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EDITORIAL: From before the count

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THIS IS A WEEKLY NEWSPAPER which, in this case, means that as these words are written the polls for New York State voters have just closed. Now comes the drizzle of Election 2022 results on countless stations and digital platforms as well as in newspapers, all competing to provide what is too often described as context but is better known as data.

There’s plenty of blagh-blagh to go around, most of it aspiring to be post-election analysis, but that will have to appear in letters to the editor in future weeks. We’ll print the unofficial results that are available in this issue and the official results of close races once winner are named. Otherwise we’ll get back to covering other local news.

But our limited resources don’t prevent us from reminding readers what a complex undertaking it is to manage an election, especially in a time when so many voters are opting to vote remotely. So perhaps before the inevitable legal challenges to ballots begin is appropriate point to praise the county Board of Elections and the poll workers for the amount of work they have done and the way they have done it: with honesty and skill. Thank you.

We need an increase

IN THE SPRING OF 2021 the makers of newsprint, the type of paper that you’re holding right now, raised their prices. Over the next year the price increased by 30%, according to the Columbia Journalism Review, at Columbia University.

We learned about the price hike from the person who managed the printing jobs at the large newspaper where we print The Columbia Paper. He apologized, saying that in his decades in the industry he had never seen such a big increase.

Using the economists’ allegory about the family sitting around the kitchen table planning a meager budget: newsprint is the “grocery bag” of the newspaper business. It’s our second largest weekly expense.

These are lean times in the newspaper business. That’s undoubtedly true for other businesses as well. The last time around we cut back the number of pages in the paper, eliminating four pages unless we had sufficient advertising to cover the unexpected costs each week. Readers have been supportive but some have said they would prefer that we bring back some of what we had to return. We agree. Now we have to figure how to do that.

So we expect sometime before the end of November to increase the cost of a copy of The Columbia Paper purchased at newsstands by 50 cents to $3. We sell hundreds of single copies from newsstands each week. It may help.

And in 2023 we have to increase the cost of subscriptions. But we will be offering incentives for those subscribers.

If you have other ideas send and email or mail a note and we’ll consider them.

Remember also our Columbia Paper Journalism Fund, where contributors can make a tax deductible contribution in support of news stories. This is a program with the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. To find morego to the top right of our website and click on the yellow “Donate” button or go to https://www.columbiapaper.com/the-columbia-paper-journalism-fund/

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