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The News Media Alliance, an Arlington, VA-based group that represents nearly 2,000 news organizations, announced on Monday a call for Congress to adopt legislation that will let publishers negotiate with “dominant online platforms” – namely Facebook and Google – on how news is “ranked, presented, and distributed.”

The goal here is to work with platforms on business model solutions that will secure the “long-term availability of local journalism produced by America’s newsrooms.”

“If local journalism is going to be sustainable on these platforms going forward, there needs to be a better deal for publishers. This could be platform support for subscriptions, a better share of advertising revenue, improvement on how brands are distinguished from one another, [and] the sharing of consumer data so publishers have a better idea of the audience segments reading their content.”

News Media Alliance senior vice president of public policy Paul Boyle

The alliance contends that existing antitrust laws prevent news organizations from “working together” to negotiate better partnerships with platforms.

“Antitrust laws prevent publishers from working together to address industry concerns regarding the non-price aspects of how Google and Facebook display and rank news,” Boyle said.

However, alliance president and CEO David Chavern told Poynter that the proposal faced an “uphill climb” in the Republican-controlled Congress.

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