Another Bummer For Newspapers From The State Legislature


The latest bummer for newspapers would be a big savings for taxpayers. 

Twin bills filed in the Florida Legislature would rob papers of a major source of advertising government legal ads.

The bills would allow legal ads, which are now required to be printed in newspapers, to be placed on government website for free. 

That includes annexation, budget, meeting, ordinance and resolution notices, plus dozens of others now running as paid ads in the newspaper.

It would save state taxpayers millions.

That savings would come at the expense of the beleaguered newspaper industry. 

Newspapers were once swimming in money.  Today they are in deep financial trouble, as readers turn to other media outlets.

My old stomping grounds The South Florida Sun-Sentinel is in bankruptcy.  The Miami Herald is for sale.

Every other paper in the state is suffering.

The Senate bill is sponsored by state Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Brandon. The House bill filed today, the first day of the 60-day legislative session, is from state Rep. Juan Zapata, R-Miami.

Local governments are fighting budget shortfalls.  They are looking for any way to save money.

Legislators see this as one way to provide some help, without using state funds.

Here is are the two bills:

S2292    GENERAL BILL by Storms
  Advertisements & Notices by Governmental Entities; Provides
  circumstances under which a governmental entity may use its website for  legally required advertisements and public notices. Requires that   legally required advertisements and notices be conspicuously placed on  publicly accessible websites. Provides requirements for publication in newspapers and on the Internet for certain required notices and advertisements by governmental entities, etc. 

  becoming law.
  02/26/09 SENATE Filed


HB 1477 – Legally Required Advertisements and Public Notices by Governmental Entities
GENERAL BILL   by Zapata
Legally Required Advertisements and Public Notices by Governmental Entities: Authorizes various governmental entities to publish or advertise legally required public notices & advertisements on publicly accessible website; defines “publicly accessible website”; provides conditions for utilization of publicly accessible website for such purposes; provides for optional receipt of legally required public notices & advertisements via first class mail; provides requirements for legally required advertisements & public notices published on publicly accessible website; provides that specified notice, advertisement, or publication on publicly accessible website constitutes legal notice; provides that advertisements directed by law or order or decree of court to be made in county in which no newspaper is published may be made by publication on publicly accessible website; provides clarifying & conforming language; reenacts various provisions of law to incorporate amendments to various statutes in act in references thereto.
Effective Date: Not Specified 
Last Event: Filed on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 7:55 AM 


5 Responses to “Another Bummer For Newspapers From The State Legislature”

  1. Can't Fight Evolution says:

    Years ago television programs were free if you bought a TV, today there’s cable and so you must pay to watch. I knew that newspapers would die off a few years ago when I saw the first newspaper websites. If they give the cow away for free, then why buy the milk? You think that’s a stupid business move? Think again, it was intentionally done. It’s not that the poor newspaper business is dying. It’s that the industry is evolving from what it used to be (printed news on paper) to news on screen. Either way, it has to be paid for. So enjoy your news websites while you can. Soon, you will be forced to subscribe to get your news that way. News mongols know this and are allowing their newspapers to fail intentionally. What else could account for insistence on that terrible format for the Sun Sentinel? Do you really think those folks are THAT stupid? They’re doing it on purpose to kill the thing once and for all. They have another business plan to promote. It costs them too much to do business the old way. They want to evolve and that’s what’s taking place but the news itself won’t cover it.

    FROM BUDDY: With few exceptions, the Internet can not provide the revenue to pay for the kind of news operation that newspapers had for so many years.
    It has yet to be proven that people will pay for Internet news. The Internet is so large, there may always be somebody giving it away.
    Newspapers were fat when they were a local monopoly.
    If you wanted to advertise in Broward County, you just about had to buy an ad from the Sun-Sentinel Company. They owned the daily newspaper and most weekly newspapers. They even had a lock on much of the government advertising, which is what the above story is about.
    Originally, there was no local TV in Broward until cable. Even today, many folks do not get cable. They choose the dish or now, ATT.
    No Internet website, no matter how good, will be a monopoly. Websites will have to split the ad dollars with hundreds of others.
    Hence, much less money to pay for news gathering.

  2. The Reader says:

    Get over it Nevins. Newspapers are so yesterday. I don’t shed one tear for the rags that controlled the news for ever, telling people how to vote and what to think.
    The arrogant assholes can join their readers on the unemployment line and nobody cares. Goodbye.

  3. Richard J. Kaplan says:

    The Broward League of Cities, and many cities are endorsing these bills, including Lauderhill. Part of the reason is where people getting more of their information from. As you noted, in so many words, newspapers are dying. They don’t have the circulation they used to.

    Today, this type of information is obtained from the internet for free. Those that seek this information for a living, or desire to get this information, know where to go on the internet to get it. While I love reading the paper everyday (particularly sports), during the day, and for specific information, I get more of it on my computer.

    While the computer has become a better option, it has the other affect of saving taxpayer monies. So you have it, using a method more accessible to those that want it, and it costing far less. Unless government wants to purposely subsidize newspapers, how can you otherwise justify the taxpayer dollars being spent that way, and the situation is moving everyday more in that direction.

    Buddy, I also miss your column in the paper, and guess where I have to now find it? On the Internet.

  4. Democrat says:

    The Sun-Sentinel killed itself with its new format. Is it still a newspaper?

  5. Still Can't Fight Evolution says:

    Buddy, I feel your pain. It would be a big change not to have newspapers but that doesn’t change the cold hard facts. Newspapers all over America are going out of business because the ordinary guy would have to have a really good reason or be an idiot to buy a newspaper if the same content is available on-line for free. And as to whether people are willing to pay for it, they get the following choice. Pay or be without news. Many will pay, and with this new format, newspapers will be much more profitable than having to print news. It’s really not that expensive to PRODUCE news but it’s much more expensive to PRINT and deliver it.

    Hey, I don’t like this much better than you do. But you’ve got to say it like it is. Tribune is not a dumb organization. What else other than intentional suicide explains that terrible format the SS has? Of course they’re doing this on purpose.