Media Insider: Vox Acquires Epic Magazine, HuffPost Launches HuffPost Plus, Why Fact-Checkers Couldn’t Contain Misinformation About The Notre Dame Fire

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

Fake News Article on Laptop

Vox moves into film and entertainment with Epic acquisition

Vox Media is moving into film and entertainment by acquiring Epic Magazine and Epic Digital Studios movies. According to the article, Epic not only plans to produce content for commercial brands including Google, GE, IBM, and Ford, but it has “40 film and TV projects under development and has a first-look deal with 21st Century Fox.” Although the terms of the deal were not disclosed, Vox plans on keeping Epic’s executive team in place, including founders Joshuah Bearman and Josh Davis, Editor-in-Chief Dan Fierman, head of film & TV Arthur Spector, and head of digital Kiana Moore.

Thanks to the acquisition, Vox Media announces the creation of Vox Media Studios.

Introducing HuffPost Plus: Help Us Cover What Matters Most To You

In an effort to continue reporting stories that matter most to its audience, HuffPost has launched HuffPost Plus — a new free membership program. There will be three levels of membership: the free “subscriber” membership where readers can easily sync their bookmarks and manage newsletters; the “supporter” membership for $5.99 per month that includes access to members-only newsletters, discounts on HuffPost stuff, and an ad-free experience; and the “super fan” membership for $99.99 per year which includes everything in the other memberships plus an exclusive, limited-edition “People Before Power” T-shirt. “Our membership program is not a paywall because we believe our journalism should remain freely available to everyone ― not just those who can afford to pay,” HuffPost reports.

Check out the HuffPost Plus membership program here.

Why fact-checkers couldn’t contain misinformation about the Notre Dame fire

When news broke on Monday that the Notre Dame was on fire, misinformation also began to spread like wildfire on social media. Samuel Laurent, editor of Les Décodeurs, a fact-checking project based at Le Monde newspaper, said that when the fire started, he “immediately started to look at Twitter because I know, in these cases, that’s where you’ll find the misinformation.” Because Twitter doesn’t have a policy strictly aimed at decreasing the reach of false posts, it makes it difficult to stop the spread of fake news. According to the article, BuzzFeed reported that in a classic strategy used by misinformers, “Imposter accounts for CNN and Fox News were used to publish bogus claims about the Notre Dame fire. They stayed online for a while because they had the word ‘parody’ in their bios, and Twitter only removed them after BuzzFeed pointed them out.” In the meantime, until Twitter develops some way to enforce its policies and decrease the reach of misinforming posts, fact-checkers will continue to chase fake news.

Related: Here Are The Hoaxes And Misinformation About The Notre Dame Fire

Medium eyes media partnerships in pursuit of 1 million subscribers

Medium ― the online publishing platform ― is making an effort to grow subscribers by partnering with outside editors and other publications. These efforts range from its newly-launched pop-up magazine created with author Roxane Gay; a deal with Cheddar that makes Medium the home of Cheddar’s written reporting; a monthly food magazine created with veteran food writer Mark Bittman; and an open call for publications and writers who would be interested in launching their own titles on Medium. Although some publishers are skeptical, Medium wants potential partners to know that deals can be structured any number of ways financially. Founder Ev Williams told Digiday that “Medium has invested plenty in this strategy – nearly $5 million in 2018, with plans to spend more in 2019.”

Any interested publishers out there? Medium Seeks Partners to Launch New Publications

UK publishers turn to women’s sports as untapped growth area

After being neglected in the media for years, U.K. publishers are starting to prioritize women’s sports as a major part of their editorial mandates. The Telegraph publicly pledged its long-term commitment to women’s sports when it revealed last month a dedicated team to run the women’s sports vertical. GiveMeSport and Copa90 also are among the publishers that have made serious commitments to readdress the gender imbalance in both their staffs and coverage. According to Women in Sport, U.K. women’s sports made up just 10% of all sports coverage during the peak summer season in 2017, which fell even lower to 4% in the subsequent fall. Although there’s no denying a need for more media coverage in women’s sports, Richard Barker, joint managing director of M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment, told Digiday, “The challenge will be whether publishers can build the real size of the audience to ensure they can sustain the investment.”

ICYMI: The Telegraph launches female sports vertical with four new staff

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Joanna Giannell is a Senior Customer Content Specialist with PR Newswire. She is also an animal lover and music enthusiast. Tune into her insights as a social curator at @PRNpets.

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