These are just some of the reasons why I am supporting this year’s Local Newspaper Week and I would like to wish all local papers and their readers the very best.”
Our reporters attend a number of meetings and events in the course of a week, and on Sunday we were at Laura’s Fun Day at Murton Nature Reserve.
Commenting on the role the Dispatch and Herald played in promoting the event, Mr Euan Gow, principal teacher of pupil care and support, said the publicity given by the paper had been “invaluable.”
He said:“The support we have had from the Dispatch has been absolutely great. It’s a very local newspaper and is read by a lot of people in Forfar. If there’s something we need to get circulated round Forfar, that’s our first port of call. They are absolutely fantastic about putting things in, sending reporters and photographers and really publicising events like this. This has a large part to play in the success of the day.”
We want to hear your nominations for people in the local community who are making a difference. Log on to Facebook and give us your suggestions.