All my career, I've worked in newsrooms.
While they have varied greatly in size and personalities, the constant has been they are engaging atmospheres where multiple conversations and sounds emanate from the messy desks where journalists are crafting the news of the day.
So it's been a bit surreal this week as I arrive daily to a deserted and dark newsroom. As part of our effort to social distance in the wake of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), News Tribune reporters and photographers, for the most part, are working from home in an effort to minimize the number of journalists congregating daily in the newsroom.
They're out in the community, maintaining the proper social distance, then they go home to file their reports throughout the day.
By mid-afternoon, a handful of news and sports designers come in to begin work on the next day's print edition.
We're also limiting access to our buildings by encouraging folks who have business with the News Tribune, whether it's ads or newspaper delivery, to try to reach us by phone or by email.
I share this information in an effort to help you stay engaged and informed about what's happening in the community and the world around you so you can make good decisions for yourself and your family. We're updating our website regularly throughout the day with information — locally and regionally — as it comes in to us about the latest COVID-19 information.
At this time, I'd encourage you to activate your digital subscription so you can stay up to date as we post news updates. As a seven-day print subscriber, it's free and easy to set up.
You can do that by going to newstribune.com and clicking on the "subscribe" button on the top right side of the page. Then, in that next window, click on the "register" button. If you're more comfortable talking through the registration with a person, call 573-636-3132.
Currently, we've given everyone free access to our COVID-19 stories as a public service so you can have access to the latest information.
At times like this, information is vital to the public's safety.
To that end, the News Tribune's mission is to provide that information to you. But for us, it's a 365-day mission. I would encourage you to consider subscribing to the News Tribune and encouraging your friends and neighbors to do so as well so we can continue that mission.
You're not only investing in this community newspaper but in your community as well.
Be safe. Be informed. And wash your hands.
Gary Castor is managing editor of the Jefferson City News Tribune.
For more news about the COVID-19 coronavirus, access the News Tribune Health section.