From the Publisher: We’re here for you in this extraordinary time

In this unique historical moment, when everyone is struggling to understand the definition of “flattening the curve” and how to practice “social distancing,” questions abound and proliferate.

Where will you find accurate and credible information about what is happening in our community?

Where will you find an explanation of what steps the state health officials have taken to slow and stop COVID-19?

Where will you get an explanation of the steps emergency rooms and doctors’ offices have taken to deal with requests for a coronavirus test?

Where will residents learn whether there are any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in their community?

Darel La Prade

Where can Delawareans find assurance that the shelves of stores remain stocked – maybe not with hand sanitizers – but with the essentials needed as people shelter in place?

Where can you learn that the pharmacies remain open to fill prescriptions for those who need medicine?

Where can you read stories on how first responders are protecting themselves while continuing to serve the public?

Where can parents learn what students should be doing to stay current in the classroom?

Where is the latest information released by state and county officials, school superintendents, mayors and city councils on the local response to a rapidly evolving situation?

Where can families learn where they can go to replace the school lunches their children were receiving?

Where will you find answers to hard questions posed to government officials when flaws in the system become evident?

Where can you find a timely, thought-provoking essay or opinion piece?

Where can you find a bit of humor or a puzzle or two to provide a thankful distraction from the news?

Where else but right here in this newspaper?

Our newspaper is your newspaper. Our sole purpose is to serve you and our community as we face a time like no other in recent memory. Like you, we want to rise to the occasion and make a significant difference in our future.

It is for this reason that all our coverage of COVID-19 and the coronavirus is available for free to anyone who visits our web site. All people, not just our subscribers, have a right to know during this public health crisis.

We are a nonpartisan news organization, and our unique corporate structure is designed to maintain our independence. Our company is owned by a nonprofit trust. There are no shareholders, no dividends are paid, and all after-tax profits are reinvested in our journalistic mission.

Many publishers are already ordering layoffs and mandatory pay cuts.  Because we have the advantage of being owned by a nonprofit trust, our company intends to do everything we can to avoid such measures. We believe our communities need us now more than ever. This is no time to hurt our employees, their families, or the communities we serve.

To pay the bills and to underwrite our publications and our journalism, we rely on a combination of business advertising and subscription revenue.

During this time, our advertising revenue is naturally suppressed. We understand decisions certain advertisers have made to cut back, because like them, we are a local business, too, facing the same challenges as everyone else.

But if you’re a business owner, please know that, even in these times, we can affordably and effectively broaden your reach and strengthen your brand, allowing you to engage thousands of residents in lower Delaware through one of our platforms, whether in this paper, or in one of our saturation-mailed monthlies, or through our cutting-edge digital programs.

Frankly, though, we want and need the help of our readers.

First, we would like for all our readers (and advertisers) to tell us what you are doing to cope with this crisis while still supporting your family, friends, employees and the community. We want to tell these stories to others. At a time like this, we all need inspiration.

Second, when so many are isolating themselves in their homes, it is more important than ever to strive for community connectivity. That is why we would like for you to support us with letters to the editor and Speak Out comments. Please use our commentary pages as a kind of town square for civil discourse and debate.

Third, if you aren’t already a paying subscriber to our newspaper or web site, please consider committing to at least a digital subscription. It is a simple and affordable thing to do.

Fourth, please urge your family and friends to sign up for one of our free email newspapers – and if they like what they see, ask them to consider becoming digital subscribers to help save jobs, support our community and preserve independent local journalism.

Finally, if you would like to support this newspaper and our open access coverage of the coronavirus outbreak, then you can become a member of our Press Club. By joining online, you can make a quick and secure donation of $10, $25 or $50 or $100.

Just go to delawarestatenews.net and click the “Support Our Mission” link to join.

As a bonus for joining, you will get, besides the satisfaction of helping your community newspaper, a free three-month e-subscription to the Delaware State News.

At a time when citizens desperately need accurate information, our newsrooms are providing it, and we believe the survival of independent journalism – and especially our brand of purposeful neutrality and straight reporting – is essential to our communities and to democracy itself.

If you agree, we would appreciate your help. Visit delawarestatenews.net to subscribe or donate.

Take care, stay safe, be well, and keep in touch.

Darel La Prade is publisher of the Delaware State News. He can be reached at dlaprade@newszap.com or at (443) 235-4704.


Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

Have a question, tip, or resources about the coronavirus pandemic? Submit it to our newsroom and we’ll do what we can to provide answers.