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As a general rule, journalism doesn’t do nuance. There is bad and good, black and white, heroes and villains. There are inherent flaws in being the first cut of history.

Crikey isn’t the font of all wisdom but it is wise enough to know that a) there’s always a story behind the story and b) sadly, there is often spin in front of it.

The debate about big tech and the proposed mandatory code to force Google and Facebook to pay for news is a case in point. There’s so much spin and so little nuance on all sides.

I don’t intend to rehearse all that here. Rather, let me cut to the chase: there is no doubt that big tech extends a powerful grip on the news media industry and there’s no doubt it should pay its fair share of taxes. It should also pay for the news it uses.

That’s why Private Media, the parent company of Crikey and SmartCompany, has signed up to Google’s News Showcase. It’s a licensing agreement. We do the content, they pay us to use it. No one is stealing anything. It’s a deal. A deal that the big publishers in the news media industry could presumably also do.

There’s so much nuance getting lost in the big tech v big media debate. For a start, what about the 100 or so small, independent, Australian-owned media outfits?

A key consideration should be protecting media diversity — diversity in all its forms.

In the meantime, Private Media has signed a licensing agreement and is open to any other company wishing to use our content. Give us a call. Journalism does have a price. Nothing is free. There should be a value exchange.

But there needs to be transparency and truth on all sides. And, if possible, a recognition of nuance.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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