HSPA needs data to protect public notices


HSPA is getting geared up to defend public-notice advertising in newspapers in the 2011 General Assembly.

Public-notice ads serve as one of the three pillars of open government in Indiana, along with the Open Door Law and Access to Public Records Act, said Steve Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel.

Data needed

Publishers received an email from Steve Key requesting paper-specific information on public notices. If you missed yours, email skey@hspa.com for a resend.

We must continue to educate Hoosiers, including lawmakers, on the connection public notice advertising has to government transparency, he said.

Key recently sent an email to publishers asking for paper-specific information to help the association better defend public notice advertising.

The request comes in light of bills filed before the 2010 Indiana General Assembly that would have moved public notices from print to the Internet and recently signed legislation in Ohio that will reduce that state’s newspaper public notice advertising revenue by an estimated 20 percent to 30 percent.

For publishers who didn’t catch the email, please contact Key at skey@hspa.com for a resend.

“I know this will require staff time, but it will be invaluable information to counter arguments for moving public notice advertising from newspapers to the Internet,” he said. “I appreciate your help.”

Key encouraged newspaper owners and publishers to continue developing relationships with state senators and representatives who serve their counties.

“Waiting until a crucial vote comes up in the 2011 legislature will be too late for you to make local legislators into friends of newspapers,” he said.