For the first time in regional newspaper history, titles from Newsquest and JPIMedia have turned their mastheads blue to show their support for NHS staff and frontline key workers.
The dozens of daily papers’ front pages today (April 30) also celebrate the 100th birthday of Captain Tom Moore whose fundraiser has now raised £31m for NHS Charities.
Papers participating in the ‘turning blue’ scheme include Newsquest-owned Daily Echo, Telegraph & Argus and The National, with the Sheffield Star and Harrogate Advertiser from JPIMedia.
The newspaper groups say the initiative is set to roll on every Thursday for the rest of the coronavirus outbreak and they hope other newspaper publishers will participate too.
Jeremy Clifford, JPI Media’s Editor in Chief said: “It is so inspiring to see the whole nation come together to support our national treasure, the NHS, every Thursday, and our titles want to do what we can to show our gratitude and support for everyone caring for people with Coronavirus.
“Turning our mastheads blue is a simple gesture but one full of sentiment for the courage and professionalism of NHS staff.”
Toby Granville, Editorial Development Director of Newsquest, said: “We wanted to demonstrate our appreciation for our NHS workers putting their lives on the line for our communities — and as Thursday is Clap For Carers day it seemed the perfect time to do it.
“Very timely it also coincided with Captain Tom’s 100th birthday — whom one of our North East editors Nigel Burton managed to get a group-wide exclusive with — thanking our readers for supporting his fundraising campaign.”
The Yorkshire-born centenarian gave an interview to the Bradford Telegraph & Argus in today’s paper. Captain Moore has been made an honorary Colonel by the Queen as he celebrated his milestone with a salute given by World War Two Spitfire fighter planes over his home in Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire.
The scheme is part of the #therewithyou campaign by the regional press. Daily regional papers owned by Archant, Reach, JPI, Newsquest and Iliffe started the campaign by showing the same front page to reassure readers that their local title is there to support them in the challenging times.