FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News Media Alliance Applauds Antitrust Chairman David Cicilline and Ranking Member Doug Collins for Reintroducing Journalism Competition & Preservation Act
Bill will provide safe harbor for news publishers to collectively negotiate with tech platforms
April 3, 2019
Arlington, VA – Today, House Antitrust Chairman David Cicilline (D-RI) and Representative Doug Collins (R-GA), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, introduced the “Journalism Competition and Preservation Act,” to the buoyant applause of the News Media Alliance. The bill would provide a limited safe harbor for news publishers to collectively negotiate with Facebook and Google for better business arrangements. More information can be found in the Fact Sheet.
News Media Alliance President & CEO David Chavern said, “This is a great day for newsrooms across our nation. We are grateful to Chairman Cicilline and Ranking Member Collins for their commitment to quality journalism and we look forward to news publishers having some relief from the platforms that currently regulate who receives our content and how much we are paid.”
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. “Fair compensation for use of news content — from which the tech platforms benefit financially — will allow news publishers to continue to reinvest in quality journalism,” Chavern said.
Currently, the Duopoly is capturing 90 percent of all digital ad revenue growth and approximately 60 percent of total U.S. digital advertising. Like Cicilline and Collins, 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.
“The free press is a cornerstone of our democracy. Journalists keep the public informed, root out corruption, and hold the powerful accountable,” said Cicilline. “This bill will provide a much-needed lifeline to local publishers who have been crushed by Google and Facebook. It’s about time we take a stand on this issue.”
“Community journalism holds a critical place in our democracy because it helps the American people understand and engage in civil society,” said Collins. “Through our bipartisan legislation, we are opening the door for community newspapers to more fairly negotiate with large tech platforms that are operating in an increasingly anti-competitive space. This will help protect journalism, promote competition and allow communities to stay informed.”
The Alliance applauds Chairman Cicilline and Ranking Member Collins for their proactive stance and eagerly anticipates the ability for news publishers to finally be able to ask the platforms to acknowledge the immense value 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.