Trusted news keeps communities safe

Paula Seager
Paula Seager
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Have your say

Community leaders and residents have spoken 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.

We highlighted the exemplary standards of training we invest in and the robust codes of conduct we are committed to provide news that is wholly trusted.

It is a campaign that is being supported by local papers across the UK.

This week, residents said our quality journalism was essential in holding those in authority to account and keeping them fully informed of local decisions and information.

Paula Seager, director, Natural Partnerships CIC, organisers of Sussex Food and Drink Awards, said:

‘’It is terrifying how much false news is believed as fact nowadays because someone has stated it on social media - and it is particularly bad when a proper media outlet then reports it as well, as this lends it even more credibility.

“This is really tough for food and drink businesses to deal with - one negative or vindictive comment on a Twitter feed can become a headline on a newspaper and ruin a business.

“We need to know that we have reliable, responsible media that verifies the truth of stories and reports the facts, not innuendo or misleading information and we need to support this media so that it can continue to provide us with balanced and honest news.

“I fully support this campaign and the newspapers behind it!”

Haywards Heath Town Mayor Sujan Wickremaratchi, who is also county councillor for the town, said: “I fully support Mid Sussex Times in the fake news campaign.

“As Mayor and Town and County Councillor for Haywards Heath for over four years I can say that the Middy has been extremely diligent and its contents in the news paper accurate. he Middy has been extremely supportive of me as Mayor for the past two years and very supportive of our local events.

“I thank you for your fantastic contribution and publicising true facts in your news paper.

“The Middy has been extremely professional and absolutely supportive.”

Secretary of Burgess Hill District Lions Tony Parris said:

“Burgess Hill District Lions have worked with and have been supported by the Mid Sussex Times for over 20 years and we even have copy in our archives which is a lot older.

“We really appreciate their help in spreading the news about the work we do in the community and most importantly there has been built over the years a two way element of trust.

“Every Thursday the Middy is the first paper we read to see if any of our events have made the community pages and recently we now get the chance to meet our local reporter here in the town.”

Chairman of the Haywards Heath Town Team Ruth de Mierre, who is also on the district and town councils, said: “Fake news via social media is helping to destroy our communities and this initiative is to be applauded by Gary Shipton and his team.”

Fact or Fiction?

If you’re not sure that a snippet of local news you’ve seen on social media is fact or fake we can check it out.

Email our hotline at copydesk.sussex@jpress.co.uk with a screen grab of the item or all the details you have and our trained professionals will investigate.

The story needs to be local and it must be passing itself off as news - perhaps it is an alleged crime or a claim about a council decision.

We’ll let you know the outcome of our investigation - and we will share the truth with our readers too. If we don’t have the resources to check it out on this occasion will tell you that as well.