Life in the Valley of Riches

Well, we have another letter to the editor this week questioning my honor and my willingness to fight against censorship and political corruption, so I wanted to clear up some misunderstandings that are circulating around the county.
The Josephine County Commissioners voting to move county public notices from the Daily Courier to the Illinois Valley News is in no way censorship. There is nothing that prevents the Courier from doing the work they have been doing: Publishing news articles about the commissioners and uncovering possible political corruption. And the I.V. News will continue to do the same, just as we have always done.
So, let me explain what I am fighting for and why.
“Between late 2019 and May 2022, over 360 newspapers closed, while since 2005, the nation has lost over a quarter of its local publications. That trend is expected to continue, and by 2025, researchers predict the U.S. will lose one third of its local newspapers,” wrote Northwestern University professor Penelope Muse Abernathy, in a press release from the Medhill Project, which researched the state of local news in 2022.
Most of the shuttered newspapers have been weeklies while dailies have gone down from publishing seven days a week to five or six days.
I believe keeping community newspapers printing is important. The Illinois Valley News has been printed since 1937 and it is important to the economic stability of the Illinois Valley and competing with free advertising on social media and the internet has been challenging.
I have been soliciting the county for business for years and I finally got it.
In the Jan. 27, 2023 issue of the Seattle Times, Courier publisher Travis Moore is quoted as saying, “It’s (the Courier) already added more than 1,000 Jackson County subscribers.” Given that the Courier charges $324 per year for a subscription in Jackson County that means an annual income from those new readers bring in $324,000 a year in new revenue.
The loss of revenue from Josephine County to the Courier is a drop in the bucket when compared to the new income coming from Jackson County with the closure of the Mail Tribune. But, the increase in revenue to the Illinois Valley News is a lifeline that prevents the paper from becoming a statistic like the ones written previously.
Here’s another fact: The Courier has only been officially designated the paper of record since 2008; that’s only 15 years (not 100 as some claim).
If people wanted to read the public notices they had to purchase five copies of the Courier. The difference now is that you purchase the I.V. News once a week to read all the notices. You can subscribe to IVN for a printed copy delivered in your mail, subscribe to an email edition or purchase it off a rack in stores. If you want to go online and read the public notices for free you can go to theivnews.com website, or just like before you can visit publicnoticeoregon.com.
I have been working hard to expand IVN accessibility throughout the county. I have added newspaper racks at Ray’s in Merlin, News and Smokes in Grants Pass and the Williams General Store.
I have also ordered four newspaper coin machines to place in strategic locations throughout the county. To offset the cost of the machines, I will be selling advertising that will be placed on the front of the machine for all to see, so if you are interested give us a call.
This is a “win-win” for all Josephinians. After all, it is important that neighboring communities support each other so that the whole county thrives.
Thank you for picking up this week’s paper. Enjoy! ~ djm