Louisiana Press Journal

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Our Opinion – It’s Time To Stop The War On America’s Newspapers

Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 3:30 pm

Your local newspaper and thousands of other newspapers like the Bowling Green Times are under attack — from a Pacific Northwest paper company and the U.S. Government.
It is a complicated attack, but the attack has caused the National Newspaper Association and industry leaders in all 50 states to sound the panic alarm.
As you are likely aware, newspapers already face strong economic headwinds.
Online shopping continues to hurt local merchants, whose advertising dollars provide the financial foundation of this newspaper and countless other publications.
There is no denying that the forces of our economy have caused changes in the newspaper industry, but like other newspapers we have adapted.
We’ve cut costs as much as possible, and have cut our page count drastically
We’ve swallowed our pride and we’ve tried to literally press on.
We’ve had to hold back some stories such as larger investigative reports submitted articles due to space limitations, for weeks at a time.
We’ve decided to move some stories from print editions to publishing them exclusively online.
However, seeing our beloved newspaper in its present up form has been our breaking point.
We now join other newspapers who have broken their objective silence to draw the attention of our readers to a paper mill in Longview, Washington.
This paper mill in Longview cried foul long ago and convinced the United States Congress that Canadian paper mills did not play fairly.
The North Pacific Paper Company, which produces newsprint and other paper, claims that Canadian government subsidizes Canadian paper manufacturers, enabling them to sell their products at below-market prices in the U.S.
The U.S. Department of Commerce bought that argument and they recommended to Congress that they impose a new set of newsprint tariffs on newsprint imported from Canada.
The result has been a 20 to 30 percent jump in newsprint prices around the country.
According to the National Newspaper Association, newsprint is already the second-largest expense, other than personnel, for newspaper companies.
This price hike will have devastating impacts on our industry and may contribute to the demise of many beloved community newspapers throughout the country.
But it is not too late to stop this war on newspapers.
We are asking our readers to contact U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, U.S. Representative Sam Graves, and the other members of our state’s congressional delegation and ask them to overturn these measures being imposed by the Commerce Department on Canadian newsprint and similar paper.
Your voice matters.
So does the voice of the community newspapers, such as the Bowling Green Times, and others across this great nation. Thank you in advance for your assistance.