News organizations throughout the US are worried about the influence of tech companies, Facebook and Google as news seeking sources. According to a report published by The Verge Magazine on July 10, 2017 about a half of US adults use Facebook as their primary news delivery mechanism while Goggle controls over two thirds of all online advertising market. Newspaper publishers standing under the banner, News Media Alliance (NMA) are planning a push back by supporting an antitrust exemption through Congress. Like the unions, the exemption will allow news organizations, to bargain with Google and Facebook.
If the push comes to fruition, news media organizations will wield some leverage against strong web platforms and control the flow of viral hoaxes and fake news as evident in Goggle searches and Facebook Newsfeed. The move will also enable media organizations expand innovative digital models of news distribution and create strategies to sustain journalistic professionalism. According to David Chavern, the president of News Media Alliance, platforms like Facebook and Google are easily overstepping antitrust regulations and making aggressive acquisitions of big competitors. Facebook recently bought out erstwhile competitors Instagram and Whatsapp.
Chavern adds that the critical role of news media in the in US politics and history means a fair fight with online information gateways is essential. It is widely feared that a move to institute bargaining rights may not succeed because the Republican controlled Congress might not be receptive to the idea. However, the greatest hope in the way of legislation may come from news publishers like the Chairman and Founder of News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch who has good relations with the Trump administration. According to Forbes Magazine, Murdoch owns a number of big media concerns, including The Wall Street Journal, Sunday Times and Fox News. His net worth is estimated at $12.3 billion.