Duluth City Pages: Newspapers are now making their readers pay to publish some letters to the editor

by Hannah Jones

Anybody with strong opinions about a candidate could have their letter under the noses of every reader in the paper’s 26,000 square-mile circulation. That all changed this year.

In May, opinions page editor Chuck Frederick announced to his readers that from now on, anyone who wanted to submit a political endorsement for publication would have to pay for it. The price is $15 for the first 125 words or so, and $10 for each additional 25 words.

The Tribune is far from alone. Frederick’s newsroom was pretty much the last hold-out in Forum Communications’ armada of newspapers — among them the Grand Forks Herald, the Hastings Star Gazette, and the Red Wing Republican Eagle.

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