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Canadian experts to discuss how India can learn from Canada’s news bargaining code at DNPA Dialogue

Dec 8 Leading experts from Canada and the US, along with the cream of India’s news publishing business, will brainstorm over ways to decode the publisher-platform relationship in Friday’s 2nd DNPA Dialogue to be conducted as a virtual roundtable.

Hosted by the Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA), the dialogue will start at 6pm 9(Indian Standard Time), an official statement said. The event will see five eminent speakers focus on various issues and challenges faced by the News Media Industry in their relationship with Big Tech and deliberate on possible ways out.

News media bargaining code

The news media bargaining code that is in the works in Canada, has evinced great interest in other parts of the world. It is considered a game-changing improvement over a similar code that was rolled out in Australia last year. This was even acknowledged by key Australian participants in the first DNPA Dialogue held a fortnight back

Taylor Owen, Beaverbrook Chair in Media, Ethics and Communication at Canada’s Max Bell School of Public Policy; Dr. Courtney Radsch, Fellow at UCLA Institute for Technology, Law and Policy in the US; and Paul Deegan, President and CEO of News Media Canada, are among the eminent speakers who will discuss ways to improve the relationship between digital news publishers and Big Tech platforms and how Canada’s upcoming news media bargaining code can be a major lesson for authorities and stakeholders in India. Puneet Jain, CEO of HT Digital (Hindustan Times), and Avinash Pandey, CEO of ABP Network, complete the line-up of speakers at the second edition of the DNPA Dialogues, which are taking place in the backdrop of a simmering debate around the world on the need to democratise the relationship between Big Tech companies such as Google and Meta on one hand, and domestic digital news platforms on the other. Owen hosts a popular podcast called ‘Big Tech’; Dr. Radsch is a well-known expert on social media practices, citizen journalism, and rights activism; and Deegan is a prominent voice for the rights of the news media business in Canada.

Revenue-sharing deals

Friday’s cross-continent discussion is expected to focus on the unique takeaways of the Online News Act in Canada, which has been drafted to require “digital news intermediaries” – essentially, Big Tech platforms – to negotiate revenue-sharing with Canadian news publishers for use of their online news content.

Unlike in Australia, where the government plays the central role in piloting the successful implementation of the bargaining code, Canada’s bill empowers the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to oversee the publisher-platform relationship, negotiations, and the revenue-sharing deals they strike.

It has been reported that if Canada’s draft law – introduced in Parliament earlier this year as Bill C-18 – comes into effect, the code could cover almost one-third of Canadian newsroom costs.

Experts believe that Canada’s proposed bill is a remarkable improvement of the Australian code because it incorporates the element of transparency – something that authorities and stakeholders in India would want to take note of. The Canadian telecom commission would need to keep public lists of designated technology platforms and designated news outlets.

Over the last few years, it has been widely reported that digital news publishers are in many instances being dealt with unfairly by some technology firms when it comes to sharing revenue for the published news that the tech platforms use.

“We live in times when people in India’s news media industry want answers to some questions,” said Puneet Jain, CEO of HT Digital (Hindustan Times), one of the speakers at the 2nd DNPA Dialogue. “What should be the ideal relationship between digital news publishers and Big Tech platforms? How does it impact journalism in our country? Who can India learn its lessons from? – Well, these are the questions that will be discussed at the roundtable.”

The DNPA Dialogues were recently launched amid that ongoing debate to explore ways to understand and constructively resolve publisher-platform issues, from transparency of operations to the sharing of revenue.

The DNPA Dialogues are essentially the first time that the digital wings of India’s leading news publishers are hosting insiders, experts, and stakeholders from government, academia, and the media industry to debate on ways to bring equality in how Big Tech platforms deal with news publishers.

The DNPA is a New Delhi-based independent advocacy body representing the digital arms of 17 top news media businesses in India, including Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar, Indian Express, Malayala Manorama, ETV, India Today Group, Times Group, Amar Ujala, Hindustan Times, Zee Media, ABP Network, Lokmat, NDTV, New Indian

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