The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has asked the global search engine giant Google to compensate Indian newspapers comprehensively for the use of content published by the newspapers, and share its advertising revenues with them properly.

In a letter addressed to Google India’s country manager Sanjay Gupta, INS president L Adimoolam demanded that Google should pay for news generated by the newspapers, which employ thousands of journalists on the ground, for gathering and verifying information, said a statement issued by the INS.

The content which is generated and published by newspapers at considerable expense is proprietary, the INS noted.

Pointing out that publishers have been providing complete access to “quality journalism with credible news, current affairs, analysis, information and entertainment”, the INS president stated that “there is a huge distinction between the editorial content from quality publications and fake news that is spreading on other information platforms”.

He noted, in his letter, that over the past year publishers across the world have been raising the issue of fair payment for content and of proper sharing of advertising revenue with Google.

“It is also noted that Google has recently agreed to better compensate and pay publishers in France, the European Union and notably in Australia.”

Further, it was also pointed out that advertising has been the financial backbone of the news industry.

However, newspaper publishers are seeing their share of the advertising pie shrinking in the digital space, even as Google is taking a giant share of advertising spends, leaving publishers with a small share, the INS said.

“Publishers are also facing a very opaque advertising system, as they are unable to get details of Google’s advertising value chain,” it said, insisting that Google should increase the publisher share of advertising revenue to 85 per cent, and also ensure more transparency in the revenue reports that it provided to publishers.

The INS also stressed on giving greater prominence to editorial content from registered news publishers to tackle fake news, as Google picks up content from several sites that are not credible, thus “amplifying misinformation and propagation of fake news”.