This year has been one of the most disruptive and uncertain in living memory.

The coronavirus has swept the globe leaving a trail of misery and hardship in its wake.

Governments have been grappling with a relentless succession of difficult and complex decisions in order to secure the best – or least worst - outcome for their citizens.

In the news media industry, part of our job has been to help our readers make sense of these unprecedented events.

In Cumbria:

We have reported on every twist and turn of the local and national lockdowns and kept you up to date with vital public health information.

We have held power to account and robustly challenged the decision-makers on your behalf.

Sometimes, our role has been to seek clarity amid confusion from the authorities, and toxic misinformation about coronavirus spread by bad actors on social media.

It’s a role we take very seriously, and our journalists are better equipped than anyone else to do the job.

In Cumbria:

And we know that our journalism is making a difference, as audiences for trusted news and information have soared during the crisis.

Independent research shows that the public place great value on news and information from sources they can trust during the pandemic.

Providing the public with trusted and accurate information is at the heart of what we do.

But our role goes much further than that.

At the start of the pandemic, the industry came together to tell readers we are #therewithyou, with nearly every daily regional title in the country running the same front page on the same day.

And we haven’t looked back since.

We have run campaigns to raise funds for frontline workers and awareness of the challenging work they do each day to keep us all safe.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has sent a message of support for the 2020 Journalism Matters Week.

In Cumbria:

In a letter to the News Media Association, Queen Elizabeth said: “On the occasion of the 2020 Journalism Matters Week, I am pleased to send my best wishes to the members of the News Media Association.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has once again demonstrated what an important public service the established news media provides, both nationally and regionally.

“As our world has changed dramatically, having trusted, reliable sources of information, particularly at a time when there are so many sources competing for our attention, is vital.

“The efforts of the news media to support communities throughout the UK during the pandemic has been invaluable - whether through fundraising, encouraging volunteering or providing a lifeline for the elderly and vulnerable to the outside world.

“As you reflect on your achievements this year, and the challenges you have faced, I send my warm good wishes to you all for a most successful and memorable week.”