Kansas Newspaper To Lose Public Notice Revenue

Another small-town publication is losing desperately needed revenue in the form of public notices.

The city of Salina, Kansas, plans to publish notices on its own website, starting with the new year, the Salina Journal reports. 

That means the Journal will lose the funds it had garnered for publishing the notices. 

The city paid the Journal  $37,258 so far in 2023, $42,000 in 2022 and $53,600 in 2021.

Earlier this week, the city commission passed a resolution designating the city's website as the official city "newspaper."

The commission voted 4-1 in favor of making the city's website the official Salina city newspaper and designating Salina 311 as the alternative newspaper for publications that go in a newspaper of general circulation.

This is not an isolated event. State legislatures have been mulling bills that would effectively strip local newspapers of public notices, a key source of cash — and information — since Colonial times. 



Most consumers are against the idea, according to the 2023 Local Newspaper Study, a recent survey by America’s Newspapers, conducted by Coda Ventures.

Of the consumers polled, 66% believe that publishing public notices in newspapers should be required. And 57% say newspapers and their websites are more reliable than city, county or state websites for accessing public notices. 

The city of Salina hopes to save money with this move.

In instances where state law requires that notices be published in a general publication, the city will use Salina 311, a twice-weekly newspaper.

The cost to run a notice in the Journal was $14.38 per inch as of Aug. 1, versus $6 per inch in Salina 311.


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