A message to our readers
We hope you are keeping safe. Adjusting to the demands of social distancing to reduce the speed and impact of the virus, we are all, to a certain extent, in the same boat.
This is a global pandemic – requiring global solidarity.
And yet, we are not quite all in the same boat. As with most crises, some people are more vulnerable than others, a fact reflected in our online coverage so far.
The physical, emotional and economic impact of the pandemic will vary, depending on many factors including whether you have a roof over your head, access to clean water, a decent and regular income, and can count on a robust public health system.
At New Internationalist we are used to seeing things through an equality and social justice lens. This perspective seems more relevant than ever today.
So is information that you can trust. Which is why we are working hard to keep delivering public interest journalism that is socially responsible and internationalist in its scope, coverage that challenges prejudice and perspectives that put public good over private greed.
The terrifying and heart-rending stories from the epicentre of the pandemic cannot fail to move us. Nor can the brave, tireless actions of frontline health staff and volunteers.
It has been noted that there are silver linings to this disaster. Improved air quality is one. The sudden, if belated, redirection of cash towards austerity-starved public goods, such as health services and income support, is another. Grassroots mutual aid groups are springing up in villages, towns and cities. And, of course, there’s heart-warming public singing and music-making from balconies and open windows.
For now, our main challenge is to help each other as best we can and encourage the values that can make a positive difference.
But at the same time, we can be thinking about the lessons we are learning and what we could be doing when the worst is over. How we consume resources and engage with the world is being changed quite radically by COVID-19. Can we build on the more positive aspects of these changes to develop respect for the planet and grow a more social global economy?
Even stuck in our homes, in the midst of this crisis, we can still communicate and do the groundwork for this vital transition.
That, also, is a task to which New Internationalist will be dedicated in the coming months, while maintaining our coverage of other important issues, COVID-19 related or not.
News media has a vital role to play today. As the Reuters Institute notes: ‘Journalism is showing its real value in the face of a worldwide pandemic. Audiences are supporting non-profits and flocking to trusted sources... And yet the crisis will be tough for many news organizations. Advertising revenue will drop. Publishers will have to cut salaries and lay people off.’
This is true – and as shop sales of the magazine disappear, subscribers become the lifeline for the news media you value. If you are already a subscriber to New Internationalist magazine, thank you for your commitment. If you are not, this is one way you can make a difference, and support independent public interest journalism.
In the meantime, please keep safe, keep washing your hands and socially distancing while remaining connected and caring. And please keep reading New Internationalist and telling us what you think.
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