I often say we work as hard as we can to produce a quality newspaper only to have a printer off the Hill drop the quality as soon as it rolls the machine.
We may end up with blotches of ink, poor color and generally bad-quality printing.
And now, with the retirement a few weeks back of the guy who handled the quality of our paper at the printer, not only did the quality lessen but the costs rose.
So I’ve made some tough decisions to try to control the costs while we seek a quality, responsive and affordable printer.
I’ve cut back the paper count because each plate (four pages) costs a bundle.
The week before a holiday or major event, such as the Fourth or the jazz fest, means more work for our staff, particularly for those who handle advertising.
But the week following becomes much tougher as advertising drops significantly and thus, the paper’s size. When that occurs and so many other events throughout the weekend, I must squeeze a great deal of news into a smaller newspaper.
Photos run smaller and so must coverage of events. We have no photographers on staff any longer, just ourselves. All others are freelancers. As the town changes, we must do more with less.
Our columnists may not write tomes any longer but keep their columns to a certain word count. If not, it may not be published in print form but online.
We have businesses begging us to cover their events for free. That space is valuable. It is our biggest asset. We receive no tax dollars or public funds. We rely on selling that space to keep our doors open. We wouldn’t be here if I gave it away.
Thus, the only way to guarantee it will make it in the paper is to advertise it.
-Becky Clark, Editor