Editor's letter: A message for Hartlepool Mail readers
On Monday, the price of your Hartlepool Mail will increase by 3p to 73p - the first rise since 2015.
The reason for this increase is not merely that our own costs are rising - true though that is.
The way newspapers are funded is profoundly different from most other products you can purchase in the supermarket or newsagents.
Historically, the lion’s share of the costs of our journalism and the production of our titles has been met by advertising.
Without that advertising, if the reader was to pay the full price then each issue of the Hartlepool Mail would cost several pounds.
But that subsidy we receive from advertising is decreasing in a digital age.
So if we are to continue to deliver the exceptional, trusted local journalism which I know you value, we have to charge a little more for the paper to help offset the lower advertising revenue.
We are, as ever, seeking to keep the increase to a minimum so we are constantly looking at ways to reduce our own costs provided they do not impact on the quality journalism you expect of us.
In an era of ‘fake news’, social media trolling, and unsubstantiated rumour that abounds on unregulated websites, your local newspaper remains the most trusted and authoritative source of information and comment.
But those professional standards which range from the extensive training we provide our journalists to enable them to cover courts and council meetings - content that our readers have a right to know about - to adherence to our professional code of conduct and independent regulation, cost money.
The Hartlepool Mail’s readership has never been greater thanks to our rapidly growing online audience.
That is great news for advertisers and for democracy itself - because it shows just how interested local people are in local news.
So I do hope you will help us to continue to deliver the very best local news service by encouraging friends and neighbours to purchase a copy every week and support our #buyapaper campaign.
Thank you for your support. We couldn’t do it without you.
Joy Yates, Editorial Director