In December, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie waged war with New Jersey’s newspapers, some, like the local Gannett paper, Asbury Park Press, on life support from taxpayer funded public notice laws.
Christie claimed New Jersey taxpayers were paying $80 million annually for these archaic notices that reside in the back pages of New Jersey’s dwindling newspapers. They are those hard to read for most…walls of text printed in tiny fonts that most of the industry’s shrinking reader base passes over on a daily basis.
The industry fought back and claimed New Jersey only spends $40,000,000 to keep their businesses alive. Most of the industry editors and execs said if they lost this welfare lifeline, their papers would be forced to fire dozens of reporters.
The Shore News Network is giving both sides in the battle the benefit of the doubt and we’ve chosen $60,000,000 as the estimated cost per year of public notices to the New Jersey taxpayer.
According to that estimate, New Jersey taxpayers have already spent $1.64 million, just 10 days into the New Year on these costly and outdated public notices.
What if the actual cost is $80,000,000 annually as the Governor suggests? That would mean taxpayers have already given their local newspapers $2.2 million already this year. At that rate, they should deliver their papers for free in exchange for this government subsidy.
How many public notices have you read this year in your local newspaper? Should New Jersey newspapers continue to receive this taxpayer bailout?