Football journalists face pressure to retain audience connection in pandemic


Football reporters in Birmingham have spoken of the importance in maintaining fan connection during the pandemic.

Staff at Reach PLC found new ways to keep in touch with supporters during the COVID-19 crisis, as lockdown restrictions were put in place across the UK.

Richard Cusack and Amie Wilson revealed they had to adapt to working from home, rather than in newsrooms.

The Government said they are open to delaying lockdown’s end date, due to fears of an Indian COVID variant.

In the meantime, sports journalists are continuing to work from home, with stadiums now reopening to fans following closures due to safety measures.

Football writer Richard Cusack explained how COVID-19 highlighted the importance of keeping fans engaged and connected.

“The industry has become even more integral in keeping that sacrosanct connection between supporters and their clubs given the fact that they could not go to matches,” Cusack said. “The big stories require a cool head – in the digital world we live in, the story is always moving.”

Richard Cusack – Midlands football writer

With Birmingham set to lift lockdown restrictions on June 21, Amie Wilson said: “There are days when you can’t plan for what is going to happen, and you just have to work with the team to cover every angle that you can.

Amie Wilson – Football Writer/Midlands Reach PLC

“At the very start of the pandemic where football was suspended, it made it a lot quieter. We had to come up with creative ways of still engaging our audience without any action on the pitch.

“In some ways [now]it is slightly easier [finding interviewees], and Zoom calls come to the rescue. It gives you more time to plan things out too. Working from home is due to be a far more regular thing.”

No announcements have been made as to whether the lockdown roadmap will be re-scheduled, despite concerns over an Indian COVID variant. The Government are ready to delay the lockdown end date if necessary.


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