Massachusetts newspapers are hurting. That includes us here at the Sun and the Sentinel and Enterprise.
The coronavirus pandemic has torpedoed print circulation for lots of newspapers, especially when it comes to single-copy sales. It only makes sense. Many readers do not want to risk running out to a store to pick up a copy of the paper if it means possible exposure to Covid-19. While our articles are available online and the information is up-to-the minute, many prefer the printed article over alternatives and others do not have easy access to the internet.
In addition, advertising has been deeply impacted because businesses are hurting. Just when the people’s entrepreneurial spirit and hard work was producing success after success in cities like Lowell and Fitchburg and Dracut and Leominster, the Black Swan event of the pandemic tragically devastated the marketplace.
Like many businesses struggling in these tumultuous times, we’ve had to make painful cuts and adapt to the 2020 pandemic reality.
We are down. But we are not out. Far from it.
Our reporters and editors have never worked harder to bring our readers the news and information they need. Hours are longer, Covid restrictions make reporting more difficult, and we face the same health risks as everyone else; but this extraordinary occasion is not the time to shrink from a challenge. It is the time to rise to a challenge.
Many years ago, our papers entered into an unspoken trust with our readers that in exchange for their loyal support we would deliver the news and information they wanted and needed and we would never stop. Through two world wars, natural disasters, depressions and recessions, health pandemics and whatever else life threw at our communities, we stood right there with them.
And we continue to today.
Circulation may go up and down and new technologies will continue to pose challenges to traditional news outfits like ours but we are blessed with something that cannot be duplicated in Silicon Valley: We are part of the community. Our journalists walk these streets with you, dig themselves out of the snow right alongside you and know many of the same people you do who have been tragically affected by the pandemic.
Right now our reporters are out there – wearing masks just like you – looking to tell your stories to our readership. They are out there keeping tabs on city and town governments because you trust us to. We will investigate the crime, report on what sports there are and speak to health officials every week so that we might be able to have the pleasure one day soon of informing you that we’ve turned a blessed corner.
In the meantime we will continue our partnership with the communities we serve.
Readers, we will bring you the news and information you need. If you think we are missing something or want us to cover an event, let us know and we’ll get on it. We’ll publish your letters whenever possible and we welcome OpEd contributions.
Businesses, we will work with you to craft and execute advertising opportunities designed to get the utmost value for your investment – we know that budgets have taken a beating and we’ve got options for you.
This has been a tough year, to say the least. We’ve lost more than ten thousand people to the coronavirus in the commonwealth. Many of these folks were familiar faces. They said hello in the morning when they grabbed a coffee and the paper. We ran into them at the supermarket hunting for last-minute fixings for Thanksgiving. We celebrated at their weddings, watched the big game with them at bars and clapped for them as they walked in parades. We will never forget them. They were and always will be part of our community.
We are proud to be a part of this community and will never stop making good on our part of that unspoken trust, as long as you’ll have us.
Tom Shattuck – Senior Editor Tshattuck@lowellsun.comKevin Corrado – Publisher kcorrado.medianewsgroup.com