"When you're on your own, we are there with you"

Chris Lazama, manager of the Lower Mills Apartments, is shown holding a copy of last week’s Reporter, which was delivered to the building’s residents. A note about this week's cover: The Reporter joined many other newspapers in our region in participating in a "coordinated front page" campaign, which was organized by the New England Newspaper and Press Association. Photo courtesy Dave Mareira

We are now three weeks into an unprecedented public health emergency. At the Reporter, we continue to publish and distribute the newspaper that many people in our community have known and read for decades.

We are committed to continue publishing each week. In fact, we are actually amplifying our reach by putting papers into new places, like supermarkets and select apartment complexes.

We've added a number of new free drops for seniors over the last week – at Keystone, Mattapan Center for Life, Savin Hill Apartments, Lower Mills Apartments, Peabody Apartments, Pasciucco Apts, and Kit Clark Apartments, Kelly House Apartments and Codman Apartments.

Some of Dorchester's finest businesses and institutions are stepping up to support us, including the Martin W. Richard Foundation, East Boston Savings Bank, Carney Hospital, Members Plus Credit Union, Accordia Partners, Codman Square Health Center, Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester, Tavolo, City of Boston Credit Union, American Provisions, Feeney Brothers Excavation, Maneikis Companies, Boston Public Health Commission, Eire Pub, Mattapan Community Health Center. and many more.

They all recognize the importance of keeping community journalism alive and well — especially right now.

Mayor Walsh—in his daily briefings— has repeatedly emphasized the need for people to rely on trusted media sources— including newspapers— to guide public behavior and safety measures. People are taking that advice by our measurements:

We've seen unprecedented traffic to our website— DotNews.com— and social media channels, mainly because we've been doing important journalism, including breaking news about Carney Hospital's plan to become the nation's first dedicated COVID-19 facility; the challenges facing community health centers; providing expert context on public health from a local perspective; the role of city government in maintaining order and direction; and the impacts to local businesses.

Our coverage is providing essential information in this fast-moving emergency. And we're working closely with partners like WBUR, State House News Service, and BNN-TV to bring context about what is happening on the ground here in our neighborhoods.

Our work has also been highlighted by national media: Last week, Lawrence O'Donnell directed his viewers on MSNBC's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell to check out our coverage of Gaby Araica's efforts to make face masks for health care workers in our neighborhood.

We remain a viable, trusted vehicle to get messaging out quickly to our loyal readers.

We've also seen a number of new subscribers in recent days from people who want to support our efforts. That has been a great help to us, since that will help to finance our efforts to get more papers into the hands of people— especially older neighbors— who have found themselves isolated at home.

We feel our mission is even more important in this time of crisis and hardship.

To all of our readers: Please stay safe and healthy and let us know how we can be of assistance in the days and weeks to come. Let us know how we can continue to serve you.

Bill Forry is the Editor/Publisher of the Reporter. Follow him on Twitter @BillForry or email him at bforry@dotnews.com. Or call 617-436-1222 x17.

A note about this week's cover: The Reporter joined many other newspapers in our region in participating in a "coordinated front page" campaign, which was organized by the New England Newspaper and Press Association.

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