Media Release

Time to get real on the value of news content

By August 31, 2020 No Comments

Free TV today released its submission in response to the ACCC’s draft news media bargaining Code and called for the legislation to be introduced as soon as possible.

Free TV Chief Executive Officer, Bridget Fair, said: “We strongly support this bargaining Code which will address the extreme imbalance in power between the digital giants Facebook and Google and Australian news media businesses.  The recent heavy handed and misleading tactics employed by Google only underline the growing importance of the Code.

“The clear message to the digital platforms is that it is time to get real and start paying a fair price for news content.

“Australians know that when they see a television news story reporting from a town devastated by fire, or when they watch an update from the Chief Medical Officer that a news media business has invested in bringing them that story.

“Neither Google nor Facebook employ Australians to produce news, and yet they are capturing significant value from including our content as part of their service offering.

“There is absolutely no doubt that a platform with news content is far more valuable than a platform without the quality, credible and trusted content produced by news media businesses.

“This Code gets the balance right so that Google and Facebook must negotiate in good faith to share that value with news content creators so that we can continue to invest in delivering quality news to Australians.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to comment on the exposure draft of the Code.  We have suggested three key changes that we believe are necessary to ensure the Code operates as intended.  These are:

  • Changes to the content test and definition of news content to ensure that it operates across all news media sources, including television
  • Ensure non-discrimination provisions are not limited to de-indexing news, but cover all touchpoints a news media business may have with Google or Facebook
  • Limit the scope of overly broad and uncertain trade secrets provisions

“We urge the Government to move forward quickly on this important public policy initiative so that negotiations on fair payment for news content can begin without any further delay,” Ms Fair said.

Download a copy of the PDF submission here

Download a copy of the PDF here.