Fair and reasonable payment for journalistic content

Resolution of the IAPA 77 General Assembly Virtual
October, 19-22, 2021

WHEREAS, the public declaration "Media from across the Americas call to defend the value of professional journalism in the digital ecosystem," signed by 18 national and supranational press associations and issued on September 21, 2021, urges the countries of the region to put on the agenda and assign priority to the valuation of journalistic content on digital platforms - ensuring conditions for fair and reasonable payment;

WHEREAS, there are precedents such as the Code of Negotiation for Media and Digital Platforms, issued by Australia on February 25, 2021; the bill on digital markets being considered by the Commission and the Parliament of the European Union - to prevent large platforms from abusing their market power; the directive from the same parliament that requires platforms to compensate the media for the use of "intellectual rights," and the News Media Alliance's request to the United States Congress for authorization to negotiate directly with platforms - on behalf of nearly 2,000 media outlets;

WHEREAS, these initiatives arise from huge changes in access to news in recent decades, which increase media audiences but allow intermediaries to absorb the revenues that used to support professional journalism - by concentrating more than 80% of digital advertising;

WHEREAS, the content valued by audiences is essential for the health of democracy, but the sustainability of journalism is at risk - as evidenced by the "news deserts" or areas that were left without local media outlets;

WHEREAS, the efforts to enforce the rights of media publishers in all countries face delays and differences in bargaining power between the sides - which delay agreements and make them less fair; and that, in some cases, such conduct has led the authorities to impose severe fines;

WHEREAS, the newspaper industry favors global approaches to enforce a right that is based on both intellectual property and antitrust law;

WHEREAS, it is essential to avoid abusive practices in the digital advertising market, where platforms are both referees and major players and that, should such practices occur, they should be investigated and penalized - also considering the use of personal data;

WHEREAS, close attention should be paid to algorithms that condition the distribution of content - so that they do not determine what information is relevant to an individual or a society - and to allow combating disinformation with quality professional journalism;

WHEREAS, the renewed Windhoek + 30 Declaration - promoted by Unesco - expresses concern about "the severe economic crisis that represents an existential threat to the media...."

WHEREAS, recent initiatives by companies such as Google and Facebook to pay media in some countries for content licensing are welcome, but these programs do not yet constitute the fair and comprehensive response that the industry requires - nor should this compensation be a unilateral decision by the platforms but the fruit of an agreement;

WHEREAS, Richard Gingras - Vice President of Google News - stated at the IAPA's 77th General Assembly that journalistic content is essential to the platform to foster civil society, and expressed his openness to maintain a direct dialogue with the associations and media in order to implement the best practices of collaboration;

WHEREAS, as stated in the IAPA's Salta Declaration, "the players in the digital ecosystem should achieve an appropriate balance between freedom of expression, copyright and intellectual property, as well as regarding the benefits that may be generated by content in said ecosystem;" and that similar concepts have been expressed by other media entities, such as the International Association of Broadcasting (AIR) and, previously, also by the IAPA, through the resolutions "Australia, media outlets and digital platforms," from April 2021, and "Sustainability," from October 2020.


To urge media outlets and global platforms to continue taking steps to achieve fair and reasonable payment for the value of the content they generate and disseminate;

To continue to support national and supranational initiatives aimed at defending the value of professional journalism on digital platforms, promoting dialogue between the parties and guaranteeing the sustainability of journalistic enterprises;

To continue establishing alliances with regional and international media associations to share experiences on the relationships and practices regarding digital platforms;

To monitor legislative initiatives on intellectual property that are being considered and implemented in various countries around the world - especially in the United States and Canada;

To value the path of direct dialogue proposed by Richard Gingras - Vice President of Google News; to reiterate the IAPA's willingness in this regard, and to propose a joint working space with Google News and other digital platforms - including national and international associations - in order to continue seeking agreements that guarantee a fair and reasonable payment for the content generated by the media in the Americas.