Bargaining power for workers in news media?

Google threatens to scrap all search in Australia if the Parliament doesn’t do what it wants. Talk about big corporations bullying democracy – it’s always their way or the highway. Australians deserve laws that protect the community from the monopoly power of these global giants. – Sarah Hansen-Young on Twitter

Paradigm Shift 4ZZZ fm 102.1 Fridays at Noon

I keep getting these emails from tech companies telling me that WBT does not have a high rating on Google search. They want to charge me money to achieve a higher rating. But why? According to the Australian government Google and Facebook have greater bargaining power over Australian news media businesses like New Corp and Channel Nine (which owns the old Fairfax newspapers).

So the Australian government wants Google (and Facebook) to give the Murdoch Press, the Sydney Morning Herald (bought by Channel Nine), the Age and the Australian Financial Review, some money for content it shares.

But Murdoch doesn’t have content; News Corp is a purveyor of lies.

News Media Bargaining Code
The Australian government claims that “The Code will ensure that news media businesses are fairly remunerated for the content they generate, helping to sustain public interest journalism in Australia.” – Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts.

Yet the ABC gets nothing out of the News Media Bargaining Code.

According to Kevin Rudd, Murdoch owns 13 of the 14 regional papers in Queensland. He likes to talk about media diversity but that does not exist in Australia. Even with a diverse ownership, what’s to stop the media companies from putting out the same old rubbish … biased towards corporate capitalism (just like Google and Facebook).

I think it would be good if both Google and Facebook pulled out of Australia.

But how to fill the void? Independent media, you say.

I volunteer at an independent radio station in Brisbane, 4ZZZ (fm 102.1), paid for by subscriptions and sponsors (largely).

Sadly it is still difficult to put out an independent view.

Kevin Rudd went on YouTube (owned by Google) to give his point of view from the People’s Republic of Queensland. But what about the workers (in this case the journos) bargaining power, K Rudd?

Who’s going to stand up for them?

“Bargaining power is the relative power of parties in a situation to exert influence over each other. If both parties are on an equal footing in a debate, then they will have equal bargaining power, such as in a perfectly competitive market, or between an evenly matched monopoly and monopsony. ” – Wikipedia

Since when has the Australian government been in favour of greater bargaining power for the workers?

Ian Curr
Editor WBT
25 Jan 2021