Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
Finally, there may be a cure for Unread-Newspaper Guilt Syndrome: pre-delivery recycling. Last month, a U.S. District Court jury ordered Direct Marketing Associates (DMA) of Baltimore to pay $300,000 to Dear Communications of McLean, publisher of the Arlington Courier, because DMA’s distributors regularly dumped almost half of the 23,000 Couriers they were paid to deliver. DMA’s distributors delivered the Courier to some Arlington homes, but left at least 10,000 copies of the free weekly—neatly stacked—at a Prince George’s County recycling center, says Courier Publisher David Dear Jr. This environmental consciousness spared some Arlingtonians the agony of having to decide whether or not to read the paper, but, says Dear, it cost the Courier in lost credibility and advertising revenue. The distributors may have been dumping the Courier in order to save money as early as 1989, Dear adds, but his paper only learned of it in May ’92. That’s when the P.G. County recycling director called to request that the Courier staff remove the printer’s straps binding the bundles before unloading the papers at the dump. DMA is appealing the jury award.