West Virginia newspaper slams Big Tech for ‘manipulating’ digital media

The owner of a local West Virginia newspaper company is fighting back against Big Tech giants for monopolizing digital media.

Doug Reynolds of the Charleston Gazette-Mail, a Pulitzer Prize-winning paper, filed a lawsuit claiming companies like Facebook and Google are allegedly manipulating the digital advertising market.

Reynolds told “America’s Newsroom” on Thursday that the tech companies “conspire to dominate the digital media space.”

“[T]he newspaper industry over the last 10 years has been making this … transfer to digital media, and what we found is, as we’ve gone into this world, that Google and Facebook make the rules of the game, they control the whole environment,” the newspaper company owner stressed. “They compete against us for advertising dollars.”

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, left, and Democratic challenger Doug Reynolds walk away after their debate outside the West Virginia Capitol on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, in Charleston, W.Va.
Doug Reynolds outside the West Virginia Capitol in 2016.
John Raby/AP

The Charleston Gazette-Mail owner emphasized 200 newspaper companies have closed nationwide and, in order for local journalism to survive, it’s going to have to find a way to finance itself in the “digital sphere.”

Reynolds went on to say local journalism needs to be paid for in a “different way,” and argued the industry has to be an “open and even playing field.”

“[The Charleston Gazette Mail] is dependent on our readers and we empower citizens every day to make a positive impact in their community … we believe it’s something that needs to continue,” Reynolds said.

Fox News reached out to Google and Facebook regarding Reynold’s claims. Google said it is not commenting on this particular case.