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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Senior executives from 7 major newspaper publishing companies will head to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to convince lawmakers to do something about the dominance of tech companies over content creators, executives tell Axios.

Why it matters: This will be just the 2nd time that the newspaper industry has sent members to formally lobby members of Congress. It speaks to the major increase in lobbying efforts that the newspaper industry has used in recent years to combat the economic decline of its industry.

The big picture: "Our belief is that the current antitrust laws don’t allow us to work together," says Timothy Knight, CEO of Tribune Publishing Company. "I view what we’re trying to do as rethinking how the game is played."

"Our challenge is that this industry has no history of publishers talking to members about their businesses because there weren’t really any federal issues for them to lobby for a long time. The old print model was lucrative. But as we look at the future of news, we have to build advocacy muscle."
— David Chavern, President and CEO News Media Alliance

Driving the news: Leaders from The Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune, Tribune Publishing Company, News Corp, Star Tribune, Gannett, The Post and Courier in Charleston and Philadelphia Media Network will meet with lawmakers one-on-one to rally support for the News Media Alliance's anti-trust safe harbor bill and to educate members about the economic plight of the newspaper industry.

  • The focus will be on convincing lawmakers, especially in the Senate, that the dominance of Google and Facebook is hindering newspapers' ability to build to build a sustainable digital future for journalism. News publishers will aim to meet with representatives whose papers are in their districts.
  • In the House, they will meet with Reps. James Clyburn (D-SC), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Lou Correa (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Ben Cline (R-VA) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN)
  • In the Senate, they will meet with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Tim Scott (R-SC), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Patrick Toomey (R-PA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

What they're saying: The papers want Congress to move quickly on passing their safe harbor bill so that they have the leverage to demand more money for their content from Google and Facebook.

  • Chavern notes that Facebook's new “News Tab” proposal really only highlights newspapers' need for a Safe Harbor from antitrust laws. "Facebook has worked hard to ensure that no single local publisher has any material leverage in these negotiations," he says.
  • They also want more leverage to increase branding awareness of news publishers on Big Tech platforms and to increase data sharing between platforms and publishers. Companies like Facebook have worked to improve in this area, but publishers think more can be done.

The bottom line: The newspaper industry should have more success this time around than when they introduced the safe harbor bill in 2017, given the increase in scrutiny in Big Tech by lawmakers over the past year.

Go deeper: Newspapers introduce the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act

Editor's note: This post has been corrected to remove The Washington Post from the list of newspapers that attended.

Go deeper

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker
Updated 4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Janet Yellen co-opts Reaganomics phrase for new Davos speech

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at a speech this week. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The U.S. needs to focus on increasing its productive potential, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told world leaders Friday, calling for what she terms "modern supply side economics."

Why it matters: She co-opted a phrase traditionally used by political conservatives to describe low-tax and deregulatory policies — and framed the Biden administration's initiatives as the best path forward to achieve greater national prosperity.