I read an interesting article on Yahoo! Tech news today following a case of a mayor in a suburb of Raleigh, North Carolina who has decided to begin posting public notices online rather than using local newspapers. The mayor claims to have saved the city budget a surplus of $13,000 by utilizing online advertising rather than papers and it has caused quite a stir in the local media since state law previously required all public notices to be in newspaper form.
I think this poses and interesting conundrum: posting public notices (such as re-zoning and land developments in this case) online obviously shows a clear-cut pricing difference than newspapers which arguable saves everyone money, but at the same time folks who don’t have internet access (do they even exist anymore?) could miss out on important public messages.
I’m all for the death of newspapers and not just because I’m an online aficionado- I happen to think the newspaper had plenty of opportunities to change its pricing model, but like many dying media industries, refused to do so while it was still profitable. Evolve or die, no?