LGBTIQ publishers unite to seek deals with Google and Facebook

qnews star observer out in perth collective bargaining

Over a dozen of Australia’s small news publishers, including QNews, Star Observer and OUTinPerth, have united to collectively negotiate with Google and Facebook on secure commercial agreements for supply of public interest journalism content to their platforms.

In March, the Morrison government passed a law requiring the two tech giants to negotiate the deals with Australian outlets.

During the past eight months, Google and Facebook have reached voluntary commercial agreements with major multinational and national media organisations.

However smaller Australian news publishers say the tech companies have failed to meaningfully engage with them.

The smaller outlets also play a critical role in the creation and publication of news content benefiting the Australian public.

Now the Minderoo Foundation, the philanthropic organisation owned by Fortescue chairman Andrew Forrest, is helping the group of 17 small publishers.

The collective is working with Frontier Technology, an initiative of the Minderoo Foundation.

They’re applying to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on the publishers’ behalf for permission to negotiate together in compliance with competition laws.

Smaller publishers forgotten in tech giant negotiations

The list of publishers to join the collective bargaining action includes Australian LGBTIQ news outlets QNews, Star Observer and OUTinPerth.

Other publishers who serve local, regional and multicultural communities have also joined.

QNews publisher Richard Bakker said, “With Google and Facebook taking the lion’s share of all advertising revenue to the tune of well over 5 billion dollars, the Morrison Government’s initiative has served the larger news outlets well.

“Smaller independent public interest publishers have been largely forgotten.

“News and advertising are being dynamically programmed with complex algorithms and squeezing out smaller publishers.

“Less specialised independent journalism leads to less credible information. And therefore, less scrutiny and accountability.”

If you’re a small public interest publisher and wish to join the collective bargaining action, contact Richard Bakker at

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