Merry Christmas – and thank you for your support

Our pandemic pledges

Thursday, 23rd December 2021 — By Richard Osley

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MERRY Christmas to all our readers – and it is our dearest hope that the New Year will bring brighter news to share.

The rapid spread of the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, threatens to ruin the festivities, but it cuts deeper than a single day.

The graphs and slides are back with grim forecasts of the numbers who will need treatment in hospital.

Meanwhile, livelihoods are at risk amid fear and the potential for more restrictions.

It all brings back echoes of March last year when the realisation of how serious Covid-19 was going to be sank in.

The local newspaper industry is in no way immune to the challenges of this pandemic – the terrain was already tough, this virus and the economic implications made it even tougher for an independent publication like ours.

But the New Journal made a pledge at the very start of this crisis, a promise to press on for as long as it is safe to do so – refusing to sit on the sidelines or trying to piece together the information you need to know simply from a laptop and an armchair.

Never has the supply of precise and clear information been more important – and we feel the responsibility that comes with being Camden’s best read local news source.

So our aims have been clear throughout.

Firstly, there has been a need for that clear, trusted information and signposts to where those most in need can find help and support.

Camden Council has helped with this by publishing regular pandemic updates in these pages – and do so again this week on p5.

Secondly, we pledged to play that active role – and used our contacts to organise and take food to those in need. Our Christmas Hamper deliveries this week continue that mission.

Thirdly, the decisions being made by those in power directly affect the course of this crisis and all of our lives – we will not step back from our role in scrutinising each choice.

And finally, the newspaper, as ever, has been and will be a voice for those struggling to be heard; one of our core reasons for existing.

We have not shied away from reporting the scale of the crisis, but have retained a measured tone.

In these endeavours, we thank everybody who has supported us through our toughest of times: be it sharing stories, writing letters or buying an ad.

That warmth, encouragement and engagement is our lifeblood. We will never take it for granted.


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