MRC Weekly Digest – 6th August 2021

By Media Reform Coalition / Friday August 6, 2021 Read More
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.

Make Your Voice Heard

There are a number of government consultations on the media with upcoming deadlines – have a look at these and please make your voice heard if any of them stir something in you!

Financial Support for Screen Industry Workers

If you’re facing unexpected costs or a short-term financial shortfall, the Film and TV Charity are open for grants of up to £800. You’ll need at least 2 years’ proven professional experience behind the scenes in the UK film, TV and cinema industry to apply.

This Week’s Media News

  • The economic scale of the funding of fake news by advertisers has been revealed in a new report. A collaboration by NewsGuard, who train journalists to tackle misinformation, and ComScore, who measure online ad traffic, shows that fake news sites are being unintentionally funded by major advertisers’ programmatic advertising to the tune of $2.6billion per year. This suggests that for every “$2.16 in digital ad revenue sent to legitimate newspapers, U.S. advertisers are sending $1 to misinformation websites.” (NewsGuard)
  • Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer may get another union vote after a recommendation by an officer at the National Labor Relations Board. Since the vote earlier this year, organisers have claimed that Amazon management engaged in various union-busting activities. (NYT)
  • Joining similar calls from the US last month, UK journalists are calling on their government to provide emergency visas for Afghan journalists and local fixers who collaborated with Western media, fearing Taliban reprisals in the wake of the withdrawal of US troops. (The Guardian)
  • Two researchers at New York University have had their personal Facebook accounts shut down and their project suspended after conducting a study to “uncover systemic flaws in the Facebook Ad Library, to identify misinformation in political ads, including many sowing distrust in our election system, and to study Facebook’s apparent amplification of partisan misinformation”. Facebook has sent a cease and desist letter claiming the researchers are breaching users’ data privacy, a claim the FTC has called “inaccurate”. (AP)
  • YouTube has imposed a seven-day ban for Sky News Australia after it violated medical misinformation policies by uploading “numerous videos which denied the existence of Covid-19 or encouraged people to use hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin.” (The Guardian)
  • CNN has fired three employees who came to work unvaccinated. The company’s president Jeff Zucker said there is a “zero-tolerance policy” for all staff whether in the studio or out in the field. (The Daily Beast)
  • An Ofcom study has shown that Netflix now has more UK subscribers than all other UK pay-TV providers combined. 52% of UK households now have a Netflix account. (Variety)
  • Employees at Washingtonian Magazine have claimed the CEO has personally called them to promote an anti-union message ahead of a union election. They were also shown “a slideshow meant to sow doubt about the NewsGuild.” (HuffPost)
  • Twitter will partner with Associated Press and Reuters to expand its efforts to promote reliable news and information on the platform. (TechCrunch)
  • The most subscribed news organisation in the world, The New York Times, has added half a million subscribers since the first quarter of the year, reaching 8 million. It expects to add another half a million by the end of the year. (NYT)