The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, October 12, 2021 1:00 am

Indiana voices

'Legacy media' deserve congressional cover

Facebook does not have a newsroom. Google does not have a stable of reporters ready to cover breaking news.

So if someone is recounting a news story they read on social media, more likely than not it's coming from a “legacy media” outlet.

It's no secret that newsrooms are shrinking. Fewer and fewer people are willing to pay for their news. That along with a drop in advertising revenue shrinks profit margins.

That's why the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act of 2021 is so important.

The bill creates a four-year safe harbor from antitrust laws for print, broadcast or digital news companies to collectively negotiate with online content distributors regarding the terms on which the news companies' content may be distributed by online content distributors.

This bill should be a bipartisan slam dunk. Unfortunately it is not.

While this bill makes sense as a way for traditional media outlets to more equitably profit off their own work, it's tough to gain traction on anything that helps “mainstream media.”

The act isn't a handout to legacy media. It allows news organizations a chance to negotiate fair deals with these social media giants.

These companies are making money hand over fist, largely on the work of others.

Journalists speak truth to power. Without legacy media outlets around to put checks on that power, we'll all be worse off.

– Times of Northwest Indiana,Munster

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