Media Insider: The Fight for Net Neutrality, News Outlets Seek Bargaining Rights With Digital Platforms, Amazon Emerges as Friend to Publishers

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


Photo by Joseph Gruber, used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

How the internet showed up for net neutrality

More than 100,000 websites, organizations and individual internet users participated in a Day of Action in support of net neutrality, reports Wired. Reddit is listed as one of the most outspoken advocates for an open internet. The social news site designed and deployed a creative landing page that displayed warnings to emphasize the cons of deregulating the internet. Google, Facebook, Yelp, Amazon, and Twitter are among the list of organizations who participated in Day of Action.

This Free Press piece from 2014 explains the importance of net neutrality for journalists and press freedom.

News outlets to seek bargaining rights against Google and Facebook

According to the New York Times, News Media Alliance is leading the effort to win the right to negotiate collectively with big online platforms like Google and Facebook. The effort — which has united both national and regional news organizations — is about more than the fight for digital territory. It’s also about maintaining quality journalism under economic pressure. “If you want a free news model, you will get news,” says David Chavern, chief executive of the News Media Alliance. “But it will be garbage news.”

ICYMI: News Media Alliance issued this release addressing the impact of digital duopoly on news organizations.

With Echo, Amazon is emerging as a friend to publishers

Though Amazon’s relationship with magazine publishers goes back years, the opportunity to create content for Echo has strengthened its relationships with digital publishers, like CNN. According to Digiday, publishers like that Amazon has been cooperative and responsive in meeting their needs. Rohit Agarwal, VP of digital products at CNN, said, “They not only take feedback, but they learn from us.” Amazon differs from other platforms in that it doesn’t ask publishers for a cut of their revenue, and its interests seem to be aligned with the publishers it attracts.

Up for debate: Digital publishers should not abandon long-form journalism too quickly in ad chase.

New York Times staffers are being encouraged to take buyouts

Copy editors at the New York Times were told they would no longer have jobs after the latest round of staff cuts. Union members were called in and told that they should strongly consider the buyout at the New York Times, reports Poynter. The news was shared with copy editors in meetings, as part of an effort to shift the Times towards reporting and away from editing. The company is enhancing the buyout program by offering six months of outplacement services for all Guild-represented and excluded newsroom employees that were accepted, says Poynter.

After the NYT announcement to lay off copy editors, The Daily California published a blog about why it’s keeping its copy desk.

Surprise! Democrats and Republicans are divided on the impact of the news media

A Pew Research study revealed that 85 percent of those who identify as Republicans think the news media has a “negative effect on the way things are going in the country,” while 44 percent of Democrats see it as having a positive impact on the country. According to NiemanLab, the study is a clear indicator of the big partisan divide in the US, when it comes to the news media and how it how it impacts society.

Perspective:  The Nation is giving readers ways to act on the stories they read with its Take Action newsletter.

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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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