Throughout our nation’s history, government agencies have been required to alert citizens of certain government activities that may impact a local community, providing citizens with an opportunity to stay informed and take action when necessary. Newspapers have long partnered with government agencies by publishing public notices, enabling government agencies to be fully transparent and accountable to citizen taxpayers. In recent years, some have argued that, with the rise in digital consumption of information, public notices should not be published in printed newspapers but solely posted on government-run websites.
There are a host of reasons why it is important to continue to print public notices in newspapers.
Publishing public notices in newspapers informs a wide audience in a local community of a government agency’s action, reaching citizens that are passive information seekers and not aware of the fact that important notices impacting the community are on a government agency’s website. Further, publishing public notices in the newspaper serves an important audit role as the newspapers status as an independent third party is important for legal reasons to verify that the government agency has given the public notice.
Here is additional information on the value of public notice advertising in printed newspapers, as well as more information on the status of public notice issues at the state and local governmental level.