“Local newspapers, especially Louisiana’s independent newspapers, are the heart and soul of journalism, and they deliver the news that millions of Americans rely on every day. However, tech giants like Facebook and Google are hammering local publications by preventing them from making a profit on Big Tech platforms, and it’s killing local journalism.

WASHINGTON — Senators John Kennedy (R-La.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), along with Senate and House Judiciary Committee Chairs Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Jerrold Nadler (DN. Y.) and the representative. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) released a revised Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) to support small, local, independent, conservative news publications by giving them a level playing field in negotiations with Big Tech platforms that often prevent them from profiting from their work online.

The JCPA removes legal hurdles to allow small and medium-sized news organizations to jointly negotiate compensation from digital platforms, including Facebook and Google, that access their content without allowing them to profit from their journalism. The legislation also allows news publishers to seek arbitration if they reach an impasse in negotiations with digital platforms. This bill would cover major newspapers in Louisiana.

“Local newspapers, especially Louisiana’s independent newspapers, are the heart and soul of journalism, and they deliver the news that millions of Americans rely on every day. However, tech giants like Facebook and Google are hammering local publications from making a profit on Big Tech platforms, and it’s killing local journalism. This bill supports the little guy by allowing local news providers to better negotiate with tech companies for the revenue they deserve,” Kennedy said.

“As the daughter of a journalist, I understand firsthand the vital role a free press plays in strengthening our democracy. But local news is facing an existential crisis in our country, with plummeting advertising revenues, newspapers closing, and many rural communities becoming “news deserts” without access to local reporting. To preserve strong and independent journalism, we must ensure that news organizations are able to negotiate on an equal footing with the online platforms that dominate news distribution and digital advertising. Our bipartisan legislation ensures that the media will be able to engage in good faith negotiations to receive fair compensation from big tech companies that profit from their news content, allowing journalists to continue their essential work of informing communities,” Klobuchar said.

The JCPA:

  • Protect small or independent publications, including those expressing conservative views, from discrimination by digital platforms. The bill would also provide a private right of action for violations of this rule.
  • Does not apply to major publishers, including major mainstream media such as The New York Times and The Washington Post.
  • Block retaliation against eligible digital journalism providers for engaging in joint negotiations or arbitration and provide a private right of action for violations of this prohibition.
  • Assist independent, local or conservative online news publishers with fewer than 1,500 full-time employees and off-network newscasters to jointly negotiate with a covered digital media outlet the terms of the media outlet’s access to digital news content.
  • Require covered platforms to include those with at least 50 million US-based users or subscribers that are owned or controlled by someone with annual net sales or market capitalization greater than $550 billion or at least 1 billion monthly active users worldwide to negotiate in good faith with eligible news organizations.
  • Allow digital news publications to require final offer arbitration if a joint negotiation with a covered platform does not result in an agreement after six months.
  • Create a limited safe harbor from federal and state antitrust laws for eligible digital journalism providers that allows them to participate in joint negotiations and arbitration and, in those negotiations, jointly withhold their content from a covered platform.
  • Sunset in eight years.

Meaning. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Cynthia Lummus (R-Wyo.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lindsey Graham (RS.C.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and John Thune (RS.D .) joined a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers as co-sponsors of the JCPA.