After Google and Facebook:
The Future of Journalism & Democracy
Livestreaming Tuesday, April 20
The Center for Journalism & Liberty of the Open Markets Institute, in cooperation with the Washington Monthly, is hosting a daylong virtual conference Tuesday, April 20, 2021. The discussion will bring together lawmakers, law enforcers, journalists, and policy analysts to discuss how to structure the U.S. market for news and advertising to ensure a financially independent free press in America, at the national, regional, and local level. The discussion will focus closely on recent actions against Google and Facebook by law enforcers in Washington, individual U.S. states, and Australia, and
on plans to rebuild the sort of journalism we need to keep democracy healthy and safe.
The one-day virtual symposium will include multiple sessions and panels focusing on challenges to media independence, including policy enforcement, sustainability strategies, market structures and equitable advertising systems. The conversations will include debates about new legislation, the actions in Australia, alternative business models and other media matters complicated by Google and Facebook’s domination and influence. See below for the schedule of events.
Streaming on these platforms
Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Antitrust Subcommittee
Rep. David Cicilline
Chair of the House Judiciary Committee's Antitrust Subcommittee
Minnesota Attorney General
THE SESSIONS (times subject to adjustment)
9:30 a.m. ET: Welcome: Jody Brannon, director of the Center for Journalism & Liberty.
9:35 a.m.: Introduction: Barry Lynn, executive director, Open Markets Institute.
9:40 a.m.: The Crisis of
Journalism in Europe – and the U.K. Response: Andrea Coscelli, director of U.K. Competition and Markets Authority, will discuss, with The Markup’s Julia Angwin, last year’s groundbreaking report on the monopolization of the advertising industry, and the CMA’s creation of a new Digital Markets Unit to address the problem.
10:10 a.m.: Techniques of Control and Exploitation: Journalist Julia Angwin, privacy expert Johnny Ryan, and OMI’s Sally Hubbard will discuss how Google and Facebook maintain and exercise their power over journalists
10:55 a.m.: The View from Today’s Newsroom: Newspaper publishing executives from three metro dailies will discuss their fight to protect independent regional and local newsrooms, and the effects of Google and Facebook’s advertising duopoly. Penny Abernathy, a visiting professor at Medill, will converse with Danielle Coffey of the News Media Alliance, Alan Fisco of the Seattle Times, Dan Krockmalnic of The Boston Globe, and Randy Lebedoff of The Minnesota Star Tribune.
11:45 a.m.: The View from Tomorrow’s Newsroom: Three experienced journalists
will discuss the challenge of developing new outlets to cover local diverse communities without being able to rely on much digital advertising. Anne Kim of the Washington Monthly moderates this session with entrepreneurial professor Letrell Crittenden, Lauren Williams of the startup Capital B, and The Monthly’s Grace Gedye, who’s written extensively about podcasts.
12:25 p.m.: Keynote: Monopoly and Democracy in America. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Antitrust Subcommittee,
will speak about America’s monopoly crisis with a focus on how it affects America’s free press.
12:40 p.m.: BREAK
1 p.m.: The Fight Underway: Journalists and Citizens Use Anti-Monopoly Law to Protect Democracy: Panelists will take a close look at the case against Google, by 15 U.S. states and territories, and the private case against Google’s monopolization of advertising, brought by newspaper publishers from across the U.S. OMI’s Sally Hubbard will moderate this session with Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, legal analyst Dina Srinavasan, West Virginia newspaper group owner Doug Reynolds, and antitrust
attorney Tim Cowen.
1:55 p.m.: The Promise and Limits of Philanthropy: Panelists will consider how foundations have helped to save publishers big and small. But the model has a number of economic and political limits. Panel features Report for America’s Steve Waldman, Millie Tran, recently of the Texas Tribune, and local news researcher Penny Abernathy.
2:30 p.m.: Keynote: A Battle on Many Fronts: Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), chair of the Antitrust Subcommittee in the House of Representatives, will discuss how to stabilize America’s news industry today while taking the steps necessary to protect
democracy in the age of Google and Facebook. This will be a Q&A format with Axios media reporter Sara Fischer.
3 p.m. Digital Dark Money in Journalism: Five journalists and scholars will debate whether publishers can take money from Google and Facebook and still be independent. Washington Monthly’s Paul Glastris will moderate this conversation with Illinois professor Nikki Usher, CJL freelancer Dan Froomkin, former hyperlocal publisher Mandy Jenkins, The New York Times media critic Ben Smith, and Financial Times columnist Rana Foroohar. Introduced by Washington Monthly’s editor-in-chief, Paul Glastris.
4 p.m. From the Australia Model Back to the North Star. Panelists will discuss how to build a free press fit to save democracy – looking at the Australia model and others. Synthesizing the day’s conversation will be Australia regulator Rod Sims, The New York Times media critic Ben Smith, Financial Times columnist Rana Foroohar, and OMI policy director Phil Longman, author of “Starving the News.”
Other Presenters and Participants
- Penny Abernathy, visiting professor at Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University; author of “News Deserts and Ghost Newspapers: Will Local News Survive?” @businessofnews
- Julia Angwin, editor-in-chief, The Markup @JuliaAngwin
- Danielle Coffey, senior vice president and general counsel, News Media Alliance @newsalliance
- Dr. Andrea Coscelli,
chief executive, UK Competition and Markets Authority @CMAgovUK
- Tim Cowen, chair, antitrust practice, Preiskel & Co. LLP
- Dr. Letrell Crittenden, communications professor, Thomas Jefferson University @LDeshan
- Sara Fischer, media reporter, Axios @sarafischer
- Alan Fisco, president, Seattle Times; president, America’s Newspapers @newspapersorg
- Rana Foroohar, columnist and
editor, Financial Times @RanaForoohar
- Dan Froomkin, editor, Press Watch, and freelance reporter @froomkin
- Grace Gedye, editor, The Washington Monthly @GraceGedye
- Paul Glastris, editor-in-chief, The Washington Monthly @glastris
- Mandy Jenkins, former general manager, McClatchy’s Compass Experiment in Youngstown, Ohio @mjenkins
- Anne Kim, contributing editor, The Washington
- Dan Krockmalnic, executive vice president and general counsel, Boston Globe @krockmalnic
- Randy Lebedoff, senior vice president and general counsel, Minneapolis Star Tribune @StarTribune
- Doug Reynolds, managing partner, HD Media Co. LLC, publisher of a group of West Virginia newspapers, including the Huntington Herald Dispatch @heralddispatch
- Dr. Johnny Ryan, senior fellow, Irish Council for Civil Liberties; fellow, Open Markets Institute; former chief privacy officer, Brave Software @johnnyryan
- Rod Sims, chair, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission @acccgovau
- Ben Smith, media columnist, New York Times and former editor-in-chief, BuzzFeed @benyt
- Dina Srinivasan, fellow, Thurmond Arnold Project,
Yale University; founder, Effidia, an adtech company whose technology was acquired by WPP @DinaSrinivasan
- Millie Tran, formerly of Texas Tribune; CJL advisory board @millie
- Dr. Nikki Usher, professor, University of Illinois; fellow, Center for Journalism & Liberty and CJL’s advisory board chair @nikkiusher
- Steve Waldman, president of Report for America, coordinator of the Rebuild Local News Coalition @stevenwaldman
- Lauren Williams, co-founder and chief executive officer, Capital B; formerly SVP and editor-in-chief, Vox @laurenwilliams
Open Markets & CJL Staff
- Dr. Jody Brannon, director, Center for Journalism & Liberty @brannonj
- Sally Hubbard, director of enforcement
strategy, Open Markets Institute @Sally_Hubbard
- Phillip Longman, policy director, Open Markets Institute; senior editor, The Washington Monthly
- Barry Lynn, executive director, Open Markets Institute @barryclynn
The Center for Journalism & Liberty, now in its second year, is part of the Knight Research Network and is a project of the Open Markets Institute.
About the Center for Journalism & Liberty
Our mission is to ensure that the news media of the U.S. and our democratic allies is fully independent and robustly funded in the 21st century’s digital economy. We are guided by the belief that government plays a fundamental role in structuring news media markets and business models to ensure
that neither the state nor any one or few private actors control the words or actions of reporters, editors and publishers. We focus on policy solutions with regard to privacy, platforms, business models, and content integrity.