Newspaper lose another stream

The town of Apex, North Carolina needs to replace computers and police vehicles. They are going to save $13,000 by posting public notices of rezoning requests and major land development plans on the town’s Web site, rather than in the local newspaper. There are state laws that require newspaper notices to inform citizens about official activities, changes to tax laws, foreclosures and public meetings. This has been quite a revenue stream for newspapers. This is a battle that newspapers might need to fight and it looks they might have help. There are groups coming out the woodwork due to lack of Internet in rural areas and the low cost of newspaper. There is also a public record factor and archiving of newspaper that the Internet has not been able to give a warm feeling about. The reality is Newspaper have lost classified ads to Craig’s list, job listing to monster, house listing to realty web sites, and this is just the next print job to jump ship. Even President Obama has proposed saving $6.7 million over five years by having federal authorities publicize an Asset Forfeiture program on the Internet instead of in newspapers. North Carolina has allowed Apex and a few other towns, to use the government website. Legislators in Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Florida and Arizona this year also considered changing the rules.

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