Wangaratta Chronicle

Media call for payment sounds like double dipping

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

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THE Wangaratta Chronicle through its editorial (Friday, February 19) writes that Facebook along with Google should pay for news content that is produced by official media groups within Australia, including of course the Wangaratta Chronicle.

In principle most people would agree with that view, however, it seems to me that in the case of Facebook they are not using the actual content but allowing the Wangaratta Chronicle along with other news, community groups and government agencies for example a presence on its own platform.

As a user of Facebook I can choose to receive a news feed from the Chronicle Facebook page.

At this stage all I can see is the headline of the news story and the first two or three sentences.

The rest of the story is behind a pay-wall that requires me to pay for a subscripti­on directly to the Chronicle.

The new law as it stands would allow for the Chronicle to be paid a fee by Facebook for providing a link to a pay-walled news item controlled by the Chronicle. That sounds like double dipping. It’s a bit like asking the old traditiona­l newspaper delivery person to pay a fee to the newspaper owner for delivering the newspaper. Am I missing something because this just doesn’t make any sense? Les Matthews, Wangaratta

Editor’s note: Regional newspapers post their stories on Facebook with the aim of adding disseminat­ion of their news, and the awareness of their media as the original, local, and trusted news providers.

But the platforms, in this case Facebook, repurpose this data to make it more attractive and increase their prospects of advertisin­g results - their primary revenue source. It’s that part of their news disseminat­ion services that newspapers are seeking a share of.

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