August 12, 2020

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A message for Free Press readers on newspaper production during the coronavirus pandemic

The Free Press has made this story available free of charge so everyone can access trusted information on the coronavirus.

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During this uncertain time, I would like to reassure our readers that the Winnipeg Free Press will continue to play a responsible role informing you about what is happening, as we have many times when circumstances have challenged our community.

This means many things for us as a news outlet, an employer and a business that puts the health and safety of our community first and foremost.

The Winnipeg Free Press has implemented all recommendations from provincial and national governments and is arranging for as many staff as possible to work from home.

The Winnipeg Free Press has implemented all recommendations from provincial and national governments and is arranging for as many staff as possible to work from home.

As a news outlet, we will continue to provide accurate information from public-health officials and others about what is happening and what is changing on an almost hourly basis. It is more important than ever to get information from a trusted local news source as we adjust our lives to unfolding events.

We have also made all content on COVID-19 available at no charge on our digital platforms to ensure the public has full access to this information.

We will be making some changes to the printed paper, as there have been major changes in what is happening in our community. With so little sports and entertainment news, we are temporarily reducing the newspaper size to three sections Monday to Friday, instead of four.

As an employer, we have implemented all recommendations from provincial and national governments. We are arranging for as many staff as possible to work from home. We are insisting that anyone who has been on a foreign trip observe 14-day self-isolation periods. We have changed practices within our building to avoid larger gatherings and observe social distancing. We now limit the number of newspaper carriers inside the building to 10 at a time while they pick up papers for delivery in the early morning hours.

There is very little human contact with newspapers and flyers before they are delivered to readers — mostly it is machines that take care of printing, bundling and inserting.

We are monitoring carriers for any signs of illness, advising them to self-identify and stay home if they are sick, and to observe 14-day self-isolation periods if they have travelled outside the country. We are asking our contractors who carry out distribution and delivery of flyers and other products to observe the same precautions.

Many readers already use our daily electronic replica edition of the Winnipeg Free Press, which provides an exact copy of the printed paper on your computer or tablet. This is always available. For print subscribers who have not registered for digital access, we recommend you consider doing this as a measure to ensure you continue to have daily access to our content.

I would ask for a little patience from subscribers seeking customer service at this time. We have fewer staff available on phones because of the measures we have implemented. I encourage you to manage your subscription through our online portal, if possible.

I will continue to communicate with you on any new developments.

At this time, please be assured that we will do all that we can to provide trusted information on the COVID-19 pandemic and to ask responsible questions about how the pandemic is being handled in our community — and to keep your health and safety as our top priority.

Bob Cox

Bob Cox
Publisher

Bob Cox was named publisher of the Winnipeg Free Press in November 2007. He joined the newspaper as editor in May 2005.

Read full biography

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