Queen's tribute to local papers

Queen: praised ‘community’ role

The Queen has praised the regional press for its vital community role and said she hoped it would be emphasised during the Golden Jubilee celebrations.

Speaking at the Newspaper Soc-iety’s annual lunch, she said: "This traditional role of serving the community has never been more important than it is today. It seems to me that people need a sense of community, a sense of belonging, now more than ever, and your newspapers help to meet that need.

"We would like to think that a lasting legacy of this Jubilee for the future will be that communities across the country will have been strengthened and those who work for them, including your newspapers, will have been encouraged in their work."

She thanked all the regional journalists who have covered her visits. "On my visits to different parts of the United Kingdom since my accession, it is the reporters and photographers from the regional press who turn out at all times and in all weathers to cover the story.

"For each visit has a purpose, whether it is to celebrate an important event or activity, to raise the profile of a specific cause or organisation, or to recognise achievement and success.

"These are more often than not local rather than national stories and the regional media, in recording these occasions, help to put into context the invaluable public and voluntary work being done day in and day out around the country."

A Jubilee supplement on regional newspaper coverage of royal visits since the Queen’s accession will be published by the Newspaper Society in association with Press Gazette and UPM Kymmene later this year and will be presented to the Queen. See www.pressgazette.co.uk for details.  lGuardian editor Alan Rusbridger has won the latest round of a battle to put ancient treason laws to the legal test.

Rusbridger wrote to the Attorney General announcing that his news-paper proposed to publish a number of articles which would "invite and incite support for a republican Government in the UK".

But he said that under the 1848 Treason Felony Act this could be an offence for which he could be liable to imprisonment or transportation beyond the seas for the rest of his natural life.

The Attorney General refused to say if the treason laws would be applied but the Appeal Court has now given the go-ahead for the matter to be looked into.


By Jon Slattery

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