Illinois Journalism Bill Passes Committee, Would Require Tech Firms To Pay For Content

An Illinois bill that would require big tech companies to pay usage fees for content they use from publications has moved to the next stage. 

Senate Bill 359 was advanced by the Senate Executive Committee on Wednesday and is "now heading to the full Senate," writes State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford). 

Otherwise known as the Journalism Presservation Act, the bill ensures that “news publishers are fairly compensated for their work, which is increasingly being utilized by large tech platforms for profit,” Stadelman adds.  

The legislation mandates that major online platforms pay local news publishers for use of their content. An arbitration process would determine the appropriate compensation in each case. 

“The health of our local journalism industry directly impacts the health of our democracy,” Stadelman says. “This bill is not just about fair compensation – it’s about preserving the vital role that local news organizations play in our society.”



It remains to be seen if the tech giants cut off news in Illinois.

In March, Meta spokesperson Jamie Radice told The Verge that “we will be forced to make the same business decision that we made in Canada to end the availability of news in Illinois” if the bill passes. 

In a hearing, Stadelman dismissed the idea that news could be blocked.  

“I find that hard to believe,” Stadelman said. “It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. The problem is the compensation does not flow back to the local newsrooms and publishers.”  

The other opponents of the measure include TechNet, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, The Center Square reports. The proponents include the News Media Alliance and the Local Journalism Task Force. 


Next story loading loading..