IT is understandable that in facing a welter of stories about coronavirus the reaction of some people is to accuse newspapers of scaremongering.

They feel, perhaps, that things might be better if we played things down, or perhaps even ignored the story.

This is dangerous thinking.

Our job as journalists is to give people as much information about the world around them as possible so they can make informed decisions.

Frequently, on stories such as coronavirus – as well as topics such as extreme weather or large events attended by many people – we publish a stream of live updates.

They are the most efficient way of covering a constantly developing news story. They are not intended to sensationalise information, but to get continually changing details to our readers in the fastest and most accurate way possible.

Coronavirus is being treated extremely seriously by nations across the world.

The Government’s medical experts are warning “many thousands of people” will contract the virus.

This is not information intended to scare people, but is the reality of what the UK is facing and the seriousness with which the Government is treating it.

An unprecedented situation such as this is bound to cause alarm. We understand that.

But local updates on an escalating global situation is responsible journalism.

As an editor, I find it deeply disheartened to see my journalists being accused of sensationalism and worse. They are committed, hard-working people trying to ensure that our community is kept informed in a responsible way using verified sources.

I know that not everyone will find the stories we publish interesting, but the reality is that there is a great demand for information about coronavirus, and we are responding to it.