From the publisher: We’re working to serve our community as we combat coronavirus spread
Good day, Vail Daily readers. A lot has changed in five days. We are in uncharted waters as we navigate together through the coronavirus crisis.
When I am out in the community, I’m often asked, “how is the newspaper business today?” My reply is that I don’t view the Vail Daily being in the newspaper business. We are in the service business. We serve our staff, our readers, our advertisers, our community organizations and the community at large. Most of us got in this business because we believe that what we do makes a difference in our community … and what we do makes an even bigger difference during a difficult time.
Here are some updates on where we are focused for the foreseeable future: I am proud of the work of our journalists, led by our editor Nate Peterson, to be a strong clearinghouse for accurate information about coronavirus and how do deal with what is happening. The communication between our staff and local and state health officials and other local stakeholders has been strong to help provide the most accurate and updated information on our website and in print.
We are breaking news continually online and updating stories as they unfold. We are seeing tremendous consumption of information on our website, with over 250,000 unique visitors this past Friday through Sunday. Our newspapers are being picked up at a high rate and there is a lot of engagement across our email and social media platforms.
We are encouraging constructive dialogue and idea-sharing across commentary platforms. There is a thirst for accurate and in-depth information on how to deal with this crisis. Going forward, we will continue to deliver breaking news online, updating the stories as they evolve and publishing in the paper and across our channels. We will also endeavor to find other stories around the valley on how to help fellow citizens, things you can do on your own and with your family, and profile businesses that are open. We know the community needs those human interest stories to provide some balance to the daily news. If you have any ideas let us know.
Local businesses are being hit hard. So are we with advertising cancellations. We serve our local businesses to help them grow. We are in the process of reaching out to every client to empathize and understand their situation and discuss how we can help, whatever the situation. We are in it for the long haul with our local businesses and want to do whatever we can to help get each one through the tough times.
Our distribution team is monitoring deliveries to assure we are moving papers to serve all readers. We are reducing circulation earlier than the normal shoulder season timing to respond to fewer people in the valley. We are also putting our visitor-oriented weekly paper, Everything Vail Weekly, on temporary hiatus until we get closer to the summer season. We are pushing back the summer edition of Vail Valley Magazine until mid-June to see how the situation plays out.
All of our content is available on our website, where you can also find the e-edition newspaper replica format. Subscribing to our daily curated newsletter, which is delivered to your inbox daily, along with breaking news alerts as they happen, is another good option to stay informed. You can go to the homepage of vaildaily.com and find the newsletter sign up box.
We are also imploring everyone in our community to take the direction of local and state health officials and do their part to slow the spread of this outbreak. The sooner and bolder we all work together to stem the tide, the sooner we will get through the choppy waters. You can get the lastest, up-to-date information on the virus at vaildaily.com/coronavirus/.
We have a dedicated staff of your neighbors who are working to serve. We want to be open and accessible to your ideas and critiques of how we can do better to serve our community at this difficult time. All of our staff emails and phone numbers are on the masthead in paper and on-line. You can also email me at email@example.com, Nate Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org and Holli Snyder, our ad director, at email@example.com.
Here is a hearty elbow bump to everyone in our community working together to get us through this challenging time.
Mark Wurzer is the publisher of the Vail Daily.