The editor of the Yorkshire Post has called on tech giants to pay for the news they distribute via their platforms – despite a review into the future of the news industry warning that such a move could see the likes of Google pull out of the UK market altogether.
The Cairncross Review concluded that the likes of Google and Facebook could do more to help users identify fake news, but it rejected the idea that they should pay for the content that appears in their news feeds.
One problem, the review said, was that it would lead to a disagreement over payments that would require government intervention and that value “is likely to vary wildly from one exchange to another”.
It also said that requiring payment would risk Google News, in particular, refusing to show any publisher’s content, which would cause “significant harm to people who want to see the news”.
But Yorkshire Post editor James Mitchinson, writing on Twitter, said that tech giants should now be part of a “royalty mechanism”.
He said: “We need a level playing field and a fair deal: we need swift action, for sure.