Cantwell report warns that Google and Fb are killing native journalism as CEOs testify at Senate

Sen. Maria Cantwell discusses internet neutrality at a 2017 city corridor in Seattle. (GeekWire Picture / Monica Nickelsburg)

The expertise trade is pushing native journalism over the sting, in line with a new report from the workplace of Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat from Washington state.

The report launched Tuesday predicts that by the tip of 2020, newspaper income might be down 70% in comparison with 20 years in the past and broadcast revenues will dip greater than 40%. The losses have created “news deserts” in 200 counties throughout the U.S. the place there are not any native newspapers protecting their communities. Greater than 400,000 newsroom staff have been laid off, 60% of the nation’s native journalism jobs, in line with the report.

“Local news has been hijacked by a few large news aggregation platforms, most notably Google and Facebook, which have become the dominant players in online advertising,” the report says. “These trillion-dollar companies scrape local news content and data for their own sites and leverage their market dominance to force local news to accept little to no compensation for their intellectual property.”

Although the report acknowledges that the pandemic and different developments contribute to the accelerating decline of native information, Cantwell mentioned that huge tech firms “create a choke point for local news … and we have lost thousands of journalistic jobs that are important.”

Cantwell shared her place with Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Fb CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey throughout a hearing held Wednesday by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

The listening to centered on a legislation that partially shields on-line platforms from legal responsibility for the content material posted by their customers. Part 230 of the Communications Decency Act has come below new scrutiny as tech firms battle to include misinformation, election interference, and hate speech on their platforms.

The wide-ranging listening to lined content material moderation, privateness, subsequent week’s election, and alleged political bias on social media. It’s the newest proof of a crackdown on the tech trade by the federal authorities. Final week, the Justice Division filed a lawsuit accusing Google of making an unlawful monopoly in search and promoting. Earlier this month, the U.S. Home Judiciary Committee released a report claiming Apple, Fb, Google, and Amazon abuse their market energy following a hearing this summer with the CEOs of these firms.

Throughout Wednesday’s listening to, Cantwell took the chance to reference her 67-page report and ask the executives how they plan to restore the reported harm their firms have performed to native newsrooms.

Pichai mentioned that Google believes in “raising news across our products because we realize the importance of journalism.” He cited Google’s initiatives to support journalism, together with a reduction fund for native newsrooms struggling in the course of the pandemic, however Cantwell didn’t relent.

“The message from today’s hearing is the free press needs to live and be supported by all of us, and we look forward to discussing how we can make sure that they get fair return on their value,” she mentioned.

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