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Daily Express marks milestone, plus digest of industry news

Posted on: April 24, 2020 by Ian Murray

Friday Media Round-Up

Daily Express celebrates 120 years today in a special edition

The Daily Express is celebrating its 120th birthday by producing a special edition today (April 24).

The paper announced the milestone in a front page paying tribute to its columnists’ love for the ‘Crusading Express’.

The edition includes a pull-out marking 120 years of the publication’s history.

As part of the celebrations, the Express is launching a competition for readers to win one of 120 Amazon gift cards ranging from £5 to £500.


BBC Big Night In raises £27m for people affected by Covid-19

The fundraising show was broadcast last night (April 23) in a unique joint effort by BBC Charities Children in Need and Comic Relief.

Participants ranged from the Duke of Cambridge’s surprise sketch show with Stephen Fry and revivals of the comedy shows Miranda, Catherine Tate and the Vicar of Dibley.

The government has promised to double the money raised on the night.

Highlights included a virtual assembly of ten stars who have played the lead Doctor Who role in the past 50 years recording a message of thanks to doctors and health workers.

David Walliams and Matt Lucas’ sketch show Little Britain returned with the show’s first new material in years.

The £27m raised will support vulnerable people in the UK who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Find out more here.

The Independent furloughs staff as advertising revenue falls

The Independent and Indy100 websites have put a limited number of staff on furlough and cut wages for employees earning above £37,500 a year.

Despite the record readership figures, there is a slump in ad revenue.

Press Gazette reports that the publisher is reliant on advertising for 75 per cent of its revenue but has seen the ad market fall by 50 per cent this month, with the slump forecast to continue into the next two months.


Jewish Chronicle bought by consortium scuppering merger with Jewish News

The Jewish Chronicle has been bought by a consortium led by Sir Robbie Gibb, the former director of communications in Theresa May’s Downing Street.

The paper was put into liquidation earlier this month by its owner the Kessler Foundation, citing the impact of the coronavirus crisis on business and dwindling financial state of the industry.

The Foundation had planned to bid to buy the JC’s assets and merge it with its rival the Jewish News. However, a larger counterbid by the new consortium was backed by liquidators – said to provide better financial stability for the JC’s staff in paying back creditors in full.

The JC’s editor Stephen Pollard – who supported the counter-bid – will now retain his role.

 

Fears over press freedom in India, reports International Press Institute

Press freedom in India faces a rapid downward spiral as journalists are being targeted by the government in a bid to control the narrative in the country on the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Press Institute warned in a statement today.

The Indian government has resorted to various tactics to prevent independent media from reporting about the pandemic, claims the body.

“In a blatant attempt to stifle press freedom, on March 31 the government unsuccessfully petitioned the country’s Supreme Court to bar the media from publishing information about COVID-19 that had not been cleared by the government. The court refused to intervene but directed the media to “refer to and publish” the official version of the developments.

“While India’s Supreme Court rightly declined to go along with a backhanded effort to control the narrative around COVID-19, officials at various levels of government have continued to target journalists, who have refused to bow to pressure”, IPI Deputy Director Scott Griffen said. “Independent journalism is an essential partner in protecting public health. We urge the Indian authorities to ensure that all journalists are able to do their job of informing the public at this critical time.”

Read the report here

 

Local news organisations partner in a #LoveLocalNews campaign

The #LoveLocalNews campaign asks people to share their favourite articles produced by local publications on Twitter in an ongoing scheme to celebrate the industry.

The project has been jointly launched by local news organisations the Bureau Local, National Union of Journalists (NUJ), Public Interest News Foundation (PINF) and the Independent Community News Network (ICNN).

The Bureau Local will then collate their favourite articles to showcase the best of the nominations.

The campaign aims to celebrate the work of independent and hyperlocal news publications in producing impactful public interest journalism in light of the financial strains put on the sector by the crisis.

Figures predict 75% of independent UK news providers are at risk of closure as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

More here.

 

Freelance journalists’ safety fears during Covid-19 crisis

Numbers of freelance journalists are afraid to carry out work during the Covid-19 crisis due to lack of protective equipment and concerns over safety, The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reports.

In a report looking at how journalists are coping with the crisis worldwide, CPJ lists how some freelancers are having to turn down work due to concerns over safety.

‘To make matters worse, some news organizations are not even asking about safety protocols or whether a freelancer has PPE,’ the report adds.

“We’ve also heard that people are unable to take assignments or are scared to take assignments because they don’t have access to protective gear. We’ve had a couple of cases, specifically in Guatemala and in Puerto Rico, where journalists told us that they turned down assignments because they didn’t have access to masks or gloves or any kind of protection,” a source tells CPJ.

The full report can be read here