Rasmus Kleis Nielsen. Photo (cc) 2017 by Tuija Aalto.

If you get a chance, you should listen to this Lawfare podcast featuring Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, director of the Reuters Institute and professor of political communication at the University of Oxford.

Nielsen covers a lot of ground, but the most interesting part comes toward the end, when he discusses Australia’s new law that (to way oversimplify) requires Facebook and Google to pay for news.

What makes this worthwhile is Nielsen’s calm rationality. For instance, he pronounces the Australian law a success if success is defined as extracting revenue from Big Tech and giving it to large incumbent news organizations. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since those news orgs are where the social media giants have been getting a lot of their content.

But Nielsen says we should look at other definitions of success, too — such as finding ways for Google and Facebook to support local and nonprofit news organizations as well as those that serve undercovered communities.

And thanks to Heidi Legg for calling this to my attention.

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