Local media houses have started a process they hope will eventually lead to global giants like Google and Meta (owner of Facebook) being unable to continue using original, locally produced content on their platforms for free.
By posting news – mostly headlines and snippets - produced by local media houses on their platforms for free, these global platforms draw viewers to their sites. This enhances their own interests and market dominance. However, local media companies, which spent money creating the news content, get nothing in return.
The Competition Commission last year launched an inquiry into the potential market-dominating practices of online intermediary platforms in SA. This created an opportunity for the industry association Publisher Support Services (PSS) to raise the issue of global giants using content created elsewhere without compensation. Members of the PSS include Arena, Mail & Guardian, IOL, Caxton, and Media24. The Association of Independent Publishers has also engaged with the inquiry.