February 24, 2024

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Media Insider: Gannett Hiring Taylor Swift Reporters, Google Antitrust Trial Begins, AP Stylebook Suffers Data Breach

4 min read
Also in this week’s media news roundup: The Sporting News raises $15 million, Artifact launches Links feature for social sharing.
Media Insider: Gannett Hiring Taylor Swift Reporters, Google Antitrust Trial Begins, AP Stylebook Suffers Data Breach

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

Photo by Gian Cescon on Unsplash

After layoffs, Gannett is hiring Taylor Swift and Beyoncé journalists
Washington Post | Herb Scribner

The country’s largest newspaper chain is hiring journalists to exclusively cover two people: Taylor Swift and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Gannett posted two unusual want ads this week – one for a writer, photographer, and social media expert with “an undeniable thirst for all things Taylor Swift,” and another for a reporter to “tap into stories about the Beyhive,” a.k.a. Beyoncé’s fans. Both journalists will write remotely for Gannett’s flagship national paper, USA Today, as well as the Tennessean in Nashville, where Swift began her rise to superstardom. Their work may appear in around 200 local Gannett papers, and they will earn between $21.63 and $50.87 an hour. It’s not unheard-of for stars such as Swift or Beyoncé to get their own dedicated reporter, though these postings are notable because Gannett is coming off a string of painful job eliminations, cutting 6% of its roughly 3,400-person staff in December and laying off 400 in August of last year.

ICYMI: New fashion magazine Nuts plans to share profits with its staff.

Landmark Google trial opens with sweeping DOJ accusations of illegal monopolization
CNN | Brian Fung

US prosecutors opened a landmark antitrust trial against Google on Tuesday with sweeping allegations that for years the company intentionally stifled competition challenging its massive search engine, accusing the tech giant of spending billions to operate an illegal monopoly that has harmed every computer and mobile device user in the United States. In opening remarks before a federal judge in Washington, lawyers for the Justice Department alleged that Google’s negotiation of exclusive contracts with wireless carriers and phone makers helped cement its dominant position in violation of US antitrust law. The Google case has been described as one of the largest US antitrust trials since the federal government took on Microsoft in the 1990s, and involves some similar arguments about the tying of multiple proprietary products. The multi-week trial is expected to feature witness testimony from Google CEO Sundar Pichai, as well as other senior executives or former employees from Google, AppleMicrosoft, and Samsung.

In more Google news, the company filed a motion to dismiss an ad-tech lawsuit from Gannett.

The Sporting News raises $15M, more than a century after launch
Axios | Sara Fischer

The Sporting News, a digital sports news site, has raised $15 million in a growth round led by Playtech, a London-based, publicly traded gambling software development company. It’s not common for a brand that launched in the 1800s to raise growth capital, but TSN CEO Rich Routman said he sees it as a “series A against the firm’s new strategy.” Routman said the firm’s focus on affiliate revenue, or money it makes by brokering sales and subscription sign-ups to third-party websites, is what made it attractive to investors. The raise values TSN in the “eight figures,” Routman said. He declined to provide annual revenue figures but said the firm is profitable. The money will be used to continue expanding the website globally and building its affiliate business, which today represents 40% of the firm’s revenue.

Also from Axios: The Economist adds a podcast subscription tier.

AP Stylebook Breach May Have Hit Hundreds of Journalists
Infosecurity Magazine | Phil Muncaster

The Associated Press has warned that users of its Stylebook have been hit by phishing attacks after their personal information was compromised in a data breach. “The personal information was stored in a database that was accessible on an old APS website that was no longer in use but still available online and maintained on our behalf by an outside service provider, Stylebooks.com,” read a breach notification. “As a result … personal information of APS customers stored on the old website was unlawfully accessed and may have been acquired by an unauthorized third party.” The variety of information accessed appears to be significant, including “name, email address, street address, city, state, zip code, phone number, and User ID.” The company is offering victims 24 months of complimentary credit monitoring and identity restoration services. It is also forcing all Stylebook customers to change their passwords before accessing the active AP Stylebook website.

Read next: How a young sports news site brought down Spanish Football Federation Chief Luis Rubiales.

Personalized news app Artifact becomes a discovery engine for the web with new Links feature
TechCrunch | Sarah Perez

Artifact, the personalized news aggregator built by Instagram’s co-founders, is launching a new feature that takes the app in a different direction beyond tracking, summarizing, and commenting on the news. Now, users will be able to share any link from the web in order to view a personalized feed of links based on their interests — something that puts the app in more direct competition with social apps for sharing text or links, like X or Threads. The feature, simply called Links, is meant to showcase what’s possible with Artifact’s AI technology, the company explains. To get started, users only have to share a URL, which is then presented in a visual feed within a new Links tab in the app. Here, a “For You” feed will show users other links based on their interests. In addition to sharing a link, Artifact’s users are also able to optionally write a caption or add photos to share their thoughts or “hot takes,” or curate the most interesting photos as part of their post.

More from TechCrunch: X, formerly Twitter, was caught running unlabeled ads in users’ Following feeds.

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