A group founded by laid-off reporters has launched an initiative to “save journalism” from giant tech firms like Google, Apple, and Facebook, who they say have destroyed newsrooms with their “monopolistic control” of digital revenue streams. The first ad will run on Twitter.
What are the details?
The Save Journalist Project was started by former Buzzfeed DC bureau chief John Stanton and former Huffington Post reporter Laura Bassett. The organization’s website says “over the last 10 years, newspaper newsrooms have declined in size by 45 percent, and in 2019 so far, the media has shed more than 2,400 jobs.” They say big tech companies “monetize news for their own profit, but at the expense of journalists.”
This week, the group released its first ad, which states that “the transition to digital media has ravaged traditional journalism” and claims Google and Facebook have stripped away ad revenue that used to go to local outlets.
We Can #SaveJournalism
The Save Journalism Project is urging supporters to raise awareness of their campaign by sharing their content and icon on social media, writing op-eds, and adding their organizations’ names to an online letter. The letter states in part that “Google and Facebook control nearly two-thirds of all digital ad revenue and are gobbling up nine out of every ten dollars spent in this growing market.” It asks fellow Americans to join their fight against such forces.
According to The Hill, Save Journalism Project co-founder Stanton supports a bill currently being considered by lawmakers that would grant “new publishers the legal right to collectively bargain with Facebook and Google for more online ad revenue.” The legislation is called the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act.
Stanton said in a statement, “This revenue should not be lining the already full pockets of Big Tech companies; it should be funding the high-quality journalism that a healthy democracy requires. Big Tech is killing journalism and must be stopped.”