To all of our Urban Listers,
Google, Facebook, and, would you believe it, Bing have all been making headlines here in Australia across the past few weeks. And today, Facebook announced that it would officially be removing all news content, local and international, from its feed in Australia.
It's a major move and it means you won't be able to see or share any news content on Facebook from now on. It also means that how you find your brunch recommendations, Netflix picks, new restaurant openings, and events to suss out on the weekend—the things you come to Urban List for—is going to change.
If you’ve been wondering what it all means, where you’ll read the news online, and which search engine you’ll be using in the future, don’t worry—you’re not alone there.
If the thought of “Binging” your favourite restaurants, what to watch on Netflix, or what sneakers are dropping this month isn’t a vibe, here's how you can stay connected with Urban List now and into the future.
- Sign up to one or all of our newsletters, take your pick from local news, entertainment, travel, fashion and shopping or horoscopes.
You can keep in touch with Urban List by turning your browser notifications on. Here's how to turn on browser notifications if you're using Google Chrome, and here's how to do it if you're using Safari.
- Urban List Melbourne homepage, for all your local news.
- Urban List homepage, for everything you could ever want in the way of entertainment, sustainability, travel, career & money, health & wellness, and style & design.
As for the story behind this change—last year the Federal Government tabled a plan to regulate how Google and Facebook could serve news content. And across the last few months that plan, now called the News Media Bargaining Code, has been taking shape with a mixed bag of local and international criticism and support.
Unfortunately, the fallout of such a code—and Facebook removing news content—goes well beyond just news. It's going to impact small businesses and culture in our cities too.
At Urban List, we exist to connect you to the very best of your city—the thriving network of businesses that make our cities exciting places to live and work. Without publishers like Urban List, these small businesses—the restaurants, bars, art galleries, cafes, boxing gyms, Pilates studios, and neighbourhood gems—the businesses who suffered most during 2020 and the COVID pandemic—stand to lose a connection to you.
Under the code, Australia will be the first country in the world to force Google and Facebook to pay for news content. Right now, it’s being championed as a way to firm up the future of news business in Australia. To pay great journalists for good, unbiased journalism. And to even out a perceived power imbalance between the tech giants and Australian media. While that’s still the promise and the tagline for the News Media Bargaining Code, in practice, it won’t deliver. In practice, it will begin to dismantle a free and open internet, and therefore media, in Australia.
Put simply, the proposed code gives ultimate bargaining power to a band of big business broadcasters, publishers, and networks who already have a majority share of the media voice online, in print, on the radio, and on TV here in Australia.
Heavy stuff, we know.
Rest assured, we’ll still be here. Urban List is your guide to living your best life—connecting you to your city, your passions, your interests, and ultimately, to each other. And we’ll be right here, helping you to do just that now, tomorrow, next week, and into the future.
Your best life starts here.
Design credit: Dominique Lonsdale