From a blog post titled "Why Shouldn't Public Notices Be Online?"
The question is, why should the government fund news organizations, anyway?Arguments in Favor of Online Public Notices
The purpose of public notices is for public notification. What’s more public than the Internet? If placed properly online, the information can be searchable and indexed by search engines.
Public notices can be enhanced much more easily online. No more squint-to-read text. Online, it would be easy to add color if necessary, and photos when appropriate. If links to other information would be helpful, they can be added and made clickable. They can be formatted, headlines can be added easily and the content can become comprehensible with a decent layout. Public notices can even be placed in audio files for the disabled, if appropriate.
Public notices can be placed online at a much lower cost than in a newspaper. No ink, paper or distribution costs to pay for. Less waste to the environment.
Our local paper charges the City of Prescott $11 per column inch. Assuming that inch takes about 30 seconds to type in, it adds up to $1320 per hour.
Additionally, the public won’t have to purchase a newspaper to see the notification.
Government agencies and municipalities will save money if they can place their public notices online. Saved money just might end up being saved jobs.
The newspapers shouldn’t be given a free ride. Let them compete. Competition is good, it makes everyone better. Allowing online publication of public notices will simply level the playing field.
It’s time to level out the playing field. The Internet is the future. And that future is now. Nobody’s saying that one shouldn’t be able to publish in a newspaper, just that alternative options should be available.
So, now you understand why the newspapers are writing editorials and placing ads that read, “The fox shouldn’t guard the henhouse. Keep public notices in your local community newspaper,” or, “Don’t let government remove public notices from Arizona Newspapers… public notices need to be public.” After all, newspaper organizations have a monopoly to protect.
In conclusion, online public notices just make sense for almost everyone – except the newspapers. As one city official stated, “Online is easier, cheaper, greener and better. What’s not to like?”