How the Net Neutrality Repeal Could Hurt Germantown and Local Independent News Nationwide
Repealing Net Neutrality would allow giant chain media to work in concert with Internet conglomerates to limit access to independent, alternative and local news and information, warned LION Publishers about the upcoming vote by the FCC.
“Giving a clear go-ahead for a tilted playing field would be the result if the Federal Communications Commission tosses out Net Neutrality,” said Dylan Smith, LION’s chairman and the publisher of TucsonSentinel.com.
Local Independent Online News Publishers is a national nonprofit organization with more than 180 members operating locally focused news sites in 42 states. The group issued a statement on Monday expressing deep concern about the FCC’s proposal to scrap Net Neutrality rules.
“Access to information and local journalism that holds government and other powerful institutions accountable is essential to a functioning democracy, economic well-being, and human rights,” said LION Executive Director Matt DeRienzo. “These pillars are already under severe strain from the dominance of a handful of large tech platforms, and the rapid consolidation of the newspaper and broadcasting industry under the control of a few enormous corporate chains.”
Local independent online news sites, such as Germantown Pulse, are springing up all over the country to fill gaps in local journalism, but they rely on an Internet based on a level playing field for all publishers and readers, regardless of size or resources.
If Net Neutrality goes away, big Internet and wireless providers will be able to charge individual publishers for levels of speed and access, a scenario in which a handful of big companies with deep pockets could squeeze out the kind of small, independent news publishers who are part of LION. This would severely limit citizens’ access to information and could be devastating to local news, which big publishers have whittled to the barest of bones.
Essentially, content from MegaChainNews or CorporateInterestNetwork would be served up as fast as possible, if those corporat