This was supposed to be an April Fool’s issue. 

When I say “supposed to be,” I mean Brian Howe and I had two or three conversations and half-developed a funny (to us) and somewhat elaborate idea that we may or may not have actually pulled off. But that was two months and one Horseman of the Apocalypse ago. 

Since then, COVID-19 has invaded the U.S., infected more than 165,000, and killed more people than 9/11. Schools and businesses closed and the economy crashed and millions filed for unemployment and everyone’s retirement evaporated and we’ve all been ordered to stay home. Fun has been canceled. 

An April Fool’s issue would be a spectacularly bad idea. So scratch that. 

As I’ve mentioned before, the economic freefall has closed all of the events, concerts, nightclubs, restaurants, and bars that we depend on for advertising revenue, which has produced more than a little anxiety around here. But in more ways than you can imagine, we’ve been sustained through these dark hours by the support and generosity of our INDY Press Club members. In March, we added 277 new members, including nearly 200 monthly contributors. If you’re able, we’d love for you to join us, too. Without much ad revenue to speak of—you’ll notice this is a 20-page newspaper, words that hurt me to type—we can use all the help we can get. 

Go to today. You can contribute $5 a month, $10 a month, $20 a month, $10 million a month, whatever feels comfortable to you, Jeff Bezos. Your support will help keep the lights on (even though we’re all working from home) and our journalists cranking out stories that matter until this weird moment sorts itself out. 

That brings me to an announcement: The stay-at-home order not only means that we’ve lost ad dollars, but it also means there aren’t many people out and about to pick up our paper. Printing is the second-most-expensive thing we do, behind payroll, and publishing a paper consumes a lot of time and headspace. So for the next two months, we’re going to try something different: We’ll publish a newspaper every other week—today, April 15, April 29, May 13, and May 27. Then we’ll return to our normal schedule on June 3, with our Best of the Triangle issue on June 10. We’re also moving our Food & Drink Almanac to July 29 to give bars and restaurants time to reopen and regroup. 

We’ll save some money, put our energy into breaking news and telling stories online, and strategize for the post-COVID future. And rest assured, come June 3, the INDY will be back in print every week. 

Contact editor in chief Jeffrey C. Billman at 

DEAR READERS, WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW MORE THAN EVER. Support independent local journalism by joining the INDY Press Club today. Your contributions will keep our fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle, coronavirus be damned.

One reply on “Editor’s Note: The INDY, Every Other Week”

  1. “Fun has been canceled.”……?
    Please….Say it ain`t so.
    Its bad enough that I check a website each morning that keeps a running tally of Covid-19 cases and the mounting Death Toll. (my wife tells me not to check, as it is depressing, but I tell her that keeping current is better than ignoring it only to have the appalling number jump exponentially over a period of days and then hit like a brick in the face later)…..
    It`s bad enough that as the cases grow, and the death toll mounts, my wife and I–both in our 60`s, she a cancer survivor with diabetes, and me with asthma–we have a steady level of general anxiety and a gnawing element of fear for our future…..
    It`s bad enough that we had to cancel our long-planned May beach vacation in favor of staying at home to try to be alive for Thanksgiving and Christmas…assuming that ANYONE has a Thanksgiving or Christmas this year (is it even possible to have Christmas in an environment such as we have now?) …..
    But now you tell me that “Fun has been canceled”….?
    I would not advocate unlimited, anything-goes fun….Poor taste can be a slippery slope.

    But it strikes me that right now, WE NEED ALL THE ‘FUN’ WE CAN GET.

    We are seeing fun ‘pet stories’, fun ‘kid stories’ and of course, the new regular Trump Show, that tragi-comedy where a comical orange blow-hard mugs for the camera and praises himself while muddling facts and then being corrected by intelligent people standing nearby.

    Yes, we need some ‘fun’ right now, more than we have ever needed it before.

    So reconsider, INDY ! Let`s not allow the only ‘Fun’ we have to be as in ‘Funeral’.

Comments are closed.