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Meta not to renew commercial agreements with Australian media

Online news, journalism concept.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, recently made headlines with its decision not to renew commercial agreements with Australian news media outlets. This move has sparked discussions about the relationship between tech giants and traditional media, as well as the broader impact on the news landscape in Australia.

The decision by Meta comes amidst a backdrop of ongoing debates and negotiations between tech companies and news publishers regarding content-sharing and revenue-sharing agreements. Meta and similar social media companies were subject to the News Media Bargaining Code introduced in 2021. But with the agreements expiring in the next few months, Meta has realised its users are not seeking news or political content from their platform. Meta’s move to discontinue these agreements raises concerns about the future sustainability of national news organisations and their ability to monetise their content in the digital age.

Australian news media outlets have expressed disappointment and concern over Meta’s decision, citing the potential devastating impact on their businesses. These commercial agreements have been an important source of revenue for news publishers, helping them fund quality journalism and maintain editorial independence. However, Meta will not block access to Australian news content (as it did three years ago).

The fallout from Meta’s decision is expected to have far-reaching consequences for the media industry in Australia. Without the financial support from tech platforms like Meta, news organisations may face challenges in maintaining their operations and delivering reliable news to the public. Commercial jobs are expected to fall drastically, especially in regional centres.

National media outlets are calling on the federal government to respond to Meta and even force it into arbitration with media companies to negotiate new terms for news content.

For a full reading of the media release, see here.

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