Like many public service and media organizations, the Bucks County Herald has moved quickly to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
In addition to in-depth coverage of COVID-19 in the weekly paper, which is distributed in print and online every Thursday, the Herald launched a new, daily Local Coronavirus Briefing. The free briefing, distributed by email and on its website, covers local news and information related to the local impacts of the pandemic – from public health announcements to local closures.
The need for timely local news comes at a time when the independent, family-owned media company is facing a rapid loss of advertising revenue brought about by the COVID-19 impact on the local business community. In response, the Herald, which has been free to the public for the past 18 years, is asking for public support.
“This is an unprecedented time for everyone. We are on the frontlines of providing a vital public service and, at the same time, facing a serious loss of advertising revenue necessary to keep thriving. Right now, our reliance on advertising revenues alone is unsustainable,” said Joe Wingert, publisher. “Reader donations are enabling us to continue providing free and trusted local news and support to local civic organizations, nonprofits, small businesses and the arts.”
While local public health coverage has expanded, the Herald’s coverage of school, sports, community, entertainment and events has been dramatically reduced on a temporary basis “until life returns to normal” said Wingert.
Next week, to support local businesses and help the public find local goods and services, the Herald will launch a new online local business directory. The directory, co-sponsored by Eiseman Construction, will be free to businesses that want to advertise special services such as home and curbside deliveries, house calls and phone consultations.
Donations to the Herald’s Community Journalism Fund can be made online at buckscountyherald.com
, by phone at 215-794-1096 or by mail using the form on page A3. To receive the Local Coronavirus Briefing email email@example.com
and write “COVID-19” in the subject line.