Law to allow media firms to be paid for content soon

A REGULATION allowing media outlets to receive payments from digital platforms or aggregators that carry their content is being drafted, its Press Council said.

The new law is expected to level the playing field between media and tech firms in providing content and generating profit, said Arif Zulkifli, a member of Indonesia’s Press Council.

The law, proposed two years ago, was inspired by similar legislation in Germany and Australia, and is expected to be issued as a presidential regulation within a month.

Digital platforms in Indonesia include Facebook, Alphabet Inc’s Google and some local aggregators.

Arif said these platforms benefit from carrying content generated by media companies while “most media receive small profits”.

“(There is) no balance in this,” he added.

Under the new law, the Press Council will determine price structures and payment schemes, while also acting as mediator in the event of a dispute.

In Australia, the News Media Bargaining Code took effect in March, 2021. Since then, tech firms have inked more than 30 deals with media outlets compensating them for content which generated clicks, according to a report by the country’s Treasury Department.

These agreements have enabled news businesses to employ additional journalists and make other valuable investments in their operations, the report said.

Speaking at an event commemorating Indonesian press on Thursday, President Joko Widodo cited an urgent need for the new law since 60% of the advertisement market in the South-east Asian country is dominated by mainly foreign digital platforms.

“Around 60% of advertisement spending were taken by digital media, especially foreign platforms. This is sad,” he said. — Reuters

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