Local Newspapers Affected By Newsprint Tariff


KELOLAND News has told you how the trade war between the U.S. and China could impact local farmers.

Now a tariff on newsprint could make newspapers in KELOLAND cost more than usual.

Staff at the Freeman Courier are preparing for the worst.

“We’re in survival mode. That’s our reality,” Jeremy Waltner said.

Since March, a tariff has been placed on Canadian newsprint, making it more expensive to print papers.

“Newspapers are not necessarily doing great anyway. When we’re talking about an additional expense like this, it has a direct impact,” Waltner said.

However, Walnter says the Courier hasn’t felt the affects yet.

“Right now the plant that we print at is burying that expense without passing it on to its member newspapers,” Waltner said.

 While the Freeman Courier says they haven’t been directly affected by the tariff yet, they say if it continues they will have no choice but to raise the cost of their newspaper. 

“Our readers will likely see an increase in their subscriptions. We may be taking a look at an advertising rate increase. We hate to do those things, but do you want a newspaper in your town or don’t you?” Waltner said.

Beth Bontrager lives in Freeman and has a subscription. She says she will continue to support the newspaper even if it costs a little more money.

“It’s more home grown. I can keep up with who I’m acquainted with, what they’re up to, and the school news. It’s something national news of course can’t touch on,” Bontrager said.

Walnter says if the tariff continues, the Freeman Courier will eventually have to pay an additional $2,500 a month to print their newspapers.

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