Good day, readers of the North Star Reporter,
This is Max Bowen, editor for the newspaper. I wanted to update everyone on our status amid the COVID-19 pandemic and our plans for the future. Because, believe me, we do have a future.
A few weeks ago, we were forced to suspend printing of The Reporter when the COVID-19 virus forced many businesses in town to close their doors temporarily. We transitioned to online-only with postings to our web site and various social media pages. At the time, we expected this would only be a two or three-week period, but recent events have made it clear that it will be a little longer.
Earlier this week Gov. Baker announced that businesses in Massachusetts would be closed until May 4. All news agencies need advertisers to survive—to pay the staff, printing, and mailing costs. We can’t in good conscience go to these businesses, which have been such stalwart supporters since we launched, for money while they struggle in these uncertain times. These aren’t just advertisers to us. It’s where we go to eat, where we get our cars repaired, where we buy clothes and books and art. They’re our neighbors and friends and they mean the world to us.
Because of the continued closure, the paper will remain online-only for the foreseeable future. We sincerely hope that businesses can reopen in early May, which will in turn allow us to resume normal publication. We’re a small business, just like the others in town, and we need to make smart, practical decisions for the long-term.
While we could probably print for a few weeks, that would bankrupt us and put the newspaper out of business. Several area papers have already laid off staff or cut salaries, and it would be no different for us. Making this decision was not easy, and to be frank, it was heartbreaking, especially when I think about how quickly this publication came to be so respected by the town. We’ve continued to publish online on a daily basis, to keep you informed about the latest impacts on North Attleborough, but also to provide positive and uplifting stories.
We hear from readers all the time about how much they love the paper and it’s become the center of our world. The staff at the North Star Reporter brings with it a commitment to the news, and as many of us live in North Attleborough, a deep devotion to the community and its people. We have every intention of returning. That is our promise, and we are working every day to see it through.