Journalism Competition & Preservation Act
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Google and Facebook are threatening local news. The JCPA can save it.

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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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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.

What we're reading
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.