Time is running out to save local news

Local journalism is a cornerstone of democracy and a vital source of information for communities across the country, with newsrooms covering local politics, college sports, local business openings, cultural events and other matters that help a community stay vibrant and connected. But the industry faces an existential crisis because of the unrelenting power of big tech platforms like Google and Facebook.

With this Congress lasting less than four weeks, it is now time for the Senate to pass the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) (S. 673 and HR 1735). The JCPA was reported favorably out of committee on September 22 with strong bipartisan support and must now step forward to vote. The JCPA will hold tech giants accountable and provide a much-needed lifeline for local newspapers by requiring Big Tech to compensate small and local outlets for using their content.

Big Tech profits enormously from journalistic content, but refuses to pay local publishers fairly for the journalistic content that powers their platforms. As a result, local newspapers are being replaced by technology platforms that use black-box algorithms to keep users inside their walled gardens — while charging exorbitant ad fees — up to 70 percent of every advertising dollar.

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