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NNBW Editor: Never too late to support local journalism (Voices)

Kevin MacMillan

kmacmillan@nevadanewsgroup.com

Kevin MacMillan
File photo

A little more than three months ago, we published an oped from Richard Karpel, executive director of the Nevada Press Association (of which the NNBW is a member), titled, “Nevada news organizations need your help.”

Richard’s theme was simple — lest we forget, newspapers and online media organizations are businesses, too, and they could use monetary support to help offset unprecedented revenue losses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many publishers report a revenue decline of 70 percent to 80 percent,” Richard wrote. “Along with the owners and managers, the journalists and designers and salespeople who make our news organizations run have taken a hit. Furloughs, salary reductions and layoffs have washed over the industry.”

While we haven’t been hit nearly as hard as some locations, it’s been a difficult spring and summer for the industry, leading many news professionals across the region to issue similar calls for subscriptions and donations.

The good news is that, thanks to creativity and innovation in terms of limiting expenses and maximizing revenue opportunities, the NNBW has been steadfast in its goal of publishing loads of original content on a weekly basis in print and daily online. Look no further than the last couple of weeks in July for examples that go beyond the “normal” workflow:

Of course, as we like to say, “the news never stops.” Aside from our daily story coverage, we’re working hard on our two most poignant special publications — the 2020 Northern Nevada Relocation Guide, publishing this fall; and the 13th annual Northern Nevada Book of Lists, coming out this winter.

In addition to support from our longtime advertising partners and business sponsors, our ability to move full steam ahead with these projects is aided by those of you who’ve donated to our efforts in recent weeks. We can’t thank you enough for the support!

No matter how big or small, monetary donations from our community allow us to bring you news, information, valuable connections, insights, and even discounts, every day and week in print, online and through various special projects.

If you would like to donate to our efforts, please call a Customer Service Representative at 775-882-2515. Or, you can go to bit.ly/39z3BP3 and donate securely online.

Please note that, since the NNBW is a for-profit business, this is not a tax-deductible donation. Also, our parent company, the Nevada News Group, reserves the right to refuse any donations. Due to office limitations, if there is no answer, please leave a message and we will contact you as soon as possible.

As Richard alluded to in his April column — and as many a reporter and editor have touted over the past many weeks across Nevada — there’s no more important time than now to support local journalism.

Oh, and on the subject of masks…

Switching gears, I’ve shared my views previously about masks and how they’re best for business, regardless of their various inconveniences, so I won’t belabor my points here.

But as the days pass, frustration is mounting (to put it politely) as COVID uncertainty continues. Look no further than online commentary from any local news story about the virus and its impacts to the economy to know how upset some people are in the state.

With that in mind, I wanted to share some snippets from the July 23 editorial, “Masks don’t have to hurt business,” published by The Record-Courier, the NNBW’s sister publication in Minden-Gardnerville:

“We’re not doctors, and we’re not the coronavirus cops, but we are a local business in a small town and operate under the same rules as every other business in Nevada. And we are all in the same boat as far as the requirement to wear masks … We’ve already experienced one shutdown in this pandemic, and we’d just as soon not try another.

“… We understand the urge to protest those rules, but let’s not take our frustrations out on a poorly paid worker whose only crime was coming in to serve you. Those folks who work in our restaurants and shops, regardless of size, are a resource we can’t afford to lose. They work hard, but they’re not the ones who decided you had to wear a mask, they’re just the ones stuck with enforcing the rule.

“… A business, whether a small shop or a huge conglomerate, is private property; so behave as if you were a guest in someone’s home. Keeping workers safe and avoiding exposing customers to the virus is good business.”

Go here to read the full editorial from longtime R-C editor Kurt Hildebrand. It’s a simple message we at the NNBW fully support, and it’s one we feel all businesses — begrudgingly or not — should get behind as the summer season endures.

Kevin MacMillan is editor of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly. Email him at kmacmillan@nevadanewsgroup.com.