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Journalism Competition and Preservation Act comes down to what’s fair

Journalism Competition and Preservation Act comes down to what’s fair

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Let’s start the morning by playing the “What’s Fair?” game.

We will provide facts for Company A and for Company B and it’s up to you to decide what’s fair.

Fact No. 1:

Company A captures 60% of U.S. digital ad revenue by using Company B’s product.

Fact No. 2:

Between 16% and 40% of Company A’s search results are contingent on Company B’s product.

Fact No. 3:

For every dollar made in digital advertising, Company A takes as much as 70% of the revenue, leaving Company B with a scant 30%.

Fact No. 4:

On top of all that Company B pays an additional “ad-tech tax” to Company A, which has forced Company B to lay off thousands of employees and to shutter many of it storefronts.

Fact No. 5:

Company A sets the rules for how Company B’s product is displayed, prioritized and monetized in the digital world. These rules have led to the proliferation of dangerous misinformation that undermines our democracy.

Any guesses?

Company A is Google and Facebook.

Company B is our nation’s news publishers, and Company B’s product is all of the local, regional and state news their staff members produce.

News publishers have been suffering in recent years because of lost revenue at the hands of Google and Facebook.

According to the News Media Alliance, nearly half of the counties in the country have only one newspaper left, while almost 200 counties have no local newspaper at all.

Publishers are providing the must-have content for the online platforms to capture viewers and, in turn, to grow.

Google and Facebook’s duopoly ties the hands of publishers, who deserve fair compensation for the value they offer every day with the news they produce.

We believe the passage of the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act is the first step.

News publishers are seeking support for this legislation currently before Congress (H.R. 1735 in the House and S. 673 in the Senate).

JCPA would allow news publishers to collectively negotiate with Google and Facebook for fair compensation for the use of news content. This market-based legislation is the only appropriate way to correct the competitive imbalance that existing antitrust laws do not address.

The legislation also would develop solutions that would send much needed subscription and advertising dollars back to publishers for their local operations.

Quality journalism is key to sustaining a civil society, and news publishers play an important function by providing local news and a forum for public discourse.

U.S. Sens. Ben Sasse and Deb Fischer, and U.S. Reps. Adrian Smith, Don Bacon and Jeff Fortenberry — are you reading your local news?

Who will you support when you consider what’s fair, Company A or Company B?

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