FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Arlington, VA – The News/Media Alliance applauds Senate Antitrust Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Senator John N. Kennedy (R-LA) for today reintroducing the “Journalism Competition and Preservation Act” (JCPA). The bill would provide digital journalism providers the ability to collectively negotiate with Facebook and Google for fair compensation for the use of their valuable content. Currently, publishers do not have the ability to negotiate these deals on their own, as the dominant tech platforms capture the majority of U.S. digital ad revenue, leaving publishers with little to reinvest in the production of high-quality journalism. This follows in the wake of other countries’ successful compensation systems for publishers, with Australia’s Media Bargaining Code and European legislation leading the way and Canada and the UK expected to follow.
In response to the bill reintroduction in the Senate, News/Media Alliance Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Danielle Coffey said, “The time is now to pass this critical legislation that will protect and sustain local journalism, now more important than ever to ensuring an informed society. Emerging technologies such as AI are making it even more clear the need for compensation when content creators may soon see even less return than what they receive today. The cost of inaction is simply too great to ignore any longer. We must ensure that the digital ecosystem returns value back to the people who deliver high-quality journalism we all rely on around the world.”
Since 2018, the News/Media Alliance has been vocally advocating for such legislation in the U.S. “A compensation framework between news publishers and the tech platforms will help correct the current imbalance in the marketplace whereby Google and Meta have set the rules that everyone else must play by,” Coffey said.
Previously reintroduced in the 117th Congress (S. 673 and H.R. 1735), the Senate Judiciary Committee completed its bipartisan markup of the JCPA in September 2022. The bill received broad support, not only in Congress where it had 90 co-sponsors in the House and Senate (on both sides of the aisle), but also from over 300 consumer interest groups, unions, conservatives, advocacy groups and third-party organizations. In addition, nearly 24,000 individuals signed a Change.org petition for the bill and nearly 1,000 editorials in support of the JCPA have been published in newspapers in 48 states across the country. In a poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted in April 2022, 70 percent of Americans said they support Congress passing the JCPA.
The bill nearly passed into law in December when it was included in the NDAA legislation package. However, as it did in Australia just before the Media Bargaining Code passed there, Meta threatened to remove news from Facebook in the U.S. if the JCPA passed, further demonstrating their outsized power.
The JCPA has now been reintroduced in the 118th Congress to continue progressing forward.
Coffey added, “We are grateful to Chair Klobuchar and Senator Kennedy for their commitment to quality journalism, and we look forward to working with them to ensure small and local news publishers receive fair compensation from the platforms for the valuable journalism they work tirelessly to provide. News publishers need a lifeline, and the JCPA is that lifeline.”
More information on the bill can be found on the News/Media Alliance website at 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.