Ridin' the Rapids


August 4, 2022 | View PDF

For some people, repetition works best - so here it is again: McKenzie River Reflections won't be mailed to subscribers beyond the August 18th edition. After 44 years, the costs of printing and mailing have increased too much to be sustainable - amounting to $700 per week.

That's the bad news. The good news is that this newspaper will continue to be published. You can still read it if you send your email address to rivre[email protected]. If you don't, you're risking missing out on a lot.

It's really unfortunate that as people look around the U.S. they see daily newspapers that have owners who are actively destroying the sort of local journalism I want to preserve. Sending money to those often distant owners won't lead to more local reporting. Most likely, it will provide a vulture capital hedge fund with additional profits as it milks what's left before shutting another paper down.

Readers play an important role in supporting independent local news sites. Independent online news organizations have emerged all over the country to fill gaps in local journalism left by the decline of newspapers, and to give voice to communities who were never well-served by legacy media in the first place.

I've joined LION, a non-profit that has 200 members (both for-profit and non-profit) in 43 states, as well as the Institute for Non-profit News which represents a similar number of independent publishers. Some are general interest news sites doing all or most of what a traditional newspaper used to do for their communities. Others are covering niche topics within a local area and are complementing - more than competing with - the work that's being done by what's left of the local daily.

In other words, the changes in production are not something I'm looking at as the end of McKenzie River Reflections - but as new opportunities.

Only 150 copies of a much-abbreviated version of Reflections will be printed. They will not be mailed and will be available only at area news stands.

I'm asking all of my print edition subscribers to please give the digital version of the paper (which will still be full size) a chance. I think you'll like it.

So here it is once again: Please send your email address to [email protected].


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