Media Insider: AP Crops Out Diversity, Berkshire Hathaway Sells Newspaper Assets, BBC Cuts Jobs

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

Media Insider - Jan 31, 2020 - Collage of photos of people's faces and hands holding smartphones

Photo cropping mistake leads to AP soul-searching on race

The Associated Press is committing to making diversity and inclusion its highest priority after a cropping mistake lead to backlash. Last week, an AP photographer covering the World Economic Forum took a photo of five climate activists. However, before sending the image, the photographer cropped out the African climate activist, Ugandan Vanessa Nakate, leaving a picture of four white women. The AP did not realize the image was cropped until it received backlash on social media for the distributed image. The initial explanation for the cropping was that it removed a distraction — a building behind Nakate. The mistake prompted a public apology to Nakate and three town hall meetings, which involved tense staff conversations over issues of racism and inclusion and the promise for expanded diversity training within the organization. Nakate has not directly responded to The AP’s outreach but posted a video on social media stating, “You didn’t just erase a photo. You erased a continent.”

The Washington Post also received backlash on social media this week: Felicia Sonmez and the tyranny of the social-media policy.

Warren Buffett Says Goodbye to His Struggling Newspaper Business

Berkshire Hathaway completed the sale of its newspaper business to Lee Enterprises for $140 million. Berkshire also will lend Lee $576 million at a 9% annual rate with a 25-year maturity to cover the sale and Lee’s current debt. Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, has always given journalists confidence in the industry because he purchased several small newspapers throughout the years, but recently he has been vocal about the dying print newspaper industry. This deal reinforces the view that mergers and acquisitions are the top strategy to slowing the fast-declining newspaper industry.

Looking for funding? Here are five tips for asking a potential funder.

BBC News to close 450 posts as part of £80m savings drive

BBC News announced around 450 jobs will be slashed to complete its £80m savings target by 2022. These cuts will focus on removing duplication from several programs that are putting resources into the same news stories. BBC News plans on investing the savings into digital content through its website and the launch of a new version of the BBC News app. Fran Unsworth, head of BBC News, stated: “We need to reshape BBC News for the next decade in a way which saves substantial amounts of money. We are spending too much of our resources on traditional linear broadcasting and not enough on digital.”

More on BBC: Why the BBC is so bad at engaging younger audiences.

Ben Smith of BuzzFeed Named New York Times Media Columnist

Ben Smith, the editor in chief of BuzzFeed, is stepping down to be The New York Times’ next media columnist. The conversation regarding the move occurred between Smith and NYT executive editor Dean Baquet over lunch after Smith wrote a popular feature story on who would succeed Baquet. BuzzFeed hired Smith as editor in chief to help start its news division, BuzzFeed News. Smith spent eight years at BuzzFeed News building Pulitzer-nominated reporting. The rumored reason for Smith leaving is financial trouble and lack of growth at BuzzFeed but he quickly spoke up to debunk the rumors and said he simply is eager to get back to writing and reporting.

More job news: Emma Tucker becomes first female Sunday Times editor since 1901.

Politico’s new FDA-focused subscription product costs as much as $75k a year

Politico is focusing on subscription revenue by launching a new subscription product covering the Food and Drug Administration called AgencyIQ. AgencyIQ will offer news coverage of the FDA as well as research and analysis for individuals working in regulatory affairs roles in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical industries. AgencyIQ plans to expand its coverage to focus on other regulatory agencies in the U.S., such as the Federal Trade Commission, and hopes to further expand to regulatory agencies around the world. Subscriptions for AgencyIQ will cost from $25,000 to $75,000 a year.

ICYMI: Facebook, Google, and Twitter scramble to stop misinformation about coronavirus.

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Erin Wade is a Senior Customer Content Specialist with PR Newswire. She is also an animal lover and aspiring world traveler. Tune into her insights as a social curator at @TotalCSR.

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