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End crony capitalism for newspapers

(ENTER STAGE RIGHT) — Ever wonder why taking out a public notice costs so much money? It shouldn’t be that way. With the demise of print newspapers, it no longer makes sense to require that public notices be published only in newspapers. More people have access to the internet now than subscribe to print newspapers. Yet print newspapers have successfully fought tooth and nail over the past 10 years to keep their government-sanctioned monopoly of publishing public notices in place. Every year, powerful newspaper lobbyists convince Republican state legislators to vote against their principles and perpetuate this exclusive monopoly to the dying newspapers. In today’s internet era, it is nothing more than corporate welfare.

Last week, three Republican legislators in Arizona who hold themselves out as conservatives went against the position of conservative groups and voted down a bill in committee that would have eliminated the newspapers’ monopoly. This makes no sense, considering it would have the accompanying benefit of speeding up the demise of the liberal news media that consistently attacks Republicans. Additionally, it would increase transparency, since regular online news sites are easier to find than trying to find a notice buried in an archaic newspaper archives. Newspapers in Arizona share one online database for public notices, which is not searchable by Google, and gets less than 100 visitors per day.