By Costa News managing director
Lockdown started in Spain on March 14 last year.
Since that date we have been living through the Covid-19 crisis with a lack of freedom.
Almost everyone – except the ‘essential’ service providers such as hospitals, security forces and media among others – had to confine themselves at home at that time.
Some were teleworking, but in this province that lives from tourism, most of them were forced to close their businesses and stay at home.
Not even in the worst of our nightmares did we imagine that this would last more than a year.
And yet, incredibly, today you still have a local newspaper in your own language in your hands.
I would like to think that we are a valuable service to the residents of the coast.
This small publisher has continued to go to print every week as we have been doing for almost 50 years to inform our readers of what was happening, and what could and could not be done in each municipality during the pandemic.
Surviving in these times is very difficult, especially when our reporters, editors, photographers, graphic designers, advertising sales representatives, printers, distributors, delivery people and newsagents live thanks to the sale of newspapers, although most of it is covered by the income from advertising. With the closure of many local businesses and companies, advertising – as you can see in our newspapers – has fallen sharply and is not recovering.
Let us hope that this does not last much longer.
In order for our loyal readers to continue to have local information in their own language every week – hoping that the day won’t come when you will not find your newspaper on the newsstand for these and other reasons – we have no other option but to raise the price of the newspapers next week.
Please help us by buying your paper every week so that we can continue to tell you what is happening in your province.
Price increase for the Costa Blanca News
It’s been quite some time since my ugly mug appeared on this page. And I’m sorry to say that its reappearance isn’t for reasons that I would have wanted.
I’m afraid that I have to announce that we will be increasing the price of the newspaper next week. The main reason for this is that we have taken a major hit from the economic crisis generated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In March and April last year during the worst of the lockdown most of our advertising disappeared. However, we are very thankful to our loyal advertisers who have continued to place their faith in our papers.
The stark reality is that many businesses have not been able to keep going – particularly those in the tourism and hostelry sectors. And many other companies continue to suffer, with the restrictions on-going.
For some businesses this means that they are not able to pay their employees, never mind think about placing an advert in a newspaper to try to attract more sales.
The result is that we are no longer able to generate the income that we did previously, which was used to pay the staff and produce a quality newspaper. This meant that we had to make cuts of our own in the autumn. You will have noticed that names which had appeared for many years in the paper are no longer there. These decisions were not taken lightly but no company can operate at a loss, so redundancies had to be made.
We have lost valued colleagues but we continue to work very hard to try to produce an informative, varied and interesting paper for you to read each week.
We take pride in the news we produce and hope that our articles help you to wade through the quagmires of Covid-19 restrictions and Brexit changes, etc – and the impact all this has had on our lives.
But our objective has always been to produce more than just a newssheet. To that end, we continue to support local clubs and charities with six pages dedicated to their endeavours in the Social Scene and five pages of What’s On to let you know about the events, concerts and exhibitions taking place in this area – even though it’s more like ‘what’s off’ at the moment, but that will soon change.
And, despite taking knocks ourselves, we hope that we have been able to bring in improvements in recent months with the introduction of a nature page called Countryside Corner, and the return of readers’ ‘old’ favourite Malcolm Palmer; the return of our Costa Walk page; the new gardening page by Derek Lindley which started last week; and a new Spanish recipes page – all of which appear in the Costa Living supplement.
We always want to improve the newspaper that we produce for you and welcome any suggestions that you might have to do this (emails please to firstname.lastname@example.org)
However, I digress. You want to know about the price increase. The last time we did this was in September 2018 when the price went up from €2 to €2.20. Starting next week, the Costa Blanca News will cost €2.50, as will the Costa Levante News.
There is also an increase in the price of the e-paper from March 1. One month will cost €9.20; three months €29.90; six months €56.81; and 12 months €107.64.
So that’s the bad news. The good news is that the situation with the pandemic is improving in the region and we can slowly expect to regain all of our cherished freedoms in the coming weeks and months, particularly as the pace of vaccinations picks up and the age of recipients comes down.
I can only thank you for your loyal support of our newspaper and hope that you will continue to stick with us.