MPs’ expenses, drugs cheats in athletics, the wheeling and dealing behind the demise of BhS, corruption in football.

Just a few of the huge stories that have dominated the headlines in our newspapers, on TV and radio and online in recent years.

Most, perhaps all, would not have come to our attention without some serious investigation, hard thinking and hard work by journalists.

The issues facing the press, will be discussed at a special two-day meeting of the Society of Editors in Carlisle next week.

It is the first time that the event will have been held in the city.

Almost 200 of the most important people in print, radio, TV and online media from across the country will be attending.

The theme of the conference is back to business, drawing parallels with the changes the media faces and the resilience of communities – with Carlisle as a prime example of that following the floods suffered and the recovery made.

One strand will be on building closer links with police, in the wake of the Leveson report and the scandal of phone lines being hacked by some national newspapers staff.

Lord Leveson’s investigations cast a huge cloud over the whole of the industry.

But it is rebuilding its reputation, according to the Society’s president, Nick Turner.

He says: “There has been a loss of confidence and focus since the Lord Leveson inquiry which was a major disruption to the whole industry.

“But national papers have bounced back,with the Daily Telegraph’s series of exposures on football corruption leading the way.

Nick Turner “There have been serious mistakes made in the past and people have focussed on this and regrouped.

“The media is important for holding people like Donald Trump to account, or our own politicians or the England manager, or how money is spent locally or the health changes being proposed for north and west Cumbria.”

Perhaps the biggest challenge facing the industry is how best to use technology.

Whether it is a US Presidential debate, a UK party conference or an England football match, before anything reaches a newspaper, it has often already been discussed, picked apart and commented on in social media.

The papers report on it and report on the social media reaction to the event.

Crucially they also stand up for free speech and freedom of the press.

The organisation’s ‘Hand’s Off’ FOI campaign gathered more than 40,000 signatures and saw off the Government’s review of FOI requests.

Tech giants Google are investing 150 million Euros in a Digital News Initiative to stimulate innovation in digital news.

Sarah Hartley is managing the programme. So far, she has awarded 128 grants worth 27m Euros to projects in 23 countries.

Google says the project is entirely philanthropic. It is offering the money to help newspapers, related organisations and newsgathering businesses make the most of technology.

“It is genuinely to stimulate the news industry, it does not matter if the applicants use Google or not,” she says.

One of the UK grants went to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism which is providing data for local journalists.

New technology has left newspapers with a battle to maintain marketplace against websites that provide news, opinion and entertainment online free of charge to the user.

She says: “It is a wordwide issue as to how companies change and transform into the digital universe, it is not just a UK thing.

“There are specific issues around for all publishers serving a very hungry audience reluctant to pay for content.”

Nick Turner, who is digital strategy manager for the CN Group which includes The Cumberland News, says the need for newspapers remains vital.

He explains: “You might get an issue that has evolved from Facebook but it is the journalists and what they bring to the table which energises the campaign and keeps it going over a period to hold health chiefs to account.

“It goes back to what a journalist is for. Are we just there to point at things other people have said or provide insight and context and find out things that others can’t find out?

“It used to be that we held all the cards and we were the only people that went to the police or council meetings and knew how to find out basic information.

“Now the police , councils and other organisations publish their own information.

“Newspapers provide an understanding into issues and dig out things that people are not so ready to publish like the Poppi Worthington case (the Barrow toddler whose death led to widespread criticism of police and social services).

“That gives us a good enough reason to operate.

“The challenge is not do people still have a curiosity about their neighbour and do people still value journalism, which they do, but how do we make it pay and in a sensible way? There are not as many obvious answers to that.”

Barrow-born Chris Blackhurst is former editor of The Independent.

He is now executive director of Crosby Textor Fullbrook, the corporate and political consultancy set up by election guru Lynton Crosby.

He will be welcoming the editors to Cumbria and explaining how much he loves his home county.

He will also be emphasising the importance of local and regional news.

“Growing up in Barrow, my father got the Daily Telegraph and the Evening Mail and the Mail told me all I needed to know about Barrow and south Cumbria.

“Newspapers are in decline at a local level, just as they are nationally.

“But without a local paper, how are MPs going to report their work, how will people know that the bloke next door has been done for burglary or that a neighbour has got planning permission?”

He hopes that the development of the Northern Powerhouse will promote the importance of the region and raise its profile among policy-makers in London.

“People up here feel very cut off from decision-making. You feel that London is a far-away place, a foreign land and the feeling is mutual; Londoners feel that Cumbria is a foreign country.

“The Northern Powerhouse could spark a revival for regional news, I firmly believe there is room for it.”