Gazette letters: Well done Gazette, respect local media and terror attack

The Gazette has often highlighted the plight of the homeless. Picture: PA IMAGES

The Gazette has often highlighted the plight of the homeless. Picture: PA IMAGES - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Firstly I would like to thank the previous editor Ramzy Alwakeel for his bravery in relation to standing up to different issues that presented during his time at the Gazette, he certainly stood by the code of the paper – it should be bold and hold the council to account, writes Michael McElligott, Amwell Street, Islington.

We observed this in many areas from ghastly children home scandals, food banks to people living under bridges, people seeking justice and much more.

I, and no doubt many others, wish him good luck on his journalistic journey. Bear in mind the council spends a fortune on PR per year so the public do need all the help they can muster. Long may this paper continue on its journey of exposure in Islington. It is fair to say the paper has plenty to choose from in Islington with its Labour political dictatorship.

We now also observe the general election and its mighty give away manifestos, money trees on the right, even more on the left, just in time for Christmas.

Yet if we end up with a "coalition of confusion" as is likely, then that great give away might just become like Santa, an imaginary scene, a fairytale.

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The issues of society are simple, it's not as much about the money but how it is distributed.

The current political class and its friend of friends cronies clique have proven they have no clue on how to extract value for money, nor to supply structures that work for the people who need these services.

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Sadly all the money in the world will never solve that irrespective of whether your name is PM Corbyn or PM Johnson!

We write to you on behalf of local news brands, in print and digital, which reach 40.6m people a month write News Media Association in an open letter from local media publishers to Jeremy Corbyn, Boris Johnson and Jo Swinson.

During this election, politicians and candidates from all parties have gone to great lengths to praise local media and its important role in communities.

You have applauded local media's investigative reporting and powerful campaigns and celebrated its vital role in championing local communities.

And you've acknowledged that local news brands are an essential part of the democratic process by holding power to account and providing high-quality news.

It is widely known that the news media industry, particularly the local media sector, is facing significant challenges caused by changing news consumption habits and tech platforms' dominance in the digital advertising market.

So you would understand our amazement when election campaign material imitating local newspapers from the three major political parties started to appear through people's letterboxes.

To discover that local media is under attack by those who had purported to be supporters is extremely worrying.

Why are political parties passing off their fake newspaper propaganda as trusted local news?

Not only are you taking advantage of our highly trusted credentials, you are also actively undermining our business models.

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but this has to stop. The News Media Association and its members are calling on all political parties to immediately end this damaging practice which harms and undermines our democratic society.

Furthermore, we urge you all to help ensure the sustainable future of journalism.

At a time when trust in politicians and institutions is so low and fake news on social media is rife, why not instead be properly held to account by the journalists who write for our papers and websites?

Whichever party wins the election, we call on you to implement the recommendations of the Cairncross Report, move government advertising spend back into trusted news media channels and protect press freedom.

We look forward to your assurances that these measures will be taken promptly and the damaging effects of your campaigning materials will stop with immediate effect.

We, as representatives of many of London's faith communities deplore the terrible attack that took place at London Bridge, writes Mustafa Field OBE, director of Faith's Forum for London.

There is no justification for such a mindless and violent attack on innocent people.

The bravery of the members of the public and the emergency services shows Londoners at their very best. The people who have come out to support the community and traders in London Bridge shows that we stand defiant against those who seek to divide us.

This is the time for all Londoners to come together to demonstrate strength and unity against those who wish to spread fear and hate. Islam, like all religions, does not tolerate violence and hatred in our society.

Our prayers are with the victims, their families and all those affected by this terrible act. We call for Londoners, and our nation to stand together at this time as we continue our efforts towards peace, compassion, understanding and hope among people of all faiths and none. Our message is clear "Turn To Love".

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