Monday, October 12, 2015

Open House at The Columbian

The Columbian Newspaper is celebrating its 125th Anniversary this year, and they threw open their doors to give the public a glimpse of their mighty presses.  I was excited about a chance to show Jasper something about a real, locally owned newspaper that still prints its own papers, an unusual institution still holding its own.  They attribute their continued success to the fact that advertisers can use The Columbian to target Clark County residents, whereas the rest of the local media is dominated by the Portland market. They pride themselves on being a local, family owned business, which is a healthy thing in a nation where journalism is dominated more and more by corporate owners with roots far outside the communities they serve. We learned that the original paper, the Vancouver Columbian, was a weekly that cost subscribers $2 a year,  50% of the paper is advertising, they have a strict limit of one "jump" maximum per article (where a story is continued on another page), their press runs at 25 mph, and their newsprint has a 40% recycled content, which is the maximum they can use before the paper starts to rip in the press.   Of course the mighty machines were the stars of the show. Jasper thought this was a wonderful tour, and we surely hope they'll be doing it again on their 150th Anniversary!

Jasper with Columbo, their mascot.

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