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APG of Chesapeake president says efforts have been ramped up

As the global novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic takes hold in the United States, local newspapers have responded to a more intense news cycle with accuracy, targeted reporting and compassion.

Many local newspapers, including all Maryland and Delaware newspapers owned by APG Media of Chesapeake, under Adams Publishing Group, have created comprehensive coverage and lowered paywalls in an attempt to respond to public health concerns. They have created a geo-location specific coverage portal, where readers can read statewide and regional coverage, or can drill down coverage by area or county if desired.

To keep the community informed and safe, the Maryland Independent has doubled down its commitment to the community during this crisis.

“We are an essential business, and so are many of our advertisers and readers,” said APG Media of Chesapeake Regional President Jim Normandin.

“These unprecedented times can be an opportunity to support local businesses, including newspapers,” he said. “People are getting creative, and there’s a huge demand for certain goods and services. It’s a fantastic time for local businesses to capture some market share through advertising. This is a whole new era.”

Normandin praised the work of APG associates throughout the region for banding together and finding innovative ways to coordinate and elevate news.

“We know how necessary accurate, timely and hyperlocal coverage is during these unprecedented times,” he said. “Many in our communities are doing phenomenal things, and we’re working to lift up those stories. Our journalists and associates are committed to your right to know, and we’ve even created a comprehensive coverage portal for all of our regional papers. In addition to a printed version of the newspaper, we offer the news on a dynamic and intuitive web platform and the newspaper can be delivered digitally in an e-edition format as well. We care about our communities and our readers. They deserve this information.”

Print newspapers themselves do not pose a high health risk, and should be safe to handle and read. The World Health Organization has provided information about the spread of novel coronavirus, including verbiage about contamination from commercial goods. The WHO has said the likelihood of an infected person contaminating packages that arrive at a person’s home or what they buy at stores, including newspapers, is low.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also issued similar guidance, providing a “low risk” guidance for commercial packages such as newspapers.

Although the Maryland Independent and other local newspaper offices in APG of Chesapeake have temporarily restricted access to walk-in visitors, accessing information and investigating government and community response to a public health crisis such as this continues.

“We’re taking precautions to keep each other and our communities safe,” Normandin said. “We need all the support we can get as a local business. We want people to get in touch and let us know how we can help them, as well.”

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