Good morning on this winter solstice. Here are a few things from around the state and around the industry I hope will be of interest this week.
On the COVID-19 beat
The big news this week has been the arrival of the vaccine and local efforts to distribute it to those at the front of the line. Almost every paper out there also has a story or two about schools pulling back on in-school instruction because of increasing numbers of COVID infections. Your pages are also filled with stories on lots of different ways the 2020 holiday season will be like no other.
- Here’s a roundup story from the Long Island Herald that includes ways the community is working to support local businesses during the holiday season.
- The Batavian wrote this week about a special project to deliver lots of Christmas cards to people in nursing homes.
- A number of our papers are highlighting the stories of the professionals caring for the sick. Here are examples from Straus News and the Plattsburgh Press-Republican.
There’s nothing like print
The power of print endures. Just check out this video from Twitter, which demonstrates how much it means to someone to see their story in print. “…to see it, to have the physical copy and see your face and your name in the Boston Globe,” the man says as he holds the print version of the paper.
Predictions for 2021
The Nieman Lab is once again collecting and publishing predictions for our industry for the coming year. These ideas are always a fun read, but especially are this year as journalism insiders try to predict how we’ll handle the loss of the “Trump bump.”
One critic’s tough opinion
Allison Hantschel, a former reporter from a small paper in the Midwest, offers sometimes blistering critiques of local news via her Twitter feed. Lyz Lenz interviewed her last week for Nieman, with Lenz noting “because she is a Midwestern lady willing to shout the truth, I interviewed her about her history at small newspapers and what she sees as the real problems in local journalism. In sum, she argues, newspapers were damaging themselves long before the internet and private equity came along.