How publishers are innovating with content, experiences during the pandemic

By Grzegorz Piechota

INMA

Oxford, United Kingdom

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News media companies are proving how innovative they can be during the most challenging of times.

The New York Times

For some publishers, live events used to be million-dollar businesses with sponsors and ticket sales. For others, events were mostly channels to engage and reward readers. For The New York Times they were both.

When the United States went into the lockdown, The Times had no choice but to convert all its live events into online. Last week, it held 12 events on Zoom or up to three events in a day. The most popular topics: lifestyle, business, and science. Check the schedule for this week.

The Times plans to keep the events virtual until the end of June. What’s next? “For something like our food festival, later this year, we’re thinking about how comfortable people will be in large settings,” said Sebastian Tomich, global head of advertising at The Times. “Do we need to do a hybrid virtual and physical event?” 

VG

With 1 million page views in a country of 5 million people, an online coronavirus symptom test has become a traffic success for Norwegian news site VG.

The test is based on the patient interview guidelines developed by the Swedish healthcare administration for the Stockholm region, and its quality is assured by the Norwegian Directorate of Health. The project illustrates how to reach new audiences, including migrants.

Responding to the demand, VG has translated the test to nine languages spoken in Norway such as Arabic, Polish, Filipino, or Somali. Try the test here.  

Gazeta Wyborcza

Looking for a new idea for a podcast? Poland’s Gazeta Wyborcza made my weekend with its newly released soundtracks of rare wetland birds living in Biebrza, one of its natural reserves.

Staying at home for the past few weeks, I love to try to guess what is out there singing in the marshes. Is it a nightingale? Check for yourself.  

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