The Business Decision on Access to News

November 21, 2015 • Columnists, Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

The question of the Pacific Citizen going digital is understandably a business decision, but for the generations who have
supported the JACL, through thick and thin, they are not a technology-driven society.

They have been used to having a paper to read at home before going to work as part of their daily routine, and when I go to homes of seniors, I see the Pacific Citizen on a desk or stacked in a pile to show to friends or to keep since they liked an article that was in the issue and wanted to read it again at a later date.

Having the announcement of the Pacific Citizen going digital before the end of the year, just when memberships are up for renewal, gives your older members an opportunity to not renew their memberships.

With many things going up these days in price and the Pacific Citizen being their only link to the Japanese American community, especially to see who has passed away, this was their last lifeline to their past and a great benefit of their JACL membership. The timing of this change and converting so quickly may seem a necessity, but if your first quarter shows a loss of membership, then at what cost.

I’ve been sending our copy of the Pacific Citizen to Washington State University to put in the WSU Libraries Collections Section so your copies would be available for students and teachers to have access to it through our Hirahara Family Collection. But in going digital, I would no longer be able to do that.

I’ve seen the tremendous work the JACL and its chapters have done through the years, but the National Board needs to ascertain the needs of its members by doing a survey before making a decision of national importance on its own accord.

Thank you so much for your consideration for the many seniors who want to continue receiving a printed paper.

Yours truly,
Patti Hirahara

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