How Publishers Are Working to Protect Readers, Journalists During Pandemic

As we face a growing pandemic, news publishers across the country are working to make sure their staff, journalists and readers are safe. We’ll be collecting letters from publishers as they share the measures they’re taking to ensure the safety and security of their employees and subscribers.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is having journalists work from home when at all possible, and production equipment is being sanitized regularly to help prevent any spread of infection.

The New York Times is providing free access to the most important coronavirus news via a special landing page; users who register will be able to read all the news linked from this special landing site. A special episode of “The Daily” was also release to help listeners understand the virus and how to protect themselves.

The President & CEO of McClatchy, Craig Forman, addressed subscribers in an op-ed on March 20 across its 30 news sites, including the Miami Herald and The Kansas City Star, about how McClatchy is helping provide readers with critical information and assistance during the COVID-19 crisis, including dispelling rumors and false information, and lifting paywalls on COVID-19 related coverage.

At The Oregonian, editors are partnering with newspapers across the state to provide the most accurate and up-t0-date information about how coronavirus is spreading in Oregon.

The Quad-City Times (of Davenport, Iowa) has dropped the paywall for all of its coronavirus-related news, allowing all readers to stay informed, with editor Therese Bottomly noting, “Coronavirus will strain even the largest newsrooms as news breaks continuously and into the nights and weekends. The collaboration will allow newsrooms to pick up good information from other sources, so they will not need to re-report the same story. We can cover more angles this way.”

Santa Maria, California’s Santa Maria Times has put all COVID-19 stories in front of its paywall to ensure all members of its community have access to vital information.

The Seattle Times, which is located in a coronavirus hot zone, is working to make sure their reporters and photographers stay safe while covering the health crisis. They’ve also created a helpful graphic about how the virus spreads to help readers easily understand what’s happening and how to prevent it.

At The Washington Post, which has been on the ground covering COVID-19 since January, when the virus first started appearing in China, there’s a free newsletter that anyone can access, even non-subscribers. The Post is also offering an introductory rate to new subscribers of $29/year to help people stay informed.

The Wall Street Journal has created a special section to help readers who are suddenly having to work from home and deal with the stress of life under quarantine. The Journal also has a special Q&A column where they’re answering readers’ questions about coronavirus and life during a pandemic. On March 20, Matt Murray, the Editor in Chief of The Wall Street Journal addressed the newsroom staff in a note regarding the challenges posed by COVID-19 and the importance of the reporting they are doing.


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