Meta prepared to abandon Illinois journalism if forced to pay local publishers

A new bill in Illinois called the Press Preservation Act (SB 3591), currently before the state Senate, would require online companies to pay local news publishers for work viewed by residents on their platforms.

This follows in the footsteps of national laws in Canada, Australia and California. As in those cases, Meta said it would pull news from the state’s platforms if the bill becomes law.

Meta spokesperson Jamie Radice said edge News via email is not why most people access Facebook and Instagram, and if the law passes, “we will be forced to make the same business decision as Canada to stop providing news in Illinois.”“. We asked Google for comment, but it had not responded by press time.

Under the bill, tech platforms such as Meta and Google would be required to “track and record each month” the number of times their platforms link to, display or otherwise expose eligible online publishers’ works to Illinois residents. Reporting Requirements of the Act. The companies will then pay each publisher a “news royalty” equal to 1% of advertising revenue for that period within 10 days of the end of the month.

The bill calls local journalism “key to sustaining civil society” and says it provides “a deeper level of information unmatched by national media,” but notes that “over the past 10 years, newspaper advertising has decreased by 66%, and newsrooms The staff has also been reduced by 66%.” down 44%. ” It said it was “vital” that they “receive fair compensation for the content they create and distribute”.

CNN reached out to Illinois Sen. Steve Stadelman, the bill’s sponsor, for comment on Mehta’s statement, but a spokesperson said he couldn’t immediately be reached.

Stadelman said in a press release from the News/Media Alliance that he sponsored the bill because “the future of local journalism is at stake,” calling it critical that Illinois residents have access to it. The bill is similar to California’s Press Protection Act, which also requires platforms to pay local publishers, but was delayed after Meta threatened to block local news.

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