Today the Senate Judiciary Committee began markup of the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) (S. 673 and H.R. 1735), a bipartisan bill that would allow local news publishers to come together to collectively negotiate with Google and Facebook for fair compensation for use of their content.
There was broad agreement voiced by members of the Committee that something must be done to solve the imbalance between Big Tech and local news, with healthy debate around how to best address the market imbalance in which the tech platforms create their own, selfishly motivated rules for the online marketplace around speech and compensation to publishers.
Though progress was being made during the markup and the bill sponsors successfully navigated several proposed amendments, debate was held to reconcile an amendment raised.
“Today’s Senate Judiciary Committee markup showcased the many ways in which Google and Facebook have used and abused news publishers and been allowed to profit from their content,” said News/Media Alliance President & CEO, David Chavern. “We applaud Senators Klobuchar, Kennedy, Durbin, and Grassley for their leadership in throwing a lifeline to local news, and we encourage the Committee to resume debate expeditiously and ultimately pass the bill.”
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.
Members of the News/Media Alliance staff have contributed to this post.