Tips for covering the news and getting through this difficult time

Mar 16, 2020

Newspaper people are resilient and mission driven. Now that we are confronting the threat of the novel coronavirus together, we are reaching out to each other for guidance and support. We are going to cover the news and we are going to get through this difficult time.

We are learning of rumors around the country that governors and other authorities are considering the closing of newspapers as they impose mandates to carry out the social distancing behaviors recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

Stopping newspapers from publishing is not only unwise at a time when people are fending off bad and irresponsible information. It also has constitutional implications. NNA and its allies in the free press advocacy world are staying alert for infringements of the free press.

At the same time, we have an obligation to our journalists and our communities to keep each other as safe as possible. NNA has some tips for newsrooms, based upon guidance from CDC, OSHA and other agencies to help members make decisions as they navigate through this tough time. (

I know we are all being pulled a hundred different ways right now. Please know your NNA community is in your corner. If you need moral support, visit our closed Facebook forum here. Reach out to us if you need ideas from others on how to cope. I have great faith in our industry. By keeping our communities informed, we will help all of us to remain safe.

Update 3/16/20 10:52 am PT: 

USPS has advised NNA that Periodicals permits will not be revoked if a newspaper has to suspend a print issue during coronavirus quarantines. Technically, a change in publication frequency requires a change in the permit. But during this emergency, USPS says a letter to the postmaster of the entry office advising USPS of the newspaper's revised publication plans will be sufficient. The letter should be updated as plans change. Questions from members may be directed to the NNA Washington Office at