THE Daily Echo is proud to be supporting Journalism Matters - a campaign which highlights the power of local newspapers to campaign for positive change in the communities they serve.

Run by the News Media Association, the campaign kicks off today with the launch of the Making a Difference online public vote for the best local newspaper campaign of the past year.

A number of Newsquest – the Daily Echo’s publisher – titles have been shortlisted for the Making a Difference award for campaigns run in the past year.

Each of the campaigns are strong examples of how daily and weekly local newspapers benefit their communities by getting behind a worthy cause which matters to their readers.

South Wales Argus was shortlisted after helping parents and health professionals fight to save a special needs service after Newport City Council announced they would be withdrawing funding.

The paper showcased the hundreds of vulnerable children that would be affected by SenCom closing. The issue soon caught the attention of politicians from the Welsh Assembly and national charities who starting petitioning Newport council to reconsider. High court proceedings were soon issued, and by early February 2019 the council had “deferred” the decision to leave SenCom. The Argus kept up the pressure with articles focussing on the impact the change could have on children, potential redundancies in the service and growing political calls for it to be saved.

Two months later, the news broke that the council had u-turned completely in the face of media and political pressure, and agreed to continue funding the service until 2022.

And in May last year, the Evening Times Glasgow launched a campaign to persuade the city council to become the first in the UK to make CPR lessons mandatory in all secondary schools. It then expanded the campaign by pursuing every local authority in Scotland with the help of British Heart Foundation Scotland.

An online public vote for the best campaign will be held until Wednesday, with the winner announced at the Society of Editors Regional Press Awards on Friday.

On Thursday, the industry will hold a #trustednewsday to show readers exactly how trusted news is gathered, produced and distributed over the course of the day.