UK newspaper industry demands levy on tech firms

Sep 25, 2018 · theguardian.com

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The British newspaper industry’s trade body has said the government should force social media sites such as Facebook and Google to pay an annual financial levy to fund journalism, and set up a regulator that would force them to take legal responsibility for all the content on their platforms.

The News Media Association, the umbrella group that represents almost all national and local newspapers, including the Guardian, also said Facebook should share revenue with newspaper groups when their stories appear in newsfeeds – even if users only see the headlines and do not click.

It also called on the government to introduce a tax credit system, similar to that used to encourage investment in the British film industry, which would allow newspapers to claim a cash rebate for investment in areas such as investigative journalism.

Other ideas include forcing social media businesses to promote "bona fide" news sources that meet certain quality criteria, such as "consistent quality" of journalism – potentially prioritising material from more established news sources at the expense of new entrants.

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