L Adimoolam, President of The Indian Newspaper Society, has written to Google to compensate Indian newspapers comprehensively for the use of content published by them and share its advertising revenue properly.
BestMediaInfo.com had reported this first on February 17, 2021. INS has now released a communication to the press.
In a letter addressed to Google India’s Country Manager Sanjay Gupta, the INS President demanded that Google should pay for news generated by the newspapers, which employ thousands of journalists on the ground, at considerable expense, for gathering and verifying information. Since the content that is generated and published by newspapers at considerable expense is proprietary, the Society pointed out that it is this credible content that has given Google authenticity in India ever since its inception.
The letter said publishers are also facing a very opaque advertising system, as they are unable to get details of Google's advertising value chain. The Society insisted that Google should increase the publisher share of advertising revenue to 85%, and also ensure more transparency in the revenue reports provided to publishers by it.
INS has raised the issue of giving greater prominence to editorial content from Registered News Publishers to tackle fake news, as Google picks up content from several sites that are not credible, thus ‘amplifying misinformation and propagation of fake news’.
Pointing out that publishers have been providing complete access to ‘quality journalism with credible news, current affairs, analysis, information and entertainment’, INS said there is a huge distinction between the editorial content from quality publications and fake news that is spreading on other information platforms.
The Society noted that over the past year, publishers across the world have been raising the issue of fair payment for content and of proper sharing of advertising revenue with Google. It also noted that Google has recently agreed to better compensate and pay publishers in France, the European Union and, notably, in Australia.
Further, it was also pointed out that advertising has been the financial backbone of the news industry. However, newspaper publishers are seeing their share of the advertising pie shrinking in the digital space, even as Google is taking a ‘giant share of advertising spends’, leaving publishers with a small piece.
Pointing out that the Society is engaged in discussions with Google on these vital issues, the letter also reiterated that the Indian print media is the most credible source of news and information in the country, and newspapers play a vital role in nation-building. “However, the pandemic and the current digital business model have been unfair to publishers, making it unviable for the print media industry. We invest heavily in journalism, the core of our news operations because newspapers play a vital role in society,” said INS.