Support for the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) spans the globe, with letters and statements endorsing the bill coming in from groups in Australia, Canada, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as from multi-national organizations such as Grupo de Diarios América (GDA), Ibero-American Telecommunications Organization, Inter American Press Association (IAPA) and International Association of Broadcasting (AIR-IAB).
Particularly notable is the support from Australia where nearly 18 months ago, its parliament adopted legislation creating the News Media Bargaining Code, a code of conduct to address bargaining power imbalances between Australian publishers and Big Tech.
A new analysis from the News/Media Alliance states, “Like the JCPA… the Australian Code does not attempt to solve all the problems faced by news publishers in the online ecosystem. Instead, the sole purpose of both measures is to balance the playing field between publishers and online platforms, creating a more sustainable foundation for the preservation of high-quality journalism.”
The Australian media endorses U.S. efforts to pass the JCPA because they’ve seen the success of their own legislation firsthand. Thanks to the code, Facebook and Google have now paid over $140 million to qualifying publishers – publishers which employ an estimated 90-plus percent of Australian journalists. In a recent report, former Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Chair Rod Sims confirmed the success of the News Media Bargaining Code, estimating that the compensation accrued to date amounts to approximately 20 percent of Australian journalists’ salaries and likely more than 20 percent of eligible publishers’ combined earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.
In response to the recent progress on the JCPA, Sims stated, “I am delighted to see the JCPA advancing through the US Congress. It will benefit US media significantly, and so will greatly strengthen the USA in so many ways.”
Similar legislation is also in the works in Canada, Europe and the United Kingdom. Canada’s Online News Act, a bill which aims to ensure fair compensation for news media, was introduced in April 2022 and, following the adoption of new laws in the European Union, publishers have had successful negotiations with Google, which signed deals to pay more than 300 publishers in May 2022. The UK is also likely to introduce new legislation in the coming months to combat Big Tech’s influence on local media by granting statutory powers to the Digital Markets Unit (DMU), its tech watchdog organization. We applaud their efforts to hold Big Tech accountable and make local news more sustainable.
As the JCPA moves forward in the U.S. Congress – the Senate text of the bill was released Monday and is on the agenda for Senate Judiciary Committee markup in September – we thank our international supporters for urging passage of the JCPA in both the Senate and House of Representatives.
Members of the News/Media Alliance staff have contributed to this post.