WYOMING - Are Newspapers Crazy to Collaborate on Bills to Reduce Legal Notices in Print? Crazy Like a Fox.
State press associations, if you read this blog, would rather block legislation to move notices online even if it saves the taxpayers' money so as to continue to reap revenue from printed public notices
Wyoming's Press Association (which is populated by print newspapers) out of either common sense or a lack of resources, decided a year ago to try to forge legislation with Wyoming's Association of Municipalities that would reduce print requirements for certain notices according to the Trib.com web site of the Star Tribune. While these bills appear to reduce notices in print, the legislation thanks to the generosity of state legislators, could actually lead to MORE notices in print.
One must look closely at the bills as they may not exactly succeed in doing what they say they will. For sure, certain notices will be reduced. But these are notices that are published very infrequently... lists of names and pay scale of employees which normally were printed twice per year, will now be printed once per year.
In exchange, the newspapers have extracted a nice concession. Once per month, a general public notice must be published in print which alerts the readers to go look on the municipality's website for legal notices. These general notices are required to be published throgh 2016 which will generate additional revenue for the newspapers! We had originally thought that the press association's willingness to work collaboratively for this law was a sign of weakness, but it appears again that the newspapers, that fewer citizens subscribe to, have fleeced the taxpayers out of more of their money to publish in print, legal notices no one reads.