LITTLE FALLS, NJ -- Michael Shapiro, CEO & Publisher of TAPinto.net, spoke with Brian Brodeur of East Main Media this week to share how TAPinto has been an invaluable source of information for readers seeking local news to learn how the coronavirus pandemic has affected their own communities. 

Shapiro, who lives in Broward County, Florida, reports that his county is one of the state’s hotspots, and within the last few days, people have started to take social distancing more seriously. A week ago, Shapiro said, there were parties on the beaches and crowded bars and restaurants. But after a countywide stay-in-place order that took effect on March 27, “a lot more people are staying in their homes and trying to do the right thing,” he said. 

Brodeur spoke with Shapiro via videoconference from East Main Studios’ newly-outfitted virtual studio in Little Falls, which was recently reconfigured for working remotely in light of social distancing and stay-at-home orders in New Jersey. 

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Shapiro said that the TAPinto network has experienced a 400% increase in viewership due to the coronavirus crisis. “Our site traffic, which was already very high, has gone through the roof,” he said. “People want to know what’s going on in their town and now, more than ever, we are the lifeblood for people to find out.” 

TAPinto is a network of more than 80 franchised online daily news sites in municipalities across New Jersey, New York, and Florida, and the only source of local news in many of those areas. “We’re the people on the ground doing a lot of original local news reporting,” Shapiro said.  

In light of the coronavirus outbreak, people are seeking local statistics and information, but Shapiro said that readers also want to know “how everyone’s pulling together” to support each other and those on the front lines, like medical workers and first responders.  

Shapiro’s full interview, as well as dispatches from TAPintoNutley and TapintoVCG, will be featured on TAPintoTV’s 30-minute television show, airing on News 12+, Sunday, March 29th at 11am EST, which can be seen throughout the New York City metropolitan area. 

Part two of our interview with Shapiro, as well as others from Sunday’s broadcast, will be shared here on TAPintoTV in the coming days, so stay tuned.