The Messenger this week went on a low key rant against the potential of "public notices" being allowed to be posted on the Internet instead of in print. You see them all the time: Governmental budgets, lawsuits filed where a person cannot be located, eminent domain.
The reasoning against Internet Public Notices, according to the editorial, is that (1) how can we be sure of accurate archiving, and (2) hackers!!!!
Do I really care about this issue? Naaaa. But what I do care about is my local paper being dishonest with me. The elephant in the editorial room is this : Newspapers charge an exorbitant rate for those notices. An outrageous rate charged to someone who has no choice but to run the public notice in print. It's borderline extortion, and it certainly a cash cow. That's why the newspaper industry doesn't want Public Notices to be allowed on the Internet. I know it. You know it. Just say it.
Allowing public notices on the Internet at one URL would be a great idea. We would know exactly where to go. Everyone would have access to it without having to buy a paper. And the cost of posting it would be next to nothing.
You want to know how much it costs me to keep wisecounty.com and Liberally Lean on the Internet? $19.95 a month. And that's because I'm too lazy to find a cheaper rate. But even at that cost, I'd post Public Notices for free.
(And, since I'm on the topic of being honest, the Messenger made me mad again this weekend.)
at 8:37 PM