Just like many other businesses across the globe, we at The Leader have been affected by COVID-19. Early on, we made some cost-saving adjustments to help us ride out this storm. We cut two sales positions, and we are working without an editor for the time being.
We continue working at our desks, abiding by the 6-feet-apart rule, while also wearing masks. We have closed our office to the public and are relying on technology to communicate with the public.
You might have noticed The Leader has only been running an A-section over the past few weeks. Our Arts & Entertainment section, which was our B section, has been folded into our A section. We plan to bring back the Arts & Entertainment section once businesses start opening up.
I look at every single expense that comes across my desk, analyze it, and ask myself if this is a necessity to keep our paper running. One of the most important and visible changes we’ve made is to our website. We have tweaked a few things, and we are posting daily to help keep people updated in real time.
We still save columns and articles for the weekly print edition and post those stories every Wednesday morning, but information about COVID-19, breaking news and information or announcements that need to reach the community immediately are posted daily.
I believe strongly in community journalism–it is the backbone of a strong democracy and, in many cases, the heartbeat of small towns. I know I speak for all of my staff members when I say thank you for your support, whether you have a weekly print or online subscription, or purchase The Leader at a news rack. Your support is greatly appreciated.
We want to continue to keep the folks of Jefferson County informed. Purchasing a subscription to The Leader helps ensure your community newspaper weathers this storm. We also know many local businesses are being hit hard by a severe contraction in economic activity. Every little bit of support will help them.
This pandemic is temporary, and we know the world will open back up. Until then, we need to ask ourselves, “What will the new normal look like?” What changes will we make to ensure the longevity and viability of our community?
If a lot of us do a little, together we can withstand this crisis.
(Donna Etchey is the publisher of the Port Townsend and Jefferson County Leader.)