Black Press Media has joined Canada’s news media publishers in calling for all political parties in Parliament to support the adoption of Australia’s approach to combat the monopolistic practices of Google and Facebook.
The two American web giants control the lion’s share of online advertising dollars and distribute newspaper content without compensation in Canada, as in democracies around the world. The model being implemented in Australia counters these monopolistic practices and levels the digital playing field – at no cost to taxpayers and without user fees or other charges.
In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues. They use their monopoly control not just to divert advertising from news media publishers, but also to divert millions in advertising revenue that they place on news media sites. Even when advertisers pay specifically to advertise on news media sites, Google and Facebook keep most of that revenue, while gathering and using data on news media site readers and advertisers for their own purposes.
Black Press Media CEO Rick O’Connor stated, “It is vital that we establish the principle that the content we produce and that is subsequently picked up and carried on the platforms such as Google and Facebook should be compensated by the platforms so that we can continue to provide the journalism that our local communities want.
“This is a principle that is only recently being accepted by the platforms, thus the need to work in concert with the rest of the industry to fight for local journalism.”
The recommendation that Canada adopt the Australian model is contained in Levelling the Digital Playing Field, a report commissioned by News Media Canada and prepared by global advisory firm FTI Consulting, which conducted an in-depth analysis of actions taken in democracies around the world to address the same challenge.
News Media Canada represents more than 90 per cent of news media readership in Canada including daily, regional, community, and ethnocultural news publications.
“A strong, diverse and independent news media is valued by Canadians and crucial to our democracy,” said Jamie Irving, vice-president of New Brunswick news publishing company BNI and Chair of News Media Canada’s working group.
“Publishing real news costs money, and Google and Facebook – two of the biggest companies in the world – cannot continue to be allowed to free-ride on the backs of Canadian news media publishers who produce news content, without fair compensation. The time to tackle the global web giants, as the federal government indicated in September, is now.”
Key elements of the Australian model include:
- An effective approach that requires no new government funding, consumer taxes, or user fees.
- Publishers, with the approval of government, form a collective bargaining unit to negotiate compensation for the use of their content and intellectual property. It is only through this government approved collective approach that the immense monopoly power of the web giants can be countered, and the digital playing field levelled.
- A code of conduct to ensure that the web monopolies do not use new algorithms and other proprietary technology to expand their market domination and entrench unfair competitive practices.
- Enforcement. Under the Australia model, the web giants are subject to fines in the hundreds of millions of dollars for a single infraction. Penalties of this scale are the only effective ways to rein in companies of this unprecedented size and power.
- Comparable context. Both Canada and Australia publishers are facing significant challenges from the web giants. Canada and Australia share strong regional identities, and similar parliamentary and legal systems.
The government of Canada announced in its speech from the throne on Sept. 23, “The government will act to ensure their revenue is shared more fairly with our creators and media, and will also require them to contribute to the creation, production and distribution of our stories, on screen, in lyrics, in music and in writing.”
News Media Canada is calling on the government to tackle the web giants and adopt the Australian model in Canada.
The CEO members of the following companies are leading the discussions with the government of Canada including Glacier Media, Black Press, Torstar, Postmedia, Globe and Mail, La Presse, Quebecor and Brunswick News.
Canadian-owned Black Press operates more than 80 print and website publications in B.C., Alberta and the Yukon.
Source: – Clearwater Times
Social Media Buzz: Zappos' Tony Hsieh Dies, Hulu, McKinsey – BNN
(Bloomberg) — What’s buzzing on social media this morning:
Tony Hsieh, the retired CEO of online shoe retailer Zappos.com, has died at age 46. His lawyer said he was injured in a house fire while visiting Connecticut. Twitter users paid tribute to the Harvard graduate, who spent years working to revitalize Las Vegas’ downtown area.
Zappos was sold to Amazon for $1.2 billion in 2009.
Stay-at-home shoppers drove U.S. Black Friday online sales to a record high. The most mentioned products on social media include Hulu’s subscription offer, the Apple iPhone 12, and Sony’s PlayStation 5.
“Shop Small Saturday” is also trending. Smaller retailers saw early success with sales 545% higher on Black Friday, compared to an average day last month, according to Adobe.
A New York Times investigation found that McKinsey advised Purdue Pharma to pay distributors a rebate for every OxyContin overdose, in an effort to shore up sales.
A spokesperson for McKinsey told the newspaper that the firm had been “cooperating fully with the opioid-related investigations” and had announced in 2019 it would not advise any clients on opioid-specific business.
Protesters in major cities across France hit the street to rally against a new security law that would ban the publication of images of police officers with intent to cause them harm.
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
News Media Lobby Group Asks MPs for Rules to Get Compensation from Google, Facebook – ChrisD.ca
By The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — A lobby group for Canada’s newspapers and magazines is asking MPs to enact new rules to help its members negotiate compensation from social-media giants that post content the traditional media produce.
News Media Canada wants the government to let the industry negotiate collectively with the likes of Google and Facebook.
There are similar rules in other countries, such as Australia and France, where Google announced last week it had signed compensation agreements with several daily newspapers and magazines, including Le Monde.
News Media Canada’s CEO, John Hinds, said Canadian rules similar to those would negate the need for any new taxes or spending programs.
“It allows the industry and the digital monopolies to negotiate fair terms for compensation,” Hinds told MPs on the House of Commons heritage committee Friday.
“It doesn’t raise taxes, it doesn’t deal with government sort of intervening in the marketplace, but it allows a fair market interaction between the platforms and newspapers.”
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 per cent 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 per cent.
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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