December, I sat down and penned the Alliance’s resolutions for 2017. This year, before I start the 2018 list, I wanted to check in on how we did.
First, I vowed to fight harder against “fake news” and the danger it presents. In March 2017, we launched a national Support Real News campaign and brought awareness of the growing issue with tips on media literacy and advocated that the solution to eradicating fake news is to support real news.
Next, I wanted to finally see the end of the FCC’s antiquated media cross-ownership ban. We have long advocated that this outdated rule had to go to allow investment in journalism and secure the future of real news. Last month, we celebrated the order to repeal this very rule.
Resolution number three: “We are going to greatly expand the membership of the Alliance.”
Recently, News Media Alliance announced Axel Springer SE joined our membership. This announcement fills me with such optimism for the new year and for the future of journalism. Our membership is a strong, robust and growing reflection of the industry. Axel Springer’s membership highlights that publishers internationally are ready to band together and fight for the industry during the internet age.
Axel Springer has been very involved with fighting for publisher rights against the platform duopoly (i.e. Facebook and Google). Axel Springer’s news brand, Bild, created a framework to grade the platforms on the partnership. In August, they joined forces with other publications to compete against the duopoly, providing a single login for customers across all partner sites to comply with new data privacy regulations.
Axel Springer is also active in the copyright arena. In 2013, they successfully lobbied for the passage of an ancillary copyright law that could require Google and others to pay for links or excerpts of news content.
Facebook and Google have made our world more connected and smaller than ever before. Both companies operate on a global level, and to effectively advocate as an industry, we need a global approach as well. I am so thrilled to have such an active powerhouse joining our membership and representing European interests.
My fourth and fifth resolutions focused on journalists’ safety and defending transparent coverage of government (I knew we’d need that a lot this year). This summer we joined more than 20 press freedom organizations to announce the launch of the U.S. Press Freedom tracker, a new nonpartisan website dedicated to documenting press freedom abuses across the United States led by the Committee to Protect Journalists and Freedom of the Press Foundation. We continue to stand for free press and criticize those who would try to silence journalists.
Lastly, I resolved to be thankful every day for representing an immensely important industry with a bright future. Check!
David Chavern is former President & CEO of the News/Media Alliance. Chavern has 30 years of experience in executive strategic and operational roles. Prior to the Alliance, he completed a decade-long tenure at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.