Media outlets respond to coronavirus

A range of media outlets have been reporting on the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses and the wider industry. We give you the rundown of how newspapers and broadcasters are adapting:


The BBC has shaken up programming, dedicating hours of air time and several new shows to covering the pandemic. It has set out plans to inform, educate and entertain during unprecedented times, including:

  • Broadcasting a weekly prime-time Coronavirus special on Wednesdays on BBC One, and moving Question Time to 8pm on Thursdays, with call-in audiences and remote guests.
  • Launching a Coronavirus Podcast presented by Brussels correspondent Adam Fleming, which aims to provide the latest news on the global coronavirus outbreak, featuring correspondents and expert guests. Newscast’s Dino Sofos is the editor.
  • Introducing Health Check Live, a new TV show with advice for how to stay healthy at home if you are in isolation.
  • BBC Radio 5Live are conducting a large amount of phone-ins with experts to answer audience questions.
  • Under the umbrella, Make A Difference, every local radio station will join up with local volunteer groups to help co-ordinate support for the elderly, housebound or at risk groups, making sure people know what help is available in their area.
  • Delaying the planned closure of the Red Button text news and information service.
  • Retargeting the BBC Food website around collections of recipes and advice on what can be made with essentials, especially for older people, and for low-income families.
  • Launching an essential arts and culture service called ‘Culture in Quarantine‘ – that will keep the arts alive in people’s homes, working closely with organisations like Arts Council England.
  • BBC One has launched virtual church services on Sunday mornings.

The broadcaster also announced on Monday it is to delay TV licence fee changes for the over-75s until August in light of coronavirus.

ITV is forecasting a slump in advertising revenues of at least 10% in April as companies in the travel sector pull spend in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. However, it published peak audience figures of 11.1m for Saturday Night Takeaway, and daytime shows This Morning and Loose Women have attracted their biggest audiences in two and six years respectively, as much of the nation works from home amid the coronavirus pandemic. The broadcaster is releasing a new Monday show called ‘Coronavirus Report‘. All shows will now be without studio audiences, but Britain’s Got Talent auditions shows will air as planned. ITV are also taking Lorraine and Loose Women programmes off air in order to streamline their output. Instead you’ll get an extended Good Morning Britain, where Piers Morgan will be joined by Lorraine Kelly as a co-presenter.

Over on Channel 4, Jamie Oliver is beginning a new cooking show – Keep Cooking and Carry On – targeted at those in isolation. It will air this week from Monday to Friday. The concept apparently went from ‘pitch to production’ in a ‘matter of days’.

Newspapers are also feeling the effects of the outbreak, with several operating on skeleton staffing and asking reporters to work from home.

The Financial Times has removed their paywall for all coronavirus death & case trajectory trackers to allow people to access reliable information free of cost.

In an effort to combat the drop in commuter numbers, The Evening Standard will deliver to homes in London for the first time in its history as it battles the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its commuter-reliant distribution model.

Business-focused newspaper CityAM has paused print operation and will be online-only from today, as well as cutting staff pay by half in April.

The Telegraph has launched a ‘Coronavirus: The Latest’ Podcast, released every weekday at 4pm for 10minute episodes of expert analysis on the impact on health, politics, business and travel.

Local newspapers across the UK have come together to publish the same front page pledging to support their communities during the coronavirus outbreak, although the dire financial impact for the news industry has already forced some outlets to close their print editions.

LinkedIn Learning has compiled a playlist of videos to help people get set up with home working or remote working, managing changing our working patterns.


Marianna Spring will be starting a new role soon covering online misinformation for BBC News and BBC World Service Radio, and will for the moment be focusing on misinformation relevant to Coronavirus.

David Ottewell has been appointed as Head of Data Journalism at News Statesman.

Olivia Alabaster has been appointed News Editor at The Independent.

Elliot Falk has been appointed as Series Editor for Channel 4’s The Steph Show.

Lauren Clarke is now Deputy News Editor & part-time News Editor for Channel 5’s 5 News programme.

Alan Clayton has left his role as Assistant Editor of BBC Breakfast the BBC, and will soon be staring a new role at Channel 4.