Press Release From Missouri Press Association

October 20, 2023

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