The Piper has taken Local Newspaper Week as an opportunity to find out not only what you think of the paper - but ask what it can do for you?
An annual initiative by the industry and the Newspaper Society, it seeks to highlight the important role played by local papers in communities across the UK.
This year’s week - which started on Monday and will run until this Sunday, May 18 - has seen the launch of a new campaign called ‘Making a Difference.’
This will showcase the ability of local media to “make a difference to the lives of ordinary individuals in a way that no other media can.”
Community newspapers may not expose scandal in the highest echelons of power on a weekly basis, but the principles and tenets of the Fourth Estate should be sacrosanct to anyone who lists journalism as their career.
The Piper editorial team feel that it is important to reassure readers of a sustained commitment to them, especially in the wake of the Leveson inquiry and the shadow it cast across journalism in the UK.
There are many things your paper can do if you feel you have a problem and no-one is listening .
The Piper has helped readers solve problems ranging from being targeted by criminals, to how best to publicise an event.
If you believe something is in the public interest and should be known, the Piper is committed to scrutinising, investigating and getting it out there and alerting the powers that be to the issue, while abiding by the Editors’ Code of Practice,.
Dennis Robertson, MSP for Aberdeenshire West, has praised the Piper for the way it brings community issues to local people.
Mr Robertson said: “Issues like the Food Bank in Banchory are not picked up by the national press and it’s important that the Piper informs the local community.
‘‘It’s also the perfect media outlet for praising local achievements like the success of the Judo Club in Banchory in the British Championships and of course the many local charity events that take place throughout the year of which there are too many to mention.
“The Piper keeps me informed of what is going on in the community and has, on many occasions, prompted me to get in touch with individuals, organisations and businesses in my capacity as their MSP.
‘‘Keep up the good work and continue to express the voice and interest of our local communities.”
Mike Rankin, editor of the Deeside and Donside Piper sas well as their sister titles in Stonehaven, the Mearns Leader and Kincardineshire Observer, said: “I’ve worked in journalism for nearly 40 years, and I still believe that local newspapers are essential.
“They are often the last line of defence for people who can’t speak for themselves.
“It is our duty to inform, to scrutinise, to entertain and I think that papers like the Deeside and Donside Pipers, and the Leader and Observer, form a vital part of the local community.
“It is important that, even as technology advances, these institutions remain.
‘‘I hope that when I retire - it’s a few years away yet -the same importance will be given to community papers, and that people living in the patch recognise they are committed to helping them - perhaps with bringing an issue to the attention of the powers-that-be, or simply highlighting their achievements and recognising the selflessness of ordinary everyday heroes living in our towns, villages and community at large.”
A Local Newspaper Week 2014 spokesman said: “Whether it’s raising funds for a life-saving operation, campaigning for justice or cleaning up a local park, local newspapers - in print, online, on mobile and social media - can bring about real positive change in their communities.
n If you think the Piper can help, or have a story to tell, get in touch with a reporter via the contacts panel on page two or call the newsroom on 01330 826414.