Media Insider: Vice Media Founders Apologize, Essence Sold to Black-Owned Independent Venture, More Bad News for Newspapers

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

Newspaper origami

Newspapers’ Bad News in U.S. Gets Even Worse, Courtesy of Trade Spat

As if the U.S. newspaper business didn’t have enough trouble coping with lost readers and advertising dollars. An escalating trade dispute with Canada is poised to make every edition cost a lot more to publish, reports Ad Age. Newsprint prices have jumped to a three-year high and may keep increasing if, as expected, the Trump administration slaps duties on imported paper from Canada next month. Since Canada accounts for about three quarters of the imported paper that gets used in the U.S., the higher costs will further squeeze U.S. newspapers. Matt Davison, the publisher and president of the Idaho Press-Tribune, tells Ad Age: “It could have a catastrophic impact on community journalism.”

Also: Circulation, revenue fall for U.S. newspapers overall, despite subscription surges.

Vice Media Apologizes for ‘Perpetuating Sexism in the Media Industry’

Late last month, The New York Times ran a story about rampant sexual harassment by senior Vice executives and employees. The article, based on interviews with more than 100 current and former employees, detailed mistreatment of female employees, including unwanted kissing, groping, and propositions for sex. In response, Vice founders Shane Smith and Suroosh Alvi acknowledged that the company had “failed to create a safe and inclusive workplace where everyone, especially women, can feel respected and thrive” and apologized for their role “in perpetuating sexism in the media industry and society in general.” Less than two weeks after The Times’ story was published, Vice announced it was placed two senior executives on leave.

To help combat global gender stereotypes in media, U.N. women launch the Unstereotype Alliance

With Sale, Essence Is Once Again a Fully Black-Owned Magazine

Essence — a mainstay for black culture for nearly 50 years — has been sold by Time Inc. The magazine is once again a fully black-owned publication, for the first time in nearly two decades. Richelieu Dennis, the founder of Sundial Brands who bought Essence, says he wants “to serve and empower women of color,” reports The Times. According to a statement by the magazine’s owner, Essence will keep its current executive team, which consists entirely of black women, including Michelle Ebanks, the magazine’s president. This is “the beginning of an exciting transformation of our iconic brand as it evolves to serve the needs and interests of multigenerational Black women,” says Ebanks.

The General Data Protection Regulation is Coming: How Should Newsrooms Prepare?

Newsrooms have about six months to prepare for sweeping change to data privacy regulations in the European Union. On May 25, 2018, the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR) will go into effect.  The GDPR changes how customer information can be handled by businesses and public sector organizations. Organizations that don’t comply will face heavy fines. Organizations not located in the EU also need to plan for the GDPR — if people in the EU read their material. It’s not completely clear how these laws could affect organizations outside of the EU, which means every organization that handles customer data needs to think about this new regulation.

The details: This overview of the GDPR explains what you need to know

Trump: The Media ‘Have to Let Me Win’ in 2020 or ‘Their Ratings Are Going Down the Tubes’

In a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times, President Trump predicted he will win re-election in 2020, and that news media will cheerlead his path to victory because it’s in their financial interest to do so. “Newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there because without me, their ratings are going down the tubes,” Trump said, in the interview. He then issued a warning to his interviewer’s newspaper, invoking his preferred moniker for the outlet: “Without me,” he said, “the New York Times will indeed be not the failing New York Times, but the failed New York Times.”

Read more about Trump’s love-hate relationship with The New York Times. Also: The paper’s new publisher, A.G. Sulzberger, is taking reader questions

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Maria Perez is Director, Audience Website Operations with PR Newswire. An animal lover, she curates content for @PRNPets – that is, when she’s not busy cuddling with her 10-year-old blind Maltese, Toody.

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