Constitution deals with newsprint crisis
The Lawton Constitution subscribers began receiving slimmer-than-usual daily newspapers last week in the wake of a paper supply decrease stemming from a spike in the cost of paper from Canadian manufacturers.
The price soared when a small paper mill in Washington state recently acquired by a New York City firm told the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission that manufacturers in Canada have violated trade laws, which permitted them to sell paper to U.S. companies at a lower price than domestic manufacturers.
To combat the violation, the government imposed a tariff of 22 percent for newsprint imports from Canada.
"Print is tangible and trustworthy. It's vetted," said Dennis Wade, president and publisher of The Constitution, whose career in the newspaper industry spans 40 years.
But Wade, along with publishers across the United States, are face to face to with a challenge Wade never saw coming: a paper shortage.
The nationwide paper shortage inevitably hits home. Some call it a newsprint crisis, while others call it a political opportunity for citizens to speak up.
In spite of uncertainty, The Lawton Constitution will still hit the stands, day after day.
Wade said the owner of The Constitution, Houston-based Southern Newspapers Inc. (SNI), cannot control the expense of newsprint.
"The paper is more challenging to obtain," Wade said. "It's unpredictable as to when we'll get paper."
Wade said SNI remains stable, as it pays its bills on time and receives support from sister papers that share resources, including newsprint.