Can this US move put small news publishers at risk?

New Delhi, Apr 13 (IANS): As Big Tech companies help news publishers grow their readers via providing them platforms that have wider reach, Google has warned that a new Act in the US may jeopardise the news ecosystem.

The California Journalism Preservation Act (CJPA) envisions a “link tax” that would force the tech giant to pay for connecting people in the state to news articles.

Jaffer Zaidi, VP, Global News Partnerships at Google alleged, “This is the wrong approach to supporting journalism.”

He said that if this Act becomes a reality, it may result in significant changes to the services, “We can offer Californians and the traffic we can provide to California publishers.”

Till Google gets clarity, it has decided to stop further investments in the California news ecosystem.

The company’s argument is that the bill would favour media conglomerates and hedge funds who’ve been lobbying for this bill.

“CJPA would also put small publishers at a disadvantage and limit consumers’ access to a diverse local media ecosystem,” Zaidi argued.

To support news publishers of all sizes, the company has so far launched Google News Showcase which operates in 26 countries with over 2,500 participating publications.

“Through the Google News Initiative, we’ve partnered with more than 7,000 news publishers around the world, including 200 news organisations and 6,000 journalists in California alone,” Zaidi informed.


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