The majority of country press audiences prefer to read their local paper in print than online. In fact, many said they would stop reading their papers if they went digital only.
The internet of 2021 is not the open public sphere that early visionaries had imagined.
Compromises were reached and reputations suffered. Who ultimately won the social media showdown?
Most of the attention on the code has been on the larger media outlets. But the sustainability of small publishers is what should be of most concern.
The battle between media companies and foreign governments over who controls the news dates back some 150 years, to when European and US wire services dictated the world's headlines.
From screenshots, to rival social platforms, to the old-school method of visiting a newspaper's homepage, there are plenty of ways to get your news fix without clicking on Facebook.
Facebook's decision to ban media organisations from posting links to news articles on the social media giant's platform comes under a week before Australia's COVID vaccine rollout begins.
Facebook pulling the plug on Australian news will cause short-term disruption, but readers and media will recover.
The timing of Google's deals raises questions, coming just as the News Media Bargaining Code is set to be introduced into federal parliament.
It may have seemed the platforms were taking a confident stance by appealing to Australian users directly. But really, it was a delayed and panic-based reaction.
There are other ways to search the web without Google, and some options help protect your privacy while another is good for the planet.
If the government wants to save the social benefit of public-interest journalism, it must look beyond the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code.
The titans of online advertising don't want to be forced into putting a value on linking to news.
The code could require Google and Facebook to pay up for simply including links to news articles from other sites. This has never been a requirement on the web.
The ABC and SBS have been included in the code. That’s good news, but will compensation received be factored into future government funding decisions for the public broadcasters?
The ABC could build a social media service to replace Facebook - but it doesn't have the funding, resources or political support to do so.
Research shows Google News results often prioritise mainstream media over smaller news businesses. It's a double-edged sword. While local outlets suffer, it's actually better for readers.
The Public Interest Journalism Initiative is proposing a new scheme that would allow news media organisations to claim tax refunds for producing 'core news' content. This is how it would work.
Facebook is worried publishers may charge as much as they want for their content. But we believe parameters can be set based on the value Australians put on public interest journalism.
The code seems to oversimplify how news content on big digital platforms should be assigned commercial value.