To our readers: Changes we’re making at the Monitor

Monitor editor
Published: 3/25/2020 3:11:18 PM

Just two weeks ago, it was business as usual in New Hampshire. Town meetings were packed, spring was settling in and we were all keeping an eye on the presidential primaries winding their way across the U.S. We were also starting to pay attention to a disease slowly gaining a foothold in the state.

Today, we live in a far different world shaped by a growing health crisis, a fragile economy and the upheaval of our everyday lives. Here at the Monitor, we’ve done our best to stay on top of the news, but like nearly all businesses, we’ve been unable to escape its impact.

We’re making some painful decisions that will impact a staff that has worked tirelessly in recent weeks and beyond to bring you the news. Across our company, we are reducing expenses, which includes layoffs and a reduction of hours for some employees. Managers are taking a pay cut.

Some of the changes will come at our printing facility in Penacook. In the newsroom, we’ll have a smaller staff as we begin producing some news pages in coordination with the Valley News, our sister publication in West Lebanon.

While these staffing changes are necessary today, we hope they are only temporary. At this point, there’s just no way to know.

None of the changes will affect our news reporting, which right now is our most critical role. In fact, we’re taking measures to bring others onto that team as we realign coverage around COVID-19 and its many angles. Members of our sports staff will join our news team. Our arts coverage will also be suspended so we can better inform the communities we serve.

In the days and weeks ahead, we’ll run smaller papers as we account for the drop-off in coverage of local sports and arts. We understand that part of the challenge we all face is in living our daily lives. We’ll be adding more tips about what to watch or read, and what you can do around the home, from cooking to gardening.

More than anything, though, we’ll be working to help our communities make sense of the fast-changing news. We’ll also be publishing resource lists to tell you what’s open, and to point you to vital services. Some of the journalism you’ll read will come from the Granite State News Collaborative, a New Hampshire nonprofit news organization that is helping newsrooms across the state –  from the Berlin Daily Sun and the Eagle-Tribune in southern New Hampshire to New Hampshire Public Radio – share content so we can all better inform our readers.

It’s true that these are hard times. Despite this setback, we remain as committed as ever to our communities, our readers and to our ongoing mission of preserving local journalism.

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