Press Release From Missouri Press Association
Public Notice advertising plays a unique role both in
American history and in the process by which this country's
democracy is preserved. Its one premise is that people must
be informed if they are to govern themselves competently.
Missouri newspapers provide the citizens and the
communities they serve with important information on topics
ranging from abandoned property to zoological districts.
Individuals, businesses and governmental entities often are
required by law to publish certain information in newspapers
qualified by statute to publish public notices.
Specifically, from Section 493.050, R.S.Mo.: All public
advertisements and orders of publication required by law to
be made and all legal publications affecting the title to real
estate shall be published in some daily, triweekly,
semiweekly or weekly newspaper of general circulation in
the county where located and which shall have been
admitted to the post office as periodicals class matter in the
city of publication; shall have been published regularly and
consecutively for a period of three years, except that a
newspaper of general circulation may be deemed to be the
successor to a defunct newspaper of general circulation, and
subject to all of the rights and privileges of said prior
newspaper under this statute, if the successor newspaper
shall begin publication no later than thirty consecutive days
after the termination of publication of the prior newspaper;
shall have a list of bona fide subscribers voluntarily engaged
as such, who have paid or agreed to pay a stated price for a
subscription for a definite period of time.
The full text of the statute can be found online at
Public Notice advertising first came into being with the
Congress of 1792. That body, recognizing its responsibility
to the people, required the Postmaster General to advertise
for bids for the construction of new post offices.
From that inauspicious beginning to the publication
requirements in federal, state and local laws today,
government officials have come more and more to
understand their obligations to inform the public through
Public Notice advertising.
Newspapers over the years have been the vehicle by which
these obligations have been fulfilled. They will continue to be
as long as the public demands that it be informed frequently
and by the best means possible "Because the People Must
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