Sundays, students encourage hope
To all of you who grasp my hand when you meet me and lament the death of our business
To all of you who are convinced you’re the last person left who wants to hold a newspaper in your hands while you drink your morning cup of coffee
To all of you who ask how much longer we’ll be able to print The News Tribune
Here’s the biggest problem we have with selling the Sunday newspaper: We can’t keep enough of them in stock.
Last Sunday, for instance, we sold 22,519 papers at store counters and in newsstand boxes. That’s up 33 percent from last year on the same Sunday.
Part of the growth we attribute to the popularity of coupon clipping in these tough economic times. (Today’s paper has $131 worth of coupons.) Part of it, we hope, is that people enjoy reading the in-depth local stories we run on Sundays.
The numbers have been growing all year at a rate that has surprised us, which has presented an interesting problem.
Advertisers who pay us to insert sales fliers in the Sunday paper place their orders as much as six months in advance. Six months ago, we didn’t anticipate needing as many inserts as we do now.
Until advertisers catch up, we can’t put as many papers as we’d like in boxes or on store counters, which means sometimes vendors run out.
We’re working as hard as we can to catch up. In the meantime, if you have difficulty finding a paper, check a local grocery or discount store. They stock the largest quantities and also sell Sunday papers all week.
Or you might consider subscribing. That way you’re guaranteed a Sunday paper, and it’s delivered right to your doorstep.
We apologize for any inconvenience to our single-copy buyers. (But we hope sales continue to climb.)
FLAGS ON VETERAN OBITUARIES
You might have noticed a subtle change on our obituary page Friday.
On Veterans Day, we began offering families the option of placing an American flag at the top of obituaries for those who served in the military.
The idea came to us from a reader who saw the flags in another newspaper and thought they would be a nice gesture from the TNT as well. We agreed.
Families can pay to run a larger flag or other logo, but this small flag we offer at no charge in appreciation for their service.
OUR THANKS TO PLU
We deputized 13 journalism students from Pacific Lutheran University Tuesday night to help us cover the election. After joining us for the traditional Election Night pizza, they fanned out to five locations to feed live coverage to Peter Callaghan, who was manning our Political Buzz blog. The student journos wrote a dozen blog posts and sent in more than two dozen photos.
“They interviewed voters and volunteers, captured the scene (even when there was no scene like at the Yes on 1183 event), reflected the mood both celebratory and disappointed, gathered quotes from campaign leaders responding to the results, and filed them all on constant deadline,” Callaghan wrote.
The partnership extended our reach for readers and provided valuable real-world experience for students. We expect to exercise it again for next year’s presidential election.
Karen Peterson: 253-597-843