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 KeepItINDY.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.