An Ontario, Canada news group is making information more accessible throughout the pandemic.
While print readership was already shrinking, the COVID-19 pandemic crisis caused it to rapidly plummet, inspiring a QR code newspaper option for contactless local news.
The goal of the quick response codes was to direct readers to digital options without the need for print.
The Barrie, Ontario, Canada QR code newspaper scan provides readers simple and rapid access to important news and updates regarding COVID-19 and many more local topics that are relevant to the papers’ communities, explained Metroland, Simcoe County editor-in-chief Lori Martin.
Martin recognized that the local weekly newspaper publication “may have shrunk” in its printed form, its website has been increasing in size. “Our reporters are adding new content throughout the day – including breaking news, the latest COVID numbers crime coverage, weather alerts and more.”
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The QR code newspaper barcode ensures the local community can easily access the digital publication.
The quick response barcodes direct readers to relevant website pages where they can discover more information about a given topic. This can include additional articles, updates to articles in ongoing stories, photo galleries, and videos. At the moment, this is particularly important because it provide local COVID-19 case number updates and any changes to official prevention and protection instructions.
To Martin, “It’s all about trust.” The new QR code newspaper option builds on the paper’s relationship with its readers, offering “transparency, honesty and integrity.” The barcodes are meant to help the paper – and its readers – to overcome what Martin refers to as the “paradox of the pandemic”.
This paradox involves a higher than ever need for quality local news, coinciding with a time in which advertising revenue has hit an all-time low. This real-life-to-digital strategy helps to show readers just how important their local paper is to receiving the information they need through features they may not have previously known were available. At the same time, it allows them to support their local online news resources.