Oregon Venerable Mail Tribune Newspaper Will Unexpectedly Close Its Doors

Mail Tribune Newspaper: The Mail Tribune in Medford, Oregon, one of the state’s longest continuously running news outlets, announced on Wednesday that it will cease operations by the end of the week.

The newspaper’s unexpected shutdown was announced on its website by publisher and CEO Steven Saslow, who also promised refunds for any unused subscriptions. In September, the newspaper ceased publishing a print edition but continued online. Its final issue will be published on Friday.

Oregon Venerable Mail Tribune Newspaper Will Unexpectedly Close Its Doors

Rosebud Media, owned by Saslow, purchased the publication from GateHouse Media in 2017. “This was a difficult business choice,” Saslow remarked. Those living in Southern Oregon will undoubtedly feel a sense of loss due to the closure of this facility.

He said that the shutdown was the result of a combination of falling advertising revenues and a shortage of qualified candidates. The Ashland Daily Tidings, another newspaper published by Rosebud Media, will cease publication in 2021.

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Rosebud gave the Mail Tribune a newfound emphasis on video production and online dissemination. As of 2019, the newspaper’s newsroom has shared its facility with KTVL-TV, the local station owned by Sinclair Broadcasting Group, and the two have collaborated on stories.

If the Mail Tribune goes out of business, the largest city in southern Oregon would be deprived of a significant source of local news. Nearly 224,000 people call Jackson County, Oregon home. The county seat is Medford.

Oregon Venerable Mail Tribune Newspaper Will Unexpectedly Close Its Doors
Oregon Venerable Mail Tribune Newspaper Will Unexpectedly Close Its Doors

On Wednesday, Grants Pass Daily Courier publisher Travis Moore announced that the days will be hiring former Mail Tribune writers in order to increase its coverage of neighboring Jackson County.

According to a survey by Northwestern University scholar and former newspaper CEO Penny Abernathy, more than 2,500 newspapers have shuttered throughout the country since 2005, which is more than a quarter of all newspapers in the country at the time. Only a fraction of the number of journalists used to cover even rapidly expanding urban regions now works for the remaining news firms.

In 2017, the Mail Tribune was one of nine local news publications in Jackson County, according to the Agora Journalism Center at the University of Oregon.

As the director of the institute, Andrew DeVigal, explained, the newspaper’s demise is indicative of a larger national trend.

The impact of these widespread closures of news sources is felt most keenly in less populated, rural places, he added, so “the news should still be disturbing, I would think.” “It usually leads to more political corruption, more division, more disengagement, and less communal connectedness.”

Connie Saldana, a Mail Tribune reader and Rogue Valley native for the past 32 years, had the same opinion.

What, no more large city daily newspaper? What a terrible loss to the community’s capacity for mutual knowledge and understanding, Saldana lamented. Democracy cannot exist without either of those things. The breadth and depth of coverage that we need to feel educated and engaged are lacking in our local TV news.

A number of new media channels have emerged in response to the decline of established media outlets in recent years. One such outlet is Ashland.news, a nonprofit news website that started its publication last year.

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Although the Mail Tribune’s ancestor dates back to the late 1800s, the first edition of the Medford Mail Tribune was published in 1907. The Oregonian was the first Oregon news outlet to win a Pulitzer Prize when it was awarded the honor in 1934 for public service. The publication was singled out for criticism because of its “campaign against dishonest politicians in Jackson County.”

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