The newspapers, like the staff, are leaner than they were a decade ago, with fewer reporters to write about crime, the school board and youth sports and to craft obituaries for their aging readership. And now they’re facing a new and unexpected threat: President Trump’s confrontational trade policies. Last year, in one of the Trump administration’s first actions on trade, the U.S. government imposed tariffs on Canadian lumber. A few months later, it added tariffs on Canadian uncoated groundwood paper. The result has been a jump in the cost of newsprint, the second-biggest operating expense, after salaries, for most newspapers. Rogers and fellow news executives across the country are now bracing for price increases that could exceed 30 percent, forcing tough budget decisions and potentially driving some community papers out of business. “This may be the thing that pushes us across the line,” Rogers said. “We’re all kind of close to that edge.” Click Read More below for additional information.
Keep Me Posted (KMP) today announced the launch of its campaign in North America. KMP is a global advocacy campaign working for the right of every consumer to choose, free of charge, how they receive important information from their service providers – on paper or electronically.
Overseen by Two Sides North America, the KMP North America campaign will focus on educating and challenging corporations that are removing consumer choice and charging fees for paper. The campaign will coordinate with KMP global campaigns already launched in several European countries and Australia.
KMP has also partnered with the Coalition for Paper Options, Consumer Action, Haven Neighborhood Services, Montana Organizing Project, National Consumers League, and The National Grange to form a coalition to protect the consumer’s right to choose between paper and digital communications.
Millions of North American consumers are currently disenfranchised by increased digitization and need to receive bills and statements on paper due to reasons such as: lack of internet access, digital abilities, and growing security concerns with online fraud. Others prefer paper for convenience and practical reasons.
Results of a 2017 Toluna consumer survey conducted in the U.S. indicated that 90% agree that they should have the right to choose how they receive communications (printed or electronic) from financial organizations and service providers. 83% agree they should not be charged more for choosing a paper bill or statement.
According to a study by the Pew Research Center in 2018, 50% of American senior citizens, 76% of those who have not completed high school and 55% of those living in households with an annual income under $30,000 did not have broadband internet at home. These numbers have increased since 2013 because of the cost of internet access.
In Canada, approximately 18% of households do not have access to fixed broadband Internet access services at the CRTC target speeds and 64.4% of families in the lowest income quintile (the 20% lowest earners) used the internet at home compared to a national average of 86.9% (CRTC, 2016 and 2017).
more at: https://twosidesna.org/US/paper-or-digital-keep-me-posted-north-america-launches-to-protect-the-consumers-right-to-choose/