Published: 11:00, 05 October 2020
| Updated: 13:18, 05 October 2020
Quality reporting during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has been commended by Her Majesty The Queen, as she congratulated those keeping the public informed at the start of Journalism Matters Week.
Covid-19 has proved an immense challenge for newsrooms across the country, as reporters and editors worked to keep their audiences in the know whilst supporting the communities around them.
From keeping people informed of updated guidance coming thick and fast from central government, to spotlighting those in the community going above and beyond to support their neighbours, 2020 has been a time when trusted reporting has arguably been more important than ever.
The Queen wrote: "On the occasion of the 2020 Journalism Matters Week, I am pleased to send my best wishes to the members of the News Media Association.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has once again demonstrated what an important public service the established news media provides, both nationally and regionally.
"As our world has changed dramatically, having trusted, reliable sources of information, particularly at a time when there are so many sources competing for our attention, is vital.
"The efforts of the news media to support communities throughout the United Kingdom during the pandemic have been invaluable – whether through fundraising, encouraging volunteering, or providing a lifeline for the elderly and vulnerable to the outside world.
"As you reflect on your achievements this year, and the challenges you have faced, I send my warm good wishes to you all for a most successful and memorable week."
Across our papers, website, kmfm and podcasts, we have sought to tell the stories that matter the most to people living in Kent.
When businesses were hit following the national lockdown, KentOnline ran the 'Open for Business' campaign , giving readers a comprehensive list of all of the companies still offering their services.
From plumbers to business advice and taxi services, the campaign helped small businesses reach new customers and keep the county moving during an unprecedented time.
Our coronavirus page kept readers across Kent up to date with every important detail connected with the pandemic, both locally and nationally.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has once again demonstrated what an important public service the established news media provides, both nationally and regionally..."
Through our daily podcasts we have provided the biggest stories of the day, from interviews with leading experts and people in living communities from Dover to Dartford.
Our dedicated memorium has been a staple on the site since the pandemic began, giving people the opportunity to pay tribute to loved ones who were lost to the virus.
Among those are nurses, parents, grandparents and pillars of the community.
It has been an honour that relatives across the county have chosen to speak to KentOnline about their loss.
Journalism Matters week runs from today (October 5) to October 11.
News Media Association (NMA) chairman Henry Faure Walker said: "In the news media industry, part of our job has been to help our readers make sense of these unprecedented events.
"We have reported on every twist and turn of the local and national lockdowns and kept you up to date with vital public health information.
"We have held power to account and robustly challenged the decision-makers on your behalf.
"Sometimes, our role has been to seek clarity amid confusion from the authorities, and toxic misinformation about coronavirus spread by bad actors on social media.
"It’s a role we take very seriously, and our journalists are better equipped than anyone else to do the job."