Hanson-Young and MEAA call for visibility of Facebook and Google payments

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has issued amendments to the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code that would see media businesses obliged to provide reporting on the impact of funding from digital platforms.

“For the purposes of monitoring the benefits to public interest journalism in Australia from the operation of this code, a registered news business corporation, for a registered news business must, at the end of each financial year, prepare and give to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) a report relating to the financial year that complies with the requirements in this section.”

The amendment is one of several put forward by senators and the government to form the final bill to be voted on in the coming week.

The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) has raised concerns that deals will provide additional  revenue streams for Australian media, but not necessarily journalism roles.

“We have seen no guarantees from the big media companies that money raised from the digital platforms will be spent on journalism,” said MEAA Media federal president Marcus Strom. “The media companies must provide transparency about how they intend to allocate these funds.”

A number of media outlets including News Corp, Seven West Media and The Guardian Australia have signed deals with Google, while Seven has also signed with Facebook.

Under the Hanson-Young amendment reports from media businesses must include a description of the activities undertaken by the registered news business corporation (and any related bodies corporate of the corporation) during the financial year that supported the creation of “core news content”; the proportion of the news content that was “core news content”; the amount of code-related remuneration of the registered news business corporation for the financial year and the proportion of that which has been expended during the financial year for the primary purpose of the creating core news content; and funds committed for expenditure in a subsequent financial years for the primary purpose of creating core news content.

The registered news business corporation must give the report to the ACMA within 30 days after the end of the financial year to which the report relates. Publication of report on the ACMA’s website is set to within 14 days of receiving the report.

“The News Media Bargaining Code alone will not be the salvation of Australian journalism,” said Strom. “A range of other reforms are essential to foster a vibrant and diverse media ecosystem, and to encourage new entrants.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.