Thursday, June 19, 2014

Newspapers Publishing “Public Notices”–Gov’t Subsidizing the Media





HAT TIP : Stephen Frank's California Political News

Government forces people to pay for ads in newspapers–”public notices”–that few read. This partially explains why newspapers do not take on city hall.  Government “certifies” which newspaper get the business and money–so shut your pages to exposing corruption and take the money and run.
There is an alternative being suggested in Arizona.  Put the notices on the Internet.  A dead tree paper is put in a bird cage or used to start of fire in the fireplace.  Put the “public notices”on the Internet and they will be found 24/7 and we save the environment.
If not, how about this:  “- A law that require them to publish public notices and take them to every home in the community whether or not the resident subscribes to the paper at no additional charge beyond the current prices.
- A law that would require their database to be indexed and searchable by Google and the other search engines, completely open to the public, and advertised via Google Ad Words and other online measures, and this cost should not be passed on to member organizations, subscribers or submitters.”

If it a public notice, the public should get it–all the public–force the newspapers to give away  the papers that publish the notices.
What do you think–free market for public notices or government making laws that use private money to subsidize dead tree’s?

 Newspapers: “It’s Not About the Money”
By Lynne LaMaster, Intellectual Conservative,  2/16/12
The Arizona legislature is considering a bill, HB 2403, that would remove the print newspapers’ monopoly on publishing public notices. Lynne LaMaster, who runs several eNews websites in Arizona, gave this speech today to the House Committee voting on the bill.
This entire experience has been very enlightening to me. I have learned far more than I ever imagined.
One of the most fascinating items I learned, is that according to the Newspaper organizations, this really isn’t about the money. It’s about their duty as “watchdogs” to protect the public interest by publishing Public Notices in their respective newspapers.
Therefore, if this measure doesn’t pass, may I suggest that an alternate piece of legislation be considered. This would be:
- A law that would require newspapers to publish public notices in the same font and using the same white space as is on their home page featured story, at no additional charge beyond current prices to either the submitter or the subscriber.
- A law that would require them to offer translations into Spanish or other common languages of the community when appropriate, publishing in both English and the other language at no additional charge beyond the current prices.
- A law that would require better formatting, links that are easily pulled out of the content maps and photos where appropriate at no additional charge beyond the current prices.
- A law that require them to publish public notices and take them to every home in the community whether or not the resident subscribes to the paper at no additional charge beyond the current prices.
- A law that would require their database to be indexed and searchable by Google and the other search engines, completely open to the public, and advertised via Google Ad Words and other online measures, and this cost should not be passed on to member organizations, subscribers or submitters.
I’d be willing to bet that if you were to consider a law such as the one I just outlined, you’d find the newspapers even more vociferously and vehemently opposed to that law than the one you’re considering here right now. Because we all know that it IS about the money and protecting their monopoly and power.
Of course, if you were to allow online publications to publish public notices, we could do all these things automatically. Because we are more than a simply a newspaper online. We know the Internet and its capabilities and we know how to use it properly, efficiently and effectively.

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