HEXHAM'S MP, Guy Opperman, has backed a campaign which aims to remind people of the role local newspapers play in the community.

Journalism Matters week, which runs from May 13 to 19, is led by the News Media Association – an organisation which represents the voice of national, regional and local news brands.

The campaign, which replaces Local Newspaper Week, is a platform for news media titles across the industry to remind readers and local residents about the importance of local journalism in our democratic society.

To mark the campaign, we've asked a series of leading figures from across the area to share their views on why publications, like the Hexham Courant, continue to provide an important service to communities.

Mr Opperman said: "In this week of celebrating journalism across the country, I am delighted to offer my support to my local paper – the Hexham Courant.

"It is so important that we do not take for granted good local journalism and the newspapers which carry the news that impacts on our day to day lives.

"We are so lucky to have the Hexham Courant serving the Tyne Valley and the dispersed rural towns and villages in this part of Northumberland.

"Local newspapers are part of the glue which holds us together and they help tell the stories which gives us our identity.

"The Hexham Courant has a long and distinguished history – it is good for us to celebrate that fact this week."

His comments follow Monday's message of support for the Journalism Matters campaign from newly-elected North of Tyne Mayor, Jamie Driscoll.