The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted some, but not all, online news sources to offer free or extended subscriptions to readers as a public service. That’s not new for The Current — we have always provided a free, online source of community news since our launch in January 2018 — and our readers get the entire news article, not just an excerpt. We publish The Current on a not-for-profit basis, covering our production costs by carrying advertising from local businesses (not Google or Facebook Ads). The effects of the pandemic have resulted in a loss of advertising revenue for us too. Despite this, the only step we have taken is to suspend physical distribution of the monthly print version.
Intended to be a free source of community news for Valley residents without internet access, our printed selection of articles is distributed in public areas including the waiting rooms of institutions and public buildings. Because our print version is “communally” read, and because we wish to curb any possible transmission of the virus, we have decided to suspend physical distribution of it until it is safe to do so. The good news is that it is however available online and if you are helping someone who does not have internet access, you might wish to print a copy for them. Like all previous print versions, it is available online in free, downloadable PDF form HERE.
Of course it is not only newspaper publishers who are undergoing financial pressure during this crisis. The wide ranging nature of current business restrictions means that we are all in the same boat for the foreseeable future. It is therefore vitally important to do all we can to help local businesses survive which includes, to the extent we can, restricting our shopping to those within our community boundaries that remain accessible.
We at The Current would like to extend our gratitude to those in the front line providing essential services, including and especially in healthcare. We can best help them in their difficult and dangerous jobs by heeding all official requirements and recommendations to halt the spread. Our best wishes to you all to stay safe and healthy.