Two of Powys' leading political figures have come together to highlight why local journalism matters.

This week is Journalism Matters week and today is Trusted News Day. To celebrate this, Assembly Members Russell George and Kirsty Williams have spoken about the vital role trusted local media plays in today's society.

Conservative AM Russell George for Montgomeryshire said: “A free and vibrant local press is a crucial part of any healthy democracy and the high quality local journalism provided by the County Times and others here in Powys provide important and valued independent news sources for the people of Mid Wales.

“Local and regional press faces an uncertain future as a result of developing technology but just as the internet has created fantastic opportunities for new platforms and new voices to emerge, it has also raised some real questions about the future of local journalism which are the lifeblood of our communities.

“Local papers help to shine a light on important local issues in our communities, courtrooms and local council chambers. Local media holds local power to account and uncovers injustices."

He added: “That’s why I will continue to campaign to ensure that our local newspapers can have a viable future in the digital age.”

Kirsty Williams AM says Journalism Matters Week is an opportunity to "highlight the role journalism plays in our society".

The Liberal Democrat AM for Brecon and Radnorshire said: “I want to focus on the role it plays in our political system.

“For any politician our job relies on putting our record in front of the people who elect us. Journalism is essential in shining a light on exactly what those records are.

“Scrutiny is a force for good in our political system and it must be encouraged.

“As we marked the 20th anniversary of Welsh devolution earlier this month it was necessary to reflect that political news is still often consumed in an English context, with a focus on what is happening in Westminster.

“But local media can have an important role in tackling this ‘information deficit’, often reporting on the issues that matter the most to people.

“The media has changed enormously in my time as an Assembly Member.

“I started my role at a time when social media didn’t exist, when news cycles were week-by-week instead of minute-by-minute.

“These changes have affected how I do my role and have undoubtedly affected how journalists do their roles.

“But whatever these changes have been, the basic principle that journalists have a crucial role in holding politicians to account is one that has remained.

“It is a principle that remains essential to our democratic process.”