Americans Overwhelmingly Support Big Tech Compensating Local Papers

U.S. adults across the political spectrum believe that Big Tech has too much power over the news publishing industry and want Congress to act.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, D.C. – A new national survey of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted by Schoen Cooperman Research (SCR) for the News Media Alliance shows that 70 percent of Americans support Congress passing the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA). The JCPA is legislation designed to allow small and local publishers to band together to collectively negotiate fairer terms for use of their content by Big Tech platforms, such as Google and Facebook.

In the past two decades, Americans have watched their local papers shutter their doors or reduce their footprint in their communities as Google and Facebook built an advertising duopoly and deployed algorithms to systematically devalue high-quality journalism in favor of provocative content. This trend is affecting Americans’ attitudes toward Big Tech companies, as the survey shows that the public is worried about Big Tech’s influence over the news publishing industry and is concerned that the tech giants are driving small and local news outlets out of business.

The purpose of the survey by SCR was to understand American sentiments and concerns surrounding Big Tech’s role in society generally, and specifically the influence of Big Tech companies in the news and publishing industries. In addition, the survey sought to understand the public’s receptivity toward – and support for – curbing the power of Big Tech companies, through vehicles such as the JCPA.

“Americans have made it unequivocally clear – they want to preserve the high-quality journalism of small and local outlets across the country that have been decimated by Big Tech,” SCR Founder and Partner Douglas Schoen said. “Despite historic levels of partisanship, Americans on both sides of the aisle overwhelmingly want to hold Google and Facebook accountable and pass legislation like the JCPA that can save local journalism, protect free speech, and defend our democracy.”

Key findings of the survey are:

  • 79 percent of Americans believe that Big Tech has too much power over the news and publishing industries.
  • 76 percent of Americans believe that Big Tech companies are driving small and local news outlets out of business.
  • 86 percent of Americans believe that Big Tech should be required to offer the same compensation terms to local publishers as they do national news organizations.
  • 81 percent of Americans support Congress taking steps to give small and local publishers more power in negotiations with Big Tech companies.

The results of the survey reinforce the findings from a poll conducted by Echelon Insights in 2021 that found that Republican voters overwhelmingly support the passage of the JCPA and want to hold Big Tech accountable. The SCR survey also comes on the heels of the JCPA gaining momentum in Congress and new revisions to the bill that would refocus the legislation to apply only to small and local news outlets.

Read an op-ed by Schoen on the survey findings published on FoxNews.com: “Moves to curb Big Tech’s power over news and publishing find widespread support

Methodology 

The survey was commissioned by News Media Alliance and conducted by Schoen Cooperman Research. Live telephone (550 cell and 365 landline) and online (100) interviews with a representative total sample of 1,015 United States adults of all age groups were completed between April 1-8, 2022. In line with the policies and standards of the American Association of Political Consultants, the mixed-method sample drawn was representative according to age, gender, and region of U.S. adults. The complete data set was also weighted by ethnicity, so that the sample composition best reflects the demographic profile of the adult U.S. population according to the most recent Census data.

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Media Contact:
Lindsey Loving
Director, Communications
News Media Alliance
lindsey@newsmediaalliance.org

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 just outside Washington, D.C., 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.

Schoen Cooperman Research (SCR) is a strategic research firm that helps political, corporate and advocacy partners drive transformative change. SCR helps clients win elections, advance causes and build their brands by conducting in-depth quantitative and qualitative research and using insights to develop high-level strategies that provide a roadmap to decision-making and success.

 

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