YDR editor Randy Parker was joined by Mayor Michael Helfrich Saturday afternoon to address the communities concerns over the novel coronavirus. York Daily Record
You can help us find amazing stories about heroes and helpers.
As we enter a week when the entire state of Pennsylvania is asked to take extreme measures, with all businesses closed unless they are deemed essential to life, I want to talk with you about how our newsrooms in central Pennsylvania are adjusting to cover this public health crisis.
I am the executive editor of four newspapers in this region — the York Daily Record, the Lebanon Daily News, The Evening Sun in Hanover and the Chambersburg Public Opinion. We have combined our forces and work in concert every day to cover these individual communities and to drive up stories that speak to this region.
We are also part of THE USA TODAY NETWORK. This group of about 250 newsrooms across the nation are owned by Gannett, the company that also publishes USA Today. This vast network not only supports us with top-notch national and international coverage, but it also connects us closely with other local newsrooms just like ours.
That connection has helped us prepare for what’s happening now, and to better understand how to provide quality coverage.
Our coverage is only possible through support from subscriptions. Sign up with a special offer for new subscribers.
From the CDC: How to protect against novel coronavirus. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Every weekday for about the past month, I have joined conference calls with editors in New York, New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania and I’ve joined calls with top editors at USA Today, which is based in Washington, D.C.
Many of these editors work in and around the epicenter of the epidemic — New York City. I have seen how quickly this disease spread through their suburban and rural areas, and how rapidly it went from a distant idea to a crisis that demanded the deployment of the National Guard in New Rochelle, N.Y.
And I could see that we were next.
And so, by early March, I had assigned statewide issues reporter Sam Ruland to be our point person on coverage of the coronavirus, and we stocked up on supplies for the newsroom. By March 12, we had stopped working in our offices and had all reporters and editors working from home. And by March 16, we restructured our entire operation so that every reporter now had a particular area of coronavirus coverage to own. Here’s how that breaks down:
Sam Ruland: Lessons and warnings from elsewhere; Wolf administration’s handling of the crisis; Focus on millennials
Candy Woodall: Hospitals and the health care system; Impact on the presidential election in Pa.
Jasmine Vaughn-Hall: Breaking COVID-19 news, morning shift; Impact on larger businesses and their employees
Shelly Stallsmith: Breaking COVID-19 news, evening shift; Impact on suburban life and businesses
Kim Strong: Life milestones; weddings, funerals, graduations, etc.; Coping with anxiety
Neil Strebig: Food service industry; Impact on small and family-owned businesses and their employees
Hospitality hit hard: Has coronavirus changed restaurant life forever?
Matt Allibone: Impact on athletes and the people and businesses who support them.
Kevin Moore: Keeping fit, staying healthy in the age of quarantine
Frank Bodani: Issues involving the elderly
‘I haven’t been out in weeks’: Coronavirus makes mission to help seniors even more critical
Teresa Boeckel: Schools; voting/primary issues
Dylan Segelbaum: Keeping county services and the judicial system up and running
Mike Argento: Heroes and helpers
Ted Czech: First responders at the county level or lower
Nora Shelly: Primary focus is on Lebanon County; Trucking/warehouses
Carley Bonk: Primary focus is on Franklin County
Amber South: Primary focus is on Franklin County
Dan Sostek: Primary focus is on Adams and Franklin County
Mariana Veloso: Primary focus is on Hanover/Adams region; Dealing with addiction and behavioral health issues during this crisis
This is our first run at the problem. I’m sure we will adjust as we go.
In fact, I’d like your thoughts on how we might better target our efforts.
That’s why I am also conducting a series of Facebook Live As The Editor updates so that you can talk directly with me and help me better appreciate how we can best serve the community. Look for those live videos on our main Facebook page and on Fixing York. And please join the Fixing York Facebook group. That is where we are particularly focused on spotlighting solutions that can work in every community.
We need your help in alerting us to specific stories that need to be covered. Think locally. What’s not working in your community. Who are the heroes and helpers who are going above and beyond the call of duty? What hilarious things are people doing pass the time and offer comfort in a difficult time?
Send your tips directly to the reporters if you’d like. Or email them to email@example.com.
We might not be working together in the newsroom, but we are working. And we are working together for central Pennsylvania.
We were gratified to see that Gov. Tom Wolf listed news media as an essential business last week. My father was a career military man, flying spy missions over the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. I have always believed that a free press plays an equally vital role in defending America. And in this time of crisis, we intend to rise to the challenge and help defend and protect all that we value as Americans.
We greatly appreciate your support, and we are eager to help you in this time of need.
Stay safe. And wash your hands.
Randy Parker is the Executive Editor of the Lebanon Daily News and a regional editor for THE USA TODAY NETWORK. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and at 717-771-2012.
Read or Share this story: https://www.ldnews.com/story/news/2020/03/23/coronavirus-pa-how-ldnews-com-responding-covid-19-crisis/2894590001/