Loading...

Why an Anti-Trust Safe Harbor Is the Answer the News Business Needs
COMMENTARY

August 19, 2020by David Chavern, President & CEO, News Media Alliance
David Chavern, President & CEO, News Media Alliance

News consumption is growing exponentially, but for the past decade, the revenue to news publishers has been on a decline. This is, in large part, because of the unbalanced relationship between news publishers and tech platforms. But that relationship could be changing thanks to the bipartisan introduction of the “Journalism Competition and Preservation Act” (JCPA). H.R. 2054 was introduced by House Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline (D-RI) and former House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-GA). A bipartisan companion bill, S. 1700, was also introduced by Senator John Neely Kennedy (R-LA), Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ranking Member of the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee.

The bill, which would provide news publishers a safe harbor in which to collectively negotiate with platforms like Google and Facebook, could help news producers receive the fair distribution and monetization terms we’ve long been fighting to get from the duopoly. 

Because of their market dominance – and access to billions of users – the major tech platforms set the rules for news publishers and determine how journalism is displayed, prioritized and monetized. They also capture the vast majority of all digital advertising dollars because of their unique ability to collect consumer data across the web.

All of this has degraded the relationship between news readers and publishers and rewarded low quality “click-bait” over quality information from real journalists. It has also greatly reduced the financial ability of publishers to invest in newsrooms at a time when our society most needs great, substantive reporting. 

It is simply not possible for any individual news publisher to change the basic terms offered by the online behemoths. They are simply much too big and much too influential. 

However, there is power in numbers, which is what we need in order to have a fighting chance. The antitrust safe harbor bill would provide a four-year window for news publishers to collectively negotiate for fair terms that would flow earned subscription and advertising dollars back to the publishers, while protecting and preserving Americans’ right to access quality news. Parameters included in the bill ensure that these negotiations would strictly benefit Americans and news publishers at-large, not just one or a few publishers.

The JCPA has until the end of the year to pass the 116th Congress, and we need our Representatives to act now to support journalism’s future.

If passed, this bill would allow our industry to more fully control our product by allowing market forces, not two companies, to determine how and for what price our content is offered. It would allow everyone from small local publications to major online publishers the opportunity to receive a return on their investment and therefore sustain quality journalism, which is necessary for an informed democracy and civic society. 

Opinions

A 19-State Coalition Urges Congress to Pass the PFAS Action Act

On Nov. 15, 2021, California Attorney General Rob Bonta joined a coalition of 19 attorneys in urging Congress to enact the PFAS... Read More

On Nov. 15, 2021, California Attorney General Rob Bonta joined a coalition of 19 attorneys in urging Congress to enact the PFAS Action Act, legislation amending federal environmental laws to address PFAS contamination and provide funding for cleanup. In recent years, the family of manufactured chemicals called per-... Read More

Community Foundations in Time for Celebration and Reflection

This week, our nation comes together to recognize the more than 750 community foundations that operate in communities spanning the... Read More

This week, our nation comes together to recognize the more than 750 community foundations that operate in communities spanning the U.S. In many communities, organizations like mine have played a central role in fostering local collaboration and innovation to address persistent civic and economic challenges for... Read More

November 11, 2021
by Leonard Pitts
How Young is Too Young to Teach White Kids About Race?

Isabella Tichenor killed herself a few days ago. She was 10 years old. Her mother, Brittany Tichenor-Cox, said last week... Read More

Isabella Tichenor killed herself a few days ago. She was 10 years old. Her mother, Brittany Tichenor-Cox, said last week that her daughter — she called her “Izzy” — had been the target of ongoing racist abuse from classmates at her school in North Salt Lake,... Read More

Vexatious Trade Secret Litigation Shouldn’t Hamstring Innovation

When real estate title company Amrock sued data analytics firm HouseCanary in 2016, few foresaw how that seemingly straightforward $5... Read More

When real estate title company Amrock sued data analytics firm HouseCanary in 2016, few foresaw how that seemingly straightforward $5 million breach of contract lawsuit would trigger such significant constitutional and public policy concerns, or devolve into a years-long legal quagmire with three-quarters of a billion... Read More

November 9, 2021
by Mary Sanchez
Two Missouri Inmates, Two Tales of Justice Delayed

Once an innocent person is entangled in the criminal justice system, it’s damningly difficult to wrench them free. The public... Read More

Once an innocent person is entangled in the criminal justice system, it’s damningly difficult to wrench them free. The public is only vaguely aware of this. After all, that’s the point. Someone sentenced to prison is out of the public eye. Out of sight, out of... Read More

America Needs a Shockproof Supply Chain

As a retired colonel in the U.S. Marine Corp, my life has depended on having the proper personal protective equipment... Read More

As a retired colonel in the U.S. Marine Corp, my life has depended on having the proper personal protective equipment more than a few times. My experience has taught me the importance of adequate protection on the battlefield, and the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases is... Read More

News From The Well
Exit mobile version