It’s been 25 years

Why we decided to do it now

The year was 1993: Bill Clinton was president; “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Sleepless in Seattle” reigned at the box office; the Dallas Cowboys won the Super Bowl; and Feather Publishing increased the price of its newspaper from 35 cents to 50 cents.

The year is 2018: Donald Trump is president; “Black Panther” has led the box office; the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl; and Feather Publishing is increasing the price of its newspaper to $1.

No doubt some readers might be a little dismayed that we’ve raised the price of a single copy to $1, but it’s a price hike that is not only long overdue and now necessary. Just given the cost of inflation over the past 25 years would justify it, but recent events have all but demanded it. This paper’s management team routinely resisted increasing the price; instead we found other ways to offset the mounting costs of doing business. Unfortunately, with what’s happening with the price of paper we’re simply running out of options.

In our case, right behind wages and benefits — which represents an expense of 60 cents for every dollar we make — newsprint is our second highest expense and it has been skyrocketing because of the new tariffs imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce. By year’s end, newspapers and printers can expect to pay as much as 32 percent more for paper which could ultimately jeopardize more than 600,000 workers in the publishing and paper industries nationwide. As Susan Rowell, president of the National Newspaper Association said, “If you want to silence a free press, take away its newsprint.”

Historically, advertising revenue paid the lion’s share of the bills. We are thankful to our local businesses that have appreciated the value that advertising in our newspaper brings, and continue to show their support in their weekly or seasonal ads, but there are many now who turn to Facebook or other online sources in an attempt to get their message out. As with all other newspapers we have been battling the double whammy — increased costs and reduced revenues.

Raising the price of our newspaper has been an internal discussion for some time now. Two summers ago we celebrated the 150th anniversary of this newspaper and led tour after tour through our production process. Our visitors were amazed at the number of people and the work involved in publishing this weekly product. Many here at the newspaper believed that we were undervaluing that work by charging a mere 50 cents. Even the candy bars in our vending machine are $1.25. What can one buy for 50 cents? Certainly not the 30- to 40-plus page newspaper produced for six separate communities each week.

Imagine if there were no newspaper. We can’t help but believe that it would leave a gaping hole in our communities. It’s our written history. It showcases our youth and our schools. It lets us know what is happening in local government. It chronicles our births and deaths. During last summer’s fires, it was this newspaper’s revenue that made it possible for us to use our website to keep local residents, as well as their concerned friends and relatives from out of the area, abreast of the latest evacuations, etc. And in the paper’s pages, we took our readers behind the scenes at fire camp, what it was like on the front lines, and the restoration effort.

As one of our readers explained to us while renewing his annual subscription, “ I’m paying for this subscription for two reasons: My family enjoys reading the paper and keeping up on what’s happening around town, but more importantly for me, this is my way of helping you (by buying the paper) do what I can’t. You have someone reporting on the actions taken by our county supervisors at their weekly board meetings and since I work every day and can’t be at those meetings myself, the next best thing for me is to have you watching over them.”

Click here to submit a letter to the editor about this post.

7 thoughts on “It’s been 25 years

  • July 7, 2018 at 5:06 am
    Permalink

    Taborski votes Trump, Trump tarriffs news print, news paper price doubles, people stop buying news paper, taborskis paper fails. Rip irony. Maga!

  • July 7, 2018 at 9:19 am
    Permalink

    Most papers would censor rude comments like yours “me”. Mike Taborski has defended the peoples’ ability to freely express themselves via online comments or letters to the editor. That’s pretty rare these days where most all news, whether it be right wing or left, is total lies, and major social media outlets are randomly censoring not just right wing content, but also criticism of war and illegal government policies, by non partisan blokes like myself.
    Go smoke a blunt and chill “me”.

    • July 7, 2018 at 1:51 pm
      Permalink

      Not true. I’ve seen a number of comments that have been removed after posting. I’ve seen commenters be incredibly harsh to high schoolers about what they perceive to be their naivitae. For instance when they were protesting gun violence. Harsh and awful things said to students who just want to feel safe and are tired of seeing their peers gunned down. And if you really want to be censored you should see how insecure they are about their god and religion. Those comments don’t last very long. I do agree we should try to be civil and keep the rudeness to a minimum and smoke blunts.

  • July 7, 2018 at 9:50 am
    Permalink

    I had to follow up with “me”. He falls into the left right dialectic, as many of us do. He seems to think that democrats are the solution. Neither party is. I was trying to find a YouTube video to ask him to watch called The Truth about Muammar Gaddaffi. To watch his heroes Obama and Clinton justify the invasion and butchering of a soveriegn people. However, it seems the government’s ally in crime, YouTube has buried it. I was going to ask him to watch the mutilated babies and children in Libyan emergency hospitals, choreographed with the lying imperialist statements of his heroes.
    Mike Taborski didn’t bury my letters to the editor on such topics!!!
    Only when “WE” work together can the world be better “me”. Look through the…

    • July 7, 2018 at 10:47 am
      Permalink

      YouTube videos, bawhaha!

      What’s next? Illuminati? Agenda 21?

  • July 15, 2018 at 6:08 am
    Permalink

    Mike Taborski has always been fair to everyone. The prices on everything goes up the further me move on in life. Yes the are other acts involved but its not his fault. From gas to candy to newspapers the price one everything in our country goes up. Bring from Quincy and also having a chance to see the world and how other towns work this isn’t just happening here its every newspaper. And it don’t matter who’s in office the prices will still go up. Think about it people before u start jumping the gun.

    • July 15, 2018 at 9:47 am
      Permalink

      Yes, prices increase, but rarely double. I will be boycotting Trump’s newsprint tariff as he will likely use the money to fund his stupid wall he said Mexico would pay for.

Comments are closed.