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.
A few weeks ago we shared HackedOff’s IPSO Zero campaign, which has now received 5000 signatures. They’ve released a new video about the campaign, feel free to share it and demand accountability for press abuses:
Mark Zuckerberg announced last night that Facebook Inc., the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp et al, will be renamed ‘Meta’.
It’s being called a ‘major rebrand’, and comes soon after the latest of years of scandal – a major document leak by former product manager Frances Haugen that has informed numerous revelatory news stories across several outlets.
Zuckerberg said the company plans to lead “the next phase of the internet” beyond simply ruling social media, to incorporate AI, virtual and augmented reality; an idea he’s calling: the ‘metaverse’.
This Week’s Media News
- Facebook Inc. has rebranded as ‘Meta Platforms, Inc.’. The world’s fifth-highest-valued company seeks to lead the way to a “more immersive internet”. (BBC)
- The 1st assistant director of Rust, responsible for much of the day-to-day running of the set on which DoP Halyna Hutchins was killed, says he “didn’t check all rounds” before giving the gun to actor/producer Alec Baldwin. Live rounds are prohibited on film sets. (The Independent)
- The BBC has announced a new 10-point impartiality plan to “raise standards across the organisation”. The broadcaster is reeling from the publication of the Dyson Report, on Martin Bashir’s conduct and its subsequent cover-up, and long-standing accusations of bias from both left and right. (BBC)
- The relationship between Australia and Big Tech platforms continues to develop: this week, the government said it will “make social media companies obtain parental consent for users under the age of 16, with multimillion-dollar fines for failing to comply” and extend to radio stations a similar agreement to that struck between news publishers and Big Tech with regard to paying for content. (Reuters)
- ‘Good Information Inc.’, a new billionaire-backed venture, will fund local news and disinformation-fighting newsrooms. Wealthy investors such as George Soros and Reid Hoffman are behind the public interest company. (Axios)
- A new non-profit, Check My Ads, has been started by two former media marketers to “rip out the beating heart” of the $400B surveillance advertising industry. (Check My Ads)
- Charges against police officer Daniel DeBono, accused of shooting journalists with rubber bullets at a George Floyd protest in Detroit last year, have been dropped. (The Detroit News)
- In response to Twitter’s revelation about their algorithms’ promotion of right-wing material last week, university researchers have said that they believe it’s to do with the ‘ratio’ phenomenon. The more controversial, and therefore commented on a tweet is, the more engagement it gets and the more it is favoured in newsfeed curation. (WaPo)
- A diversity report from UCLA says that Hollywood’s writer’s room hiring and on-screen casting practices saw a jump to around 60/40 gender parity in 2019-20, and a significant rise in the number of actors and writers of colour. However, Latinx and trans representation remains significantly lacking across the board. (Variety)
- The latest data from the Committee to Protect Journalists’ Global Impunity Index shows that since 2011, “278 journalists were murdered for their work worldwide” and that “in 226 of those cases, or 81%, CPJ recorded complete impunity, meaning no one has been convicted in connection with the crime.” (CPJ)
- Over 16,000 people have called for an apology from the BBC for publishing an article claiming that lesbians felt “pressured into sex by some trans women”. The piece has been derided for studying a small cross-section of only 80 people and accused of stoking transphobia by making a non-issue appear newsworthy. (BBC)
(Written by Eliz Mizon, edited by Cléo Celeste)