At The Advocate, we are committed to being conscientious members of our shared community, which means doing our part to flatten the curve amid the current coronavirus outbreak. As such, we are making some temporary adjustments to what we offer, and how we offer it — and we, of course, welcome any and all feedback from our fellow Corvallisites.
A temporary move to online only: Circulating a print product does not seem responsible at present, nor relevant given our empty streets. This means furloughing layout and circulation contractors that have been with us for many years — people that we value and are committed to supporting in any way that we can moving forward.
Anticipated return to print: As the coronavirus curve abates and places start reopening, we will examine the right time and manner to reintroduce our print product. In response to the pandemic, advertising declined by half at The Advocate — no need to advertise a canceled show or mostly closed restaurant. The way our advertisers bounce back could affect our return to print, and it may be that we will begin charging for copies, if needed.
Coverage and stories increased: Reducing print does not mean reduced stories — quite the opposite in this instance. We know you need more information than ever before, and our average weekly story count, which combines print and online, has increased to meet that need. The average story count had been 18.5 stories weekly. Since the last print issue, it’s risen to nearly 26 weekly. The count should decline slightly as the need shifts from basic information to deeper dive analysis and research.
Our responsibility, and your responsibility: We believe support for our brand of thorough and thoughtful journalism is a community choice — that it is your choice. Tangentially, there have been some recent calls for our reporters’ work to be made available without charge, which neither our staff nor publisher are in the position to do. Given how low a reporter’s pay is, we don’t think it’s right to put their labor out for free.
Our job is to offer the best work we can, and we hope that you will agree it is worth supporting with a subscription or donation.
Requests for help: We would like to develop a pool of donors to support free subscriptions for community members that are in need, so please let us know if you would like to contribute. We are also seeking volunteers for a number of roles at the paper. Our reporting staff is currently stretched so thin that non-reporting staff have stepped in for support. We promise volunteering with us is hard work, but also sublimely fulfilling.
Finally, as things are moving quickly, we will do everything we can to avoid making mistakes, but please be patient and forgiving. As an alternative news source, we operate under the assumption that we can’t please everyone, and if we were to try, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs. As the saying goes, “the truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”
We are truly honored to be a part of this community, and to be able to support so many of our neighbors throughout the years with our dedicated coverage. We ask for your support in return, and believe that a healthy community is one where we all root for each other.