Information you can trust about the COVID-19 is vital, and we need the community’s help to keep providing it.

Look, I didn’t go into journalism to ask for money.

I have been in this profession for more than 45 years with one overriding goal – get people the truth so they can act.

And every ounce of energy I have right now is devoted to doing that in this crisis.

And that determination is matched by the entire team at the Malheur Enterprise.

Reporters Pat Caldwell and Yadira Lopez are staying in constant touch with all the right people to keep alert to changes. They have contacts with health authorities, emergency responders, and medical professionals. They are keeping in close touch with all of our school systems, trying hard to advise parents and students what’s ahead. And they’re constantly monitoring the local economy, chronicling the changes – and the hope.

But they have a team behind them. Rose Zueger, our advertising manager, is figuring out how to help businesses let customers know they are still up and running. Autumn Butler, our office manager, is processing the important obituaries and legal notices and seeing subscribers get the service they need. Howard Benson, our business manager, ensures everyone gets paid, including our many vendors. And Sheila Schroder, our delivery person, insists on seeing the community gets access to the print edition of the Enterprise.

They all do this while many businesses are shuttered and we are giving away much of our work on line. We decided to give Malheur County free access to stories on the novel coronavirus because people need the information only we can provide. No other news organization in the area has the skill, the speed and the credibility to do this work. We were made for this moment.

Yet, we have to keep fuel in our tank and that’s why we are plunging ahead with a new donation campaign. This one is different from anything we’ve done before.

How?

Simply, because now contributions to our operation are tax deductible (and they can be anonymous). We have teamed up with the national Local Media Foundation to afford donors a chance to get a tax benefit while they help sustain the Enterprise. Every dollar goes to keeping us going and, more importantly, keep the flow of vital information going to the community.

We love our subscribers, but $5 a month just isn’t enough to sustain operations.

LINK: Donate to our COVID-19 Local News Fund

I make no apology for asking for support. Malheur County likely hasn’t seen the worst of the pandemic, and you need to know what’s coming – and what’s here. You need to know what’s happening to businesses and jobs – and what’s on the other side of the economic canyon that has been cut through Malheur County.

At no time in the 109-year history of the Malheur Enterprise has a partnership with the community been more urgent.

Get behind us and get behind our campaign and I promise that we will drive hard to care for the community with credible information, the truth – and inspiration for Malheur County to recover and regain its vital strength.

Les Zaitz, editor and publisher

Email: [email protected]

Les Zaitz, editor and publisher, Malheur Enterprise.