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Google and News Corp. Strike A Deal

todayFebruary 19, 2021 10

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Google finally strikes a new deal with media publishers after years of pressure to add regulation.

What We Know:

  • Pre-existing imbalances between tech platforms and legacy news outlets are responsible for the new laws being put into place. Major tech firms like Facebook and Google have benefitted for years from displaying and sharing links to news sites. News Corp Chief Executive, Robert Thomson, called these media platforms out as parasites to news organizations as far back as 2009. They are “the tapeworms of the internet,” he states. News Corp is an American mass media publishing company, and they operate news media, cable television, book publishing, and digital real estate information.
  • The Australian government has now proposed a new media bargaining law that’s supposed to help them achieve that. News publishers want compensation for their work that Google and Facebook share onto their platforms. They are well within their rights to make moves to fight for what they want. However, they do have some critics.
  • Currently, News Corp’s influence is far and wide beyond just Australia. The company is a parent to Fox News and the Wall Street Journal. Critics argue that a deal of this magnitude won’t actually change much, at least for smaller scale publications.

Professor Jeff Jarvis, of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, didn’t seem very optimistic about the deal either. “A bad day for news. A bad day for the net.”, he asserted.

  • Facebook faced almost immediate criticism by going the opposite route Google took. The tech firm blacked out links to news sites, cutting the public off from having access to vital information during a pandemic. While it’s true that Google and Facebook’s domination of online ads indirectly hurt news revenue for large and small outlets, that doesn’t mean the answer to the problem is cutting the cord. It should not be underestimated how dangerous it is to block vital information to the public, regardless of its source.

The news of Google finally giving leeway to News Corp seems to have mixed reactions, with some finally getting what they’ve been asking for and others believing this is how journalism actually suffers.

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