Jan 22, 2018

Murdoch calls for radical change between Facebook and publishers

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

Rupert Murdoch, a longtime opponent of Google and Facebook's media dominance, released a statement Monday calling for Facebook to pay trusted publishers a carriage fee for their content — similar to the model adopted between cable companies and TV networks.

Why it matters: Murdoch's sentiments have been echoed by other leaders in digital media that argue the current distribution landscape is unsustainable and will collapse if it doesn't strike a symbiotic relationship between distributors and content creators.

Read the full memo below.

Statement of Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman of News Corp, on a Carriage Fee for Trusted Publishers

News Corp today issued the following statement from Executive Chairman, Rupert Murdoch:

“Facebook and Google have popularized scurrilous news sources through algorithms that are profitable for these platforms but inherently unreliable. Recognition of a problem is one step on the pathway to cure, but the remedial measures that both companies have so far proposed are inadequate, commercially, socially and journalistically.

There has been much discussion about subscription models but I have yet to see a proposal that truly recognizes the investment in and the social value of professional journalism. We will closely follow the latest shift in Facebook’s strategy, and I have no doubt that Mark Zuckerberg is a sincere person, but there is still a serious lack of transparency that should concern publishers and those wary of political bias at these powerful platforms.

The time has come to consider a different route. If Facebook wants to recognize ‘trusted’ publishers then it should pay those publishers a carriage fee similar to the model adopted by cable companies. The publishers are obviously enhancing the value and integrity of Facebook through their news and content but are not being adequately rewarded for those services. Carriage payments would have a minor impact on Facebook’s profits but a major impact on the prospects for publishers and journalists.”

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