Readers react to South Bend Tribune printing announcement

South Bend Tribune photo

Readers of the South Bend Tribune woke up Saturday to read a story in the paper detailing how it will no longer be printed locally. So what does this mean for subscribers and for the paper?

The Tribune has a long history of being printed in the heart of downtown South Bend. Starting June 27, it be printed in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area.

While the South Bend Tribune says it will continue to provide comprehensive news of the area, those who the read the paper every day have questions about how this change will affect the product.

For some, reading the Tribune is part of their daily routine.

Celeste Hoffman lives in South Bend.

"I came from a paper family,” Hoffman told WSBT 22. “Both my parents read the paper."

At age 94, Celeste has passed on that tradition to her daughter — Karen Finch, who also lives in South Bend

"I like to read the paper in the morning and see what's going on,” Finch said. “That's kind of how I start my day."

Sometimes the stories in the paper are about the paper itself. In the 1950s, the Tribune published stories about installing the latest printing presses. In the 90s there was an entire insert about their $36 million investment into new printing equipment, "reaffirming" their commitment to readers and showing their faith in the Michiana region.

The latest edition of Tribune has an article in the business section that details how printing in South Bend will to an end.

"It makes me sad, because I think my generation reads paper in print, and I think a lot of people don't do that anymore,” said Finch. “I think they're just trying to keep their head above water."

The new generation is saying they know their switch to online news is part of the reason 55 people at the Tribune will be losing their jobs. That is 15 full-time workers and 40 part-timers who will be displaced once the paper starts printing in Michigan

"It's really sad,” said Cassie Haw, who lives in South Bend. “It would be wonderful to be able to keep it here where it's from. But as soon as I say that I also know that because I don't pay for the paper, I'm part of the problem."

The Tribune says it will still print seven days a week and the change will not affect delivery times.

But with earlier deadlines for reporters, readers are worried about how the outsourcing will affect the content.

“If something takes place late at night and they've already shipped the information to Grand Rapids, are we literally going to get it a day later?” asked Finch. “Which is going to give the internet the edge, which it already has now."

Saturday’s Tribune article about the printing change did acknowledge it will affect how the paper covers late-breaking news. It said it is working on how to mitigate the impact and will give more details to readers once those details are finalized.

Readers also have questions about what will become of the building that holds the printing press.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off