Senator questions new regulations on periodicals

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) sent a letter to United States Postal Service (USPS) Postmaster General Louis DeJoy expressing concern over recent policy changes and rate hikes affecting local and rural newspapers. 

In July, the USPS eliminated the use of sack containers for newspapers and other periodicals and will now only accept newspapers delivered in bulkier containers. These new containers are more labor intensive to organize and handle, as well as more expensive, creating a serious burden on local newspapers.

“Local newspapers in Minnesota have found this new policy to be overly burdensome, especially those serving rural communities,” Klobuchar wrote. “Rural newspapers have informed me that this new rule has increased the number of containers needed to deliver the same number of newspapers, and some now require additional trucks to deliver their newspapers to local post offices for distribution.

“Minnesotans depend on local newspapers not only to find out the weather forecast or who won the big high school sports game, but also to keep them well-informed about local issues and hold local government officials accountable,” she continued. “USPS’s new rule and rate hikes have real impacts on local newspapers delivery, and local journalism and their subscribers are already paying the price. I urge you to address these burdens on local newspapers and ensure that the United States Postal Service is a viable, affordable delivery service for independent newspaper distribution so that the local newspapers that rely on the postal service can continue to serve their communities.”