Media outlets in US, Canada push for collective bargaining with Facebook, Google

WASHINGTON — An alliance of 2,000 US and Canada-based news media outlets have called on US lawmakers to allow them to negotiate as a collective with Google and Facebook for news content, the North American trade association News Media Alliance said in a press release on Monday.

The media association argued that Google and Facebook dominate Internet news publishing in circumvention of US anti-monopoly laws.

“The objective is to permit publishers to have concrete discussions with the two dominant distributors of online news content, Google and Facebook, on business model solutions to secure the long-term availability of local journalism produced by America’s newsrooms,” the release stated.

Furthermore, the release said news organizations are “forced to surrender their content and play by [Facebook and Google’s] rules on how news and information are displayed, prioritized and monetized.”

As a result, “fake news” can often not be separated from real reporting on those websites, the alliance stressed.

Facebook and Google have faced criticism in the United States and Europe over their consolidation of news content that attracts viewers to their own platform at the expense of publishers’ websites, which the media outlets claim costs them digital advertising revenue.

The nonprofit News Media Alliance represents about 2,000 US and Canadian news organizations that publish online and in print. Its board includes leadership of the publishing giants News Corp, Hearst Newspapers, Dow Jones & Company Inc. and others.