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Saving the News from Big Tech

EFF, Cory Doctorow [23 pages]: “Media is in crisis: newsrooms all over the world are shuttering and the very profession of journalism is under sustained ideological and physical assault. Freedom of the press is a hollow doctrine if the only news media is written or published by independently wealthy individuals who don’t need to get paid for their labor. Where did the media’s money go? It’s complicated…Finance-driven consolidation went beyond the media industry. The companies we call “Big Tech”—Google, Apple, Microsoft, Meta, etc.—attained their scale and reach primarily by buying out their potential competitors, not by inventing new technologies that were so amazing that they beat the competition…

Something must be done about the way that tech abuses the press—but that something shouldn’t depend on tech’s eternal dominance. It shouldn’t make the press beholden to a scandal-haunted tech sector that desperately needs the scrutiny of investigative journalists. It shouldn’t enshrine the dominance of ideological media barons or the vulture capitalists who galumphed through national media markets, gobbling up and gutting regional outlets. Whatever we do about tech and the press, it should make tech weaker. It should do at least as much for independent journalists and small outlets as it does for massive media companies. It should not depend on surveillance, nor on gigantic, abusive social media companies overriding the preferences of their users..”

See also Search Engine Land – Google sued by USA Today publisher amid falling ad revenue fears. Gannett is suing Google for allegedly breaking American antitrust laws and causing a crucial drop in ad revenue for news publishers.

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