Saturday, February 24, 2024

David Farrar: Media plead for Parliament to legalise theft

Stuff reports:

Sinead Boucher, executive chair and publisher of Stuff, and Joanna Norris, managing director of masthead publishing also spoke in support of the Bill.

Stuff was the second most searched term on Google last year after weather and news, Boucher said.

It is one of the biggest media companies in NZ and employs hundreds of journalists and “other staff who live and work in the towns they cover”.

“Even if someone never reads a single story … they'd benefit from the impact of good journalism, helping keep the company our country free of corruption and our societies healthy and our ability to continue to do this is in great peril.”

Journalism is in a fight for its life, she said.

“[Big tech] companies are squeezing us out, but using our own work to do so.”

She warned AI was creating what looked like “an extinction-level event” for news media.

The media asking for a tax on Google and facebook to fund them reminds me of the late 1990s when the music industry said they were facing extinction and demanded a tax on blank DVDs to fund them. Then they demanded a tax on ISPs.

Today the music industry is thriving as new business models eventually emerged.

The legacy media seems to regard advertising as belonging to them. Advertisers are choosing to advertise on FB and Google because they are much better at targeting. You can make sure you pay only to have your ad seen by say women aged 21 to 35 in Palmerston North etc.

What the NZ media are demanding is what has been done in Canada. It is a tax on linking. The result was Google and Facebook blocked people from being able to share news links and guess who this hurt the most? The media. In fact the Government has had to bail them out. The reality is the media gain far more from people being able to find their stories on Facebook and Google, than those companies gain from it.

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Business journalist Matt Nippert gets it.

The Government should not consider advancing labour's bill in any way.

Eric Crampton has a good summary of what a disaster it was in Canada.

David Farrar runs Curia Market Research, a specialist opinion polling and research agency, and the popular Kiwiblog where this article was sourced. He previously worked in the Parliament for eight years, serving two National Party Prime Ministers and three Opposition Leaders.

1 comment:

Tinman said...

If Stuff is so popular why do people have to Google it?