Protecting public notices and the vital information they provide to communities

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As newspaper executives all know, the arguments being made by legislative bodies against leaving public notices in newspapers are only going to get harder to fight against.

During a Monday afternoon breakout session at the inaugural meeting of America's Newspapers,  Jake Seaton and Kevin King of enotice talked about a free software platform that newspapers and press associations can utilize to make it easier for public notices to be placed in newspapers and to offer a more attractive presentation for readers.  Demos of this FREE service are being offered to newspapers.

Seaton, founder and CEO of enotice, understands the urgency behind the need to find a long-term solution to this issue. His own family's concerns over keeping public notices in their paper is what led him to launch enotice.

As more and more public notices go digital, he says these four principles will be key:

  • Information from government needs to pass through a third-party system before it reaches the public so that people whose job it is to ask questions have the chance to do exactly that — allowing journalists to gain insight and apply scrutiny to the internal workings of the government process.
  • Public notices must move from simply being accessible to something that is comprehensive.  The platforms that host public notices must be searchable, fast, efficient and user-friendly.
  • Notices must be verifiable and archived for future reference.  Technology is at the core of both of these issues.

"The question that guides the work that we are doing at enotice," Seaton said, "is how we provide a system that is independent, comprehensive and sophisticated."  The goal, he said, is to guarantee that this revenue continues to support local journalism and ensures that important public notices see the light of day.

Download the PowerPoints from this conference session

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