Murdoch Hits Facebook for ‘Inadequate’ Fix: Should Be Paying ‘Trusted’ Publishers Carriage Fees


Rupert Murdoch has released a rare statement publicly commenting on Facebook’s recent announcement about helping sort out trusted news sources.

Last week, Facebook announced they would be asking for user input on sources they consider newsworthy to help them better sort out what news sources are trusted and which aren’t.

Murdoch’s statement says that publishers are clearly helping to enhance Facebook’s “value and integrity” and therefore they should be receiving carriage fees.

You can read the full statement here:

Facebook and Google have popularized scurrilous news sources through algorithms that are profitable for these platforms but inherently unreliable. Recognition of a problem is one step on the pathway to cure, but the remedial measures that both companies have so far proposed are inadequate, commercially, socially and journalistically.

There has been much discussion about subscription models but I have yet to see a proposal that truly recognizes the investment in and the social value of professional journalism. We will closely follow the latest shift in Facebook’s strategy, and I have no doubt that Mark Zuckerberg is a sincere person, but there is still a serious lack of transparency that should concern publishers and those wary of political bias at these powerful platforms.

The time has come to consider a different route. If Facebook wants to recognize ‘trusted’ publishers then it should pay those publishers a carriage fee similar to the model adopted by cable companies. The publishers are obviously enhancing the value and integrity of Facebook through their news and content but are not being adequately rewarded for those services. Carriage payments would have a minor impact on Facebook’s profits but a major impact on the prospects for publishers and journalists.

[image via Featureflash Photo Agency /]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac