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Newspapers warn over threat to democracy of Google and Facebook taking advertising revenues

William Turvill
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The News Media Association want the government to “ensure that online platforms operate within a framework that is fair, non-abusive and respectful of media plurality” (Source: Getty)

National newspaper publishers have warned the government that news aggregators like Google and Facebook are threatening the UK’s democracy by taking their advertising revenue.

The News Media Association (NMA) said in a letter to ministers that it is becoming “increasingly difficult” to fund quality journalism, with advertising revenues at news organisations plummeting.

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It said this money is being diverted to internet companies, and also attached blame to services blocking adverts on internet pages.

The NMA said: “If the viability of independent news production comes under pressure, it will not just be a headache for news publishers. The impact on media plurality and the functioning of democracy will be profound.”

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In the letter to ministers Baroness Neville-Rolfe, minister for energy and intellectual property, and Matthew Hancock, minister for digital policy and culture, the NMA called on the government to “ensure that online platforms operate within a framework that is fair, non-abusive and respectful of media plurality”.

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