The building that houses the office of the Shillong Times in Shillong was declared a containment zone after three non-journalists tested COVID-19 positive.
The 75-year-old newspaper could not be published on August 23 because of the containment zone restrictions.
Taking to Facebook, the newspaper announced: “With deep regret we inform our readers that we are the only media house in the world to have fallen victim to COVID-19! After 75 years of service, we got the stick from the government for alleged violation of health protocol. This means that ST will not hit the stands from August 23 onwards.”
The newspaper further added that “despite all the protocols being in place, an official order picked holes where there was none.”
Shillong Times Editor Patricia Mukhim, in a Facebook post, opposed the decision and said that while many would like to see the ST die, the newspaper is more than the sum total of the individuals working in it. “It is an institution and it shall survive not just COVID but other vagaries as well. We thank our loyal readers and hope they will bear with us and continue to support us not because we are The Shillong Times but because we represent an essential pillar of democracy,” she wrote.
The Shillong Times first appeared as a tabloid weekly on August 10, 1945. In 1958, it was converted to a daily. Owing to financial constraints, within six months it reverted back to a weekly. Overcoming various hurdles, The Shillong Times emerged as a daily in March 1987.