Visiting regions across the United Kingdom during this Diamond Jubilee year, Prince Philip and I have been struck by the way that in towns, villages and cities, people have found that their community can be an important source of strength and support.
Local and regional newspapers are a fundamental part of the fabric of our communities and we should celebrate the important contribution they make to highlighting the issues and achievements of their particular area.
Through their reporting, local newspapers such as the Gazette act as a voice for their readers and a focus for all.
Britain’s regional media has also played an admirable role in helping communities to follow the fortunes of their local heroes – the athletes who will represent our nation at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Their endeavours should be a source of inspiration to us all.
I hope that both the Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics will give people renewed cause for optimism and a reason to come together in celebration of what we can all achieve as a country.
I am delighted to give this message of support to Local Newspaper Week. I wish both local newspapers and their readers every success in the future.