Editorial: 'The world is ending, why are you still writing about cameras?'
|Office mascot and all-round Good Boy, Belvedere. Pictured in October, before we all had to pack up and work from home. Good times.|
Well, here we are. It seems like a year ago that I was pulling alarming statistics together about the economic impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak, but in fact it's only been two weeks.
Back then we were still working from our main office here in Seattle, and still mostly going about our normal lives. One of us was on vacation in New York, and one of us was preparing for a short holiday outside of the country. One of us was planning a wedding, in May. I can't remember what I was doing, but I'm sure it was trivial - it normally is.
At the risk of adding more mud to the landslide of hyperbole that has so far characterized 2020, all of that now feels like a different world.
A couple of weeks ago, I was writing about how - whatever the long-term health impacts of COVID-19 on the global population turned out to be - the virus was 'already' having a devastating economic impact. On the photography industry specifically, but across the board. Things have moved quickly. With countries around the globe counting the human cost in terms of suspected cases, confirmed cases, and (sadly - inevitably) deaths, it's obvious that we're living in a changed reality.
Here on the west coast, we have the unwelcome distinction of being right in the middle of things in the USA at the moment. As a team, we've been working from home and for about two weeks now we've been virtually self-isolating. We're following the guidance of WA state officials and our parent company, keeping ourselves to ourselves, and updating the site remotely from laptops and home computers.
You can expect to see current events reflected in our editorial coverage to some extent, but we're not going to be plastering our homepage with articles about infection rates
We're very lucky. We're not among the thousands of hourly employees in the catering, travel and hospitality industries who are looking at multiple weeks stretching ahead without an income. We review cameras, not ocean cruises. But of course we all have friends and family who are out of work, and others that are employed in health and social care. Still others who are caring for vulnerable relatives. All of them are making sacrifices right now that hopefully the lucky ones among us will never have to fully understand.
We're working. We can afford to pay our freelance writers, we're still having the usual daily meetings, and thanks to the impressively high-resolution cameras in our computers and phones (they're the future, if you hadn't heard...) we all know a lot more about the state of each others' respective 'home offices' than we'd probably like to. We're writing, and editing, moderating comments and taking photos. Just like always. As I said, we're lucky.
We're doing these things because that's what you expect us to do. Unlike many 'tech' sites, we have a fairly focused editorial remit. You can expect to see current events reflected in our editorial coverage to some extent, as they pertain to the world of photography, but we're not going to be plastering our homepage with multiple articles about infection rates, death rates, emergency measures or vaccine research. It's not what we're good at, and it's not why you come to our site. It's not what we do.
Life will get back to normal, eventually, for most of us. Until it does (and with any luck long after it does) we'll keep on working to bring you the best and most relevant news, analysis, opinion and of course in-depth reviews that we can. Without our daily readers, we wouldn't be able to do what we're doing. We need you, and we're going to make sure that whatever else is going on, there will be plenty to distract you (and yes - if you must - plenty to argue about) on DPReview.
Stay safe, and stay in touch.
Barnaby Britton, Senior Editor, DPReview.com
On behalf of every member of the DPReview team:
And of course, Belvedere.
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