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.
The global advertising industry is on the rise. New analysis by advertising agency GroupM quoted by Axios shows that “the advertising industry grew faster this year compared to any point in recent history.” The growth rate for worldwide advertising is expected to reach 22.5% in 2021.
The growth is partly driven by the economic rebound compared to the tumultuous 2020, but it’s also caused by new opportunities stemming from the pandemic. Perhaps the most notable factor is the rise of e-commerce – particularly among small businesses who went online for the first time last year.
The dynamic in the United Kingdom, which is among the three countries fueling global growth (others being the US and China), is even better – GroupM projects UK ad growth at 35.7% this year. As the authors note, “to understand what’s driving this growth, consider that the grocery delivery space alone now features several scaled startups operating in central London, many of which have become major buyers of advertising.”
Analysts estimate the global ad industry will be worth $1 trillion in 2025, up from $766 currently.
On a darker note, the global number of journalists behind bars reached a record number in 2021. The analysis by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) finds 293 reporters jailed for their work across the world; that’s up from 280 last year.
China – somewhat expectedly as the world’s most populous country that’s emerged as the standard bearer for global authoritarianism – “remains the world’s worst jailer of journalists” with 50 reporters behind bars, the authors note. At least 24 journalists globally were killed specifically for their reporting work.
Belarus is in the top five. As CPJ analysts note, “Lukashenko’s vindictiveness [has reached] new heights” this year, with the infamous kidnapping of dissident journalist Raman Protasevich, as well as repression against dozens of journalists and independent media outlets.
Kyiv Post, one of the largest Ukrainian English-language news outlets, resumed its work under a new editorial team this week, with some significant changes to its model.
According to a statement by new CEO Luc Chénier, “the Kyiv Post has made the strategic decision to remove its paywall and make all our content freely available online to as wide an international audience as possible.” (The publication was among the first in Ukraine and Eastern Europe to institute a paywall model almost a decade ago).
The outlet also says it plans to expand its coverage in other languages, including Ukrainian, Russian, French, German, and Arabic.
Notably, however, Kyiv Post will start with a fully new editorial team. According to a statement by Kyiv Independent, a new publication launched by Kyiv Post staff members fired by the newspaper’s owner in November, “none of the fired journalists or editors that are now part of the Kyiv Independent have rejoined the Kyiv Post.” Previously, the journalists condemned the Kyiv Post owner Adnan Kivan for an “act of vengeance” in firing the whole editorial team.
Bonus — Three more stories you might want to check out: