There can be strength in numbers and that saying held true as newspapers and publishers across the country united in opposition of costly newsprint tariffs.
The International Trade Commission (ITC) decided Wednesday, Aug. 29, that Canadian imports of groundwood papers, which includes rolls of newsprint that The Shawnee News-Star and many other newspapers use to bring you a newspaper, do not cause material harm to the U.S. paper industry.
The tariffs, which were implemented in January, increased newsprint costs by almost 30 percent.
Before Wednesday's decision, The Department of Commerce heard arguments but upheld the tariffs, revising them to be around 20 percent, although that was still unsustainable for newspapers.
The News-Star, along with newspapers across the state of Oklahoma and the nation, united to let their voices be heard about the tariffs and the devastating effect on newspapers.
A nationwide editorial response, petitions and contacts with elected officials, made readers and decision makers aware of the damage being caused by these tariffs.
David Chavern, president and CEO of News Media Alliance, said they hope the reversal of these newsprint tariffs will restore stability to the market and that publishers will see a full and quick recovery as “our democracy depends on it.”
There are still many unknowns as the ITC's full decision isn't expected until Sept. 17, but for now, the strength in numbers from newspapers, both big and small, proves that newspapers continue to play a vital role in local communities.