The year 2020 brought with it an unprecedented challenge in the form of the COVID-19 global pandemic. By mid-March, the pandemic had set a firm foot in the world’s second-most populous country, India. With a population of over 1.3 billion people, there was no doubt India needed to act swiftly and smartly to avoid huge casualties.
During such a crisis, the role of media becomes even more important and needs to be performed with great responsibility. Rumour mongering becomes common, so it is very important to share credible updates with the people and help them protect themselves.
Dainik Jagran Inext, with its presence in India’s largest Hindi-speaking market and its wide reach across 12 cities in four key states of India, realised the gravity of the situation and drafted a plan to help protect public health during this crisis. Even with the rise in digital media in India, newspapers are still considered one of the most credible sources that present facts and do not sell sensationalism.
However, a newspaper reaches a person only once a day and, in the face of a health crisis as big as COVID-19, we wanted to ensure that we interacted with our audience via real-time updates. That gave birth to our campaign, “Live Updates — It’s time” to read credible news through your ears.
To bring credible updates to our readers in real time, Dainik Jagran Inext partnered with Radio City in this first-of-its-kind initiative. As a part of this campaign, we shared live updates regarding COVID-19 every day at a designated time. Along with the radio jockey, one of our senior editorial colleagues with first-hand knowledge of what was happening on the ground narrated this special segment for the audience.
The key here was to not just tell people about what was happening in their city, but also to make them aware of safe practices and ensure they did not underestimate the threat of the virus.
The concept became an instant hit and millions of people tuned in to the radio channel every evening to understand how they could contribute in the nation’s fight against coronavirus. While sharing local news on radio is done regularly, it had never been done with the objective of keeping people aware and informed via live updates from across the town.
We received positive reviews from many of our listeners via e-mail, WhatsApp, and social media channels. The chemistry between the RJ and the senior editor of a newspaper was also quite unique and liked by the listeners.
The concept was a successful experiment and was educational for all the stakeholders involved. Firstly, we understood that execution of such a concept is the key as two of the biggest forms of traditional media, print and radio, combined on one platform.
Secondly, audience centricity was the central focus of the initiative. The daily content kept the people and their concerns regarding the virus at the center. The goal was to spread awareness and make people realise the magnitude of danger, as many were not taking it very seriously in the initial days.
The campaign strengthened India’s fight against the pandemic and we were happy to play a small part in it by keeping millions aware of the situation.
Banner image by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels.