Journalism, the c-word and a thank you | Jabbering Journo column

How are you?

Friday, 3rd April 2020, 6:02 pm

A simple question with a million answers as life has changed so radically for all of us.

Here at newspaper towers, or should I say from the hastily-constructed working spaces in people’s homes scattered across the county, life has been interesting.

Safe to say I’ve never been prouder of my team as they have endured and pulled together in one of the personally and professionally disruptive weeks we have ever known in our lives.

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They have risen to the challenge magnificently as the journalism world has changed entirely.

Setting apart the challenges of working from home and social isolation, as our revenue was pulled from under us and advertising stopped, we have had to regroup and rethink.

With little sports and entertainment and local government activity to report on, we have had to be creative and pivot quickly to a whole new world where every story is dominated by the c-word, whichever way you angle it.

We’ve also had to take the hit personally.

MORE: Coronavirus in UK live blogThis week - and like many of you - a large number of our staff here at JPI Media have been furloughed and the rest, while working intensely one of the intensely challenging stories in media history, have taken a significant pay cut with barely a whimper.

Instead the news teams are focusing on reporting and supporting our communities at their most vulnerable.

We are determined to be #therewith you and in just a week have launched campaigns to #supportlocal and for our #healthheroes.

We are part of this community, we live here, and we care.

And we’ve had to ask your to support us too - not something we do very often.

Journalism is not a dirty word.

It’s been dragged through the mud - yes - by the actions of a few and by the politicians who find it very convenient to discredit those asking the difficult questions on your behalf.

But despite the nay-sayers and through the corona crisis, we are just trying to get at the facts through the confusion for you and with you, so thank you so much for supporting us.


A message from the Editorial Director, Gillian Parkinson:

Thank you for reading this story on our website.

But I also have an urgent plea to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality local news on this site and in print, please purchase a copy of our newspaper as well.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on our town centres and many of our valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you buying a copy when you pop out for your essential shop or subscribing for delivery.

Our journalists are highly trained by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards anywhere in the world. Our content is universally trusted - as all independent research proves.

As Baroness Barran said in a House of Lords debate this week on the importance of journalists: "Not only are they a trusted source of facts, but they will have a role to play in rallying communities and getting the message across about how we can keep ourselves and our families safe, and protect our NHS. Undoubtedly, they have a critical role."

But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis. In return we will continue to forensically cover the local news - not only the impact of the virus but all the positive and uplifting news happening in these dark days.

We thank all our readers and advertisers for their understanding and support - and we wish YOU all the best in the coming weeks. Keep safe, and follow the Government advice. Thank you.

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