Govt ready to facilitate media negotiations to get compensation from tech giants, says Fahmi

KUALA LUMPUR: The government, through the Communications and Digital Ministry (KKD), is ready to be a facilitator to assist negotiations of local media organisations to get fair compensation or payment from giant technology companies.

Its Minister Fahmi Fadzil said if necessary, a legal framework could be introduced to smooth the negotiations.

ALSO READ: U.S. lawmakers introduce bipartisan bill to help news media negotiate with Big Tech

"The Malaysian news media industry cannot just sit back and mourn its fate and position, while facing the digital advertisement expenditure (ADEX) market dominated by technology giants.

"The industry can no longer supply information from the news for free to the technology giants. A concerted effort and strategic planning must be implemented immediately to address this.

"It is unfair for big technology companies to use their power to trade local content for free and sell it to advertisers for their own profit, when producing high-quality journalistic work requires huge investment,” he said.

Fahmi said this in his speech in conjunction with the closing ceremony of the National Media Forum 2023, organised by the Malaysian Press Institute (MPI). The text of his speech was read by the KKD deputy secretary-general (Strategic Communications and Creative Industry) Mastura Ahmad Mustafa, here Tuesday (July 25).

He also said that the assistance provided by the government, through the legal framework or otherwise, for the purpose of consultation, has a precondition, which is that the news and journalism industry must show a high level of unity or solidarity.

He added that the special committee established by the Malaysian Newspaper Publishers Association (MNPA) recently, for the purpose of the negotiation, is good, but in its current form, it only represents the large mainstream media.

"To ensure that small and medium media are not sidelined in negotiations with Google and Facebook, they also need to be involved.

"Otherwise, these tech giants will go ‘pecah dan perintah’ (divide and rule), making efforts to get fair compensation and payment for the entire industry ineffective,” he said. - Bernama

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