Renewing the pledge of a local daily newspaper

Dear readers,

The Delaware State News prides itself on its relationship with you.

We’re your local newspaper — the one written of, by and for the people.

It’s a special bond we have, one that we do not take for granted.

Many of you have watched it grow from its feisty beginning as the first daily newspaper in the capital of the First State.

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Sunday editions of the Delaware State News are packed with content and savings. Delaware State News/Dave Chambers

 

And, many of you have become readers and have remained loyal to us over the years.

You love us. You curse us.

You feel this is your newspaper. That’s what we mean about the special bond we have.

How many other products or services make you feel this way?

Likely none.

Why? Well, it’s because the local newspaper has value and it may be more than you realize at first glance.

For a small fee, we connect you with your community.

We inform with news and advertising.

We amuse and entertain with features, comics and puzzles.

And, we provide the community with a unique forum where ideas and opinions can be shared freely. All the while, we do not tell you what to think.

We believe in giving you the information you need to make decisions daily.

And, we do so in a unique and responsible way as a First Amendment-conscious company whose profits are reinvested into community journalism, rather than passed along to disinterested shareholders, as is the case with our closest newspaper competitors in Delaware.

In recent years, we have gained new subscribers and advertisers to the Delaware State News with our practices.

It’s our intention to continue to grow and thrive as a media company — carrying on our print success and building on it with digital offerings that our readers and the times demand.

In just a few weeks, we will unveil a redesigned website that will specifically focus on the local news-gathering efforts of the Delaware State News. It will complement, not replace, your newspaper.

Over the past years, we’re sure all of you have been challenged with higher prices for just about everything.

Through the downturn in the economy, the Delaware State News weathered the storm with responsible, conservative spending during a time when it would have been simpler to just pass along higher costs to you.

From this editor’s nearly 25 years of experience with the Delaware State News, there has never been a time when our company’s thoughts went directly to passing on costs to readers. We find efficiencies, we tighten our belts, we do whatever it takes to keep the feisty spirit that our founder Jack Smyth brought to Dover in 1953.

We made tough decisions on spending and all the while we kept our promise to deliver a quality community newspaper every day.

Last year, we asked our readers for a modest increase and it came with an assurance that we would add additional news content. We appreciate the positive reactions that we received in the aftermath of the decision. It was the newspaper’s first home delivery rate increase in more than 20 years.

Today, this editor is asking for your cooperation and support as we announce the need for another small increase in subscriber rates, and an increase in the suggested retail price of our Sunday edition.

Effective April, home delivery will increase to $4 per week.

Stop and think about that a second. That’s still less than 60 cents a day.

The Delaware State News rate is less than half what subscribers of the upstate daily pay.

Even with our increase, we believe it is an amazing deal. Consider this, what you pay to have the DSN delivered to your home for a full year is less than most people pay for cable television, phone and Internet services for a month.

Also, think about the savings. Clip coupons every week, shop for bargains and compare prices on big ticket items and you’ll easily recoup the expenses of the subscription.

With our rate changes, our Sunday newspaper will have a suggested retail price of $2.

Monday-Friday newsstand rates will remain unchanged at 75 cents – still the best value you’ll find when you scan the cost of other daily newspapers on the racks next to us.

The Sunday newspaper is a great American tradition and, locally, the Delaware State News’ Sunday edition has been welcomed into Downstate homes since 1971.

We’re proud of the work, care and pride our entire staff takes in assembling the Sunday newspaper. This editor certainly loves finding the local stories that matter and the local stories that celebrate our community each week.

But, the Sunday package is even more than that. It is stuffed with retail fliers and coupons. It exclusively includes Parade, the only Sunday newspaper magazine in a Delaware daily.

It includes a weekly television guide — the only one included in a Delaware daily at no additional cost.

And, it includes puzzles and comics. The latter has amused kids and adults alike for decades and continues to be an introduction to newspapers for many young people.

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Readers, we also wish to remind you that EZ Pay subscribers are eligible for free access to our electronic edition which includes all pages of the newspaper.

With many households now having spouses who have preferences for print or electronic reading, this is a great opportunity for both of you to have it your way.

Last year, the Delaware State News also announced a unique relationship with the Washington Post. Our subscribers can sign up for free digital access to the Washington Post.

Email readerservices@newszap.com to sign up for these options.

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We’re reminded of Jack Smyth’s words from the first anniversary edition of the newspaper in 1954.

“In our first editorial, just a year ago today, we declared, ‘This will be an honest newspaper — in every sense of the word. We intend to merit the good faith of our readers by reporting the news truthfully, thoroughly and accurately. There will always be a clear distinction between impartial news reports and editorial opinion.

“On this first anniversary, we renew that pledge.”

Mr. Smyth, at the time, said he was encouraged by the faith and confidence of Delaware State News readers and pledged to bring local daily news to our community for the many years ahead.

After more than 62 years of service, we remain committed to this pledge.

Andrew West Managing Editor

Reach editor Andrew West at awest@newszap.com

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