The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every segment of society — and the media industry is no exception.
We still do not know just how long or how profoundly the Covid-19 pandemic will affect our society in general or our community specifically. All we can say with any certainty is the effects will be significant, from the likely loss of human life to serious economic and social disruption from the necessary attempts to contain the transmission of the virus.
With the health crisis comes unprecedented measures that have included the temporary shuttering of many businesses. It is understandable that advertising dollars are in shorter supply as firms large and small deal with their futures. Advertising makes up the vast majority of the revenue that pays the wages of our journalists and other staff as well as the costs of producing and distributing a newspaper, either in print or online.
Due to this economic reality, we will be suspending publication of the Melita New Era for the next 12 weeks.
One of the biggest differences between Covid-19 and other pandemics of the past, even recent ones like H1N1 or SARS, has nothing to do with the disease itself or how it spreads: it’s social media. Nearly every one of us is, thanks to social media and mobile devices being everywhere, a media outlet; some of us are just larger than others. Information – and misinformation – travel far faster than the disease itself, and in a globally-connected society, there’s more of both coming at all of us faster than we can hope to process. That can lead to fear, uncertainty, over-reaction and worse, under-reaction.
We look forward to returning to our place of informing and connecting our communities as soon as we are able. In the mean time, we encourage you to stay safe, to evaluate the information you receive from online and social media critically, and to seek out trusted and reliable sources of news and information during the crisis.
Our sister publication, the Virden Empire-Advance, will continue to cover local news for the Virden area and SW Manitoba. https://www.empireadvance.ca