Our Call: End newspaper notices? Koenig’s idea is a bad one

Editorial

Sen. Andrew Koenig, one of the senators who represents South County, believes that newspapers are an “outdated, archaic form of communication.”

It probably comes as no surprise that we strongly disagree and see newspapers as a living, breathing part of American culture and life. But thanks for your input, Senator.

We invite you to drive down the streets of Sunset Hills on the day The Call arrives in every mailbox in the city. We have personally witnessed residents standing at their mailboxes because they couldn’t wait to read us.

One reader even sent us a photo of a person reading The Call while driving. We don’t recommend that level of devotion, but the point stands: In South County, newspapers are a vital part of civic life. But they might not be for long if they are continually attacked by all levels of government and our own elected representatives.

Let’s let Koenig himself tell us why this is a terrible idea.

“I’m against any kind of micromanagement of the private sector,” he said in South County last year.

So what changed?

The irony is not lost on us that Koenig and some of his fellow self proclaimed conservative senators like Sen. Bill Eigel, who say they trust private actors more than government, now want to point residents to a centralized state website to get public-notice information instead of newspapers, a proven private source people have always relied on.

A centralized state website to give you all the public information you need to know sounds like something straight out of George Orwell’s “1984.” Who controls what gets posted, and its accuracy? Will the state do that? Keep in mind that this is the same government that can’t get your income tax withholding rates correct.

And will the state charge to host these notices, or will a state struggling to balance its budget give this away as a corporate subsidy?

Sen. Eric Burlison, R-Battlefield, even compared printing public notices in newspapers to using “town criers and carrier pigeons.”

But here at The Call, where we take our name from the ancient tradition of the town crier or town caller, we have to ask what’s bad about someone whose entire job is telling people what they need to know? And why would these supposed small-government senators think a state bureaucrat would be better at that job?

Talk about an outdated, archaic way of thinking.

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