Editor’s Letter: We’re always here for you… now please help support our journalism

Editor Lindsay Jones

Editor Lindsay Jones - Credit: Archant

Since 1921 the Barking and Dagenham Post has always been there with you.

Right now we reach more of you in print and via digital than we ever have before.

But now more than ever before, our work to inform and entertain you is in danger - and we need your help to build a sustainable future for our title.

Over the years we’ll have made you think, made you smile, made you angry, made you proud of our region.

We brought you the story of the Ford women when they went on strike in 1968 for equal pay. According to the paper at the time the women scored “a notable victory”, with Ford left counting losses after the strike “cost 14,320 Cortinas” and loss of £8million.

In 2014 when three young men were found dead near St Margaret’s Church, Barking, within weeks, the Post challenged the police as to whether the men’s deaths were linked – and whether Barking was safe. A detective claimed it was “unusual but not suspicious” and there was nothing indicating the men had come to harm. But two years after the Post first raised concerns two of the deaths were confirmed as linked. And finally, serial killer 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.

The Post launched an appeal to find a stem cell donor for Dagenham youngster Damary Dawkins after he was diagnosed with cancer. Although a donor was found, he died in 2019, with the Post raising awareness of the Home Office’s refusal to let his grandmother travel from Jamaica to the funeral – a decision reversed following our intervention. Damary’s family and school have continued to organise events in his memory, which the Post has covered to help share the 13-year-old’s legacy.

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Today, with journalism already under pressure and coronavirus making finances even tighter, more and more communities are no longer represented by a local newspaper. Corruption goes unpunished. Bad decisions go unchecked. Fake news spreads uncorrected on social media.

To stop that happening in our region, we are inviting readers of our websites to give their financial support to our work. You can contribute any amount you like, as a one-off or a recurring contribution.

I believe that accurate, useful, honest, local journalism is vital to our future and I know you believe that too.

That’s why I hope you will help us. Every single gesture of support will keep us fighting for you and our borough.

Thank you

Lindsay Jones, Editor