Rupert Murdoch to Facebook: Pay us for our stories

News Corp. exec issues statement proposing licensing deal between news organizations and online media platforms.

Michelle Meyers
Michelle Meyers wrote and edited CNET News stories from 2005 to 2020 and is now a contributor to CNET.
Michelle Meyers
2017 Metropolitan Opera Opening Night

News Corp. Exec Rupert Murdoch (shown here at the Metropolitan Opera's opening night in 2017) says Facebook should pay publishers like cable operators do for TV content.

Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images

News Corp. Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch is calling on Facebook and other online news platforms to pay publishers for content posted to their sites.

Murdoch issued the statement Monday, a week after Facebook made two major changes to its news feed algorithm. First the social network said it will prioritize posts from friends and family members over those from brands and publishers. Then it said it would focus on news that comes from "trusted sources" picked through surveys of Facebook users.

Murdoch responded by accusing Facebook and Google of popularizing "scurrilous news sources through algorithms that are profitable for the platforms but inherently unreliable.

"If Facebook wants to recognize 'trusted' publishers then it should pay those publishers a carriage fee similar to the model adopted by cable companies," he added.

He went on to acknowledge that there's been much talk about subscription models but nothing has surfaced that "truly recognizes the investment in and the social value of professional journalism."

"We will closely follow the latest shift in Facebook's strategy, and I have no doubt that Mark Zuckerberg is a sincere person, but there is still a serious lack of transparency that should concern publishers and those wary of political bias at these powerful platforms," Murdoch said. 

Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on Murdoch's statement.