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The United States, China Relax Visa Restrictions on Reporters

“We are gratified their correspondents will be able to return to the PRC to continue their important work,” the State Department said

Eduardo Razo

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The United States and China have reached an agreement to relax visa restrictions on each countries foreign reporters, per The New York Times.

“We are gratified their correspondents will be able to return to the PRC to continue their important work,” the State Department said in a statement. “We welcome this progress but see it simply as initial steps.”

Former President Donald J. Trump’s tensions with China were at the core of the restrictions following his comments regarding the coronavirus and how it originated, resulting in China expelling journalists working for the three American papers. 

Trump would respond by limiting Chinese journalists to 90-day visas to work in the United States. 

Despite news breaking on Tuesday, both parties have been cooperating for months and agree to give journalists eligible under the countries’ laws yearlong visas that are renewable. 

“They were trying to find some area where they could show some concrete progress,” Orville Schell, the director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society, said. “They decided that this was a good one.”

News Print & Digital

Clarence Thomas Wants SCOTUS to Revisit Libel Laws

Thomas has urged SCOTUS to revisit the landmark First Amendment decision, which set strict standards for public figures who can claim libel.

Ryan Hedrick

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AP

Justice Clarence Thomas wants the Supreme Court to revisit the definition of libel. On Monday, Thomas dissented on a decision involving a Christian media group that sought to sue the Southern Law Poverty Center (SLPC) for characterizing them as a “hate group.”

For years, Thomas has urged SCOTUS to revisit the landmark First Amendment decision, New York Times vs. Sullivan which set strict standards for public figures who can claim libel. A ruling of that magnitude would pave the way for people to sue media organizations for publishing or broadcasting statements that damage one’s reputation. 

According to the Washington Examiner, Coral Ridge Ministries Media Inc. attempted to sue the SLPC but the case was dismissed by lower courts because “it failed to overcome the standards set by Sullivan.

“This case is one of many showing how New York Times and its progeny have allowed media organizations and interest groups ‘to cast false aspersions on public figures with near impunity,’” Thomas wrote in the dissent.

Thomas argued that SPLC’s “hate group” designation lumped Coral Ridge’s Christian Ministry with groups like the Ku Klux Klan.

“It placed Coral Ridge on an interactive, online “Hate Map” and caused Coral Ridge concrete financial injury by excluding it from the AmazonSmile donation program,” said Thomas.  

Coral Ridge applied to receive donations through AmazonSmile, a separate portal from Amazon’s main site which donates 0.5% of the price of eligible purchase to the charity of your choice.

Other noteworthy defamation/libel cases include the recent Johnny Depp and Amber Heard cases where Depp was seeking to recoup damages from a 2018 Washington Post op-ed penned by Heard who he claims cost him a chance to further his legacy with the Pirates of the Caribbean series.

Also, former 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin sued the New York Times for linking her political action committee to the 2011 shooting of former Arizona Gabriel Gifford. 

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News Print & Digital

Futuri is Turning User Content into Video

The platform is reportedly gaining popularity among television broadcasters following the release of a new version tailored to their needs.

Eduardo Razo

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Audience engagement company Futuri is helping creators through their program POST. The platform allows its users to upload audio, add texts and images and turn the content into video. 

The platform is reportedly gaining popularity among television broadcasters following the release of a new version tailored to their needs. According to Inside Radio, more television companies look to capitalize on the growing audio medium to reach their audiences. 

“Today’s audiences don’t think of media brands only in terms of ‘TV’ or ‘radio’. Quality content, be it video or audio, is what gets consumers engaged,” said Futuri CEO Daniel Anstandig.

POST comes equipped with scheduling tools, video tools, and search engine optimization. In addition to ingesting and automatically editing a TV newscast’s audio feed, Futuri says the TV version of POST will also swap out the television commercials with programmatic ad markers.

“The way we’ve customized the POST podcasting systems for the unique needs of television broadcasters will help them quickly capture the audience and revenue growth opportunities that the explosive growth of audio has created,” added Anstandig. 

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Washington Post Tells Staff to “Comply Now” with Work Policy

The Post has put an ultimatum to its staffers who are not showing up to the offices for the three days they require or face the consequences.

Eduardo Razo

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The Washington Post has put an ultimatum to its staffers who are not showing up to the offices for the three days they require; they can either come back or face “disciplinary action.”

In an email sent throughout the company, Post chief human resources officer Wayne Connell called on staff to “comply now” with the newspaper’s work policy. 

After re-opening its offices on March 15, the publication demands that its staff be in the office “at least three days per week.” 

“If you haven’t complied with our 3/2 policy since our March return, or you haven’t complied consistently, we’d like to underscore the need to comply now,” the statement read, per Mediaite

“Beginning this Monday, June 27, please ensure that you are in the office at least three days per week, assuming you are not on approved days off such as vacation time, sick time, etc. Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action.”

Connell adds that the Post is being fair with its demands to have their staff come in three times a week, striking the right balance by allowing employees to work from home and having the office experience that a Zoom meeting can’t replicate.

“We believe this companywide policy strikes the right balance, allowing both in-office collaboration and greater levels of flexibility than before the pandemic, and it’s only fair that we enforce this policy consistently,” the statement concluded. 

“We continue to evaluate the effectiveness of the 3/2 model and reserve the right to make changes in the future. In the meantime, please do your part in helping us meet these expectations.”

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