Don’t miss The i newspaper’s piece about new media coverage of coronavirus coverage this week. Pointing to the record traffic news websites are seeing since lockdown, Ian Burrell singled out UnHerd for its willingness to “challenge simplistic headlines with nuance and context”:
UnHerd pieces can run to 2,000 words. A piece by Freddie Sayers on Sweden’s approach to quarantine hedged its bets under the headline “Jury still out on Swedish coronavirus strategy” but still attracted high traffic. Sayers presents Lockdown TV, UnHerd’s YouTube channel, which had 2.2 million views in the past month for lengthy videos including a 36-minute interview with epidemiologist Neil Ferguson, before his recent resignation.
This approach to digital journalism is counter to the notion that only extreme views can generate traffic. “Polemic for me is the last thing that readers want at the moment,” says Chatterton. “They come for the science and a clear-eyed, critical look at these issues.”