November 30, 2016 Last Updated 1:29 pm

News Media Alliance sends white paper to Trump’s transition team urging media law reforms

In addition to calling current media cross ownership rules ‘grossly out of date,’ the paper from the newspaper association also calls for a new look at copyright and ‘fair use’ rules

The News Media Alliance (formerly the NAA) today sent a white paper to Donald Trump’s transition team conveying the association’s views on media laws and regulations, tax and copyright policies. The white paper can be found in PDF form here.

nma-flagThe white paper calls the 1975 ban on media cross ownership is “grossly out of date” and calls the Department of Justice’s definition of a market as “outdated”.

The controversial part, at least as far as digital publishers and readers would be concerned, involve a call for stronger copyright protections, and a limiting of the definition of “fair use” – something consistent with what European newspaper publishers have urged. It also calls the Library of Congress “an ineffective home for the Copyright Office” and recommends that copyright to have its own “autonomy in the federal government with a presidentially appointed and Senate confirmed leader who can elevate the importance of copyright protection through policy decisions.”

Finally, the white paper also urges the president-elect to play nice with the press pool (something Donald Trump does not appear apt to do), and calls for better transparency when it comes to the availability of government documents (also something the new administration is unlikely to do). Sadly, the Barack Obama leaves the White House with a poor record in this regard.

“Transparency is the key to a well-informed electorate. We urge the Administration to make available key documents that underlie its decisions, and to encourage Executive Branch agencies to interpret the Freedom of Information Act in a manner that favors the disclosure of government information to the American people,” the NMA white paper urges.

Here is the announcement for the white paper from the News Media Alliance:

Arlington, VA – November 30, 2016 –– The News Media Alliance today sent a white paper to President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team outlining policy positions on regulations and existing laws that deter investment and limit growth in the news media industry.

The Alliance continues to lead the news sector’s efforts to protect the constitutional right to a free press. That objective also requires government policies that support a vibrant and growing news industry.

“Our member organizations are the lynchpin of credible and trusted journalism in our country, uncovering facts, vetting sources and facilitating public discourse,” said David Chavern, president and CEO of the News Media Alliance. “While news organizations are innovating and adapting to a vastly different media landscape, antiquated government regulations and imbalanced policies are unnecessarily hindering investment and growth at news media companies. We encourage the new Administration to revisit these regulations and policies as it charts a new course for our nation’s economic growth.”

The Alliance’s white paper outlines key public policy positions that involve such issues as: the Federal Communications Commission’s Nixon-era ban on media cross-ownership; unequal Tax Code treatment of digital news production; Copyright Act reforms that bring back value for original content creators, and press access and freedom to assure the government is open and accountable to the public.

Photo (home page feature): Reader by Niccolò Caranti used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

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