Sunday, October 17News That Matters

Tag: News and News Media

Two Journalists Started an Argument in Boston in 1979. It’s Not Over Yet.

Two Journalists Started an Argument in Boston in 1979. It’s Not Over Yet.

Business
A diverse new generation of reporters has sought to dismantle the old order, and much of the conflict was playing out, in recent years, at The Washington Post, whose top editor at the time, Martin Baron, had won Pulitzers and challenged presidents by making use of the traditional tools of newspaper journalism. But Mr. Baron also bridled at his employees expressing opinions on Twitter about the subjects they covered.His former protégé, the national correspondent Wesley Lowery, argued in a widely circulated New York Times opinion essay that objectivity mirrored the worldview of white reporters and editors, whose “selective truths have been calibrated to avoid offending the sensibilities of white readers.” Mr. Lowery, who ended up leaving The Post for CBS News, suggested that news organizatio...

These Online Publications Are Not Free … and Readers Don’t Mind

Technology
The Daily Memphian, a nonprofit news site in Memphis, is also part of the wave, with readers contributing the bulk of its revenue. It started in 2018 in response to the shrinking of the local newspaper, The Commercial Appeal. Nearly 17,000 subscribers pay $99 per year (or $12.99 per month) for The Memphian, and they have renewed their subscriptions at a rate of 90 percent, said Eric Barnes, the publication’s chief executive. Ad sales, sponsorships and donations cover the rest of a $5 million annual budget that supports a newsroom of 38.Updated Oct. 4, 2021, 5:57 p.m. ET“People paid for news for decades,” Mr. Barnes said. “Why can’t they pay for it now?”The imperative to hold on to subscribers has influenced The Memphian’s journalism, he added, bringing an emphasis on straightforward a...
Facebook Is Weaker Than We Knew

Facebook Is Weaker Than We Knew

Technology
It has become fashionable among Facebook critics to emphasize the company’s size and dominance while bashing its missteps. In a Senate hearing on Thursday, lawmakers grilled Antigone Davis, Facebook’s global head of safety, with questions about the company’s addictive product design and the influence it has over its billions of users. Many of the questions to Ms. Davis were hostile, but as with most Big Tech hearings, there was an odd sort of deference in the air, as if the lawmakers were asking: Hey, Godzilla, would you please stop stomping on Tokyo?But if these leaked documents proved anything, it is how un-Godzilla-like Facebook feels. Internally, the company worries that it is losing power and influence, not gaining it, and its own research shows that many of its products aren’t thrivi...
What Investors Saw in Ozy Media

What Investors Saw in Ozy Media

Business
A recent analysis by the social media measurement company Tubular Labs suggests that Ozy spent heavily to boost the number of views for the videos it posted on YouTube by paying to have its videos pop up automatically onscreen.And even when Ozy offered articles its readers loved and shared in large numbers, it didn’t seem to try to replicate that success, according to a report in the social media-focused newsletter Garbage Day. The articles that were widely shared were “posts about cookies, inspirational stories about elephants, and engaging mini-docs about fashion,” the newsletter reported.What that left, said a former employee with knowledge of the company’s analytic data, was a real, if tiny, fan base — just not the one Ozy liked to talk about. “The classic demographic for Ozy was a ret...
Ozy Media Will Shut Down

Ozy Media Will Shut Down

Business
In an article in The Times on Thursday, Brad Bessey, an Emmy-winning executive producer, and Heidi Clements, a longtime TV writer, said Ozy executives had misled them while they were working on “The Carlos Watson Show,” Mr. Watson’s talk show, for the company. Specifically, they said, executives told them that the show would appear on the cable network A&E. Mr. Bessey resigned when he learned there was no such deal in place, and the show ended up appearing on YouTube and the Ozy website.Also this week: Advertisers including Chevrolet, Walmart, Facebook, Target and Goldman Sachs itself — many of which had been paying for placement on “The Carlos Watson Show” — hit the brakes on their spending with Ozy.By Friday afternoon, Mr. Watson and the other remaining board member, Michael Moe (ano...
Ozy Built a TV Show on a False Claim, Says Its Former Producer

Ozy Built a TV Show on a False Claim, Says Its Former Producer

Business
Ozy’s board of directors initially praised Ozy’s handling of the matter. “The board was made aware of the incident, and we fully support the way it was handled,” Marc Lasry, a hedge fund manager who was the chairman of the Ozy board, said in a statement to The Times on Sunday. On Tuesday, however, the Ozy board hired a law firm to investigate the company’s business practices and leadership team. And on Thursday, Mr. Lasry resigned as chairman, saying Ozy needed someone with more experience in crisis management and investigations.Questions about Ozy arose among some people long before the call with Goldman Sachs, as documents and interviews related to “The Carlos Watson Show” suggest.After Mr. Bessey and Ms. Clements quit, the producers made the show to suit YouTube Originals’ postproductio...
Katty Kay Resigns From Ozy Media Following NYT Report

Katty Kay Resigns From Ozy Media Following NYT Report

Business
Ozy Media was facing pressure on multiple fronts days after The New York Times reported that a co-founder had apparently impersonated a YouTube executive during a conference call with Goldman Sachs in February.Ozy lost one of its biggest stars, Katty Kay, a former BBC anchor and correspondent, who announced in a Twitter post on Wednesday that she had left the company. Ms. Kay wrote that she had handed in her resignation on Tuesday morning, adding that “the allegations in The New York Times, which caught me be surprise, are serious and deeply troubling and I had no choice but to end my relationship with the company.”Ms. Kay had joined Ozy as a senior editor and executive producer in June, after nearly three decades at the BBC. Last year, while still employed by the British media organizatio...
Facebook Groups Promoting Ivermectin as a Covid-19 Treatment Flourish

Facebook Groups Promoting Ivermectin as a Covid-19 Treatment Flourish

Business
Facebook has become more aggressive at enforcing its coronavirus misinformation policies in the past year. But the platform remains a popular destination for people discussing how to acquire and use ivermectin, a drug typically used to treat parasitic worms, even though the Food and Drug Administration has warned people against taking it to treat Covid-19.Facebook has taken down a handful of the groups dedicated to these discussions. But dozens more remain up, according to recent research. In some of those groups, members discuss strategies to evade the social network’s rules.Media Matters for America, a liberal watchdog group, found 60 public and private Facebook groups dedicated to ivermectin discussion, with tens of thousands of members in total. After the organization flagged the group...
Bobby Zarem, ‘Superflack’ and Maker of Stars, Dies at 84

Bobby Zarem, ‘Superflack’ and Maker of Stars, Dies at 84

LifeStyle
Mr. Zarem, a workaholic, never married and didn’t drink, although he smoked marijuana to relax. He cultivated a devil-may-care style in untucked shirts and New Balance sneakers, but that style belied a fierce temper.The publicist Peggy Siegal, who once worked for him, swore that Mr. Zarem lobbed a typewriter at her when she erred in taking a phone message. (He responded that he wouldn’t have missed at such short range.) Mr. Schwarzenegger recalled in his 2012 memoir, “Total Recall,” that Mr. Zarem “always talked like he was completely confused and the world was coming to an end.”He bemoaned the current state of public relations, he told New York magazine in 2010, because the warp speed of digital media pre-empted what to a pro like him was a fine-tuned battle plan of leaks and exclusive st...
Facebook Comments Can Get Media Firms Sued in Australia

Facebook Comments Can Get Media Firms Sued in Australia

Technology
Dylan Voller was already a polarizing figure in Australia when the disturbing, violent and demonstrably false accusations against him began to appear on Facebook.Mr. Voller had become famous overnight in 2016 after a television news exposé on the mistreatment of juveniles in the country’s criminal detention system broadcast a photograph of him, at age 17, hooded and strapped to a chair by guards. The image, likened by some to those of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq, shocked many Australians, prompting a national investigation.Beneath articles about the investigation written by major Australian news outlets and posted to their Facebook pages, several commenters attacked Mr. Voller. Some made false accusations, including that Mr. Voller had raped an elderly woman and attacked a Salvati...