By: David Corcoran, Sr.,President, West Virginia Press Association
February 18, 2013
If you’re having problems in receiving your newspaper, via USPS, read on.
But, first, perhaps an apology is needed from us editors to some of our valued and devoted subscribers, because they have not — on a more regular basis — received their weekly Glenville newspaper in a timely manner through the mail.
I say, “valued and devoted,” because we truly value the trust that you subscribers have bestowed on us to bring you the home county newspaper each week. Most importantly, you are “devoted,” because after receiving the week’s paper, you, like starving lions eating raw meat, devour the home county news, probably in one long sitting in your relaxing arm chair. At least, you’ve told us this, time and time again, upon renewing your subscriptions, while voicing your joy at being informed of what’s going on back home.
As I’ve alluded to in the past year, the fault in delivery is not entirely ours at this newspaper, and I hate to point a finger at anyone. Nevertheless, in this case, the United States Postal Service, which delivers our papers to you readers, is beginning to falter.
I’ve previously noted that up until about three years ago, our Glenville news office, if we received two complaints a month, that was about normal. Nowadays, we may receive up to 10 or more per week.
For example, the apparently forgotten people of Cedarville and Tanner have not received any of their newspapers on two occasions during the past month. That scares me!
It also apparently has now revved up the concerns of our U.S. Congressman David McKinley (R-1st Dist.), who is running into a quagmire of irate constituent questions and problems related to the USPS’s operational procedures and problems in newspaper delivery.
Let me assure you that I know of no Gilmer County post office clerk or postmaster who gives us any grief. Yet, as Congressman McKinley puts in a current e-mail, the USPS’s problems have gone from bad to worse.
Mr. Jim Forbes, Congressman McKinley’s office communications director, explains, “Addressing the needs of our constituents continues to be the top priority of the office of Congressman McKinley and as I’m sure you’ll agree, the same applies to informing and serving your (newspaper’s) readers. I wanted to reach out to you on behalf of the Congressman on an issue that may affect both you and your readers.
“Last week, it was brought to our attention that several newspapers in the district which deliver through the mail are experiencing delivery problems. As a result, I want to determine if this is an isolated issue or a larger problem throughout our state.
“We discovered that some papers are experiencing this problem at a rate as high as 50 percent of households not receiving their paper.
We Glenville editors think that this delivery problem happened to about 15 percent of our readers last week.
“I (Mr. Forbes) would like to find out how wide spread this problem is in our district. If you are also experiencing this, please contact us and let us know what percentage of your papers are not getting to their proper destination and how long has this been taking place.
“Our staff is working to figure out and correct this issue.
“I’m always looking at ways of improving my communication with you and responding to your needs. If you ever have any suggestions, please feel free to pass them along.
For contacting me, you can e-mail me at email@example.com, or call my direct number at 202-226-3403.”
Also, you subscribers can write to him at:
Director of Communications
Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E. (WV - 1)
412 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 226-3403 (Work Direct)
Thanks to Congressman McKinley and his communications director, Jim Forbes, we Glenville editors might be able to get some answers for you distraught subscribers.
As your newspaper’s publisher and current President of the WV Press Association, I have already e-mailed Mr. Forbes about the problems you subscribers are experiencing and facing with all of these post office automation changes, staff reductions and post office closings.
Also, I’ve informed all of our publishers around the state of this timely initiative of Congressman McKinley in trying to correct the postal delivery problems statewide. Perhaps they can also put the burden of proof on the post office’s brass in Washington that their customer services are, like fish left unattended, going from spoiling to stinking.
We editors need help in trying to correct our delivery problems with the USPS, so we’re delighted that Congressman McKinley is stepping out of the Washington pack to help us. That’s good business for all of us, as well as a relief to you subscribers.
(Editor’s note: The Coal Valley News in Madison has also experienced delivery problems with the USPS and we have reported them to our Congressman Nick Joe Rahall, II.)