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Public Notice Law

Public notices inform citizens of the everyday activities of government. From government spending to developing new policies, it is important for people to be informed of actions taken by public officials that affect citizens’ everyday lives. Public notices are essential to a democracy and an informed citizenry. Without public notices, citizens cannot properly and adequately make informed decisions.

While the Internet is a great resource for information, public notices have been and remain most effective in newspapers. Newspapers are the watchdogs of their local communities and can most effectively monitor the actions of their respective local governments. This not only allows local residents to be informed, but it also forces local public officials to be accountable. Additionally, notices in newspapers are permanent records that cannot be altered or deleted and are more universally accessible.

In Pennsylvania, legislators have long recognized the importance of maintaining an accountable and transparent government by requiring the publication of public notices in newspapers. In order to expand and enhance public access to these public notices, the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association has partnered with Pennsylvania’s newspapers to establish this Public Notice Database on a centralized web site. This site,, is maintained by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, which represents more than 300 newspapers and related media organizations in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and is available at no cost to the public.

Read the Newspaper Advertising Act for more information.

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