Public notices on blogs!
Friday, August 22nd, 2003
Newspaper owners often depend on government advertising — notices for things like zoning changes, tax notices and land sales — for their profit margin.
“The St. Petersburg Times earns more than $750,000 per year from legal notices and employs the equivalent of nearly three full-time staff to handle the requests, according to advertising director Richard Reeves. The Pinellas Review, a 1,000-circulation weekly, gets 90 percent of its revenue from such ads,” reported the St. Petersburg Times.
So publishers are lobbying hard against legislation in Florida that would divert these notices online and cut the newspapers out of the taxpayer-funded ad moolah.
As more citizens read their news online than off, continued giant government expenditures on print advertising are going to be hard to justify. If local publishing looses its subsidy, someone is going to have to step in to fill the information vacuum.
Perhaps it is time for local bloggers to lobby for some of this advertising. The government could help underwrite blogging… publishing of the people, by the people, for the people.