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How Reuters led coverage of the coronavirus around the world

Martin Pollard covering a police checkpoint on the outskirts of Hubei province

By Reuters Communications

Reuters had led global coverage of the coronavirus crisis during the last week, with contributions from bureaux worldwide providing material from 35 different countries and territories.

Clients commented on how Reuters global coverage stood out from the competition, with deeper reporting from more locations than rivals.

This is a story where speed is critical.

Reuters video journalist Martin Pollard and photographer Thomas Peter have been particularly at the forefront, amidst often challenging reporting conditions in China. They have needed to navigate a delicate path with Chinese government authorities in trying to report the story.

Martin Pollard describes the mixture of feelings he’s experienced when covering the coronavirus:

“It’s such a big story and it’s when you do these big stories, you’re reminded why you do this. It’s a tough job generally, and then you do a story like this and you realise ‘wow, people actually care about this.’

“It’s been exhausting. It’s a combination of not getting that much sleep, and being in contact with state security, the police, local government officials and so on.”

Martin goes on to say:” I’m not worried about getting coronavirus. I am reporting in a lot of places that have it. But I am generally a fit and healthy person. We’re taking every care and safety precaution we can. I’m just keen to report, and to report safely.

“But there is a lot of fear, especially on social media, everyone’s stuck at home now. At the same time a lot of members of their families are stopping them from going out. I feel for the people in Hubei. They’re stuck there.”

Having found the story and decided what angle to cover, Reuters journalists need to move as fast as possible getting it to market.

In the field, Martin uses a laptop computer to edit the material and then transmit it to Singapore for review.

A solid internet connection which will allow the fast transmission from the field, is worth its weight in gold – and can mean the difference between winning or losing on that part of the coverage.

Follow the latest on the coronavirus with Reuters: here

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[Reuters PR Blog Post]

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