April 6, 2020
No reason to bury the lead, as they say. There is no print edition this month. Because many of our distribution locations are closed and likely to be closed for several months, and I don’t want to put residents or my staff at risk to deliver to thousands of individual homes as we normally do, I have made the difficult decision to suspend publication of the The Zebra’s print edition for the months of April and May, and possibly June.
Like you, we are facing new, heart-wrenching challenges and decisions in the “Age of Covid and Stay at Home Directives.” With Gov. Ralph Northam now mandating that Virginians stay home through June 10, most businesses are closed or operating on very limited hours, and many have slashed or eliminated areas of spending, including marketing and advertising.
Our monthly paper has been our flagship news platform since I founded the company in 2010. It’s not going anywhere–we will be back as soon as possible, I promise.
The Good News
Until then, there is good news. The good news is that over the years we have grown and added an extensive series of digital news platforms, which now include our website, twice weekly Z-Newsletters and numerous updates everyday on our on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. In addition, our new Z-TV division is getting off the ground with a weekday news/talk show you can catch on our Facebook page M-F at 7 pm, and we are doing video spotlights on businesses, nonprofits, interview series, and many other exciting programs. In fact, the great news is that we reach more readers online today than we do in print. Over 100,000.
We urge you to support not only our advertisers, who make our news distribution possible, but to be on the lookout for all the small businesses struggling to survive in Alexandria. Mom and Pop small business is the lifeblood of our City, and doing what you can by purchasing gift cards and ordering food for takeout and delivery are important building blocks as we all navigate the way forward to steady our community’s foundation.
We also recommend the new Facebook group pages: Alexandria Curbside Dining and Alexandria Businesses Open for Gift Cards, which have numerous minute-by-minute postings regarding who is doing what and where around town.
We are running stories daily about which businesses are offering services, which have established employee relief funds, and all of the public service announcements regarding your safety we can publish. We have also added many COVID-19 resources to our website’s home page including an online House of Worship directory to locate all the streaming services happening in town.
The Zebra is operating with a reduced staff, but if I can do anything to help you, share a story you have, or assist a local business during these hard days, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. In the meantime, keep calm, stay safe, and remember now more than ever, to be the good news in someone’s life.
Mary J. Wadland, Publisher and Owner
P.S. If you want to show us any support, now would be a great time to sign up for a subscription for yourself or a friend.