The Eastern Daily Press has this week launched a #NotAlone campaign aimed at supporting readers’ mental health during the coronavirus pandemic
The campaign, launched yesterday, aims to show solidarity with readers who may be feeling the strain during the current uncertainty around Covid-19.
Launching the campaign, the paper said that while staying home to save lives may be the message when it comes to combating the coronavirus pandemic, it has also meant “many of us are battling with new mental health challenges in recent weeks”.
David Powles, editor of the EDP and Norwich Evening News, said: “There has rightly been a lot of focus on physical health over the last few weeks but I’m concerned that as the isolation period extends we need to really look after our mental health as well.
“Through this campaign we just want to remind people to try and stay as positive as possible, remember that this will not last forever and to look out for yourself and each other.
“If every person picked a minimum of five of their friends and family to stay in close contact with and keep an eye on their well-being I think it could make a real difference.”
The campaign aims to support those who are potentially vulnerable to Covid-19 and self-isolating, parents who are home schooling, key workers pressing on with vital roles, people furloughed from their job and those working from home.
The paper is urging the public to join in with the campaign online by posting a short video on social media using #NotAlone to offer tips on the best way to keep a clear mind and a positive outlook. Alternatively readers can email a video to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iliffe and Evening Standard announce furlough
The Evening Standard and Iliffe Media have become the attest publishers to announce placing staff on furlough during the Covid-19 crisis.
The ES has also announced a cut in the salaries of those that keep working and it is suspending publication of its weekly ES Magazine supplement.
Iliffe Media, publishers of the Cambridge Independent and Kent Messenger papers, have announced 30 editorial staff will be placed on furlough.
In an email to staff , Standard chief executive Mike Soutar said advertising revenues had slowed dramatically during the pandemic, forcing him to take further action to protect the business.
“We, like many other media groups across the world with a large stake in print media, do not anticipate a meaningful recovery in our ad revenue pipeline over the next two months,” said Soutar.
Under the new measures, expected to last until the end of May, a proportion of full-time staff are being placed on furlough with those remaining taking a 20 per cent cut in their salaries if they earn more than £37,500 a year.
Soutar added: “We believe these difficult measures will help the Evening Standard weather the current storm and we hope to be able to bring employees back off furlough leave as soon as the advertising market begins to recover.
“We will continue to work with our advertising customers to encourage them to start investing again as soon as possible. And we will continue to plan for the future.”
Iliffe Media announced it is to take advantage of the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme by around a quarter of the company’s employees on furlough.
In editorial, sports reporters are expected to be mostly effected.
“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.”
Journalists’ Charity webinar on effect of Covid-19 on journalists in Wales
For freelance journalists and broadcasters working for independent production companies these are difficult times. Although the Government has announced financial aid of the self-employed the nature of the media industry means that many people may not be covered and are facing an uncertain future.
In Wales the situation is further complicated by the Welsh Government introducing its own aid package on top of the UK scheme. The Journalists’ Charity is trying to help people find their way through the system with a webinar that will offer advice from industry experts and lawyers who will answer questions to try to clear up the confusion.
The webinar runs from 2.30 pm to 3.30 pm on Friday April 3rd and you can register to take part at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Ioh-_fKeTxO5bYh76JP5ug