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Media Bits and Bytes - June 1, 2021

Mergers, censorship, DIY news, and more media migraines

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Credit, Illustrated | Screenshot/YouTube

Solving the Local News Crisis

By Ellen Clegg and Dan Kennedy
NiemanLab

Hedge funds have moved in, bleeding newspapers of their last remaining revenues rather than investing in the future. Compounding all this is that, in many cases, corporate owners take on massive amounts of debt to build their chains and then extract revenues from their newspapers to pay it down.

Cyber Censorship Goes Global

By Rishika Pardikar
The Daily Poster

Content depicting COVID-related dissent in India and protests in Colombia and Palestine have been taken down with little explanation.

Women Fight for Digital Rights

By James FitzGerald
BBC 

Lockdowns have forced people to spend the past year and more learning, working, and socialising online - but in many countries, women have been missing out.

Mega Media Monopoly Mayhem

By Angela Watercutter
Wired

Amazon made a deal to buy MGM, the latest power move in an ongoing battle for turf in the streaming wars, one that signals what streaming services will need to do to ultimately triumph—or at least survive.

Emily Wilder and Power Worship

By Sarah Jones
New York Magazine

Emily Wilder is a promising young journalist. But it turns out, she has political opinions: In college, she belonged to Students for Justice in Palestine and to Jewish Voice for Peace. For this, the right branded Wilder an anti-Semite, even though she is Jewish. Now she’s out of a job.

What Price Privacy?

By Evgeny Morozov
The Guardian

Privacy activists are winning fights with tech giants. Why does victory feel hollow? Perhaps we wasted energy achieving privacy concessions, when we should have been building a more foundational critique of the power of big tech.

Selfies and Dysmorphia

By Jesselyn Cook
Huffpost

The massively popular photo-editing app Facetune is driving a generation of young women to extreme and obsessive lengths to look flawless online.

Online News Influencers

By Clare Malone
Columbia Journalism Review

Influencers on YouTube are posting videos under the banner of “news”—legitimate and not.

Bezos Marks His Territory

By Andrew Perez and David Sirota
Jacobin

Jeff Bezos is using The Washington Post’s website as his personal megaphone to push back against criticism over wages and working conditions.

Naomi Osaka and Press Freedom

By Jon Allsop
Columbia Journalism Review

A conversation is needed about sports reporters’ access to stars, and the role of what are, ultimately, powerful corporations in mediating it.