The Op-Ed by Gene Kimmelman and Charlotte Slaiman of Public Knowledge was a sad rehash of talking points from Google and Facebook. News publishers from across the country have rallied behind the Journalism Competition & Preservation Act (JCPA), which would allow them to form negotiating societies to collectively demand a better deal from the major tech platforms. These platforms — notably Google and Facebook — are the major distributors of news online. They disproportionately benefit from user attention to the content while returning very little value back to the publishers who pay for it. We just want the right to get more of that value back.
The fears of a “media cartel” are frankly laughable, particularly in the face of the immense market power of the major platforms. And like many others, they offer no meaningful alternative solutions for journalism. Their suggestion that “Congress should require dominant digital platforms to pay local journalists to fact-check information flowing over the internet” means that they want reporters to stop doing journalism and, instead, work for the platforms to police their content instead.
The JCPA is a pro-market, low-impact way to create a future for real journalism. Don’t let Google and Facebook tell you differently.
David Chavern, president and CEO, News Media Alliance, Arlington, Virginia