Media Insider: Robinhood launches media arm, Reuters to create 100 jobs, CNET’s use of AI bombs
Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s roundup of media news stories from the week.
Robinhood launches media arm
Finextra | Staff
Trading app Robinhood is launching Sherwood, an independent media unit that will cover things like money, technology, and geopolitics through newsletters, a website, and events. The venture is being led by Joshua Topolsky, the former editor-in-chief of tech news site The Verge and ex-chief digital officer at Bloomberg Media. Robinhood already has a daily markets newsletter, called Snacks, which claims tens of millions of subscribers. This will now move to the new independent Sherwood venture, where it will be joined by other offerings, which could eventually include video and podcasts. While Robinhood did not attempt to monetize Snacks, Sherwood will look to make money through advertising.
Dozens of media companies set 2023 content deals with Twitter
Axios | Sara Fischer
At a tough economic moment for the media industry, Twitter has proven too useful to give up. The social media giant is planning to run content sponsorship deals with more than three dozen news outlets, media companies, and sports leagues in the first half of this year, according to a schedule of events shared with ad partners. Over the past few years, media companies and sports leagues have brokered multiyear deals with Twitter — typically between one to three years — through a selective program called Twitter Amplify. The program pairs advertisers with timely videos from premium publishers, and publishers split a percentage of ad revenue. Some content partners, like NBCU, sell ads directly to brands that want to sponsor their videos and share a portion of that ad revenue with Twitter. Others, like the NFL, rely on Twitter to sell the ads across their video content.
Some publishers are seeing a drop in referral traffic from Twitter, which they blame on the removal of Twitter Moments late last year.
Reuters to create 100 jobs and reboot paywall following London Stock Exchange deal
Press Gazette | Charlotte Tobitt
Reuters will create 100 new editorial roles around the world and recommence its plan for a paywall under an expansion of its partnership with the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG). Refinitiv, a former division of Thomson Reuters that’s been owned by LSEG since 2021, began a 30-year agreement with Reuters in 2018 to be the exclusive distributor of the agency’s news content to the financial community. In an expansion of their partnership, they made a joint commitment to invest in 100 editorial roles across the Reuters global newsroom in four main areas: financial markets, mergers and acquisitions, the energy transition, and data visualization. Reuters will also see “significant expansion” in growth markets in India and China.
Read next: Reuters Institute released its annual “Journalism, media, and technology trends and predictions” report, which hints at a paradigm shift.
TikTok’s Offer to Share Algorithm Details Could Set Precedent for Adland
MediaPost | Laurie Sullivan
TikTok reportedly revealed to Washington lawmakers and civil-society organizations details of a $1.5 billion plan to reorganize the company’s U.S. operations. The hope is that the reorganization and increased oversight of its content-recommendation algorithms will convince Washington of its ability to operate independently from China-based ByteDance, its parent company. A system for monitoring the algorithms that power TikTok’s video-sharing app is a central piece of the plan to alleviate concerns among U.S. regulators about the platform’s content. TikTok third-party monitors would check the code for the video-recommendation algorithms to detect whether they have been manipulated or if the Chinese government or other foreign actors have had access, according to the report. There would be a process to flag any issues to TikTok, and the U.S. government, if necessary.
TikTok also expanded its “state-controlled media” label to more than 40 additional global markets.
CNET used AI to write articles. It was a journalistic disaster.
Washington Post | Paul Farhi
When internet sleuths discovered last week that CNET had quietly published dozens of feature articles generated entirely by artificial intelligence, the popular tech site acknowledged that it was true, but described the move as a mere experiment. Now, CNET has begun appending lengthy correction notices to some of its AI-generated articles after Futurism, another tech site, called out the stories for containing some “very dumb errors.” More broadly, CNET and sister publication Bankrate, which has also published bot-written stories, have now disclosed qualms about the accuracy of the dozens of automated articles they’ve published since November.
AI has rapidly become one of the most-watched sectors in media and technology, but legal issues make its use risky.