Facing the challenges ahead with a reduced staff.
Like so many media outlets nationwide, the Jewish News has faced a difficult revenue crunch in the past few weeks. We depend on advertising dollars to cover the cost of printing, strengthening our digital presence and paying staff, but many of our advertisers have been affected by the coronavirus crisis and are unable at this time to offer their goods and services to our readers. As a result, the publication has had to cut two of our five full-time editorial positions and reduce our freelance budget for the foreseeable future.
This is gut-wrenching for our small team, and not the state any of us wanted to be in as our community continues to face a deadly pandemic of unknown length.
The JN, like local publications across the country, has been hit hard by the economic downturn as a result of the coronavirus. We are trying to fulfill our mission of bringing you the most up-to-date, relevant information about how this virus has impacted Metro Detroit’s Jewish community, but we are also casting about for answers just like the rest of you.
In the last three weeks since the coronavirus spread like wildfire across Michigan, our staff, supplemented by a stable of freelance writers, has produced more digital-first content than ever before, covering the crisis from every angle, including pointed conversations with medical professionals and government officials; reports on the debilitating effect on the local economy and schools; and stories on local fundraising efforts to support vulnerable populations. We have also continued producing our weekly, up-to-date print edition filled with special coverage of COVID-19, and we’ve done all of this remotely.
Doing all this has been a physically and mentally draining experience for our staff. That will be even more true going forward. At the same time, we also understand and feel the extraordinary pain so many of you, our readers and advertisers, are enduring as your businesses close and jobs evaporate. We are in this together.
I am sharing this news with you because we exist to serve Metro Detroit’s Jewish community and depend on your readership, patronage of our advertisers and support to sustain us. And because of that, you deserve to know about our challenge. Though I’ve been at my job for a little over two months, it feels as though I’ve already been here for years.
Nevertheless, we will continue to be guided by the Jewish value of emet (truth and integrity) as we press forward with our work.
Like you, we will do the best we can with the resources we have. May we all see our way through these times together and make it to a brighter day.