Rod Sims: “Meta Should Be Designated Under The World Media Code”

Rod Sims: “Meta Should Be Designated Under The World Media Code”
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine



The former chair of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) Rod Sims AO has submitted a report on the News Media Bargaining Code where he points out that Facebook should also be designated within the legislation.

The report, which was made for the Judith Neilson Institute of Journalism and Ideas and is 23 pages long, was created to assist other nations in their attempts to follow in Australia’s footsteps, with Sims providing his own insights on the Code. Australia’s global leadership position gives Sims a unique perspective on things which can be considered invaluable.

In the report, which is Sims’ first since giving up his position as ACCC chair, he goes into the reasons why Meta needs to be included within the News Media Code, pointing out that if the new Labor government chooses to move forward with this recommendation, then the tech giants would inevitably be forced to arbitrate with the media corporations.

In regards to the taxation of tech companies for the inclusion of news stories on their platforms as a source of funding for journalism, Sims stresses that it simply wouldn’t work.

“There seems no logic to this. By all means ensure that Google and Facebook pay their fair share of taxes in Australia, which of course the platforms make very difficult. But once this is achieved there is no need for them to pay more taxes. Further, how will the rate be determined, and how will the proceeds be distributed? There are sound arguments for governments funding particular gaps in journalism, but the money should come from general taxation.”

Sims also goes on to suggest, among other things, the introduction of a stable annual fund for the government-owned media companies, ABC and SBS, but also the provision of grants towards local journalists in an attempt to support and nurture the industry.

Rod Sims AO will be going to the UK within the next few weeks where he will participate in lectures and discussions with local lawmakers, regulators and media as they try to learn more about the NMBC.

 




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