Journalism Competition and Preservation Act queued up for action in the House

Dec 1, 2022

The National Newspaper Association continued its efforts in November to get Congress to pass the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act. The legislation would allow newspapers of all sizes to band together to collectively seek payment from large social media platforms that use journalists’ stories to drive traffic to social media sites. The legislation could see progress during the lame–duck session of the 117h Congress. The House version, HR 1735, is queued up for action in the House Judiciary Committee, which is tentatively considering a markup in early December. The Senate bill has already cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee under the leadership of Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota.

The legislation has gotten boosts from new directions. Website and magazine publisher Vox said this fall:

“While some have voiced legitimate critiques of this legislation, we believe it’s an important step toward leveling the playing field and bringing tech companies to the negotiating table. For this reason, as a media company and major publisher, we support this critical legislation and ask that it be brought to the floor for a vote. We’re in a dynamic industry and find ourselves at yet another inflection point — in this case, there’s a path forward that bolsters journalism, content creation, and our democracy.”

NNA Chair John Galer, publisher of The Journal-News in Hillsboro, Illinois, said NNA believed it was increasingly necessary to get the content creators and the social media users to the same table.

“We newspaper journalists generate the news that the social media networks need to drive traffic,” Galer said. “As they see some modest decline in their audiences, I think they are going to realize that they need the credibility of the trusted local community newspaper content. And to have a continued stream of information, they will need to develop a revenue model that lets us pay our excellent reporters and editors.”

Publisher's Note: The news industry needs support in order to continue covering communities and serve readers. I hope you will consider this guest editorial from NNA chair John Galer in an issue during the weeks of December 4 or 11. Thanks for all you do to promote democracy in your towns. —Lynne Lance, executive director, National Newspaper Association, Pensacola, Florida