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By Staff | Sep 16, 2011

The National Newspaper Association continues to fight to keep Saturday mail delivery alive. The reason, according to Tonda Rush, CEO/General Counsel, NNA, is that many members of the NNA would be affected by the slowdown in overall service of newspaper delivery, as well as delaying checks traveling through the mail.

One concern of the NNA as they watch the process of closing post offices in smaller towns across the country is that the next round of closures is more likely to sweep up offices where newspapers enter mail. This would then include Rugby, although Rugby has not been on any list we’ve seen, yet. Wolford has been on a list of possible closures for awhile. The result of both post offices closing would mean we would have no post office in our county. We would lose an important way for newspapers to get to subscribers.

Regional postal centers might make the process more cost-saving for the Postal Service, but would likely be a disaster for rural areas like North Dakota.

In addition, 20% of North Dakota’s population is 65 and older. Many of these citizens do not use internet, texting or any of the other technological gadgets that the Postal Service says is putting them out of business.

What would happen to this 20% of the population if they can’t pick up their mail, buy stamps, mail packages and pick up their newspapers from the post office? It seems like a rough way to treat senior citizens, some who might not even be able to travel to another county for those items.

Without a practical way to deliver a community newspaper to subscribers, residents would be without valuable information that they need.

“It makes no sense to transport newspaper bundles from a small town into an urban flats sorting center just to bring them back again unsorted,” said Tonda R. Rush, CEO, NNA. “When that happens, our service falls apart completely.”

The Postal Service stands to lose revenue from all the small rural newspapers which are published on Saturdays and need to be delivered in the mail on Saturdays. Those newspapers are the lifeblood of the community telling residents what is going on and answering the questions, where? when? and why? If the newspaper doesn’t come on time, this information will be lost to the consumer.

NNA has called on policymakers to permit publishers to use the mailbox on Saturdays if residential delivery is ended, according to Rush.

“The Postal Service must not abandon small town America. In the years ahead, the Postal Service is going to need the support of citizens, including those in small towns, to adapt to a new economy,” said Rush in a news release. “We urge Congress not to let the Postal Service abandon those who need it most.”

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