FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Arlington, VA – The News/Media Alliance applauds California State Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) for today introducing the California Journalism Preservation Act (CJPA, AB 886), which would require Big Tech platforms such as Facebook and Google to pay news publishers a “journalism usage fee” to use local news content. Currently, creators of quality journalism are not adequately compensated for the use of their content that takes a tremendous investment to produce, and therefore, cannot reinvest enough in journalists and newsrooms.
“These dominant digital ad companies are enriching their own platforms with local news content without adequately compensating the originators,” Wicks said. “It’s time they start paying market value for the journalism they are aggregating at no cost from local media.”
In response to the bill’s introduction, News/Media Alliance Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Danielle Coffey said, “We applaud California Assemblymember Wicks for introducing this legislation and for recognizing the critical importance of high-quality journalism to ensuring informed and engaged communities. We hope Congress takes note and follows suit by reintroducing legislation at the federal level as well to give news publishers across the U.S. the same ability to be fairly compensated by the dominant tech platforms.”
The CJPA would also promote the hiring of more journalists, requiring news publishers to invest 70 percent of the profits from the usage fee into journalism jobs.
The Alliance has been vocally advocating for such legislation at the federal level since 2018. “The dominant tech platforms benefit tremendously from news publisher content, while not fairly compensating the creators of that content and reaping the vast majority of the revenue,” Coffey added. “Balance must be restored to the marketplace to allow for fair and equitable compensation. Otherwise, we will continue to see newspapers closing, creating larger news deserts around the country where misinformation quickly takes hold.”
Currently, Google takes up to 70 percent of every advertising dollar, leaving news publishers unable to reinvest in providing important investigative journalism and news to their communities.
A federal version of the JCPA, previously reintroduced in the 117th Congress (S. 673 and H.R. 1735), successfully passed out the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2022. The bill nearly passed into law in December. At that time, Meta threatened to remove news from in the U.S. if the JCPA passed, further demonstrating their outsized power.
For more information on the federal JCPA, visit www.JCPABill.com.
The News/Media Alliance is a nonprofit organization representing more than 2,000 news and magazine media organizations and their multiplatform businesses in the United States and globally. Alliance members include print and digital publishers of original journalism. Headquartered just outside Washington, D.C., the association focuses on ensuring the future of journalism through communication, research, advocacy, and innovation. Information about the News/Media Alliance can be found at www.newsmediaalliance.org.
Members of the News/Media Alliance staff have contributed to this post.