Bill would grant newspapers safe harbor to negotiate better business terms with tech platforms
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Arlington, VA – Today the News Media Alliance is hosting a Congressional fly-in to advocate for the passage of the “Journalism Competition and Preservation Act.” Executives representing Gannett, Los Angeles Times, Star Tribune, News Corp, Philadelphia Inquirer, Post & Courier and Tribune Publishing Company will meet with Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill throughout the day.
Two similar bills were introduced in the House and Senate earlier this year that would provide a limited safe harbor for news publishers to collectively negotiate with tech platforms, such as Facebook and Google, for better business arrangements. Co-sponsors of the House bill are Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-GA) and Antitrust Chairman David Cicilline (D-RI), and co-sponsors of the Senate bill are Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights. More information about both bills can be found in the Alliance’s Safe Harbor Resource Center.
“Our members are coming to Washington, D.C. to advocate for this bill because they believe, as we do, that it is the best solution to correcting the imbalance in the competitive landscape,” stated Alliance President & CEO David Chavern. “The platforms currently benefit from using our content without paying for it. We are hopeful that, with our members’ support, we can put an end to that and get this legislation passed in this Congress.”
In a newly released video from the Alliance, Chavern makes the case for the safe harbor bill as one that will help sustain quality digital journalism, and without which the very news we rely on would be in jeopardy of disappearing.
The News Media Alliance has been very vocal over the last year in advocating for safe harbor 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.
Chavern also testified at a hearing held by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law on June 11, “Online Platforms and Market Power, Part 1: The Free and Diverse Press,” that focused on the safe harbor legislation.
Currently, the Duopoly is capturing 90 percent of all digital ad revenue growth and approximately 60 percent of total U.S. digital advertising. Like the bills’ co-sponsors, 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 Alliance has launched a grassroots effort asking members of the industry, as well as the public, to contact their members of Congress and ask them to support the Journalism Competition & Preservation Act. Click here to access the Voter Voice campaign.
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.