Why we're not printing the April issue
One of the strangest things we ever did when I was in the newspaper business was print papers nobody would receive.
The first time, I was an intern at the Arkansas Democrat–Gazette in Little Rock. A big ice storm rolled in during my 4 p.m.-to-midnight shift on the news desk. On my way home, I lost control of my car twice: once on the highway (a state trooper stopped and impatiently told me to get on my way) and then on the hill leading to my apartment (I ended up leaving my car in a church parking lot at the bottom and then climbing up home on my hands and knees).
The second time was during Tropical Storm Allison. I worked at the Houston Chronicle, and the rain, of course, began during that same late shift. Long story short, I ended up walking nine miles home that night, often in waist-deep water full of sewage and floating mounds of fire ants.
Of course, these newspapers didn’t print just to torture their employees. Contracts with advertisers stipulated that ads had to be printed, so it was a business decision. Printed, but not necessarily delivered.
In both cases, the delivery trucks were unable to make their deliveries. Nobody read our papers. This was before the internet was, well, what it is today.
Fortunately, ASBMB Today is not beholden to advertisers. We print the magazine as a service to ASBMB members, and most of our members receive the magazine where they work.
Now, with universities and businesses closed to help stem the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems reasonable to skip printing an April issue of ASBMB Today that few will receive.
We’ll still post a PDF of the print issue on our archive page when it’s ready, but the truth is that we’re pouring our hearts and souls into our website. Our online coverage is timely, interactive — and in some cases impossible to reproduce in print.
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René Fuanta, a second-year assistant professor at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, tries to support his students through a semester of unexpected challenges.