Prime Minister Theresa May has given her backing to our Fighting Fake News campaign by warning of the dangers of fake news distributed on social media.
The prime minister also said she gave her strong support to a free press which underpins democracy by investing in highly trusted journalism.
She said: “We need to be very wary of this concept of fake news. We have got a situation with social media and different outlets where anybody can put something on social media site as if it’s real without anybody checking.
“People need to recognise that and recognise you can’t trust everything you see on social media.
“We know newspapers have a responsibility that they take seriously in terms of what they are reporting.
“A free press is a very important, it underpins our democracy. It’s also important for [politicians] to make sure the statements we make are upfront and transparent for people.”
Mrs May was speaking as the local press industry runs the Fighting Fake News campaign to highlight the importance of trusted local media journalism in the run up to the general election.
The campaign comes in the run up to Local Newspaper Week which begins on 15 May.
Support trusted journalism
Our Fighting Fake News campaign is aimed at reminding readers about the importance of our brands in bringing you Trusted News. In a world where misinformation and unsubstantiated facts can be published to huge audiences via social media platforms, with no regulation, our brands have a long and proud history of bringing you well researched and accurate journalism. Throughout the campaign, we will be asking readers and advertisers to support us in delivering this message and to get involved in learning about how we carry out our trade.
Our campaign will also open out our journalists to check stories you may have heard about. Fact not Fiction will run throughout the campaign offering our readers the opportunity to ask our journalists to check out stories for them. We will be talking to the business community and senior people in our communities to ask them to say why they value the trusted news service we deliver every day. We have also lined up a series of politicians and celebrities who will talk about why they believe the local print industry is important for local democracy.
Our plea to you today is to support this campaign, support local journalism which is under constant threat from unregulated, free and inferior content providers and to get involved with your local news publisher.