There are several issues facing the media industry right now – some positive, some negative. Here are six all worth following.
The New York Legislature Wants Writers and Directors to Get Work
Why are people in the television industry closely watching what happens with a state bill? Because a new bill NY State Senate Bill S4999D, which passed in 2019, allocates funds to hire underrepresented groups as writers and directors.
The legislation provides production tax incentive to companies that hire women and people of color for writing and directing jobs.
The bill, which has been championed by The Writers Guild of America, East and the Directors Guild of America, calls for incentives of up to 30% of an individual’s salary. The credit is to be capped at $150,000 in salaries and fees per person, and $50,000 per episode. The state has set aside $5 million for the program.
However, there are restrictions to the bill – candidates for the incentive must live in New York and the production must shoot in the state for a required number of days.
Exactly how this incentive will be implemented – meaning how much government paperwork it will require and how results will be tracked – has yet to be revealed.
Writers and Agents Are Still At Odds
While New York’s new bill may help some people get into a writers room, the majority of writers are still locked in a heated battle with their agents.
In May, approximately 7000 members of the Writers Guild of America fired their agents due to a dispute regarding packaging fees, a practice that writers feel keeps the agents from negotiating properly on their behalf, while also citing agencies having their own production entities as another conflict of interest.
The fight continues amid a breakdown in negotiations between the writers and agents while several lawsuits on both sides have been filed. The SEC has even become involved as one of the agencies has tried to offer an IPO, with the WGA contending that facts about the number of writers represented by the company are inaccurate.
Amid all of this, writers are still writing and content is still being created. Networks and showrunners have gotten creative in their hiring methods.
With all of the legal wrangling and television moving forward currently without the writer/agent connection, it appears this fight will drag on for some time.
For the latest information about this topic, please visit this site.
TIME’S UP Makes a Critical Move
A study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative revealed that some 83 percent of professional critics are white and 79 percent are men, while women of color, in particular, are written off as critics by a ratio of 31 to 1.
In an effort to increase representation among critics and entertainment reporters, the TIME’S UP movement has formed an initiative to address the need for representation within this area.
Partnering with Annenberg, and with support from the Nathan Cummings Foundation, TIME’S UP has launched CRITICAL, an opt-in database that allows media outlets, studios, and networks to locate and contact entertainment journalists and critics from underrepresented groups.
With a goal of bridging the gap between diverse audiences and critics who cover media, CRITICAL is also committed to increasing opportunities in journalism for people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and gender non-binary individuals.
For more information about TIME”S UP CRITICAL, please visit this site.
New California Legislation May Cost Many Writers Their Jobs
While the CRITICAL movement is working to create new jobs for journalists, new legislation in California could severely limit the opportunities for freelance work.
California Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), popularly known as the “gig worker bill,” is a piece of legislation signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom in September 2019. Effective Jan. 1, 2020, it will require companies that hire independent contractors to reclassify them as employees, with a few exceptions.
This new law directly affects several industries, including the rideshare business and the trucking industry. In comes into play in the media industry because the law limits the number of submissions a freelance writer can produce for a single outlet to 35 per year.
Many entertainment reporters work in a freelance capacity, as such AB5 could potentially limit the amount of coverage networks, studios, and talent receive.
Several national outlets have already said they will no longer hire or work with journalists based in California.
The American Society of Journalists and Authors and the National Press Photographers Association have launched lawsuits against the law, as have two freelancer groups, alleging that AB5 unconstitutionally restricts free speech and the media.
For more information about AB5, please visit this site.
#PayUpHollywood Is Actually Getting Some People Pay Up
Fed up with low pay, long hours, and tyrannical bosses, the #PayUpHollywood movement may have begun as a Twitter hashtag for entertainment industry assistants to share horror stories, but it has evolved into a very real call for those in charge to make amendments to working conditions and pay a living wage.
When #PayUpHollywood movement conducted its own survey of over 1,500 assistants in the industry, they found, among other things, that assistants’ annual salaries versus the cost of living in Los Angeles were not in line..The survey found that many assistants needed extra employment just to be able to afford rent.
It appears that #PayUpHollywood has already initiated some change – talent agency Verve announced in early December that it will be increasing the pay of mailroom employees and assistants by 25 to 40 percent.The agency additionally announced that it will be offering a free dry cleaning program for all employees and that it will institute a “business casual” day on Fridays. All changes will be instituted January 1st.
Will other entertainment entities fall in line? This remains to be seen, but at least the problem has been acknowledged due to the issue getting some serious publicity.
For more about the #PayUpHollywood survey, please visit this site.
Set Your Phasers to Employment Mode, A Job On ‘Star Trek’ Could Be In Your Future
If you’ve ever wanted to work on a Star Trek series, the Television Academy Foundation has partnered with CBS Television Studios in launching an internship specifically designed for fans of the franchise.
Entitled The Star Trek Command Training Program, the 2020 summer program will place two interns on a Star Trek series with the intent of immersing the students in 360-degree production process within the ST Universe by rotating them through departments including but not limited to the writers room, wardrobe design, on-set production, animation and post-production.
The program is open to undergraduate and graduate college students nationwide. Upon selection, interns will be Los Angeles based and will earn up to $4800.
The application can be found here. The deadline to apply is 5pm PST on January 21, 2020.
How social media companies will handle post-U.S. election scenarios – Reuters Canada
(Reuters) – In the run-up to the U.S. vote in November, social media companies like Facebook Inc and Twitter have announced new rules for various post-election scenarios.
The companies, which have been criticized by social media researchers and lawmakers over the enforcement of their content policies, have laid out plans for how they will handle candidates claiming victory before results are certified or calls for election-related violence.
Here is how major social media companies plan to approach election challenges:
If candidates or campaigns make premature victory claims, Facebook said it will add labels to the content and show notifications in news feeds with information about the state of the race. Posts from presidential candidates contesting the official outcome will also get a label showing the declared winner’s name.
The company, which says it removes content and disables accounts when it believes there are risks of physical harm or direct threats to public safety, has also announced crackdowns on militia movements using the platform in recent months. In September, it said it had “break-glass” options to restrict users if the election becomes chaotic or violent.
Twitter said that it will remove or attach warning labels to any claims of victory before the results are certified, or misleading claims inciting “unlawful conduct to prevent a peaceful transfer of power or orderly succession.”
It will also label or remove unverified claims about the outcome that could undermine faith in the election process, like claims about vote tallying or results certification. Twitter also bans threats of violence against an individual or group.
YouTube, the video service of Alphabet Inc, bans certain types of election misinformation, like incorrect voting dates, but it does not have a rule against premature claims of victory. A spokeswoman said in this scenario YouTube would show authoritative information and context alongside videos.
YouTube says it removes content that incites people to commit violent acts against individuals or a defined group of people.
A Reddit spokeswoman said information seeking to mislead on or misrepresent election results would be removed from the site. She said it also bans content that encourages, glorifies or incites violence against individuals or groups.
The Chinese-owned video app says it will make any content that prematurely claims victory less discoverable on the platform and will add banners on videos to say that results have not been officially announced.
Asked about how it would handle videos that contest election results, TikTok spokeswoman said it would work with fact-checking partners and would remove false content or limit its distribution if it was unverified or the fact-check was inconclusive. She said TikTok removes videos that seek to incite violence.
Twitch, Amazon.com Inc’s live-streaming platform, will not take action on premature claims of victory or content contesting election results.
Snap Inc said it would remove such claims from Snapchat, while Pinterest said it would remove or limit the distribution of premature claims of victory.
Snap and Twitch said they would remove content that encourages or threatens physical violence, while Pinterest said it would remove or limit the distribution of content inciting election-related violence.
Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford; Editing by Greg Mitchell and Aurora Ellis
Pompeo says U.S. designates six more Chinese media firms as foreign missions – Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Wednesday the State Department was designating the U.S. operations of six more China-based media companies as foreign missions, a move he said was aimed at pushing back against communist propaganda.
Pompeo also told a State Department news conference the United States would launch a dialogue on China with the European Union on Friday and that on Sunday he would begin a trip to India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Indonesia.
He said he expected the meetings would include discussions about how “free nations can work together to thwart threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party.”
The State Department named the newly designated publications as the Yicai Global, Jiefang Daily, the Xinmin Evening News, Social Sciences in China Press, the Beijing Review, and the Economic Daily. It brought to 15 the number of Chinese media outlets so designated this year.
It was the latest U.S. step to curb Chinese activity in the United States in the run-up to the Nov. 3 presidential election, in which President Donald Trump has made a tough approach to China a key foreign policy theme.
Pompeo said the move was part of efforts to push back against “Chinese communist propaganda efforts” in the United States.
“They are also substantially owned, or effectively controlled by a foreign government,” he said.
“We are not placing any restrictions on what these outlets can publish in the United States; we simply want to ensure that American people, consumers of information can differentiate between news written by a free press and propaganda distributed by the Chinese Communist Party itself. Not the same thing.”
The State Department has previously required Chinese media outlets to register as foreign missions and announced in March it was cutting the number of journalists allowed to work at U.S. offices of major Chinese media outlets to 100 from 160.
In response, China expelled about a dozen American correspondents with the New York Times, News Corp’s Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.
The United States also said last month it would require senior Chinese diplomats to get State Department approval before visiting U.S. university campuses or holding cultural events with more than 50 people outside mission grounds.
China’s embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Washington designated four major Chinese media outlets as foreign embassies in June and five in February. The designation requires the outlets to inform the U.S. State Department of their personnel rosters and real-estate holdings.
Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Doina Chiacu and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Andrea Ricci
InvestorChannel's Media Watchlist Update for Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 16:30 EST – InvestorIntel
InvestorChannel’s Media Stocks Watchlist Update video includes the Top 5 Performers of the Day, and a performance review of the companies InvestorChannel is following in the sector.
Sources Include: Yahoo Finance, AlphaVantage FinnHub & CSE.
For more information, visit us at InvestorIntel.com or email us at email@example.com
– ZoomerMedia Limited (ZUM.V) CAD 0.06 (9.09%)
– Postmedia Network Canada Corp. (PNC-A.TO) CAD 1.71 (6.88%)
– Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJR-B.TO) CAD 3.14 (6.44%)
– Lingo Media Corporation (LM.V) CAD 0.09 (5.88%)
– Network Media Group Inc. (NTE.V) CAD 0.14 (3.57%)
– MediaValet Inc. (MVP.V) CAD 2.55 (2.0%)
– Adobe Inc. (ADBE) USD 495.96 (0.28%)
– Stingray Group Inc. (RAY-A.TO) CAD 5.51 (0.18%)
– GVIC Communications Corp. (GCT.TO) CAD 0.14 (0.0%)
– Media Central Corporation Inc. (FLYY.CN) CAD 0.01 (0.0%)
– Moovly Media Inc. (MVY.V) CAD 0.07 (0.0%)
– Quizam Media Corporation (QQ.CN) CAD 0.50 (0.0%)
– QYOU Media Inc. (QYOU.V) CAD 0.07 (0.0%)
– HubSpot, Inc. (HUBS) USD 308.06 (-0.56%)
– Wix.com Ltd. (WIX) USD 271.54 (-2.55%)
– Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. (TBRD.V) CAD 2.06 (-3.29%)
– Zoom Video Communications Inc. (ZM) USD 513.19 (-4.44%)
– Slack Technologies Inc. (WORK) USD 28.87 (-6.3%)
– Glacier Media Inc. (GVC.TO) CAD 0.20 (-6.82%)
– WOW! Unlimited Media Inc. (WOW.V) CAD 0.35 (-7.89%)
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