Today marks the 11th Birthday of the Salford Star Magazine and so I thought I would share my thoughts, show my admiration and congratulate them on sticking it to the man with all the style, attitude and love we have come to expect from them.
Last year one of Salford's few remaining LOCAL news outlets closed down after it ran into financial difficulties due to struggling against the tide of trying to attract advertisers to pay the bills. It was a sad time for many as they had become to depend on it for real news about what is going on in Salford, not Manchester, Bolton, Oldham and Stockport but SALFORD.
Over the years our City has lost most of its news outlets as they have fallen by the wayside, struggled to compete or been bought out and amalgamated by the larger outlets in the area. As a result we have seen a huge decrease independent reporting as the bigger outlets have travelled down the path of click bait headlines and advertising disguised as 'News Articles'.
The reporter/advertiser has been replaced with Manchester Weekly News (Apparently Salford Edition), M44 News in Irlam and Cadishead has bit the bullet and local media has never been in a worse state than it is now.
So when SalfordOnline closed its doors for the final time it was with an 'Ian Stewart' heavy heart I had to accept that Salford only really had one real news outlet left, the Salford Star.
In his comments on the matter Stephen Kingston said something which struck a nerve with me, he mentioned that Salford is ironically a Media City with an ever decreasing home grown local media presence.
He is right, only earlier this year we all saw as our local radio station Salford City Radio (SCR) struggling to stay on air as it's funding was cut, fortunately they managed to pull a rabbit out of the bag and with a lot of hard work and dedication by its staff and the local community they have been recently awarded an additional 5 years on air after their licence was renewed.
Local media is important in a city like Salford, it tells us what is happening around us, not in Manchester or Bolton but right here in Salford. The importance of the Star has never been greater than now, as its unique brand of investigative journalism holds those holding the power to account. And as we have seen in the mainstream media with the likes of the Grenfell fire the other week, local councils, housing providers etc... DO need to be held to account.
Throughout all of the changes, one media outlet remains and it has still stood proud, stuck to its principles, never compromised on its quality or its integrity, its reporting is in-depth, reliable and above all honest.
Salford Star should be proud of all they have achieved, especially under the conditions it operates. The council are not exactly friendly to them and as I found out myself only this week, trying to get info from Salford City councils press office is like getting blood out of a stone. (We are still waiting for a reply to our email).
The Star is unique, it can't be copied or emulated, which is why only the other week I asked Stephen Kingston to cover an article that I could have covered myself. The reason being that I knew he would report it fairly, without bias and give it the reporting it deserved.
So the site visitor numbers, the articles etc mean nothing to me, the REAL figure here is the incalculable support they have given over the years, the priceless value they serve to Salford.
This has the level of respect the Star holds in Salford.
And so as they reach this milestone, I wish them the best for the future, look forwards to many many more years to come and know that they will carry on keeping it real, with attitude and with love as always.