Q&A: Public notice requrements

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From The Lebanon Reporter:

Q: What are the requirements for a newspaper to accept public notice advertising?

A: The definition of a newspaper for purposes of eligibility to carry public notice advertising can be found at IC 5-3-1-0.4. The elements are:

• Publication at least once a week.

• Published for three consecutive years in the same city or town.

• Operated under a U.S. Postal Service periodicals mail permit for three consecutive years.

• Have at least 50 percent of its circulation paid at a rate that is not nominal.

There’s some additional language that could allow for a quicker eligibility time than three years if you’re considering the start of a new paper.

Something to remember concerning the postal permit: The paper’s physical location is tied to its original point of entry into the mail stream as designated by the periodicals permit. The permit requires a physical presence where business is transacted. This is where the postal officials can examine one’s subscription list and proof that particular subscribers are paid or free.

With some newspaper entities looking to consolidate operations, they need to be careful. If they move locations it could impact which government agencies are required to publish public notice advertising in that paper.

Contact Steve Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel, with media law questions at skey@hspa.com or (317) 624-4427.

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