Hoosier State Press Association is building a guide to public notice advertising for Indiana’s newspapers.

The guide will be posted on our website in June and is downloadable for those who want a hard copy they can reach readily.

“I’m excited to see this project reach fruition,” said Steve Key, executive director and general counsel for HSPA. “This is something I’ve heard requested for more than 20 years.”

The electronic version of the guide will be a growing publication, Key said. As members continue to ask questions about the process or specific notices, those questions and HSPA answers will be added to the guide.

“Our members will need to include,” he said.

The state Board of Accounts once published a “Guide to Publication of Legal Notices,” but the last version was printed in 1989. Key said he was told the government agency became concerned about the possible legal liability if incorrect information published in the guide led someone to be harmed for failure to properly give notice required by Indiana law.

The Board of Accounts (SBOA) does yearly update the charts used by newspapers to determine the proper line rate that should apply for government notices placed with them. HSPA works with the SBOA to try and cover the multitude of column widths used by HSPA member newspapers.

“Not only is public notice advertising an important component to the public’s right to know, along with the Open Door law and Access to Public Records Act, but it is also an important piece of the advertising revenue stream for newspapers,” Key said.

“Staffers tasked with serving government officials, attorneys and citizens should understand the requirements of the law. Just because the client is forced to publish the public notice advertisement shouldn’t lessen the level of customer service provided.”

HSPA encourages members to suggest additions for this new resource, but Key asks for patience as HSPA in response creates new pages for the guide. Suggestions can be sent to skey@hspa.com.

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