MRC Weekly Digest – 18th June 2021
By Media Reform Coalition / Friday June 18, 2021
Hi everyone, Eliz Mizon here with the Media Reform Coalition blog every Friday.
For even more media news and analysis, plus the latest campaigns, content, and UK media jobs, follow me at Chompsky: Power and Pop Culture.
For now, here’s your media news digest!
Our next set of events begin next week, so please do tune in to these:
The first two events will be streamed on the MRC Twitter and Facebook and YouTube, while the Wales-focused event will be run as a Zoom seminar.
Remember, all our previous events are available on the MRC YouTube channel, and you can contribute to our Manifesto for a People’s Media on the BBC and Beyond website here: https://bbcandbeyond.net/#manifesto
And it’s been a VERY busy week in the media world, with the launch of GB News, the continuing exploration into Martin Bashir’s role at the BBC, and the publication of the long-awaited independent panel report on Daniel Morgan’s murder:
READ: Inaccuracy, Spin, Nationalism: GB News’ First 24 Hours
READ: Daniel Morgan Murder Report Confirms “Institutional Corruption” of Police and the Press
This Week’s Media News
- Culture secretary Oliver Dowden says that plans to fully privatise Channel 4 could move as soon as next year. (The Guardian)
- Sources have told the FT that the UK will join Australia, the US, and Canada in ‘reining in’ online platforms’ power in effort to protect public broadcasters. (Financial Times)
- The Facebook Oversight Board has called for public input on whether it should prohibit the sharing of private residential information on the platform. It notes that when people are ‘doxed’ this results in safety concerns, but also acknowledges that at times certain information is in journalistic and civic interest, although it doesn’t give examples of what these would be. It lists a number of questions for the public to comment on. (Oversight Board)
- Politicians from both parties in the US Senate have appointed Lina Khan, who rose to prominence at law school for her paper on how antitrust law had failed to protect the public from Amazon’s worst excesses, as head of the Federal Trade Commission. The NYT calls it “a signal that the agency is likely to crack down further on the industry’s giants”. (NYT)
- Danny Fenster, the US-born managing editor of Frontier Myanmar detained in prison since May, has appeared in court for the first time. He faces “charges under a law that criminalises encouraging dissent against the military”. (Yahoo News)
- A number of high-profile businesses have pulled their ads from GB News’ advertising slots shortly after launch, with some claiming that they did not know they would be featured in the channel’s ad breaks. Kopparberg, Ikea and Grolsch were some who publicly pulled out, prompting backlash about ‘free speech’ from right-wing columnists. (The Guardian)
- After launching an online shop last week, Bloomberg says Netflix also plans to move into podcasts and video games. (Bloomberg)
- Associated Press will no longer name suspects in minor crime coverage. They will continue to name suspects in major cases such as murder. (AP)
- CNN will begin selling NFTs of its “memorable moments”. The venture will be called “Vault by CNN” and will allow owners to not only purchase a digital copy but in some cases a physical copy, in a “premium video display case”. (The Hollywood Reporter)
- The union wave continues: MSNBC workers have announced their new union. (NYT)
- The New Yorker Union has reached a deal with Conde Nast, agreeing a salary floor of $55k to increase to $60k by 2023; guaranteed annual salary increases; job security clauses; improved benefit clauses; a diversity and inclusion clause; and a ban on NDAs for harassment cases. (The New Yorker Union on Twitter)