The last reliable advertising revenue stream of print media has come under attack. As both display and classified advertising fled for other venues newspapers could still rely on one captive advertising revenue stream, that of legal notices. Government at all levels require the publication of notices, job openings, events etc. in print media. Today many newspapers' classified section consists mostly of such legal notices.
As governments across the nation address their own revenue issues, questions are being asked as to whether such notices would be cheaper and more effective if published on-line. The newspapers are fighting back not so much by arguing that they remain an effective way to reach the public but by noting they need the subsidy!
A Maine legislator is proposing three amendments that would alter the requirement that the state's rule-making changes be posted publicly. This would mean a cut in revenue for newspapers, which often run those postings in their classified ad sections. In response, the newspaper industry has trotted out a report that emphasizes the economic impact of the state's some 50 papers.
"In terms of employment, Maine's newspaper industry is approximately the same size as the state's semiconductor industry and somewhat larger than its furniture manufacturing industry," reads the report, which concludes that directly and indirectly the state's newspapers have over $300 million of economic impact throughout the state."