Center Publishes Media Bargaining Codes Global Tracker and Resource Bank

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Courtney C. Radsch
Director of the Center for Journalism and Liberty

The Washington, DC-based Center for Journalism and Liberty (CJL) at the Open Markets Institute has published a comprehensive tool for tracking the progress of laws and other instruments around the world that require Big Tech companies to fairly compensate news publishers and journalists for the news content they use and from which they derive value.  

The tracker captures frameworks, which include news media bargaining codes and other types of copyright and content reuse reforms.

It is ostensibly designed to help correct the power imbalance created by the tech giants’ control over the distribution and monetization systems on which the news media depends in order to serve the public.

The tracker also includes several sets of policy primers and analyses on these points, which are relevant articles that discuss evidence and practical cases of fair compensation frameworks to rebalance bargaining imbalances between large digital platforms and news media. 

Announcing the publication of the tracker, the Director of the Center, Dr. Courtney Radsch, noted that: “Big Tech platforms play an integral and inescapable role in journalism. The fact that they form the backbone of the modern media system has prompted policymakers to make Big Tech pay for the news they use.” 

The Center explained that the tracker is work in progress and will be updated periodically to help scholars, journalists, and other law and media practitioners keep tabs on the global efforts to address power and financial imbalances between large digital platforms and news organizations.

The resource provides a global snapshot of legal regulatory approaches being developed around the world to require fair compensation frameworks between news publishers and large digital platforms. 

The Center urged researchers and journalists to treat the project as a starting point for their information-gathering, rather than as a definitive or comprehensive report.   

According to the Center, the information in the resource was compiled based on existing research and a country-by-country review of reporting by local journalists, interviews with activists and media representatives in affected nations, and original research on pending legislation or government actions from official sources.  

It said nations considering or pursuing news media bargaining codes are the primary focus, although the European Union and its member states have also pursued fair remuneration policies through the EU Copyright Directive and its transposition into national law.

But the Center promised that other media competition frameworks will be added over time to eventually capture the full picture of the remuneration relationships between digital platforms and news publishers, including those relating to the use of journalistic content in artificial intelligence (AI) systems. 

It said the resource was developed by the Center based on the work of its Director, Dr. Radsch, who conceptualized the project and advised on its implementation.