Letter from the editor | BLOGH: City Paper's Blog |


Friday, April 3, 2020

Posted By on Fri, Apr 3, 2020 at 9:02 AM

click to enlarge Pittsburgh City Paper's shirt available for sale on compressmerch.com
Pittsburgh City Paper's shirt available for sale on compressmerch.com
Even in times of a global pandemic, Pittsburgh City Paper still gets hate mail from conservative trolls. After working for the paper for over 20 years, I've learned to not let it bother me ... well, quite as much as it used to. But sometimes? Sometimes, someone insults you during a global freakin' pandemic when your staff is working their asses off to try to save the company, and you just wanna really stick it to them, you know? And thanks to the good folks at Pittsburgh printshop Commonwealth Press, my wish came true.

It's been a really hard time for the paper. In addition to our staff's own worries about coronavirus, we've also lost a substantial amount of our advertising revenue, so we launched a membership campaign, which is really helping us keep afloat right now. (Thank you, thank you to everyone who has signed up so far.) The cool thing is that when you become a member or make a donation, readers are allowed to list a reason. Many have dedicated in honor of Lynn Cullen, who does a daily podcast on our site. (If you haven't already, please listen; she's a freakin' legend.) But when one new member said they were donating in honor of an online troll who wrote, "No thanks, the City Paper is a woke commie rag," that's when you, dear reader, became my new favorite person.

It only took one email to Dan Rugh, the owner of Commonwealth Press, for him to say yes to turning the insult into a Woke Commie Rag shirt, which you can see in the image above. They have an entire line of COVID-19 Relief Fund merchandise in support of local businesses affected by the pandemic in their shop, including places like the Rex Theater and Piper's Pub, and we're so honored they let us join in. You can order one of our new T-shirts for $25 here: $10 from each shirt will go to City Paper, and $15 will go to their awesome printshop and staff.

Their printshop is hurting too, so it means a lot that we can help another business at the same time as helping ourselves. (They're taking orders and promise to do their best to ship them out as soon as they feel safe doing so.)

We're so lucky to share space in the city with people like them. And with you, our readers. Which reminds me — we're still here! We're still printing! You can pick up this week's issue in street boxes all over the city, Giant Eagle locations, and restaurants that offer takeout. (If you're a business who wants to receive print copies of City Paper, please email kshep@pghcitypaper.com.)

And if you don't need to go outside to get essentials this week, you can flip through the pages of our digital issue from the safety of your homes below.

Our March online readership went up over 50% since February, and as long as we're still around, we promise to keep bringing you the stories that matter most to our community. Thanks for reading. We mean it. It really means a lot.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2020 at 10:43 AM

click to enlarge Pittsburgh City Paper's circulation manager Jeff Engbarth at work delivering this week's issue
Pittsburgh City Paper's circulation manager Jeff Engbarth at work delivering this week's issue
We're not sure we believe it ourselves, but we got another print issue out the door this week. It's smaller than usual, but we haven't given up yet.

Last week, we launched our Pittsburgh City Paper Membership Campaign, and the support we've been getting from the community has been, as I mentioned to Mother Jones, "really pretty much the only thing keeping us going right now." 
It's true. The majority of our staff has been working from home, cranking out nonstop coronavirus coverage, and I couldn't be more proud of their work during this difficult time. It's very hard to take a break from the news when you are the news.

Every single one of us at City Paper thanks you from the bottom of our (very tired, anxiety-filled) hearts for reading.

As long as we're able, we'd really like to keep putting out a print issue. We can tell from our page views that more of you than ever are reading us online, and we promise to continue to bring you new daily coverage here for free. But, print is where we started and we really want to continue to have a way to reach everyone in our community, even those who aren't able to login to a computer every day. According to the last U.S. Census, 12.4% of Allegheny County households don't have a home computer, and 18.5% don't have a broadband internet subscription. Now that the libraries are closed, getting a printed newspaper off the street might be someone's only source of news. And we want to be able to keep bringing it to them.

This week's print issue will be available in all street boxes, as well as all regular Giant Eagle locations. Other high traffic stops include:

Shop N Save, Lawrenceville • A1 Sunoco Gas, 51st and Butler streets, Lawrenceville • La Gourmandine, Lawrenceville • Little Bangkok, Strip District • Cork Factory • West Penn Hospital • Starbucks, Liberty Ave., Bloomfield • Shur Save Market, Bloomfield • Shop N Save, Noblestown Road, Crafton • Holiday Inn Express, Greentree • Pop n Beer Warehouse, McKees Rocks • Pittsburgh International Airport, Visitor Center/Sunoco Gas Station • Cash Market, Coraopolis • Kiku Restaurant, Station Square • Hard Rock Café, Station Square • Monticello's Pizza locations in Wexford and Babcock Blvd. • Hampton Inn, McKnight Road • El Campesino, McKnight Road • Patron, Fox Chapel • Curb Side Coffee, Blawnox • Mad Mex Locations • Slice on Broadway Pizza, East Liberty, PNC Park, Carnegie, and Beechview • Shop N Save, Glenshaw • Sewickley Valley Hospital Crazy Mocha • Whole Foods, Route 19 (café area is closed but papers still accessible at this location) • Dana's Bakery, Homewood • Humane Society, Homewood and North Side • Peppi's, North Side • Modern Café, North Side • Max's Allegheny Tavern, North Side • Quick It Chicken, North Side • Sidelines, Sewickley • Roma Pizza, Sewickley • Square Café, Regent Square • D's Six Pax and Dogz, Regent Square • CoGo's, South Side • Fat Heads, South Side

If you own a take-out restaurant, or another open business who isn't on this list and would like to receive copies of Pittsburgh City Paper delivered for your customers, please email your name, business name, and address to kshep@pghcitypaper.com. (Or, if you see a location on this list that does not have papers delivered this week, we'd love to hear that too so we can keep this list accurate.)

Not leaving the house today? Flip through our digital issue!

If you don't have to leave the house today, but are privileged enough to have a home computer and internet connection and still want to flip through the pages, check out our digital issue here:

Again, we can't thank you enough for the support you've shown us this past week. Our staff still has an uphill battle to make it through this, but we're more determined than ever to still be there for you when this passes.

Know someone kicking ass during quarantine? Concerned about how a politician is handling the pandemic? Send an email with the story you think is missing from local coverage to info@pghcitypaper.com.

Are you a large company who hasn't been affected financially by the pandemic? Consider signing up for a Pittsburgh City Paper Business Membership. Packages include the ability to donate ad space to nonprofits, your business name listed as a sponsor of City Paper products, and advertorials written by our staff.