Chris BishopBy Chris Bishop|May 23, 2022|3 Minutes|In Editor's Desk

Editor’s Desk

Facebook and Google – it’s time for fairness  in Africa

Africa, its time. It is time for fair play; it is time for fair reward; for a couple of the richest companies in the world to do what is right.It is time that the hard-working journalists  who often risk their lives for the truth  are given their just reward for being a key part of the digital revolution in news.

Billionaire Tomorrow is launching a campaign for African publications to reap their just reward for the stories that they find, write, check and craft, fighting damaging fake news.

We ask  all other publications to support our call for the digital giants of Facebook (Meta) and Google (Alphabet) to give back some of the millions they reap from the sweat of the brow of African journalists.

How it works right now is that African journalists work hard to gather, sift, write and edit stories that the big companies  Facebook and Google take and put on their platforms. It helps drive vast amounts of traffic that the companies sell advertising around.

It is millions that they make. Billionaire Tomorrow has learned that in 2020 Google alone made $147 billion from advertising – that’s nearly as much as the GDP of Kenya and Ghana combined.

What we are saying -as an independent Pan-African publication that some of this vast pool of money – earned indirectly by the skill of African journalist -should be ploughed into the gathering of news, views and features across the continent.

For proper reportage is expensive to maintain. Don’t fool yourself that in this digital world you can just push a button and get a story . Time has to be taken, thought put in, facts sifted, gathered and verified, words weighed and context given. It is often a taxing and costly process. In recent years this craft has been beggared by the collapse of traditional advertising revenues.

Good, credible, stories do not just come out of thin air.

Billionaire Tomorrow believes that a financial contribution to the cost of this from Facebook and Google would go a long way to the survival of the unfettered voice in Africa. A voice of freedom that builds democracy, encourages investment and gives a voice to the often-voiceless entrepreneurs who work hard to create wealth .

All week we will be publishing stories – from both sides – to give you the full picture of what is going .

We have an exclusive interview with Rod Sims, the head of the Australian regulator, who reckons African newsgatherers can get their fair share if they get the backing of politicians.

We will be looking into the background and also hearing from South African entrepreneur Eldrid Jordaan who has just scored a notable victory over Meta.

On the issue – join us, it is the right thing to do.