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From the publisher: A note to our readers



Thursday, August 02, 2018

The staff at the Daily Hampshire Gazette takes pride in bringing you award-winning local news every day – in print and online. I am proud of a staff that has brought home the New England Newspaper & Press Association’s “New England Newspaper of the Year” award in two of the last three years.

We write local stories every day, but rarely about ourselves.

It’s no secret that these are challenging times for newspapers. More people read us now thanks to our online and social media presence, and we’re helping more businesses craft and deliver their messages to customers digitally. But print readership has declined, and we’ve been hurt due to a significant increase in costs, primarily because of a tariff imposed on Canadian newsprint, the source of all newsprint in New England.

So, what does all of this mean for your local newspaper?

It means that we are feeling the pinch, and we’re doing something about it. We just completed a year-long plan to save costs, shifting some resources from print to digital and reducing the cost of producing the print newspaper.

We have announced a reorganization of our Gazette news department that streamlines the editing and design of our print pages. We have made two painful cuts in staff at the Gazette — one in photography, one in features. And we are re-allocating staff and filling reporter positions as part of our plan to make print and digital readership more dynamic. We also are reorganizing the structure of the Valley Advocate, bringing it under the umbrella of the features department of the Gazette.

We have published for 232 years, and we are taking these steps to make sure we can continue to report the news, serve as a government watchdog, and cover and support our local economy and businesses. We are hard at work on plans to bring innovative ideas and new energy to our coverage.

We need your support. My appeal to you is this: We are your community newspaper, and we value your readership. If you are not a subscriber, please become one. Go to gazettenet.com or call 413-586-1925 to subscribe. If you need assistance with your business’ marketing needs, call 413-585-5294. We can help.

I welcome your feedback as we move forward. I can be reached at mrifanburg@gazettenet.com and at 413-585-5335.

On behalf of the staff at the Daily Hampshire Gazette, I want to thank you for supporting your local newspaper.

Michael Rifanburg is the publisher of the Daily Hampshire Gazette, the Greenfield Recorder and the Athol Daily News.