The Journal to start charging for obituaries, effective April 1


March 29, 2018

Effective April 1, The Ritzville Adams County Journal will now charge for the publication of obituaries.

In the newspaper’s 131 years, obituaries have been placed free of charge. Due to the amount of editorial space dedicated to obituaries, the staff made a financial decision to charge for placement of obituaries in order to offset costs.

For years, The Journal has been dedicated to reducing the financial stress to families who are dealing with the loss of a loved one. As costs steadily rise for the company, it has become necessary for the business to make a change.

In the recent years, obituary length has not been restricted and there were multiple instances where the business had to add pages to a week’s publication solely to fit submitted obituaries.

Each occasion resulted in increased cost to the company, as the business relies on advertising, as well as subscriptions, to offset the weekly expenses of producing and distributing the newspaper.

The decision was not made lightly, but it has been a discussion for many years. By charging for obituaries, the content will not be subject to editing and will also protect the business from potential liability.

As of April 1, the cost for obituaries will be $50 for 300 words and a single photo. The photo will be published in black and white.

Any obituary longer than 300 words or with a secondary photo will incur an additional $25 charge. The maximum length of an obituary will be restricted to 750 words.

The Journal will continue to publish death notices at no charge. A death notice is limited to 50 words and will not be published with a photo.

Death notices for a single individual will only be published once free of charge. To add a photo or to run the notice twice, the cost will be $15.

For families placing obituaries through funeral homes, it is common for the business to include the cost in the overall fees for the funeral arrangements. The Journal staff has sent letters to funeral homes who regularly place obituaries with our business in order to notify them about the cost.

Families who are paying for the obituary themselves will be asked to prepay for the placement of obituaries.

All obituaries can be electronically submitted to [email protected] The deadline for obituary submissions is Monday at 5 p.m. for Thursday publication.

Any questions regarding obituary cost can be directed to Katelin Davidson at 509-659-1020.

This is one of the changes occurring at the business this year.

In the upcoming months, subscribers within Adams County and the State of Washington can expect to see an increase in the subscription rate.

The store copy rate will also be increased, with subscribers receiving a significant discount as an incentive for subscribing.


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