A research report published earlier this year, “Minority-Owned Media and the Digital Duopoly,” demonstrates how minority-owned media’s continued survival – as well as the addition of new outlets – is being threatened by the digital platforms’ anticompetitive practices. The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), a bipartisan bill with broad support in both the House and Senate, would help to sustain these publications, whose work is critical to the communities they uniquely serve.
The report, which examined the history of minority-owned media and the impact of the ascendance of big tech platforms (such as Facebook and Google) on minority-owned outlets and those targeting underrepresented communities, is the product of an extensive research and information-gathering effort that included conducting interviews with several representatives from minority-owned news outlets.
The report concludes, “The ascendance of Facebook and Google threatens the viability of the entire news industry and exacerbates the structural inequities – including a disparity in advertising dollars, resources and access to capital – that have long plagued minority media. These persisting inequities, which require a reconsideration of a broad set of public policies and practices, are now compounded by minority publishers’ reliance on the very platforms that have upended and circumvented the role of the press as independent watchdogs in a democracy.”
In a separate overview and introduction to the report, which is based on the report’s conclusions, the News/Media Alliance recommends passing the JCPA as a solution to reversing the concerning trends found in the report. The JCPA would offer small and local news media outlets, including minority-owned publications, the ability to collectively negotiate with the tech platforms for fair compensation for the use of their content. Currently, these 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.
Click here to download the report.
Members of the News/Media Alliance staff have contributed to this post.