What's Ahead 1. Guarding Local News from Big Tech. 2. The Tragic Surge in Overdose Deaths. 3. Weekly Roundup. 4. My Contact Information.
1. Guarding Local News from Big Tech.
2. The Tragic Surge in Overdose Deaths.
3. Weekly Roundup.
4. My Contact Information.
Guarding Local News from Big Tech
Since the ratification of our Constitution, news publications have played a vital role in the United States by reporting on stories close-to-home. Unfortunately for homegrown news, the swift rise of Big Tech has run counter to the progression of local reporting.
Big Tech companies, such as Google and Facebook, have disrupted the ecosystem of smaller news outlets. According to Pew Research, more than 8-in-10 Americans now get their news online, largely through social media.
Because the production behind news is costly, advertising dollars are critical because they serve as the primary revenue stream to local broadcast operations. Now, however, the primary beneficiary of advertising revenue of local news is not the outlet that produced it, it is the large technology platforms. Tech giants keep the bulk — roughly 70 percent — of the ad dollars local news stations generate because they currently have no means to negotiate with these online platforms.
On an annual basis, local news stations lose an estimated $1.873 billion to Google Search and Facebook News Feeds by sharing their stories on these platforms. As a result, the most trusted news sources – local stations – have suffered. The lack of fair compensation for these outlets from Big Tech threatens their ability to invest in themselves to continue producing trusted, high-quality journalism.
Local broadcasters, at the very least, deserve a seat at the table to negotiate a share of revenue that’s fair for both sides. But the product of the current system in place leaves Silicon Valley billionaires reaping the rewards while news outlets struggle to maintain adequate staffing and equipment.
The first step Congress must take to fight back against the seemingly limitless control Tech giants have over the marketplace is to pass the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), which would remove legal barriers enabling Big Tech to dominate this space and give our local outlets the ability to negotiate fair compensation for the use of their content.
I have proudly cosponsored this legislation because it’s long past the time to put power back in the hands of local news outlets — who are our friends and neighbors — and keep advertising dollars close to home, instead of continuing to enrich Silicon Valley billionaires.
The Tragic Surge in Overdose Deaths
This week, we came together to recognize National Overdose Awareness Week, where we shine light on the serious issue of deadly drugs in our communities and provide comfort to the families who mourn the loss of loved ones.
Currently, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services is warning of a strong presence of synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl. From 2019 to 2021, fentanyl overdose deaths in Wisconsin increased by 97 percent—a shocking statistic.
If we’re serious about addressing the overdose epidemic, we must acknowledge the increase in the amount of fentanyl that is coming across the Southern border illegally. As Border Patrol has been focused on apprehending thousands of illegal migrants every day due to the poor immigration policies coming out of Washington, agents tell me that it has been more difficult to detect and seize deadly opioids coming across the border.
As overdoses are devastating Wisconsin families, Americans are rightfully looking for answers. But without substantial measures in place to combat this uptick and save lives, there is sadly no reason to believe adequate support is being put in place to address this crisis.
The continuing increases in overdose deaths again highlights the need for Congress to pass legislation like my bill, the Fentanyl Penalties Parity Act, which will increase penalties for fentanyl traffickers and fentanyl-related offenses, bringing them closer in line with other opiate offenses.
I'm ready to work in a bipartisan manner to tackle this crisis. The first two steps we must take are securing our border and passing legislation to crack down on drug trafficking. Unfortunately, until Congress and the President show they are serious about preventing overdose deaths, Wisconsinites must be aware of the growing threat of opioids in our communities.
Thank you to the medical professionals at Aurora Medical Center in Sheboygan for an inside look into your facility and caring for communities in the Sixth District.
Maurer's Market in Wisconsin Dells plays a pivotal role in the Sixth District by supporting our local producers and providing food to families in Wisconsin.
I enjoyed visiting the Cedarburg location of Wilo USA to speak with some of the talented manufacturing employees in the Sixth District that help shape our state’s world-class manufacturing industry.
This week, I was in Wautoma speaking with the Waushara County Farm Bureau about the concerns and needs for local farmers and agricultural workers.
I visited the Sheboygan Noon Rotary meeting to speak about my work supporting Sheboygan and all communities throughout the Sixth District.
As your Congressman, I’m here to serve you. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to my offices in Fond du Lac and Washington. If you enjoyed this newsletter be sure to forward it to your family and friends so they can stay informed on what I’m doing in Washington and the Sixth District.
You can also stay up-to-the-minute by following me on Facebook (Congressman Glenn Grothman), Twitter (@RepGrothman) and Instagram (@RepGlennGrothman).