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Is the Dakota Scout Sioux Falls’ next official newspaper?

todayJune 3, 2024 2

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A law redefining the term “legal newspaper” in South Dakota might lead to a new official paper in Sioux Falls. Under previous laws, legal newspapers were defined by paid circulation. Now, there’s an option for free circulation.

The Argus Leader has been the official newspaper of Sioux Falls for several years. In letters to the City Clerk, the Argus reports just over 13,000 publications (5,769 on weekdays and 7,239 on Sundays) distributed weekly. The Dakota Scout reports over 4,000.

“I recognize that as a newspaper, we as many, many publications across the United States are smaller than we were yesterday. I think you will also find out that we are extremely engaged digitally also, and that that is not changing,” VP Public Notice Strategic Initiatives Susan Patterson said.

Sioux Falls could have new legal newspaper

Being the official newspaper also means being the city’s public notice provider.

The Dakota Scout said by using a local printing press, newspapers will be distributed to readers at no cost. That means price will not impact public notices.

“I feel that the Scout is a less costly option. They are more local, they are locally printed and I feel like, if you look at the trajectory of readership, they are growing force in this city that we care the most about, ” council member David Barranco said.

City council member Curt Soehl said at this point, he would not vote for the Dakota Scout to become the official newspaper for Sioux Falls. He also added that it didn’t mean he would recommend the Argus Leader either.

“This is going to be a tough vote for the council…I have full faith in both of them right now. The fact that the Dakota Scout has a contingency plan, being two personalities that have driven it to existence, they know that the future could be more people. Right now it’s not,” council member Curt Soehl said.

Based on a six-column format, the Argus reports a rate of .26 cents per line. The Dakota Scout presents a 31.6 cents per line cost for five columns. That’s 70 percent of the rate for the city’s current paper.

Currently, the Argus Leader requires a $10 affidavit fee. The Dakota Scout does not.

“I’ll always have a place in my heart for the Argus Leader because they gave me my shot. But this isn’t about them. This is about the Dakota Scout. And the Dakota Scout, we believe in ourselves and we’re happy to have the competition,” Dakota Scout co-founder Joe Sneve said.

A vote on a motion to adopt Dakota Scout as the official newspaper passed 3-1.

The city council meets this Wednesday to decide whether or not to pass a recommendation. If the city council passes a recommendation, the Dakota Scout will become Sioux Falls’ official newspaper starting July 1st and go until June 30th, 2025.

Written by: The Dam Rock Station

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