Keep Public Notices in Newspapers and on Newspaper Sites

Public notices in newspapers are critical to public access and government accountability. Citizens want to know when government officials act behind closed doors or spend their money unwisely, but too often, their only remedy occurs months or even years later at the ballot box. Public notices are essential to knowing what government officials are planning before tax dollars are spent or ground is broken. We want to help citizens - and legislators - understand the value of printed notices in newspapers, which is easily documented in every community across Pennsylvania and more important than ever.

American Opinion Research (AOR) recently completed a statewide study on media usage in Pennsylvania. The 2016 study included questions about newspaper readership, shopping habits and public notices. Highlights from the study include:

Readership

  • 83% of Pennsylvania adults read a newspaper, in print or online, in the past week.
  • 70% of community newspaper readers keep their copies three days or longer.
  • 73% of Internet users in Pennsylvania visit a newspaper website during an average month.
  • Pennsylvania newspapers reach an average of about two adults per copy.

 Public Notices

  • 89% of Pennsylvania adults say keeping the public informed through legal advertising is an important requirement for government agencies.
  • 87% of all adults think it is a worthwhile use of government funds.

  • 56% of Pennsylvania adults say they would read public notices less often if they were moved online.
  • 72% of PA adults have read public notice advertising; 87% of newspaper readers read public notices.
  • 52% of Pennsylvania adults trust legal advertisements in newspapers more than those on government websites.

View the study results.