As regular readers may have noticed, Route 1 Reporter is making major changes to its newsgathering operations in the face of a global coronavirus pandemic which is now spreading rapidly in Prince George’s County. The goal of these changes is to serve as a reliable source of freely-accessible information for all of Prince George’s County’s communities about this rapidly-evolving and deadly-serious viral outbreak.
The first duty my newsgathering efforts will be to convey and amplify the messages from official government agencies bearing new information about the hyperlocal, county, state and federal impacts of the coronavirus outbreak. The second duty of my newsgathering efforts will be to highlight the complications, controversies, and implications of our governments’ and our communities’ response to the pandemic.
Both parts are needed. Emergency management and government officials in Maryland and beyond are actively using local journalism reports – where available – as critical parts of their feedback loops to develop or modify policies and direct government action. Those reports will sometime lead to uncomfortable questions for government officials about this deadly pandemic.