The News Publishers' Association welcomes the decision by the Minister for Media and Communications, Paul Goldsmith, to proceed with the Fair Digital News Bargaining Bill.

“We’re delighted and relieved that the Minister has listened to our industry and decided to proceed with this legislation,” said Andrew Holden, the NPA’s Director of Public Affairs.

“It was very clear from the many submissions made to a Select Committee in February that this Bill has the overwhelming support of New Zealand’s media companies, whether their main platform is digital, print, radio or television.

“This Bill will allow us to sit down with Big Tech companies and negotiate a fair payment for the value that our news content brings to their businesses.

“If we can’t reach agreement, then the legislation allows for both sides to go to mediation, where an independent arbitrator will judge the merits of each side’s argument.

“The NPA is confident that this legislation will bring additional revenue to our media industry, as has happened in Australia and Canada. The state of California is also progressing its own legislation that will require Big Tech companies to sit down and negotiate with local media.

The key issue for New Zealand media is not a lack of innovation or trust; it’s being able to gain true value from its journalism in an advertising market that has been deliberately skewed to favour those Big Tech companies.

“We have always said that this legislation is not a silver bullet that will solve all the problems facing our industry. But it is a significant and welcome step forward.”

Mr Holden said the industry would be interested in the amendments proposed by the Minister.

“A key issue for media companies around the world is the rapid development of Artificial Intelligence, and the use of journalism to train AI engines. The NPA will look closely at the Government’s new draft of the legislation to see whether it provides the clarity we need to bring AI companies to the negotiating table.”

For further information or comment, contact Andrew Holden