New INMA report highlights 33 COVID community engagement case studies

By Dawn McMullan


Dallas, Texas, USA


In the midst of a rapidly changing pandemic and upended workplaces, publishers created unprecedented ways to engage their communities. Innovating daily, news media companies around the world delivered what readers were looking for and shifted each time those needs shifted, according to a new report released today by the International News Media Association (INMA). 

“What a Pandemic Taught Media About Community Engagement” shines a spotlight on the ground-level efforts by news publishers to navigate the COVID crisis. The ways in which they proved and exploited content’s versatility are demonstrated in case studies from 33 news media companies in 14 countries. 

The report, free to INMA members, features case studies from 33 publishers in 14 countries.
The report, free to INMA members, features case studies from 33 publishers in 14 countries.

The report looks at detailed examples of how these publishers engaged their communities through:

  • Engaging content.
  • Educational content.
  • Outreach for and to advertisers.
  • Virtual events.
  • Philanthropy.
  • Positive news.

“What a Pandemic Taught Media About Community Engagement” is based on entries to INMA’s Global Media Awards competition’s special category “Best Initiative In Response to COVID-19.” These case studies give a glimpse into the worldwide response from news media companies to the audience needs sparked by the pandemic and lockdowns.

INMA Editor Paula Felps spent hours with the 98 Global Media Awards entries, culling them to a 92-page report. 

“I can’t say enough about the trust, innovation, and agility projected in these COVID campaigns,” INMA CEO/Executive Director Earl J. Wilkinson said. “We believe the industry effort in this historic time is worth the breadth of the report.” 

INMA has compiled the case studies to honour the work done, to give context to where the industry sits now, and to inspire news media companies on what they must do to be successful in the next phases of the crisis. 

Companies featured in the report include The Big Issue, BILD, Chattanooga Times, CNN, Daily Star, Dainik Bhaskar, De Standaard, Ekstra Bladet, Gannett, The Globe and Mail, Hanza Media, The Hindu Group, Hindustan, HLN, IGC, IMS Property360, Jagran New Media LNP | LancasterOnline, Mediahuis, Mediafin, Newsday, NWZ Mediengruppe, Press Democrat, Russmedia, Singapore Press Holdings, Sydney Morning Herald, The Telegraph, ThePrint, Times of India, Upsala Nya Tidning, Vocento, Winnipeg Free Press, and Yahoo. 

“What a Pandemic Taught Media About Community Engagement” is available for free to INMA members and available to non-members for US$795, which includes one year of association membership, all strategic reports, Webinars, and access to all INMA content and peer connection tools.

The report, free to INMA members, can be downloaded or purchased at See all INMA’s reports here.

About Dawn McMullan

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