Supporting Australian journalism: a constructive path forward

An update on the News Media Bargaining Code

For the past few months, we’ve been keeping you up to date about a new law, the News Media Bargaining Code. We can now share that we have found a constructive path to support journalism that enables payments to be made to news publishers through Google News Showcase, instead of requiring payment for links.

We have had programs in place for many years that have made financial investments in the future of journalism. Our latest program, Google News Showcase, builds on that commitment. Our consistent ask has been that we avoid legislative proposals that would break the fundamental principle of the web — that it should be free and easy to link to websites.

By establishing a program to pay news publishers, News Showcase offers a constructive path forward. It enables us to support news publishers while protecting what we and many others - from a small Aussie business selling car parts to the person who invented the internet – will continue to stand up for: a free and open web which works the same way for everyone.

News Showcase is a program that lets publishers curate their stories across Google services and increase their revenue through regular payments from Google. That means that when you’re using Google News and Discover – with more services to come – you’ll be able to see panels created directly by news publishers, and even some behind-the-paywall content, keeping you better informed about the stories that matter.

We launched News Showcase in Australia on February 4th, and already more than 70 Australian publications have signed up to the platform, including The Canberra Times, The Illawarra Mercury, The West Australian, The Saturday Paper, Crikey, The Dubbo Daily Liberal, The New Daily, InDaily, The Conversation, Seven News, The Kalgoorlie Miner and The Geraldton Guardian among others. In just over two weeks since launch, our Australian partners had more than two million views of their content with News Showcase.

We are grateful to the many businesses, technology leaders, academics, industry associations, policy makers – and people who care about the future of the internet – who have expressed their concerns with key aspects of the Code through this process. We also acknowledge the efforts of the Australian Government and our partners in the news industry with whom we have been able to negotiate a path forward.

To the more than a million Australian businesses who use our services to reach their customers: we’re going to be working even harder to help you grow your business as the country continues the work of economic recovery. And to the millions of Australians who use Google Search every day: thanks for bearing with us while we’ve sent you messages about this issue. Resolving it constructively is key to our ability to provide services in Australia. We’re now going to get on with the thing that matters most – helping you get the information you need. Whether that’s checking if the local hairdresser is open, exploring what to do at Easter, or finding out when and where you’ll be able to get a vaccine.

Stay safe, Australia, and search on.

Mel Silva,
Managing Director, Google Australia

Read our previous open letter from January.

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