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The News Media Are Pushing for a 'Bargaining Deal' With Social Media Platforms

Wired
The news media and social media have a complicated relationship at the moment. Advances in social media have led to massive changes in the way people access and consume news, and the effects have rippled through the entire industry, for better or worse. In some ways, it's emblematic of the dark cloud which started gathering over the old media when news first started becoming accessible online.

Some sensationalists may claim that social media will ultimately wipe out print, and while there's some nugget of truth in that, it's certainly not likely to happen any time soon. Some print publications have fallen in the wake of the digital revolution, others have limped on and many have adapted, but the landscape keeps on changing, and companies like Facebook and Twitter are now holding most of the cards.

The News Media Alliance was formed in 1992 (although then it was called the Newspaper Association of America), combining a number of different news media union groups into one alliance. Some of the groups which joined are over 100 years old, while others were newly established, but all shared the same goal: assuring that all 200 of the newspapers affiliated with them across the US and Canada were fairly represented.

Now that goal has taken on a new form, standing up to social media giants and making sure that they can communicate with them on fair, even-footed terms. The group will soon be appealing to US Congress to let them 'bargain' with Facebook, Google and other companies collectively, just like trade unions deal with corporations, or even governments. In recent months, a lot of things have happened on social media which have been opposed by the news media, and now they want teeth.

Mainly, the NMA are looking for more protection for intellectual property, fairer data sharing, better synergy with emerging subscription models and, you guessed it, stronger counter-measures against the spread of fake news. The issue that cuts to the very core of all these conditions is the fact that through acquisitions and almost total control of the advertising market, Facebook and Google have gained too much control, and haven't been wielding it fairly.

Measures like this have already been taken in the EU, and tech companies have been hit with a few pretty heft fines for improper regulation. Given how much corporate influence the Palo Alto set command, the overwhelmingly red US congress are less likely to impose stricter regulations, let alone an antitrust policy, but with people like Rupert Murdoch in the mix, anything is possible.



Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @Songbird_Callum

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The News Media Are Pushing for a 'Bargaining Deal' With Social Media Platforms Reviewed by Callum Davies on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 Rating: 5

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