NNA supports Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, S. 673, believes content providers should be paid by platforms

Mar 1, 2022

The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, S. 673, legislation that will require large internet platforms to negotiate for content payments, took a step forward in February when the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee held its first hearings.

The bill is sponsored by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, and John Kennedy, R-Louisiana.

The next step is for S. 673 to move to a vote at the committee level so it will be cleared to move to the Senate floor. The bill is a companion to HR 1735, sponsored by Reps. David Cicilline, D-Rhode Island, and Ken Buck, R-Colorado.

The legislation clears the newspaper industry for collective bargaining on content with the large platforms without fearing federal antitrust law violations. A campaign against the bill by Google, Facebook and their allies has alleged that the bill would enrich large newspapers but provide little compensation to smaller newspapers.

“NNA supports this legislation,” NNA Chair Brett Wesner, president of Wesner Publications, Cordell, Oklahoma, said. “It is impossible to predict how the content payments would be made with much precision until much more work is done following enactment of the bill, although our back-of-envelope calculations indicate that smaller newspapers would be helped. One principle stands out for us. Content providers should be paid by the platforms. News and information are not gathered, edited, curated, posted and published in our communities for free. There is a cost to keeping a newsroom at work. Platforms that earn advertising dollars for themselves by taking a free ride on our newsgathering should engage in a fair negotiation so we can continue to do what we do.”