Brazil: FENAJ urges taxation of digital platforms and creation of a fund to promote journalism

The National Federation of Journalists (FENAJ) is proposing a new tax on digital platforms and the creation of a Fund to Support and Promote Journalism and Journalists . The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) welcomes the initiative of its Brazilian affiliate which is designed to guarantee the financing of quality journalismand joins its call for an open debate on a new tax on digital giants.

On October 6, FENAJ will present the Manifesto For the Taxation of Digital Platforms in a virtual event that will bring together IFJ leaders, representatives of the journalists' unions and will be hosted by the General Secretary of FENAJ, Beth Costa.

FENAJ's proposal was born from the IFJ World Platform for Quality Journalism, which argues that democratic societies need to think about new ways to fund journalism. It calls for taxes to be levied on the tech giants -  Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, commonly refered to as GAFAM - who pay little or no tax in the majority of countries where they collect revenues, estimated at $900 billion worldwide, to build a Fund to Support and Promote Journalism and Journalists.

A matter of justice: #TaxTheTechs

FENAJ is basing its proposal on data and an analysis of the power and influence of big digital platforms and their exploitation - without paying - of journalistic work to obtain enormous revenues. It also takes into account the fact that these companies pay virtually no taxes in several countries around the world, including Brazil.

The union has called for the urgent adoption of public policies that can protect the production and financing of journalism. FENAJ proposes taxing big digital platforms in the following ways:

  • Creation of a CIDE (Contribution for Intervention in the Economic Domain), through legislation of the Congress;
  • Allocation of CIDE resources to build the Fund to Support and Promote Journalism and Journalists, a public managed fund with the independence to allocate resources to the journalistic production of public and/or private organizations /companies and of independent journalists;
  • Limiting access to the resources of the Fund to newspaper companies that respect working conditions, collective agreements and salary levels, working hours as well as measures to restrict unwarranted dismissals (Convention 158 of ILO) and who respect journalists' independence.
  • Use of resources from the fund to increase the democratization of the media, with the effective prohibition of monopolies in the sector; recognising the value of local and regional content in journalistic production; the end of the so-called news deserts (cities where there are no local media); and respect of public interest and democracy as guiding criteria for the production of Brazilian Journalism.

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “We welcome and praise FENAJ’s call for taxes on digital companies that benefit from journalists’ work for free and avoid paying their fair share for it. We believe that developing strong national digital services tax schemes are a robust solution to the current crisis of the media sector”.

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries

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