Friday, April 19, 2013

Rhino Times Nails It in Regards to Our Local Paid Paper, N.C. Press Association Listen Up

John Hammer in this weeks edition of the Rhino Times Nails it again in a article titled "Wade Bad News for TECAN&R and CO."
In the article here is more in regards to the public notice bill #287 that our Guilford County Senator Dr. Wade has introduced for the senate that is on calendar for this coming Monday. Here is what was said:

The article and editorial had little to do with the White Street Landfill, but have a lot to do with hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue that TECAN&R stands to lose if Wade is successful in passing Senate Bill 387 that eliminates a law that virtually requires the City of Greensboro, Guilford County and other local units of the state government to buy ads from TECAN&R.

Wade's bill – allowing local governments in Mecklenburg, Wake, Guilford, Burke, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain and Union counties to post public notices required by law on their own websites rather than buying advertisements in paid circulation newspapers – passed the Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday, April 9, causing an uproar in the paid circulation newspaper industry.

Imagine what a great law that would be, regardless of what business you are in, if it required the city and county to do business with you. What if the state passed a law that Greensboro had to buy all of its coffee at a national chain of coffee shops that originated in Washington State and has a mermaid on its cups. Or what if the state had a law that all gasoline used by city vehicles had to be purchased at gas stations owned by a franchise that was started in Pennsylvania and sounds like a bad word mispronounced.

Can you imagine the outcry from the other coffee providers and gas stations? But the unbiased daily newspaper in town believes that local governments should be required by law to advertise public hearings, tax delinquencies and other such matters in the News & Record.

That is the kind of law that TECAN&R and every other major newspaper in the state has working for them. The law doesn't state that the City of Greensboro has to advertise in TECAN&R, but the way the newspaper where Greensboro has to advertise is defined, there is only one that meets all the criteria.

Wade's bill allows local governments to meet the legal requirement for advertising by placing a notice on its own website. It doesn't prevent any local government from running as many ads as it wants about anything, but local governments in Guilford the other counties will no longer be required by law to advertise in their local paid circulation newspapers.

The North Carolina Press Association is treating this bill like its First Amendment rights are being violated. But what the bill does is remove a government-sanctioned monopoly.

Since far more people have Internet access than subscribe to the daily newspapers, it seems like it is a way to reach more citizens. One of the arguments against the bill is that it is unfair to poor people because many can't afford a computer and don't have Internet access. That is true, but it is also true that not many poor people and very few homeless people subscribe to the daily newspaper.

This is a bill that will allow local governments to save hundreds of thousands of dollars. The other forms of notifying the public with signs on property to be rezoned and letters to nearby property owners remain unchanged. The bill only effects advertising in paid circulation newspapers.

The local government is free to experiment with notifying the public. In Greensboro a billboard on Battleground Avenue has attracted a lot of attention lately. Maybe that would be a good place to advertise an upcoming public hearing. Perhaps radio advertising would work, or even advertising in a free newspaper that is picked up and read by people all over Guilford County.


Well said Mr. Hammer and on a side bar the state bill is #287 not #387 that Mr. Hammer said in article. The N.C. Press Association  is having a conniption over this bill and here is a link to their effort to keep their government subsidized gravy train intact click on PATHETIC

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