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Weekly Digest: Sifted Investment, Kyiv Independent Launch, EU ad rules

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.

Sifted, a media outlet focused on innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe backed by Financial Times, raised a £4 million (€4.7 million) investment from ScaleUp Capital. The investment gives the firm a 25% stake in Sifted.

Sifted plans to double its staff, now comprising over 40 employees, within the next year to “continue scaling the definitive resource for insights on the European startup ecosystem.” According to Sifted, the outlet has 10 million unique visitors per month, particularly 100,000 newsletter readers.

2021 has been a strong year for European tech startups. As Press Gazette highlights, “in the first half of 2021 alone, European start-ups raised some $57.5bn in funding – three times the figure for 2020.” Additional capital gives Sifted new opportunities to keep up with this growth. 

Former Kyiv Post staffers, who were unexpectedly fired by Ukraine’s leading English-language publication in early November, announced the launch of a new publication The Kyiv Independent this week.

The outlet launched a fundraising campaign on Patreon and GoFundMe. On Friday, November 26th, the one-time GoFundMe campaign to accelerate the publication’s launch was halfway towards its £10,000 goal, while the Patreon account attracted over 450 patrons donating $5,372 per month.

In terms of editorial products, The Kyiv Independent launched a podcast “Media in Progress” – a show “following a team of journalists and their fight for an independent press in Ukraine” (reminiscing the famous “StartUp” podcast). The team has been publishing a newsletter since before the outlet’s official launch.

Kyiv Post, in the meanwhile, has paused publication in the wake of firing its newsroom, but the newspaper’s leaders plan to relaunch it and “be back in time for the Christmas holidays.”

More from The Fix: Ex-Kyiv Post team launches Kyiv Independent, lays out new vision

[Editor’s note: Co-founders of The Fix, Daryna Shevchenko and Jakub Parusinski, both worked in the Kyiv Post in the early 2010s. They are both helping the Kyiv Independent team manage the operational and financial aspects of the transition as acting CEO and CFO, respectively].

On Thursday, the European Commission offered a set of rules regulating political advertising in the European Union

Big technology companies will face new transparency requirements with regard to political ads, as will the political parties. Violators will risk large fines. However, “voters [are] unlikely to see a difference,” Politico notes

At this point, the document is still a proposal that has to be approved by the European Parliament and EU member states, a long process that’s expected to last until 2023 – “to ensure that the 2024 elections to the European Parliament take place under the highest democratic standards,” according to the announcement.

However, the European authorities are hoping to start a conversation on regulating political advertising that’s acutely needed across the world, particularly in developing countries.

More from The Fix: Press Freedom in 2021: A freer Europe with a rotting core

Paul Dacre, a longtime former editor of Britain’s most popular newspaper Daily Mail, has pulled out of the contest to become chairman of Ofcom, a government watchdog in charge of telecommunications. Instead, Dacre returned as editor-in-chief DMG Media, the Mail’s parent company. 

Despite reportedly being the government’s preferred candidate, Dacre’s potential appointment as Ofcom chair has been controversial, primarily because of Dacre’s involvement in running a right-leaning daily newspaper and accusations of cronyism.

At Daily Mail, “insiders expect a ‘tougher’, more outspoken paper, and closer integration with the Sunday and online editions” under Dacre’s editorial leadership of the publishing company, according to The Economist.

Bonus — Four more stories you might want to check out:

Photo by Frederic Köberl on Unsplash

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