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    Reflecting Changes to the Media Landscape

    By Rebecca Kaplan, Oakland City Councilmember At-Large–

    The American media landscape has changed dramatically in recent years and continues to change, with significant reductions in daily newspapers. The estimated total U.S. daily newspaper circulation—print and digital combined—in 2018 was 28.6 million for weekday and 30.8 million for Sunday, down 8% and 9%, respectively, from the previous year.

    As a City, it is best to explore how best to include local and culturally based newspapers with a diverse readership. By having the Oakland City Council, through a public process, be able to respond to changing media conditions and ensure inclusion of our communities, our noticing systems can become more inclusive. This legislation allows the City to adapt our noticing provisions to accommodate changing circumstance and practices.

    I am not proposing to do away with public notices, but rather to allow for change in where they are posted to use options that exist now given the changes to the media landscape. For example, we have multiple diverse and useful weekly newspapers in Oakland serving many communities—but no longer a local daily. So, our requirements of where notices are posted need to accommodate reality and reach all of our communities.

    Therefore, I have successfully advocated the City to place a measure on the March 2020 ballot that would allow us to utilize the various diverse media options in our communities for public noticing purposes, and to eliminate obsolete requirements for how to select the City’s official newspaper. I look forward to allowing a broader representation of our communities to participate in the process.

    Councilmember At-Large Rebecca Kaplan was elected in 2008 to serve as Oakland’s citywide Councilmember; she was re-elected in 2016. She also serves on the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC). Follow Councilmember Kaplan on Twitter @Kaplan4Oakland ( ) and Facebook ( ).

    Published on November 28, 2019