Dear readers,

The need to raise rates is one of the hardest conversations for any business to have with its local community and it’s particularly difficult for me, both as a journalist who believes that news should be available to everyone who needs it, and the new owner of the Chilkat Valley News. But, here we are. 

We are in a challenging time for local media and the Chilkat Valley News has held its subscription rates steady for the past six years. During that time our local subscriber postage expenses went up by 34%, our out of town mailing costs went up by 41%, freight costs to fly the paper in went up by 55%. Our printing costs will have gone up by 20% by next year. As things stand, we’re barely breaking even before accounting for staff salaries. The harsh reality is that our current rates are no longer sustainable.     

I firmly believe that this rate increase is the only responsible choice as we strive to build a sustainable news organization that will last long after I am gone. My goal is to stabilize our news operation and position it for sustainable success in the future.

We’re not making this decision lightly and I understand that many of you are facing your own financial challenges. So, we’re spreading the rate increase out over two years to mitigate its impact on you.  

For those of you who have not already renewed, starting on May 23 here is what the new prices will look like: 

At the counter: $1.75

If you’re a print subscriber: 

Second class mail (lower 48) 

  • $67

First class mail

  • $98

Local 

  • $49

Alaska (and seasonal)

  • $61

Please know that we are also actively seeking other sources of revenue to keep this news operation whole. Beginning this month, we’ll be going through a sustainability audit with LION Publishers, a professional association for independent news publishers, and I’m excited to see where that leads us.

 We welcome your feedback and ideas. If you know someone who could use a subscription but can’t afford one – consider a gift subscription. And, if you’re a secret millionaire who loves good journalism – get in touch!  

Thank you for reading, and subscribing. Your continued support is invaluable and helps us continue to tell the stories of the Chilkat Valley. 

Rashah McChesney, Owner, Chilkat Valley News