Take part in our reader survey and help shape the future of your newspaper

EDP and Norwich Evening News' coverage of the pandemic.

EDP and Norwich Evening News coverage of the pandemic. - Credit: Archant

This feels like a new start. 

With the easing of lockdown and more places reopening, coupled with the continued vaccine roll-out and low covid rates, I’m sure many are feeling much more positive about things at the moment.  Let’s just hope it isn’t another false dawn. 

It also feels like the perfect time to look at things afresh.

For many, the last year has been a real time of reflection – we’ve probably all reassessed aspects of our lives, thought long and hard about what our priorities are, and how we want them to change in the future.

Here are some of the faces of the people who signed up to become Here to Help: Not Alone pen friends

Here are some of the faces of the people who signed up to become Here to Help: Not Alone pen friends earlier this year. Picture: Anne Jones/Hannah Hopkins/Nicola Brown/ Submitted/Adam Wilson - Credit: Anne Jones/Hannah Hopkins/Nicola

Meanwhile, in offices all over the country, businesses will be doing the same as they work out how best to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and how to shape themselves as they come out of the other side.  

This newspaper is no different. We are also using the moment to turn the spotlight on ourselves. 
I’m immensely proud of the role this newspaper plays in the community, especially during the past year and a bit, where I feel the importance of local media has shone through like never before. 

When the crisis hit, it was your local newspaper that gave out vital information, challenged where need be and rallied communities to help others.

You may not agree with everything we write, but hopefully the fact you are reading this means you believe in the overall impact we have. 

But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be prepared to change and shouldn’t be prepared to listen to your views as to what our newspapers and websites should be like in the future. 

From this Saturday, we will run the Your Paper, Your Voice survey online and in the newspaper, encouraging you to give your views. 


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We will be asking you what we do right, what we do wrong, what you’d like to see more/less of, and where you would like to see changes and improvements. And our pledge is to listen and learn from that, and publish the results.

We last ran a survey like this four years ago, since which the newspaper industry has continued to change at a rapid pace.

The convenience and accessibility of online news means it is easier for us to reach more people with our content. In fact, we have more readers across all our platforms than at any time in our history.

Online, thousands of people come to our website daily for up to the minute news groom the region.

But we remain immensely proud of our printed newspapers, which are an important part of our future.

Reading a newspaper remains a great experience – for those moments you discover something new, hear an opinion that challenges your own, or read a story you want to talk to a friend about.

Reporter Donna-Louise Bishop launching the Not Alone (pen pal initiative) string of the Here to Help

Reporter Donna-Louise Bishop launching the Not Alone (pen pal initiative) string of the Here to Help campaign. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

But we know we are not perfect, and a two-way conversation with you is an important part of understanding what you want in the future.

It’s why several times a year I meet with our readers panel to discuss how we can improve our service to you – and it’s why we are doing this survey. 

The one thing that hasn’t changed in the last four years is the need for trusted journalism. In fact, with so much misinformation online, the need has never been greater – journalism that matters, that holds power to account, shines a light on amazing things that happen here, and makes a positive difference to the communities we serve. In my view, we achieve those things – but do you agree? If not, what could we do better?

We have dozens of journalists covering life in Norfolk and Waveney – no other local media organisation invests so much in journalism in this area. 

We are passionate about the communities we serve, you’ve seen this most recently during the pandemic.

We launched the Here to Help campaign last year to help people during the Covid crisis, and partnered with the Norfolk Community Foundation to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds to help scores of families in crisis.

Our own penpal scheme connected the lonely, while Every Child Online gave hundreds of laptops to children who risked being left behind. 

And we’ve backed local business – whether it be our Shop Local initiative, or the Fightback East campaign, which is calling for Government investment and support in our region.

Yet these are testing times for our industry. Our journalism costs money to produce, and the money we make from digital page views is a fraction of that from paper sales, while advertising revenues have also been hit by the tech giants and internet.

Norfolk Here to Help campaign logo. Picture: Archant

Norfolk Here to Help campaign logo. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

So we have to make every story count, and we have to deliver newspapers and websites you really value and want to read on a regular basis.
We are determined to keep fighting for you and our area. If you can spare five minutes, please take the Your Paper, Your Voice survey and help us shape the future of this newspaper.
Take the survey here