OSB: NMA Welcomes Amendments To Protect Journalistic Content

The News Media Association has welcomed amendments to give recognised news publishers exemptions within the Online Safety Bill, making sure that journalistic content is not inadvertently caught by the new regime.

Owen Meredith, chief executive of the News Media Association, said: “These amendments are essential to protect media freedom and ensure consumers have access to accurate, timely and trusted news and information online.

“By ensuring content from Recognised News Publishers cannot be arbitrarily removed by platforms, the Online Safety Bill will help tackle the flood of mis and dis information online.”

The amendments will prevent tech platforms from restricting news publishers content and subjecting them to fines for non-compliance, as well as not allowing tech platforms to remove news publishers’ content during a dispute until a “proper right of appeal” has taken place. Platforms must also notify publishers if a dispute occurs. 

Chris Philp MP tabled the amendments yesterday before resigning as minister for tech and the digital economy today. 

The amendments also included that Ofcom must review the efficacy of how well platforms protect news publishers content on their sites. 

DCMS Secretary of State, Nadine Dorries, said: “Our democracy depends on people’s access to high quality journalism and our world-leading internet safety law brings in tough new safeguards for freedom of speech and the press online.

“Yet we’ve seen tech firms arbitrarily remove legitimate journalism with a complete lack of transparency and this could seriously impact public discourse. These extra protections will stop that from happening.”

The NMA has repeatedly called for exemptions within the Online Safety Bill to protect journalistic content online and will continue to work closely with Government as the Bill moves through Parliament.