During the early days of the community quarantine, the print industry had to adapt to the new normal practice. Thus, migrating to digitalization.
The struggle was real, indeed. Due to the limited movement of the public, especially during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), accessibility to print copies was a struggle.
While some media outfits opted to go digital and social media in the meantime, SunStar Davao took the risk to further strengthen its print and digital efforts.
SunStar Davao Officer-In-Charge Donna Cuyos said that SunStar Davao was serious about being "Digital First."
"Years before Covid19 disrupted our lives, destroyed many, SunStar Davao was serious about being Digital First. There was no let-up in that," Cuyos shared.
Amid the hardships, SunStar got the full support of the board of its presidents, Orlando P. Carvajal and Gina G. Atienza, and directors to acquire equipment for digital content.
"That is why when advertising slowed down because of the pandemic, there was still some income coming in. We had to reduce our staff, that was painful but necessary," she said.
She also said the team "balanced it with spirituality."
"That Law of Attraction people always talk about can be applied to business, practiced as a group. It helps that we get guidance to do this," Cuyos said.
SunStar Davao Editor-In-Chief Reuel John Lumawag revealed that the paper had to reduce circulation and workforce.
"When strict movement restrictions were implemented in Davao City and the rest of the country in 2021, we knew that this would negatively impact local businesses. SunStar Davao was not spared," Lumawag said.
However, he said these challenges did not stop the newspaper from delivering relevant stories to the community.
Lumawag said the company implemented health safety measures at its office and printing press to ensure business continuity amid the pandemic.
“While we are aware that a majority of our audience are already getting their news on our website and social media accounts, we also know there are still individuals who do not have access to the internet. Hence, we continued to print to also reach out to these individuals and bring them the latest news in Davao City,” he said.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, SunStar Davao continued to find ways to bring hard copies of SunStar Davao and SuperBalita Davao to strategic areas in Davao City, with copies made available at select Davao Central Convenience Stores around the city.
“As movement restrictions were eased, we were able to make available our newspaper to more communities,” Lumawag said.
“Our readers can be assured that as a multi-media content provider, SunStar Davao will continue to bring you the latest stories of the community through different channels,” Lumawag added.
SunStar Davao is managing to keep on going amid the pandemic through forward-thinking and balancing hard work with spirituality.