Working in the Time of COVID

The old Chinese curse, “may you live in interesting times,” takes on new meaning right now.
I doubt if any of us, making our plans for a Regional Conference at Hofstra and awards presentations and the other spring chapter events could have envisioned Zoom-meeting with our colleagues and discussing how to proceed with an SPJ season in this strange new normal.
Journalists as a rule don’t do well in isolation. We prefer noisy newsrooms to basement offices with a cat on the keyboard. And while polar bear pajama pants and Johnny Cash t-shirts may be comfortable, they lack the sort of professionalism we became used to. The decline of newspapers already forced many of us to convent a corner of the dining room to a freelance “office,” but now, virtually all of us are solo workers.
Since the average journalist is an extrovert, possibly ADHD and usually over-caffinated, this is bound to cause some over-thinking of the problem.
Far be it from me to give advice on how to get through these interesting times. We all have to fine our own way through them — I have discovered bourbon to be an essential . However, as Regional Coordinator for Region 1, I’m hear to listen.
The RCs are working on some things right now.
We are surveying our chapter leaders who are in turn surveying members to find out if regional and local governments are behaving themselves and not taking advantage of these troubled times to reduce transparency.
We have altered our Chapter Grant program to award funds for virtual events.
We also also looking into ways of assisting some of our members who are furloughed in these times.
I have been remiss about keeping the blog going, but I promise to post regularly to keep members updated on all of our efforts on their behalf.

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