Screw It, We're Printing an RFT

Mar 25, 2020 at 9:21 am
The Can't Stop, Won't Stop edition of the RFT. - EVAN SULT
The Can't Stop, Won't Stop edition of the RFT.

It turns out, the Riverfront Times is surprisingly hard to kill.

We got kicked in the teeth last week. Once the coronavirus had kneecapped the restaurant and bar industry (our biggest advertisers), we and newspapers across the country found ourselves only a spot or two behind on the COVID-19 hit list. We laid off all but two people in our newsroom, and it seemed like there was no way we'd be able to print a paper this week.

But you know what? We're printing anyway. By this afternoon, copies of the RFT will be on racks in dozens of locations around town and wherever we can safely distribute. And for the (hopefully) majority of you waiting out the virus at home, we'll have a digital version, so you can flip through the pages virtually.

So how are we pulling this off? The writers, editors and designers who make the paper have never really been traditional nine-to-fivers, and so even after an excruciating day of layoffs, several decided in typical outsider fashion that the normal rules didn't apply, and they have continued to what they always do — put out a paper you might actually want to read.

Pair that with advertisers who have continued to see us as a valuable resource and the support of so many readers who have donated during the past week because the RFT is a part of their lives, and we knew we had to publish. So we're back before you could even miss us.

In the pages of today's slim but strong edition you'll find music editor Daniel Hill's essay, explaining that he simply decided we couldn't lay him off. Our longform cover story is by food critic Cheryl Baehr, who was nearly finished with a heartfelt feature on the industry she has covered for more than a decade when she decided the stories her sources were telling were too important to abandon. And that cover design? It's another piercing piece by newly laid-off art director Evan Sult.

In the coming weeks, expect to see the work of more familiar names as we push forward. We'll figure out when and where we can send papers out to the public, and we'll continue to publish online. But please remember that a group of really talented, really dedicated people here cared a whole about getting this RFT to you. If you appreciate that work, please consider supporting it with a donation through our website. With any luck, we'll back to full strength soon.

If you want to help us rebuild, you can donate here.

— Doyle Murphy is the editor in chief of the Riverfront Times.