Fight against publishing notices in newspapers persists

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  • FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2016 file photo, Stephen W. Parker, left, co-owner and co-publisher of New Jersey Hills Media Group, listens as Richard Vezza, publisher of the Star-Ledger newspaper, addresses members of the New Jersey Assembly Appropriations Committee, as the committee considers among others, legislation to scrap a requirement that legal notices be published in newspapers, after a Senate budget committee greenlighted the legislation earlier in the day, in Trenton. As classified advertising, once the lifeblood of newspapers, has dried up, one constant has remained: A thick daily listing of government public notices. But legislative fights in New Jersey and elsewhere have put that tradition at risk. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

    FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2016 file photo, Stephen W. Parker, left, co-owner and co-publisher of New Jersey Hills Media Group, listens as Richard Vezza, publisher of the Star-Ledger newspaper, addresses members of the New Jersey Assembly Appropriations ... Committee, as the committee considers among others, legislation to scrap a requirement that legal notices be published in newspapers, after a Senate budget committee greenlighted the legislation earlier in the day, in Trenton. As classified advertising, once the lifeblood of newspapers, has dried up, one constant has remained: A thick daily listing of government public notices. But legislative fights in New Jersey and elsewhere have put that tradition at risk. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File) (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2016 file photo, Stephen W. Parker, left, co-owner and co-publisher of New Jersey Hills Media Group, listens as Richard Vezza, publisher of the Star-Ledger newspaper, addresses members of the New Jersey Assembly Appropriations Committee, as the committee considers among others, legislation to scrap a requirement that legal notices be published in newspapers, after a Senate budget committee greenlighted the legislation earlier in the day, in Trenton. As classified advertising, once the lifeblood of newspapers, has dried up, one constant has remained: A thick daily listing of government public notices. But legislative fights in New Jersey and elsewhere have put that tradition at risk. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

    FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2016 file photo, Stephen W. Parker, left, co-owner and co-publisher of New Jersey Hills Media Group, listens as Richard Vezza, publisher of the Star-Ledger newspaper, addresses members of the New Jersey Assembly Appropriations ... Committee, as the committee considers among others, legislation to scrap a requirement that legal notices be published in newspapers, after a Senate budget committee greenlighted the legislation earlier in the day, in Trenton. As classified advertising, once the lifeblood of newspapers, has dried up, one constant has remained: A thick daily listing of government public notices. But legislative fights in New Jersey and elsewhere have put that tradition at risk. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File) (The Associated Press)

As classified advertising has shrunk for newspapers, public notices from government agencies still appear.

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But legislative fights in New Jersey and elsewhere could end that trend.

A measure to allow government agencies in New Jersey to publish their own legal notices stalled in December. But Republican Gov. Chris Christie says he will make the change a priority in 2017.

State lawmakers elsewhere have considered ending the requirement to publish notices in newspapers for events like meetings and government bids, but lobbying efforts from publishers have prevented that from happening so far.

But as the audience for printed newspapers continues to dwindle, some think it's only a matter of time.

Media analyst Kip Cassino of Borrell Associates predicts legal notices will disappear from newspapers before the next decade ends.