Evening Standard pledges to support readers through Covid-19 crisis

Posted on: March 20, 2020 by Claire Meadows

The Evening Standard has this week pledged to support its readers through the Covid-19 crisis vowing to inform them, entertain them and question the government where it is required. 

In an editorial, the paper said that for 193 years the Evening Standard has been there for its readers and as the capital faces one of the greatest crises in its history, its message to readers was that it would be there for them again. 

The editorial said: “We know that you want the latest news on the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Over the last week, our brilliant reporters have been among the first to tell you about the dramatic change in Government strategy, the shift in the scientific thinking on “herd immunity”, the impending school closures, the impact on our sports and cultural life, the economic shutdown and the rescue package to help.

“We also bring you, through our editorials and comment pieces, informed analysis about what we think will happen next. We do so again today when we tell you: we are only at the very beginning of this unfolding catastrophe. Just over 100 people have tragically died of this coronavirus in the UK but in weeks many thousands more are likely to die.”

The paper vowed to continue to report on the crisis alongside asking questions of government where required. 

It said: “While as a newspaper and website we will do everything to support the Government’s plans to help us through this bleak situation, we would also be failing our readers if we did not point out where we think mistakes are being made or more could be done.

The paper went on to praise the commitment by its staff to publish the newspaper, even when many are self-isolating or being forced to work from home. The paper also praised delivery drivers who continue to distribute the paper. 

It said: “Of course, a newspaper is itself a community of people. We at the Evening Standard have colleagues who fear they have the virus, and are self-isolating — and we are supporting them.

“Our offices in central London are all but empty, while most of our editorial and commercial staff are now producing this newspaper remotely from their homes.

“This has never been done before in the history of any of our great newspapers, and it is testament to our team’s commitment and resourcefulness that we have achieved this while producing some of our very best editions and digital content.

“But we cannot get the physical paper to you without our printers, van drivers and street distributors. We salute them. The fact that so many of you continue to pick up our paper, and visit us online, shows that you want to hear more from us. You will.”

It concluded: “In the journey through the dark tunnel ahead, towards the distant light that now shines, the Evening Standard will be with you every step of the way.       

Picture: London Evening Standard