A new report about possible ways to fund non-commercial journalism published by media advocacy group Free Press proposing legislators adopt an online ad-tax to generate the revenue.
Tim Karr, their Senior Director of Strategy and Communications, told KGNU that social networking platforms Facebook and Google alone share 70% of the market having earned a combined $62 billion in 2018. He said a 1.5% to 2% tax could generate as much as $2 billion that would be disbursed via grants from a Public Interest Media Endowment for local journalism projects.
In addition to laying out the protocol for the tax formulas, Free Press’s report Beyond Fixing Facebook reviews the damage done to the public discourse due to unimpeded misinformation and propaganda that’s so easily spread on digital platforms and Karr said he believes independent journalism can play a key role in restoring some balance to the media economy.
“While we can’t say we’re going to wave a magical wand and all of these problems will go away, we have a great degree of confidence that the way you fix this democracy threatening spread of disinformation is through sound local journalism.”