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How much should Facebook have to pay for news? We have a suggestion

What's New in Publishing 04 Sep 2020 09:39

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s draft news media bargaining code has raised an interesting question: how to put a dollar value on news content?

Under the code, Google and Facebook would be forced to pay for Australian news published on their sites to help fund public interest journalism.

The code also proposes the establishment of a “final offer arbitration bargaining process” to negotiate the conditions of exchange between old and new media. This means the parties must bargain on the costs of publishing Australian news on the platforms, and, if an agreement cannot be reached, an arbitrator will choose the best offer.

But in a rather dramatic development, Facebook has objected strongly to this process. It says

we are left with a choice of either removing news entirely or accepting a system that lets publishers charge us for as much content as they want at a price with no clear limits. Unfortunately, no business can operate that way.

Market uncertainty in the new media landscape

How to value the news

Each can be calculated to some degree, including even the community value.

Four in five respondents rated public interest journalism as either somewhat or very important. Perhaps most relevantly, over half were willing to pay more in tax if necessary to support it.

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FacebookPublic Interest Journalism InitiativePIJIAustralian Competition and Consumer CommissionACCC
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