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Philly 'Inquirer' Rips Pennsylvania 'Public Notice' Bill

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Philly 'Inquirer' Rips Pennsylvania 'Public Notice' Bill

Article excerpt

A bill being considered by the Pennsylvania State Senate that would allow free newspapers to run legal notices and "end a monopoly long enjoyed by the established newspaper industry," is drawing opposition from numerous dailies in the market, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Inquirer reports today that supporters believe the bill would save tax dollars by offering a cheaper alternative to newspapers. But critics argue that allowing legal notices in "so-called shoppers, which they say few people read or want, would shortchange the public in the end."

"The issue has produced rhetoric on both sides, with newspaper representatives calling free papers 'junk mail' and a consultant for free papers labeling dailies as a 'cartel' bent on protecting a coveted revenue source," the story said.

Senate Bill 428 has already been approved by two Senate committees, with the full state governing body poised to vote on it as early as next week, according to the Inquirer.

"The idea was that people have a right to know what their government is up to," Deborah Musselman, director of government affairs for the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, told the Inquirer. …

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