Much has been written in recent years on the imminent decline of local newspapers.

According to the doomsayers, newspapers such as the Guardian have been on the brink of extinction for as long as anyone can remember – and yet 60 years on, we are still here and still going strong.

Just as television was said to sound the death knell of cinema so the internet was heralded as bringing an end to local newspapers. Then it was Facebook and Twitter. Tomorrow it will be something new.

The predictions have so far proved far from the truth. In fact, rather than cause the death of newspapers, social media has seen it reborn.

While it is true that we no long sell as many newspapers as we once did, the reality is that the Guardian is now read by more people than ever before.

Calculating readership has always been a complicated art, but by any estimate the current combined output of the Guardian – print and online – is read by three or times as many people as ever picked up a copy of our best-ever selling edition.

With that in mind I can honestly say it is a privilege to write these words as the South Wales Guardian’s 13th editor as this little lady enters her seventh decade.

We now speak to more people than ever before in ways unimaginable ten years ago, let alone 60.

We speak more directly to our readers – and they speak directly to us. Even my most recent predecessor would have been shocked by the way we are now able to engage with each and every reader, hold ongoing conversations with individuals on any and every topic.

The South Wales Guardian has always prided itself on being at the very heart of the community it serves.

It takes on that role even more now than ever before.

Local newspapers are not dead – they are not even dying. Local newspapers are on the verge of the most exciting stage of their existence.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated – until you read them in the South Wales Guardian, pay them no heed.

Steve Adams, Editor, October 2015.