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Jun 4, 2007
Focus: Media
Action Request: Petition
Location: United States

USPS to Small & Indy Media: Screw You

>From Daily Kos, May 20, 2007
I searched the DK archives about this story suprisingly to no avail…it’s not breaking, but it’s a vitally important issue to our democracy..

Small periodicals across the country will see their mailing costs swell thanks to new postage rates written by a major media conglomerate and adopted by the US Postal Service.
The rate-increase plan, approved by the USPS in March, will go into effect on July 15. The increase was recommended by the Postal Regulatory Committee, an agency independent of the Post Office, and is a modified version of a rate structure proposed to the Committee by the media giant TimeWarner.
Critics of the rate changes are predicting a crippling hike that, in the words of the media-reform organization Free Press, “could push many smaller magazines into bankruptcy and make it almost impossible to launch a new independent publication.


Yep, publications like The Nation, Mother Jones etc…are going to see a more than 20 percent increase in postage costs starting on July 15th!

This will have nothing short of totally DEVASTATING effects on smaller circulation publications.

While &ldquoublications” like People magazine, will only see postage savings.

The Nation has joined thirteen other smaller publications from all over the political spectrum to oppose these new rates…. These publications included Mother Jones, In These Times, The American Prospect, National Review and American Spectator.
(opposition from the RW publications seems oxymoronic, but oh well)

Where Congress is on this issue, i’m not sure….but here’s a generic letter I found to work with to send to your Congresspersons:

The Postal Board of Governors recent decision to support an unfair increase in periodical rates will have grave consequences for the free speech that our Founding Fathers struggled to foster when they established the U.S. mail system.

The rate increase was devised by Time Warner — the largest publisher in the industry. If implemented, it will have an adverse effect on smaller periodicals, while easing the postal burden on the largest magazines.

This goes against more than 200 years of postal policy, which has promoted the spread of diverse periodicals in competitive markets as a means to foster a free press and inform and engage citizens.

Congress must step in to protect smaller media from new regulations that would undo this history.

Please join the call for public hearings to determine how this case was decided in such an unusual and unorthodox fashion. Before any increases occur, we must ensure they don’t imperil small and independent publications and stifle public discourse in America.


HERE is the great action center page it came from, where you can easily send this message to your Congresspeople.

Of course, USPS STILL will not comment or respond on why the Board of Governors or the PRC has accepted a structure written in part by TimeWarner.

This is a quintessential example of why we elected a Democratic Congress, yet i’ve hardly heard a peep out of any of ‘em. Let’s make sure they do the right thing in protecting free speech!

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Posted: Jun 4, 2007 2:39am

 

 
 
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