Aurora, Ill., Considers Regulating Newspaper Distribution

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By: E&P Staff

Officials of Aurora, Ill., got an earful from newspaper company lawyers, among others, at an Aug. 3 meeting on reaction to a proposal regulate distribution of printed matter.

The measure would require a permit for distribution and solicitation on private property, prohibit those activities at addresses where “no trespassing” or “no soliciting” signs are posted, require any paper materials be left in such a manner as not to be scattered by the wind, and prohibit posting of any material on public property, according to a report by Andre Salles in Sun-Times Media’s FoxValleyVillagesSun.com.

Sun-Times Media West Region Publisher Robert Wall read a statement from his company’s lawyer stating, in part, “banning newspaper distribution is simply not permitted,” and that they “promote a well-informed electorate, which is a critical element of our democracy.”

Citing the First Amendment, Chicago Tribune attorney Tiffany Wohlfeil said newspaper companies would sue if the proposal were made law, according to the report.

Among residents supporting the measure, local group’s leader said it could reduce litter that clogs storm drains. In a recent case, he told the hearing, “newspaper mush” blocked a drain and flooded an intersection.

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