You make the difference in keeping local journalism sustainable | Columnists

It includes some news organizations that have, like so many businesses in this harsh economy, simply thrown in the towel and closed forever.

And yet what we do as an industry is more important than ever. How do we know? Readers vote with their feet, or more accurately, with their eyeballs.

When crisis strikes, whether it be the coronavirus pandemic or wildfires or earthquakes, you turn to us in huge numbers. Between March and late September, when the Glass Fire hit, our traffic was up a minimum of 30% per week over a normal week, sometimes a lot more.

When the fire hit, traffic was double or even triple normal for weeks on end.

Why? Because you want and need reliable local information and we’re the main organization with the infrastructure and expertise to bring you that information.

Now that COVID-19 cases are spiking in Napa and across the country, that need is back. Already we’re seeing our web traffic creeping back up as the public becomes more aware that the virus is back with a vengeance (actually, it never really left).

At the same time, we’re not immune to the economic trauma that has affected journalism and so many other industries. We’re covering the resurgence of COVID-19 with the smallest staff the Register has had in its 157-year history. My team is working harder than ever to keep telling Napa County’s stories, from urgent health news to the people and places that make this community special.

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You make the difference in keeping local journalism sustainable | Columnists

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