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Taylor Johnston and Ellen Wagner make important decisions about the Post in the editors' office on the evening of Wednesday, February 5, 2020.

Editorial: Covering the coronavirus pandemic as student journalists

In the past week, Ohio University moved to online classes for the remainder of the semester. It came as a shock to all students, especially seniors. 

As classes move online, many students are unsure of what it means to learn from home. For The Post, it brings its own set of challenges to manage a staff and produce content remotely.

It is important that we work closely with our business manager in the coming weeks to make sure advertisements are in place and distribution of our paper is confirmed. As the weeks go on, we plan to continue these check-ins to make sure everything is running smoothly for the print edition of our paper.

As of now, we are planning on printing our weekly tabloid for the next two weeks. However, we have reduced the number of papers that will be printed. Instead, the print edition will mostly be sent to businesses and subscribers of The Athens Messenger. As for the month of April, conversations are still going on about what will be done. We will see how the next few weeks will go and determine if we will have to cut some of our print editions for the next month. 

However, this will not affect the work our staff is devoted to doing. We have been doing our best to get out content over the past week regarding COVID-19, or coronavirus.

We built a landing page to house all of the coverage surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and how it is affecting Ohio University and Athens County. This page will serve as a spot for our readers to navigate to when they want to read the most recent updates or check the interactive map to see the counties that have confirmed cases. 

As a staff, we are relying heavily on communicating. As it is something that we struggle with in-person, we are trying our best to use online tools to continue to communicate with one another so that we can get news out to our readers. Whether it be Slack, Google Hangouts, or some other form, someone is usually around to respond. 

We are also taking this time as a learning opportunity. As editors, we had the chance to collaborate with student newsrooms across the country to talk about how they are covering the pandemic. Some issues were similar while others were different. We were able to discuss how we were handling reporting remotely, sharing story ideas and the best ways to communicate and check in on our staff members during this time.

We know that the news of classes going online for the remainder of the semester came as a shock to students and our staff, but we appreciate the work they have been doing despite the unusual circumstances. 

Just because we are not on campus, it does not mean The Post is over. This is going to be a time of transitioning and learning for us all, but we are working together to get creative in the ways we will produce our content. 

Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Post's executive editors: Editor-in-Chief Ellen Wagner and Digital Managing Editor Taylor Johnston. Post editorials are independent of the publication's news coverage.

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