Media Insider: The Atlantic’s Subscriptions Delayed, Egyptian Journalist Freed from Jail, NYT Expanding Audio Shop

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

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The Atlantic’s Shift to Subscriptions is Delayed

More than a year ago, The Atlantic said it was close to erecting a metered paywall. Still today, that paywall hasn’t launched, and “there is no firm timetable in place for when it might,” reports Digiday. It appears the publisher has gone back to the drawing board. “The Atlantic is currently conducting audience interviews to learn what kinds of products it could make to become a publication that people will feel compelled to subscribe to,” Digiday says.

In other paywall news: The Economist tightens its paywall

‘It is as if I am flying’: Egyptian journalist freed from jail after almost six years

The Guardian staff has reported that Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid was “released from prison after spending nearly six years behind bars following his arrest while covering a bloody crackdown on protests.” The Guardian report continues: “The photographer, widely known as Shawkan, faces five years of strict supervision and will be required to sleep at his local police station every night, but he vowed to resume his work.” From his home in Giza, Abu Zeid said the first moments of his release felt “as if I was flying.”

Related: Mozambique: Detained journalist in critical condition denied medical treatment

The New York Times is Staffing Up and Expanding its Audio Ambitions Well Beyond The Daily

The New York Times audio division is growing. There are a slew of new faces. Nieman Lab reports that these include Lisa Chow as a senior editor on The Daily, who joins from Gimlet where she hosted StartUp; Marc Georges as a new story editor on the production, who most recently worked on Tally Abecassis’ anthology documentary series First Day Back; and Adizah Eghan as a news producer on The Daily, who joins from Snap Judgment. The team still is on the lookout for a new managing editor to help oversee The Daily.

Check out this tidbit: Can the media business be saved? A “Spotify for news” is not the answer, says News Media Alliance CEO David Chavern

Google to Ban Political Ads Ahead of Federal Election, Citing New Transparency Rules

Google is banning political advertising ahead of the Canadian federal election because of new ad transparency rules that it says would be too challenging to comply with, The Globe and Mail reports. The election measure, Bill C-76, passed in December. According to The Globe and Mail, the bill “requires online platforms to keep a registry of all political and partisan ads they directly or indirectly publish. The penalties for not doing so include fines and possible jail time.” Colin McKay, Google Canada’s head of public policy and government relations, maintains the company’s decision is not a negotiating tactic.

In more election-related news: Facebook prohibits foreign-funded ads for Ukraine election

France Targets Google, Amazon and Facebook with 3 Percent Digital Tax

The French government this week introduced a digital tax aimed at internet companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon. CNBC reports the 3 percent tax will apply to the French revenues of roughly 30 major companies, mostly from the U.S. “France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire estimated the tax will raise roughly 500 million euros ($565 million) per year,” says CNBC’s Schulze. She continues: “The French tax alone would represent just a sliver of the revenues of American tech giants. But it could pave the way for further regulation of U.S. tech companies in Europe, including an EU-wide digital tax.”

This isn’t the only media-related tax affecting the globe. Millions of Ugandans have quit internet services as a social media tax takes effect.

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Christine Cube is a senior audience relations manager with PR Newswire and freelance writer. Follow @cpcube or check out her latest on Beyond Bylines on PR Newswire for Journalists.

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