Statement: Small News Publishers Get Deal in Australia

After a month of negotiating collectively under authorization from the ACCC, with the looming threat of forced arbitration, Australian news organization Country Press Australia (CPA), which includes over 180 regional and local publications across the country, struck a deal with Google. According to Mumbrella, 70 of CPA’s publications will appear in the Google News Showcase, and Google will pay CPA to curate content for the program.

News Media Alliance President & CEO, David Chavern, stated, “This deal shows the real power of the Australian Bargaining Code – collective bargaining for small publishers that had no ability to get compensation otherwise, backed by arbitration. Through receiving fair compensation from the platforms, news publishers can continue to reinvest in producing the high-quality journalism that the world needs now more than ever.”

In February, Australian Parliament passed the ACCC news media bargaining code, which requires the dominant tech platforms to, among other things, negotiate with and compensate news publishers in Australia for use of their content online. Baseball-style arbitration could be invoked if the companies did not agree on compensation.

Chavern continued, “The Journalism Competition & Preservation Act (JCPA) would provide news publishers here in the U.S. a similar ability to collectively negotiate with the big tech platforms for fair compensation for use of their content. The JCPA is the best solution for local publishers to be able to continue the critically important work they do of keeping the public informed on the issues and events impacting their local communities. The cost of inaction, in terms of the spread of misinformation we are all experiencing, is simply too great to ignore any longer.”

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