St. Thomas 𑁋 In February, State of the Territory News announced to a small group of readers that a spring hiatus would impact all products that fall under the Mint brand. To clarify, stories will continue being published but the team’s community engagement and special projects have been suspended to refine the brand’s focus and product line-up.
This hiatus is not in response to the global spread of the coronavirus, also known as Covid-19. Our team does recognize that our community engagement — as an online newspaper driven by grassroots activism — must also end to prevent an increase in community transmissions.
This means that State of the Territory News will not consider invitations to local events, participate in exclusive interviews for stories, and members of our team will cease communicating with the public. Our public Whatsapp group for readers will remain active but only Mint & Company admins can share future updates.
We have, however, made an exception for exclusive interviews with elected officials, public officials, and non-profits that need to share critical information about the coronavirus or any other disaster that could impact the territory in the near future.
For now, the Mint Team will continue receiving press releases and general updates from the public. The team will continue to communicate with a limited number of outside partners and will only respond to direct inquiries about corrections to our stories or content.
A confidential product trial managed by State of the Territory News started a few weeks ago that includes nearly a dozen readers will not be affected by this hiatus. For nearly three years, our online newspaper has not prioritized breaking news. In some instances, we have prioritized developing stories that were changing by the hour and even by the minute.
During the federal shutdown in 2018, State of the Territory published a series of articles documenting deteriorating conditions at National Park locations on St. John. Our initial reporting focused on the island’s dependence on federal dollars to keep its beaches clean and safe for residents and visitors. Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett remained active during the shutdown and played a critical role in our reporting at the time as she outlined the impacts it could have on the U.S. Virgin Islands and other U.S. territories who were still recovering from devastating tropical cyclones.
In the months that followed, the same type of coverage was revived when hurricane Dorian and tropical storm Karen affected the Virgin Islands, and again when over 3,000 earthquakes affected Puerto Rico in under 60 days.
The length of our hiatus does not have a timeline but it’s important to note that the only major change will be the temporary suspension of two-way communiqué with the public and reduced community outreach to focus on developing a more rounded user experience for readers like you.
Press releases, general community updates, music releases, and other updates can be shared with our team inbox at firstname.lastname@example.org.