This morning's Medway Messenger leads on a fine illustration of why local journalism matters.  Alan Watkins' exclusive about the number of staff at Medway council earning in excess of £50k is an example of a diligent reporter and his newspaper holding local government to account.

On page 2 you'll find the sad story I've been predicting all week in the hope that someone might follow it up. i.e. both the soldiers murdered in Antrim on Saturday were trained at Brompton Barracks. 

Local newsgathering really, really matters. Please note where the necessary confirmation came from. The reporter, Lyn Cox spoke to the army (the key quote is from Brigadier Tony Harking, Commandant of the Royal School of Military Engineering). Remember: the net is a tremendous place to publish, innovate and check. It contains vast quantities of useful information, but you should never forget that the reporter's absolute duty is to find things out (Remember Allan Little's advice "Go and find something out") If someone has put a story, quote or fact on the net then they have already found it. It isn't original. It is second hand. Reporters need original information. They should put original information on the net rather than borrowing second hand material from it.  

Local news and fine reporting