Media Insider: EU Bans Russian News Outlets, Palin Seeks New Trial Against NYT

Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s roundup of media news stories from the week.

Stacks of newspapers tied together with rope

Russian news outlets RT and Sputnik are now banned in Europe

Over the past week, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has continued to cause death and destruction, governments around the world have introduced increasingly severe sanctions on Russia and its entities. On Wednesday, the EU imposed a ban on news outlets Russia Today and Sputnik from broadcasting and publishing within Europe. The ban means that any outlets in Europe continuing to publish content from the Russian state-controlled media will be subject to fines. EU member states have targeted RT and Sputnik for sanctions due to the role they’ve played in bringing forward and supporting the military aggression against Ukraine, and for the destabilization of its neighboring countries, according to a European Council press release.

This follows decisions earlier in the week by Facebook and YouTube to restrict access to RT and Sputnik in Europe.

Sarah Palin seeks new trial, judge’s disqualification in NY Times case

Former U.S. vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin asked a U.S. court for a new trial after losing her defamation case against the New York Times in February and requested that the judge overseeing the case be disqualified. Palin’s attorneys said they would take those steps because several jurors received push notifications on their phones before deliberations were over about U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff’s decision to dismiss the case regardless of their verdict. Palin’s case is considered a test of a landmark 1964 U.S. Supreme Court decision, New York Times v. Sullivan, that established an “actual malice” standard for public figures to prove defamation.

Meanwhile, a judge rejected Alden Global Capital’s motion for an injunction in Alden’s lawsuit against Lee Enterprises.

Journalists at The Root, Gizmodo, Jezebel and other G/O Media sites walk out after contract talks stall

Some 100 journalists across six G/O Media sites walked out and went on strike after talks for a new contract broke down. The Gizmodo Media Group Union represents the workers at popular sites Gizmodo, Jezebel, The Root, Lifehacker, Kotaku and Jalopnik. G/O Media has had a very high turnover in its staff since its formation in 2019. Roughly 75% of Jezebel’s editorial staff quit, including its editor-in-chief and deputy editor, due to what some claimed was a “hostile work environment.” At The Root, 15 of the site’s 16 staff also quit last year.

ICYMI: Gannett’s headcount plunged 24% last year.

Vox Media, BuzzFeed, and others working on alternative to Google’s AMP format

In 2020, Google started to deprioritize its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) format in favor of general site speed and a “page experience” metric. Now, several large online publishers are taking steps to abandon AMP, which Google and others originally billed as an effort to speed up slow mobile webpages by making them lighter and somewhat standardized. This includes Vox Media, BuzzFeed, Complex Networks and BDG, while The Washington Post and some smaller sites have already done so over the past year. Instead, those publishers “have started testing or are considering using their own versions of mobile-optimized article pages.” This is meant to give websites more control over page design, ads to boost revenue and subscription offerings.

Another interesting read: Why news publishers are using non-news content to hook readers and turn them into subscribers.

LinkedIn launches podcast network aimed at professional audiences

LinkedIn is piloting its own podcast offering, known as the LinkedIn Podcast Network. The pilot program will include shows about topics such as technology, recruiting and mental health. All LinkedIn Podcast Network shows will be available globally on LinkedIn by following the podcast hosts and subscribing to their weekly newsletters. These shows are not exclusive to the professional social media network — they can also be listened to on other podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

In more podcast news, Insider and Axel Springer are investing in a new podcast company called Spooler.

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Maria Perez is director of web operations at Cision. In her spare time, she enjoys gaming, watching too much TV, and chasing squirrels with her dog Molly.

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