Even though media are considered essential functions, exempt from New York’s stay-home order, like most businesses we at the Enterprise are doing some things differently to adapt amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Many of our staff members are working from home, including most editors and all news reporters and advertising representatives. The technical aspect of that has been a challenge at times, but now it seems to be going OK.
Sports events have been called off indefinitely, so we have dropped from two sports pages a day to one and dropped our spring sports preview section. Our brand-new sports editor Paul Bowker, a four-decade veteran journalist, is interviewing this year’s Rising Stars awards winners — to be announced in a later issue — and is also looking into stories related to fitness as well as sports. Our longtime sports writer Lou Reuter is helping with page layout, proofreading and general photography as well as sports reporting and writing.
Community events have also been called off, so we have temporarily suspended the Weekender as a stand-alone section — you may have noticed the absence Thursday — and are shifting its core content into the daily paper. The TV listings will be published on page 5 on weekdays, starting today, and in the second section on Saturdays. The Weekender’s regular columns by Diane Chase and Yvona Fast are also running in the daily paper. This week, Ms. Chase’s Family Time ran Monday while Ms. Fast’s North Country Kitchen appeared Wednesday. We are not yet sure if that schedule will stick, but rest assured that the columns will continue.
In Saturday’s paper you’ll see an extra bonus, a special section called Cabin Fever, full of puzzles. We run it around this time every year, but this time around its timing couldn’t be better. We hope it helps you pass the time enjoyably.
We are also going to try out one other change. We figure people need to hear from each other more than ever these days, and perhaps more frequently since there is so much news with our world changing so quickly. The Enterprise Opinion page is a critical forum for exchanging messages of appreciation, criticism, ideas, memories and all things in between. We are going to temporarily lift our restriction of one opinion piece per person per month and see how it goes — but with a caveat: A person’s second (or more) letter in the same month must be less than 250 words long. Normally our letter limit is 500 words, and our limit for Guest Commentary essays is 1,000 words.
We already receive a large quantity of letters and op-eds relative to this area’s population, but we envision the forum going to another level — not just a place to make political comments (although those are welcome, too) but to connect with others and help solve problems in a forum that highlights people’s words with less of the mob nature of social media. OK, not every letter we receive is solutions-oriented. But we try to run everyone’s view as long as it meets our guidelines (including fact-checking). There is something to be said for a quantity of letters as well as quality. We want there to be few days when we run syndicated content to fill page A4.
Remember, the reason the rule existed was to prevent the same few people from dominating the conversation. If that happens and becomes a problem, we will put the limit back in effect. But we hope this change will help the community conversations on this page be more lively, interesting and meaningful — capturing more of the great ideas, pragmatism and passion that exist here. There is just so much to talk about these days, and we really do want to hear from you.
So, that’s what we’re doing. What about you? Write us a letter and let us know.