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Advertiser has a vital role in democracy and accountability

PUBLISHED: 23:00 11 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:21 05 October 2010

From George Galloway, MP: MY wholehearted congratulations to the East London Advertiser on winning regional Newspaper of the Year’ and Campaign of the Year’ awards. But it does not surprise me. The paper continues to play a vital role in democracy and political accountability in Tower Hamlets

From George Galloway, MP

MY wholehearted congratulations to the East London Advertiser on winning two media industry awards, regional Newspaper of the Year’ title and Campaign of the Year.’

It really is a remarkable accolade to have been voted regional paper of the year’ two years running.

But it does not surprise me. Week in and week out, the Advertiser continues to bring excellent news coverage to the people of the East End of London, playing a vital role in raising the quality of democracy and political accountability in Tower Hamlets.

But the Advertiser’s role extends far beyond merely covering important issues.

The second award was for the campaign over saving the East End’s Bancroft Archives and Local History Library.

The Advertiser has the courage to campaign for what it believes is right for Tower Hamlets and against what it thinks is wrong.

The Bancroft contains an invaluable and irreplaceable archive of East End working class history. It was a scandal that anyone should have suggested dispersing it and selling the listed library off for other uses.

On the contrary, the only plans anyone should have been considering were how to raise the money to turn this library into the jewel in the East End. The campaign played a vital role in the council’s U-turn which has saved the library for the future.

These are difficult economic times and they are particularly difficult for the newspaper industry in general and the regional press in particular.

The credit crunch has brought falling advertising revenues. The situation is not helped by local authorities like Tower Hamlets council using taxpayers’ money to produce their own free paper to benefit the ruling party.

Essential council advertising ought to be used to help ensure that there continues to be a thriving and independent regional press, on which real political accountability continues to depend so much on.

George Galloway, MP (Respect)

Bethnal Green & Bow

House of Commons

Westminster


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