Pair to negotiate with Google, Facebook

Two former Australian news executives have been chosen to negotiate with Google and Facebook on behalf of 28 news publishers for the use of New Zealand journalism on their platforms.

The publishers, which include Otago Daily Times publisher Allied Press, print more than 100 titles across New Zealand.

They have formed a collective under the auspices of the News Publishers' Association to try to negotiate a settlement similar to one reached between the tech giants and Australian publishers which led to more than $A200 million in annual payments for use of news articles on digital platforms.

"Google and Facebook have built businesses of unimaginable scale and power, using journalism paid for by others while dominating the digital advertising market," NPA general manager Brook Cameron said.

"We are seeking an outcome that allows independent New Zealand news publishers to keep investing in great journalism, because a thriving Kiwi media sector is critical to a healthy democracy."

Fair payments were vital to the sustainability of independent New Zealand journalism, Ms Cameron said.

Negotiating on behalf of the NPA will be former Nine chief digital and publishing officer Chris Janz and former Nine subscriptions and growth director David Eisman.

"It is fantastic to welcome people of Chris and David's calibre, who understand the importance of fair payments in supporting a free and independent press," Ms Cameron said.

In April, the Commerce Commission granted provisional authorisation to the NPA for its collective bargaining application to proceed: it is still considering the main application.

The application is open for NPA members and other independent New Zealand owned news publishers, on an opt in basis.

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