High-quality journalism has been recognized since America’s founding as fundamental to the functioning of our democracy. But now, journalism in America is facing an existential threat from the monopolistic control of tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Apple. Big tech’s dominance over the digital advertising market and their unrivaled capacity to monetize its platforms are having drastic effects on journalism as a whole.

JOURNALISM IS AT RISK

Over the last 10 years, newspaper newsrooms have declined in size by 45%, and in 2019 so far, the media has shed more than 7,200 jobs.

BIG TECH IS TO BLAME

Google, Apple, and Facebook are using their tech muscles to monetize news for their own profit, but at the expense of journalists.

JOIN US

The Save Journalism Project is an effort to educate and activate journalists across the country to tell the story of big tech’s threat to journalism. We are news publishers, news gatherers, journalists, news photographers, content creators, media influencers, activists, advocates, and organizers. We are defending democracy, fighting to preserve free press, and working to save journalism in the age of big tech. If these are issues you care about too, become an ally.

JOURNALISM IS AT RISK

A robust and well-funded news media is vital to a healthy democracy, but the transition to digital media has ravaged the news industry. News publishers have lost tens of billions in revenue, hundreds of local papers are closing their doors, and journalists continue to lose their jobs by the thousands each year.

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MEDIA PROFESSIONALS HAVE LOST THEIR JOBS IN 2019 SO FAR
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NEWSROOM EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN LAID OFF IN THE LAST 10 YEARS
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OF ALL METROPOLITAN NEWSPAPERS HAVE CLOSED SINCE 2004
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COMMUNITIES HAVE LOST LOCAL NEWS COVERAGE IN THE LAST 15 YEARS
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OF U.S. COUNTIES HAVE NO DAILY NEWSPAPER
U.S. COUNTIES HAVE NO NEWSPAPER COVERAGE AT ALL

BIG TECH IS TO BLAME

Newspapers who adapted and survived the last digital revolution did so through advertising. But today’s digital market is dominated by Google and Facebook — and their stranglehold is only tightening each year. Revenue from digital advertising that used to go to news publishers is now ending up in big tech’s pockets instead.

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OF DIGITAL AD REVENUE IS CONTROLLED BY GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK

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OF DIGITAL AD REVENUE IS CONTROLLED BY AMAZON, TWITTER, SNAPCHAT, MICROSOFT, & OATH

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OF DIGITAL AD REVENUE IS SHARED BY ALL OTHER COMPANIES, INCLUDING NEWS PUBLISHERS

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OF ALL NEW DIGITAL AD REVENUE EACH YEAR IS SWALLOWED BY GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK

WHAT'S AT STAKE?

COMPETITION

Google, Facebook, and Apple control nearly everything and everyone who uses their products. They already gobble up a majority of digital advertising revenue, and by squeezing news publishers out of the competition entirely, they’ll be able to control almost all of the digital ad revenue in the U.S.

DEMOCRACY

Because Google and Facebook have monopolized our digital world, they’re able to make unchecked changes to the news and advertising landscape that solely benefit themselves. Changes to the online marketplace that would divert more digital ad revenue to the already dominant Google and Facebook would imperil the economic model of the journalism industry and destroy the very foundation of our democracy — the free press.

NEWS DESERTS

Local news outlets have been the hardest hit in the transformation of the industry brought on by the online marketplace. More than 1,300 local communities in the U.S. have totally lost local news coverage. These “news deserts” will only expand if tech giants increase their domination of the digital advertising marketplace.

FAKE NEWS

If ad revenue is restricted for news outlets that provide free content, more content will be pushed behind subscription pay-walls. That will create two systems of journalism: higher-quality journalism worth paying for and restricted to those who can afford it, and free content that incentivizes sensationalism and outrage over accuracy for everyone else.

THE FREELANCE REPORTING INITIATIVE

The Freelance Reporting Initiative commissions reporters to write freelance stories highlighting the challenges posed to the journalism industry by the tech giants in two categories. First, the impact of Google and Facebook’s dominance of the digital advertising marketplace and what it means for the future of the news business. And second, the crisis facing local news and ethnic media due to the destruction of the its business model and what that means for affected communities.

Our Freelance Reporting Initiative will pay freelancers $2 a word, far more than today’s going rate and reflective of the need to support high-quality journalism.

If you’re interested in supporting the Freelance Reporting Initiative, consider making a donation. Or if you have a story idea, pitch us