More than 60 regional newspapers published identical front pages on Friday, headlined “When you’re on your own, we are there with you.”
Archant, Reach plc, JPIMedia and Newsquest joined forces for a #ThereWithYou campaign to reassure readers that their local title is supporting them in challenging times.
The campaign, which aims to highlight the importance of trusted, reliable local news, is supported by industry bodies the News Media Association, Newsworks and the Society of Editors.
A joint editorial read: “We are living in unprecedented times. None of us has seen anything like the coronavirus pandemic before. As the Prime Minister said: we are facing the worst public health crisis in a generation.
“But together, down the years, this newspaper and its readers have come through some of the greatest threats to society ever recorded and if we continue to stick together, we will come through this, too.
“Our lives are being turned upside down: schools are shutting down; parents are struggling to juggle work and home life; businesses are scrambling to protect their employees whilst safeguarding their very futures.
“Pubs, clubs, restaurants. Theatres, cafes, sports centres and many, many more small independent traders, all facing months of tradeless isolation.
“Thanks must go to those putting themselves in harm’s way in the care sector, as the NHS prepares to look coronavirus in the eye and not back down, caring for our loved ones should they be among those who contract the virus. Thousands will.
“But there are things we can all do to better protect ourselves and our families. It starts by seeking out the very latest expert guidance on what to do and what not to do as the pandemic gathers pace in the coming weeks and months. We will bring you that guidance.
“We know that for you, having a constant feed of reliable news and information that you trust is vital, and this is our commitment to you: whatever happens, we will be there for you. There to help you make sense of the situation. There to steer you towards any help you might need. There to offer reassurance and a calm, steady hand.
“We know that in the worst of times, the very best in people comes to the fore and so part of the commitment we are making to you today is to shine a light on the heroes in this hour of need. The volunteers getting bread, cheese and milk for those who cannot. The fundraisers keeping small businesses afloat. The care in the community nurses not stopping for breath on their mission to look after the vulnerable.
“We will highlight any positive community initiatives and good causes. We know that you are going to need us just as much as we need you. We will be there for you as, down the years, you have been there for us.
“Together, we will defeat coronavirus and emerge from it as stronger, tighter, more resilient communities than ever before.
It concluded with the words: “Look after each other. ”