WASHINGTON—Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee pulled S. 673, the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, which would have empowered the government to elevate its favored news services while inhibiting others on which Americans rely. NetChoice applauds this move and hopes members will recognize and ultimately fully reject this proposal.
There are more ways available today to connect and find information on what is happening both down the street and around the world than ever before. The free flow of information plays an important role in public discourse, and the internet empowers us to access local and global information simultaneously and instantly. For the average American, this gives them access to more intellectually diverse ideas and news. No longer do big media companies and editors control what makes it to publication. Such dynamism has allowed emerging outlets to rise without the hand of government steering debate.
But the JCPA—Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s pro-collusion bill—would have given power to entrenched incumbents in the journalism industry and undermined future competition in a diverse and competitive landscape.
“We are glad to see that the Senate Judiciary Committee pulled the JCPA for now, and we applaud the members that made strong statements recognizing its many problems. By shielding certain U.S. newspapers from antitrust laws and incentivizing them to collude, JCPA would have enabled the use of government power to interfere in decisions about what is and is not legitimate news and diminish competition in the diverse media landscape,” said Jennifer Huddleston, Policy Counsel for NetChoice. “The bill ignored the fact that Americans have access to more news sources on the local, national, and global scale than ever before because of the internet.”
“JCPA and similar proposals make news outlets dependent on government privileges, further undermining the independence, credibility, and integrity of journalists today, and this would have likely increased the government’s pressure and public scrutiny of them,” continued Huddleston. “Good on the members of Senate Judiciary who made strong statements recognizing how this pro-collusion effort would empower government intervention into American news and views.”
You can find Huddleston’s recent op-ed on JCPA at Reason here.
JCPA is opposed by a wide range of organizations and leaders across the political spectrum, including Public Knowledge, Electronic Frontier Foundation, the LA Times, Breitbart, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Jim Jordan, and Sens. Blackburn, Cotton, and Rubio.
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