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Issue Date:  October 5, 2007

From the Editor's Desk

Countering the postal hike

In recent issues of NCR, I’ve written about the 23 percent postal increase we face this year. That increase translates into an additional $95,000 annually just to mail the paper to our readers 42 times a year. As you can imagine, where that extra $95,000 will come from has been cause for consternation. It’s well over and above the reasonable increase for which we had budgeted.

We’ve looked at the different options to help us make up this increase. The one option we have chosen to avoid is increasing the price of a subscription for our community of readers.

Because the concern is postage costs, not editorial coverage or printing costs, we believe the best solution is to cut back on postage expense only. To that end, we will publish and mail 24 issues a year beginning in January 2008. At the same time, we will increase the page count of the newspaper and give you more in-depth, quality journalism in each issue of NCR.

In this way, we will focus our cost-cutting only where costs have drastically risen, in postage. Mailing 18 fewer issues will eliminate the additional $95,000 in postage costs and give you 24 larger issues each year -- and no increase in subscription rates.

Breaking news on issues important to the Catholic community will still be posted at as soon as it becomes available. We will continue to offer free e-mail alerts to let you know when we’ve posted a new item. If you haven’t signed up for these alerts simply go to and click on the “Sign up for Breaking News” link on the right side of the page.

So the good news is you will now have two weeks to read an expanded issue before the next one comes -- yet you can still be up-to-the minute on important news -- all for the same cost.

The reality is that expenses often grow at a much faster rate than income. At NCR, we are forever looking for creative ways to meet expenses without passing the burden on to our subscribers. We sincerely hope that in choosing to publish 24 issues a year we have chosen a solution that will serve your needs while at the same time providing for the ongoing operational needs of the NCR Publishing Company.

Over the years, NCR has provided a strong and thoughtful alternative to mainstream media and has exercised decisive influence on the 67 million Catholics in this country. We believe NCR can help shape the nation’s democratic institutions and policies. Religion should expand the dialogue, not contract it. So it’s an unfortunate reality that small publications such as NCR are faced with such challenges as they continue to provide independent journalism that is essential to a vibrant democracy. We are concerned for all people and we are committed to shaping a world that recognizes the dignity of every human being, regardless of religious belief, sex, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or other characteristics.

Thank you for being a subscriber. We’re glad you are with us and we hope you stay part of this community for a long time to come.

You can contact me at

-- Sr. Rita Larivee, SSA

P.S. Thank you to many of you who sent donations when we announced the burden that the Postal Service rate hike had placed on us. Your unwavering support makes all our challenges surmountable.

National Catholic Reporter, October 5, 2007

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