Media Insider: Reporters Without Borders Sues Facebook, News Corp to Buy IBD, Axios Partners With Telemundo

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

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Watchdog Sues Facebook Over Attacks on Media and Virus Posts

Reporters Without Borders has filed a lawsuit against Facebook in France, citing a proliferation of hate speech against media and falsehoods about COVID-19. In the latest of a slew of battles governments and campaigners are waging with Big Tech around the world, the media watchdog noted large amounts of coronavirus misinformation on Facebook, including vaccine conspiracy theories. The social media platform also carried posts threatening and insulting French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, TV program Quotidien and regional newspaper L’Union. The suit was filed with the Paris public prosecutor on Monday.

Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg proposed changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act as social media CEOs prepare for grilling in Congress.

Florida House Passes Bill That Would Strip Newspapers of Legal Ad Revenue

The Florida House passed a bill that would strip the state’s newspapers of much-needed legal advertising revenue. House Bill 35 would repeal a part of current Florida law that requires certain public notices — tax increases, special elections, etc. — to be published in print newspapers. Those notices provide Florida’s newspapers with millions of dollars in revenue every year. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Randy Fine (R-Palm Bay), and other proponents say the current public notices system is out of date. The fact that people and local governments must pay print publications to publish legal notices amounts to a government subsidy of the “dying” newspaper business, they argue. The state’s many print publications — most of which also have robust online publishing outfits — oppose the bill. 

In more Big Tech news: Google signed a deal with Italian publishers for content on News Showcase.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp to Buy Investor’s Business Daily for $275 Million

News Corp plans to acquire Investor’s Business Daily, the stock-analysis and investment research publication, for $275 million. IBD, which launched as Investor’s Daily in 1984, is a “high-margin, profitable” business, according to News Corp, the conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch. The 130-employee IBD will be operated by News Corp’s Dow Jones subsidiary and will continue to be based out of Los Angeles. News Corp expects to cross-sell and upsell IDB subscriptions with Dow Jones financial products, CEO Robert Thomson said. The Dow Jones portfolio includes The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Barron’s and Mansion Global.

Read next: Verizon expands the Yahoo brand with new subscription offerings.

Medium Offers Buyouts to Editorial Employees

Medium, the website that gives individual writers a platform and in recent years started its own online magazines, offered voluntary buyouts to all of its editorial staff as it announced it was scaling back. Employees were told they did not have to take the buyouts but that their jobs would most likely change if they stayed. Those who take the buyouts will receive five months’ salary as a lump sum and six months of health benefits. Staff members were also told that Siobhan O’Connor, vice president for editorial since 2018, would be leaving the company. Evan Williams, a Twitter co-founder who started Medium in 2012, explained in a long email to the staff after the meeting that Medium was “making some changes” to its publishing strategy. He said Medium would reduce the budgets of the publications run by the company and redirect resources to supporting independent writers on the platform. 

Go deeper: Medium has roughly 725k subscribers and nobody knows what’s next.

Axios Partners With Telemundo to Launch Axios Latino

Axios and Noticias Telemundo have teamed up to launch Axios Latino, a weekly English-language newsletter that will examine key issues impacting the Latino community. Reporters Marina E. Franco of Noticias Telemundo and Russell Contreras of Axios will lead production of the newsletter. Axios Latino also represents a new English-language editorial offering from Noticias Telemundo. This will mark the first time Axios partners with a news organization to produce one of its signature and popular industry-specific newsletters.

ICYMI: OpenNews and more than 100 members of the journalism community have formed DEI Coalition, a digital community dedicated to creating more anti-racist, equitable and just newsrooms.

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Maria Perez is director of web operations at Cision. In her spare time, she enjoys kickboxing, baking, and cuddling with her dog Toody.

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