Two things are certain about the international media landscape. One is that media is omnipresent. The second is that it is eternally changing and evolving. No matter how hard you try, it seems impossible to keep up with it. So here’s your cheat sheet. Here are ten things to know about the changing world media landscape this week:
- Panama Papers to be released to the public: The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists will release a searchable database with much of the information contained in the leaked Panama Papers. Some documents are being withheld from the database to protect the personal data of those mentioned in the files.
- Gannett makes offer to buy Tribune: Gannett Company has officially gone public with its offer to acquire Tribune Publishing for $12.25 a share–or about $815 million. They took the offer public in the hopes of getting Tribune shareholders excited about the deal after getting cold shoulder from Trib execs. Gannett owns such papers as USA Today and the Detroit Free Press while Tribune owns the L.A. Times and the Chicago Tribune.
- Charter and Time Warner free to merge: anti-trust regulators have cleared Charter and Time Warner Cable to merge, which clears the way for the two to become the second largest cable company in the U.S., behind Comcast.
- Brutal killings in Bangladesh: the editor of Bangladesh’s only LGBT magazine and a prominent activist was hacked to death in Dhaka this week. This is one in a string of multiple, similar slayings which have targeted atheists, intellectuals, secular activists and social or religious minorities. Xulhaz Mannan also worked for USAID.
- Censorship at Las Vegas Journal Review: Columnist John L. Smith resigned from the paper after he was prohibited from writing about wealthy casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, whose family also owns the newspaper. Adelson has also been a longtime GOP donor and is considered one of the most powerful men in the party.
- BuzzFeed lowers expectations: BuzzFeed missed its 2015 revenue projections by $80 million, leading to a lowering of expectations across the board for 2016 (from $500 million to $250 million). This raises a lot of questions about the longterm viability of digital media startups.
- Legacy media stocks are up: on the other hand, legacy media groups like CBS Corp. and Time Warner Inc. have seen a significant increase in share price in the first part of the year. This rally will be put to the test as quarterly earnings reports come out.
- New York Times Company cuts Paris operations: the Times is cutting its editing and printing operations in Paris and focusing them in New York and Hong Kong. This is part of the company’s larger shift to focus on digital media rather than the print product.
- Megyn Kelly to interview Donald Trump: in a shift in what has become one of the most contentious relationships in the 2016 race, Donald Trump has agreed to be interviewed by Megyn Kelly. The interview will air May 17.
- RT won a Webby: in some parallel universe, someone decided Russia Today was a good news network and awarded their social media channels a Webby–which are sometimes called “The Oscars of the web.”
As always, thoughts, ideas and sarcastic commentary welcome in the comments section. Side note: this blog was written in the bathroom while waiting out the second tornado of the season with my unhappy cat and even more unhappy husband. Hope your evening has been tornado free. Keep your stick on the ice,