‘Important stories will go uncovered’: Newspaper exec says tariffs will hurt his industry
iStock/Thinkstock(NOGALES, Ariz.) — One Florida newspaper is using its pages to highlight the struggle it’s facing in the wake of new tariffs the Trump administration put in place.
For them, the product on the frontlines of the trade war is paper – the paper the publication needs to print newspapers.
The Tampa Bay Times published an column detailing the issues the newspaper is facing at hand. The chairman and CEO of the Tampa Bay Times, Paul Tash, is asking the public for help.
“This month, the U.S. government piled huge tariffs onto the imports of newsprint from Canada, including those from our biggest supplier,” the piece read. “As a result, the price will jump from $600 to $800 for every ton, and we use about 17,000 tons every year.”
According to Tash, that’s a 30 percent increase in cost – potentially adding more than $3 million to the Tampa Bay Times’ newsprint bill.
“Just about every American newspaper and all our trade associations are joining the fight to challenge these tariffs, but even if we succeed, it will take months to reverse this terrible decision. Meanwhile, prices will go up. Jobs will be lost. Important stories will go uncovered,” Tash wrote.
The response to Tash’s comments has been mixed, said Sherri Day, the publication’s communications and grants director.
“We are encouraged by the strong support from our readers and customers who understand why local newspapers, particularly the Tampa Bay Times, matter,” she said in a written statement in response to ABC News. “We are not asking Times staffers to write their Congressional representatives and senators. But if they choose to do so, we support it. This issue directly affects our industry and ability to do important work.”
She added that the paper is prepared to adjust to produce a quality newspaper.
Some Tampa Bay Times employees took to social media to express growing concerns over the issue.
The news design director for the Tampa Bay Times, Tara McCarty, is asking her followers to write Congress about the importance of print news.
McCarty said the issue not only affects Florida readers, but it impacts the nation as a whole.
“Those of you who don’t live in Florida, this impacts you as well,” she tweeted. “Wherever you live, reach out to your representatives and get to know your home paper.”
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