PERISCOPE - Occasional Analysis Brief Series

PERISCOPE -Occasional Analysis Brief Vol. 5 2021: The Australian News Media Bargaining Code

This title is only availabe in English

'Periscope' is the Occasional Analysis Paper/Brief series of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation's Regional Programme Australia and the Pacific. Just like the real-world sighting instrument, Periscope is meant as a lens to broaden our insights - taking in views from different angles. This way, it seeks to bring together perspectives from Germany, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region to augment our understanding of contemporary issues and help address the pressing problems of our time. The Periscope Series covers topics from the area of foreign and security policy, cybersecurity, terrorism/counter-terrorism, energy policy, rule of law, socio-economic matters and development policy. It comprises both longer Analysis Papers– in the form of single-author (and co-authored) contributions or edited volumes with multiple authors - and shorter Analysis Briefs.

The News Media Bargaining Code is Australia’s response to calls to redistribute advertising revenues between digital platforms and News Media Organisations (NMOs). Newspaper circulations and advertising revenues have declined with the growth of online news.In Australia, print advertising revenues are predicted to decline a further 14.5% between 2019 – 2024. Advertising has always generated more profit than newspaper subscriptions, but online advertising has proved less lucrative for NMOs than print, and the ratio of print to online advertising revenue is decreasing. There are multiple causes, including new forums for advertising spend, the growth of behavioural advertising (where advertisers bid on ad space according to the likelihood of influencing consumer behaviour, informed by rich profiles and inferences about user behaviour and preferences) over contextual advertising (ie advertising based on the features of a website or piece of content), and platforms’ control of the profitable ad-tech ecosystem where NMO ad inventory is sold online. One suggested policy response is to increase public support for journalism through grants and tax incentives. The NMBC, however, reflects a different policy direction, one that attributes responsibility for the decline of NMO profit on the platforms themselves, and requires platforms to remunerate NMOs for indexing news content on platform services.


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About the Author

Dr Jake Goldenfein

Jake Goldenfein is a Senior Lecturer at Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne, where he teaches Regulating Digital Platforms. He is also an Associate Investigator in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society, and an Associate at Cornell Tech’s Digital Life Initiative, where he was a postdoctoral fellow prior to his appointment at MLS. Jake is a law and technology scholar studying data governance, platform regulation, automated decisionmaking and legal theory. His book ‘Monitoring Laws: Profiling and Identity in the World State’, analysing  the relationship between privacy and data protection laws and state security practices, was published in 2019 with Cambridge University Press.


Eva Wagner

Eva Wagner

Senior Programm-Koordinatorin Rechtsstaatlichkeit, Energie- und Entwicklungspolitik +61 2 6154 9323