A bill titled the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act has been reintroduced in Congress.
The bill, sponsored by House Antitrust Chairman David Cicilline (D-RI), Ranking Member Ken Buck (R-CO), Senate Antitrust Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Sen. John N. Kennedy (R-LA), would provide a limited antitrust safe harbor for news publishers to collectively negotiate with Facebook and Google for fair compensation for the use of their content.
News Media Alliance President and CEO David Chavern applauded the announcement.
“This is a huge milestone for U.S. news publishers,” Chavern said. “As we have seen over the last several weeks in Australia and Europe, the world is moving toward new compensation systems for publishers. The cost of inaction, in terms of the spread of misinformation we are all experiencing, is simply too great to ignore any longer. Quality journalism is key to sustaining civic society and we must ensure that the digital ecosystem returns value back to the people who create that journalism.”
Since 2018, the News Media Alliance has been advocating for such legislation in the U.S., which it believes is needed to address the imbalance in the news publisher-platform relationship.
“Without an antitrust safe harbor, news publishers will have no capacity to collectively fight for their futures,” Chavern said.
The previous bill received support from several Representatives and Senators on both sides of the aisle and has now been reintroduced in the 117th Congress to continue progressing forward.
Chavern added, “We are grateful to Chairs Cicilline and Klobuchar, Ranking Member Buck, and Senator Kennedy for their commitment to quality journalism, and we look forward to working with them on ways to further strengthen the bill to ensure equitable terms and fair compensation for the valuable content being produced by all news publishers, including small and community publishers. News publishers need a fighting chance with the tech platforms that currently control who receives our content and how much we are paid.”
Currently, the Duopoly captures 90 percent of all digital ad revenue growth and approximately 60 percent of total U.S. digital advertising revenue. The Alliance joins the members of Congress in their belief that a safe harbor for news publishers to allow them to come together to negotiate with the platforms on their overall behalf is the solution to this problem.
That basic idea now has wide support across the political spectrum and is the cornerstone of all comprehensive solutions. More information on the bill can be found in the News Media Alliance’s JCPA Talking Points.