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27 September 2011

Ever wondered before what would happen to legal notices once newspapers die? No, me neither. However, a discussion of King's plotting of Pet Sematary somehow led to this question.
Speaking of King, looks like he's doing a sequel to The Shining. For some reason.
posted by BoringPostcards 27 September | 14:49
His sequel to The Shining has vampires? Is he snorting coke again?
posted by Ardiril 27 September | 14:52
Maybe because Salem's Lot (which way precedes the current vampire literature obsession) was scariest book he ever wrote, and he's looking to increase the fear level even more.

King is definitely 100% clean and sober these days, btw.

posted by bearwife 27 September | 15:02
This is one of the important issues I think about when I think about a world without newspapers. This requirement to publish information that can affect people's lives in a public place.
posted by Miko 27 September | 15:20
As noted in the linked article, the Supreme Court acknowledged back in 1950 that a newspaper ad was a "chance" service. One other detail of the article that intrigued me, too, was that the authors apparently did not recognize that a newspaper was at one time it's own marvel of technology.

I am also trying to relate this to the situation in Atlanta where the Journal/Constitution has for the most part stopped reporting on anything occurring in the city, including almost all of the city, county and state governments. Instead, the paper's focus, news-wise and sales-wise, has become the northern and northeastern suburbs, separate cities and counties altogether. I don't know the specifics of Georgia's notice laws, but generally, newspapers are defined by their consumers. A good lawyer could probably argue that the AJC no longer meets most requirements for notice.
posted by Ardiril 27 September | 15:35
This requirement to publish information that can affect people's lives in a public place.

Something at which newspapers are now failing miserably at. I'm one of two residents at a rental complex of twenty that gets the local newspaper and I'm probably cancelling after the dollar-a-week offer ends. And it really is a pretty good reporter of local news (which is also on its website which I access through an RSS feed much more often than on paper).

A neighbor had to get a notice published in the paper of a town 30 miles away (long story) and the only way he could see what was published was to have me and my internet-connected computer search the paper's website. BTW, did you know that newspapers also put legal notices on their websites? Neither did I.

But there are 5 residents here with wi-fi, and obviously many more with some kind of internet. Many more people with access to the web than a newspaper and this is a low-income place.

Putting a legal notice in the newspaper is getting closer and closer to the notification process in the beginning of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

MISTER PROSSER: But Mister Dent the plans have been available in the planning office for the last nine months!

ARTHUR DENT: Yes. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet, stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying “Beware of the Leopard”. Ever thought of going into advertising?
posted by oneswellfoop 27 September | 16:01
Speaking as a lawyer, I'm with oneswellfoop. I've been a lawyer for decades and can't remember a single time anyone actually got notice of anything from something published in a newspaper. A website would do this job a lot better.
posted by bearwife 27 September | 16:28
Hah, noticing the public is an important part of my world. Some of the micro-papers, little local things of 20 pages max, do a better job getting seen by community members, but that's usually community members who pay attention to their community. The only time I actually got called by people who cited the paper as the source of their information was when an (incorrectly cited) article was published on my project. The reporter called me and asked me questions, but still mixed things up. In retrospect, I think I probably rambled onto tangents of the project.

Anyway, lots of information is available on my jurisdiction's website, but you have to want to look for it to find it. It would be more impressive if we utilized location-smart email lists, but that would be a nightmare unto itself. Sending notices to neighbors is enough trouble already.
posted by filthy light thief 27 September | 17:17
These guys may be onto something...
posted by jim in austin 28 September | 07:27
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