Republicans have tried to guarantee conservative sites benefit from a law intended to improve pay for material placed on big tech platforms, such as Facebook and Google.
According to people familiar with the law, the bipartisan Journalism Competition and Preservation Act has been dramatically altered in the last several months to guarantee only smaller news organizations benefit.
Structure of the Bill
The amended law, which has not yet been revealed, will exempt the majority of significant publications, including the New York Times, Fox News, and Wall Street Journal from the legislation’s initial conditions.
Instead, the law will be aimed mostly at helping small, regional, and ideological media get better deals from internet giants for their online content, not big companies like Google.
As a result of Republican efforts to change the plan, small and medium-sized conservative media organizations with fewer than 1,500 employees are expected to profit a lot from the program.
This is because they will be able to get more money from the plan.
The plan would let publishers collaborate with Big Tech in discussions for more pay without violating antitrust law.
Large technology corporations, such as Facebook and Google, developed their empires by distributing news material. They are now being accused of not fairly sharing advertising income with news publishers.
Both parties believe the two giants, which dominate most of the internet advertising market, have led to layoffs and mergers in the news sector, particularly among community newspapers.
Conservative newspapers, for example, have seen a big drop in viewers and traffic recently because of the way social media algorithms work.
The newspaper business and its associations asserted that social media platforms had disproportionately harmed conservative publications.
“Several Republicans (among others) expressed concern that the JCPA would disproportionately benefit small, local, and conservative news organizations,” said David Chavern, president and chief executive officer of the News Media Alliance.
Like the proposed Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) in the US, Canada’s Online News Act contains specific exemptions allowing publishers to club together to negotiate prices with big tech despite the country’s antitrust Competition Acthttps://t.co/ZAWJcatL65
— Press Gazette (@pressgazette) April 7, 2022
He noted that small, regional, and conservative news organizations “would not only profit from change, but would be the primary beneficiaries.”
“However, this is Washington, and the public will not accept it unless it is seen as in black and white.”
— 𝚈𝚘𝚞𝚜𝚎𝚏 𝙰𝚕𝚗𝚊𝚓𝚓𝚊𝚛 (@YAlnajjar) April 7, 2022
The bill was proposed early last year by House Antitrust Panel Chairman David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, and Ken Buck, a Republican from Colorado.
Senators Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, and John Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana, have also proposed comparable legislation in the Senate.
The legislators aim to revive the beleaguered journalism sector, which, according to the Pew Research Center, lost a great deal of its workforce since 2008 and has been especially struck by the coronavirus outbreak.
According to a Pew poll, over 90% of Americans get their news through social media sites.
The majority of conservative journals are tiny enough that the measure would help them significantly. However, small liberal and non-ideological media would also profit.