The Echo’s ‘Blood on your hands’ front page got a lot of coverage, because it was brave enough to turn up the volume on voices that were already being raised across the country.

We weren’t showing off or courting one side against another. There is a reason why we are called the Echo, because we reflect the valued opinions we hear and remain true to our own values by deciding how we present each side to inform and entertain.

We need balance. In effect we will strive to Level Up our coverage by standing up for what we believe in, but always - always - with the right to reply embedded in every story. To paraphrase Voltaire: We may not agree with what you have to say, but we will defend to the death your right to say it.

I come at this argument from a unique position - as the Commercial Editor and the Business Editor I have to be able to tell hugely positive stories about the companies and organisations we work with, and make sure they understand that we will not shy away from attacking the devil if we need to.

For me, that is about integrity.

I know how honest I am, and that I would not write a single word for website or print that I would not stand behind and be proud of. So asking me to write a feature one day highlighting an outstanding company and then a page lead the next discussing the implications of its crushing year-end results is absolutely what I am here for.

But I’ve been in this career long enough to know that some people simply won’t believe that. They will presume I would not do the second story because I would fear losing the revenue from the first.

They are wrong.

I’ll use my skills wherever they are needed, and my personal integrity to make sure I can hold my head up and offer complete clarity in what I write.

In many newsrooms the idea of a Business Editor and a Commercial Editor working together just wouldn’t work because egos would get in the way.

In case you hadn’t realised it, The Northern Echo is different. We stand for different things and have a different level of determination to make the right thing happen.

Trust us - and help BUSINESSiQ tell the story this region deserves of success and investment.