Britain’s biggest newspaper publishers have come together to extend the existing Deliver My Newspaper, Home News Delivery initiative as government advice on the Coronavirus crisis escalates.

As the government advises that all over the age of 70 and those with underlying medical conditions should stay at home for 12 weeks, the news industry has come together to ensure that every national newspaper is available for Home News Delivery. All national newspapers are offering between 6-12 weeks free home delivery, paid for by the publisher.

In Italy, where the country is in lock down, newspapers have been given special status as Primary Instruments of Democracy, to help inform the public on the ongoing state of national emergency. In the UK the current situation has already seen readers turn sharply to Home News Delivery as readers prepare for lockdown.

Reach is the newest publisher to join the initiative which means that all national newspapers are now available for HND including The Sun, The Times, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Mirror, The Express, The Daily Record, The Guardian, The i, The Scotsman and The Star. Many local newspapers have teamed up separately to offer free Home News Delivery to readers through targeted retailers, with Newsquest running a local HND scheme.

During business as usual, Home News Delivery is a way for retailers to enhance relationships with customers, offer different services to houses already being visited and offer a valuable service to an older audience who may not be able to visit the store regularly. During the coronavirus crisis, HND will become a vital public service to reach people in social isolation – particularly older people to give them access to a range of daily content including expert advice, clear information on unfolding events, content to engage with including puzzles and crosswords and familiar voices amongst the chaos.

Newspapers have a vital role to play to inform and educate readers, to clearly communicate advice and hold the government’s policies to account. Over recent days publishers have included key Coronavirus pull outs, advice on self isolating, explaining symptoms, how to help others and analysis of all the latest government advice, whilst reporting the latest news from the front line as it unfolds around the world.

Publishers are also collaborating to do everything they can to get editions to the printers earlier so they can get to wholesalers sooner to ease the supply chain.

NFRN President Stuart Reddish said:

“Supermarkets are under increasing pressure from customers and independent retailers must play their part in both feeding and informing the nation. Through HND independents will not just be opening an important new revenue opportunity at a time of business uncertainty but undertaking a vital public service for the over 70s, those self isolating and the most vulnerable in our society. You are key to providing newspapers to inform, educate and entertain those isolated at this unprecedented time. I know you can do it.”

News Media Association chief executive David Newell said:

“The role of newspapers in this unprecedented time of national upheaval is to inform and advise readers on how to stay safe with considered analysis of the latest developments. Their pages will be important in guiding the country through this crisis and providing vital content for both those isolated at home and working across the country. Thank you to all retailers for all you are doing for the country at this difficult time.”