At first glance, the approval of a law in Australia to force Internet companies to report on news from the traditional media is far from certain that Colombians’ lives will be affected in the slightest. But it is not like that. Just as it happened in France recently, as Google reached an agreement with news organizations to pay for their content, Australia waged another fierce struggle of controversy that reflected in every country, the result of which has profound implications for democracy. Colombia is no exception.
In the case of the maritime nation, the decision taken by Facebook, in the context of the pre-legal discussion, came a few days ago with the news to block all content produced even by the local and international press, which meant that an action was serious which was no less drastic in clarifying its power in the framework of negotiations. The country’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison rightly called her arrogant.
Finally, the rule, which was approved this week, establishes that newspaper companies must “receive a fair wage for the content they create, thus helping to maintain the newspaper in the public interest in Australia.” Prior to the ruling, Mark Zuckerberg’s company and Google had reached agreements with the media to avoid new legal conflicts.
Already, as has been said many times, Google and Facebook take the majority of money from advertisers. In the Australian case, only 19 per cent of the so-called advertising bag is to be distributed in traditional media. Elsewhere the rate is similar. So far, everything can be read in the light of market freedom, these two mastodons have so far been able to take the lead. But the content produced by different newsrooms plays an important role in achieving the dominant position they find themselves in: the headlines and summaries of their articles and even all of these newspaper clippings, lending food services to their users. So it gets something in return for the desire to stop using them without producers and to incur the costs of producing quality news content.
The diversity of information privilege is directly related to the strength of democracy. The more newspaper companies and their editorial positions are very different, the better
For this reason, media unions around the world are emphasizing the need to strike a balance. Just as Facebook and Google use press content in their respective business models, it is clear that newspaper companies need social networks for their work, so canceling one party over another is not a battle to the death. Number of visitors. It is about giving each person a job that makes them worthwhile accordingly.
As is already happening, the track should be concert. This path is desirable in that if someone loses, it is precisely the people and from whom it may win, those who love communities for different reasons, some of which are fundamental rights, that are ultimately at risk here. The privilege of a few.
That is why contracts are welcome and necessary, whether it is an initiative of the actors or a result of an innovation in the law of each country, leading the parties to sit at the negotiating table. If in any way it is compelling, it is the uniqueness of the press, which is an economic activity, but has an undeniable social function. Such a situation would be even more important in the case of journalism if it was already problematic that providing a good or service in any other field was restricted to two giants. While nothing prevents Facebook, Google or any other key player on the network from doing journalism and producing their own content, it does not harm the diversity of the information offer. This aspect is central because it is directly related to the project of democracy. The media and their editorial positions, which are very different, are great for that.
It is necessary and welcome to draw a limit and reach agreements on new rules of the game. It should be increasingly important and profound for the common good, which is always sought by a democracy, especially when it ends in controversial passes, rather than the balance sheets of one or another market actor.