We’re honoured, but let’s hear it for the real heroes

Thursday, 23rd September 2021

40 CAmden Road Camden New Journal CNJ locations Image 2020-07-27 at 19.49.12 (2)

Thank you for your continued support, you have once again been our readers of the year.

WE were delighted to be once again named “Newspaper of the Year” in the annual industry awards last week.

Thankfully, we don’t need a glass trophy to be reminded that there is a lot of love across the borough for what is one of the last independent regional weeklies in the country.

During the pandemic, the close connections between Camden residents and the New Journal, forged over four decades since the paper was set up, felt all the more important particularly when clear and accurate information was the order of the day.

However, we are not getting carried away. Without feigning humility, throughout 2020 we simply kept doing what we have always been doing and what we intend to keep on doing for as long as possible. Providing thousands of food drops across Camden each week seemed like a natural response.

Many newspaper staff may work long hours and for low pay, but they will rarely if ever find themselves on the “frontline” or putting themselves in harm’s way.

So this week we’d like to hear it for the teachers, the hospital staff, the care home workers, the bus and tube drivers, the bin men, the delivery drivers, posties, council staff and vaccine volunteers who selflessly kept on working throughout Covid pandemic.

The vast majority of public sector workers simply got their heads down and got on with it, without dreaming of winning an award at the end of it. Maybe they don’t have the same egos as journalists.

We have and continue to aim to stand up for working people by telling their stories and calling out injustices when they arise.

From the PPE failures, to the bus drivers working unprotected to the classrooms opening too early, we have tried to raise the issues at play in a responsible and forceful way.

We should also think this week about the many hundreds of Camden residents who did not survive the pandemic. They were all our neighbours, friends and family. Throughout 2020, the paper has been there for them too.

The reality of the regional press awards this year is that it has exposed worrying trends at local papers around the country.

Elsewhere, inexperienced staff have been left to run entire news operations, while the mad dash for quantity over quality web hits is eroding time-trusted systems of fact-checks and balances.

It is a direct result of the long march of the internet and the threat to advertising from online giants, such as Facebook.

So thank you for your continued support, you have once again been our readers of the year.

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