AKE’s Special Report focuses on the challenges facing traditional news media in the internet age.

After months of wrangling, Australia's parliament passed the News Media Bargaining Code on 25 February 2021. The new code requires global digital firms such as Facebook and Google to negotiate with media companies and pay for news content. The bill has implications far beyond Australia and versions of it could be passed in a range of other countries.

It is unclear whether the overall effect of the bill will be positive for the news media and for democracy in general. Google and Facebook are likely to reach licence agreements with a handful of large media groups. Large media outlets are valuable to both of them and have enhanced bargaining power. However, it is far from certain that either company will be willing to reach agreements that allow smaller outlets to thrive.