Last week I was critical of the Argusr for an article it ran regarding the criminal, Charles Bronson, which I felt was a non-story and undeserving of its front page splash. But nobody should underestimate the esteem in which I hold local newspapers and the huge affection I have for The Argus itself.
Local newspapers are essential for local democracy. The Argus has, over the years, held local politicians and councils to account through its local government reporters, from Adam Trimingham to today’s new kid on the block, Joel Adams.
Politicians love the media when their cause is being reported, particularly when it is being supported. But they can take a rather different view when the coverage is less favourable. Nevertheless, they should be grateful that we have papers like The Argus which has remained even-handed in lavishing praise and doling out criticism over the 40 years that I have been reading it.
I am confident that The Argus will continue to provide fair and balanced coverage of local government affairs. It provides an unparalleled public service. I am as grateful to The Argus and its journalists as I am to local politicians who likewise serve the public, working exceptionally long hours, often not acknowledged and frequently unappreciated. And long may there be a healthy tension between the two.
(This item was first published in the Brighton Argus on 28th January 2018).