From the publisher: Want to support local journalism? Here’s how
An old boss of mine used to say, “We are a business with a purpose … but we need the business to support the purpose.” Our editor, Nate Peterson, also reminded me the other morning that we are the only business that is mentioned in the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Two weeks ago, I wrote that I see the Vail Daily being in the service business, not the newspaper business. We are here to serve our staff, readers, local businesses and community organizations. This is especially true in times like the present.
A local media company is important to a community in good times and even more so in difficult times. There is a hunger for accurate information about the COVID-19 crisis and for other things happening around the valley. We have seen our digital audience quadruple and even quintuple. While we are printing fewer papers, they are being picked up and read at a high rate. We continue to publish listings everyday of local businesses that are open. We are trying to do everything possible to support our local business community.
Our community has been through tough times before, but never like this. People are suffering. Local businesses are suffering. As a business 100% supported by advertising, we are suffering. Most companies have been forced into layoffs, furloughs, reductions in pay and hours, and elimination of some benefits. So have we.
Yet, we are even more committed now to tell the stories our audiences cannot get anywhere else. As I write this, I am reading our Saturday paper which includes staff pieces on the incredible work being done by MIRA bus staffers, Vail’s efforts to pursue emergency fencing for its bighorn sheep, COVID-19 home safety, Minturn Town Council candidate profiles, a new VBC beer called Social Distancing Hazy IPA and Blue Plate in Avon turning its dining room into plant growing nursery. Our columnists and the community also contributed: a great column by T.J. Voboril, a community update from Heath Harmon, the director of Eagle County Public Health and Environment, and letters to the editor about increasing COVID-19 antibody testing and an important message from Vail Mountain Rescue Group. Finally, in Dear Abby, a retail worker pleads for customers to return carts and nest them in the parking lot space. I’m sure our local grocery store workers doing so much to help keep us nourished will appreciate that advice.
Some of you have reached out to say, “How can I help?” We are thankful for your story ideas, feedback and support. We encourage you to patronize the businesses that advertise with the Vail Daily and let them know you are there in response to their advertising. We are also for the first time asking readers to consider financial support. Think NPR. Now more than ever, reader support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally.
Yes, the Vail Daily is part of a larger organization, but the truth of the matter is that we are a family-owned company with fewer than 350 employees. Most of our sister papers and operations employ fewer than 25 people, just like our operation based out of EagleVail.
Any contribution, large or small, will make a difference. Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news by ensuring we are able to meet our payroll obligations to keep local journalists working.
We have added a “donate” button to the main navigation bar on vaildaily.com. You will also see donation link within article pages (or you can go to vaildaily.com/donate).
As always, we are open to your story ideas, content contributions and critiques on what we can do better to serve our community.
Finally, let’s continue to heed the guidelines of our national, state and local leaders around physical distancing so we can navigate through this turbulent time as quickly as possible and get back to what we do best: enjoying our mountain lifestyle, delivering great experiences to our guests and continuing to take care of each other.
Thanks for reading the Vail Daily.
Mark Wurzer is the publisher of the Vail Daily. Email him at email@example.com.