COLUMN: Why we need freedom to ask the questions - by editor Stephen Stray

Boston Standard office.
Boston Standard office.

We are currently in the middle of Local Newspaper Week and I wanted to take this opportunity to pen a column about why I believe The Standard – and our sister titles – play an ever-increasingly important role in all of our lives.

This year’s theme is around press freedom, highlighting why it is important that papers are given the opportunity to freely scrutinise and hold the powers that be to account.

We are your voice, often asking the questions you want answering but are unable to pose yourself – and we would love to give you an even louder voice.

So it is important you tell us the issues you want investigating, those people you want holding to account and why – and as we have done for the last 100 years we will endeavour to get to the bottom of the story.

We want to cut through the spin and unearth the facts, so you can make up your own mind about the issues which matter to you.

And to be able to do this we have to be given the freedom to report freely without restrictions.

Often this will require persistence – numerous phone calls, being shifted from one department to the next – and not being put off to dig deeper by evasive answers. This is what good journalism is all about.

We have a right to, on your behalf and in a responsible manner, look into the issues which affect us all and report them in a fair and accurate way.

If we don’t ask – or indeed don’t have the freedom to ask – the questions, then who will? And who will hold those organisations and individuals privileged enough to make the big decisions in all our lives to account?

So, whether it be for our print edition, online or mobile we want to have the freedom to report the stories which matter to you. We are your voice in the community and we want to hear from you.