BuzzFeed Defends Reporter After Candace Owens Says They’re Working on ‘Hit Piece’ (UPDATED)

Candace Owens, the Turning Point USA official who came to national prominence after getting a shoutout from Kanye West, called out BuzzFeed today and claimed they’re working on a “hit piece” about her. Owens has met with West since his comments about her, which eventually reached the ears of President Trump, who thanked both West for his support and Owens for “having a big impact on politics in our Country.” Owens claimed that BuzzFeed has been “attempting to threaten current college girls” she worked with for information on on a story:

BuzzFeed News’ podcast cohost, Jojo the bot, wants to help listeners follow along without friction

techno beep “Did you hear that? That’s Jojo, our gender neutral robot.” Jojo, a chatbot, acts as a cohost of BuzzFeed News’ new weekly general-interest news podcast along with human Julia Furlan to help listeners follow along with the stories discussed on the show. The News, which will be released by BuzzFeed’s PodSquad team every Saturday, is designed to give those unacquainted with current events a sensible taste of the nutso news cycle, and also to amplify BuzzFeed reporters’ profiles (hmmm, sounds similar to a certain forthcoming Netflix show). This includes talking through stories with reporters across the BuzzFeed newsroom, quizzing each other on fake news, and using Jojo to help push along BuzzFeed reporting for extra context. “BuzzFeed as a brand is really smart, very upbeat Internet, but also super accessible. One of our goals has been to talk about the news for our
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Can New York Times readers’ love for the crossword puzzle extend into a TV show?

We’ve watched newspaper investigations unfold into dramas and learned about the values of journalism through documentaries. We might just watch a weekly show about Slack and Twitter drama in a modern-day journalism world. But would people watch a show about a crossword puzzle? (Where does it end??) That was the tease from New York Times assistant managing editor Sam Dolnick at the Times’ 2018 Digital Content NewFronts presentation. (There are many more presentations coming throughout the week, and Digiday published this overview of the advertising industry’s mega-event.) AdWeek shared this exchange:
“What does The New York Times know about television?” asked [Times COO Meredith] Kopit Levien, somewhat rhetorically. “Over the past decade there has been an explosion in TV. The Times hasn’t been a part of it and we should be,” said Dolnick.
He added: “We think (dating column) Modern Love should be a series on
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Netflix is launching a weekly BuzzFeed show in July

“A lot of times the Internet takes me to some pretty weird places,” begins the promotional clip for a new, short BuzzFeed show that will be coming to Netflix in July and will focus on BuzzFeed reporters as they report stories. From The Hollywood Reporter:
The first episode of Follow This will follow reporter Scaachi Koul as she talks about her reporting on the world of autonomous sensory meridian response (better known as ASMR). Other BuzzFeed staffers who will be featured throughout the season include senior culture writer Bim Adewunmi, senior national correspondent John Stanton, reporter and podcast host Ahmed Ali Akbar, science reporter Azeen Ghorayshi, BuzzFeed India editor-in-chief Rega Jha and senior tech writer Charlie Warzel.
Netflix is calling it a “short-form Netflix Original Documentary Series.” The company has been insistent that it has to plans to actually get into news. These episodes will be about 15 minutes Continue reading "Netflix is launching a weekly BuzzFeed show in July"

Can Facebook beat back the fake news in Ireland’s upcoming vote on abortion?

The growing stream of reporting on and data about fake news, misinformation, partisan content, and news literacy is hard to keep up with. This weekly roundup offers the highlights of what you might have missed.

Facebook ad transparency ahead of Ireland’s abortion referendum. On May 25, Irish citizens will vote on whether to end the country’s abortion ban. In advance of the referendum, CNN’s Ivana Kottasová reports, Facebook is rolling out a new tool that will “give users more information about political advertisements and sponsored posts in their News Feeds.” It’s already been tested in Canada and will roll out globally before the U.S. midterms. The Independent’s Adrian Weckler has more on how the tool will work:

Under the new ad transparency system, Irish users can see all ads an advertiser is running on Facebook at the same time, even if those ads are not in the
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Coconuts, a fast-growing, cities-focused network of sites in Asia, takes a hard right into paid memberships

Coconuts, born as a network of city-focused sites centered around English-language audiences in Southeast Asia, has now been around for seven years. Its content, often irreverent, often derived from trending topics on social media, makes for a fun read, and that’s how it’s built its name. The network of sites started out as an English-language city guide for Bangkok, but has now expanded across multiple cities in Asia, including Bali, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore, and Yangon, covering entertainment, lifestyle, travel, and general news focused on life in those cities (think the Gothamist model, at least before some of them were adopted by a coalition of public radio institutions.) Coconuts claims about two million monthly unique visitors on its sites across Asia — when you include on top of that its audience duplicated across the various social media and video platforms it publishes on, that number is
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Jared Kushner Reportedly Tried to Sell His Newspaper to Media Matters Founder David Brock

After helping his father-in-law win the 2016 presidential election, Jared Kushner was in secret talks to sell his newspaper, the New York Observer, to two prominent liberals and Hillary Clinton supporters: David Brock, the founder of Media Matters and Haim Saban, a Clinton mega-donor and Univision chair. That’s according to a Buzzfeed report by Charlie Warzel, which noted that Brock had aspirations to turn the once-influential salmon tabloid into “the Breitbart of the left,” to take on the coming Trump administration. Kushner and Observer Media chair Joseph Meyer reportedly sought pro-Trump suitors to buy the paper after the election, including National Enquirer parent company American Media Inc., headed by Trump-ally David J. Pecker. “But according to two sources, Kushner and Meyer found more attractive suitors in Hillaryland,” Buzzfeed’s Warzel reported. He continued:
In the days after the election, Observer Media executives took part in discussions Continue reading "Jared Kushner Reportedly Tried to Sell His Newspaper to Media Matters Founder David Brock"