Over 100 European journalists signed an open letter accusing Big Tech companies, like Google and Facebook, of stealing their news, and supporting a European reform which would make Silicon Valley pay for it.
According to AFP, “journalists from more than 20 countries joined a call Tuesday for European MPs to approve a controversial media reform aimed at forcing internet giants to pay for news content,” which will be discussed again in European Parliament, September, following the reform’s rejection in July.
In an open letter signed by over 100 journalists, they described the current situation as a “fleecing of the media of their rightful revenue,” and “morally and democratically unjustifiable.”
“We have become targets and our reporting missions cost more and more,” claimed AFP’s Sammy Ketz, who wrote the open letter. “Yet, even though (the media) pay for the content and send the journalists who will risk their lives to produce a trustworthy, thorough and diverse news service, it is not they who reap the profits but the internet platforms, which help themselves without paying a cent… It is as if a stranger came along and shamelessly snatched the fruits of your labour.”
Ketz further claimed that “journalism is being sucked dry by Facebook and Google” in an article for the Guardian.
The open letter was signed by journalists from all over Europe, and from news outlets including the Independent, the Guardian, the Sunday Times, the Times of London, the Daily Telegraph, the Irish Times, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, and Le Figaro.
Media mogul and billionaire Rupert Murdoch has previously supported reforms, accusing Google of stealing news, and declaring, “People reading news for free on the web, that’s got to change.”