The Senate Judiciary Committee will mark up the bipartisan Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) (S. 673 and H.R. 1735) tomorrow, which would allow local news publishers to come together to collectively negotiate with Google and Facebook for fair compensation for use of their content. Currently, small and local 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 local publishers with little to reinvest in the production of high-quality journalism.
Claims made by the opposition are wholly unfounded and are not supported by the text of the legislation. The Myths and Facts around these claims are important to honest and productive discourse. Jobs will be created; news outlets will publicly disclose funds received and how it is spent; there is no payment required for links of any sort; and extreme content already exists and is currently paid for by Google and Facebook with no public transparency, while traditional local newspapers are being left behind. According to an article just published by The Wall Street Journal, marketplace arrangements are not the answer. The JCPA will lead to open and vetted compensation for news outlets for the fair market value the platforms receive.
The JCPA has broad support, not only in Congress where it has strong support in both the House and the Senate (on both sides of the aisle – including 79 total co-sponsors), but also from 215 consumer interest groups, unions, conservatives, advocacy groups and third-party organizations that have shown support for the JCPA by sending letters of support to the bill sponsors. In addition, nearly 24,000 individuals have 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 recent poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted by Schoen Cooperman Research for the News/Media Alliance, 70 percent of Americans said they support Congress passing the JCPA.
The Alliance thanks the many co-sponsors of the bill for their leadership in pursuing this legislation and for their commitment to sustaining quality journalism.
“For too long, the tech platforms have used – and profited from – news content without paying the creators of that content, which has done serious damage to high-quality journalism. This is our chance to fix the source of that damage, with meaningful legislation that will level the playing field and flow revenue back to the original creators,” said News/Media Alliance President & CEO David Chavern. “We applaud Chairwoman Klobuchar, Senator Kennedy, Chairman Cicilline, and Ranking Member Buck for their ardent commitment to journalism and steadfast support of the JCPA, and we look forward to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s markup leading to a vote and passage of this critical legislation for local news publishers across our country.”
The markup proceedings can be viewed live here.
Members of the News/Media Alliance staff have contributed to this post.