Promoting a Healthy Digital Ecosystem for News

Caitlin Chin-Rothmann sits down with Dr. Courtney C. Radsch, director of the Center for Journalism and Liberty at the Open Markets Institute, to discuss the state of the news media in an evolving technological landscape. Caitlin and Courtney cover recent developments related to Canada’s Online News Act, the California Journalism Preservation Act, and the U.S. Journalism and Competition Preservation Act, as well as responses from Meta and Google.  In addition, they consider how the rapid adoption of generative AI could potentially affect journalists and the sustainability of news.

Additional Notes

  • For more information on this topic, check out Charis Papaevangelou’s article “Funding Intermediaries: Google and Facebook’s Strategy to Capture Journalism” in Digital Journalism.
  • After this episode was recorded, Google announced a new extender protocol in robot.txt on September 28 to allow publishers to opt out of having their content used to training Google AI models. However, Courtney Radsch explains that this action puts the onus on publishers—not platforms—to take action. Furthermore, extender protocols are voluntary standards that malign actors, like content farms, can ignore. Finally, Radsch contends that removing journalism from training data can also reduce the supply side of quality information and make downstream applications less accurate.