On December 12, the News/Media Alliance sent a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Katherine Tai, requesting the agency to refrain from criticizing efforts to protect professional journalism internationally. The letter was in response to a readout of Ambassador Tai’s recent meeting with Canada’s trade minister during which Ambassador Tai expressed concerns over Canada’s planned Online News Act. The Act resembles Australia’s recently adopted News Media Bargaining Code and would allow news publishers to negotiate with the dominant online platforms for fair compensation with a final-offer arbitration as a backstop in case a compromise cannot be reached. The letter emphasized the vital role of journalism in society, the multiple benefits that have resulted from Australia’s Code, and the importance of supporting efforts to protect the sustainability of high-quality journalism internationally – especially as the U.S. Congress is currently considering a similar measure, the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act. The letter also stated that these bills are in the public interest and reminded the USTR of the importance of representing the interests of the whole of the U.S. instead of a few dominant companies. Read the full letter here.
Members of the News/Media Alliance staff have contributed to this post.