‘Stop Playing Games With California’s Democracy’


Google’s decision to begin censoring news stories in California objection to the pending California Journalism Preservation Act (CJPA) as harshly blasted by the Media Guild of the West.

In response, Media Guild of the West issued a statement, “California lawmakers and Gov. Newsom must stand against Google’s undemocratic threats to censor the work of California’s journalists by shutting off news access in the middle of an election year.”

The statement, which was shared to X, continued, “This is an extraordinarily inappropriate time for Google to experiment with which voters might or might not see news about elected officials and candidates for office.”

The guild also accused Google news executive Richard Gingras, who testified in December that the company had “no desire to stop including news in Search,” of lying.”Given today’s events, obviously Google’s testimony to our elected leaders was not true,” said the guild, who added, “Google must stop playing games with California’s democracy.”

Jaffer Zaidi, VP of Global News Partnerships at the tech company wrote in a blog on Friday that the CJPA would create a “‘link tax” that would require Google to pay for simply connecting Californians to news articles.” He called the act “the wrong approach to supporting journalism” and said that “would create a level of business uncertainty that no company could accept.”

Matt Pearce, president of Media Guild West, wrote on Substack, “This morning’s news that Google ($2 trillion market cap, $20.7 billion in profit last quarter, $48 billion revenue from search) is going to start blocking news stories in California as a political bargaining chip — because it doesn’t want to pay news publishers for journalism in a bill my union supports — wasn’t surprising. But it’s ghastly to see nonetheless.”

In his Substack entry, Pearce noted, “Was I the only person who read all this who noticed that Google’s idea of the future of journalism does not seem to involve any journalists?”

Zaidi suggested that the CJPA, which was intended to help the struggling industry stay afloat, “would favor media conglomerates and hedge funds—who’ve been lobbying for this bbill,” adding that would lead to “more ghost papers that operate with a skeleton crew to produce only low-cost, and often low-quality, content.”

Earlier this year, Courtney Radsch, who leads the Center for Journalism and Liberty at the Open Markets Institute, wrote “tech giants built the world’s most valuable companies off the backs of journalists while siphoning off revenue from news publishers by creating digital advertising monopolies.”

She said that CJPA “makes a valiant effort to create new funds for hiring journalists and supporting media outlets that serve California’s citizens.”

The post Media Guild Slams Google Banning News Articles: ‘Stop Playing Games With California’s Democracy’ appeared first on TheWrap.





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