Industry to urge Congress to provide antitrust safe harbor

Earlier this year, Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) introduced a bill that would allow media outlets to band together to negotiate for better terms with giant tech platforms that have been dominating the market for online ad revenue.

“Our industry depends on our ability to continue to invest in stories that report the truth and hold our public officials accountable,” News Media Alliance CEO David Chavern said in a statement following the bill’s introduction.

Last year, NMA urged Congress to grant a waiver to the industry, arguing that the majority of ad dollars online go to Facebook and Google, companies that many Americans also rely on to get their news. Earlier this year, News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch urged the tech giants to start paying outlets carriage fees for delivering their content. And in a move to protect publishers, the European Parliament last month adopted a new copyright directive that would allow news outlets to claim payments from tech platforms like Google, YouTube and Facebook when they host copyrighted material.

Leading up to the midterm elections, NMA, the WNA and industry groups nationwide will urge Congress to support an antitrust safe harbor for newspapers. It’s crucial our leaders support both editorial and financial independence of newspapers, so the industry can continue to provide quality journalism that is essential to democracy.

The upcoming elections are an opportunity to directly address elected officials about our challenges when they are paying the most attention. In an effort to increase coverage of this important issue, a draft editorial is available to members to publish and personalize.