KEY community leaders have come together to emphasise the importance of local media.

This week is Journalism Matters week and today is Trusted News Day.

And to celebrate this, political figures have spoken of the importance of trusted local media in today's society.

Councillor Bill McEwan, Mayor of Barrow, said: “I’m a big supporter of the local press, they keep people in touch with what’s going on in the community.

“I regularly buy a copy of The Mail and I think it’s important especially for older people who can’t access the internet as easily.

“I think it’s fantastic for keeping everyone up to date. I’m a big believer in the The Mail, long may it reign.”

South Lakes MP Tim Farron said: “Local newspapers play an absolutely crucial role in keeping local people in touch with what’s going on in their area.

“Here in the South Lakes we are very lucky to have The Mail and the Westmorland Gazette who not only do a great job in keeping our communities informed but also in campaigning to produce real, tangible benefits for them.”

Copeland MP Trudy Harrison said: “Local journalism is very important for getting to the heart of community issues and providing a trusted source of news in this day and age of social media.

“Its role can be varied, both championing local people and giving them a voice, as well as holding power to account."

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock said technology had changed the way the public consumed information.

He said: “Like all regional papers, The Mail has had to adapt to a changing and challenging trading climate, but its hard-working team of journalists make a pretty good fist of keeping everyone informed.”

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt also backed the campaign, which is co-ordinated by the News Media Association.

"Like many politicians, I don’t always enjoy reading what the newspapers say about me," he said. "But I believe that a free media is a fundamental requirement for a stable and healthy society."