Friday, February 22, 2013

Foreclosure notices belong in 'the cloud'

Foreclosure notices were highly profitable for daily newspapers
The newspaper industry is trying desperately to recoup all those foreclosure notices they lost when a court ruling made all foreclosures subject to a judicial process.

Such a process takes foreclosure notices and puts them on the internet, where most people get their information these days.

A bill is making its way through Salem to put the notices back into the daily newspapers.

Newspapers profit off the misery of others, be it in tragic news stories, features or in foreclosure notices that must run three separate times in a daily newspaper. Of course, the newspaper lobby got it written into law that weekly newspapers did not count and couldn't share in this loot.

Wow. Talk about a gravy train. In addition to subscribers and advertisers, newspapers made a killing from publishing notices of financial failure.

That ride ended last year for many newspapers in Oregon and they saw their bottom lines plummet.

When you throw in Craigslist, the free online classified site that all but killed the daily classified section, newspapers are in a downward spiral from which they may never recover.

Plus, no one under 50 subscribes to a newspaper today. Circulation, even locally, has been declining for years.

Newspapers argue that citizens won't find out what's going in their communities, with respect to foreclosed homes, and it's essential that newspapers be paid handsomely to print foreclosure notices.

Actually, what newspapers are saying is: "We don't give a damn about getting the word out, we just want the money."

But, and it's a big BUT, daily newspapers are no longer the venue that most citizens turn to when they want to find out what's going on. It may be regrettable, but that's progress.

So, it makes no sense to subsidize daily newspapers to publish information that is easier to access online, where it's stored in "the cloud," anywhere, anytime.

Plus, far more Oregonians, rural as well as urban, have an internet connection, be it through their home or their smartphone, than have a newspaper subscription.

Daily newspapers are always pointing out government waste.

Well, it is extremely wasteful to pay newspapers to publish information that is found for free online.

Leave foreclosure notices online, where they are more accessible to more people for less cost. That's freedom.

1 comment:

  1. Sad but when you tie your earnings to something that is cyclical rather that creating content that people want to read, you leave yourself open for failure when the cycle has run its course.

    I ran an add seeking an employee but they failed to publish it on the website. I spent $500 and got zero resumes. When I called to complain that it never was published on the website they told me tough luck, the fine print doesn't guarantee the ad will be published on the website, only the paper itself. Apparently nobody reads the actual paper. I had used them before and always had a good response but after that, I just went with Craigslist when seeking a new employee.