By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
As soon as Nicole Vulcan saw the statue on Wall Street of the man sitting on the bench looking at his empty wallet–wearing a breathing mask–she knew it was the image she wanted on the cover of the last print version of The Source Weekly.
After this week’s limited edition hard copy is gone, The Source Weekly will be an entirely digital publication until May 20th.
“This will allow us to pivot to a more robust digital presence during this time when most businesses are wisely prioritizing staff support over marketing and our readers are safer at home reading online than picking up their weekly copy,” co-founder Aaron Switzer and Vulcan said in a statement online.
The Source has been an independent news source and Central Oregon’s go-to guide for all things food, drink, arts, culture and music since Aaron and Angela Switzer started it in 1997. The free publication is found in businesses and newspaper boxes scattered throughout town.
“These past couple of weeks have proved to be incredibly difficult for everyone as we all try to make sense of the new restrictions on our former way of life,” the group said in the statement. “The disruption to the service industry, tourism, entertainment, events, retail and other businesses happened so quickly that we’ve all struggled to formulate a response, leaving many in economic limbo.”
The publication has focused on its digital product and ramped up its digital newspaper, Cascades Reader, to include weekends.
“From the moment that COVID 19 was in Deschutes County, we went digital first. That meant we published first on the web site rather than waiting for the print publication to come out. That just made more sense for our readers,” Vulcan told Central Oregon Daily. “This is a continuation of that. As we continue to see our website numbers explode we want to concentrate our resources where our readers are. Of course we know some people will be disappointed we don’t have a print publication right now.”
She said avid readers shouldn’t worry about the ultimate fate of The Source.
“We all know what’s happening with local businesses right now. We are one them. We are an inner-connected web of businesses and when they are doing bad, we are doing bad,” she said. “That’s not to say this place is closing or we are in any danger of not bringing the stuff the community needs right now. Due to declining revenue, we have to trim our staff and put them on furlough until we can bring them back. “