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WCPO's news team is changing the way it operates to prevent the spread of coronavirus

Posted at 10:48 AM, Mar 20, 2020

We are all making changes to our daily routines because of the coronavirus.

I wanted to let you know how our journalists, working hard to bring you the news, are adjusting to make sure our news team stays healthy and avoids spreading COVID-19.

Our team members became journalists because they believe in the importance of helping their communities. They are willing to keep working — many out in the community — even while others get to stay at home.

At the same time, we are making sure our journalists practice social distancing, and we also want to make sure we don’t have too many of our journalists together at once. If an infected employee came to our office, that employee could infect a huge chunk of our staff and inhibit our ability to bring you important news.

That’s why we are making changes. You might not ever see some of these changes. Others will be obvious.

One of the most noticeable changes is the separation of our people in our studio. Right now, we only have one anchor and one meteorologist on set. They stay six feet away from each other. We have reduced the number of production employees on the set as well.

Meanwhile, our reporters and photographers are staying out in the community. They are not coming into our office. This makes it harder for these journalists to do their jobs because there are resources and contacts here in our building that can help them, but they are making these changes willingly to stay healthy and prevent the spread of coronavirus.

These reporters and photographers are relying more on remote interviews using services such as Skype and FaceTime to record interviews without interacting with people. We are also employing different microphones so that when we do interview people in person, we can stay six feet away.

Many of the behind-the-scenes journalists who build our newscasts or bring you articles and video on our website, app and social media are now working from home as well. We will continue to experiment with finding ways to get more employees the ability to work outside of our building.

These changes make it more difficult for our employees to do their jobs, but we feel like they are necessary.

Some of these changes might impact the quality of our newscasts or online news sources. They might not look as polished as they normally do, and we would always rather interview people in person.

But we are willing to make these sacrifices because we feel strongly that we need to do our part to prevent the spread of the virus and to keep our employees healthy.

We love this community. We are all in this together.

Thanks for all you are doing to help prevent this virus from spreading.

Mike Canan is the Senior Director of Local Media Content at WCPO 9. Contact him at Follow him on Twitter or Instagram at @Mike_Canan.