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Public notice access expanded by Texas newspapers

by | Jan 6, 2023 | Latest

In your community and throughout the U.S., every citizen has a right to know what its city, school district or water district is doing and how it affects their livelihood.

Because of this right, public entities are required to provide advance notice to the public about items that cost citizens money, affect their quality of life, determine elections and so on.

Public notice is a way to alert citizens about government and government-related activities that may cause them to want to take action.

And when more citizens have access to public notice, a broader representation of public opinion is available to governments.

For centuries, newspapers like this one, have been the place to find these public notices, in both print and more recently, digital formats.

Newspapers have been entrusted with public notice for good reason.

Long ago, information that concerned citizens was posted in the town square. Everyone could find the information and read it or have someone read it to them.

In 1665, the first English language newspaper printed public notices, The Oxford Gazette. This court newspaper later was named The London Gazette and it carried notices from the Kings Court, London officials and neighboring communities.

In America, our system of public notice closely resembles the British system. State governments printed public notices in colonial newspapers, and in 1789 the United States government established the Acts of the First Session of the Congress.

This act required all bills, orders, resolutions and congressional votes to be published in at least three, publicly available newspapers.

The purpose of this was to put the information in a place the public would likely notice and allow the people to have access to information about government activities.

For the full story, see the Jan. 4 issue of The Wylie News.

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