came across an article in The Atlantic magazine Thursday morning detailing the struggles of local newsrooms as businesses, large and small, cancel their ads during the coronavirus crisis shutdown.
The first paragraph suggested three steps readers should take during the crisis:
“Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. And buy a subscription to your local newspaper.”
I’ve used this space to make a similar request often in the past. I need to make it again.
That struggle is real.
The need for community support for this newsroom and others like it across the nation could not be more urgent.
We continue to publish a full print edition chock full of local news focused on important coronavirus information seven days a week.
We update our website on a near 24/7 basis.
We have reporters and editors working long hours and perhaps risking their own health to provide the vital information Valley people need.
In Thursday’s print edition alone, there were 25 local bylined stories, just about all of which were related to the virus crisis.
We have made it possible for residents to access all our coronavirus stories even if they are not subscribers. All they have to do is go to our website, hover over the subscribe button and click on newsletters. If you sign up for either the breaking news or the coronavirus newsletters, then, all of our heavily local coronavirus content will be sent to the email address that you provide free of charge.
We do that as a public service.
What we really need people who are not currently subscribers to do is to go to that subscribe button on the web site and actually SUBSCRIBE.
Last week two Valley newspapers reduced their print publication schedule to three days a week.
It’s not hard to understand why.
Page through the average daily edition and you’ll see fewer and fewer ads.
Our Thursday edition (with those 25 local bylined stories) usually would have also had a half dozen or so advertiser inserts. This week, there was one. (Thank you Giant Company). We have no plans to reduce our print publication schedule, and hopefully, we won’t have to.
But we are a business. Reporters and editors and pressmen and ad salespeople and everyone else who works here need to get paid.
Even before the coronavirus outbreak, subscriptions were becoming an increasingly important part of making this business work.
Some of the most important information people need in this crisis is very local.
Which school districts are still providing meals to students who normally receive them during the school day?
Which restaurants are open for delivery or pickup?
Which public institutions are open or closed?
Where can people whose addition or other self-help agencies have closed continue to get help?
And of course, how many cases of the virus have been confirmed in our local communities.
All of that news and so much more is available every day in our print edition and online at our website.
We want to keep delivering it to you every day.
We need your help to do that.
So please, go wash your hands, touch your keyboard instead of your face and subscribe.
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