Local newspapers have historically played a hugely important role in holding local elected representatives to account, unmasking dodgy councillors, nefarious property developers and more. It is these local stories that often make it into the national press. But as local news organisations cut back on the beat reporter, who will hold the crooks to account? And if these people are not being unmasked, what way is there to stop them from going on to committing even larger-scale fraud? Journalists are said to work hand-in-glove with PRs these days, but there is a PR job to be done on our own industry. How can we better explain to the general public - without sounding too grand - the essential role we play in the fabric of our democracy? More importantly, without the cash to fund this, are beneficent third parties and/or government funding really the answer?