Newspapers rise to challenge, play vital role in times of crisis

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In the worst of times, newspapers rise to the occasion.

While everyone struggles to understand “flattening the curve” and social distancing, who will provide them with the information about what is happening in their community?

Be proud of the role you fill in a democracy and make your community proud of the way you fulfilled your role when this crisis passes.

Who will explain what steps the county health department has instituted to deal with COVID-19?

Who will explain what steps the hospital’s emergency room and doctor’s office have taken to deal with requests for a coronavirus test?

Who will tell residents whether there are any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in your community?

Who will assure Hoosiers that the shelves of stores remain stocked, maybe not with hand sanitizers, but the essentials needed while people try to stay at home as much as possible?

Who will tell them that the pharmacies remain open to fill prescriptions for those who need medicine?

Who will share stories on how first responders are protecting themselves while serving calls from possible coronavirus victims?

Who will explain to parents what students should be doing to stay current in the classroom?

Who will help circulate the latest information released by county commissioners, school superintendents, mayors and town councils on the local response to an ever-changing situation?

Who will inform families where they can go to replace the school lunches their children were receiving?

Who will ask hard questions of government officials when flaws in the system become evident?

The answer to all of the above questions is the local newspaper.

Be proud of the role you fill in a democracy and make your community proud of the way you fulfilled your role when this crisis passes.

— Steve Key, executive director & general counsel, Hoosier State Press Association

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