It had to happen. Newspapers that publish public records databases have been attracting more viewers to their sites. I don’t know if this translates into subscribers or other ways papers make money, but the Memphis Daily News is taking the direct approach, selling access to Tennessee public records. The paper has partnered with the Chandler Reports, which sells property profiles and business filings. There are no free searches, although they do the usual gimmick of presenting search fields but then require a fee to see any results.
One interesting feature that I haven’t seen other newspapers pick up monitors new public records filings then sends them to you in an email. This costs, too. The Watch Service charges $1 a month per tracked entity – a business, person or address – obtaining daily filings of property, bankruptcy and court records. Then an alert is emailed to you when a record is located. It’s unclear how detailed this is. Also, the service only covers Shelby and DeSoto counties.
Oh, the paper did just add a free crime report database. Search by address to find crime incidents. If you want to receive email alerts you’ll have to subscribe!
Similar and more extensive records may be available for free from the government agencies that generate them. Perhaps some of my readers can enlighten us.