Ongoing legislative battles put public notices in peril 10/8/18

If you look closely at the fine print just below the banner logo for PublicNoticeAds.com, a single-source searchable database for legal ads published by "participating newspapers" across the country, it reads: "The public notice database on this site is not a substitute for the official publication that is required by law. You will still find those notices in your local newspaper."

On the site's homepage are links to each to state with "participating newspapers," though most simply redirect the browser to other websites of a similar design. For example, clicking on the link to Connecticut redirects the user to Connecticut public notices, which is "powered by MyPublicNotices.com." From there, users can click on individual links to public notices on individual websites for each newspaper title, or search notices published in any of the state's local and regional titles.

In fact, legally mandated public notices are already prevalently available online and digitally redundant to what's published in printed newspapers. In addition to these sites, they are also found on government-maintained sites, legal sites and on many newspaper-branded websites.

Yet, in several states just this year, legislators have proposed bills that would allow for public notices to bypass print altogether, possibly narrowing access to information and starving newspapers of the revenue derived from publishing information of this kind.

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What newspapers must do to keep public notices 8/22/17

Breakout session: Monday, Sept. 11
SNPA - Inland Annual Meeting, Colorado Springs, Colo.

With Eric Barnes, publisher & CEO, The Daily News Publishing Company, and Brad Thompson, president & CEO, Detroit Legal News Company

The threat to public notices has never been more dire. During this Monday afternoon breakout session at the SNPA - Inland Annual Meeting, learn about the current state of public notices and the practices that every paper must embrace to help the industry successfully respond to the siege on this traditional pillar of government transparency. MORE

Christie pushes his case for 'newspaper revenge bill' 1/31/17

Gov. Chris Christie sent a letter last week to legislative leaders to make his case for pushing what has become known as the "newspaper revenge bill."

The legislation, which lacked support when Christie tried to advance it late last year, would allow municipalities to post legal notices on websites instead of newspapers. All legal notices are posted and archived online through the New Jersey Press Association. Multiple sources have said that Christie's intent on getting it passed is to punish newspapers for their critical coverage of him. He hasn't taken questions from state reporters in 140 days.

But Christie contends that the bill is about taxpayer relief. He contends that the bill's passage would save taxpayers "tens of millions" annually, but his analysis to this point falls far below the $80 million he claims newspapers statewide make on the ads.

Read more from NorthJersey.com.

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Best Practices for Public Notice 9/30/16

The Public Notice Resource Center has published an eight-page set of "Best Practices for Public Notices" that addresses the need for newspapers to use both their print and digital resources to inform the public and protect the public record.

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Getting social with Hello and finding records via Sqoop 9/28/15

By the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute

This week we take a peek at a new social platform centered around users’ passions, and we explore a new tool that can monitor public records.

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