From David Chavern, News Media Alliance
A free and diverse press is the backbone of a healthy and vibrant democracy, but local newspapers across the country are under incredible financial pressure and in jeopardy of going out of business. One of the largest problems facing local journalism is that control of access to trustworthy news online has become concentrated on just two platforms: Facebook and Google. There must be a fair exchange for the significant value news publishers’ content provides to Google and Facebook so that publishers can continue to invest in high-quality journalism.
In order to help level the playing field, the bipartisan “Journalism Competition and Preservation Act,” reintroduced earlier this year in the House and the Senate, would temporarily allow news publishers to collectively negotiate with the tech platforms for fair compensation for the use of their content. Many Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have already stepped up and expressed strong support for the bill, recognizing its role as a vital solution to the journalism crisis, but more support is needed to get us across the finish line.
Journalism is critical to a functioning democracy and the price of doing nothing – the continuing disappearance of local newspapers – is too great. It is more important than ever to take action that supports quality journalism.
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