No you can’t catch it from newspapers

The World Health Organization has confirmed that the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low, and therefore the risk of contracting COVID-19 through handling a newspaper is infinitely small. The news is a welcome relief to the industry, as local newspapers are predicted to suffer from advertising decline amid the crisis. Major towns including Milton Keynes have lost their only print newspaper, as the economic impact of the pandemic starts to destroy parts of the struggling media industry.

JPI Media, which owns dozens of titles, told staff on Wednesday that all of its free newspapers delivered door-to-door would temporarily stop printing due to the logistical challenges of arranging delivery. It will leave hundreds of thousands of people without their only local print newspaper, cutting off many self-isolating older readers from a key trusted source of news during the crisis.

The Government has committed to allowing news providers to stay open within new lockdown legislation and confirmed that journalists are recognised as key workers. The newsagents’ trade body has welcomed a decision by regional publishers to join a home delivery scheme amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Time Out becomes Time In

Events listings magazine Time Out has become the latest print publication to go online, temporarily rebranding itself as Time In. With commuters no longer en route to pick up the Tuesday edition, the company has stopped printing its free editions of the magazine for London and is instead launching an e-version alongside its digital output. On top of promoting gigs, theatre productions and art exhibitions that are available for readers to stream online for free, it will focus on supporting local businesses whose owners and staff have been thrown into uncertainty by the lockdown.

Most-watched TV programme ever? Boris Johnson.

More than 27 million people tuned in to watch Boris Johnson’s televised lockdown announcement on Monday night, one of the largest TV audiences in UK broadcasting history. The overnight total includes 15.4 million viewers on BBC One and 5.7 million on ITV, with more than six million across Channel 4, Channel 5, BBC News and Sky NewsThe figures do not take into account audiences on livestreams such as YouTube and Amazon Prime or catch-up TV like BBC iPlayer. During his address, the Prime Minister told the nation “you must stay at home” and announced the closure of most shops, public buildings and leisure facilities.

For context, 28.4 million people tuned in to watch Princess Diana’s wedding in 1981, and 32.1 million for her funeral 16 years later. 32.3 million watched the 1966 World Cup final, and 31.1 million viewers watched the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony.


From today, Radio 1 co-hosts are encouraged to work from home, whilst main presenters present solo in studios.


Meanwhile, the Financial Times has been produced without a single person in the office for the first time.


Louisa Wells has joined Telegraph Media Group as a Podcast Producer. She has previously served as a Broadcast Journalist at BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC local radio.

Nick Rotherham has joined the production team working on the BBC’s daily Coronavirus Podcast.

Stefan Boscia has been appointed Westminster Correspondent at City AM.

Eleanor Busby has left her role as Education Correspondent at The Independent to join PA Media as Education Correspondent.

Peter Evans is now a Senior Business Correspondent at The Sunday Times.

Liam Kelly has been appointed Enterprise Correspondent at The Sunday Times.

The Steph Show, Channel 4‘s new daily show, is launching today. It will be broadcast from Steph McGovern’s living room.



If your organisation needs communications advice, or you would like more information about how Lexington’s team of media experts can support you, please contact Patrick Foster, Head of Corporate Communications