This is the biggest challenge the Barking and Dagenham Post has ever faced. I’m asking for your help to overcome it

Lindsay Jones, editor.

Lindsay Jones, editor. - Credit: Archant

Dear reader

Have you heard the phrase “news desert”? It’s been coined in America to describe what is left behind when a newspaper closes down and the community it served is suddenly left without a source of credible and comprehensive news and information.

You can guess what happens next in those places when the vital scrutiny that a campaigning local newspaper provides is gone; when no-one is there to shine a light on that which is hidden from the public.

I’m determined that Barking and Dagenham will never become a news desert - and I need your help to stop it happening.

That’s why I’m asking you to give your financial support to our work. You can contribute any amount you like, as a one-off or a recurring contribution.

Why am I asking this now?

More of you are reading the Post than ever before, and increasingly that is on your mobile phones, tablets and laptops rather than in print.

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We’re delighted to serve so many of you - but please understand that trusted journalism costs money to produce, and the money we make from digital page views is a fraction of that from paper sales.

Our advertising revenues have also been hit by the tech giants, many of whom pay little or no tax here.

Still, we are determined to continue to keep fighting for you and our area.

In recent years, the Post was the first to raise the suggestion that the deaths of young men in Barking might be linked. Eventually Stephen Port was convicted of the murders of four young men. The Post has continued to support the quest for justice by the victims’ families ever since, covering - among other things - the quashing of two original inquests, pre-inquest hearings ahead of an upcoming joint inquest and the IOPC investigation into the police response.

We have given residents of Samuel Garside House a voice after the devastating fire at their flats and we launched an appeal to find a stem cell donor for a little boy with cancer.

And in recent weeks we’ve kept you up to date with how the coronavirus has affected the borough and the great work that Barking and Dagenham businesses, volunteers, carers and NHS staff are doing to help us all.

So please help us with a contribution to supporting local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Every single gesture of support will help us make sure Barking and Dagenham does not become a news desert.

Thank you

Lindsay Jones, Editor