Jan 28, 2008 Editor and Publisher story :
All of them end up in the garbage. "We're not asking for it," Finch said. "And it's just littering our streets." Complaints from the Westminster resident Finch and others about free home-delivery newspapers in Maryland have inspired State Del. Tanya Shewell to propose a "Do Not Deliver" registry that would work similarly to the "Do Not Call" registry for telemarketers. If approved, would be the first of its kind in the nation.
The complaints started soon after the 2006 launch of The Baltimore Examiner, a free paper which delivers about 230,000 of its total 250,000 circulation to Maryland homes six days a week, making it the state's largest daily.
Shewell said her constituents complain that they're just ignored when they call a newspaper asking that delivery be stopped. She said people can't stop deliveries even when they leave town, meaning papers are left around as an invitation to burglars. The newspapers often litter roadsides and storm drains.
The newspaper industry is fighting the proposed registry, saying it isn't needed.
"Nobody wants to send out papers that are wasted, that people just throw away," said Jack Murphy, executive director of the Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia Press Association. Shewell's bill would give newspaper publishers seven days to comply with a request to stop an unsolicited home delivery. If the deliveries continue, publishers could be fined $100 a day. It would also require free newspapers to print a toll-free phone number in a conspicuous location for people who would want delivery stopped.Shewell's bill is likely to run into opposition from lawmakers in both parties who worry it could violate constitutional free speech protections.