Friday, April 21, 2017
Public notice: Bill ends requirement to post legal notices in newspapers
Legislators in Raleigh are again pushing a bill that would allow local governments to post legal notices such as zoning and annexation proposals and public hearings on their websites only, forgoing their publication in local newspapers, as has been the law for decades.
We, of course, oppose the measure.
We believe it would limit the public's access to important information. How many people would actually go to the trouble of digging through a city or county's website to look for such notices? Not many, we think. And residents and taxpayers need to know more about what their local governments are doing, not less.
Proponents point to the increasing use of the internet as a source of information. We understand that but still believe that public notices should be placed in a public publication so that even people in rural areas who lack reliable internet access can have an equal chance to read what their elected officials are up to. Not everyone has made the shift to online news only, and those people would lose out if the bill becomes law.
Newspapers and their print products and websites remain the backbone of the dissemination of news. They provide a single source for local news that local governments cannot replicate.
Published in Editorials on April 21, 2017 9:31 AM