Media Insider: CNN Imposes New Rules on Russia Coverage, Facebook Reaches 2 Billion Monthly Users, WhatsApp Becomes Popular News Source

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


Photo by Josh Hallett used under CC BY 2.0.

CNN imposing new rules on Russia stories

You probably heard that CNN deleted and retracted a #TrumpRussia story last Friday. But did you know the network is imposing strict new publishing restrictions for online articles involving Russia? According to The Hill, BuzzFeed obtained an internal email from Rich Barbieri, the CNNMoney executive editor, saying: “No one should publish any content involving Russia without coming to me and Jason [Farkas].” The new restrictions do not solely apply to CNNMoney, but to other areas of the CNN as well, including social, video, and editorial.

Related: The Newseum Institute published the State of the First Amendment.

Facebook Hits 2 Billion Monthly Users

It took Facebook less than five years to double their monthly users from 1 to 2 billion. As the network continues to achieve its goal of connecting the world, it also continues to face criticism for its role in spreading misinformation, disturbing live-streamed videos, and for creating partisan echo chambers, reports CNN Tech. The social giant changed its mission for the first time recently to focus on building communities through Facebook groups, rather than only connecting individuals.

Did you hear? ProPublica recently reviewed Facebook’s secret censorship rules and found they protect white men from hate speech but not black children.

How Journalists Can Tell Compelling Stories Using VR

For the the past six months, Google News Lab has conducted a research study that offers insights into what makes VR a distinct storytelling medium. The research, done in partnership with Google’s ZOO team (a creative think tank for brands and agencies), found that VR storytelling helps viewers “live the story,” as opposed to passively consuming it. According to Google News Lab, journalists using VR should focus on conveying emotional experiences, creating opportunities for participation, and considering the ethics of making viewers feel vulnerable about sensitive topics.

ICYMI: USA Today Network releases latest interactive storytelling project with high-end VR interactivity aboard the USS Eisenhower.

For Axios, Apple News Beats Google AMP And Facebook Instant Articles

Axios chooses Apple News over Google AMP and Facebook Instant Articles — because it’s easier to monetize. It allows publishers to launch a native ad unit that works similarly to the custom ads Axios has on its site. According to Digiday, Apple is a trailing player in publisher platforms, and is more amendable to needs of publishers to actually make money off content.

In other tech giant news: Google launches a streamlined redesign that gives more prominence to fact checking.

WhatsApp Is Becoming An Increasingly Popular News Source

According to data from Digital News Report, WhatsApp is becoming an increasingly popular news source. In some parts of the world, it’s even preferred over parent company, Facebook. Fifty-one percent in Malaysia, 46% in Brazil, and 32% in Spain prefer the app over Facebook, to name a few. Digital Trends credits the increase in popularity to private messaging, free accessibility, and end-to-end encryption.

Social apps like WhatsApp continue to change the way news is consumed. Here are some of the most (and least) effective phrases to use when writing headlines for social.

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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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