NY Times Voices Opposition to Unfair Postal Rate Increase on Small Independent Publishers

Brian Zick

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The editors of the New York Times say: Postal rate increases are an unwelcome fact of life for every magazine publisher. But it seems the steep new increases for periodicals, scheduled to begin on July 15, will inflict undue hardship on small independent magazines that do much to inform the national discourse on politics and culture. They will be required to pay a much higher percentage increase than some of the largest magazines.A skimpily funded coalition of small journals of opinions and ideas — running the ideological gamut from The National Review on the right to The Nation on the left — is struggling to get Washington to focus on the issue. The group’s request that the rate increase be reversed, or at least done in stages to mitigate its crippling impact, warrants the immediate attention of the House and Senate committees that oversee postal operations.Among other things, those committees need to review the flawed process behind the new rate structure. The United States Postal Service first proposed a large but manageable across-the-board increase of about 12 percent. The rate-setting commission quietly abandoned that proposal and instead approved a new plan resembling one proposed by Time Warner, which publishes two of the nation’s largest-circulation magazines, Time and People.

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