It’s now been six months since the COVID-19 pandemic struck hard in Snohomish County and at The Daily Herald.
It was early March when officials announced the first death of a county resident from the virus.
By the middle of the month, the disease had forced us from our newsroom and into the remote-work world of virtual meetings, Zoom calls and seemingly endless email exchanges with socially distanced co-workers. A month later, we sadly said goodbye to a number of colleagues as the shuttered economy sapped the newspaper of the advertising revenue on which we still greatly depend. The rest of us saw our work hours reduced as The Daily Herald fought to survive.
Despite the challenges and uncertainties, our small but scrappy staff of 28 reporters, editors, photographers and designers continues to perform our public service mission and provide our community with essential news and information at a time when people continue to look for answers.
Herald staff members have written almost 500 stories and produced hundreds more photographs and videos chronicling daily the impact of the COVID-19 virus on our community. We’ve worked hard to capture and convey the most important details of the complex, fast-moving and ever-evolving story. Along the way we’ve profiled those in need, those who stepped up to help and those we lost during this once-in-a-lifetime event. All the while, we continued to provide other area news, sports and feature stories that help define this place we call home.
I’m proud of the work we’ve done under difficult circumstances.
Even more, I’m humbled by the support we’ve received from our community.
At the end of March, in cooperation with the Community Foundation of Snohomish County, we launched The Daily Herald Investigative Journalism Fund, part of an effort to find new ways to help pay for the local journalism that plays such a key role in a vibrant democracy. The fund offers an opportunity to make a tax-deductible contribution to help support investigative journalism in The Daily Herald newsroom. Already, we’ve raised nearly $125,000, putting us almost halfway toward our first-year goal. To donate to the investigative fund, please go to www.heraldnet.com/investigativefund.
Today, I’m excited to announce the creation of The Daily Herald Environmental and Climate Change Reporting Fund, a similar opportunity to make a tax-deductible donation to support journalism at The Daily Herald focused on the environment and climate change. This latest grass-roots initiative already has drawn support from the League of Women Voters of Snohomish County, the Washington State Sierra Club and 350 Everett, a climate action group. We’re pleased to have their backing as we seek new resources to help us cover topics that are important to our readers.
To donate to the environmental fund, go to www.heraldnet.com/climatefund.
Finally, I want to offer my sincere thanks to you, our print and digital subscribers, whose support we also rely on to perform this critical work. Thank you for your continued loyalty. We know better days are ahead, and I look forward to being back in the newsroom full time with my second family, doing the work we love. Until then, know that we’ll continue to work hard every day to earn your trust and support.
Phillip O’Connor is executive editor of The Daily Herald. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.