Critics: Postal Service plans imperil community newspapers

The U.S. Postal Service’s plan to raise mailing rates could present one more damaging blow to community newspapers already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic and advertising declines, a trade group says.

Rates on periodicals would increase by more than 8% as of Aug. 29, according to agency filings. The price jump is part of a broad plan pushed by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to overhaul mail operations.

The impact of the periodical rate increase is expected to be felt most by small daily and weekly newspapers, as well as rural newspapers, which depend on the Postal Service since they have shifted from using independent contractors for deliveries.

In response, publishers potentially could be forced to further reduce staff or forgo home deliveries entirely and instead send papers to communal news racks, or even shutter their papers, said Paul Boyle, senior vice president at the News Media Alliance, a trade association representing nearly 2,000 news organizations in the U.S.


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