News & Opinion

Verizon Strike Ends, For Now

After 15 days on strike, 45,000 Verizon workers marched in to work on Tuesday after extracting an agreement from their stubborn employer to bargain. The end of the strike was greeted with mixed feelings. While most strikers are relieved to return to their jobs, many calculate that going back without a new contract will take the pressure off and that Verizon will go back to its old tricks.

The Twitter effect: We are all members of the media now

It’s not just the reporters and other journalists who are using Twitter to reshape the way political reporting happens -- politicians and their parties are doing it as well. Candidates are posting their own videos to YouTube and their campaign statements to Facebook, and when there’s a news announcement, they post it to their Twitter accounts. In some cases, journalists themselves find out the news when they see it in someone’s tweet-stream, reversing the traditional relationship where reporters break the news.

Could accepting freebies land journalists in jail?

A lawyer has warned that journalists accepting freebies could be at risk of committing a criminal offense, following the introduction of new UK bribery laws last month. The new Bribery Act came into force on 1 July and is now considered one of the most stringent sets of bribery laws anywhere in the world. It comes after an anonymous fashion journalist this week lifted the lid on the freebie culture that is deeply ingrained at some titles.

Why Political Coverage is Broken

From a TV programmer’s point of view the advantage of politics-as-entertainment is that the main characters, the politicians themselves, work for free! The media doesn’t have to pay them because taxpayers do. The sets are provided by the government, the plots by the party leaders, back benchers and spin doctors. Politics as problem-solving or consensus-building would be more expensive to cover. Politics as entertainment is simply a low cost alternative.

The Disintegrating Economics Of Newspaper Circulation

The myth of legacy media holds that every reader sees every ad, thus every advertiser pays for every reader, thus every reader is equally valuable -- and it’s worth losing money holding onto any reader. Those aren’t the economics of online, where advertisers pay only for the readers who see (or click on) their ads, and where abundance robs publishers of pricing power over their once-scarce inventory.

NLRB will require employers to disclose union rights

The National Labor Relations Board has issued a final rule that will require employers to notify employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act as of November 14, 2011. The notice states that employees have the right to act together to improve wages and working conditions, to form, join and assist a union, to bargain collectively with their employer, and to refrain from any of these activities.

France’s Rich Say ‘Tax Us More’

Warren Buffett is playing well in France. A group of 16 of the richest people in France has signed a petition asking the French government to increase their taxes. “We are conscious of having benefited from a French system and a European environment that we are attached to and which we hope to help maintain,” the petition said. The wealthy in France pay a top rate of 40%, plus an annual wealth tax of between 0.5% and 1.8% on assets above $1.1 million.

'UK media receives more state aid than France and Italy'

The author of study by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism claims that all developed democracies in the West, even “supposedly free-market oriented ones like the United States,” give “extensive” subsidies to the media, be it direct or indirect. But, he adds, current arrangements discriminate against online-only news outlets, with "no public support for online-only organizations” in the six countries -- including the U.S. -- that he examined.

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