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.


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