Google to pay newsrooms in Australia | The Fairness Doctrine & Limbaugh | Alden’s reign of destruction

Google to pay newsrooms in Australia: A proposed law in Australia would force Google and Facebook to compensate news publishers for the use of their content, writes Mathew Ingram for CJR. Facebook and Google are taking opposite approaches to these new copyright regulations: Google has already agreed to pay publishers, while Facebook, by way of protesting, is removing news from its website in Australia entirely. These two companies have very different relationships with the news, but both are facing regulation in Australia’s effort towards committing to high-quality information, says Ingram. While the Australian media landscape is very different from the U.S., the moves raise questions about what could happen here.

The Fairness Doctrine & Limbaugh: The end of the Fairness Doctrine gave birth to Rush Limbaugh’s rise of unfiltered radio broadcasting, says Al Tompkins in Poynter. The doctrine once required news media to grant coverage to competing views, but when the Reagan administration agreed to stop enforcing it, radio hosts like Limbaugh were given free reign. This shift allowed Limbaugh to become a star: radio was no longer a back-and-forth with callers, but more a source of entertainment as the host espoused extreme content. Tompkins writes that although Limbaugh and the Fairness Doctrine alone can’t be credited with the hyperpartisan landscape of today’s news, they certainly played a big role in changing American media. 

Alden’s reign of destruction: Alden Global Capital is a destructive force that is partly responsible for the nationwide loss of local news, says Margaret Sullivan in the Washington Post. It’s clear that Sullivan has nothing good to say about Alden. Alden is positioned to buy the Chicago Tribune and other major newspapers, adding them to their large collection of local papers. A corporation interested in little more than short-term profit, Alden has taken papers like the Denver Post and the Boston Herald and cut staff and reporters, reducing them to a skeleton of what they once were. The commitment to a strong local newspaper is lost as soon as Alden gets involved, says Sullivan.

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