Guernsey Press editor says 10p cover price hike 'preferable to damaging cuts'

The Guernsey Press editor has defended a 10p cover price hike to 75p as “preferable to readers” over making “damaging cuts” to its operations that would harm the newspaper.

The daily title, launched in 1813, has even published an eight-page pullout special “outlining the reasons behind the move” to explain its decision to charge more on the newsstand.

In an online article about the price rise, editor Shaun Green said “now more than ever before we are dependent on circulation revenue”.

He said: “Producing a daily newspaper six days a week, running a website, and employing trained, knowledgeable, locally-based editorial, commercial and IT staff is a very expensive business.

“All newspapers face similar problems, although our Bailiwick is unique in many ways. Advertising revenues have been falling and the effects on local retailers of internet shopping have been particularly serious.

“Over a period of time, some local businesses that used to support the Guernsey Press have disappeared altogether. Competition for advertising revenues from social media is also having an effect.”

Green also said in his piece, published earlier this month, that there had been a “considerable fall in job advertising” following Brexit.

He added: “As the community’s newspaper for more than 200 years, the Guernsey Press has been working hard to respond to these latest challenges and to improve efficiencies.

“We have had to take the very difficult decision to operate with fewer people and, by using technology advancements and working smarter, we have managed to avoid damaging the quality of the newspaper in the process.

“Our choice now is either to make further cuts, which will harm the Guernsey Press product, or to increase its cover price. We have chosen the latter route because we believe it will be preferable to readers rather than making damaging cuts.”

Guernsey Press is owned by the Guiton Group, part of the Claverlely Group, which also publishes the Jersey Evening Post. It has an average, daily circulation of 12,580 copies, according to ABC figures to June 2016 (the latest available).

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