A Friend sent in an interesting newspaper clipping this week. It looks like Sharon Kennedy is trying to obligate the city of Fullerton to pay her Observer rag for posting public notices.
Back in March the city council decided to stop paying local newspapers to print public notices in order to prevent layoffs. An obscure set of state laws deem that Fullerton has no local “newspaper of record” and thus is not required to waste money on ad space in the back of newspapers for notices that could just be posted on the Internet.
But now it appears that Kennedy is anxious to latch on to the city teat and get her hands on the $40,000 per year that the city is currently saving. She will appear before a judge next month in hopes that her wretched rag will be bestowed with some judicial legitimacy.
Unfortunately Kennedy has failed to read the very simple laws that define a newspaper of general circulation.
For one, the paper has to be printed at least weekly. The Observer is printed bi-weekly and monthly during the summer.
Second, it has to be physically printed inside the city. The Observer is printed elsewhere.
Third, it must have “substantial distribution to paid subscribers.” The Observer is free.
And finally, the paper must have “maintained a minimum coverage of local or telegraphic news and intelligence of a general character of not less than 25 percent of its total.” We’ve said it before: most of the stuff printed in the Observer is opinion disguised as news.
If Kennedy succeeds in her wacky court case, it will force the city to pay her for publishing public notices. Perhaps the city will dispatch someone to the hearing to make sure she doesn’t get away with it.