This week, for the first time, The Star has given over its news section to taking note of the people in the area’s hamlets and villages who have gone above and beyond during a time of crisis. What is remarkable is the apparent ease with which so many of our friends and neighbors, as well as strangers, rose to the challenges of dealing with the multiple effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. These include food, housing, medical care, emergency response, mental health, and economic support, to cite just a few. Citizens took to helping one another without complaint, offering assistance without being asked in many cases.
One group of people who deserve recognition but did not make this special issue are the reporters and editors of this and other media outlets. Newspaper and radio staff members across the country, in newsrooms large and small, have worked long, often unpaid hours to keep their communities informed. The twin goals for news people have been to save lives and keep their local economies going, and nearly as much as anyone on the virus frontline, they are stars in their own right.
Journalists cannot play their part without support from readers and news consumers. During the past 10 months, organizations like The Star have seen a doubling or tripling of online visitors and a boost in the all-important subscription base. Many, like ours, have also benefited from the generosity of personal donations, which have helped close the gap between costs and sharply falling advertising revenue. It is not an exaggeration for me to state that the financial lifeline that these donations have been has made the difference in allowing us to continue publication.
On behalf of the entire staff of The East Hampton Star, I think I can express our sincere thanks to a community that has made our work possible over this extraordinary year.