As coronavirus grew from a news story out of China to a global pandemic, we know you have counted on the MDJ to get the latest accurate and credible news about how COVID-19 is affecting your community.

That’s been evident in the traffic on our website mdjonline.com and on the MDJ app.

Pageviews tracked on our digital products have regularly tripled and on some days quadrupled. It is clear that our readers are relying on the MDJ for local news coverage.

We will not let you down. Our reporters are in frequent contact with state and local officials, the school systems, hospitals, merchants, churches and Cobb citizens to quickly, yet accurately, share with you the impact coronavirus is having on our lives and how our community is responding.

The virus certainly has affected how we cover the news. We have closed the MDJ office to public visitors and most employees are working remotely. Like most of you, our employees and their families have been impacted by this crisis. However, their hard work and dedication to keeping you informed has been unwavering.

This has changed what we cover. The suspension of sporting events at every level has reduced the Sports section in our print product to one page. Likewise, with all large gathering places closed, our weekly Entertainment “GO!” section is replaced by a list of cancellations and amusements you can do inside the home. Perhaps we rename it “STAY!”

As a result, our print readers will see a reduction in the number of pages in each daily edition. However, our digital products, email alerts and social media posts will keep you updated with the latest news around the clock. Please sign up for these alerts at www.mdjonline.com.

As with most merchants in these uncertain times, the virus has affected the MDJ’s business operations. With retail stores temporarily closing, events being canceled and many service industries shutting down, there is less need to advertise - a primary source of revenue for our operations.

Despite these challenges, rest assured the MDJ will continue to inform and support our community as we always have for over 153 years.

A note to our readers

In these troubling times when we are all dealing with the coronavirus, local news is more valuable than ever. We have made the decision to give our readers free access during this crisis, but we ask that you would voluntarily support local journalism by signing up for a digital subscription. Your subscription will allow you to keep seeing our valuable local coverage even after we have weathered this storm.

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