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Hoosiers support publication of public notices

    Hoosiers overwhelmingly support the requirement that state and local governments publish public notice advertisements in Indiana newspapers.

    That’s the No. 1 result of the American Opinion Research (AOR) survey conducted earlier this year to gauge public attitudes toward public notice advertising, readership levels of Indiana newspapers, and Hoosier’s voting patterns and election information sources.

    Results were based on interviews with 1,000 Indiana adults age 18 and older, using cellphones, landlines and online connections. Results were weighted and projected to the total adult population of the state.

    AOR designed the survey to ask about public notice advertising as the first subject so as to not bias responses.

    When asked if publication of public notices in local newspapers is an important role for government agencies, 85 percent said “Yes.”

    A follow-up question asked Hoosiers whether the publication requirement should continue considering it may cost a public agency several thousands of dollars a year in taxpayer dollars and 64 percent said “Yes.”

    Hoosiers familiar with the publication of public notices favor that method of distribution significantly over the option of posting on government websites. About four in 10 (38 percent) favored publication in a printed newspaper compared to 25 percent favoring government websites. If you added those who voted for newspaper websites (10 percent), which also under current law publish public notices, the preference for newspaper publication/posting rose to 49 percent.

    Asked if the publication of public notices were eliminated and only made available on government websites, 46 percent of Hoosiers said they would read them much less often or less often, compared to 15 percent who said they would read them much more often or more often. The results for respondents who took the survey online also reported a significant difference in readership if government website posting replaced newspaper publication (36 percent saying less while 17 percent saying more).

    “I will definitely check out this information,” said Dr. Denny Zent, state representative from District 51. “I read the paper daily and feel it is a great source.”

    “I am definitely interested in the survey results,” stated District 82 Rep. David Ober. “I will take a look and try to wrap my mind around the data.”