MRC Weekly Digest – 17th December 2021
By Media Reform Coalition / Friday December 17, 2021
Hi everyone, Eliz Mizon here with the Media Reform Coalition blog every Friday.
For even more media news and analysis, the latest media reform campaigns, and intriguing content from around the web, follow me at Chompsky: Power and Pop Culture.
For now, here’s your media news digest.
Our ‘Media Influence Matrix’ Report
We have collaborated with the Center for Media, Data and Society at the Central European University to produce the Media Influence Matrix Report, detailing how commercial logic so frequently wins out over the public interest in the journalism industry.
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This Week’s Media News:
(Written by Eliz Mizon, edited by Cléo Celeste)
- Major publishers Vox Media and Group Nine are merging, forming a new “digital media giant”. Vox Media publishes titles such as New York magazine, Vox.com, and The Verge, and Group Nine is the publisher of Thrillist, NowThis and PopSugar, among others. (The Hollywood Reporter)
- A week after BuzzFeed’s testy debut on the stock market, LadBible went public finding more success. The company added $50 million to its valuation by close of business on its first day of trading. (Press Gazette)
- A still-unidentified scammer has been targeting female journalists in India, offering them non-existent jobs at Harvard; at least one prominent news anchor quit her job and moved to the US before finding out the scammer(s) had used the wealth of personal data she had provided to hack her computer. The university has been criticised for not doing more to stop the scam after learning about it. (NYT)
- Vietnamese journalist and prominent dissident Pham Doan Trang has been jailed for nine years for “anti-state activities”, after writing about Vietnamese human rights abuses and police brutality. (Reuters)
- Text messages from three prominent Fox News hosts, sent to Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows on Jan 6 Capitol riots, have come to light during the Senate’s investigation. Popular opinion hosts Sean Hannity, Brian Kilmeade, and Laura Ingraham all “begged” Meadows to intervene, according to WaPo: “Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home,” Ingraham wrote, “This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy.” (WaPo)
- The Guardian has announced a new milestone: 1 million paying digital subscribers. The company is one of the few major dailies to have no paywall, but both free and paid subscription options. 50% of paying subscribers are outside the UK. (The Guardian)
- News publishers in New Zealand are following in their neighbours’ footsteps by pursuing a news bargaining agreement with Facebook and Google, similar to the deal struck in Australia last year. (Press Gazette)
- Gina Cass-Gottlieb, manager of a Delaware firm that administers Rupert Murdoch’s U.S.-based family trust, and a former attorney to Fox Corp. Chief Executive Lachlan Murdoch, has been nominated for chairwoman of Australia’s business watchdog, the Competition and Consumer Commission. (LA Times)
- Kathryn Murdoch, who recently ‘defected’ from the family business alongside husband James (second son of Rupert Murdoch) citing concerns about editorial choices, has publicly raised the alarm once again about failures of US democracy. She spoke to the FT, addressing political donors, saying: “I don’t know what you’d be saving your money for later on if you don’t solve the problems now”. (FT)
- Netflix has received the most Golden Globes nominations of any studio this year; however, the company has said it won’t participate in the event until the Hollywood Foreign Press Agency institutes long-promised diversity and governance reforms. (Bloomberg)
- A search warrant has been issued for Alec Baldwin’s phone in the Rust shooting investigation, to review his private correspondence immediately after the incident. (The Guardian)