Only constant in life is change
When I was a little girl growing up in Natchez, my stepfather, Bill Wall, and I bonded over our mutual love of early mornings and reading The Natchez Democrat.
In our household of five children and two adults, he and I were the only early morning risers.
From the time I could read, I loved waking up each morning and waddling still sleepy-eyed into the kitchen, climbing into a chair at the counter next to Bill and sharing the newspaper. He even made me a cup of coffee, which was mostly milk and sugar. And there we would sit, sipping coffee and reading The Democrat.
Sometimes we would read in silence. Sometimes we would discuss the stories and photos in the paper in the fashion of, “Wow, did you see this?” It was a special time that imprinted on me for life.
Our quiet time together would end, as my mother and brothers and sisters would finally get out of bed and the rush would begin to get ready for school.
I understand as much as anyone the importance of habit and rituals. They are tough to change, but we all know the only constant in life is change.
That certainly is true for the newspaper business. We announced on Friday our change in delivery of our newspaper to the U.S. mail and understand doing so is going to create a change in habit for many of our readers.
We ask you to understand we did not make this decision lightly, and are taking every step to minimize the effect the change in delivery will have on you.
It has become increasingly difficult to near impossible to find reliable independent contract carriers who are willing to get up in the middle of the night, drive miles and miles of dark roads and deliver newspapers to our readers. Those willing to do so are few, and some have worked loyally with us for years and are appreciated. Others who are tasked with finding workers in this market and economy understand those difficulties.
Our job is to deliver your newspaper to you at a predictable time in a predictable location, and our partnering with the U.S. Postal Service is the most efficient way to do that.
You will get your newspaper on the same day it is printed. That won’t change. Our partnership with the postal service allows us to deliver our newspapers directly to the post office in Natchez, sorted in a way that matches the Natchez postal service routes. These papers will never leave Natchez. They will go directly to our readers with their other mail the same day.
You will continue to get pre-prints or sales flyers in your newspaper the same as now. That won’t change.
The Democrat will be available in single copy locations — racks and dealers — early in the mornings, the same as they are now.
We will also provide a free, three-month subscription to our digital edition of the newspaper. The digital edition, which is different than the way stories are displayed on our website, is a link to the pages as they actually look in the print publication. The digital edition will be available every day at 6 a.m. To get set up, please send an email to email@example.com.
As have many newspapers throughout the country, our company has made this change in other places, and while there is an adjustment, in time most come to enjoy receiving the newspaper a little later in the day.
And in almost all of those places print readership is growing. We hope you give this change a chance.
Making this change to mail delivery will allow us to focus resources and attention to our news product and continue to provide you with the strong community journalism you expect from The Democrat and the consistent quality our advertisers have counted on for 150 years to get their messages to Democrat readers.
Jan Griffey is general manager of The Natchez Democrat. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 601-445-3566.