The media has consistently risen to the challenge of keeping the public informed during the Covid-19 crisis, the Society of Editors (SoE) has said.
Writing in support of Journalism Matters week which took place from 5-11 October 2020 Alison Gow, President of the Society and Audience and Content Director North West for Reach plc said that the need for trusted, reliable journalism had never been greater than in recent months.
She said: “This year, when we have been kept apart from each other and so much of what is usual in our lives has been disrupted, the need to know what is going on, and to understand it, has never been greater.
“The media has consistently risen to this challenge, exposing errors, seeking to explain complex issues in fast-changing environments, celebrating those who risk their health to care for others, and also – let’s not forget the importance of this – bringing people the kind of news and entertainment that adds a bit of colour to life.
“From the biggest broadcasters to the smallest news websites, journalists everywhere continue to investigate, explain, ask questions, and challenge.
“Journalism matters all the time but in 2020 it feels as though it has never mattered more.”
Organised by the News Media Association (NMA), Journalism Matters week celebrated the vital role journalism plays in our society. Titles across the country participated in the campaign across the week and the Queen lent her support by highlighting the importance of the news media in a letter to NMA members.
Ian Murray, Executive Director of the Society of Editors said that while journalism plays a vital role in society all the time, it was important for the industry and the public to stop and celebrate the vital job that they do.
He said: “Journalism isn’t just about holding the powerful to account, important as that is. It is just as much about binding communities together.
“In #JournalismMatters Week we need to remind as many people as possible of those facts.
“Without journalism – true, well researched, fact-based, edited journalism – our understanding of the world around us would be obscured by a wall of noise. Journalism matters because it makes sense of that noise.”
Ian MacGregor, Chair of the Society of Editors and Editor Emeritus at the Telegraph said: “Imagine a world where government rules and laws went unchallenged and without analysis, where corruption and lies in public life were not exposed, where council decisions, planning meetings and court hearings were not reported. THAT is why journalism matters.”
As part of the SoE’s support for Journalism Matters Week, we spoke to our members in national, regional, local and broadcast journalism about what journalism means to them and why it matters. Click on the slides below and view the Twitter thread at EditorsUK to see our featured quotes.