A regional daily editor has defended a 10p price rise at his paper, saying it is necessary to enable it to continue covering “proper” news.
The weekend edition now costs £1.20, although the weekday editions of the Echo remain at 80p.
In an editorial about the increase, Andy told readers he felt it “important” to explain why the change was necessary – citing declining advertising revenues and social media competition.
He wrote: “Advertising revenues, which have been the foundation of the newspaper business for generations, have declined significantly in recent years and that trend is continuing in the midst of fierce competition from social media businesses and the revolution which has taken place in the way in which we all consume news.
“We are always extremely reluctant to increase the price of any of our titles but to deliver the high quality content which we know you value we have had to implement this modest rise.
“If the price increase is the bad news, the good news is that The Northern Echo continues to be the number one newspaper for readers in the North-East and North Yorkshire who value its unique blend of local, regional and national news, nostalgia, comment, arts, culture and sport.
“By continuing to buy the Echo you are making an investment in the investigative reporting and campaigning journalism which remains at the heart of what we do. Thank you for your continued support.”
Andy told HTFP: “We still publish ‘proper’ newspapers up here in Darlington. What I mean by that is we still send reporters to cover court proceedings and to council meetings.
“We hold politicians to account, expose wrongdoing, and the revelation earlier this year that Cleveland Police had tapped the phones of some Echo reporters showed that our reputation for investigative reporting was alive and well.
“We have some talented people here and top quality journalism costs. These are relatively modest price rises but I accept that even a small increase can be unpopular.
“All that my team can do is to continue to publish newspapers that are worth the cover price.”