Recently Passed News Box Legislation in Connecticut Favors Dailies

april 25, 2007  07:50 am
The City Council of West Haven voted unanimously in favor of Councilwoman Gail Burns' proposal to limit how many news boxes can go on a block, and it was signed into law earlier this month. When space is an issue, "dailies get first dibs, then twice-weeklies, then weeklies and so on," according to the Advocate. The law seems to have been thought up, drafted and passed in haste, as Burns tells the Advocate no one did an inventory of the boxes, and no one bothered to notify any of publishers before the law was passed. "Anyone can attend a public hearing," Burns says. The law "flies in the face of the First Amendment," Advocate publisher Joshua Mamis says. "Plus, the prioritization is puzzling. Why would the town give preferential treatment to a publication owned by an out-of-state company that has over the years reduced its commitment to local news gathering?"