Key sponsor gives additional momentum to safe harbor bill for news
publishers to collectively negotiate with tech platforms
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Arlington, VA – Today, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) signed on as a co-sponsor of the “Journalism Competition and Preservation Act” (JCPA) with the ardent appreciation of the News Media Alliance. This bill would provide a limited safe harbor for news publishers to collectively negotiate with Facebook and Google for better business arrangements.
News Media Alliance President & CEO David Chavern said, “We are grateful for Senator Booker’s commitment to preserving quality journalism. His endorsement of this bill contributes additional strength and momentum we need to help get it passed. With each new co-sponsor, we are more and more confident that news publishers will soon have the ability to negotiate with the platforms.”
The JCPA was introduced in the Senate (S. 1700) in June by Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights. A similar bill was introduced earlier this year in the House (H.R. 2054) by Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee Doug Collins (R-GA) and Representative David Cicilline (D-RI), Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law.
The News Media Alliance has been very vocal over the last year in advocating for such legislation, which it believes is needed to address the imbalance in the news publisher-platform relationship. “The tech platforms currently do not pay news publishers for use of their content, yet they take most of the advertising revenue sold against that content. Advertising revenue that previously went to the news publishers and allowed them to reinvest in quality journalism is now going to the platforms. Without compensation for use of their content, news publishers won’t be able to deliver the quality journalism people expect and rely on every day,” Chavern said.
Currently, the Duopoly captures 90 percent of all digital ad revenue growth and approximately 60 percent of total U.S. digital advertising. Like Booker, the Alliance believes the solution to this problem is to provide a safe harbor for news publishers to allow them to come together to negotiate with the platforms on their overall behalf.
“A free and open press is fundamental to any democracy. But that bedrock value is existentially threatened by increasing corporate consolidation, and the way just a few companies can control the news we consume,” Senator Booker said. “This bipartisan legislation will even the playing field, strengthen competition, and give news outlets the tools they need to negotiate for equitable treatment with our nation’s largest online platforms. Local journalism plays a vital role in keeping communities informed and holding public officials accountable, and this bill will help newspapers continue those important efforts.”
The Alliance applauds Senator Booker for his leadership in support of local news publishers across the country and looks forward to news publishers having the collective ability to ask the platforms for fair compensation for use of their content.
The News Media Alliance is a nonprofit organization representing more than 2,000 news organizations and their multiplatform businesses in the United States and globally. Alliance members include print, digital and mobile publishers of original news content. Headquartered near Washington, D.C., in Arlington, Va., the association focuses on ensuring the future of news media through communication, research, advocacy and innovation. Information about the News Media Alliance (formerly NAA) can be found at www.newsmediaalliance.org.
Members of the News Media Alliance staff have contributed to this post.