Welcome to The Fix’s weekly news digest! Every week, we bring you important news stories from the world of media – and try to put them in a wider context.
As Germany is nearing its federal election, due to be held on September 26th, Russian-supported media is reported to succeed in spreading misinformation online.
Politico reports that RT Deutsch, a Kremlin-backed television channel, plays a big role in spreading anti-vaccine sentiment on social media. The outlet also indirectly promotes the far-right party Alternative for Deutschland, while attacking the Green Party.
It’s concerning because RT Deutsch “has become the most prominent media outlet on social media in Germany.” According to research, the outlet garnered over 22 million interactions on Facebook, surpassing the numbers enjoyed by major mainstream publications.
Fran Unsworth, Director of News and Current Affairs at BBC, announced she will leave the corporation early next year.
Unsworth has worked for BBC for over 40 years, and she has held her current position since January 2018, overseeing coverage of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic. She is also a member of the BBC board.
Her departure creates a vacancy for one of the most powerful news jobs in the world. As The Guardian notes, it’s likely to “set off [a] competitive and politicised recruitment process to find replacement” at a time when the BBC is under attack from the British government for its alleged liberal bias.
Australia’s highest court ruled that media organisations are liable for user comments posted on their Facebook pages.
The decision was made in the case concerning media companies News Corp and Fairfax Media that appealed claiming they shouldn’t be held liable for defamatory third-party comments in the Dylan Voller case.
The Wall Street Journal notes that “[the] ruling that could prompt traditional publishers to rethink how they engage with social media.” More media outlets are likely to ban comments on their Facebook pages as they are hardly able to invest heavily in moderating them.
City AM, a free London business newspaper, has announced it would bring back the print version for the first time after the start of the pandemic. The first pandemic-era print edition will come out on September 20th.
This news highlights the state of the pandemic recovery as commuter levels have increased and COVID-19 statistics have improved. Before the pandemic, City AM’s distribution was at 85,000 copies a day, the figure the newspaper is aiming to bring back.
As Press Gazette highlights, over the past 18 months City AM has boosted its online presence, “topping 3m monthly unique visitors for the first time in February this year.”