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Consumer Groups Want To Tax Facebook To Save Journalism

Friday March 15, 2019. 02:00 PM , from Slashdot
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: How to fund ethical journalism in the Facebook era is the multi-billion dollar question of the hour, and a technology-focused consumer group by the name of Free Press believes it has a solution. The group has unveiled a new proposal that suggests taxing all online targeted advertising, then using that money to fund the nation's struggling news empires, big and small. The program would apply a 2 percent tax on companies generating more than $200 million in annual targeted-ad revenues, then use that money to create a 'Public Interest Media Endowment.' The $2 billion collected annually would then be managed by the government itself, or an outside, existing institution such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Such a tax would most obviously apply to both social media giants, but also the giant telecom monopolies increasingly trying to elbow their way into the online ad space. This endowment, in turn, would help fund local journalism, investigative reporting, media literacy, noncommercial social networks, civic-technology projects, and 'news and information for underserved communities,' suggests the group. 'The problem for journalism is that Facebook and Google control nearly 70 percent of this marketplace,' Free Press Director Tim Karr told Motherboard via email. 'And neither are news organizations. In fact, only one of the top ten digital advertisers in the U.S. (Verizon Media Group/Oath) is in the news business (HuffPost, Techcrunch), and then only partially so.'

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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