Hi everyone, Eliz Mizon here with the Media Reform Coalition blog.
For even more media news and analysis, the latest media reform campaigns, and relevant content from around the web, follow me at Chompsky: Power and Pop Culture.
For now, here’s your media news digest:
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This Week’s Media News
- Newsquest, the UK’s second-largest local news publisher, saw its profits rise to £45.2 million in 2021, the same year it cut 331 jobs and raised the pay of its highest-paid director by 35% to £810,000 – equivalent to the wages of 32 senior reporters. (Press Gazette)
- A British freelance journalist has gone missing in the Amazon rainforest while researching a book on conservation. Brazilian police are reported to be focusing their investigation on poachers and illegal fishing on indigenous lands. (Reuters)
- Australia’s public broadcaster, ABC, has announced it will fire more than 60 of its archivists and librarians and make its daily news journalists research and archive their own stories. Some library staff will remain to assist investigative programming, but “Reporters and producers working on breaking news, news programs and daily programs like 7.30 will have to search for archival material themselves and will be expected to log the metadata of any new material into the system.” (The Guardian)
- Gannett, the US’ largest news publisher (and owner of Newsquest) has decided to print fewer editorials and syndicated opinion columns in favour of local columnists and ‘community dialogue’—comments from readers. Justification has been given from research undertaken by Gannett, however, some editors are labelling it another cost-cutting measure. (Poynter)
- TikTok has announced further screen time-limiting features to their app, and a guide titled ‘How can I reflect on my digital well-being with my family and friends?’ The Guardian reported this would be beneficial for “TikTok addicts”. (TikTok/The Guardian)
- Meta is reportedly reconsidering its commitment to paying for articles from large news organisations. Since 2019, it has paid the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post tens of millions of dollars to feature their articles in its ‘News’ tab paywall-free. With new regulatory challenges and a focus on competing with TikTok and developing the ‘metaverse’, “according to people familiar with the matter” the arrangement is unlikely to continue. (Wall Street Journal)
- After Jack Monroe publicly claimed The Telegraph still owes her a writing fee from 2019, several writers have claimed they too are owed fees by the paper, some dating back more than a decade. (via Twitter)
- Meta is developing ‘basic ads’ that don’t rely on the personal data of its users. (Business Insider)
- The UK Competition and Markets Authority has announced it is considering an investigation into the “duopoly” held by Apple and Google in the mobile browser market. (The Guardian)
- A conflict between journalists at the Washington Post has resulted in reporter Dave Weigel being suspended for a month without pay, and reporter Felicia Sonmez being fired. Sonmez, whose discrimination lawsuit against the WaPo in a separate dispute was recently dismissed, publicly rebuked Weigel for retweeting a sexist joke by a YouTuber, and criticised management for fostering a hostile work environment. (CNN)