American publishers savour Australia’s code success

Sep 14, 2023 at 11:01 am by admin

The success of Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code is being cited in a News/Media Alliance campaign to support the US Journalism Competition & Preservation Act.

A graphic quotes statistics from the Judith Neilson Institute that publishers in Australia have received “the equivalent of $140 million” in revenue from deals with Google and Facebook since the code passed.

Similar deals in the US would represent billions of dollars, it says.

“Legislation around the world requiring Big Tech platforms such as Google and Meta to pay news publishers fairly for use of their valuable content is working,” says the publishers’ association, adding that in Australia, the News Media Bargaining Code (NMBC) is “balancing the playing field between publishers and online platforms, allowing for a more sustainable foundation for the preservation of high-quality journalism”.

N/MA says in the US, Google and Facebook capture 70 per cent of all digital advertising dollars, “leaving publishers with insufficient resources to reinvest in providing the journalism Americans need and rely on to stay informed and engaged”.

It says research has found that two-thirds of searches on Google don’t end in a click to a third-party site because they use large segments of publishers’ content to keep users from leaving their platform.

In the US, the Journalism Competition & Preservation Act would allow local news companies to negotiate with Big Tech to receive fair compensation for the use of their content. “If Congress doesn’t pass the JCPA now, communities across America will continue to lose quality local, fact-based news coverage.”

Another promotional graphic points to the one-fifth of the US population which currently lives in a news desert or in a community at risk of becoming one.

“We sometimes take for granted that our local newspaper will always be there when we need it,” it says. “But the stark reality is that one-quarter (2500) of the country’s newspapers have shuttered since 2005, and another third are expected to close by 2025 if we don’t do something to reverse this startling trend.

“Lower-income communities are disproportionately impacted by the closure of local newspapers, which serve as a check on the local, state and federal governments.”

A third claims that “without quality journalism, we’d be cut off from the outside world”, pointing out that Big Tech doesn’t produce original journalism, instead taking advantage of the news and information created by local publishers, “reaping the financial benefits without paying for it”.

If Congress doesn’t pass the Journalism Competition & Preservation Act now, “communities across America will continue to lose quality local, fact-based news coverage.

“When you support the JCPA, you support journalism and help to ensure news publishers can continue to invest in providing the important news and investigative journalism you want and need to help stay informed and engaged.”

Visit N/MA’s JCPA resource centre for more information.

Sections: Digital business


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