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.
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.
OF DIGITAL AD REVENUE IS CONTROLLED BY GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK
OF DIGITAL AD REVENUE IS CONTROLLED BY AMAZON, TWITTER, SNAPCHAT, MICROSOFT, & OATH
OF DIGITAL AD REVENUE IS SHARED BY ALL OTHER COMPANIES, INCLUDING NEWS PUBLISHERS
OF ALL NEW DIGITAL AD REVENUE EACH YEAR IS SWALLOWED BY GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK
WHAT'S AT STAKE?
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.
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 force 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.
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.
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.