Governments must resist bullyboy Facebook
After Mark Zuckerberg pulled the plug on Facebook in Australia as it threatened to make him pay for the news stories it carries, the NUJ says it's time for the tech giants’ power to be challenged.
Michelle Stanistreet said:
"The bully boy tactics of Mark Zuckerberg, pulling the plug on Facebook in Australia, must be resisted. Tech platforms should pay for journalism and compensate the newspapers and journalism they have almost destroyed. The NUJ’s News Recovery Plan calls for a global recalibration of the media industry and renewed commitments to press freedom. This includes regulating unfettered platforms which provide a voice for dangerous conspiracy theorists and information deliberately planted to undermine nation states' elections.
"It is time that governments stood together to protect ethical journalism and a plural, independent press which plays a crucial role in democracy. Google’s News Showcase programme has started to pay for news content – it has a deal with more than 120 publishers in the UK. But there is a wider point of principle here about how decisions are taken about which publishers should be supported or not, and the need to support journalism in a way that improves plurality and diversity.
"That is why the NUJ is calling for a levy on the tech giants to put in place proper funds, fairly distributed in line with clear principles of conditionality, to finance quality public interest journalism.”