Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

U.S. Postal Service squeezes the free press

April 18, 2023
newspaperpress

READ FULL ARTICLE AT » The Seattle Times

The Postal Service has proposed increasing rates across the board, pending rubber-stamp approval. Newspapers delivered by mail will take one of the steepest hits, seeing rates increase more than 8%. Less than half of that is attributable to inflation, and it’s almost double the increase applied to first-class stamps.

This isn’t the first such increase. In the past two years rates for newspapers have already gone up nearly 24%. Few industries, let alone ones struggling as much as the local free press, can easily absorb a one-third price increase in such a short time.

The press squeeze is consistent with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s agenda. He took office under President Donald Trump and has been a polarizing figure. His efforts to reform the Postal Service have in many cases resulted in worse service, and he has drawn the ire of the postal workers’ union and Democratic lawmakers.

Imposing hefty postal fees on the press runs counter to the vision of America’s founders. They knew that a vibrant free press is essential to creating an informed electorate that participates in a successful democracy. Not only does the First Amendment protect the free press, but Congress subsidized newspaper delivery when it created the Postal Service. From the 1790s, newspapers received up to a 90% break on postage fees.

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