Editor’s note: We’re lifting our pay meter for COVID-19 articles, but we need your support

  • Dusty Christensen, a reporter at the Daily Hampshire Gazette, during an interview concerning the COVID-19 virus. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Dusty Christensen, a reporter at the Daily Hampshire Gazette, during an interview concerning the COVID-19 virus. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS 

Editor in chief
Published: 3/12/2020 11:41:47 AM

Dear readers,

As journalists, our job is to keep the public informed, and as of Thursday, March 12, we have lifted our pay meter for all Daily Hampshire Gazette articles related to COVID-19 so that, whether you are a subscriber or not, you can access essential local reporting about community response to the novel coronavirus in the Pioneer Valley. We are intent on preventing not only the spread of the virus — but also the spread of misinformation. As such, we are investing more time and resources into our coronavirus coverage.

Over the past week, all of our reporters — in our news, features and sports departments — have filed stories about the effects of the virus and preparations for it on cities and towns, hospitals, colleges and public schools, businesses and workers, sports, social relationships and more, and we will continue to do so.

As of Thursday, we’ve also decided to dedicate a full-time reporter, Dusty Christensen, to a COVID-19 beat to cover daily news related to the virus as well as to look at the bigger picture.

We know, like us, you are filled with questions, and we welcome both questions and tips at 413-584-5000 and at dhgnews@gazettenet.com; you can also reach out to Dusty Christensen directly at dchristensen@gazettenet.com or 413-585-5252.

Although we will provide our COVID-19 reporting free of charge for the time being, please understand that quality journalism is not free to produce, and unlike other larger publications that are also offering free access to coronavirus coverage, such as The New York Times, we are a smaller operation with more limited means; our livelihood is dependent on the support of both subscribers and advertisers.

With the wave of college cancellations this past week, businesses around the Valley will take a financial hit — and we will be no exception. As social distancing becomes the new normal, at least for a time, many restaurants, stores and service providers will lose customers and revenue; in turn, we anticipate losing ad revenue as business owners adapt to this reality.

It’s also likely that the pandemic will alter how we work and deliver the news to you. We will keep you posted about any changes to production and distribution, such as late delivery, and our customer service team will help readers access our news online and via our e-edition, available through our app, which may be downloaded onto your personal device of choice. Both our website and app will keep you up to date about the latest COVID-19 developments in our area.

“Regardless of your preferred platform, we are committed to continuing uninterrupted publishing throughout this crisis,” says Gazette Publisher Michael Moses. “Technology has allowed us to enjoy multiple delivery channels for the quality of news and information that you, our readers, have depended on since our founding in 1786.”

We believe it is our mission to get this crucial public health information out to as many people as possible in our coverage area. For us, this is part of the social contract, along with protecting the most vulnerable in our communities by following guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Please help us in this enormously important effort. It is more important than ever that we gain new subscribers. Visitors to our website at gazettenet.com can access seven articles for free before registering to receive three more. While you’re there, consider subscribing for print, online and e-edition access for yourself or for a friend. For subscription help, you also can call 413-586-1925 or email circulation@gazettenet.com.

Other ways you can support us: “Like” us on Facebook at Facebook.com/DailyHampshireGazette. Follow us on Twitter @DailyHampGaz. Download our mobile app. Subscribe to our newsletters.

“The resilience, kindness, and selflessness of our community have allowed us to rally through many difficult moments,” Moses says. “This is another such moment — for Hampshire, Hampden and Franklin counties, for the Pioneer Valley, for the country, and for the world — one where we will again rely on these great strengths of character.”

We wish journalism could be free, but it isn’t. Please invest in us. We are investing in — and counting on — you.

Brooke Hauser can be reached at bhauser@gazettenet.com. 




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