The Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing calls upon digital platform owners and their regulators to take greater responsibility for protecting free speech and ensuring the ability of media companies to perform their critical role in preserving the democracy of the people, by the people and for the people.
The need for greater effort to preserve the unfettered operations of digital media is highlighted by a recent malware incident that triggered Google to block the Pacific Coast Business Times website for 72 hours. While the Pacific Coast Business Times, a SABEW member organization, cleared the malware within one hour of identifying its presence, Google took an unreasonably long time to allow pacbiztimes.com to be available to the public. Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In addition to the cost to society in terms of the lack of timely publication of information, such as public posting of corporate financial results, lengthy disruption of online services creates a financial hardship for media companies that may put their very existence at risk.
These are grave concerns for most global media companies, which rely on digital distribution to fulfill their vital function in society. SABEW considers economic freedom to be inextricably linked to political freedom and that an informed citizenry can ensure these freedoms are sustained.
Digital platform owners share the responsibility to protect those freedoms.
SABEW is the largest association of business journalists. The nonprofit organization advocates for the protection of the First Amendment and a free press. Contact Tess McLaughlin, firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions.