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Ruddy: Big Tech Needs to Be Limited, JCPA Does That

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Main Google campus building, which is the Google corporate headquarters: Mountainview, California. (Nadeesha/ Gamage/Dreamstime.com)

Christopher Ruddy By Wednesday, 03 August 2022 11:35 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Gone are the days of paper boys on bicycles hurling newspapers onto your doorstep.

Today your news is most likely delivered to you by Big Tech billionaires who control what you see, suppress news they don’t like — and they even make amazing money in the process.

The vast majority of Americans — 86%, according to Pew Research — say they consume their news on a smartphone, computer, or tablet.

Ask someone where they recently saw an important news story and they will inevitably tell you they saw it somewhere online.

That somewhere is most likely Google or Facebook, the two dominant players in the news game.

If that sounds odd to you, it should.

Neither Google nor Facebook actually creates news.

Instead, they use and monetize journalism published by real news organizations and publishers.

At the same time, conservative publishers are at the mercy of Big Tech, which really doesn’t believe in free speech.

Important information that could balance out liberal media bias is too often buried and conservative publishers too often get de-ranked, de-listed, and even de-platformed.

Since the 2020 election, Newsmax has been the target of significant censorship efforts by Big Tech, especially Google.

Newsmax, like many conservative-leaning sites, has almost disappeared from Google News.

Go to search for a Newsmax article on a subject where we broke news, and Google provides users with mostly negative hit pieces on Newsmax, but not the Newsmax story.

Google’s YouTube has strict censorship policies to limit conservatives.

For example, last year Newsmax reported on a statement Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., made on the use of medical masks during the recent epidemic, and YouTube temporarily banned us, with a threat of a permanent ban.

It didn’t matter that Newsmax itself made no medical claims, that we were just reporting on what a medical doctor, Rand Paul, had stated (and his claims are actually backed by medical studies).

And YouTube TV, its paid virtual cable service, also bans Newsmax TV while continually adding liberal news channels with little viewership.

Conservatives are not the only publishers to suffer from these media monopolies.

Big Tech platforms have destroyed the business models for small publishers and nearly killed off local news altogether.

In June we learned that local newspapers in the U.S. are dying off at a rate of two per week, as 360 newspapers have shuttered just since the end of 2019.

Imagine the local corruption scandals that have gone unexamined because no one is there to cover them.

Clearly there need to be reforms and dramatic changes to how Big Tech does business.

Bipartisan legislation in Congress called the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) will help balance the scales between Big Tech and conservative publishers, and for many small local publishers.

The JCPA "creates a four-year safe harbor from antitrust laws for print, broadcast, or digital news companies to collectively negotiate with online content distributors (e.g., social media companies) regarding the terms on which the news companies’ content may be distributed by online content distributors."

The cruel irony of U.S. antitrust law is that it protects Google and Facebook from small publishers.

JCPA provides a remedy by permitting a coalition of publishers to negotiate a deal to receive fair compensation for their original and valuable news content.

It’s important to remember that Big Media outlets like The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and others have already cut favorable, insider deals with Big Tech.

These giants get lots of benefits, including cash from Big Tech. In return, they largely keep quiet about the antitrust issues Big Tech business practices should raise.

The JCPA bill was artfully crafted by Republican and Democratic members of Congress together.

Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., has been a champion of the bill. He has been a leading conservative in Congress fighting the monopolistic power of Big Tech.

Thanks to Buck’s influence and others, Big Media like The New York Times and The Washington Post are deliberately excluded from compensation resulting from these negotiations through a cap on the size of the media organizations that can benefit from the resulting agreement.

Most important, JCPA prohibits viewpoint discrimination, meaning the Big Tech platforms cannot exclude conservative publications like Newsmax from the final agreement.

An April poll conducted by News Media Alliance shows roughly 80% of respondents are concerned that Big Tech has too much power over the news and publishing industries.

And, importantly, 70% support the JCPA once the legislation is described to them.

The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act is the kind of legislation that Republicans and Democrats alike can and should get behind.

There is a shared interest in preserving a free and diverse press.

Christopher Ruddy is CEO of Newsmax Media, Inc., a leading news company that operates Newsmax TV and Newsmax.com. Read more Christopher Ruddy Insider articlesClick Here Now.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Big Tech platforms have destroyed the business models for small publishers and nearly killed off local news altogether.
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Wednesday, 03 August 2022 11:35 AM
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