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Journalism isn’t free
June 15, 2018

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As you read the stories and columns in this week's issue of the Lake Placid News, we'd like to remind you that our service isn't free.

You already know this if you've purchased a print copy, but if you're reading this online as many people do, it's worth the reminder.

There's a cost. From our time gathering the news, writing it, laying it out, editing it, printing it and distributing each issue, it takes a lot of time and money to publish the Olympic Region's hometown newspaper every week.

Times are tough for all newspapers, even for small ones such as the Lake Placid News. We've felt the economic pressures of the digital age, but it's tough going for any small business in America, as many small business owners in the Tri-Lakes will tell you. Yet, if you are dedicated to serving the community, as we have been since 1905, you'll figure out ways to get through the rough patches.

There may be more ways to get information in the digital age, yet the local newspaper is still an institution revered in the U.S. Print is far from dead. Radio and TV stations continue to cite newspaper stories on a daily basis. Social media is full of newspaper reporting, shared over and over. We love seeing people take photos of the Lake Placid News front page and share it on Facebook. When you hear someone say, "Yes, I heard about that story," whether it was "heard" on the internet, radio or TV, many times the news story originated from newspaper reporting.

The Lake Placid News is still here, plugging along, finding stories about the people in the region that make this a great place to live, reporting on the news that affects your lives locally, helping businesses grow by providing advertising space, printing the accomplishments of local schoolchildren, and giving civic organizations a free platform to communicate their news to the public.

Consider that in the past four years, we've added new columns from several organizations to our pages: the Rotary Club of Lake Placid, Lake Placid Public Library, Zonta Club of the Adirondacks and Garden Club of Lake Placid. We give room for the SPCA, Lake Placid Volunteer Ambulance Service, Mirror Lake Watershed Association, Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society and Wilmington Historical Society. We don't have to buy the columns, and the groups don't have to pay for advertising space, yet this partnership does take time - on their part to write and distribute the information and for us to edit it and print it on our pages. There is a cost.

We're happy to provide a platform for civic groups and would like more organizations to contribute every month. It's a public service.

If you like getting this community news, plus outdoor and sports stories, and if you like reading our exclusive profiles on people of the Olympic Region every week, please consider subscribing to the Lake Placid News.

Threats to the newspaper industry continue, and they're not just coming from digital platforms. The latest threat is a tariff from the U.S. government, which is now charging up to a 32 percent surcharge on newsprint from Canadian mills. We're not certain how it will affect the Lake Placid News and our sister newspaper, the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, but we are tightening our belts to decrease costs as much as possible without decreasing the amount of community news we give you every week. In fact, we're giving you more, and much of it is award-winning journalism. Every year, the News and Enterprise are recognized statewide and nationally for our journalism efforts.

A strong subscription base will help us continue serving the public for many years to come.

We know a lot of people read the Lake Placid News, but readers aren't always customers. If you've ever said, "I don't buy the paper because I read it online," that's part of the problem. We don't have an online subscription model right now. Yet we also don't put all of our content on our website. You need to get the print copy in order to get all the news.

If you are a member of the civic groups we give free space to each month, please consider supporting the Lake Placid News. If you rely on the News or the Enterprise for your local news in the Olympic Region - a service nobody else provides as thoroughly as we do - please consider subscribing to one or both papers. If you find our feature stories and columns enjoyable, please consider supporting us so we can continue bringing you a good read every week.

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