Media Insider: New Inclusive Storytelling Initiative, Candle Acquiring ATTN: for $150M

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

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AP, Ida B. Wells Society, Maynard team up on inclusive storytelling
Editor & Publisher

The Associated Press, The Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting and The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education will work together to improve diversity in newsrooms and reporting through journalistic and leadership training and more inclusive storytelling. The Inclusive Journalism Initiative aims to improve coverage of race and systemic inequality and improve newsroom training opportunities for people from underrepresented communities. “The glaring and persistent lack of diversity, equity and belonging across journalism has deeply eroded the credibility of this craft, particularly in the eyes of communities of color,” said Maynard Institute Co-Executive Director Martin G. Reynolds. The Maynard Institute and Journalism Funding Partners will provide funding for the initiative.

Speaking of inclusive storytelling, BLCK Press will launch a newsroom of multimedia storytellers dedicated to changing the racial narrative in Minnesota.

PBS’ Judy Woodruff plans to step down as ‘NewsHour’ anchor
Associated Press | Staff

Judy Woodruff, anchor of PBS’ “NewsHour” since 2016, announced she’ll be stepping down at the end of the year. Woodruff, 75, was also part of the show’s rotating anchor team from 2009 to 2013. She will stay on to report longer pieces and work on other projects at least through the 2024 presidential election. Plans for her replacement as anchor will be announced in the fall, according to a PBS spokesperson.

In other personnel news, Eater named Stephanie Wu its new editor in chief. She will lead a team of 75 staffers across North America and the UK.

Candle Media acquires digital publisher ATTN: for $150 million
Axios | Sara Fischer

Candle Media is acquiring ATTN:, the digital media company focused on social change content for millennials and Gen-Z. Sources close to the deal say it is worth around $150 million. The deal gives ATTN: access to Candle’s portfolio of companies and creator relationships, while Candle benefits from ATTN:’s expertise in reaching a younger, socially-active audience. Founded in 2014, ATTN: creates videos about causes that go viral on social media and it’s benefited greatly from the many social good initiatives during the pandemic and 2020 election, landing deals with TikTok, Instagram and major broadcasters. “ATTN: has a deep, digital-native understanding for how to cut through the noise and reach today’s audiences through engaging content on social media,” Candle executives Tom Staggs and Kevin Mayer said in a statement.

Blackstone, one of the backers of Candle Media, also made the news this week when it led a $300 million round of funding for Recurrent Ventures, the owner of publications including Popular Science and Outdoor Life.

Chris Wallace Will Lead New Show in CNN Sunday Block
Variety | Brian Steinberg

After leaving his Sunday show on Fox News for CNN’s new streaming venture, Chris Wallace is headed back to a weekend format. During an upfront presentation from CNN’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, this week, it was announced that Wallace will essentially reprise the program he’d been doing for CNN+ before the streamer was abruptly shut down. The show, “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?” will also appear on the company’s HBO Max streaming service. It will be part of a new Sunday block of shows that will also include a longer-form program similar to CBS’s “60 Minutes.” The two shows represent initiatives set by CNN’s new CEO, Chris Licht, who wants the company to “be a beacon for the kind of journalism essential to a functioning democracy.”

In other broadcast news, Scripps and Google are partnering to help transition journalists with primarily print news backgrounds into broadcast news careers.

Factchequeado launches to combat misinformation in Spanish-speaking communities in the U.S.
NiemanLab | Hanaa’ Tameez

Laura Zommer of Chequeado in Argentina and Clara Jiménez Cruz of in Spain have launched Factchequeado after noticing that misinformation in Spanish targeting U.S. Latinos was also reaching Spanish speakers in their respective countries. “One of our approaches here is thinking if we manage [to get] platforms and the companies to put attention into Spanish-language misinformation in the U.S., that is going to benefit our regions and our languages in the long term,” Jiménez said. The service journalism project partners with English- and Spanish-language publications in the U.S. that want to republish its fact-checks and explainers in return for helping it reach broader audiences. So far, its partners are Conecta Arizona, Conexión Migrante, Documented, El Detector, Enlace Latino NC,, La Esquina, MediaWise, PolitiFact, and Telemundo’s Verifica.

Related: A new study looks at how Twitter is working to reduce the spread of misinformation without impinging on free speech.

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Rocky Parker is the Digital Content Lead at Cision PR Newswire. She’s worked 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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