It is suggested that, the news publishing business has been severely affected by the rise of the Internet. Many publishers have struggled to survive as their income is stolen by online platforms. This not only threatens their livelihood but also poses a threat to democracy itself, as local news organizations are unable to fulfill their role in informing communities.
However, there may be a solution on the horizon. The bipartisan Journalism Competition and Preservation Act aims to empower news publishers to negotiate fair compensation with Big Tech companies for their valuable content. Currently, Google and Meta (which owns FacebookInstagram, and Threads) dominate the digital advertising revenue market, depriving news organizations of their rightful share. This situation is seen as unjust and detrimental to both journalism and society.
The impact of the Internet on various industries cannot be denied, but local news holds a unique position in upholding democracy. Hence, it is crucial that measures are taken to address this issue. The proposed Journalism Competition and Preservation Law draws inspiration from a similar law implemented in Australia. The Australian legislation included arbitration mechanisms that resulted in significant revenue for publishers, growth in newsrooms, and an increase in journalism jobs.
Undoubtedly, Big Tech companies will resist such regulations just as they did in Canada when faced with a law requiring payment for news content usage. Meta removed all news from Facebook rather than pay for content it didn’t own outright. This action had severe consequences for Canadians who were deprived of critical information during emergencies like wildfires.
Despite potential resistance from tech giants, ensuring fair compensation for creators is essential. Journalism is constitutionally protected because it serves justice and public interest by providing objective reporting amid deliberate misinformation campaigns prevalent today. While mainstream media may face criticism from some politicians, they remain committed to objectivity and accountability.
The dire situation faced by many local newspapers across the country can largely be attributed to big tech siphoning off their revenue streams. Urgent action is needed through initiatives like the Journalism Preservation and Competition Law. It is crucial for citizens to reach out to their federal representatives and urge them to support such legislation.
All things considered, the rise of the Internet has posed significant challenges for the news publishing industry. However, solutions like the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act offer hope by enabling negotiations between publishers and Big Tech companies for fair compensation. This legislation, modeled after successful measures in Australia, can restore fairness and support local journalism. It is essential for society to recognize the importance of a free press and take action to protect it.
It is suggested that, “The Editorial Board: Restoring fairness between publishers and Big Tech,” published in The Buffalo News.