Editorial: Local news is going viral


When last week’s edition went to press, the CIAC had just canceled winter sports tournaments on the heels of an Ivy league announcement. CIAC officials immediately faced criticism, and even protests. Of course, officials at the CIAC can take some satisfaction from the fact that the governor called for a state of emergency later in the day and the state health department told nursing homes to lock out visitors. That kicked off a wave of cancelations and changes across the town, the state and the nation.

Who knows if these were good decisions or panicked overkill? Time will tell, but we’ll leave that to armchair pundits once this virus runs its course. We’re just glad that we didn’t have to make these sorts of decisions, and we have been impressed by local and state leaders over the past week. It’s hard enough trying to wade through the rumors to find and report the truth. It takes courage to be the first to make a decision—right or wrong—and we credit the CIAC for exercising their judgment swiftly based on the information that was availabe at the time and our local leaders for following suit. We’re doing our best to communicate these decisions as quickly as possible to our readers.

The current situation is vastly different today than it was even a week ago due to the spread of COVID-19 in Connecticut.  We will continue to publish our newspapers while actively adjusting to current events.  Now more than ever, we need to inform our readers about the news in our towns.  As national and world headlines grab the attention of the media, we take our role seriously as the only local source of news. Our newsroom is actively gathering and publishing this information in the towns of Southington, Bristol, and Plainville. We will continue to do so throughout this event.

As a small, community newspaper, we have already seen the benefits of being a part of a larger, family-owned organization. We are not a conglomerate. We are members of the communities we serve, and it is paying dividends now. What happens in Waterbury affects our readers in Southington, Bristol, and Plainville. The Waterbury Republican-American is the New England Newspaper and Press Associtaion’s 2020 newspaper of the year, and this week’s Observer has surely benefited from their experienced staff. Through teamwork, they have helped us bring you state and regional news, allowing us to concentrate on local closings and changes. We are the one place that publishes this news. Our readers and advertisers also rely on us to tell you who is “open for business” and what services are available, so that will be a big focus for us as we ride out this outbreak.

Our staff at all three Observer newspapers are working hard to bring all the local news to our readers, and it’s already paying off. What happens at Bristol Hospital or the Wheeler Clinic in Plainville affects people in our town, and we have been using all these resources to bring Southington readers fast and accurate information. We will continue to do so.

We’ll continue to bring the local news and information to your mailbox. Check us online between editions, and we will continue to bring important regional news to your home computers.

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

To comment on this editorial or to contact Southington Observer editor John Goralski, email him at Editor@SouthingtonObserver.com.