Prime Minister Theresa May has given her backing to the Examiner’s campaign against fake news.
Mrs May issued a warning of the dangers of fake news distributed on social media.
And she has given her strong support to a free press which underpins democracy by investing in highly trusted journalism.
On a visit to Eastbourne in Sussex, where she was born, Mrs May 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 up-front and transparent for people.”
The Prime Minister 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 is coordinated by Local Media Works, the local marketing arm of the News Media Association, and comes in the run up to Local Newspaper Week which begins on Monday, May 15.
Mrs May’s views were echoed by Jason McCartney, first elected as the Conservative MP for the Colne Valley in 2010. He is also the party’s candidate in the forthcoming general election.
Mr McCartney said: “I sit on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee and we were just about to start our investigation into Fake News when Mrs May called the election.
“I think with more and more people going on social media it’s important that we have accurate and factually correct information and, of course, trusted local news media like the Huddersfield Examiner.
“We can’t afford to undermine the democratic process or the trust in online news sources.”