More surprises in the publishing world

by Peter Weinberger | [email protected]
Over the past few months, the COURIER has published a number of articles on the disappearance of local news in the United States. But even with the large number of newspapers that have closed their doors, it was still difficult to visualize what it all looked like – until now.
This week, the Washington Post released a map (right) that shows the public’s limited access to local news. The darker the color, the less local news there is. It is important to note that this news is fundamentally bad, except for the spots on the east and west coasts. Now the graph only shows newspaper companies, so obviously the internet has taken some of the slack, especially this year when there is more support for local start-ups. Unfortunately, the story of significant local online media coverage has failed to replace newspapers. So far, they have not been able to support the professionals needed to report and edit. But that could change when others follow nonprofit models similar to the one used by COURIER.
With all the misinformation that prevails today, any voice with accurate and objective reporting can only help. I think 2022 will be a year of substantial changes in local media… and it won’t be all bad news.

Printers go bankrupt
The price and access of newsprint to printed newspapers has always been influenced by a number of economic factors. And 2021 is no exception, as newspaper printers are going bankrupt at an alarming rate. In Southern California alone, six printers closed their doors this year. With the country’s shipping links hampered, newspaper printers tell us there are shortages everywhere, especially for premium newsprint.
Another problem caught people in the printing press by surprise. They just can’t find enough workers to run the big presses that run most days and nights. If the presses don’t run, printers lose money because of the high cost of maintaining the presses. Additionally, the pandemic has caused many workers to rethink their jobs, prompting massive resignations.
These issues will result in the shutdown of longtime COURIER printer, Southern California News Group (SCNG), by the end of this year. I have been looking for a replacement for two months and should come to a decision next week. But this has been difficult as only a few printers are accepting new business. And there is no doubt that the price will increase by 25 to 40 percent.
There are a lot of moving parts and people involved in producing and printing the MAIL every week. From journalists writing articles, editing, checking, taking photos, paginating the design of each page, printing using huge rolls of paper, then counting, folding and returning. At THE MAIL, our direct mail team sticks mailing labels on each issue, puts the papers in a bag, and then goes to the post office where we rely on a USPS factor to take the final step of delivering your paper.
Make no mistake, this process is still working. But like many other industries, it is constantly changing… and always difficult.

About Florence M. Sorensen

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