Worthing town crier backs #buyapaper campaign

Worthing town crier Bob Smytherman
Worthing town crier Bob Smytherman

Worthing’s town crier has backed the Herald’s new campaign – #buyapaper

The campaign was launched last week to highlight the important role the local press plays.

Local newspapers and their websites, like the Worthing Herald and www.worthingherald.co.uk, are the most trusted providers of news in this country.

They are also fierce defenders of the communities they serve.

But to train journalists to the highest professional standards and to deliver the quality of writing and research on which readers rely costs money.

So across Britain, the #buyapaper campaign was launched, urging residents to purchase a copy of their local title every week.

Our priorities are our communities and our focus is unwavering – if it affects our readers we are interested.

The campaign has received the backing of Bob Smytherman, who said: “As Worthing’s official town crier, I follow a long line of town criers who were the original newsmen in years gone by, bringing the news to the townsfolk of Worthing with a distinctive and traditional look , a large hand bell and a very loud voice! Having read out his message, the town crier would then attach it to the door post of the local inn, so ‘posting a notice’, the reason why many local newspapers are often called ‘The Post’.

“Bellmen would be paid for each proclamation they made: in the 18th century the rate was between 2d and 4d per cry. Of course, the role is now voluntary as we can all get a copy of the latest news for less than £1 a week!

“The town crier or bellman can be traced back at least to medieval times: two bellmen appear in the Bayeaux Tapestry, which depicts the invasion of England by William of Normandy and the Battle of Hastings in 1066. In recent times news is increasingly instant on our smartphones, tablets or computers and, thankfully, we still have a vibrant local newspaper bring us the news each week in written form. Local Journalism is vital for our town as, with a small, dedicated team of journalists, the Worthing Herald each week provides local news from public sector and community groups, as well as classified columns such a births, marriages and deaths – the latter I have used recently to inform my mum’s friends, who were unable to receive the news online.

“In an increasingly digital world and so-called ‘fake news’ appearing across the internet, the role of investigative journalists are today’s town criers, which is why I am proud to support our local newspapers each week, bringing informative and reliable news to the people of Worthing just like my predecessor town criers of yesteryear.”

How you can support the campaign: The #buyapaper campaign was not our idea – it came from readers of local news up and down the country who wanted to support us.

You can give that support very easily – please use our website, follow us on social media and, just as importantly, buy a paper. We will repay you by continuing to focus everything we do on reporting the local news and the issues that affect you. Buy a copy of this newspaper every week. Encourage one friend, neighbour or colleague to do the same. And consider buying a year-long subscription to the title as a Christmas present. Visit www.localsubsplus.co.uk for more information.