MRC Weekly Digest – 7th May 2021

By Media Reform Coalition / Friday May 7, 2021 Read More
Hi everyone, Eliz Mizon here with the Media Reform Coalition blog every Friday. For even more news about media/work/politics, plus extra content/campaigns/jobs, you can follow me at Chompsky: Power and Pop Culture. For now, here’s your media news digest!

The BBC and Beyond continues!

The MRC’s new campaign, ‘The BBC and Beyond: Reimagining Public Media’, launched last week. There are two events coming up next week: All of the events will be streamed on the MRC’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. If you missed last week’s events, you can watch recordings of What have we learnt from international coverage of Covid?, and Trade Unions, workers rights and the media on our YouTube channel. Find all the info about the campaign at the dedicated website. The Liberalism Inc conference also remains available to stream, for free, in a dedicated YouTube playlist.

This Week’s Media News

  • Journalist Larry McShane of The New York Daily News (who have just successfully formed their union) wrote a piece for the paper’s opinion section headlined “Please buy this newspaper”, calling out for a local buyer and badmouthing the paper’s current owner, Tribune, and its prospective new owner, hedge fund Alden Global Capital. (New York Daily News/Brian Stelter on Twitter)
  • The Guardian turned 200 this week. Editor-in-chief Katherine Viner published an acknowledgment, ending with five ‘values, ideals and new ideas’ for the paper to build on post-pandemic, and into their third century. It also published an article titled “What we got wrong”, outlining the paper’s “worst errors of judgment” that were “at times racist”. (The Guardian)
  • For the first time, digital ad revenue has overtaken print at Reach, one of the UK’s biggest newsgroups. The first quarter of ‘21 showed a 25% increase and, in comparison with figures from previous years, a spokesperson said the company is “confident that this is a strong and lasting trend”. (Press Gazette)
  • A Canadian newsletter startup, Overstory Media Group, has announced a significant new investment into their local journalism effort. They will “hire 250 new journalists and launch 50 new outlets” by 2023. (The Guardian)
  • Meghan Markle has won yet another case against the Mail On Sunday; this time a copyright claim over the paper’s publication of a handwritten letter to her father. The ruling comes after winning a privacy claim as part of the same case, after which the MoS was ordered to publish the ruling in the paper and on the MailOnline to discourage other potential infringers. (Press Gazette)
  • Twitter has also announced a campaign to bring more focus to local journalism; it will run ads in local US papers encouraging readers to follow local journalists on Twitter. Rather than promoting funding or expansion, it appears that this is a move by Twitter that promotes its features (Lists, and the new ‘Spaces’) rather than presenting a solution to ‘news deserts’. (Axios)
  • Twitter will introduce another new feature, ‘Tip Jar’, allowing anyone with an English-language account to tip selected journalists and other public figures’ accounts. (Twitter)
  • The New York attorney general’s office has revealed in a report that several of the US’s largest broadband providers engaged in a massive campaign to “flood the FCC with fake comments in the run-up to the commission’s 2017 order to roll back net neutrality.” 18 million of the 22 million comments were faked by broadband companies, and half a million fabricated letters were sent to Congress on behalf of the campaign. (The Verge)
  • Numerous television personalities have signed an open letter in the wake of the Noel Clarke investigation, demanding an end to sexual harassment in the industry. Written by producer and BECTU anti-bullying officer Meriel Beale, the letter has been signed by a number of high-profile TV workers such as Dermot O’Leary and Joe Lycett. BECTU has also been running an anti-bullying campaign this year, #UnseenOnScreen. (Broadcast Now)