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COVID-19 Updates for Newspapers

ANA staff remains on remote-work status

Due to the rapidly growing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, the staff of Arizona Newspapers Association on March 18 began working remotely for at least the next two weeks. Staff will aim to avoid undue interruption in our operations and interactions with members and clients.

We made this page to keep you up to date on news and events affecting our members, the newspaper industry and the news media community during this time of concern and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Make sure to scroll down for announcements and resources as new information may be added as we follow national and local updates.

We are committed to continue our support and communications with ANA Members as they serve their communities and support their families. If you need to contact any staff member, please email us.

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

Message from ANA executive director
March 17, 2020
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.

Read the complete announcement.

From ANA director: CARES Act Summary, Paycheck Protection Program official guidance 
March 30

Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during these extremely difficult times. 

On Friday the president signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES ACT) into law.  The CARES Act provides historic stimulus for small businesses. Most importantly, a portion of the loans available can be forgiven – turning them into grants. Please read the CARES Act summary from the News Media Alliance

It is important that you are aware of the Paycheck Protection Program. You can also access the paycheck protection program through the following link from the Small Business administration. Read Tim’s entire message.

The Department of Labor has now issued its official guidance on how the new sick leave law will work
March 27
The Department of Labor has now issued its official guidance on how the new sick leave law will work.  Note that different benefits are mandated depending upon the reason an employee seeks the leave.
The program begins April 1. 

Casa Grande Dispatch among the 50 newsrooms getting $5K coronavirus-coverage grants from Facebook
Facebook Journalism Project
Announcing the first round of grants supporting local newsrooms’ coronavirus coverage
From TAPinto Newark and Richland Source to Santa Cruz Local and Madison365, Casa Grande Dispatch is among the fifty newsrooms getting $5K coronavirus coverage grants from Facebook. More winners will be announced in April.

Arizona governor issues executive order, explicitly lists newspapers as essential services
Arizona Newspapers Association
Arizona Publishers,

This afternoon, the governor issued a proactive executive order which now explicitly lists newspapers “essential services” in Arizona. This means you would be able to continue operations in the event of further restrictions on public movement.

No such restriction orders were issued in Arizona today,  but your teams should now have the confidence and legal standings necessary to continue their important work during this extraordinary time.

Please continue to reach out if we can help in any way.

Tim Thomas
Arizona Newspapers Association
1835 West Adams Street
Phoenix, AZ  85007

Alliance encourages census director to advertise online census option in newspapers
The News Media Alliance on Thursday sent a letter to U.S. Census Bureau Director Dr. Steven Dillingham, in light of his March 18 announcement that Census field operations would be temporarily suspended due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, encouraging him to advertise for the online completion of the 2020 Census. The letter specifically encouraged the Director to employ print and digital newspaper media, which reach millions of Americans every week, in this awareness effort. Read the full story.

Safety of Delivered Newspapers
The World Health Organization addresses the safety of packages and commercial goods in the following Q & A. The second to last question in this link: https://www.who.int/newsroom/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses explains the low risk of commercial products as a vector for the virus. According to the WHO, the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, traveled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.

RELATED: World Health Organization and industry experts confirm newspapers remain safe to handle
Society of Editors
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed that the receipt of newspapers carries no real risk of catching the Covid-19 virus.

The WHO has stated that the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low, and therefore the risk of contracting the Covid-19 virus through receipt of a newspaper is infinitely small.

Periodical Postal Permits and Public Notices
The United States Postal Service has advised the National Newspaper Association (NNA) that Periodical permits will not be revoked if a newspaper has to suspend a print issue during coronavirus quarantines.

According the NNA, “Technically, a change in publication frequency requires a change in the permit. But during this emergency, USPS says a letter to the postmaster of the entry office advising USPS of the newspaper’s revised publication plans will be sufficient. The letter should be updated as plans change.” 

Newsprint mills could reduce production capacity
March 2020 edition – Publisher’s Auxiliary

With almost daily announcements of changes in the newspaper industry, the resemblance to the action of a board game is uncanny. The newsprint market is in a similar state of flux, although the moves are less public.

The consensus is that the next move will be for one or more producers to permanently reduce newsprint production capacity this year. Read about it.

Podcast on the importance of having newspapers part of the “essential” businesses during the coronavirus crisis. 

Gordon Borrell Speaks One-on-One About Managing Through COVID-19

E&P Launches New Webinar Series for Local Business Owners
A localized, 45-minute webinar presented to your local business community
Editor&Publisher crafted a 45-minute online broadcast designed as an outreach, covering essential information on why and how to market in tough economic times. The webinar is hosted by E&P publisher Mike Blinder, a leading industry media expert.

COVID-19 and Homelessness: A View from the Front Lines
National Press Foundation
Zoom Q&A with Experts – Join NPF, April 6, at 12 p.m. Eastern for a briefing for journalists on the latest on the emerging crisis and tips on how to report – virtually – on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on homeless and vulnerable populations.
This one-hour Zoom webinar will give journalists the tools, data and resources necessary to understand the issue. They will also be able to ask questions via Zoom.

Office of the Governor Doug Ducey
Stay current with the governor’s office and COVID-19 updates, programs and newsroom releases.

Arizona Department of Health Services
– Get the latest information about Arizona’s response.
Letter for employers to distribute to employees on how to protect yourself from viral and bacterial illnesses.

State of Arizona – Resources for the Public
Committed to making sure Arizonans have access to the resources they need as we work to get our state through the COVID-19 outbreak. We’re in this together.

For more information about COVID-19 in English or Spanish, dial 2-1-1.
If you need public assistance, email publicassistance@az.gov.

Additional Guidance On Essential Services
Gov. Ducey
“During these unprecedented times, providing clarity for small businesses and employers is an important measure to ensure we protect our citizens, slow the spread of COVID-19, and protect this critical part of our economy,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “As guidance from public health officials evolves, we will continue to release information and direction.”

COVID-19 Stimulus Updates Affecting the News Media Industry
News Media Alliance Staff
We have provided links to Alliance and other third-party resources that provide useful information for news publishers about the Stimulus Package, CARES Act, small business loans and more. Please check back regularly – we will continue to update this page with more resources, as they become available, that may be helpful to news publishers.

#AloneTogether Ad PSAs – Ad Council
The News Media Alliance has partnered with the Ad Council to provide print and digital PSAs for newspapers’ use to help raise awareness about the importance of practicing social distancing during the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

America’s Newspapers and E&P launch coronavirus information site for news industry
America’s Newspapers and Editor & Publisher
Aiming to help newspapers and other news organizations navigate the coronavirus public health crisis, America’s Newspapers and Editor & Publisher have launched Media Virus Watch as an online source for the latest COVID-19 information.

State Press Association Roundup: Updates and inspiration
America’s Newspapers and Media Virus Watch want to highlight columns, insights and inspiration from state press associations from across the country.  What resources are you able to share to benefit newspapers nationwide?  Email cdurham@newspapers.org.

Fighting the Infodemic: The #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance
Led by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at the Poynter Institute, the #CoronaVirusFacts / #DatosCoronaVirus Alliance unites more than 100 fact-checkers around the world in publishing, sharing and translating facts surrounding the novel coronavirus.

From Wickenburg Sun
Publisher, Jeanie Hankins, shares several templates that her sales reps are using to help businesses get the word out as to reduced hours, delivery service, etc.

SDNA, advertising ideas and resources
South Dakota Newspaper Association
SDNA is sharing some advertising ideas and resources that they have received from various associations and groups around the country.
Go to this link.

From SDNA President Letti Lister
“I came across this very informative column on the importance of “social distancing” and staying at home during the COVID-19 outbreak. I have been in direct contact with the author Robert Signer, and his staff member Lisa Warshaw (also his wife) and have gained permission to re-print this column and infographic in our newspapers. You may also use them online, but must give a link to the originating newspaper, The San Diego Union-Tribune. The Union-Tribune has asked this, as they used their resources to vet all of the information contained in the column- even though all the info was sited.

The methodology for the infographic is also attached. Lisa said to me on the phone that they created this piece on Sunday, as a result of their neighbors continuing to party and socialize in San Diego. She and her husband decided they had to do something to educate people. She said the infographic has gone viral around the world. If you do use it, drop her a line and let her know. She’s pretty excited that there may be interest among newspapers around the country. Lisa’s contact info is at the bottom of the word doc, and listed here: Lisa Warshaw lawarshaw@gmail.com or (cell) 323-360-8778 (she said it is best to text her initially).” Click here to download column and related items.

Free icons for coronavirus awareness
Together with kind contributors, Iconfinder is giving away more than 200 free vector icons related to hygiene and awareness about the virus spread. The icons can be used for hand-washing instructions, hygiene recommendations, and other initiatives fighting the virus spread. Feel free to add them to signs, posters, flyers, and similar.

Coronavirus Resources for Newsroom
Knight-Cronkite News LAB
Coronavirus is a fast-moving and challenging story for every newsroom. The Knight-Cronkite News Lab has curated some of the most useful resources we’ve found across the web. We hope these will help you serve and inform your communities while keeping your teams safe and supported as well.

CPJ Safety Advisory: Digital security during the COVID-19 pandemic
Committee to Protect Journalists
Journalists who are reporting on the spread of COVID-19 are also at risk of being exposed to malware and scams as criminals target people with misinformation and sophisticated phishing campaigns linked to the virus.
These are more of a threat to journalists working without tech support, or using personal devices that have not been secured; personal information could also be at risk if devices in the home are exposed to malware. Read about it.

Working from home in the age of pandemic
Reynolds Journalism Institute
In a normal week, many of us might work from home for a day or an afternoon or an evening. In a normal week, many of our colleagues are full-time remote or the company itself is entirely distributed around town or around the globe. Normal.

But this was not a normal week, nor will be next week or the week after. And working remotely in a normal week is a different proposition than working from home in the midst of a global pandemic. So, let’s accept that the usual tips and tricks will only go so far in this situation.

The Newsroom Guide to COVID-19
Nieman Lab
The goal of this document is to help newsroom managers provide clear, useful guidance to their reporters and editors during a period in which we lack official institutional direction on how best to respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Searchable PDF format with jump-to Table of Contents.

Small news orgs – How to survive COVID-19
Local Media Association
Nancy Lane, CEO
Small and mid-size publishers are often the main sources of news and information in the communities they serve. They are also the most vulnerable during this time of crisis.

It’s hard to think about opportunities during times like this. But they do exist. Here are seven that I heard in the last week that might be helpful for small media companies that are trying to survive and get through this crisis. Read more.

LMA has launches the COVID-19 Local News Fund
Join Local Media Association (LMA) for an informational webinar on how your local media company can setup a COVID-19 Local News Fund right away. The webinar will provide more information on the fund.

Three information webinar dates to choose from:
Thursday, April 2 at 12 PM EST
Friday, April 3 at 12 PM EST
Monday, April 6 at 12 PM EST

LMA Resources for local media dealing with coronavirus crisis
Check their resource page regularly for curated articles with helpful offerings for local media companies including community coverage ideas, resources for journalists, free offerings from vendor R&D partners, and more.

Free content, tools and funding to help your newsroom cover the coronavirus from API
American Press Institute
As newsrooms work flat-out to cover the biggest story of our time, API is highlighting some of the free tools and grant funding that are being developed to supplement newsrooms’ existing resources around coronavirus coverage.

COVID-19 Resources for Grantees and Small Local Newsrooms
Democracy Fund
Democracy Fund has been compiling a running list of COVID-19 resources for grantees, partners, small news organizations, and others and wanted to share more publically with the field.

This is a living document compiled primarily by consultant David Plotz, with a focus on operation resources. We are vetting information to the best of our abilities, but every organization has different contexts, insurance coverage, and operational situations. This is meant to be a guide to help navigate the many resources now being shared but please vet specific tips with your own organizations and teams.

What’s Working: The coronavirus crisis has lessons for us about service journalism
Reynolds Journalism Institute
Now that it’s been a coronavirus world for several weeks, we have a clearer picture of what works as effective service journalism in a crisis, and how those takeaways might inform the practice more generally. And while this situation is clearly an outlier — not to mention far from over — some lessons to build on top of the fundamentals of a service journalism strategy are emerging.

Legacy is here to help with emergency obit updates, remote funeral participation and more
Newspapers, funeral homes, and the communities they serve are already feeling the economic impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic. Legacy’s full-service platform has deployed significant resources and fast-tracked critical new products to support our newspaper partners with emergency obituary updates, consumer-focused end-of-life resources, and remote funeral participation.