There’s a huge power imbalance between small, independent publishers (like us!) and the digital platforms and social media we use every day. So we’re making a racket.


Just over a year ago, Facebook whipped a bunch of news publishers off of Facebook. It was a powerful, if clumsy, show of force, in reaction to the News Media Bargaining Code.

The code was the federal government’s attempt to level the playing field, by asking the big platforms like Facebook and Google to effectively pay for the valuable content publishers like We Are Explorers, provide. How many of your friends get their news from social media?

Some people argue that these companies shouldn’t have to pay for our content, that the views these companies provide for us should be enough for us to make our own advertising dollars.

But Facebook and Google now take up to 80% of digital advertising revenue in Australia, leaving 20% for news publishers (and other websites).


The Big End of Town Wins Again

What happened was probably the worst possible outcome. Facebook (they’re Meta now #attemptedglowup) struck some big commercial deals with some of Australia’s largest publishers, and ignored the smaller publishers completely.

While Google’s been open to chat (though they’re hardly in our good books), Facebook won’t even return our emails. It’s anti competitive, which is a pretty ironic result from something put together by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission. But somehow with our current government, hardly surprisingly.


Today we’re joining with more than 20 small and independent publishers from across Australia in freezing our content. We know how valuable it is, to our millions of readers, and we know how important it is to keep this industry diverse.

But you won’t see any news today from publishers like Broadsheet, Russh, Concrete Playground and many more as we stand together to call on the government to ensure the future of independent media in Australia.

Want to get involved? Head to for info on how to send Josh Frydenberg (and the Department of Treasury) an email calling on him to designate digital platforms under the code, to ensure Facebook has to cut us in, and pay for the journalism it benefits from.

To be fair, he made a good start (even reaching out to Mark Zuckerberg directly), but more needs to be done, soon, before small and medium independent publishers disappear completely.