Support for our local newspaper is essential to keep our communities informed.

2021 is here and we are ready! We have all learned much during our 2020 year. I know I continue to learn a new appreciation for the simple things. The friend who reminds us they are there for us, even when they live states away, and those complete strangers who offer a kind gesture that is most welcome in today’s world of unrest.

Columbia Gorge News

I was talking with my two editors last week as we finished up our special 2020 Year in Pictures. We were recalling our first issues. One editor found difficulty in recalling the stress of the situation, as we lost our jobs, and regrouped as a new business. There was so much uncertainty as we published on, not knowing exactly what the plan was. We agreed, a newspaper for our community was important, but staffing and figuring out the plan had to be determined. I had 25 years in the business, but I still had a lot to figure out.

It has been months since our first month in April, when Columbia Gorge News was formed. What I have learned is my role as leader only works with the support of my staff. We all have our different strengths. It is in the strengths of our entire staff that provide quality in what we do. I continue to improve what we can do better, and it is these moments, that I am grateful for what I do. What we do to create the Columbia Gorge News.

I wanted to communicate to our readers that we appreciate you. We realize without you, there is no us. We are a small local business, and just like the importance of shopping local, we rely on your support of the local newspaper. Sometimes there is a disconnect, and I am not always sure readers understand we need subscribers and advertisers to survive.

I get your comments, and I read and listen to all of them. Some are complimentary, and some not so much, but honestly, I hear all of them and pass them along to my staff. We value your opinion.

I have been asked a few times when will be going to print more than once a week. Therefore, I felt it was important to point out the costs we face with printing and distributing. Publishing in print once a week is our biggest bill each month and will continue to be as rates increase.

We deliver our newspaper to our subscribers by mail. The Postal Service is dealing with overruns from major shippers and is responsible for handling massive vaccine distributions. We could be looking at a double digit increase in our mailing costs this year.

This increase will be paired with an increase in our printing costs as paper rates recently went up. The demand for newsprint is down compared to last year with commercial printers buying less. Publishers have reduced printing days, quantities, and page count to try to remain solvent. Newsprint markets have reduced over the years, and COVID was the kicking point for many.

I started Columbia Gorge News with the intention of continuing to provide a news product to our communities both in print and online. I understand the importance in our communities, and the need to continue to get news and information out, both in print and online, to reach all our readers.

If the community is here for us, we are here for you, but we will continue to need your support.

Our annual subscription rates are going up, they must, but now is your chance to renew at the old rates. Every subscriber will also have paywall access to the e-Edition, so even when you are away you can read your local news. Email: Subscribe@gorgenews.com.

If you are a business, let us help you market. We have advertising rates to fit every budget. We understand the need to be affordable to all sizes of businesses. Email: sales@gorgenews.com.

I look forward to what 2021 has in our future. Send me your comments, good and bad, really. Chelseam@gorgenews.com; 541-386-1234 ext. 100.