Media Insider: Women Leaders Want Better VP Coverage, Globe Union Rallies, Postponed College Football Disrupts TV Ads

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

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Democratic women leaders call out sexist news coverage of female vice presidential candidates

Democratic women leaders released an open letter, entitled, “We Have Her Back,” asking top newspaper and network executives to reassess how they cover the female Democratic vice presidential contenders. The letter calls out the problematic stereotypes and sexism within recent coverage and challenges newsrooms to actively work on improving their coverage of women in politics. The group pointed out recent examples of coverage that led them to release the open letter: mocking female candidates for having ambition; questioning the candidates’ likability and electability; and showing a lack of respect for candidates’ qualifications. The letter reads, “Anything less than full engagement in this thoughtful oversight would be a huge step backwards for the progress you have pledged to make to expand diversity of thought and opportunity in your newsrooms and in your coverage.”

Continue reading: Here’s Why That Letter From Women Leaders To The News Media Is Such A Big Deal.

Globe union members rally for a new contract

After working for more than 19 months without a new contract, Boston Globe employees rallied outside of Fenway Park this week to demand a new agreement with newspaper owner Boston Globe Media Partners. The Boston Newspaper Guild, which represents about 300 Globe employees, has criticized the pace of contract negotiations with management, including owner John Henry. The union gained national attention last week when unions representing players in Major League Baseball and the National Football League showed their support on Twitter. According to union president Scott Steeves, the union is fighting for basic protections for its members and a collective bargaining agreement that will put its relationship with management on a fair basis. In a statement made Sunday, Steeves said, “We are fighting to ensure our members continue to have a voice in the decisions that affect us. That makes the whole institution of the Boston Globe stronger. And that makes Boston stronger.”

Evening Standard, G/O Media, and Tribune Publishing announce layoffs and closures. Poynter regularly updates its list of newsroom layoffs, furloughs, and closures caused by the coronavirus.

Postponed College Football Games Could Disrupt $1 Billion in TV Ads

Media companies are preparing to take another hit by the pandemic after the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences postponed their seasons. Last season, college football brought in nearly $1.7 billion in spending on TV advertising. The national championship, watched by 27.3 million people, drew an estimated $91 million in advertising alone. The postponement of the college football season means more declining revenues for networks that have spent billions to secure broadcast rights and companies that planned to spend millions advertising their products. Advertisers have already been scrambling from pandemic-related cancellations and production delays, such as the Tokyo Olympics, and now they are forced to adapt their marketing plans once again. Kevin Krim, chief executive of EDO, a TV ad measurement platform, stated, “The implications are huge economically. The cable and broadcast television ecosystem, with advertisers and rights fees and subscriber fees, are heavily anchored to live sports, and the most valuable franchises there are football.”

ICYMI: The Civil War Tearing Sports Illustrated Apart.

Hong Kong pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under new national security law

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai and several other top executives at Apple Daily were arrested on suspicion of collusion with foreign forces to endanger national security, conspiracy to defraud, and other offenses. Lai, known for his support of the city’s pro-democracy movement and criticism of China, has had several clashes with Hong Kong authorities but this is his first arrest since the new security law was imposed on July 1. Under the new security law, the offense of colluding with foreign powers carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. At a press conference Monday evening, Hong Kong police said the individuals were arrested for their involvement with a group that promotes foreign sanctions on Hong Kong. They also said senior executives of a media organization used a foreign bank account to provide financial support to the group. The police said the investigation is ongoing and more arrests could be made. The Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong stated, “The arrests, and the raid on the newsroom, are a direct assault on Hong Kong’s press freedom and signal a dark new phase in the erosion of the city’s global reputation.”

Related: Apple Daily prints half a million copies in defiance of founder Jimmy Lai’s arrest in Hong Kong.

Scripps Howard Foundation To Award $600,000 To Advance Diversity In Journalism

Scripps Howard Foundation announced it will award a total of $600,000 to higher education institutions to enhance or create programs that will inspire high school students to choose a career in journalism. The Foundation will host a competitive application process to select two institutions, which will each receive $100,000 a year over three years. The programs will introduce students of diverse socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds to journalism; legitimize and amplify student voices; and bring together a community of organizations and people to support the development of program participants. The programs will be funded through a generous gift from Eli and Jaclynn Scripps and Jonathan and Brooke Scripps.

Listen: Craigslist founder Craig Newmark on why he’s donating millions to journalism.

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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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