Archant becomes latest publisher to furlough staff

Posted on: April 3, 2020 by Claire Meadows

News publisher Archant has become the latest publisher to announce that it will be putting staff on furlough amid the Covid-19 crisis.  

Reported by HoldTheFrontPage, an estimated 150 regional journalists will be put on paid leave from Monday, the publisher announced, as it became the latest group to confirm it is joining the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme.

The announcement comes as other publishers announced earlier this week that they would be furloughing staff due to the effect of Covid-19 including JPIMedia, Iliffe, Newsquest, the Evening Standard and PA Media.  

Archant announced the news in an email from Chief People and Transformation Officer Dee Willmott, in which she explained that a “small number of staff” whose work had “disappeared or been radically reduced” due to coronavirus would be put on furlough.

HoldTheFrontPage reports that the company says no-one will be paid less than the equivalent of £18,000 gross salary per year if they are placed on leave.

The email said: “Schemes such as this are operating in many countries as businesses globally look to weather the storm brought about by coronavirus.”

“As we have said several times, revenues have been affected across our business but there are lots of extremely positive stories that come through each and every day – and in yesterday’s survey, many hundreds of you talked about the amazing community spirit that has developed at Archant over the past few weeks.

“It’s vital everyone does all they can to keep up this momentum.”

Internews’ rapid response fund to support local journalism worldwide

Global non-profit organisation Internews has launched a rapid response fund to help small, local news organisations worldwide survive in the face of Covid-19.

Announced yesterday, the fund will launch with $100,000 to be made available immediately and is targeting $1 million in donations to provide immediate support for journalists globally.

The new rapid response fund will give Internews’ local media partners – such as community radio stations and online news outlets in more than 80 countries — access to emergency funding so they can continue to operate in increasingly dire economic conditions.

Internews will immediately provide $100,000 to this fund and is calling on donors globally to contribute to significantly increasing this amount. This will help to ensure information is provided where it is most needed: in some of the world’s hardest to reach communities, where healthcare and sanitation services are already under huge strain.

The fund will be the cornerstone of the campaign: Information Saves Lives, which aims to raise funds to help additional local and community media organisations, especially in countries where such organisations struggle to exist.

Internews will additionally invest to provide advisory services to journalists, offering free advice and expertise on covering the virus in languages including English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Russian.

Anyone wishing to donate to the fund can do so here.