Shelton-Mason County Journal - Dedicated to the citizens of Mason County, Washington since 1886

The importance of public notices

 

January 12, 2023



When our society finds a better way to archive public records for the people, it will have the full support of this newspaper.

Public notices (legals) are the surest way to let citizens know how their tax dollars are being spent.

They also create a permanent and secure record of the business of your government and they have run in these pages for decades.

That won’t always be the case.

Publishing online has been a boon to getting news into the hands of more people, and in getting government information to its citizens.

But online dissemination of information is tragically flawed, precisely because it is so accessible and therefore susceptible to corruption.

Real news and credible information still come from trusted sources, primarily your hometown newspaper.

The First Amendment to the Constitution of these United States created a bulkhead against government abuse, ensuring the freedom of the press and thereby creating a Fourth Estate to serve as a watchdog over the other three, the executive, legislative and judicial branches of our government.

Which is why your elected officials have been required to spend a tiny fraction of their budgets to keep you informed of how they are spending the lion’s share of your tax dollars.

This newspaper has existed since 1886 because generations of this community have recognized it as a trusted source of information.

We recognize the potential of a worldwide web and so we harness it responsibly, by placing public notices there.

Most all print newspapers do this, in addition to providing printed-on-paper records. Those paper records are archived by newspapers, libraries and museums.

These safeguards make the public notices as accessible as humanly possible, while protecting the integrity of the information.

Now imagine a community where the government’s business is posted solely online, destined to be lost in the infinite internet.

How would you know what government action may adversely affect you? Worse, how would you know when and where to look for that information?

It may as well not be posted at all.

 

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