Twitter backtracks, newspaper drops paywall and journalism recommendations for your weekend

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Hello. Today, I’m offering some recommendations for your weekend of reading, watching, and listening. But before that, a few media updates.

First of all, what’s going on with Twitter and Elon Musk?

Twitter’s on-and-off Musk sellout appeared to be back on earlier this week when Musk said he would buy the company at the originally agreed price of $54.20 per share, or $44 billion. But on Thursday it seemed to have died down for a bit, then turned back on and now…who the hell knows?

Musk’s attorneys said Thursday morning that Twitter refused to accept the deal and wanted the Delaware court to postpone a trial that was scheduled to begin later this month. Twitter is suing Musk for backing out of the deal he agreed to in April.

So let’s clear things up. Musk agreed to buy Twitter. Musk backed off. Twitter continued. Musk accepted the original deal then, but now Twitter won’t accept it?

Confused?

Then came Thursday night that the trial would indeed be delayed to give Musk more time to line up his funding.

Cara Lombardo and Alexa Corse of the Wall Street Journal wrote: “The surprise decision, granting a request from Mr. Musk, effectively ends negotiations for a settlement that would allow the parties to quickly conclude the agreement. Mr Musk now has until October 28 to do so. Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick said if the deal was not reached by that date, the parties should contact her to schedule a trial in November.

Lombardo and Corse added: “Late Thursday the dispute was made public with Mr. Musk’s filing, which indicated that he expected to have the funding in place to complete the deal around October 28. Twitter has responded by calling his request “an invitation to further mischief and delay. Mr. Musk, in his filing, said the financing banks were working to fund the deal so it could go through. He argued that pursuing litigation for the time being, as Twitter prefers, could keep the deal in limbo for longer.

CNN’s Clare Duffy wrote, “The back and forth offers the clearest indication yet that Musk’s funding may now be the central issue in the Tesla CEO’s dispute with Twitter over the halting of legal proceedings and the conclusion of the agreement. Musk has previously said he will pay for the acquisition through a combination of debt commitments from financial institutions, equity financing from investors and his own assets. But legal experts have raised concerns that the debt financiers may now want to pull out of the deal in light of recent changes in the debt market and the falling value of media companies social. Twitter, experts say, would likely want to keep the litigation going as pressure on Musk unless he agrees to complete the deal with or without the debt financing.

As they say in the industry…stay tuned.

For this article, I’ll hand over to Rick Edmonds, Business Analyst at Poynter Media.

The Chicago Sun-Times dropped its paywall on Thursday and made all content free for readers. The Sun-Times will move on to membership drives to garner financial support.

The moves come exactly one year after Chicago Public Media and its radio station WBEZ announced plans to acquire the Sun-Times. The deal was completed in January with $61 million in support from foundations and individual donors.

The change was expected. Public broadcasters offer their content for free, as do most in the growing sector of not-for-profit digital news startups. The nonprofit structure allows foundations and individuals to contribute tax-free, and Chicago Public Media brings a long history of managing members and philanthropic sponsors.

“Our reporters care about your community because it’s our community too,” the Sun-Times wrote in an editorial. “And we firmly believe that everyone in the Chicago area should have access to the news, stories and investigations we produce, regardless of their ability to pay. … A membership program ties our revenue model more closely to how we serve our community, holding us accountable to you, our readers. We think that’s a good thing, because if we’re not serving you, we’re not doing our job. So we take a leap of faith and put our trust in you.

For free access, users are asked to provide an email address, which allows the Sun-Times to make support offers. The editorial also invites readers to submit story suggestions, describing “a moment that made you especially proud of your community, or a moment that brought your community together.”

Chicago Public Media executives said details on the merger of the two newsrooms and their reporting will come later, as the two will be fully integrated.

Jennifer Kho, who previously served as editor at HuffPost and The Guardian US, joined the Sun-Times as editor in June.

The Sun-Times, long Chicago’s second largest newspaper, had undergone several ownership changes in recent years. Its rival, the Chicago Tribune, is the flagship of Tribune Publishing, which was acquired by hedge fund Alden Global Capital in the summer of 2021.

Another media tip: Alden Global Capital — the nation’s second-largest newspaper publisher with about 200 newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, and Denver Post — will no longer endorse political candidates on its news pages. opinion.

Katie Robertson of The New York Times revealed the story.

Readers should be notified of this decision in an editorial that may appear in Alden newspapers today. According to a copy of the editorial acquired by Robertson, he will say: “Unfortunately, as public discourse has become increasingly acrimonious, common ground has become no man’s land between the forces clashing in the culture wars. At the same time, with misinformation and misinformation on the rise, readers are often confused, especially online, about the differences between news reports, opinion pieces and editorials.

Newspapers have a long history of supporting political candidates and many still do, although some have stopped the practice.

Meanwhile, Robertson writes, “Three Alden newspapers – The Baltimore Sun, The Chicago Tribune and The Denver Post – will be allowed to continue with their endorsements this season due to the stage of the process and because they are considered state newspapers. of the record, the person said. These newspapers will announce after this election cycle that they will end this practice, according to the person familiar with the company’s plan.

And now, some recommended journalism for your weekend…

  • This report by Amy Gardner of the Washington Post has the most disturbing headline I’ve read in some time: “Majority of GOP Candidates – 299 in All – Deny 2020 Election Results.” Gardner writes, “Although some are running in heavily Democratic areas and expected to lose, most named deniers are likely to win: Of the nearly 300 on the ballot, 174 are running for safe Republican seats. Another 51 will appear on the ballot in hotly contested races. And, adds Gardner, “the implications will be long-lasting: If Republicans take control of the House, as many political forecasters predict, Holocaust deniers will have a huge influence in choosing the nation’s next president, who in turn could preside over the House in a future contested presidential election.
  • There’s more to this Post story. Adrian Blanco and Amy Gardner have “Where Republican Holocaust Deniers Are on the Ballot Near You”.
  • And one more from the Post: Sarah Ellison with “How a Las Vegas Newsroom Set Out to Solve the Murder of a Coworker.”
  • Superb investigative video work by Muyi Xiao, Isabelle Qian, Tracy Wen Liu, Drew Jordan and Jeff Bernier of The New York Times in “Inside the Final Days of the Doctor China Tried to Silence”.
  • For CNN, Shimon Prokupecz, Matthew J. Friedman and Rachel Clarke with “Uvalde School District Fire Officer after CNN identified her as a soldier under investigation for her response to the massacre” .
  • New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi interviews New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman about Haberman’s new book on Donald Trump in “Maggie Haberman on How She Covers Trump Without Losing Her Mind.” In the interview, Haberman says nothing Trump might do would surprise her. “There isn’t,” Haberman said. “In the sense that I think he’s capable of a lot of things. But when I found out, in a news report last year, that he was actually telling people he wasn’t going to leave the White House. He wasn’t kidding. And it was very alarming to people at the time who heard it.
  • My colleague Al Tompkins touched on this topic earlier this week, but here’s Jenny Jarvie from the Los Angeles Times with “After Hurricane Ian, a Lower Florida Town Begins to Rebuild.” Should he?”
  • Justin Scheck of The New York Times with “She’s a Doctor. He was a limousine driver. They offered a $30 million arms deal.
  • Washington Post reporter Jeremy Barr with “Reporters Want to Know: Can We Use Your Disaster Photo, Please?”
  • This story begins with a man saying he didn’t think the late comedian Norm Macdonald was funny. This was when Macdonald was still alive. Now the rest of the story. The Daily Beast’s Justin Baragona with “Internet trolls have plagued this sci-fi writer for years – and he can’t stop them.”
  • A thought-provoking piece from Matt Brennan – associate editor for entertainment and the arts at the Los Angeles Times – with “The real lesson from ‘Bros’: It’s OK to let gay art bomb.”
  • Variety with “Who should be the next James Bond?” 34 choices for the new 007.”
  • French writer Annie Ernaux received the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Associated Press’ Jeffrey Schaeffer, David Keyton and Jill Lawless have more. And Joumana Khatib of the New York Times with “Here is a guide to Ernaux’s most essential work”.
  • Speaking of awards, here are the American Journalism Online Awards – 2022 Winners.

Do you have any comments or advice? Email Poynter Senior Media Editor Tom Jones at [email protected]

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