Comment: 100 years on, we still fight causes

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IT was an initially small 
gesture which grew into something quite incredible.

The decision by this paper 100 years ago to help with a request to send footballs to the front became a major operation praised by squaddies and top brass alike. Back then the Evening News managed to galvanise its readers into action to respond to the call to provide those brave men with one of the few pleasures they could enjoy – a simple kick-around.

The newspaper’s staff then could never have known what an incredible response the campaign would attract. They were simply doing what they thought was right, highlighting a cause and responding to a need which had been overlooked by authorities.

They had the same values which we like to think we continue today with our campaigning journalism, putting Edinburgh and the needs of its citizens at the heart of 
everything we do.

While 100 years ago our 
journalists were appealing to send footballs to soldiers, today we are fighting to put life-saving defibrillators in sports clubs across the area.

In recent years, we have fought and won campaigns to preserve First World War training trenches in the city, ensure a fair deal for our pensioners on the city trams, and honour Hibs legend Lawrie Reilly, to name a few. We have supported and helped to raise funds for a range of charities including St Columba’s Hospice and the Sick Kids Friends Foundation.

Newspapers have had a pretty bad press in recent years, and while the Evening News has never engaged in abhorrent activities like phone hacking, it has been tainted along with the rest of the industry.

That’s not to say we haven’t made mistakes, but the fascinating story today of the football 
appeal 100 years ago is a reminder of what we are all about.

Today, as in 1914, we are simply seeking to make a difference 
wherever we can, for the good of our fantastic city.