Leveling the Digital Playing Field


Google and Facebook are two of the biggest companies in the world.

You might say they’re modern-day Goliaths. They are using their monopoly power to scoop up 80% of online advertising revenues and to free ride on the news content produced by hardworking journalists and publishers across Canada.

Maybe it’s time to start leveling the playing field a little, so the Davids of this world can start fighting back.  That’s what Australia is doing.  They’re putting in place a comprehensive solution to enable news publishers in that country to counteract the power of the web giants.  They’re doing it with support from all the main political parties.  And they’re doing it without new government funding, or new taxes, or new consumer fees.  We think our parliament here in Canada should do the same.

It’s all in our new report Levelling the Digital Playing Field which provides an in-depth analysis of actions taken in democracies around the world to address the same challenge.

“A strong, diverse and independent news media is valued by Canadians and crucial to our democracy.
Publishing real news costs money, and Google and Facebook – two of the biggest companies in the world – cannot continue to be allowed to free-ride on the backs of Canadian news media publishers who produce news content, without fair compensation.
We have heard the global web giants’ hollow commitment to journalism and to token compensation. The time to tackle the global web giants, as the federal government indicated in September, is now.”
Jamie Irving, Vice-President of New Brunswick news publishing company BNI and Chair of News Media Canada’s working group