SINCE its very first edition the Witney Gazette has had a regular place on coffee tables and in work canteens across West Oxfordshire.

The newspaper remains at the heart of the community and acting as a voice for its 23,881-strong readership, both in print and online.

This week papers up and down the country will be celebrating Local Newspaper Week and the Gazette is marking its continued commitment to provide trusted, local news and make a difference in the community.

Its design and shape may have changed over the years, but the focus remains firmly on delivering trusted and accurate news to its readership.

That means being at the heart of the community and capturing everything from the heart-breaking disasters to the most precious moments of success.

As well as playing a role in promoting local campaigns, underpinning local democracy, the paper acts as a watchdog holding local and national organisations to account.

Readers will remember the paper's Drive for Justice campaign, sparked by the heart-breaking stories of families who got in touch about the often lenient penalties dished out to dangerous drivers.

One of those stories involved Liberty Baker, who was killed when she was walking to school in June 2014.

She was 14 when Robert Blackwell's car mounted the kerb in Curbridge Road in Witney and hit her, moments after he received a text message.

The Gazette also supported sister paper the Oxford Mail's OX5 run at Blenheim Palace.

The event saw nearly 1,000 people making their way through the grounds of the Woodstock World Heritage Site Oxford Children's Hospital.

The Witney Gazette works hard to act as a voice for its readership and this is exactly what Local Newspaper Week is all about.

When an issue matters to our readers, we listen and seek to do what we can together to bring about change.

The Gazette's managing editor Sara Taylor said: "The Witney Gazette offers the people of Witney and West Oxfordshire comprehensive coverage of the stories that matter most to them on a weekly basis.

"Our dedicated team works hard to ensure we keep our readers abreast of the week's most important news, whether that be related to crime, politics, business, or members of the community.

"Readers of the Gazette will have seen our thorough coverage of the closure of Witney's Deer Park Medical Centre and the passionate campaign to save it that continues to this day.

"They will also have read our probing reports on West Oxfordshire District Council's Local Plan, a document that will see thousands of extra homes built in the district, permanently changing its face as the building comes to fruition over the next 15 years."

A lot of what out papers do involves campaigning and this year our sister paper the Oxford Mail has been nominated for the Making a Difference Award in the Society of Editors Regional Press Awards, which will be held on Friday.

This follows the Drive for Justice campaign, run by both the Mail and the Gazette.

Judges have praised our effort in giving readers, authorities and MPs a wake-up call and helping to put pressure on the Government to change the law as well as working locally with Thames Valley Police.

Readers can vote for this campaign during Local Newspaper Week, which is being held as a celebration of high quality, trusted local journalism in the run up to the general election on June 8.

To vote for the campaign see