Media Insider: Comey Testimony Takes Over Live TV, Google Launches News Literacy Program, Gianforte Donates $50K to Press Group in ‘Body-Slamming’ Settlement

Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s round-up of media stories from the week.


Former FBI director James Comey’s Testimony broadcasts live on major news networks

It’s a Big Deal That Broadcast Networks Will Air the Comey Hearing Live

Former FBI director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee will air on live television — adding it to the shortlist of congressional hearings to do so. Networks are interrupting regular programming, thus forfeiting the accompanying ad revenue, reports WaPo. Comey’s testimony is not expected to last as long as former testimonies — such as the Watergate hearings which stretched from May 17 to Aug. 7, 1973. Networks’ decision to live broadcast the hearing show they believe it will be a historic moment.

Perspective: Covering Comey, Broadcast News Refuses to Accept Its Own Irrelevance

Gianforte Gives $50,000 to Press Group as Charges Loom After Assault of Guardian Reporter

You may have heard that congressman-elect Greg Gianforte was accused of ‘body slamming’ a reporter, but did you know that Gianforte has issued an apology and agreed to donate $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists? According to the Guardian, Gianforte apologized in a letter received as part of an agreement that settles any potential civil claims. In the letter, he says “My physical response to your legitimate question was unprofessional, unacceptable, and unlawful.”

ICYMI: Journalist Arrested During D.C. Protest Faces 75 Years In Prison

Google Launches News Literacy Program

Google launched a news literacy program to help kids make smart decisions online through games and tutorials and co-created a classroom curriculum to help teachers include news literacy into lessons. According to Axios, a study from MindEdge Learning and Research Now found that 44 percent of millennials do not have the critical thinking skills necessary to separate fake news from factual information. The new program aims to address this pressing issue.

Did you also hear that Google is launching digital journalism in Africa?

Think Your Journalism Job is Hard? Try Making a Podcast from Prison

Radiotopia’s Ear Hustle is a new show about life in prison. The show’s team consists of three individuals — Nigel Poor, Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams — of which the latter two are inmates at San Quentin State Prison in California. The show was added to the Radiotopia roster last spring after winning Radiotopia’s Podquest contest for user-submitted podcasts, reports Poynter. The show launched to give a better representation of prison life to the world.

Related: Shaka Senghor, a formerly incarcerated individual, launches media startup

WSJ Ends Google Users’ Free Ride, Then Fades in Search Results

The Wall Street Journal added a paywall to its content, blocking Google users from reading free articles. Now, the publisher’s content has a lower Google ranking and less traffic from the tech giant. According to Bloomberg, Google’s search results are based on an algorithm that scans the internet for free content, which explains the drop in numbers for WSJ. WSJ executives argue unfairness while Google argues that its “first click free” policy, which lets users read at least one free article, is good for both publishers and consumers.

Debatable: Leaving Social Media Taught me How Broken The News Cycle Is

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Tabresha B. Langham is a Customer Content Specialist with PR Newswire. She also is a social media junkie, foodie, music fiend and Auburn University Alumn (War Eagle!). Tune into her insights as a social curator at @PRNmedia, or follow @TabreshaL.

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