This week, the News Media Alliance will host virtual meetings between Alliance member newspaper executives and their members of Congress to advocate for the passage of the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), also known as the “Safe Harbor bill.” Executives representing Advance Publications, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Boston Globe, CNHI, Gannett, Los Angeles Times, McClatchy, Tampa Bay Times/Times Publishing Company, Trib Total Media, and Tribune Publishing Company will meet with key lawmakers over the next three days.
Alliance President & CEO, David Chavern, stated, “We are pleased to be facilitating these important meetings between news publishers and policymakers. Our members believe, as we do, that a safe harbor for news is the best solution to correcting the current imbalance in the competitive landscape. As we have seen in Australia and Europe, the world is moving toward new compensation systems for publishers. A healthy democracy needs quality journalism now more than ever, and we must ensure that the digital ecosystem returns value back to the people who create that journalism.”
The JCPA, which was reintroduced in the House and Senate in March, would provide a limited, temporary safe harbor for news publishers to collectively negotiate with the dominant tech platforms, such as Facebook and Google, for fair compensation for the use of their content. Co-sponsors of the House bill include House Antitrust Chairman David Cicilline (D-RI) and Ranking Member Ken Buck (R-CO). Co-sponsors of the Senate bill are Senate Antitrust Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Senator John N. Kennedy (R-LA).
Tribune Publishing CEO Terry Jimenez, stated, “The JCPA was narrowly tailored and limited in scope by design to ensure that Facebook and Google must participate in good faith negotiations with news publishers and that any negotiations are only in the interest of promoting trust and quality journalism. This legislation is the solution to the power imbalance these platforms have created.”
Currently, the Duopoly is capturing 90 percent of all digital ad revenue growth and approximately 60 percent of total U.S. digital advertising. Like the bills’ co-sponsors, the Alliance believes the solution to this problem is to provide a safe harbor for news publishers to allow them to come together to negotiate with the platforms on their overall behalf.
Tampa Bay Times/Times Publishing Company President, Conan Gallaty, stated, “When local journalism suffers, it’s more than just reporters who are affected. Local communities will lose quality news and information, and readers will be left with misinformation on the big tech platforms, which undermines the fabric of our democracy. It is more important than ever to pass laws that will protect quality journalism because the price of inaction – the disappearance of local news – is too great.”
Since 2018, the News Media Alliance has been vocally advocating for legislation in the U.S. that would combat the spread of misinformation, improve the quality and accessibility of reporting, and ensure that local journalists are able to continue their critical work. Through launching a Voter Voice campaign, the Alliance has also encouraged members of the industry and the public to contact their members of Congress and ask them to support the JCPA.
For more information on the JCPA, visit the Alliance’s Safe Harbor Resource Center at www.SafeHarborBill.com.