A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

ACM announces significant price increases to regional newspapers

Daily and weekly regional newspapers published by Rural Press’ Australian Community Media will cost more from the end of this month. Here is the announcement sent yesterday afternoon to newsagents:

Dear Retail Outlet

The cover price of most of our print titles will increase from Monday June 27, 2022.

This is only the second increase we have had in the past four years, and whilst the last increase was just 12 months ago, there have been significant cost changes for our business recently.

We here at ACM want to let you know why this change is necessary so that you and your staff are fully informed.

We want you to be able to engage meaningfully with customers about this change because it is our firm belief that we all – our readers, our advertisers, our staff and our retail partners – recognise the continuing value of trusted local news coverage that serves our communities.

As our publications have reported in recent weeks, Australia’s regional newspapers have been hit with an unexpected 80 per cent increase in the cost of newsprint.

These higher costs begin to take effect from July 1, 2022.

With rising fuel and energy prices and other supply chain pressures adding further unavoidable costs to the production and distribution of our products, we are asking our readers to support their favourite local newspaper by paying a higher cover price.

This will be a vital contribution towards keeping our publications in print, and it will help sustain local journalism, our business and in turn yours, by keeping our products available in the local marketplace.

The cover price rise will go some way towards offsetting the higher cost of newsprint but it won’t fully cover it.

That’s why we have also sought government support to protect local newspapers, regional news coverage and journalism jobs.

As we told our readers in May, ACM’s 140 mastheads around the country have joined with Country Press Australia, representing 190 other smaller titles, to seek emergency relief from the newsprint price shock.

The new Labor government’s commitment to deliver a $10 million “crisis response” package for the sector is most welcome.

As we await details of the promised funding measures from newly sworn-in Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland, we will be explaining fully to our readers why this cover price rise is unavoidable and essential for the future of their favourite local newspaper.

For the readers of our 14 daily titles, we will also be offering the chance to win fuel for a year.

This promotion runs for two weeks from June 27. In every day’s paper we’ll be publishing a different secret code word. With the purchase of each day’s paper, you get a new code word to be able to enter the draw to win one of 10 x $4000 Fuel for a year prizes, plus additional minor prizes of $500 fuel cards.

A similar competition last year was enthusiastically received by our readers and we look forward to our network of retail partners backing this year’s promotion with point-of-sale displays and word-of-mouth endorsement over the counter.

As always, thank you for your continuing support for our products and the vital service they provide the local community.

Increasing prices is fraught in any business. Keys to acceptance are the value of the product and how you communicate around the increase. I think ACM management have done a pretty good job in this email to newsagents.

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