Covid updates: Sheffield Star added to emergency boxes

Sheffield Star to be delivered in food parcels for the elderly

In partnership with The University of Sheffield, hundreds of copies of The Star will be delivered to vulnerable older people who are struggling to survive during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The paper will be included alongside vital food parcels from Age UK Sheffield who are helping to feed isolated elderly people who have no family or friends to rely on for help in lockdown.

The charity, who support older people in need across the city, have delivered over 750 essential food parcels since lockdown was announced on March, 23.

St Mary’s Church and Community Centre in Highfield are one of the organisations helping the charity package and deliver essential items such as bread, milk, eggs and news to vulnerable people, twice a week.

Reverend Karen Cribb, shared the feedback she’s had from beneficiaries since the newspaper has been included in the parcels.

“I was speaking to a lady who got a bag on Tuesday and she said it was lovely to have The Star in the bag, she used to read it and haven’t seen it for years.

“She said it was lovely to have something extra she wasn’t expecting.

“I could tell from her voice it just made her day.”

Titles ‘go blue’ to support NHS

More than 30 of Newsquest and JPI Media’s newspapers have joined forces to turn their mastheads “blue” in support of the NHS.

The initiative launched on April 30 came as the two leading publishers wanted to show their solidarity for NHS and key workers on the front line.

Titles to have “turned blue” at Newquest include The Telegraph & Argus, York Press, The Northern Echo and Bournemouth Echo while at JPI Media, newspapers which adopted the new masthead include The News in Portsmouth, Derbyshire Times and Northampton Chronicle.

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A group of journalists brought a tear to the eye of their editor after publishing a video plea for support from readers.

Reporters from the Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire Evening Post and various other titles across the White Rose County came scripted the three minute video, which has been viewed over two thousand times.

Shot in bedrooms, kitchens, front rooms and gardens the reporters are currently using to work from during lockdown, the team urge readers to stick by them, just as their brands have for families across Yorkshire for more than 100 years.

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Lancashire Telegraph says thanks

An appeal to readers to celebrate the heroes who are helping communities through hard times was met with a huge response.

Monday’s front page included just a few of the pictures sent in by readers who wanted to shout about what friends, relatives and those in their communities were doing.

They ranged from NHS workers to teachers, youngsters doing nice things for care workers and those volunteering to make a difference.

Two powerful stories about fighting Coronavirus

The two men pictured above are just a year apart in age. Both had Coronavirus. Phillip, 87, survived, while George, 88, did not. The Grimsby Telegraph presented their stories side by side in this striking front page.

Families of both men were united in singing the praises of the medics who fought hard to save them.

Remembering the faces behind the numbers

The Newcastle Chronicle dedicated its front page on Monday to some of the people who have lost their lives to Covid-19.

The Chronicle featured the faces of 10 people who it carried tributes to inside.

MEN joins forces with mayor Andy Burnham to launch Covid-19 appeal

THE Manchester Evening News has joined together with the Greater Manchester mayor’s charity to launch a coronavirus fundraising campaign in support of the region’s most vulnerable.

The current outbreak has left many people struggling for access to food, basics and other support, many of them self-isolating, often in fragile health and alone.

Public services have been working hard to find and help them, but we know they are over-stretched and working round the clock.

MEN Editor-in-chief Darren Thwaites said: “Most people have suffered in some way through this terrible crisis but the impact on our most vulnerable has been harrowing.

“We’ve always been a city that stands together to help people less fortunate in their time of need. This is one such time and we know people will do all they can to help.”

Full story here

Field Hospital opens next to Cardiff newsroom

One of the latest temporary hospitals to open in response to Covid-19 is located just metres from one of the largest regional newsrooms in the country.

The Principality Stadium, the national stadium of Wales in Cardiff, has become a 2,000 bed field hospital.

Normally, activity at the stadium — including Wales’ international rugby games and various large concerts every year — is just yards away from the newsroom of WalesOnline.

But like every other newsroom in the UK, the conference table has been swapped for kitchen tables with WalesOnline’s team of journalists working from home.

That hasn’t stopped the team getting to show readers inside the new hospital and you can read that article here

Nurse thanks children for support on front page of Peterborough Telegraph

It’s not uncommon to see the word ‘thanks’ or ‘heroes’ on the front page of local newspapers at the moment — but this front from the Peterborough Telegraph was a little different.

Instead of paying tributes to those working on the frontline of the NHS, the splash was dedicated to a critical care nurse in Peterborough saying thanks to her children.

The nurse’s children have been living with their grandparents during the Cornavirus crisis, reducing their exposure to any risk by being away from their mother, who is working on the frontline.

Like so many front pages in from around the regional press, it paints another picture of the sacrifices being made around the country at the moment.

A heart-felt thanks from the North West Evening Mail

The Mail in Barrow issued a heart-felt thanks to key workers and carers with a striking front page.

Inside the heart are the names of hundreds of people who readers felt deserved praise for their work.

Cumbria has been something of a hotspot for Coronavirus, and was one of the first places to see a spike in cases outside London.

Inside the paper were hundreds more names, which were submitted by readers.

CambridgeshireLive fund hits £400k

A fund to help those hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak has received more than £400,000 in donations so far.

The Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund, supported by CambridgeshireLive, is providing emergency grants to community groups and charities helping elderly people, children, families in poverty and other vulnerable groups who may be struggling.

The original target of £100,000 may have seemed ambitious, but more than £400,000 has now been raised.

Pushing the fund over the milestone was the National Emergencies Trust, which has donated an additional £64,000, on top of the original £113,850 previously donated.

CambridgeshireLive is the media partner for the Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund.

The fund, managed by Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, provides grants to groups looking to help elderly and vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This may be people facing financial hardship, those unable to buy food, or people feeling lonely due to having to self-isolate.

Several community groups have already benefited from funding are are supporting their communities, such as the Red Hen Project, which received £5,000 to deliver emergency poverty relief to families and children.

Editor in chief David Bartlett said: “We have an ambitious goal to raise £1million to help the project and anything you can give to support it would be greatly appreciated.”

Click here to donate.

Brighton Argus appeal raises £500k in just three days

A fund set up in Sussex and supported by the Brighton Argus took just three days to raise £500,000.

The Sussex Crisis Fund was set up by the Sussex Community Foundation to support people suffering as a result of the virus outbreak and the lockdown.

The Argus Appeal and American Express donated £50,000 each to kickstart the funding, and the campaign has raised more than £500,000 in just three weeks.

The first 14 grants from the fund, totalling £60,000, have been paid to groups working hard to support communities during the crisis.

Kevin Richmond, chief executive of the Sussex Community Foundation said: “Our communities need support now to sustain the amazing effort that is being made to address this emergency and support the most vulnerable people.

“We will award grants every week for as long as we have applications coming in and funds available.

“Please give as much or as little as you can spare and we’ll make sure it gets to local people that need it — now.”

A familiar face adorned the front page of the Oxford for the first time in a while on Saturday.

David Cameron, former prime minister and a constituency MP for Witney in Oxfordshire, made the front page after being snapped playing his part in a community effort to help those struggling during Coronavirus.

The former PM, who coined the phrase ‘Big Society’ when he sought to reduce the expectations on public services (and cutting budgets in the process) by encouraging more people to be civic-minded, lived by his own mantra by loading up food parcels for delivery.

The headline to that end, presumably almost wrote itself!

Google delivers financial boost for news publishers

Google has delivered a significant boost to news publishers by waiving ad serving fees for the next five months.

Most commercial publishers in the UK use Google Ad manager to support their digital businesses with advertising, and displaying those adverts on websites.

The waiving of fees will represent a significant saving for publishers, which are enjoying record audiences — which in turn could have sent ad serving fees up despite revenue from advertising falling due to lack of competition for ad slots.

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The day all newspapers looked the same (and this was a good thing)

The Government and the newspaper industry have formed a three-month advertising partnership to help keep the public safe and the nation united throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

The “All in, all together” campaign idea was developed by the newspaper industry as a way of delivering government communications in an intimate, human and compassionate tone that readers can relate to.

On Friday, all regional and national daily news brands ran the copy “Stay at home for the NHS, your family, your neighbours, your nation the world and life itself” as a cover wrap and online homepage takeover. Weekly titles will run the wrap next week.

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Westmorland Gazette seeks reasons to be optimistic as it thanks NHS for 141 lives saved

The Westmorland Gazette this week set out to lift up readers with some good news.

It led with the news that medics had saved the lives of 141 people in Cumbria who had been admitted to hospital with Coronavirus.

The paper also carried appeals from families who have lost loved ones to heed government instructions to only go out when you really need to.

Elsewhere in the paper, a nurse had a different take on the current stay at home rules, saying being at home isn’t a punishment, it’s a refuge.

Meanwhile, the front page cartoon, a staple of the Gazette, will probably find favour with a lot of locals at the moment:

When doing as you’re told makes for front page news (and a great headline)

It’s been a month for references to battles gone before, so fair play to the Cornishman for making the most of the Western Front reference in its front page this week.

The Cornish title, arguably the UK’s most Western title (maybe), led its front page with an almost deserted beach (there’s always one person to spoil it isn’t there?).

In a sign of just how unusual the times are at the moment, the empty beaches mark something of a victory for CornwallLive, the website of the Cornishman, which has been running the hashtag #comebacklater for several weeks now, urging visitors to stay away.

DevonLive and PlymouthLive, also part of the Reach stable in the South West, have been running similar campaigns on their social profiles too:

Warrington Guardian dispenses with splash headline to make an impact for new campaign

The Warrington Guardian dispensed with its splash headline to launch a new campaign celebrating local heroes.

The Cheshire weekly told readers: “Today we launch a new campaign to say thank you to the health and social care teams, teachers, midday assistants and cleaners, refuge collectors, council employees, shop and postal staff and everyone of our key workers helping us through the coronavirus pandemic.”

A live blog on the Guardian’s website is being constantly updated with new heroes and the title told readers yesterday they’d already received hundreds of suggestion for local heroes.

Find out more here

The key workers not getting the hero treatment they deserve

Sadly, our local newsrooms aren’t just reporting on the outpouring of love and support for NHS workers and key workers — but also on the abuse and violence they are facing.

In Somerset, the Wells Journal splashed on a surgery in the city which has been forced to tell frustrated patients that abusing staff will not be tolerated.

In Teesside, the Gazette reported on a nurse who was mugged at knifepoint on her first day back at work after beating Coronavirus herself.

While in Northampton, the Chronicle and Echo reported on anger from B&Q customers at having to wait for ‘hours’ for their click and collect orders.

Scunthorpe weekly praises its masked marvels

The Scunthorpe Telegraph used its front page to celebrate local key workers who are helping residents battle through Coronavirus.

Selfies and photos of workers from all walks of life adorned the front page of the Lincolnshire weekly as the paper heaped praise on the area’s ‘masked marvels.’

Inside the paper, many of those on the front shared stories of their experiences so far.

Essex weekly celebrates Coronavirus heroes

A weekly paper cleared more than 10 pages of its edition to celebrate 50 community heroes helping to make life more bearable during Coronavirus.

Those celebrated included those behind online open mic nights, a virtual choir, teachers providing online recorder lessons, and a mum hoping to raise money for the NHS by holding a school uniform day for children being educated at home.

Tesco staff cheering up people queuing to get in, volunteers at foodbanks, fundraisers and those behind rainbows appearing on walls and floors across the area were also celebrated.

For the full story, click here

We’ll be back, pledges magazine editor

The editor of a weekly magazine which has suspended publication following the Coronavirus outbreak has pledged it will return.

Fiona Dart wrote a letter to readers in last week’s edition ahead of printing being suspended by publisher Reach.

She wrote: “The government has ruled that journalists and newspaper distributors are key workers, providing you with news and information at this difficult time.

“We are, however, facing hugely volatile economic conditions as businesses have had no choice other than to scale down or halt trading during this period of restricted movement.

“Against that background, we have reluctantly decided to suspend publication of the magazine from this week.

“We are still committed to providing a constant supply of trustworthy news, information and a platform for those businesses still able to operate during this crisis.”

Coverage of the area will appear on and via Reach’s hyperlocal service InYourArea.

Fiona added: “InYourArea is growing at an astonishing rate and also provides a brilliant range of advertising options for businesses which are still trading and need to support the communities where they operate.

“We will be back as soon as possible.”

“It’s our last paper for a while, but not forever”

The editor of a newspaper which has suspended publication due a fall in advertising caused by the Coronavirus pandemic has it will be the last ‘for a little while.’

Charlotte Hart, editor of the free Sutton Coldfield Observer, wrote to readers in last Friday’s edition. It is one of a small number of free titles publisher Reach has suspended.

Charlotte wrote: “We have all been affected by the coronavirus outbreak and we understand it has been a very worrying time for a lot of people, including those within our local community and businesses.

“We’ve been working tirelessly to keep you informed about what is going on, the advice you should take and the help that is out there for you.

“Unfortunately, because a lot of the businesses that advertise their services with us have had to stop trading, we have seen a dramatic fall in our revenue. It’s becoming a real struggle to deliver your paper free of charge at the moment.

“So, it is with a heavy heart that we have decided to take a break from printing our newspaper.

“The decision has not been taken lightly, but businesses up and down the country are being forced into making unprecedented choices.

“This edition of the paper will be our last for a little while, but not forever.”

Sutton Coldfied news is continuing to appear on the BirmingamLive website, which is also the online home for the Observer.

A story which would normally be very close to home

Sometimes stories can feel very close to home … but like so many things with Coronavirus, this one’s a little different for journalists at the Plymouth Herald.

A landmark hotel, the New Continental, is to be used for patients needing care but who can be safely discharged from hospital.

The plan means more hospital beds are free for a surge in Coronavirus cases, while keeping people in hospital for as little time as possible.

For the team at the Herald, the story is very close to home — the New Continental is opposite there offices.

However, with lockdown meaning the Plymouth newsroom is currently closed and staff working from home, it could be a while before the team get a close-hand view of what’s going on at the hotel-turned-care-facility.

NHS staff give thumbs up to Clap for Heroes from intensive care unit

If you needed proof of how much the weekly clap for heroes means to those working on the front line of the NHS, look no further than this front page from the Grimsby Telegraph.

The Lincolnshire daily published a photo of frontline hospital workers on a ward giving a thumbs up to the weekly clap for carers, which takes place every Thursday at 8pm.

Dressed in full PPE clothing, the image is one of the more powerful illustrations of the impact of Coronavirus on NHS workers.

The latest Clap for Heroes takes place at 8pm today.

PubSpy columnist turns to off licences and takeaways as lockdown closes pubs

The lockdown has posed various challenges for journalists across the UK — but what about those tasked with writing reviews of pubs and restaurants.

Brighton Argus columnist ‘PubSpy’ has turned to off licences and takeaways.

Writing in the Argus, PubSpy told readers: “The house, like all the pubs in this city, had run dry.

“What use is a PubSpy without a pub? Like a cowboy with no cattle, readers, I thought I had yeed my last haw.

“I was ready to scan the small print and plead for some kind of furlough arrangement.

“But then, a welcome newsflash.

“Last week, the Government added off-licences to the list of essential retailers still permitted to trade amid the pandemic.”

The trip to the offy wasn’t much of a substitute for the regular trips to the pubs though: “It’s a cheerless substitute for a busting Brighton boozer.

“Before long, I was once more wallowing in memories of the good times.

I think back to the camaraderie of The Fiddler’s Elbow in Brighton, or the regulars — and rows — at the Bat and Ball Inn in Ditchling Road.

Hell, I even miss grabbing a bag of cans and yelling at youths from a park bench in Worthing.”

Surrey Advertiser urges readers to back local NHS charity

A county newspaper has urged readers to raise money for frontline staff battling Covid-19 in hospitals.

The Surrey Advertiser is backing the Royal Surrey Hospital Charity appeal to help staff working at its Guildford site, and at community hospitals around the county.

So far, the appeal has raised £22,000.

The Advertiser cleared its front page last week to urge people to help the charity.

David Smith, head of fundraising at the charity, said: “Within 24 hours of launching the appeal, an incredible £3,000 was raised.

“We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity that the local community has shown during this challenging time. Thank you to everyone who has donated to the appeal already.

“Importantly, we also want to say a huge thank you to everyone at the Trust for going above and beyond to care for patients. We are so pleased the community is recognising their commitment and are coming together to help support these vital healthcare workers.

“While the majority of us have been told the best thing we can do to help is to stay home, our amazing staff at Royal Surrey County Hospital, and our hospitals in the community, don’t have that choice.

Local news brings faces behind the statistics to the fore

As any data journalist will tell you, the numbers are just the start of a story. Behind every statistic is a human, and in the case of Coronavirus, many families dealing with the unimaginable.

This is where local journalism comes into its own. For every family wanting to share their story, there is a journalist waiting to hear it. Across regional journalism, the human stories of Coronavirus are dominating front pages and ‘most read’ lists online.

Some are tragic, of lives being taken away too soon. Others are remarkable, of battles against the odds being won when not expected. Some are inspiring, offering hope in a dark time. All are what local journalism does best.

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Google announces funding to help local news through Coronavirus

Google has today announced plans to support newsrooms around the world with grants to fund additional reporting of Coronavirus.

The search giant says it wants its Journalism Emergency Relief Fund to deliver urgent aid to thousands of small, medium and local news publishers globally.

The funding is open to news organisations producing original news for local communities during this time of crisis, and will range from the low thousands of dollars for small hyper-local newsrooms to low tens of thousands for larger newsrooms, with variations per region.

Click here for more information

Camden New Journal thanks councils for continuing to advertise

An independent local publisher has praised local councils for continuing to advertise in its newspapers despite the Coronavirus pandemic hitting the UK.

In a front page leader on the Camden New Journal, attributed to the editor, the title criticised other publishers for making use of the Government’s job retention scheme, which has seen hundreds of journalists across the country put on paid leave after advertising levels fell sharply.

Last week’s paper carried four full pages of advertising from Camden council.

Click here for the full story

LeicestershireLive launches £250k fundraising drive

A £250,000 fundraising drive has been launched to support communities and vulnerable people suffering extreme hardship due to the coronavirus lockdown.

The LeicestershireLive There With You Fund has been established by the Leicester Mercury, Charity Link and the Randal Charitable Foundation.

Its aim is to help support those in Leicestershire whose lives have been derailed by the Covid-19 lockdown, by offering small grants, in the form of vouchers and household goods, to provide everyday items that most of us take for granted.

Click here for the full story

Aberdeen daily joins campaign to provide NHS workers with comfort boxes

The Evening Express in Aberdeen is backing a campaign to provide NHS workers in North East Scotland with comfort boxes.

Alongside radio station Original 106, the Evening Express is supporting NHS Grampian Endowment Fund’s scheme to deliver comfort boxes to doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals across the region.

These packages contain items like Pot Noodles, tea, coffee and toiletries, as well as drawings from children to offer them some cheer.

It is hoped businesses from across the north-east will join in the initiative and donate items.

Click here for more

Daily Echo-backed campaign raises £100k for NHS workers

More than £100,000 has been raised for an NHS campaign backed by the Southern Daily Echo in Southampton.

On March 20, Southampton Hospitals Charity (SHC) launched an appeal to support the mental and physical wellbeing of the staff at University Hospital Southampton (UHS) who are facing unprecedented pressure whilst they deliver life-saving care and tackle the COVID-19 virus.

On Friday, the Echo revealed that a total of £100,000 has been raised by the public to enable organisers to fund wellness packages with hand creams, food supplies and mental health support information.

Click here for more

What a week to start in journalism

Three trainee reporters joined Reach Plc’s Devon and Cornwall newsrooms under lockdown this week.

Alex Green, Aaron Greenaway and Chloe Parkman started their new roles from home and have met most of their colleagues only virtually through hangouts and messaging apps.

The three new starters had equipment delivered to their homes and have undergone a number of training sessions throughout the week with Reach Plc trainers from around the country.

Read their stories here

What a week to launch a newspaper!

In a week when newspapers were being suspended across the country as a result of a Coronavirus-induced advertising downturn, there was a rare moment of bright news in the South West.

A newspaper launched. Yes, you read that right. The Torbay Weekly, published by Archant and edited by well-known local journalist Jim Parker, began finding its way into 65,000 homes across the area, according to information inside the 24-page publication.

A leader column in the first proper edition — one was printed last week with support from the local council — said a lack of advertising had meant fewer pages than planned, and admitted getting the paper out over the next few weeks ‘won’t be easy.’

Read the full article here

Stark message for readers

Regional newspapers splashed their Good Friday editions with a simple message yesterday: Please stay at home.

The Government on Thursday urged people to stick to the lockdown rules, and insisted transmission of Coronavirus would only be stopped if people stuck to the rules.

Click here to see the Good Friday fronts

Facebook offers $3m to help European journalism

The Facebook Journalism Project (FJP) and the European Journalism Centre (EJC), a non-profit organisation with a history working with publishers across the continent, have announced the European Journalism COVID-19 Support Fund.

EJC will direct emergency funds via the $3 million that Facebook is investing to small and mid-sized news organisations and journalists most in need in the hardest hit countries across Europe, in order to support their businesses and ongoing COVID-19 reporting in local communities.

Grants can be used for initiatives such as launching a dedicated COVID-19 newsletter, lifting a paywall, hiring more freelance journalists, or creating community groups, local-focused data reporting, online events — as well as basic continuation of work.

Click here for the full story

Liverpool Echo teams up with 50 NHS heroes to urge city to do its bit this weekend

The Liverpool Echo has joined forces with heroic National Health Service staff and other vital health workers in the city to tell everyone just how important it is to stay home and to ease the pressure on those working to keep people alive.

More than 100 people have now died because of coronavirus in Liverpool— and many brave souls are working under the most difficult of circumstances to try and stop that number growing.

The Echo told readers today: “As the country and the city approaches the peak of this horrific epidemic, there has never been a more important moment for people to listen to health workers when they say please, stay at home this Easter weekend.”

On the website today, more than fifty different people working across the city’s hospitals, in public health and in other frontline positions in our city have laid out exactly why you need to stay at home this weekend — and what could go wrong if you don’t.

Launching our campaign today, Liverpool Echo Editor-in-Chief Alastair Machray said:

“This isn’t Easter. It’s make or break. Life or death.

“Scores of NHS frontliners are today using the Echo to tell our region that this Bank Holiday weekend is pivotal in the war against a virus that is killing hundreds of Merseysiders.

“Mayor Joe Anderson said it and now NHS consultants, doctors, nurses, porters, health workers are saying it. And it’s dead simple.

“If we stay in, if we keep our distance, we will take a huge step towards victory.

“If we act like selfish halfwits then it’s back to square one, do not pass go, kill a few hundred more.”

Click here for the full story

MEN urges readers: Don’t let Greater Manchester down, stay indoors

The Manchester Evening News today cleared the front page to appeal to readers to stay indoors.

With a beautiful bank holiday forecast, there are growing concerns that people may choose to ignore social distancing guidelines and meet in public places to enjoy the good weather.

Yesterday, the MEN reported that police in Greater Manchester had been called out to 500 gatherings last weekend, while the newsdesk of the title had been inundated with pictures of people ignoring the social distancing rules.

In a front page op-ed, the MEN said: “Every one of us needs to do our bit to help contain the spread of this deadly virus.

“That means staying in to protect the NHS and save lives. The lockdown rules are very clear and we must stay united to observed them.

“The actions of some people last weekend were selfish and shameful, as police were called to hundreds of house parties, street parties and other gatherings.

“We can’t afford a repeat of this behaviour. This is the biggest challenge our country has faced since the Second World War.

“Don’t let down the nurses, doctors and care workers on the frontline. Don’t let down Greater Manchester.”

Bolton News urges readers to share their stories of community heroes

Editor Karl Holbrook

The Bolton News has urged readers to help them celebrate the area’s unsung community heroes.

Editor Karl Holbrook said the team at The Bolton News wants to celebrate everything people in the community are doing during the COVID 19 lockdown to keep us moving.

“Whether it’s your local butcher, bin man, pharmacist, vet, convenience store worker or anyone that you can think of who is doing something worthy within your community, then please let us know why they deserve some recognition,” the paper asked readers.

“Nurses, teachers and councillors, even children can be nominated for lifting our spirits and being a there for us during the coronavirus lockdown.”

Karl said: “It’s stressful for everyone at the moment and this is an ideal time to highlight the good news stories coming from people who are living and working in the communities across Bolton.”

Daily Echo-backed appeal raises £22k in days

An emergency appeal backed by the Daily Echo in Bournemouth to support NHS staff has raised £22,000 in a matter of days.

Bournemouth Hospital Charity has received more than £22,000 in donations from the community, which will be used to help staff involved in the Coronavirus fightback.

From cleaners, to catering staff, porters, back office administrators, nurses, health care assistants, registrars, paramedics, doctors or consultants — dedicated NHS staff are going above and beyond during this health emergency, the Echo told readers.

For the full story, click here

Essex titles vow to shout up for local businesses

Two Essex newspapers have vowed to celebrate the work being done by local businesses to help local communities during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The daily Gazette, based in Colchester, and its sister title Essex County Standard will highlight businesses doing the right thing by their local areas.

An early feature in the Standard looked at a McDonald’s franchisee who ensured all of his spare food went to local community groups after the global fastfood giant announced a shutdown across the UK.

For the full story, click here

For good or for bad, last week was a week local journalism would never forget

Our latest long read on life in local journalism during Coronavirus is now up — once again thanks to the editors quoted who took the time to get involved, it’s much appreciated. This quote from Ali Machray of the Liverpool Echo stands out for us:

“They seem to be loving us a little more. They are really welcoming answers to their lockdown queries and seem genuinely touched when we sort something out for them.

“I am prouder than ever to be a journalist.”

The full article is here

100 JPIMedia title takes part in #healthheroes campaign

Every JPIMedia title and website in the country is to celebrate local NHS Heroes today.

The #healthheroes campaign — which follows the nationwide regional press campaign #ThereWithYou — goes far beyond hospitals. It also shines a light on those other vital key roles from carers and shop workers to refuse collectors and bus drivers as they play their part.

The UK-wide project has been timed for a Thursday as it is on Thursdays at 8pm that millions stand on their doorsteps to applaud health workers leading the nation’s fight against coronavirus.

For the full story, click here

Wolverhampton Express and Star hears stories from the frontline at hospital where nurse died

The Wolverhampton Express and Star cleared its front page to hear the stories of NHS staff working at a hospital where a nurse died of Coronavirus.

A series of portrait images by Tim Thursfield of the Express and Star accompanied the article by investigations editor Richard Guttridge.

Nurse Areema Nasreen, based at Walsall Manor Hospital, died after contracting coronavirus.

NHS bosses at the hospital said the tragedy has strengthened the resolve of nurses and other staff to treat patients and minimise the impact of Covid-19.

For the full story, click here

CambridgeshireLive campaign sets revised £1m Covid-19 appeal target

A campaign set up to raise £300,000 to support people impacted by Covid-19 in Cambridgeshire has smashed its target — and now set a new goal of £1m.

The Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund, which Cambridge News and CambridgeshireLive are media partners for, asks the public to donate what they can to fund projects to help older and vulnerable people affected by the coronavirus crisis.

Following an allocation of £63,850 from the National Emergencies Trust, along with £20,000 from charity The Northwick Trust and an anonymous £5,000 charity, the fund has now raised just over £334,000.

David Bartlett, Cambridge News editor-in-chief, said: “I am overwhelmed by the support from our readers for this absolutely vital appeal.

Read the full story here

Wigan Observer launches birthday card appeal for 100 year old celebrating birthday in isolation

The Wigan Observer today asked readers to send postcards to a war veteran who faces turning 100 in self-isolation.

Second World War hero Harry Melling faces being alone when he marks his centenary on April 18, due to the restrictions of the nationwide lockdown.

“That is why we are calling for as many Wiganers as possible to send a birthday card to Harry, who lives at Alexandra Grange care home, so that he is reminded of just how many people care about him and his remarkable achievements,” the paper wrote this morning.

Read the full story here

MEN ‘inundated’ with pictures of people flouting lockdown rules

The Manchester Evening News has urged readers not to flout the lockdown rules this weekend, revealing it was inundated with photos of people doing so last weekend.

Pictures of people playing football in large groups, sunbathing in parks and holding mass gatherings were among those sent in to the title.

Strict government advice means people are not allowed to leave the house — unless they’re exercising alone or those they live with; shopping for essentials; or going to work if their job can’t be done from home.

Greater Manchester Police said officers were called to 1,132 incidents across the region on Saturday and Sunday (April 4 and 5) — including 494 house parties; 166 street parties; 122 ‘group gatherings for sporting activities’; 173 gatherings in parks; and 112 cases of anti-social behaviour.

Now the force is issuing a video of celebrities urging people to stay indoors.

Reach is to suspend publication of free weekly newspapers

The Manchester Weekly News, Sutton Coldfield Observer, Lichfield Mercury, Midweek Visiter and Blackmore Vale Magazine will all print this week, and then be paused.

Readers will be directed to online coverage instead.

Huge spike in local news interest on social media as Coronvirus hits UK

More than 97,000 articles have been shared, liked or commented on from the regional press about Coronavirus in the last six weeks, new data has shown.

Looking at 82 of the largest regional news websites in the UK, data from Newswhip shows how people are turning to local news for information — and then sharing it on.

Read our full research here

Journalists turn quiz masters to keep readers entertained

Video journalists and producers across Reach Plc’s regional titles have been using their initiative to engage tens of thousands of people around the world through live broadcasting during the lockdown.

What started as an ‘off the cuff’ idea during a video editor’s hangout, has lead several newsroom staff to take up new self-acclaimed roles of ‘virtual pub quiz host’ and has proved a massive hit with their respective audiences.

Erin Black, regional video editor at Cornwall Live, Devon Live and Plymouth Live, tested the idea last week to bring a bit of ‘positive content’ as households across the UK were starting to be told to stay inside.

Click here for the full story

Appeal supported by Stoke-on-Trent newsroom receives £10m donation

Journalists in Stoke-on-Trent are leading the charge to raise money and source key items for local NHS workers on the Coronavirus frontline.

Stoke-on-TrentLive and its sister title the Stoke Sentinel has launched a major appeal to help staff and patients at the Royal Stoke University Hospital and County Hospital in Stafford.

Sought-after items include lip balm, hand cream, hair nets and mini toiletries.

Any items donated will be distributed to staff across all wards and departments at both hospitals to boost morale.

Any cash donations will be used to put together care packages for staff or to buy items or equipment to benefit patients.

The hospital has been overwhelmed with offers from local businesses wanting to support NHS staff during the pandemic, but needs to manage donations carefully to ensure everyone involved remains safe.

Last night, StokeonTrentLive announced that the Denise Coates Foundation was donating £10m to support staff and patients during Covid-19.

Read our full story here

Boris Johnson front pages as PM moved into intensive care

The news that prime minister Boris Johnson had been moved into intensive care broke at around 8pm on Monday.

It was news online instantly for almost every regional newspaper in the country.

It was also the front page in print for some titles, and here are the ones we saw yesterday leading on the PM’s personal fight against Coronavirus:

Newsrooms report on shortages of equipment for NHS staff

A shortage of equipment, such as visors and masks, had become a political issue at the daily Government briefings as the Government sought to show it was getting supplies need to the frontline in the fight against Coronavirus.

Friday’s regional front pages told a different story, however.

The Birmingham Mail reported on how nurses were resorting to making their own visors with sheets of laminates, headbands and staples. The Romford Recorder revealed nail bars were being visited to see if they had any spare equipment, while the Star in Sheffield said schools were making DIY kits for health workers.

Welsh daily raises £5k for hospital in less than a week

In less than a week a daily newspaper’s campaign to raise funds for its local hospital has been reached.

Last Monday, the Leader newspaper in North Wales launched an appeal to raise funds for the Wrexham Maelor’s League of Friends — which would be put towards vital, much-needed equipment.

The Leader — published by Newsquest — set a target of £5,000 for equipment that would be used for patients across Flintshire and Wrexham.

Click here for the full story

Reach announced 10% temporary pay cut in response to Coronavirus, furloughs 20% of staff

Reach today announced plans to furlough 20% of its workforce and introduce a temporary 10% salary reduction across the company as it seeks to offset the advertising decline brought about by Coronavirus.

The company, the largest regional publisher in the UK, also says it will no longer propose a final dividend for 2019 for shareholders, saying that it feels it would be inappropriate to do so while accessing the government’s job protection scheme.

Under its plans, the PLC board and some members of the senior editorial and management team, will take a 20% reduction in salary.

All staff will see a 10% cut in salary, but the company has committed to ensure no-one falls below the Living Wage.

An announcement to the stock exchange this morning read: “All members of the PLC Board, along with some members of our most senior editorial and management team, will take a pay reduction of 20% effective immediately.

Full story here

The Times calls for greater support for local press from Government in powerful leader

The Times newspaper today called for the Government to step in and help save local journalism — describing local reporters as ‘the fourth emergency service.’

In a powerful leader, which appeared in Saturday’s print edition, The Times said the local news industry was being hit by shops not being open to sell papers, people not leaving homes to buy papers, and buy a huge downturn in advertising.

The Times points out the tanning shops and estate agents can currently access more support than local news publishers, despite the latter employing people considered ‘key workers’ by the Government.

Click here for the full story

Live blogs grab attention in Coronavirus coverage, research shows

Coronavirus stories are accounting for one third of all news articles consumed, new research has reported.

Analytics firm Chartbeat, which is used by publishers around the globe including Newsquest, the BBC and Reach plc in the UK, shows that the number of articles produced about the deadly pandemic rose from March 9 onwards.

Live blogs are generating the highest traffic levels for newsrooms, with 41% of page views to the top 50 Covid-19 articles being from live blogs, although these types of content are said to be under-performing on social media.

For the full report, using data from Chartbeat’s Jill Nicholson, click here

BBC Data Unit helps publishers plot community spirit

Late last month, the shared data unit began pooling its resources around projects which could assist publishers and the public dealing with Coronavirus.

One of its first projects was to track down the volunteer groups which had been set up in communities up and down the country.

It found more than 1,000 volunteer groups had launched in the space of a week to help isolated people during the pandemic — and plotted them on a map.

Reach used the data to create a searchable widget which is running across its websites and across InYourArea, its hyperlocal information service.

JPIMedia has used the data to produce a full-page infographic, which has been published in titles across the UK.

Read the full story here

Lets talk about goats

You don’t ever think a silly midnight tweet about some goats running around your town is going to go viral, be talked about worldwide, and you’ll be on so many different media platforms your head starts to spin.

Perhaps the most unexpected story of the Coronavirus outbreak to date — and one which went global.

Andrew Stuart of the Manchester Evening News reports on an encounter with some goats which ended up in the New York Times (and hundreds of other publications besides).

Here’s what happened in Andrew’s own words

Northern Ireland publisher suspends publication of a number of titles

Three paid for weekly newspapers in Northern Ireland are to suspend publication due to Coronavirus.

The County Down Spectator, Newtownards Chronicle and the Mourne Observer will all be missing from news-stands for the next few weeks at least.

An editorial comment published today said: “It is in the best interests of our staff that our three titles will close for several weeks until the tide has turned and it is safe for people to once again begin to venture outdoors.

“Rest assured we will not be disappearing. We will be back.”

Hopes rise for public sector cash to help hyperlocals in Wales

The Independent Community News Network today revealed that the Welsh Government may be about to step in and help hyperlocal news sites survive.

A tweet posted by the organisation, which is based in Cardiff, read:

Last week, ICNN warned that many hyperlocal news services were on the brink of collapse due to advertising by local firms being halted following the coronavirus lockdown.

Iliffe announces furlough plans for 30

Around a quarter of Iliffe Media’s workforce have been put on paid leave.

30 editorial staff are affected by the move. Those whose workload has decreased as a result of the coronavirus lockdown, such as in sport, are involved.

An Iliffe Media Group spokesman said: “In line with most other publishers, we have furloughed a number of staff in order to protect the business during this temporary period of disruption.

“Approximately a quarter of our colleagues are furloughed. In editorial, we have focused on areas where the volume of work has decreased, such as sport and 30 journalists are affected.

“Staff, both those furloughed and those remaining, have responded to the situation with unwavering professionalism and understanding, for which we are very grateful.

“We look forward to welcoming our colleagues back as soon as circumstances allow.”

Mitchinson: Government needs to act now to help local journalism

One of the UK’s most senior regional editors has written to MPs and the prime minister urging urgent help for local newsrooms.

James Mitchinson, editorial director for JPIMedia in Yorkshire, and editor of the Yorkshire Post, sent his letter hours after the company had confirmed a round of furlough and pay cuts across the business.

Titles in his region have also begun appealing to online readers to go out and buy a newspaper to ensure the titles are able to keep serving local communites.

James calls on MPs to urge the government to commit to investing in a significant local media public information campaign, arguing that local media remains the most trusted source of news.

James also asks for Government to extend the 100% business rates holiday already offered to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses to include news publishers, which are providing vital information and guidance to the public.

Read our full article here

Darren Thwaites: Fight against fake news never been more important

We’ve just uploaded an opinion article Darren Thwaites, editor of the Manchester Evening News, published in his paper earlier this week.

In it, Darren writes:

“At the heart of this national emergency is the spread of information that’s now more voraciously sought, shared and consumed than ever before.

It’s against this backdrop that responsible, trusted media organisations have such a vital role to play. Now, more than ever, we have to guard against fake news and misinformation and support those publishers that employ trained journalists and adhere to a responsible code of practice.

These trusted news publishers like the Manchester Evening News — alongside the public-service broadcasting of the BBC — are playing a historic and important role in this pandemic.

Click here for the full story

Leeds newsrooms appeals for readers to share their Health Heroes

A regional newsroom has urged readers to nominate their health heroes as the country rallies around the NHS.

The #healthheroes campaign is being run by titles within the JPIMedia portfolio, the Yorkshire Evening Post in Leeds told readers this morning.

Readers are being asked to share detailed of the doctors, nurses, porters, cleaners, administrators and many, many more who are making sure the national health service can keep up with the increased demand as more people turn to it for help during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Full story — click here

How the BBC is making sure local news and information gets through

Rozina Breen

Rozina Breen is the head of BBC North. Here, in an article penned for the Manchester Evening News, Rozina looks at the way local BBC journalists are adapting to ensure that viewers and listeners get the service the need at a time of unprecedented crisis.

There are so many voices who want to be heard and we are proud to be able to do that in our role as a public service broadcaster.

Connecting with our audiences has never been more vital and we’ve seen that with a 300 per cent increase in calls to some of our radio stations.

Meanwhile, with churches closed, all 39 stations are broadcasting a weekly service. This ‘national wireless congregation’ is led by a different leader every Sunday at 8am.

Our TV teams have also been working flat out and Look North has seen near-record audiences as viewers tune in for the latest news.

But it’s not just the BBC that is adapting. Journalists across the board are working long hours in difficult circumstances.

JPIMedia to furlough 350 staff

JPIMedia has announced plans to cut wages for three months, furlough 350 staff and defer pay rises due in April.

It is understood around 60 editorial roles will be furloughed.

In a letter to staff today, chief executive David King said: “You will have seen for yourself that the coronavirus pandemic is putting immense pressure on businesses and public services all around the world. Some businesses have temporarily stopped trading. We have made arrangements to enable you to work from home wherever possible, and put in strict controls around movement of people at our print sites, all aimed at ensuring you can keep safe and healthy.

“As you are probably aware, the local and regional newspaper industry has seen a sudden and steep reduction in advertising order volumes which is having a very significant impact on our revenues. In addition, newspaper circulation revenues have been adversely hit by store closures and lockdown restrictions. Our print contract customers are similarly affected by reduced newspaper sales volumes.

“To support the business and safeguard jobs during this uncertain period we need to make difficult decisions to control costs and preserve cash. Whilst we are addressing all costs in the business and looking for savings wherever we can, our staff costs are the biggest single component of our cost base and regrettably we do need to make savings in this area.

“I appreciate that these are unsettling times, and that nobody wants to take a pay reduction, even for a short period. I recognise that even a small pay reduction will affect household budgets and so we have made every effort to ensure that we limit the impact for those on lower salaries. We have also made a distinction between those we are asking to continue working, with slightly larger pay reductions for those we are asking to temporarily stop working.

“I must emphasise that these are temporary measures.”

You can read our full story here

What do readers want when it comes to Coronavirus coverage?

Every week during the Coronavirus crisis so far, we’ve asked local editors to share their experiences of life in the UK’s newsrooms. This week, our group of editors focused on the sorts of stories readers were looking for.

From stories of hope in the North East to information about businesses which areopen in Essex, the array of articles being produced to meet reader demand is remarkable.

We also hear from Andy Campbell, the editor of NorthWalesLive, on the story which is credited with changing government policy, Andy Worden, editor of MyLondon on covering a Capital in crisis, and Chris Sherrard, launch editor of YorkshireLive, on handling the biggest story of the century in the same month as launching a new newsroom.

The full read is here — hope you enjoy it.

Liverpool Echo urges people to donate money intended for Grand National bets to charity

THE Grand National has been laid low by Coronavirus, and now the Liverpool Echo is urging readers to use money meant for a flutter on helping to provide a vital lifeline for those in need across Merseyside.

The National — the most famous horse race in the world — was due to take place on Saturday, April 4, but has been cancelled because of the pandemic.

Today the ECHO is asking everyone who planned to have a bet on the race to give the money to community organisations which will lead the fightback against the virus.

The idea came from a read, editor Ali Machray said.

You can read our full story here

Pay if you can appeal by Maidenhead Advertiser

The Maidenhead Advertiser has launched a ‘pay if you can’ appeal to online readers.

Using micropayments tool Axate, which has been trialled by a number of other publishers, the Advertiser is asking people to make contributions to cover the cost of local journalism in the area.

James Preston, print and digital editor for Baylis Media, wrote in a letter to readers: “It is important that our coverage reaches as many people as possible at a time like this, so we have made our articles free-to-read across our websites.

“However, we have introduced a new ‘pay if you can’ feature which will give you the option to pay a small amount for a story.

“Any money you do spend will go towards supporting independent, trusted journalism and our owner, the Louis Baylis Trust, which donates 80 per cent of our profits to local causes.”

Archant launches contributions drive on regional news sites

Publisher Archant is rolling out a contributions service which lets readers donate money to support local journalism.

The company already has experience of using PressPatron on its New European publication. The approach is similar to the one operated by the Guardian.

Matt told staff at Archant in a memo: “I believe this works well on The Guardian and TNE because readers of those titles care passionately about their existence, and are actually delighted to have the opportunity to help keep them going. They don’t find it onerous. They are glad to contribute.

“The same should be true of all our local titles. We keep our communities supplied with important content. It costs us a lot of money to do this, and none of our titles — none of them — have a god-given right to eternal existence.

“If the community values us and wants us to keep on doing what we do, we have to give them the wherewithal to help us do that, and this is what PressPatron allows.”

Facebook offers $100m to support local publishers

Facebook is offer $100m to local news organisations globally to help them survive the Coronavirus pandemic.

The social media giant says $25m will be spent on targeted grants for newsrooms to assist with local news coverage of the pandemic, with another $75m in marketing for news organisations around the world.

It is not yet known how the money will be allocated, either globally or within countries.

You can read the full story here

Chipper club makes a comeback across the UK

A regional publisher has bought a much-loved cartoon dog out of semi-retirement to help keep children entertained during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Chipper Club was originally created between the wars to entertain kids in Birmingham in the old Evening Dispatch paper, and had its first reincarnation in 1963 when the Chipper page and club returned to print in 1963.

The new Chipper Club has already enrolled around 1,400 youngsters, whose parents are being sent weekly tasks to complete by Chipper.

These tasks — such as creating a ‘smile tree’ this week — are submitted by parents and showcased on InYourArea, with entries also appearing on Reach’s websites and in its print publications too.

The full story is here

BelfastLive launches support campaign for independent businesses

BelfastLive has launched a campaign to help small businesses suffering as a result of Coronavirus.

The digital only title launched #InThisTogether, which it describes as a public declaration to the small businesses of NI that the news brand will support them through the Coronavirus pandemic.

Nathan Hanna, Deputy Editor of Belfast Live, said: “In these tough times we find ourselves in, we have a duty to keep our readers informed with the good and the bad and where there’s an opportunity to share some positive stories that shine through the darkness of this pandemic, we will do it.

For the full story, click here

Oxford Mail editor urges readers to stand by their paper

AN editor has called on readers to tell her what new content they would like to see from her newsroom during the current Coronavirus pandemic — and urged them to treat purchasing the newspaper as ‘an investment in open democracy.’

Samantha Harman wrote her open letter to readers in Saturday’s Oxford Mail:

“Purchasing a copy of your local newspaper isn’t necessarily an investment in us as a business — it’s an investment in open democracy. It’s ensuring we are still here, at the heart of our community, when all this is over. It’s ensuring that we can continue providing 24/7 news coverage, holding authorities to account and asking questions on your behalf.

“If you have an elderly neighbour, the chances are that their daily newspaper provides vital updates from the outside world. And so, if you are picking up some shopping for them, please make sure you add a copy of the paper to your basket. If you can, please continue to buy the paper or support us online, or continue to advertise with us.”

Click here to read the full article

CambridgeshireLive sets itself a £300,000 fundraising target

An East of England newsroom is spearheading a campaign to raise funds for those who could be left in peril due to Coronavirus.

CambridgeshireLive and the Cambridge News are working with the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation (CCF), which it previously partnered with to raise money for a heating fund so that no one would be cold in the winter, raising £24,000 in the process.

The Coronavirus Fund had a target of £100,000 — but during the course of last week it became clear just how many people were suffering as a result of the Coronavirus lockdown, so the target was increased to £300,000.

Read more here

Sunday’s front pages from the Regional Press

Sunday is traditionally a slower publishing day for regional print titles — although not so for newsrooms which also focus on digital.

We’ve found the day’s regional front pages, and you see them here.

School’s IN for summer?

Could youngsters face a summer in the classroom? According to education chiefs in Rochdale, it could be on the cards.

The Observer, the town’s twice weekly paper, splashed on the news — and perhaps after a week of home-schooling, parents across the country may be relieved by the prospect of not having to entertain their youngsters over the summer too!

EDP urges people to stay indoors after Chief Constable’s request for help

The editor of the Eastern Daily Press, David Powles, has revealed he changed the front page story after a call from the Norfolk Police chief constable.

He posted on Twitter:

This was the paper’s front page:

Start of a new trend? Lets hope not

Both the Huddersfield Daily Examiner and Carlisle News and Star splashed on stories about police officers being spat at, coughed and breathed on by people amidst the Coronavirus outbreak.

You can see our round-up of Saturday’s papers here.

Glasgow Evening Times offers free e-edition as it suspends home delivery

The front page of Saturday’s Evening Times in Glasgow was a little different — explaining to readers that it was pausing its home delivery service due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Instead, readers are being offered the digital e-edition of the paper for free.

What do restaurants critics do when they can’t leave the house?

In the case of Glasgow Herald critic Ron Mackenna, eating in is the new eating out.

Writing in the Herald on Saturday:

IT’S surely a sign that we’re living through dangerous times when the doorbell goes at 4pm and a box is left on the step, by someone who may or may not have run away.

Support your local restaurant is now a thing. A good thing I’d say. And following a Facebook alert of a new home-delivery service this was ordered up from the Dandelion Cafe in Newlands Park in Glasgow’s south side, normally baking cakes and biscuits, providing coffees and teas and doing hot food an evening or two a week in a lushly converted former park building.

You can read his full review here

Hull newsroom celebrates supermarket heroes

The HullLive and Hull Daily Mail newsroom has made a point of celebrating supermarket workers over the weekend.

Readers across the area have been sharing their stories of supermarket workers who have continued to go in every day, despite the risks posed from Coronavirus.

You can read the stories here

York Press launches free ads campaign for independent businesses in city

York’s daily title, the York Press, has been praised for its offer of free adverts for independent businesses in the city.

The Press is offering free adverts to independent and family-run businesses in our area to help showcase how they have adapted their services in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Press editor Nigel Burton said: “The Press has supported local businesses through thick and thin for more than 130 years and we stand shoulder to shoulder with them through this difficult time.

“Small and medium-sized businesses are the lifeblood of York. We must do whatever we can to help them through the coming weeks and months so the city can get back on its feet when this crisis is over.”

Saturday’s regional press front pages

No surprise that the vast majority of regional press front pages on Saturday were about Coronavirus.

The MEN and Birmingham Mail led with details of the Government’s plans to deal with the crisis — with two new hospitals in conference venues, and a mortuary at Birmingham Airport.

You can see the full round up here

Clifford: Two things we ask of readers now

In an op-ed which is appearing in JPIMedia titles across the country, editor-in-chief Jeremy Clifford writes:

I am asking for two things from you — our readers who support us through the good and the tough times.

The first is to help us to help others stay in touch. We have a team of journalists working from their bedrooms, studies, kitchen tables, and in the good weather sat outside in their gardens. But we also have them going outside of their homes to report on the public interest journalism the Government has asked us to continue to do.

We will continue asking questions on your behalf. Keeping you informed, entertained — with great reads. Bringing you local news updates on our websites. Asking the questions you want us to ask of the key decision makers.

Just as importantly, we will continue to provide you stories that bring our communities together.

So my first request is for you to send us your photos and your news. Photographs or short videos of what your are doing, when you are out on your once a day exercise and humorous shots at home.

Send us your tips about how you are keeping your children entertained in this longest of ever school break. And tell us your stories of how you are working from home.

Help us to put a smile on everyone’s faces.

My second request is this. Providing your news, entertainment and public interest coverage costs money. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers.

At this time, with so many people on their own or unable to go out, a newspaper can be a true friend. Familiar, honest, powerful, informative — and funny.

Read the full article here

Scotsman and Edinburgh Evening News back foodbank appeal Scottish capital

The Scotsman and Edinburgh Evening News have joined a campaign to ensure some of the city’s most vulnerable people do not suffer as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.

The Royal Bank of Scotland has turned part of its headquarters at Gogarburn into a foodbank distribution centre as part of the project, which prompted this memorable front page from the Evening News on Friday.

The Evening News and The Scotsman are also part of the effort to make sure people who are struggling for essentials do not have to go without.

Malcolm Buchanan, chair of RBS’s Scotland board, said: “This is a challenging time for everyone in Scotland and we are delighted to work with The Scotsman, Edinburgh Evening News, the Trussell Trust and Social Bite to help make a difference to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

You can find out more here

Southampton daily helps hospital raise £10k in three days

A campaign backed by the Southern Daily Echo has raised almost £10,000 to support hospital workers in just a matter of days.

A total of £8,573 was raised in just over three days to support NHS staff who work at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS).

The appeal was promoted on the front page of the Southern Daily Echo, based in Southampton.

Catherine Jordan, from Southampton Hospitals Charity, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support shown from the community, and especially The Echo readers.

“We’ve raised nearly £10,000 and this is going to make a big impact on our initiatives to support staff wellbeing. Plans are currently underway to furnish a safe space for staff to receive the support they need, be that mental or physical.”

To donate visit or text NHSHEROES 3 to 70460 to donate £3; NHSHEROES 5 to 70460 to donate £5; NHSHEROES 10 to 70460 to donate £10.

City responds to Portsmouth News call for city-wide chant in show of solidarity

Portsmouth rallied at the stroke of 3pm as part of a city-wide effort to sing the Pompey Chimes.

Chants of ‘play up Pompey, Pompey play up’ — more often heard during matches at Fratton Park, home of Portsmouth Football Club — echoed out as people sang from windows, balconies and gardens.

The effort was spearheaded by The News to raise spirit during the coronavirus lockdown.

It followed an idea floated by Pompey’s Haji Mnoga on Twitter, which gained the backing of Portsmouth International Port, the Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth Guildhall, the Diocese of Portsmouth and Pompey mainstay Alan Knight.

Penny Mordaunt, Portsmouth North MP, was among those joining in the celebration.

Leicester Mercury publishes front-page letter from NHS bosses

The Leicester Mercury published a striking front page on Friday, written by the chief executives of local NHS bodies.

It read: “It doesn’t matter who you are, we are all in this together. By staying at home and continuing to follow government advice, you will be protecting the NHS and saving lives.

“We would like to thank those key workers in other organisations we are working with for their dedication and commitment to keeping people safe and providing the support needed.

“From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to each and every one of you. When this ends, the country will owe all of you an enormous debt of gratitude.”

Journalism courses plug into virtual classrooms

Keeping students engaged as a community is essential say NCTJ tutors as they turn to remote teaching during the coronavirus outbreak.

While students are now keeping safe and learning from home, tutors are working hard to keep up contact, deliver lectures, offer shorthand training and give their cohort that all-important practical experience delivered on an NCTJ-accredited course.

To do this, tutors are using a range of video conferencing platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Big Blue Button, to connect with their cohort and allow their students to interact with each other while learning from home.

You can read more here

Newsquest titles join forces to support NHS workers

Local newspapers across Newsquest Media Group are raising money for the NHS in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

Newsquest, which owns over 160 local news brands across the UK, has launched a national campaign to raise money for NHS Charities Together and its urgent Covid-19 appeal.

Within the first 24 hours of launching, Newsquest’s Support Our Guardian Angels #ThankYouNHS fund raised more than £2,500.

The funds will be used to support frontline NHS staff and volunteers across 250 hospitals by providing wellness packages, food parcels and covering travel costs and accommodation.

You can read more here

Suspended titles say ‘cheerio’ to readers

Earlier this week, JPIMedia announced that it was suspending a number of paid for and free weekly newspapers following a sharp decline in advertising brought about by Coronavirus.

Several of those titles have now published front pages letting readers know what is happening, including the Brighton and Hove Independent, pictured left, and the free Mid Sussex Gazette, pictured right.

Journalists on the titles will continue to update their websites, while readers of the Gazette and being urged to purchase sister paid-for titles.

Both papers were keen to stress they’d be back soon.

Friday’s local newspaper front pages

Perhaps not surprisingly, we struggled to find a single front page on Friday which wasn’t about Coronavirus.

The scale of the impact of the pandemic is obviously huge, but at the same time uniquely local in each community served by local news.

You can read — or view — the round up of the papers we’ve found here.



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Behind Local News

Behind Local News

A place to share the stories behind the stories