Journalism Competition & Preservation Act

Pro-journalism legislation faces a make-or-break session

The JCPA has a shot at passage in lame-duck Congress, advocates say.

Klobuchar pulls vote on bipartisan tech bill, says agreement ‘blown up’ by Cruz amendment

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) asked to pull a committee vote on a bill aimed at giving news outlets the ability to negotiate collectively with tech platforms after she said an adopted amendment offered by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) impeded the bipartisan agreement senators reached ahead of the Thursday meeting.

Statement: Senate Judiciary Committee markup of the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee began markup of the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) (S. 673 and H.R. 1735), a bipartisan bill that would allow local news publishers to come together to collectively negotiate with Google and Facebook for fair compensation for use of their content.

Journalism Competition and Preservation Act held over until future meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee

Following debate and the introduction of amendments, the Journalism Preservation and Competition Act was held over until a future meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee. A recording of the markup proceedings can be viewed here (beginning at the 49:07 mark).

Watch for additional coverage coming soon.

Klobuchar, Kennedy, Cicilline, Buck, Durbin, Nadler release updated bipartisan journalism bill

August 22, 2022 - Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), Senator John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), Representative David Cicilline (D-Rhode Island), Representative Ken Buck (R-Colorado), and Senate and House Judiciary Committee Chairs Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and Jerrold Nadler (D-New York) released a revised and expanded version of the bipartisan Journalism Competition and Preservation Act to address dominant online platforms’ power over news organizations. The bill removes legal obstacles to news organizations’ ability to negotiate collectively and secure fair terms from gatekeeper platforms that regularly access news content without paying for its value. The legislation also allows news publishers to demand arbitration if they reach an impasse in those negotiations. The revised bill can be found HERE. Read more about the updated bipartisan bill HERE.
There have been claims made that the JCPA will lead to job losses based on the notion that newspapers will “cut them to under 1,500 employees” to be eligible.
The internet that Silicon Valley promised us was supposed to be a haven for new ideas, robust free speech and a free flow of information. Instead, the internet we got is dominated by a handful of Big Tech companies that wield unprecedented power over nearly every aspect of our lives.  
As the JCPA is making progress in Congress, it is a good time to evaluate the success of Australia’s Code.
Here is a look at how the JCPA would work and its prospects.
Support for the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) spans the globe, with letters and statements endorsing the bill coming in from groups in Australia, Canada, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as from multi-national organizations.
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Google and Facebook are threatening local news. The JCPA can save it.

This editorial is being made available to all newspapers for reprint. Or, adapt it and make it your own with information from your local market.

July 17, 2022 - Among the antitrust bills Congress is considering this year, the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) is the only one that provides a direct check against Google and Facebook’s anticompetitive tactics that put local papers at risk. 

Ironically, Big Tech is protected by U.S. antitrust laws, which prevent local papers from negotiating as a group. The JCPA would provide a temporary, limited antitrust safe harbor for small, local news publishers to collectively negotiate with Facebook and Google for fair compensation for the use of their content. It’s narrowly tailored to ensure that coordination by news publishers is only in the interest of protecting trustworthy, quality journalism.

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August 18, 2022 - The audience for news is growing fast, with media organizations reaching approximately 136 million U.S. adults each week. Yet at the same time, revenue generated by U.S. news publications has dropped 58% since 2005. Between 2004 and 2018, newspaper newsroom employment dropped by almost half, according to the Pew Research Center. How can news organizations be losing money when traffic to news sites is increasing? Simple: The people producing this news aren’t being paid for it.
Klobuchar holds Senate hearing to highlight Big Tech’s harm to local news outlets
Klobuchar: 'We need to step in to level the playing field.'

Press Release (Feb. 2, 2022) | U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota)

At Wednesday's Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights hearing on journalism, competition and the effects of market power on a free press, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), chairwoman of the subcommittee, highlighted how dominant online platforms’ advertising practices harm local news outlets.

“These Big Tech companies are not friends to journalism. They are raking in ad dollars while taking news content, feeding it to their users, and refusing to offer fair compensation,” Klobuchar said in her opening statement. “What does Big Tech’s dominance over the news mean for Americans? Less revenue for local news, fewer journalists to do in-depth high quality reporting, more exposure to misinformation and fewer reliable sources…That’s why we need to step in to level the playing field.”

Last March, Klobuchar, Senator John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), Representative David Cicilline (D-Rhode Island), and Representative Ken Buck (R-New York) introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to level the negotiating playing field by allowing news publishers and broadcasters to band together to negotiate with digital platforms on the terms on which their news content can be accessed. The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act would enable news organizations to negotiate terms that would provide fair compensation for news content, while protecting and preserving Americans’ right to access quality news.

Last May, Klobuchar and Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) introduced legislation to create a committee to study the state of local journalism and offer recommendations to Congress on the actions it can take to support local news organizations.

Last July, Klobuchar and Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), Mark Kelly (D-Arizona), and Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) introduced the Local Journalism Sustainability Act to help financially support local news organizations through tax credits to incentivize hiring more journalists, subscriptions and advertising from local small businesses.

The full transcript of Klobuchar’s opening is  available HERE.

Feb. 7, 2022 (Dallas Morning News) - Everyone knows that "reaching an audience without using Google and Facebook is an impossible task these days," the editorial board of The Dallas Morning News wrote. "That is why we are supporting the bipartisan Journalism Competition and Preservation Act now before Congress."
Feb. 7, 2022 (Chicago Tribune) - If passed, the JCPA would allow news publishers to collectively negotiate — under the authority of a federal arbiter — with social media companies, namely Meta (Facebook) and Alphabet (Google), over how news is distributed online.
Feb. 4, 2022 (AJC) - In this editorial, the editorial board of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution called on Congress — and Georgia’s congressional delegation — to vote to pass the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act. "The time for that is now — and passage should come without further delay."
Feb. 4, 2022 (The Post and Courier, Charleston, South Carolina) - Big Tech’s unfair advertising practices continue to damage the local journalism that Americans rely on for important reliable information about their communities. That means lost revenue for news outlets, less local reporting and the spread of more misinformation, which distorts our civic discourse and harms our democracy.
Feb. 2, 2022 (Brier Dudley, The Seattle Times) - One of the key bills to help save local news is being revised in Congress to strengthen it and be sure it benefits small outlets as well as large ones. As part of that process, the Senate Judiciary competition subcommittee today held a feisty hearing on why the policy is needed and what's at stake. It's title: "Breaking the News – Journalism, Competition, and the Effects of Market Power on a Free Press."
View Video of Senate Hearing

 

Download this Fact Sheet from the News Media Alliance
While causing harm to all news publishers, tech platforms disproportionately harm publications owned by and targeting non-white Americans.