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Arizona Newspapers Association, COVID-19 updates for newspapers

We all feel the uncertainty right now, and with that comes the reminder of how important Arizona newspapers are to the health and welfare of our communities.

I know many of you already have systems and contingencies in place to work through the growing concerns around COVID-19. The ANA is offering the checklist below with guidance built specifically for our industry and built specifically for the needs of Arizona.

1) PROTECTING STAFF: Many newspapers now have temporary policies in place to limit public visitors. Those same policies call for enhanced building disinfecting. The goal is to minimize the risk of infection, to protect the people that keep the newspapers running, and to keep facilities open so that operations aren’t interrupted. This document from the Arizona Department of Health is a sample staff-letter about hygiene. If you haven’t reviewed a change in these policies, consider giving them new thought.

2) STAFF WORK: News reporting and ad sales are tough businesses to migrate to “work from home” mode, but the ANA encourages publishers to start thinking about who can complete their duties remotely. Health experts confirm that home work could minimize infection and allow parents to take care of children who are now staying home from school.

3) DESIGNATING NEWS PUBLISHING AS ESSENTIAL BUSINESS: ANA has requested that Governor Ducey’s office to identify newspapers as an essential business to provide health information to our readers across all platforms. We’ll update you if there are any of any changes to the “essential services” designation.

4) PUBLIC COMMUNICATION: We are living in a time of rattled nerves, quick-changing developments and a hunger for trusted information. The ANA encourages every Arizona newspaper to keep their audiences informed on all platforms. These are the moments where Arizona audiences need local media most. There are two public health sources worth bookmarking: Arizona Department of Health Services Updates I CDC National Updates.

6) PHYSICAL CONTINGENCY PLAN: It’s important that you have a physical contingency plan in place should you need to close your facility because of a virus outbreak in the building. In-market partnerships with other publishers to support each other with possible agreements to print members newspapers if the need arises.

7) ANA members sales ideas:
The Payson Roundup is offering a “Support Local Business” ads Highlighting open for business. They have commitments for 12-14 restaurants offering pick-up and free delivery services. 
Yuma Sun is selling 2×2 ads to support local businesses.  The ads encourage readers to buy gift cards from restaurants and also highlighting doctors’ offices and income tax businesses.
Wickenburg Sun sales representatives are using templates (click link to download the templates) to help businesses get the word out as to reduced hours, delivery service, etc.

As Arizona Newspapers Association, we are our own family in times of uncertainty. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any need, big or small. We’re looking for ideas and will be sharing best practices to help make all our businesses thrive. 


Tim Thomas
Arizona Newspapers Association
Executive Director
(602) 261-7655, x102