ON day three of a national campaign promoting the importance of journalism to society, we hear why Rector of Hexham, Canon Dagmar Winter believes local newspapers continue to play a key role.

Recently appointed Bishop of Huntingdon, Canon Winter gave her support to the News Media Association's Journalism Matters week, which runs from May 13 to 19.

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 communities.

Canon Winter said: "Local journalism is invaluable. When so much else emphasises our differences, it focuses on what we have in common, namely the place where we live and work, trade and enjoy leisure time.

"Local newspapers like the Hexham Courant keep a whole community in touch, highlighting and encouraging active community spirit and public service that works for the improvement of the quality of life for local people."

The message of support from Canon Winter comes after newly-elected North of Tyne Mayor, Jamie Driscoll and Hexhan's MP, Guy Opperman, both backed the campaign.