What is a Public Notice?

1) What is a public notice?

A public notice is information informing citizens of government or government-related activities that affect citizens' everyday lives.

2) Why do we need public notices?

An important premise found in both federal and local governments is that information about government activities must be accessible in order for the electorate to make well-informed decisions. Public notices in newspapers provide this sort of accessibility to citizens who want to know more about government activities.

3) What is the history of public notices?

The history of public notice begins long before the emergence of newspapers. The concept has existed since early civilizations posted notices in public squares. This crude method was eventually refined with the publication of the first publication of the first English language newspaper in 1665 – a court newspaper called The Oxford Gazette.

In America, the Acts of the First Session of the First Congress in 1789 required that all bills, orders, resolutions and congressional votes be published in at least three publicly available newspapers.

Upholding the public's right to know has been essential to our country's way of life since day one. Our government governs with the consent of people, and this consent must be informed.

4) What are some examples of a public notices?

There are many kinds of public notices. Publication of proposed budgets for local governments, notices of local government hearings, bid notices, board and agency meeting minutes and pre-election notices are just a few examples.

5) Are newspapers the most effective vehicle for public notices?

Public notices published in newspapers ensures readership by those most likely to be interested in or affected by the notices. Plus, the notices arrive at readers' homes or places of work in a newspaper filled with local news and information that compels readership.

Newspapers are paid to publish public notices, which guarantees that valuable newspaper space will be devoted to notifying the public. The system works the same way in which qualified vendors are paid to provide goods and services to government entities, such as contractors who build schools and roads or an office supplies store that wins a bid to sell office supplies to a government agency.

The newspapers in Georgia go one step further an place their public notices that are required to be printed in the newspaper online, here.