Around this time last year, The Australian Government, Department of Treasury (℅ Josh Frydenberg) introduced the News Media Bargaining Code. The code is intended to level out the sheer power imbalance between Australian news media publishers—like us—and digital platforms such as Meta and Google. The code, in effect, should allow the two parties to reach an agreement on fair remuneration for displaying news on these platforms.
12 months on, however, the little guys have are yet to benefit from the code, and that’s why today, Australia’s independent news media outlets are freezing their news feeds for 24 hours while we wait on Zuck to pay up.
The code has the potential to play a pivotal role in nurturing media diversity in Australia, and it has the potential to prop up those independent publishers which distribute information, and tell unique and often important stories from around the country. However, in its current state—and while 'digital platforms' like Meta and Google have not been designated as such—the code allows for what is called commercial-in-confidence deals that only benefit major media players.
So, while the code is currently under review, we’re asking Josh Frydenberg to make the necessary changes. Changes that will see Facebook and Google designated as 'digital platforms', and in-turn give Australia’s media landscape in its entirety the opportunity to gain from the Australian News Media Bargaining Code.
What would these changes to the code mean for you, though? It would mean you’ll continue to see the news and independent media you consume on the daily, in your feeds and on the news stands, while encouraging a media landscape that’s rich in perspective and representative of all Australians.
There are several ways you can get involved. First up, you can become an ally and freeze your feed by downloading the #WaitingOnZuck assets here. You can email the Treasurer of Australia, Josh Frydenberg at email@example.com, and let him know just how important it is that the likes of Meta are designated as digital platforms. And, you can also Tweet, DM or meet with Zuck in the Metaverse along with the hashtag #WaitingOnZuck.
For more information on the Waiting On Zuck initiative, click here.
Image credit: Decade of Action