The Indiana Publisher

April IP 2021

Hoosier State Press Association - The Indiana Publisher

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Publisher The Indiana Volume 86, Issue 4 • April 2021 Published monthly If you're in downtown Indianapolis, you might see Josh Weber sprinting down New York Street on his way from the Statehouse to his classes on the IUPUI campus. The Robert H. McKinney School of Law student has been serving as HSPA's legislative assistant this spring. Since the mid-1990s, HSPA has employed interns to assist with duties during the legislative session. "They help me monitor and keep on top of scheduling for hun- dreds of filed legislation each ses- sion that I have to read," said Steve Key, executive director and general counsel for the Hoosier State Press Association. The students are responsible for a variety of tasks to support HSPA's mission at the Statehouse. They do legal research. They help determine if there are issues with bills, which legislators to talk to, if the bills are ones HSPA would sup- port, oppose or amend. And, they have a hands-on role in the process. "I always try to give them the opportunity to take some of the legislation and actually do lobbying — whether it's working though the legislator directly or an assistant," Key said. "I like to see them have an opportunity, if it presents itself, to testify before a committee." Weber is originally from Jacksonville, Florida. His mother's side of the family is from Kentucky. Legislative Update House, Senate approve bill advancing online publication of public notices S.B. 332, which allows govern- ment units to move the second and third publication of multi-run public notices, to "official websites," was approved by both the Indiana House and Senate on April 20. The vote in the House was 51-40 – the bare minimum needed to pass it. The vote in the Senate was 35-14. HSPA will share the voting break- down when we get a copy of the votes so that publishers can see how their local legislators voted. The votes illustrate the shifting mood in the legislature toward publi- cation of public notices in local news- papers, said Steve Key, executive director and general counsel for the Hoosier State Press Association. "Even our allies in the legislature have been telling us that it's a matter of when, not if, public notices should move to the Internet," Key said. That's why HSPA already has pledged to the leaders of the four leg- islative caucuses that it will present a comprehensive modernization of public notice policy this summer with the goal of introducing legislation in the 2022 session. During the April 20 floor votes, there was no debate in the Senate over S.B. 332 beyond the author's presentation of the bill. Sen. Jim Staff Reports The Republic (Columbus) Publishers of 125 newspapers in 11 states filed or announced lawsuits against Google and Facebook on April 19 claiming the tech giants have unlawfully monopolized the digital advertising market and engaged in an illegal secretive deal, nicknamed "Jedi Blue," to thwart competition. Fourteen complaints were filed or announced by publishers from Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Mississippi, New Jersey, Indiana, Missouri, Maryland and Delaware. The claims follow a pioneering January 2021 antitrust suit against Google and Facebook filed by HD Media, a West Virginia-based newspa- per company that publishes the Pulitzer Prize winning Charleston Gazette-Mail and (Huntington) Herald-Dispatch. Among those fil- ing April 19 is AIM Media, led by CEO Jeremy Halbreich, a veteran newspaper executive who previ- ously served as board chairman and CEO of Sun-Times Media, publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times along with seven other daily news- papers and 40 weekly newspapers in the Chicago region; founder and chairman of American Consolidated Media, publisher of 110 daily and weekly newspapers in 10 states; and ex-president and general manager of the Dallas Morning News. AIM Media Texas, AIM Media Midwest and AIM Media Indiana are among the plaintiffs in the April 19 filings who collectively publish approxi- mately 50 newspapers in four states. As found by recent investiga- tions conducted by both federal and state agencies, Google and Facebook have monopolized the digital advertising market and restricted the monetization of local news by local news organizations," Halbreich said. "This has had a dra- matic impact on the revenues and resources available for local news organizations. These monopolistic AIM Media Indiana among 125 newspapers filing lawsuits against tech giants Google, Facebook Complaint: companies unlawfully monopolized digital ad market See Update, page 9 See Lawsuits, page 2 "This is a fight worth fighting." — Paul Farrell Jr., attorney, Farrell & Fuller HSPA intern Josh Weber at the Indiana Statehouse Monday, April 12. HSPA intern Josh Weber learns the ins, outs of the Statehouse See Intern, page 2

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