April 2, 2020

Interview with Ari Dubow ’21

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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought challenges and disruptions to everyone’s lives, but Ari Dubow ‘21, The Sun’s city editor, is as committed as ever to bringing you timely and reliable Ithaca news. In the last week, he has published almost daily, sometimes more than one article a day, documenting the effect of the coronavirus on the Ithaca airportTCAT buseslocal businesses and churches.

1. What were the last few days like for you?

Fielding coronavirus news over the last few days has underlined the fact that The Sun is a team. It’s been pretty cool being part of a group of people that always has one another’s back. I think editors have been thinking about coronavirus coverage by asking the question, “what angle haven’t we approached this issue from?” It’s a good, focused way to deal with this topic — I think it’s pushed us as a group to consider what topics or people are immediately obvious to us, and will always get covered, and which ones struggle more for visibility through media coverage. I’ve been here in Ithaca, where each day, the city feels slightly more shuttered than the last, but at the same time, people are walking down the commons, chatting and enjoying the warmer weather.

2. With city offices, stores and restaurants closed, going forward, how do you plan on getting sources and reporting remotely?

Gathering sources doesn’t feel too different right now than it has in normal weeks. People are still available by phone and email — which is typically how I would contact people — and many restaurants, organizations and stores are still staffed. What feels different is that we all seem to have the same thing on our minds right now, and so conversation with an employee at a restaurant or member of an advocacy organization has a feeling of relatability that is a little uncommon. There’s this mutual recognition that we’re all in a very strange situation right now, and I wonder if that lowers the barrier for conversation a little bit.