Columns

Coronavirus issues affecting publications

Recap: I'm summarizing questions to the NNA Postal Hotline of interest to members.
The identity of the questioner and location is withheld.

Q:  I have a question about our periodical permit. All of our advertisers have pulled their ads until at least the first of May. We cannot make it as a small newspaper without these major advertisers. If we take a short recess from publishing for about 3-4 weeks, will we lose our permit? What do we need to do in order to do this? This is crucial for us to stay in business.

Coronavirus underscores the breadth of business reporting

The coronavirus pandemic is dominating headlines, generating stories on issues touching nearly every aspect of lives.

Reports addressing the health and safety of citizens are obviously center stage. At the same time, the pandemic has spawned a range of stories focusing on our worksites – the places we earn a paycheck as employees and purchase products and services as consumers. Business lockdowns and restrictions have redefined commerce and reshaped daily routines.

By Jim Pumarlo, community newspaper consultant

Previews of new USPS programs, procedures

A big part of NNA’s participation in the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) is getting a preview of new programs and procedures proposed by the Postal Service. The theory is that the representatives from the mailing industry will provide feedback to the Postal Service on the workability of these changes, and we do see where sometimes USPS modifies a proposal based on comments.
Some of the items of interest to NNA members from the most recent MTAC meeting in late January follow.

By MATT PAXTON,
National Newspaper Association

Bebo the Bull: Lessons from the senior citizen aisle

Right now, I’m sure the most relevant topic in all of our lives and businesses is dealing with the coronavirus, COVID-19.
But as they say, laughter is the best medicine, so I hope my column can give everyone a chuckle or at least a little smile to brighten their day.
Turning old is inevitable, we all know that! 
When we are teenagers we can’t wait to turn 18, then it’s 21, and from that point on, most of us dread getting a year older.
Another aspect when you’re young is you look forward to going to dances.

Week of March 30 - April 5, 2020

White House grants disaster declaration for state of Texas

AUSTIN — President Trump on March 25 issued a major disaster declaration for the state of Texas as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump’s action came at the request of Gov. Greg Abbott, who is seeking additional federal assistance to combat the disease. In recent days Abbott issued multiple waivers of state laws to remove barriers limiting the response to the pandemic. He also activated the Texas National Guard to be prepared to assist with response efforts.

Week of March 23-29, 2020

Governor takes actions to slow down deadly virus

AUSTIN — Texas is more invested every day in promoting increased and thorough hand washing, disinfecting surfaces and social distancing to reduce cases of the rapidly spreading novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

As of March 22, the cumulative count of patients testing positive in Texas increased to 334. The death count stood at five with 8,756 people having been tested, according to figures posted by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Week of March 16-22, 2020

Governor issues statewide disaster declaration

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on March 13 declared a state of disaster in all Texas counties and listed actions agencies are taking to contain and minimize the spread of COVID-19 novel coronavirus, a highly contagious flu-like respiratory disease.

Abbott said agency actions would include:

—Provide immediate ability to move resources around the state, including resources obtained through the Strategic National Stockpile, an emergency supply of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies;