Today, we are asking Islanders to vote for our Our Island: Keeping Jersey Special campaign in the final of the Making a Difference competition run by Local Media Works, an arm of the News Media Association which promotes local newspapers.
The JEP campaign, which has been run in partnership with Save Jersey’s Heritage, called on policy- and decision-makers to think much more about how Jersey looked and felt by shining a light on the quality of public spaces across the Island, from St Helier streetscapes to coastal beauty spots.
A particular focus was placed on the clutter of signs, bins and inappropriate street furniture which blights so many places.
As reported today on page 1, the need for positive change has been echoed in a new independent report.
The campaign has also been supported by Environment Minister Steve Luce, who pledged to change policy if utility companies, the Infrastructure Department and others did not improve the impact their work has on public spaces.
The opening of the vote today signals the start of Local Newspaper Week, an annual celebration of the contribution to community life played by the regional press across the British Isles.
JEP editor Andy Sibcy said: ‘The Our Island: Keeping Jersey Special campaign has demonstrated how a local newspaper can bring together like-minded people who care deeply about their community to argue for something better. In the incessant noise of the social-media age, the campaign was quietly persuasive through being well- and reasonably argued for by many Islanders. I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who contributed and especially Save Jersey’s Heritage founders Alastair Layzell, Christopher Scholefield and Marcus Binney.
‘It is heartening to know that this approach can be successful, although the words of support from many have not yet been translated into the action we all want to see and which Jersey so desperately needs.’
A spokesman for LMW said: ‘Local Newspaper Week’s Making a Difference campaign highlights the power of local newspapers to campaign for positive change in the communities they serve.’
Other shortlisted campaigns include the Manchester Evening News’ #WeStandTogether campaign, launched immediately after the terrorist suicide attack last year at an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena, the Wolverhampton Express and Star’s Feed a family at Christmas campaign and Bradford Telegraph and Argus’s Stop the Danger Drivers initiative.
A full list of the finalists and details of how to vote can be found at localnewspaperweek.co.uk/Making-a-Difference.
The winner of the online public vote will be announced at the Society of Editors Regional Press Awards on 18 May by News Media Association chairman David Dinsmore, a former editor of The Sun newspaper. The JEP has also been shortlisted in the Front Page of the Year category at the awards.