The Pleasanton Express, while operating non-stop, is working remotely like thousands of journalists across the nation. Logistically, it is not easy moving a newspaper remotely. We are becoming quite creative in how we navigate telling the stories we need to tell without in-person access to people or meetings.
I am thankful for a highly talented, resourceful, motivated and agile team of professionals who are in good spirits working to put out a newspaper, a digital product and inform and engage on social media.
We have a house ad on page 10A that says, “Newspapers Have Your Back.” We do have our community’s back. During the COVID-19 crisis, the Pleasanton Express is keeping you informed with current events in your hometown and helping to bring the community together during these challenging times. We are reporting on the actions our state and local governments are taking and providing free coverage to restaurants that are offering take out and delivery. We are providing resources that help assist those in need and information that helps to keep the public safe.
We are living the story we are covering. Last Thursday, my brother-inlaw Charlie Rasor died of COVID-19. He was 62 and had never taken a sick day in his life from work. In fact, on the day he died, he had been on conference calls in the morning, albeit sick. My sister-in-law, nieces, my husband and I reeled from the shock all weekend and mourned in a new way together while apart via Zoom and many, many phone calls and Facetime.
This view from a pandemic makes the team at the Pleasanton Express empathetic and attached to the stories we are telling. We are eager to provide our readers with timely, accurate and pertinent resources and information.
We, like newspapers all over the country, are losing revenue by the day that is making our survival difficult. We are losing advertising partners who believe in what we do and how we help them to stay top of mind in our community. They do not want to stop advertising, but their bottom lines are hurting and advertising to audiences that cannot leave their houses is a hard sell.
But we will prevail. We have stories to tell. Like this one on Saturday that will be told by Sam Fowler, Sports Editor, who will be serving as a general reporter. While practicing safe social distancing, Sam will be covering the San Antonio Food Bank as they come distribute food to 500 families at the Atascosa County Courthouse in Jourdanton. The San Antonio Food Bank knows 500 will not be enough and that families will be turned away. Last week, the SA Food Bank was overwhelmed by an unprecedented number of people with more than 6,000 cars lined up for meals.
The Pleasanton Express knows much help is needed by people who have never had to seek help before and by those who have. It is a daunting task to understand where to start to look for help. We have designed a two-page resource guide sponsored by Wigington Rumley Dunn & Blair, LLP on pages 4-5A which offers a bevy of local and state resources plus a full listing of all local livestreamed church services. If you know of people locally who are in need, please refer them to these pages as they offer areas of help in family services, food, rental assistance, recovery/substance abuse, unemployment/taxes, services for the elderly and more. Please, if you need us, we are here. Call 830- 569-6130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES is the Publisher/Managing Editor of the Pleasanton Express. You may reach her at email@example.com.