Criticism: La Poste plans to endanger community newspapers | New
The U.S. Postal Service’s plans to increase postage costs could have another damaging impact on community newspapers that are already wracked by the coronavirus pandemic and declining advertising, industry groups say.
According to government documents, the price of periodicals will increase by more than 8% from August 29. Price spikes are part of a larger plan driven by Postmaster Louis DeJoy Redesign of messaging operations.
The impact of regular price increases is expected to be most noticed by smaller dailies and weeklies, and local newspapers that rely on the post office to stop relying on independent contractors for delivery.
In response, publishers could potentially be forced to further reduce their staff, abandon courier services altogether and instead send articles to a common rack or shut down their newspapers. With, 2000 information points in the United States
“This is one of the few nicknames and slashes that can hurt your bottom line, especially at break-even or if you’re a freelance publisher with an order of magnitude down on your bottom line. And most are. Said Professor Pennylope Muse Abernathy of Northwestern University, who has extensively studied the decline of the news industry.
For some, this could be a turning point in sustainability, Boyle said.
The News Media Alliance told the Independent Postal Regulatory Commission in a statement against the rate hikes that the plan “would do little to improve the Post’s financial situation and ultimately hurt the Post. ‘public interest’. Mentionned.
In a statement, Postal Service spokesperson David Partenheimer said agency executives said, “We will remain viable and competitive and provide the most affordable and reliable postal service in the world. We are committed to carefully implementing a rational pricing approach that will allow us to offer it. “
“The price a newspaper pays depends on how the newspaper is prepared and entered into the system, but the average suggested price for a newspaper for a local newspaper ranges from 10.6 cents to 11.4 cents or 0.8 cents. , less than a penny, ”he said. . Mentionned.
The newspaper industry has been in dire straits over the past two decades. The internet has exhausted advertisements and reduced readership. According to a study by the University of North Carolina, more than 2,100 newspapers have been closed in the United States in the past 15 years, most of them community service weeklies.
At the same time, the number of regular newspaper readers has been cut in half, according to the researchers.
According to a survey released last week by the Pew Research Center, employment in newspaper newsrooms was 74,410 in 2006, up from the year before last year. In 2020, there were 30,820 people in the newsroom.
Dejoy, accompanied by Ron Bloom, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Agency ten-year plan The March Post Office argued that significant changes would be needed to stop the expected loss of $ 160 billion over the next decade.
This strategy involves relaxing the delivery standards for first-class emails that reach the most remote areas of the network, ranging from benchmarks of 1 to 3 days to targets of 1 to 5 days. Postal officials said 70% of mail would still be delivered within three days. Postal industry leaders are also set to increase the price of premium stamps from 55 cents to 58 cents and want to shore up underutilized post offices and invest in new delivery methods.
The Democratic Party criticized the plan as an unacceptable cut in postal services and renewed its call for the sacking of Dejoy, a major Republican donor who has been the subject of controversy since the agency’s takeover last year.
Dejoy, a wealthy former logistics official who also donated to former President Donald Trump, made a series of policy changes as millions prepared to vote by mail ahead of the 2020 election. carried out national surveillance. .. He was also accused of a sharp drop in deliveries scheduled around the holiday season last year.
After Trump’s defeat, the Democratic Party again called for Dejoy’s expulsion. In late May, the Senate approved three new candidates nominated by President Joe Biden to the post’s board of directors and gave Democratic candidates a majority on the board.
Still, Dejoy insisted he was going to stay in his post and told the House of Representatives at this year’s hearing: “Get used to me. Bloom stood by Dejoy’s side, and in February the postmaster told lawmakers he was “doing a good job.”
Izaguirre was reported from Lindenhurst, NY. Border reported from Ithaca, NY