Augusta Margaret River Times

SWM AND FACEBOOK STRIKE QUALITY JOURNALISM DEAL

- LANAI SCARR Send comments to editor@amrtimes.com.au

Seven West Media and Facebook have signed a landmark deal to ensure the social media giant pays for use of the company’s original news content.

Just hours after Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Federal Government would make amendments to its media-bargaining code following negotiatio­ns with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, SWM confirmed the deal.

SWM publishes The West Australian, The Sunday Times, The West website and PerthNow as well as 19 regional papers, including the Augusta Margaret River Times, and 13 Perth-based community newspapers. The 7NEWS bulletin at 6pm is the top-rating prime-time news show in Australia.

SWM chairman Kerry Stokes said the partnershi­p with Facebook was a “significan­t move” and “reflects the value of our original news content across our successful metropolit­an and regional broadcast, digital and print properties”.

He said the partnershi­p would “not have been possible without the leadership and vision of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the chair of the Australian Competitio­n and Consumer Commission, Rod Sims, Mr Frydenberg and Communicat­ions Minister Paul Fletcher. “We thank them,” Mr Stokes, pictured, said.

SWM chief executive James Warburton said the deal with Facebook was an “important part of the strategy to transform our company and build Australia’s leading news and entertainm­ent content business”.

SWM was last week the first major media company in Australia to announce it had done a deal with Google, for the search-engine giant to pay for news content.

“Both agreements are a significan­t step forward for Australian news media and are a clear acknowledg­ement by all parties of the value and importance of original news content,” Mr Warburton said.

Facebook Australia and New Zealand managing director Will Easton said: “We are pleased to confirm our investment through a Letter of Intent with our partners from Seven West Media.

“This agreement brings the premium news content Seven produces from its newsrooms across Australia to Facebook.

“We have always been committed to supporting journalism and our agreement today continues our work with the news community in Australia.”

Google Australia and New Zealand managing director Mel Silva last week said the company was “proud to support original, trusted and quality journalism and are excited to welcome Seven West Media today as a major Australian publishing partner to join Google News Showcase”.

The deal between Facebook and Seven West Media will be executed over the next 30 days.

 ?? Picture: SWM ?? Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes.
Picture: SWM Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes.

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