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How has the coronavirus pandemic affected the media industry?

How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted the media industry?

The coronavirus pandemic has unhinged industries, eradicated consumer demand and swept thriving jobs under the rug as businesses fall into financial difficulty, announce mass redundancies and close shop for the indefinite future. Turning to the UK media industry which is responsible for informing, educating and entertaining the public, many outlets have creatively stood out and supported other ailing sectors by providing an extensive look into the damage caused by Covid-19 and sharing ways to refuel the economy.

The media industry plays an instrumental role in providing credible information, questioning government transparency and the effectiveness of public health measures during the pandemic, as, without this, the scales of public perception would tip unevenly. By protecting readers from scaremongering tactics and mental isolation, the media industry has campaigned for collective support throughout the pandemic and promoted virtual togetherness. We take you through how the media industry has been battered by the economic pressures of Covid-19 and how it continues to provide messages of resilience to encourage strength during this uncertain time.

Overcoming reduced ability due to social distancing measures.

As a result of social distancing measures to mitigate the spread of the virus, the traditional newsgathering process has been redefined to comply with public health guidance and keep employees safe. The research journey behind powerful news and entertainment content typically consists of carefully structured stages, including physical interviews with individuals, collating key information and fact-checking. 

News organisations and media outlets have been forced to develop contingency plans in the event of a positive coronavirus case, self-isolation or shielding, disrupting the newsgathering process. To reduce exposure to others and to make the broadcasted final product visually palatable, the media industry has further rolled out the use of virtual communication software, introducing this into televised interviews.

Reviewing workforce structure

As businesses return to operating at a fraction of their full capacity, employers in the media industry, as with other sectors, have been forced to explore reducing employee numbers to minimise overheads, protect the business from financial distress and inevitable company liquidation.

Press Gazette announced an industry crisis as 2,000 jobs were axed across UK news organisations as a result of Covid-19. To mitigate unemployment and to protect jobs, the government recently extended measures, replacing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme with the Job Support Scheme. 

"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."

– Albert Einstein

Establishing brand presence

Media and communication businesses are showing resilience during Covid-19 by marking their brand presence in novel ways to gain customer loyalty. Social media platform, Facebook, provides access to Covid-19 support to businesses worldwide through their Business Resource Hub. They have also introduced a digital gift card feature and automated Covid-19 responses in the event of temporary business closure and to retain custom.

Enforcing digital technology

Businesses in the media sector have further integrated technology into daily communications, both internally and externally to adapt to hurdles posed by the pandemic. By hosting events, webinars and training sessions virtually through the integration of video and conferencing facilities, news outlets can continue the conversation.

As the pandemic shows no sign of waning, media outlets are securing their position at the forefront and stapling their position in the support system for businesses across the country. The uncertainty surrounding unprecedented events has also encouraged brands to think creatively and engage with nervous customers in innovative ways, paving the way to a new style of connecting with consumers. 

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