Rather lovely to have my local newspaper the Brent & Kilburn Times in London do a write up about Best Days Of Your Life and how I’m looking to grow it and raise further awareness of youth self-harm.
Local media is so important to me. It writes about and reflects on the issues that are happening in my area and no doubt in yours too, but we don’t often spend enough time with it. While the number of local newspapers may have shrunk in recent years, the power of the local press is still immense. The fact that it’s there for local people and local issues should be a main driver to support it. Without the local media covering these issues, many of the them would never be reported on.
On an issue like youth self-harm, when reported in the national media, it can often seem to be not personal and it just about “someone else”. With local media, you are reading about people you are connected with or may know of. It is so much more personal.
When you read about it in the local newspaper or website, or even Facebook group, it is close to you, not someone hundreds of miles away who you may never interact with or even relate to. This person lives close by to you, they may commute to school or work on the same train, they may shop at the same shops and may even keep fit as you keep fit in the same local park.
Having this local connection provides not just empathy, but also a feeling that something is happening in your area and people in that area are also affected by it, whether it is those who are self-harming or the family and friends of that person affected by it.
What I am aiming to achieve with storytelling through photography, is to give a voice to the issue and to show that “self-harm” is not merely two words, but rather it is about people and not just words. By showing the people, we can relate to it and over time, find ways to address it.
By supporting local media, we are ensuring our local community issues are covered and people who need help and support are given it.
Thank you again to the Brent & Kilburn Times for your coverage of youth self-harm, it will make a difference.