Response to today’s government announcement

Today the government has launched a public health campaign that will not reach you. It won’t reach you because the government has not included independently owned community news publishers like Enfield Dispatch in its campaign.

The All In, All Together campaign is a welcome response from the government to provide essential information at this time. It is also a demonstration of the government’s support for the press. However, unless you pick up a copy of a commercial local or national newspaper, you will not have heard about it.

Enfield Dispatch is a member of the Independent Community News Network (ICNN), which is the official trade body for independent community news publishers. Together, we reach over five million people online each month, and over half-a-million in print. This makes us part of the fourth largest news publishing organisation in the UK.

Organisations like ours are the true frontline key workers in this industry who are keeping our communities afloat with genuine, accurate and important information during this pandemic.

Sadly, we are also the ones most at risk from the current crisis. The impact of Covid-19 on organisations like ours could have a catastrophic impact on public health across the UK. Yet the government has seen fit to exclude us from its public health campaign. And that means they have excluded you too.

This story is published by Enfield Dispatch, Enfield's free monthly newspaper and free news website. We are a not-for-profit publication, published by a small social enterprise. We have no rich backers and rely on the support of our readers. Donate or become a supporter.

It is critical for public health that organisations like ours continue to give essential, verified and useful information to the communities we serve. Any public health campaign that does not include publications like ours is insufficient and is a dereliction of the government’s duty to communities at this time.

This is why we are calling on your support to demand urgent action from the government to support organisations like ours at this time and give us an equal share of its public health advertising spend. We need this so that we can continue to bring you the valued and trusted news you have come to expect from us and rely on.

Feryal Clark, Enfield North MP, says: “Local, independent news organisations, such as Enfield Dispatch are the lifeblood of trusted reporting of news relevant to their communities. Government should financially support local media outlets at this crucial time, especially as we try and combat fake news, and where the public are more likely to trust local news sources. We can all do our bit, whether that is by reading the local news, or as a local businesses by supporting their efforts through advertising in their publications.”

Kate Osamor, Edmonton MP, says: “Local papers like Enfield Dispatch are not being supported by the government during this Covid-19 crisis. The government needs to take action now to save local newspapers that shine a light on local issues and help our democracy.”

Please share this article with family and friends and on social media using the hashtag: #SaveIndependentNews.

No news is bad news 

Independent news outlets like ours – reporting for the community without rich backers – are under threat of closure, turning British towns into news deserts. 

The audiences they serve know less, understand less, and can do less. 

In celebration of Indie News Week, Public Interest News Foundation's Indie News Fund will match fund all donations, including new annual supporter subscriptions for the month of June.

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