There are not many among us whose lives have not been impacted in one way or another by the COVID-19 pandemic. This virus, that seemed so far away just months ago, is now here in the Lakelands, and everyone is being asked to do their part to help minimize the health implications it could bring. The ripple effects have been tremendous. We are all being asked to vastly alter our normal routines of work, education, worship, shopping and socializing. Our newspaper has reported on a number of local businesses — many of which have been longtime advertisers with us — that have had to shutter their doors and send employees home for the unforeseeable future because of mandated closures. The amount of uncertainty is taking a toll on many of us.
In our 101 years of providing news and information to this community, thanks to support from local advertisers and subscribers, the Index-Journal has withstood the country being at war, as well as significant economic downturns, and we intend to withstand this current crisis. But surviving will mean altering the way we do business.
Thanks to technology, many of our employees are able to work from home, while others must still come into the office at 610 Phoenix St. each day. Much of our business, from conducting interviews and communicating with subscribers, to advertising sales, has been taking place over the phone and through email. We are able to quickly disseminate news and information to the community through the internet. We’ve been posting articles and updates non-stop to our website and sharing them to social media in an effort to give readers the most up-to-date information regarding the coronavirus — for free, as a community service, even for non-subscribers.
In this time of uncertainty, newspaper advertising revenue has been significantly affected across the country. The Index-Journal is not immune. As we weather this storm, all full-time Index-Journal employees will be temporarily furloughed 4 hours per week. Additionally, in order to maintain our current staffing levels and maintain our commitment to providing the Lakelands with the news and information it needs, beginning April 4, the Saturday and Monday editions of Index-Journal will be distributed exclusively in a digital format.
What does this mean for our subscribers? It means you will still receive your daily copy of the Index-Journal in its entirety on Saturdays and Mondays; however, it will be delivered to your email address, and you can read if from any internet-connected smartphone, tablet or computer. Many home delivery subscribers, who also subscribe to our e-edition, have been accustomed to the convenience of reading their morning newspaper before even getting out of bed in the morning. The emailed version of the Index-Journal that will be delivered to our traditional home delivery subscribers will be similar to the e-edition, but without some added enhancements that e-edition subscribers enjoy.
In order to make this transition to digital-only Saturday and Monday editions, all home delivery subscribers should submit their email addresses to our Circulation Department by April 1. Please send an email to email@example.com with the subscriber’s name, delivery address, phone number and email address. You will receive an email that will link you to the newspaper’s pages in a digital PDF format.
These changes are not being made lightly and we hope they will be short-term. Our newsroom has reported a number of heart-warming stories recently about people in our community coming together to support one another and to support locally-owned businesses during these unprecedented times. We know our community is resilient, and we ask for your support as your local newspaper weathers this storm with you. And please, by all means, be in touch with us — safely, of course — to make us aware of stories we might share, especially if they show how well the community is working together during these troubled times. Follow and message us on Facebook or via email and phone.