Justice Department Pushes Congress on Section 230 (News & Tech)

September 28, 2020

Article by: News & Tech

Justice Department Pushes Congress on Section 230
The Justice Department has put together a legislative package to reform Section 230. On Sept. 23, the department sent a letter to Congress on the department’s proposal “to modernize and clarify the immunity that 47 U.S.C. § 230 provides to online platforms that host and moderate content.”
Platforms such as Facebook, Google and Twitter enjoy the protection of Section 230.

“For too long Section 230 has provided a shield for online platforms to operate with impunity,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “Ensuring that the internet is a safe, but also vibrant, open and competitive environment is vitally important to America. We therefore urge Congress to make these necessary reforms to Section 230 and begin to hold online platforms accountable both when they unlawfully censor speech and when they knowingly facilitate criminal activity online.” See the letter and the proposal from the Justice Department here. On Sept. 23 at a discussion with Republican state attorneys general concerning social media, Pres. Trump said he is “watching (tech firms) very closely during this election cycle.”

Today is World News Day
What are you doing today to mark World News Day? Newsrooms from New Zealand to Canada, South America to Hong Kong will use their news pages and social media channels today (Sept. 28) to show why #JournalismMatters, according to WAN-IFRA, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers.

Participating newsrooms will use their pages, editorial columns and social media channels today to show why #JournalismMatters. Some have planned their own events for their audiences and will produce special supplements on journalism that matters. Google News Initiative is the primary sponsor of the event.

Zuora Tracks Rise in Subscriptions
Subscription management platform provider Zuora has launched its eight annual Subscription Economy Index, which measures the growth metrics of hundreds of subscription companies, including publishers, and compares them to a key benchmark for the U.S. economy: sales per share on the S&P 500. “Subscription sign-ups are on the rise, and while S&P 500 companies saw sales contract at an annualized rate of negative 10% in Q2 2020, subscription businesses in the SEI expanded at a rate of 12%,” says Zuora. The study found that publishers using the subscription model fared better than those without.

Hearst Magazines Enhances Print
Hearst Magazines has launched Premium Print, an initiative that includes a multimillion-dollar investment across its portfolio of more than 25 brands to further strengthen its position in the marketplace and enhance the quality of its print products, says Hearst. The additional investment will improve the product of several Hearst Magazines print properties through new, larger formats, higher-quality paper and improved editorial ratios.

Immediate plans, which build on the enhanced paper quality introduced in Good Housekeeping and House Beautiful earlier this year, include adding up to 10% more editorial pages in Good Housekeeping and additional edit pages and larger trim size to the print editions of Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and Road & Track, effective with the brands’ 2021 issues. The company will also launch a new quarterly publication from Delish next year. Additional product improvements across the portfolio will be made in 2021.
The investment follows the launch of Hearst Magazines’ new membership and metered paywall program recently introduced at Bicycling, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Men’s Health, Popular Mechanics, Road & Track, Runner’s World and Women’s Health. “We are experimenting and making great strides by activating our digital channels to sell products, including print and digital subscriptions,” Hearst Magazines Acting President Debi Chirichella said.

Big Advertisers Lead Expansion
The U.S. advertising marketplace grew 5.9% in August, its first monthly year-over-year growth since March, according to a MediaPost analysis of Standard Media Index’s U.S. Ad Market Tracker.
The finding involves media buys processed by major ad agencies and brands. It may not reflect long-term trends for smaller operations and advertisers, says MediaPost.

In the Ad Market Tracker database, the largest advertisers represented by the top 10 advertising categories raised their ad spending in August 8.4% over August 2019. During the same time, advertisers in categories 11-plus fell 3.1%, meaning that the larger advertisers are driving the ad market recovery, said MediaPost.

Pulse Research, ANC Form Alliance
Pulse Research and revenue development company Advantage Newspaper Consultants have formed an alliance to deliver Pulse Research and Pulse Sales Tools to ANC newspaper partners. As a part of the agreement, ANC media analysts will use Pulse Sales Tools when they work with newspaper and media partners to develop revenue. This will provide ANC and their partners current shopping intelligence and “the best ways to engage and help customers with the goal of closing more print and digital annual contracts,” said a news release from ANC. Sammy Papert of Wormhole has represented Pulse for 16 years and was instrumental in finalizing the agreement, said the release. He will serve as point person with ANC and their newspaper partners. Pulse was founded in 1985 by John Marling. ANC was founded in 1996 by Timothy O. Dellinger.

Layoffs at Tulsa World
The Tulsa World has cut at least 10 journalists, according to Poynter. The cuts follow recent layoffs at other Lee papers, Poynter says. The Tulsa World had cut seven people from its design desk earlier in September, Poynter says. Iowa-based Lee bought 30 dailies, The Buffalo News and more than 49 paid weekly publications from BH Media, completing the sale in 2020. Poynter provides a running list of layoffs around the country.

More News
• Kodak won’t attend drupa 2021, Printweek and others reported. Fujifilm has also pulled out of the event.

• The Rantoul Press (Illinois) is stopping publication with its Sept. 30 issue, the paper says. Community Media Group bought the paper in 2019.

• The Nation magazine has done a redesign.

• The weekly Philomath Express (Oregon) is ceasing publication. Mid-Valley Media Group owns the paper.


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