This is a crazy time right now.
When we look back on it in a decade, we’ll talk about how quickly it all came on. One day I farewelled my colleagues to take two weeks off to (luckily & gratefully) get married to my husband, and the next I returned to an empty, surreal office to pack up my desk and greet my friends, colleagues and family via stuttering Zoom calls from a makeshift home office.
Right now, billions of people all over the world are being told to stay inside their houses to limit our movements and the spread of COVID-19. It is simply unprecedented, and we’re all trying to figure out what this new world order looks like.
When we all emerge from our homes – in a few weeks or months – the world will be unmistakably different. What we all care about most right now is getting to that point, and making the time we spend insides our houses and apartments with our partners, flatmates family – or even by ourselves – as good as it can be.
It is in important moments like this that the responsibility that media companies have in informing, educating and entertaining audiences sharpens into focus. In just a few weeks, the world has changed so much, and we need to change with it.
That’s why today we’re announcing that we will be rebranding our travel title AWOL to ‘Activities Without Leaving’. We are going to dedicate all of our staff, time and resources to helping you get through this as best that we can. The new special edition of AWOL, Activities Without Leaving, will focus on things you can do inside your house during the week, at weeknights, weekends, date nights and special times. We’re aiming to give you all of the tools to keep yourself busy and productive mentally, physically and socially without ever leaving your house.
We’ll show you how to upskill, like learning how to use Photoshop to how to speak a new language. We’ll guide to through ways to make your day better, like the best ways to exercise at home, master cooking or even reset your skin now you’re wearing less makeup. We will support as many small businesses during this time who have had to suddenly change to face a new reality like restaurants, bars and everything – and we’ll give you endless suggestions of activities you can do inside your living room.
During this time, we’re also going to continue to support the travel industry that we’re an important part of, giving as much space as we can to all of the initiatives launched to keep their industry alive through this period. We’ve got an ace AWOL team on board, including new Editor Kassia Byrnes, Channel Director of Travel Cassandra Vozzo, Managing Editor Rob Stott and Staff Writer Alana Young. You can reach out to the team at [email protected]
As a business we will be using the full power and reach of Junkee Media and our parent company, oOh!media to amplify our messages, not just online and on social, but out into the real world using our national out-of-home network. Although we’ll be spending less time outdoors for a short period, every time you leave the house to get food or any other essential service, we’ll be delivering some of AWOL’s most important messages in retail and shopping centres.
As we pivot AWOL to its new purpose, we will also work with progressive brands who are also trying to figure out how to actually help people get through this moment, so reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re a marketer who wants to go on this uncharted, new journey with us.
Across our whole Junkee Media network, our flagship news title Junkee will educate, translate, inform, debunk and cover all angles of COVID-19 for millennials and Gen Z, as well as continue to help navigate all of the entertainment options for the next few months on our couches. And Punkee will provide a welcome distraction from it all because we all need to switch off every now and again.
Let’s be real: the next few months are going to be a shitty time for many people, so we’re really going to do everything we can to maybe try to help make it a bit better. Together, we’ve got this.
And when we start reopening society again little bit little, our focus will expand on activities you can do with leaving your suburb, region, state and country. One day, our borders will re–open and the world will restart and AWOL will once again be a trusty guide to all of the amazing wonders of travel. Until then, we hope you can find some comfort, and maybe even a little joy, in the breadth of all the activities we can do without leaving.
Tim Duggan is the Publisher and Co-Founder of Junkee Media.