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Physical Assaults on Journalists on the Rise

Nearly ninety percent of the news directors polled for the survey revealed how they changed newsroom procedures to protect employees. They purchased bullet-proof vests and gas masks and provided security teams for reporters.

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A joint survey conducted by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University revealed that journalists were assaulted and arrested at an alarming rate while on the job in 2020. 

Nearly ninety percent of the news directors polled for the survey revealed how they changed newsroom procedures to protect employees. They purchased bullet-proof vests and gas masks and provided security teams for reporters.

The attacks on radio reporters were less prevalent, according to the report. Four percent of radio news directors and general managers reported attacks on newsroom employees. Violence was problematic for major market outlets where the population was one million people or more.

“We faced unprecedented levels of verbal and physical violence at the hands of civilians, police and the leaders we are meant to hold accountable,” said National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith. “The survey’s research team says it wanted to understand how repeated, targeted acts of violence have impacted newsrooms across the country and learned that one in five television news directors reported attacks on employees.”

This was the first year that the RTDNA conducted a survey on the dangers faced by the media while doing their jobs.

“These unacceptable attacks on our nation’s free press undermine our very democracy by preventing journalists’ ability to report the facts and keep the public informed,” Smith said. “We are grateful to the dedicated broadcast journalists bringing the truth to Americans during these dangerous times.”

News Print & Digital

Kara Swisher: Elon Musk “Has to Be” Rethinking Buying Twitter at $54 a Share

Swisher does believe a deal will occur with Twitter seeing Musk as its new owner despite these claims. However, she thinks the entrepreneur might have another idea: reprice the bid.

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Elon Musk made headlines a couple of weeks ago with his decision to purchase Twitter for $44-billion; however, New York Times reporter Kara Swisher stated on the latest episode of The Interview that the Tesla CEO is having second thoughts. 

“He has to be. This price is too high,” Swisher said. “[Twitter] is not worth $54 a share. It’s crazy. It’s like throwing money down a hole.”

Swisher does believe a deal will occur with Twitter seeing Musk as its new owner despite these claims. However, she thinks the entrepreneur might have another idea: reprice the bid.

“He should walk away, pay the billion-dollar breakup fee and then wait until it declines. He could pick it up for $15 billion versus $45 billion. That’s a nice savings. There’s a lot you can do with $30 billion,” Swisher said. 

Walking away from the deal for the social media company might not be easy. But, either way, Musk is undoubtedly taking a hard look at his bid of $54.20 per share by what Swisher is conveying, wrapping up that her relationship with the possible new owner of Twitter as an “up and down” one.

“We’ve had beefs,” Swisher said. “He hasn’t returned my emails. He usually does. He’s talking to right-wing people. He’s friends with Mike Cernovich. Good for him. He’s making new friends. I don’t care. I have four children; I don’t need Elon Musk.”

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News Print & Digital

New Texas Law Will Make It Illegal to Block, Ban Posts on Social Media Outlets

Texas lawmakers ruled last week that makes it illegal to block, ban, remove, deplatform, demonetize, and de-boost posts on social media platforms.

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Texas lawmakers have put Big Tech on notice following a ruling last week that makes it illegal to block, ban, remove, deplatform, demonetize, and de-boost posts on social media platforms with 50 million or more US monthly users.

The 15-word ruling will most likely set the stage for an intense debate in the Supreme Court and could further divide a nation struggling to interpret free speech and the First Amendment.

According to MSN, Texas’s law, HB 20, which seeks to address the perceived imbalance, was blocked in December by a district court judge who ruled it was unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

Trade organizations NetChoice and the Computer Communications Industry Association have appealed directly to the Supreme Court, according to The Verge. In a statement, NetChoice counsel Chris Marchese said the law strips private online businesses of their speech rights.

“The First Amendment prohibits Texas from forcing online platforms to host and promote foreign propaganda, pornography, pro-Nazi speech, and spam,” he added.

The Texas attorney general’s that the appeals court made the right decision and said it would continue defending the Texas law.

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Ted Sarandos to Staffers: Quit Netflix if You Find It Hard to Support Our Content

The Netflix CEO sent an internal memo discussing the diversity of its products and suggested that some content may conflict with people’s personal beliefs. 

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As streaming giant Netflix continues to hemorrhage subscribers, the company has reportedly told its employees to find a new job if they’re offended by some of the content that is being created.  

According to Variety, CEO Ted Sarandos sent an internal memo discussing the diversity of its products and suggested that some content may conflict with people’s personal beliefs. 

“Depending on your role, you may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful,” the memo said. “If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.”

According to the company’s first-quarter earnings report, Netflix lost 200,000 subscribers during the January-March period. Some employees staged a walkout when Dave Chapelle railed against transgenderism. At that time, the company vowed not to silence its artists. 

Sarandos reiterated that Netflix supports individualism and respects the principles and values of its subscribers. 

“While every title is different, we approach them based on the same set of principles: We support the artistic expression of the creators we choose to work with; we program for a diversity of audiences and tastes; and we let viewers decide what’s appropriate for them, versus having Netflix censor specific artists or voices,” the memo added.

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