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Newspapers Launch PAC to Lobby Congress over Google and Facebook

Newspapers on a newsstand
Getty/Timothy A. Clary

The News Media Alliance (NMA), which “represents over 2,000 newspapers in the U.S.”, has launched a political action committee in their effort to take on Google and Facebook.

According to Axios, the NMA will use the PAC “to ask Congress for an antitrust safe harbor against Google and Facebook,” and to stop news print tariffs in Canada.

“It’s the first-ever PAC created by the newspaper industry,” the NMA explained, adding, “It’s a sign that the newspaper industry feels it needs to step up its lobbying efforts to survive in a digital-first era dominated by tech companies.”

In a statement, News Media Alliance President David Chavern declared, “We [have] gotten to the point where we feel we need a political voice to create change for the industry.”

Google and Facebook control the online ad market — Google by itself generates more advertising dollars than the entire global print market. Google and Facebook together control 85 percent of online advertising growth according to Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. The CEO of WPP, the largest advertising firm in the world, has labeled Google and Facebook a “duopoly.” Just as important as controlling online advertising, the two Silicon Valley titans are responsible for a majority of the traffic referrals to news websites. All of these factors make the two companies a critical component of the future of the news industry.

On its website, the News Media Alliance boasts that it represents outlets “from the largest news groups and international outlets to hyperlocal news sources, from digital-only and digital-first to print news.”

“Our work focuses on the key challenges and opportunities of today’s news environment: Freedom of the press, public policy and legal matters, advertising growth, new revenue streams and audience development across all platforms,” the Alliance claims. “The News Media Alliance is dedicated to working with our members, as well as other partner organizations, to advance the industry through advocacy, critical research and resources and events that connect and inspire.”

The News Media Alliance did not respond to a request for comment from Breitbart News.

Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington, or like his page at Facebook.

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