Alaska: Web puts kibosh on print

The World Wide Web has overtaken print once and for all as the state of Alaska's "journal of record."

For many years, the Alaska Administrative Journal, available by subscription, has been the primary source of information on adopted regulations, notices of agency meetings, attorney general opinions and other matters of public record.

But during the last several years, the state has provided the same material through the Web at the Alaska Online Public Notice System (notes.state.ak.us/pn/pubnotic.nsf), which has overtaken its print counterpart in popularity as Internet connectivity has increased.

The number of subscribers to the Administrative Journal has dropped from 125 in 1995 to just 12 at present, with only one subscriber remaining in-state.

The final blow may have come this week, when Gov. Tony Knowles introduced a bill that would designate the Web site as the official source of public notices, under the management of the lieutenant governor.

In announcing the bill, the governor's office noted that the online public notice system may be accessed on computers at most libraries and that state agencies provide a computer terminal for public use. Additionally, people can request a printed copy of a notice posted on the system.

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