Inside Opinion

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Newspaper Economics 101

Post by Patrick O'Callahan on April 3, 2009 at 7:46 pm |
April 3, 2009 7:46 pm

Sometimes I get letters to the editor that make me want to scream. Here’s one – which we aren’t publishing – from a Tacoma reader:

I’m going on my second day without buying a paper. When the PI bumped up the price of their paper from fifty cents to seventy five they priced them selves out of my budget. I use to enjoy reading two diverse papers. Now, sadly, at the end of Davids Zeecks Column on Sunday I saw that “The News Tribune” was going to raise news stand prices by twenty five cents (daily) and fifty cents for a Sunday paper.

Funny… It seems not to long ago I read that “The News Tribune” was doing “okey dokey” and that they would be in business for some time. David Zeecks states one of the factors for the increase is the cost of newsprint. With the PI to the north out of business where is that newsprint going?

And the cost of reporters? Are they getting raises? Really? In this reccession? And why a quarter a paper, why not a nickle or a dime? Whats magical about the quarter. I feel like I’m being fleeced by someone who figures that they should be able to get what they want by being the only game in town. Good luck I’m now an online reader.

No, the P-I’s closure has nothing to do with the price of our newsprint. No, our reporters aren’t getting raises.

No, we aren’t the only game in town – the Internet is sucking so much advertising revenue out of newspapers that the weaker ones (like the P-I) are folding.

And yes, if all newspaper readers stopped buying papers because they could get the news online, there’d be precious little news to be found online. Oddly enough, most news comes from reporters employed by newspapers.

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