Coronavirus: Germany’s Lensing Media offers ‘help’ page in print, new newsletter, more video

As the number of COVID-19 cases rises, many news publishers around the world are rapidly developing additional print and digital services, in particular daily newsletters, for news and information relating to the pandemic.

by Brian Veseling | March 20, 2020

Germany’s Lensing Media, a fourth-generation, 150-year-old family business with some 3,000 employees, publishes the daily newspapers Ruhr Nachrichten, Dorstener Zeitung, Halterner Zeitung and Münsterland Zeitung as well as advertising papers. They also publish trade magazines and run both printing and digital businesses.

They are also taking part in WAN-IFRA’s Table Stakes Europe local news programme, which is being supported by the Google News Initiative.

In an effort to help readers contain the virus by staying at home, but also get needed assistance, on 17 March, Lensing published a page (at left), for people to fill in and tape to their window or door to easily request help from their neighbours.

The page provides readers with places for their name, telephone number and specific request, or other remarks.

The company also recently finished work on a video studio, and are now recording numerous videos there, says Philipp Ostrop, Head of Product Development at Lensing.

“We didn’t have too much time yet to deal with all the details of the new studio and the technical possibilities. That’s why we learn on the job – and sometimes live in front of the camera,” – Philipp Ostrop, Lensing Media

In addition to their daily local newsletters, he said that Lensing has launched a coronavirus newsletter. “The focus is on the situation in our region with, of course, also the information about the overall situation in Germany and around the world,” Ostrop said.

“We also send this new coronavirus newsletter to the recipients of the other local newsletters because the need for information is so big. The readers appreciate that. The opening rates are usually way over 50 percent.”

“Right now we’re teaming up with two local radio stations to launch a regional daily coronavirus podcast. It should not be about medical matters (there are already some popular podcasts in Germany), but about everyday life in times of coronavirus in our region.”

Join our webinar on 19 March

Sign up now and join our 60-minute webinar this Thursday, 19 March, with key newsroom leaders to discuss strategies on how to manage staff and news production at this extraordinary moment.

Editors who have been at the front of the Coronavirus wave will share lessons and insights that go beyond encouraging your journalists to work from home.

What should you be doing in anticipation of an extended disruption?

On the panel:

  • Warren Fernandez, Editor in Chief, The Straits Times, Singapore
  • Brian Rhoads, Managing Editor, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong
  • Robyn Tomlin, Executive Editor, The News & Observer and the Durham Herald-Sun, USA
  • Chair: Dmitry Shishkin, Chief Content Officer, Culture Trip, UK

This webinar is a free service to members of our communities. Pre-registration is necessary.

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