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Despite changes, our mission remains the same

In the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic began spreading across the U.S., a lot has changed.

Businesses deemed non-essential have been forced to close their doors. As people follow directives to stay home unless absolutely necessary, foot traffic has slowed even to essential businesses, leaving locally owned businesses to either drastically cut hours or close their doors temporarily. 

Through all of these changes, readers in Vicksburg and Warren County have turned to The Vicksburg Post to stay informed. Our news team has worked hard to deliver trusted, accurate information as quickly as it develops.

From more somber news as confirmed cases increase, to heartwarming stories of citizens working to take care of their neighbors, we have continued to serve you.

As we shift our print cycle to three days per week, readers should not expect any change in the amount of information shared. Our commitment to telling the news as it happens remains our priority; all that changes is the medium and cycle in which we share it.

Reducing the frequency of the printed newspaper was a necessary response to decreased advertising as businesses face increased challenges. 

Meanwhile, traffic to our website has never been higher. From the safety of their homes, readers are consuming the news on vicksburgpost.com now more than ever, tracking live updates, breaking news and powerful features on good work being done. This, coupled with the decreased revenue, led to the difficult decision to shift our efforts and decrease the number of printed newspapers published per week.

The Post is not alone. At last count midweek, more than 1,000 newspapers in this country had reduced their print publication days, terminated or furloughed employees, cut employee compensation, or done some combination of all. We chose reduced print frequency as a strategy for keeping our journalists and support staff gainfully employed and compensated and serving you around the clock at vicksburgpost.com.

I’ll do my best to address pressing questions here.

Will you charge me less for my subscription? If you prepaid for your subscription, you will receive the same number of editions you paid for, just over a longer period. For example, if you paid us in late March for three months of delivery from April to June, you paid us for roughly 65 issues of the newspaper. You’ll still get those 65 issues, but it will be over a longer period than 3 months. If you pay month to month, we ask that you continue paying your current rate.

Is the change permanent? This is an urgent and direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other side of this economic crisis, we will reevaluate the way we serve you with our print and e-edition products. All along the way, we will continue to update news as it occurs in Vicksburg and Warren County at vicksburgpost.com. It’s impossible to know at this time the shape and length of the economic recovery. We will continue to be adaptive.

Have you sought government or other external support? Our application was among the first submitted last week for the Payroll Protection Program, part of the most recent federal stimulus package passed by Congress and signed by U.S. President Donald Trump. The program consists of forgivable loans to keep small businesses afloat and employees on the payroll. Like hundreds of thousands of other small businesses in this country, we eagerly await word on our application.

What if I have questions you haven’t answered here? I want to hear from you. Email me at catherine.hadaway@vicksburgpost.com or leave a direct message at 601-636-6488. We’re working remotely these days to do our part in social distancing, but I check messages often.

We understand loyal print subscribers may be saddened by this change, but we assure them the amount of content they receive will not decline. The three remaining print publications will be robust, packed full of all the features our readers love.

We have made some changes that I hope will add value to the three editions you receive every week. Effective April 13, each edition you receive will have at least 12 pages and they will be filled with more local content than ever before. We are bringing back the weekly education feature and we are increasing our text size.

Once past the COVID-19 pandemic, we plan to continue our rack refurbishing program, which was inspired by a couple members of the local Vicksburg Beautification Committee, to better market ourselves and keep our city beautiful.

We are all navigating uncharted territory, adapting to changes every day while working to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. To get through these uncertain times, we must focus on coming together and moving forward. At The Post, we know our role in that mission is to continue telling your stories and providing information as quickly as it is available. 

Like so much else in our lives, The Post’s approach to the way in which we share these stories will be different than before the pandemic. Through these changes, our commitment remains to informing Vicksburg and Warren County, and we will continue to be your trusted source for local news.

 

Catherine Hadaway is the Publisher at The Vicksburg Post. She can be reached at catherine.hadaway@vicksburgpost.com

 

About Catherine Hadaway

Catherine Hadaway, as The Vicksburg Post’s publisher, oversees the business operations of the newspaper. She is a native of Tuscaloosa, Ala. and is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis where she earned bachelor’s degrees in Business and Religion. She is a Director of Boone Newspapers, Inc., the family company that owns The Post. Catherine comes from a long line of newspaper publishers, starting with her grandfather, Buford Boone, who served as publisher of The Tuscaloosa News and earned journalism's highest honor when he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for his editorial titled "What a Price for Peace." Catherine is a member of The Rotary Club of Vicksburg, Vicksburg Young Professionals, The Heritage Guild and The Vicksburg Warren County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

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