Google and Facebook have granted the qualifications of Australian local government news providers, which has raised questions about the efforts of the Internet giant to plan news media.

The Bundaberg Committee of Local Government said in an interview with Reuters that the operation of the site is listed as Google’s “news source”, and this is the first local government in the country to obtain this certification.

This means that websites funded by the city council that only contain public relations content will be given priority in Google News searches about 100,000 agricultural centers, and will be labeled as “news source”. Bundaberg also owns the country’s only confirmed Facebook page operated by the council, labeled “News and Media Site.”

The name shows the emptiness of the country’s traditional news market as smaller publications gradually disappear and disappear. The Bundaberg Commission’s news site says it will not publish court and crime reports, politics, “investigative news” or “negative news.”

Dennis Muller, an honorary researcher at the Journalism Center of the University of Melbourne, said: “This is just another example of allowing these technology giants to operate outside of any accountability framework.” “If they want to classify the City Council’s PR website as news Website, then they can, without any blocking measures.”

Alphabet’s Google and Facebook are fighting the Australian federal government’s plan to allow them to pay media channels for original content displayed on the platform, and told the Senate to ask about the new regulations that may cause them to cancel certain core services in the country.

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Google representatives did not respond to another Reuters request for comment on Friday.

The mayor of Bundaberg, Jack Dempsey, stated in an inquiry that the new regulations would “subsidy failed business models” and could have “unintended consequences, including… damage to new media access And innovative publishing models, such as “Bundberger Now”.

The Bundaberg Commission’s communications executive Michael Gorey told Reuters that commercial media such as the National Broadcasting Corporation, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, still provides news in the region, “although the coverage is less than a few years ago” .

He said in an email: “The commercial media pays special attention to news such as crime, tragedy, and local politics, and Bundaberg does not choose to report now.” “Bundaberg Now tries to use community news, local businesses and events. Fill the gaps in the media market. We see no signs of market failure in Bundaberg, and there is no guarantee of federal government intervention.”

The city of Enkaparinga near Adelaide in the south of the country launched the news website Onkaparinga Now in 2018. A representative said that the committee has not yet applied to Google or Facebook for official news provider status.

Thomson Reuters 2021 ©


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