News Production

Politics • European
Latvia bans Russian television channel RT
Dmitry Kiselyov (touching the screen) with Vladimir Putin
Dmitry Kiselyov (touching the screen) with Vladimir Putin Credit: Пресс-служба Президента России (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

Latvian National Electronic Mass Media Council announced it has banned the state-controlled Russian television channel RT. The ban will be valid for as long as Dmitry Kiselyov, network executive, remains on the list of sanctioned persons of the European Union’s.

The Council banned seven distinct channels belonging to the multilingual network operated by RT from being broadcast in the country, accusing RT of attempting to present Latvia as a failed state.

About 30 per cent of the country's population speaks Russian as a first language, with most of them being ethnic Russians.

Business • Media & Advertising
The New York Times ends partnership with Apple News
The New York Times Building at 620 Eighth Avenue, NYC
The New York Times Building at 620 Eighth Avenue, NYC Credit: unsplash.com/Stéphan Valentin

The New York Times has ended its partnership with Apple News and has stopped distributing articles in the Apple News App.

The biggest factors behind the decision are that "Apple had given it little in the way of direct relationships with readers and little control over the business," and The Times is seeking to "drive readers directly to its own website and mobile app so that it could 'fund quality journalism'."

"Core to a healthy model between The Times and the platforms is a direct path for sending those readers back into our environments, where we control the presentation of our report, the relationships with our readers and the nature of our business rules," so Meredith Kopit Levien, chief operating officer. "Our relationship with Apple News does not fit within these parameters."

Technology • Internet & Web
Google to pay publishers for quality news content and absorb paywall costs
Google to pay publishers for quality news content and absorb paywall costs
Credit: Tony Webster (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Google announced on Thursday that it would begin paying publishers to license “high-quality” content in a licensing deal that initially has media groups in Australia, Brazil and Germany signed up.

The first publishers that will be licensing their content are Australian groups Schwartz Media, The Conversation and Solstice Media, Brazil’s Diarios Associados, and Germany’s Der Spiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Zeit and Rheinische Post.

Google will also offer to pay for free access for users to read paywalled articles on a publisher’s site. The goal is to let paywalled publishers grow their audiences and open an opportunity for people to read the content they might not ordinarily see.

Technology • Internet & Web
Microsoft to replace journalists with automated systems on MSN
MSN Frontpage
MSN Frontpage Credit: Reproduction (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

Microsoft won’t renew the contracts of around 50 contract news producers working at MSN and plans to use artificial intelligence to replace them. On Wednesday the tech giant notified affected employees that their services would no longer be needed beyond June 30.

The company said in a statement: "Like all companies, we evaluate our business on a regular basis. This can result in increased investment in some places and, from time to time, redeployment in others. These decisions are not the result of the current pandemic."