Google’s “Digital News Initiative”, launched in March to strengthen the online paid press and to fight against disinformation, is a new exercise to please publishers.
Conveniently, the new initiative coincides with the European publishers’ campaign for the introduction of a neighbouring right which would allow them to enable or forbid the indexation of the contents of their publications by Google and get paid for it. With the EFJ, we rejected any attempt to introduce a new right for publishers that would not provide a fair remuneration for journalists.
As part of its new project, Google also launched “Subscribe with Google”, aimed at helping online media to sell subscriptions. Here again, one wonders what benefits will journalists get? While developing new business models which are adapted to the digital environment is fundamental, we need to think about concrete ways to share the gains. “Raising and strengthening quality journalism” also implies ensuring decent working conditions in the media. Google cannot ignore the reality of our professions. How can we ensure that these new efforts will translate into concrete outcomes on employment and wages? Our members do have a role to play.
IFJ General Secretary