Democracy Awards

Congressman DeSaulnier’s Statement on Journalism Competition and Preservation Act

April 3, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) issued the following statement on the introduction of the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (H.R. 2054). The bipartisan legislation, which was introduced by Representatives David Cicilline (RI-01) and Doug Collins (GA-09) with Congressman DeSaulnier as the lead Democrat, would allow local news outlets to negotiate collectively with large online platforms, including Facebook and Google.

“Local news faces an uphill battle. Papers are being bought up by hedge funds and the focus has had to shift from quality local content to profit maximization to save the news organizations we have left. In this digital world, where content is being shared for free on social media while the platform makes a profit, it’s only fair to let news organizations share in ad revenues,” said Congressman DeSaulnier. “As a former restaurant owner, I know firsthand that the music industry already has a similar agreement that allows their content to be used, but they get a share of the benefits. I thank Congressman Cicilline for his leadership to promote the importance of a free, robust local press.”

Congressman DeSaulnier created a working group on the need to preserve local news. Through that group, he introduced a House Resolution with Representatives Diana DeGette (CO-01), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), and Jamie Raskin (MD-08) to recognize the vital role local journalism plays in promoting good governance, accountability, and community. Congressman DeSaulnier also hosted a Saving Local News special order on the House floor, and along with Representatives Lofgren, Raskin, and Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) sent letters to Gannett Co., Inc. and Verizon Media Group to consider the impact that their recent job cuts at multiple media outlets will have on the public’s access to high-quality, fact-based news.