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IRVING: Time for social media giants to pay up – Toronto Sun

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That’s why their practices have been as lethal to digital-only new media, such as BuzzFeed and Slate, as they have to the so-called “legacy” media.

But no amount of distractions or excuses can hide the fact that countries around are taking action against monopolistic practices that have grown dangerous for both democracy and the free market.

Of particular relevance to Canada is how Australia is standing up to the web giants and empowering local news.

With all-party support in their national parliament, the Australians are taking a comprehensive approach that allows their new publishers to negotiate for compensation as a group with Google and Facebook, mitigating the huge power imbalance.

They’re also putting in place codes of conduct and enforcement with real teeth.

And they’re doing all this without the need for additional government funding, or new taxes or consumer fees.

The massive margins of both Google and Facebook are such that they can afford to start paying fairly for what they’ve been getting for free.

Australia and Canada have a lot in common. Our economies are similar. So are our parliamentary and legal systems. We’re both federal states. And we both have strong regions.

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In short, there’s no reason why the approach being adopted in Australia can’t also work here in Canada.

That’s why we’re urging the government – and all parties in the House of Commons – to adopt the Australian model in Canada.

It’s not the role of democratic governments to pick winners and losers in the marketplace of ideas.

But it is their role to step in when monopolistic practices are preventing that marketplace from functioning. That’s happening around the world.

Now it’s time for Canada to step up.

— Jamie Irving is Vice President of Brunswick News Inc. and chair of News Media Canada’s working group.

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News media lobby group asks MPs for rules to get compensation from Google, Facebook – Calgary Sun

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The committee is studying the challenges the pandemic has created for media and culture groups.

Several members of the committee lamented the reduction in local news coverage as their newspapers cut back on coverage and editions to keep the lights on.

Hinds said some smaller newspapers closed permanently due to the pandemic, while larger publications saw newsroom layoffs.

The federal wage subsidy, he said, has been helpful in avoiding worse.

Advertising revenue plunged by 75% at the start of the pandemic in many markets, he said, and the industry is still struggling with advertising declines in the range of 30%.

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The federal government announced a $30-million communications budget at the start of the pandemic, but Hinds said there was limited placement of the resulting ads in Canadian news media.

“The government can deliver on its mandate to communicate with Canadians by implementing a strategy of placing ads where Canadians are looking for trusted content and advertising,” he said.

Without federal help, he added, the future is grim for many of his member organizations.

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News media lobby group asks MPs for rules to get compensation from Google, Facebook – BarrieToday

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OTTAWA — A lobby group for Canada’s newspapers and magazines is asking MPs to enact new rules to let its members negotiate compensation from social-media giants that post their content.

News Media Canada wants the government to let the industry collectively negotiate with the likes of Google and Facebook.

The group’s CEO, John Hinds, says federal rules in that regard would negate the need for any new taxes or spending programs.

The group is making the argument today in front of the House of Commons heritage committee as part of a study of the challenges the pandemic has created for media groups and others.

Hinds notes some newspapers closed permanently because of the pandemic as advertising revenue plunged.

He adds that the future is grim for many of his member organizations without federal help.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.

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News media lobby group asks MPs for rules to get compensation from Google, Facebook – BayToday

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OTTAWA — A lobby group for Canada’s newspapers and magazines is asking MPs to enact new rules to let its members negotiate compensation from social-media giants that post their content.

News Media Canada wants the government to let the industry collectively negotiate with the likes of Google and Facebook.

The group’s CEO, John Hinds, says federal rules in that regard would negate the need for any new taxes or spending programs.

The group is making the argument today in front of the House of Commons heritage committee as part of a study of the challenges the pandemic has created for media groups and others.

Hinds notes some newspapers closed permanently because of the pandemic as advertising revenue plunged.

He adds that the future is grim for many of his member organizations without federal help.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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