We don’t have to tell you these are uncertain times.
A few weeks ago, things at the University of Oregon were business as usual. Then, UO canceled in-person finals, then all spring term in-person classes and commencement. Lane County Public Health said that the COVID-19 pandemic in Lane County might not peak until May or June. Over the past few weeks, over 10 million people in the United States have filed for unemployment insurance. Life is chaotic, and it’s hard to know what to do.
At the Daily Emerald, we’re hoping we can help our community in these troubled times. At the beginning of winter term, we introduced the Emerald Trust Project with the hopes of increasing public trust in news media. The most important note on the Emerald Trust Project this term is that while our methods are changing, our goals are not.
Increasing trust and transparency should be lifelong goals of any news organization and equity and inclusion are ideals we can dispose of because situations change and it becomes less convenient. Now, as ever, we are committed to serving you as best we can.
Three months on, the necessity for that trust is clearer than ever. We want to take this opportunity to lay out how we plan to serve the campus community through this crisis.
First and foremost, the Daily Emerald will provide coverage to help people navigate the next few months. Almost every day since COVID-19 appeared in our community, the Daily Emerald has posted multiple breaking news stories with all the information you need to be informed about how COVID-19 is affecting our community. Additionally, we’ve begun writing weekly summaries of all the important coverage from the past week in an easy-to-understand format.
Beyond the day-to-day news, we want to let our readers know what the long-term impacts of COVID-19 will be. The Daily Emerald recently posted a form for community members to tell us their questions and concerns about the coronavirus.
Using those responses, Emerald staff developed a new set of beats for reporters. Those beats include higher education and finance, labor, small businesses and student experiences. That means we’ll be writing about everything from how the coronavirus is going to affect your financial aid to what rights a tenant has if they lost their job and can’t pay rent.
Another priority of the Daily Emerald’s is to pass the mic to community members. Everyone has a voice to add and experiences to share. To make sure those voices are heard, we want to publish more Guest Viewpoints. Those interested should email our Editor-in-Chief.
But COVID-19 isn’t the only thing affecting the community, and one day this crisis will pass. The Daily Emerald is going to continue covering important community stories as they arise.