Media Insider: Axios Plans $30M Expansion, NYT Pulls Reporters from Russia

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

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According to Axios chief executive Jim VandeHei, the company is pouring $30 million into expanding its footprint. The expansion includes new cities for Axios Local, new subscription newsletters and new software tools to help workplaces trim the jargon from their communications. Axios’s growth comes at a time when other digital media brands are focused on merging. “We have really firm opinions about where the world is going, and we want to control our destiny…If you do a deal, that’s hard,” VandeHei said. He expects more than $100 million in revenue this year, up from $86 million in 2021.

Speaking of Axios, media reporter Sara Fischer published an exclusive this week on plans at Trinity Broadcasting Network, a Christian television broadcaster, to launch a news show with Fox News alums.

WGA East Settles Five-Day Strike Against G/O Media
Deadline | David Robb

WGA East and Gizmodo Media Group have reached an agreement on a new contract. The contract covers nearly 100 staffers at G/O Media news outlets Gizmodo, Jezebel, The Root, Lifehacker, Kotaku and Jalopnik. “G/O Media agreed to raise salary minimums, severance, and parental leave; maintain our health care while requiring it to be trans-inclusive; and ensure annual increases for our unit members,” the WGA East/GMG Union said in a statement.

In other union news, the group representing Tribune Publishing staffers has published a pay equity study encompassing more than a dozen unionized workplaces across the country.

The New York Times Pulls Its News Staff From Russia
The New York Times | Michael M. Grynbaum

The New York Times has temporarily removed its journalists from Russia in the wake of the country’s new legislation that effectively outlaws independent reporting on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “For the safety and security of our editorial staff working in the region, we are moving them out of the country for now,” a spokeswoman for The Times said in a statement. The legislation states that journalists who describe the war as a “war” could be sentenced to prison. Other media outlets have also taken action. Bloomberg suspended journalistic operations in Russia, and the Washington Post has removed author bylines and reporting locations from articles written by its Russia-based staff.

Related Reads: After it initially suspended operations in Russia, the BBC announced it would resume English language reporting in the country. And what about Ukrainian reporters? Time spoke with Ukrainian journalists about what it’s like covering the war at home.

Twitter expands crowdsourced fact check experiment ‘Birdwatch’
Reuters | Sheila Dang

Twitter is expanding its Birdwatch project to make notes on potentially misleading tweets visible to more people on the platform. Birdwatch encourages users to identify misleading tweets and include information that debunks the content, which is then appended to the original tweet. Before the expansion, the notes from contributors were housed on a separate website. Now, random Twitter users will see the notes and can rate the helpfulness of the information. A Twitter survey found “people were 20% to 40% less likely to agree with the content of a potentially misleading tweet after reading a Birdwatch note about it, versus those who saw the content without the note.”

Read next: TikTok is “a whole different beast” when it comes to tackling misinformation on the platform.

USA Today Owner Gannett Co. Gave Advertisers Inaccurate Information for Nine Months
Wall Street Journal | Patience Haggin

Gannett, the publisher of USA Today and news outlets in 46 U.S. states, provided inaccurate information to advertisers, misrepresenting where billions of ads were placed, according to researchers. Advertisers thought they bought an ad on one Gannett site, like USA Today, but were actually buying one on a smaller local news site. The human error occurred in May 2021 and was detected and corrected by the company on March 4. It’s not clear how and when the company will issue refunds to advertisers. Nike, Ford, State Farm, Starbucks, Facebook and Marriott were among the many brands impacted.

ICYMI: Another large publisher, McClatchy, is partnering with automated journalism provider United Robots for real estate news.

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Rocky Parker is the Digital Content Lead at Cision PR Newswire. She works with journalists, bloggers, and content creators to create their targeted newsfeeds from PR Newswire for Journalists. Rocky has also counseled on content writing best practices. Check out her previous posts for Beyond Bylines. In her free time, Rocky can usually be found cooking, binge-watching a new show, or playing with her puppy, Hudson. 

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