The official Student News Site of Dublin High School.

The Dublin Shield

The official Student News Site of Dublin High School.

The Dublin Shield

The official Student News Site of Dublin High School.

The Dublin Shield

Opinion: Local Journalism Needs to Stand Up Against Tech Giants

Opinion%3A+Local+Journalism+Needs+to+Stand+Up+Against+Tech+Giants

Barely six months have passed since Canada passed the Online News Act, a significant move that compelled tech giants like Meta to reimburse Canadian news organizations for sharing their content. In response, Meta imposed a sweeping ban on news organizations from Canadian and international news sources, disrupting users and organizations in Canada and beyond. 

 

While the recent clash between Canadian legislators and Meta may remain an isolated incident, it echoes a broader trend in the escalating conflict between tech giants and news establishments. This sentiment is further underscored by Meta’s 2021 confrontation with Australia, where it banned news content, highlighting an ongoing struggle for control and compensation within the digital news landscape. 

 

And while this may appear as a straightforward corporate clash driven by the greed of corporate executives, it may be emblematic of a more significant issue at hand. In the status quo, thousands of news organizations are crushed by the monopolistic powers of Big Tech Companies like Google and Meta. Almost 90% of Americans get their news from large tech platforms like the ones that Canada’s Online News Act attacked. These platforms have continued to grow, exerting their power and influence to stifle competition and eat into news publishers’ revenue. The term “Big Media” is thrown around. Still, as of 2018, Google and Facebook had nearly four times as much revenue as the entirety of the U.S. news media, including all TV, print, and digital forms, and those companies have grown tremendously since. 

 

In the past 14 months, local journalism has assumed unprecedented significance. From the far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities of all scales to the resurgent call for social justice, individuals have increasingly relied on news outlets to navigate the evolving global and local dynamics that shape their everyday experiences. News consumption has reached unparalleled heights, underscoring the indispensable role that news publishers play. However, the very platforms that dispense this invaluable information—local news publishers—are grappling to maintain their foothold in a digital landscape primarily dominated by a handful of tech giants.

In this ongoing conflict, Google and Facebook have continued to refuse to compensate the creators of critical journalism fairly. Because of this, in the last two years, we have seen at least 300 news publications close, with more than 6,000 journalists laid off. A few big, national news outlets may be doing okay, but local news publishers, who provide the information that sustains communities, need to be pushed out.

 

Local news organizations and political discourse within society express various opinions and keep our country as healthy and informed as possible. They build social cohesion, encourage political participation, and improve the efficiency and decision-making of local and state governments. Amidst the turmoil of our times, the struggle of local journalism against tech giants becomes a modern-day saga—Goliath against David, where the slingshot of truth and the armor of collective support could reshape the very landscape of information we tread upon.

 

About the Contributor
Aakrisht Mehra, Layout Editor
Aakrisht Mehra is a junior at Dublin High School who is passionate about the intersectionality of ethicality, morality and the role it plays within society. He is also an avid debater and the co-chair of the Dublin Mayor's Council.