All the news that's fit to print--if we had room
Six articles—that’s how many had been submitted for the Heights Observer’s May issue as of April 10—three days before the April 13 article deadline.
I’d expected a drop off in submissions; much of what the Observer publishes in any given month is a look ahead at events and programs. The coronavirus means no events on the horizon, and no articles about them.
Feeling a bit desperate, I sent an e-mail to members of the Observer’s newly re-forming advisory committee, and some regular contributors, asking for articles and asking that they spread word, far and wide, to anyone who might have ever considered writing for the publication.
Usually, it just works out. We generally end up with more than enough articles and photos to fill an issue, no matter how many pages we have to fill.
It worked out this month as well. The response was far beyond what I anticipated. A week after sending that e-mail, the number of articles submitted would have filled an estimated 26 pages.
Besides the cancellation of events (and dearth of event-related articles), another impact of coronavirus has been a precipitous drop in print ads. We understand.
But fewer ads means fewer pages, as ad sales determine how many pages we can afford to publish each month. Ad sales for May suggested we should be publishing a 12-page issue. We upped it to 16. That still wasn’t close to the 26 pages needed to accommodate the many articles submitted.
So, this month, especially, we remind readers that we publish many articles online only. Please visit www.heightsobserver.org to read them.
For every article that appears in this issue, there’s another that will have been published online only, or held over to the June issue.
Putting together the May print issue meant making uncomfortable decisions. I had to omit a column from Ari Klein, one of our regular columnists. I had to drop the University Heights News page altogether (UH-themed articles appear on page 1 and page 12). I left out a straight opinion piece to make room for Kathy Ewing’s first-person reflection on daily life in this coronavirus age; but I didn’t have room in print for Krissy Dietrich Gallagher’s first-person account of what she, her friends, and their children are missing at this time.
Beyond the first-person, this issue contains several articles about what businesses are doing to try to keep going at a time when customers can’t visit them in person. For the Grog Shop, it’s a project that aims to benefit laid-off employees. For Lee Road restaurants, it’s a shift to takeout, as documented in detail by Fred D’Ambrosi, who regularly walks to Lee Road from his nearby home.
What’s not in this issue, or online? News from businesses in the North Side of Cleveland Heights. We want to hear from and about them. Please, if you’re a business owner, let us know how, and if, you’re adapting.
We anticipate ad sales will remain far below normal, for possibly longer than we can anticipate. That means the print issue of the Heights Observer will continue to publish far fewer pages than usual.
Whether in print, or online, we’re remain committed to publishing all relevant Heights-focused news. So please, keep your articles coming.
Kim Sergio Inglis
Kim Sergio Inglis is editor-in-chief of the Heights Observer, and is a Cuyahoga County master gardener volunteer.