Why trusted news supports local jobs and the economy

Sharon Clarke

Sharon Clarke

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Businesses across the region have said just how important our trusted news services are to them - and their success.

Two weeks ago, we launched a campaign Fighting Fake News and highlighted the very real dangers of fabricated stories peddled across social media.

We pointed out the lengths we go to to get every story right - from extensive training to upholding some of the most robust standards on the planet.

It is a campaign that is being supported by local papers across the UK.

This week, business people who depend on newspapers and websites to advertise their services explain why our trusted news reflected well on them - and underpin their values of quality and care.

Community leaders and residents have also spoken of the vital role our trusted news service plays in keeping the region strong, safe, and vibrant.

Sharon Clarke, Worthing town centre manager, below, welcomed the fight against fake news.

Mrs Clarke, who runs the Town Centre Initiative, a business improvement district (BID), comprising the town centre businesses, said fake news could undermine positive work. She said: “It is really frustrating when people don’t check their facts before sharing their thoughts with others on social media and other platforms. Not only can this lead to unnecessary frustration but can undermine some great work. It is time to fight fake news and I am delighted Johnston Press has taken up this cause.”

Tyndall Jones, pictured left, ran the David O Jones sports shop in High Street, Littlehampton, for 36 years until he retired in 2009, and still works there part-time. He has backed the campaign, saying against fake news can have a damaging effect on businesses and people. He said: “If anyone wanted to do something malicious, they only need to sow the seed online.

You hear horror stories when someone picks up one of these stories, puts two and two together and makes five and the potential is there to do a lot of damage.

“News needs to be always checked before believing wholesale what is said.”

Mr Jones added local news from a trusted source was an important asset when he owned his business.

He said: “Local news is very valuable.

“It gives you a talking point to your customers and builds community relations between retailers and the general public.

“In the small business world, the shopkeeper knows their customers, and talking about a story you’ve seen in the paper gives them a point of contact.”

Andy Cooper, pictured above, runs the Clipper Street barber shop in The Street, Rustington, and is also head of the Rustington Chamber of Trade and Commerce as well as being a district and parish councillor.

He said: “The Chamber of Trade welcomes a campaign against fake news to ensure we get to the bottom of what is correct within the media.

“I think knowing you are looking at information from a reputable source is important.

“It is all about furnishing the public with the correct information.”

If you’re not sure that a snippet of local news you’ve seen on social media is fact or fake we can check it out. Email our hotline at copydesk.sussex@jpress.co.uk with a screen grab of the item or all the details you have and our trained professionals will investigate. The story needs to be local and it must be passing itself off as news - perhaps it is an alleged crime or a claim about a council decision. We’ll let you know the outcome of our investigation - and we will share the truth with our readers too. If we don’t have the resources to check it out on this occasion will tell you that as well.