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Ashley Judd returning to therapy after media published photos



Ashley Judd says she had to re-enroll herself in trauma therapy to cope with the recent media coverage of her mother’s death.

Country musician Naomi Judd, a five-time Grammy winner, died by suicide in April last year after a long battle with anxiety and depression. She was 76.

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper published Monday, Judd said she thought she was done with Eye Movement Desensitizing and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy — a type of psychotherapy used to target underlying trauma — until she was forced to revisit her trauma when media outlets published pictures of the scene of her mother’s death and the contents of a suicide note.

“I re-enrolled myself … just to make sure that my healing was concretized and stout and was going to hold,” the “Double Jeopardy” actress said.


Following Naomi Judd’s death, her family unsuccessfully petitioned to seal reports and recordings made by police during the course of their investigation.

Last August, Judd — who discovered her mother after she suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound — opened up about her family’s experience in an essay for the New York Times, titled “Ashley Judd: The Right to Keep Private Pain Private.”

“The trauma of discovering and then holding her laboring body haunts my nights,” she wrote at the time. “As my family and I continue to mourn our loss, the rampant and cruel misinformation that has spread about her death, and about our relationships with her, stalks my days.”

Judd is now lobbying for a change to Tennessee law to limit access to confidential records pertaining to non-criminal deaths, to prevent other families from going through the same trauma.

“The dark past, in God’s hands, becomes our greatest asset,” she said of her advocacy. “With it, we can avert misery and death for others.”

However, Deborah Fisher, executive director of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government, told the Times Free Press in December that the bill would further impinge on the public’s right to have critical information related to law enforcement investigations “when police were investigating one of their own.”

Despite this opposition, Judd told the Guardian she is hopeful the bill will pass when it is brought before the legislature for consideration.


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Inside the Very Tough Business of Trying to Disrupt Media – Vanity Fair



Inside the Very Tough Business of Trying to Disrupt Media

By Oleksiy Boyko / EyeEm/ Getty Images.
Grid News, a one-year-old start-up, shuttered this week after getting acquired by The Messenger, which launches next month. Grid promised a different kind of news. The Messenger has even loftier ambitions. Will this media marriage work?

March 28, 2023


On Monday, Grid News, a one-year-old online news start-up, went dark; its articles and teal branding disappeared, and its web address redirected to a navy blue page with bright yellow text that read: “Grid has been acquired by The Messenger.”

It all happened suddenly. Last Wednesday, Grid staff got on a Zoom meeting for what some expected to be an announcement of new hires. Perhaps executives from IMI, the Abu Dhabi–based majority investor, had found a new chairman to replace Grid CEO and cofounder Mark Bauman, who departed back in November. Instead, they would learn, IMI had found a new owner: the yet-to-be launched news site by media entrepreneur Jimmy Finkelstein.

Finkelstein joined the meeting, as did his politics editor Marty Kady, but they didn’t take questions. IMI would make a minority investment in The Messenger, which is set to launch in May, as part of the deal. The acquisition came as a surprise to Grid staffers, who said they had been told their start-up, which had roughly 50 employees, had a two- to three-year runway. One staffer I spoke to hadn’t yet heard of The Messenger, the latest media start-up pitching itself as a nonpartisan alternative to what’s currently out there in a glowing announcement in The New York Times. The Gray Lady gave Grid a similar treatment when it launched last January, when the cofounders said they wanted to give readers a “fuller” picture of the news than mainstream media offered. 

By the time staffers signed off the Zoom, the acquisition had already been announced to the public; Semafor’s Max Tani tweeted the press release of the deal minutes into the 10 a.m. staff call. Thus commenced roughly 72 hours of chaos: Some in the Grid newsroom left the meeting unclear whether they’d have jobs at The Messenger, or when to stop publishing, or why the acquisition was happening. Grid cofounder and executive editor Laura McGann was on the Wednesday call, but she didn’t say anything, according to two staffers. She made no public statements after the announcement, either—no one from Grid’s management did—raising some eyebrows in the industry. “My priority is figuring this out for the staff,” McGann told me. “I am not up to speed on every detail of this merger, and certainly wasn’t when it was announced, and I’m not going to put myself out there as an authoritative voice when I don’t have all the answers. Certainly the business side was taking the lead.”

Finkelstein and Kady came to Grid’s DC offices the following day to take questions; Grid staff said new leadership emphasized that their idea of a successful news model was one that’s scoopy and fast—neither of which, staffers noted, were consistent with Grid’s focus and intended mission. Some writers spent Friday downloading their articles, not knowing when they’d become inaccessible. By this week, some Grid staffers were still unclear on what they should be doing, with little to no communication from leadership at The Messenger. 

Come Monday, the weekend’s episode of Succession—in which the Roy kids plan to launch a “high-visibility, execution-dependent disrupter news brand” and “bespoke information hub” called The Hundred, only to promptly abandon their start-up at the opportunity to buy a legacy media brand—felt all too poignant. (You’ve probably heard Kendall’s description by now: “Substack meets MasterClass meets The Economist meets The New Yorker.”) Grid’s end feels like a critical point in today’s venture capital–funded media landscape. There’s no shortage of media start-ups claiming to shake up the industry, getting tens of millions in funding, and building full-fledged teams. Now, the snake is starting to eat itself; left unclear is what happens to the journalism, and the writers who produce it. 

Grid launched with about $10 million in first-round funding from IMI and the tech executive Brian Edelman, at a time when a flood of other start-ups**—**like Semafor, the buzzy site from Ben and Justin SmithPunchbowl, the Congress-focused outlet launched by a group of ex-Politicos; and Puck, the media start-up boasting lots of big-name writers—with similar ambitions to disrupt the digital news landscape, had emerged. But it struggled in its first year with slow revenue and audience growth. “I don’t think that Grid ever reached a point where somebody would say, ‘This is what Grid does.’ And successfully starting any new media operation is a near impossible needle to thread if you don’t have a very clear mission that distinguishes you from current offerings,” said legal journalist Chris Geidner, who worked at Grid for about six months before leaving to launch his own Substack. The sentiment was echoed by several former staffers, who painted the picture of a newsroom operating without clear “marching orders” and that “didn’t have a super strong mandate.” “Exactly who our funders were and what they wanted was always kind of hazy,” said one. The early months appeared to be for experimentation, only to land writers in “a big meeting where we all got chastised” for not meeting expectations, another former staffer recalled. It was in that meeting, per audio reviewed by Vanity Fair, that writers were told they would be held to publishing goals, be given access to how much traffic their pieces drew, and that they weren’t hitting targets. “It is not enough to come in and spend the day on Slack, and on Twitter, and sort of thinking, maybe reading,” McGann said in the recording. “Your job is not to be on the internet every day. Your job is to contribute to Grid and do the work. Was your day fundamentally about building Grid’s business?”

Grid wanted to distinguish itself “through the journalistic equivalent of multidisciplinary work,” Geidner said, pointing to its 360 format, where the newsroom would team up to analyze a single topic from different angles, which the Times hailed as Grid’s “magic bullet.” There were many talented journalists at Grid doing good work, but the 360 format and broader multidisciplinary aims ended up being, among other things, a logistical challenge, Geidner said. Grid ended up publishing only a few 360s a month. More often it was publishing single-bylined stories, much like other news outlets. The idea behind Grid, ultimately also ran into a bigger issue. “I think they had this model of: Let’s look differently, let’s be thoughtful, dive into the news and give people what they aren’t getting,” said a current Grid staffer. “They held true to that mission. The question they were trying to solve is just, when you’re doing non-clickbait, how do you make sure you can monetize that?”

McGann said Grid’s daily newsletter had amassed more than 200,000 subscribers by the time it was acquired, and they were thinking about expanding it further. (McGann, who started Grid after six years at Vox, declined to offer specifics on what’s next for her other than being in talks with The Messenger.) “I don’t think we are being sucked into the ether,” she said when I asked her what Grid’s story says about the broader media start-up landscape. “I think that we built something really good, and someone with a lot of money who’s building something even more ambitious sees value in what we built, and wants to expand and grow in other directions. And that’s the point of all this.” 

The Messenger has set lofty goals: It wants to be free but generate more than $100 million in revenue next year, mostly through advertising and events; is anticipating more than 100 million monthly readers; and expects to hire about 550 journalists in a year, according to the Times—ambitions that struck some as absurd. Acquiring Grid seems to be, more than anything else, a way for The Messenger to scale quickly. Executives told the Times that the site will launch this spring with at least 175 journalists across New York, Washington, and Los Angeles. A company spokesperson said that the “vast majority of Grid’s editorial team will join The Messenger.” Finkelstein is pitching what he claims is a bygone era of unobjectionable news: “I remember an era where you’d sit by the TV, when I was a kid with my family, and we’d all watch 60 Minutes together,” Finkelstein, who sold The Hill to Nexstar for $130 million in 2021, told the Times. “Or we all couldn’t wait to get the next issue of Vanity Fair or whatever other magazine you were interested in. Those days are over, and the fact is, I want to help bring those days back.”

What that means functionally is more opaque. “I think we have learned that if people with enough of a pedigree make a pitch to rich people about ‘unbiased media’ that will present the ‘straight news,’ those people can still convince themselves that they will be the ones to do it properly,” Geidner said of the broader start-up media environment. 

There are lessons to be learned from Grid in that regard. “There seems to be a feeling that there’s a huge market out there for people who don’t want Fox and don’t want MSNBC and just want a straight newsfeed. More power to them, if it’s true. The question is, how do you find the market and how do you monetize it?” said Columbia Journalism School professor Bill Grueskin. After all, CNN has been trying to do this, and “is finding it pretty hard.” 

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Daniel Andrews’ media-free trip tells us something about China – and a lot more about journalists and the premier – The Guardian



Sometimes minor events can be eloquent – a sign of the times and a demonstration of where we are at.

So it is that a visit by a provincial leader to the biggest trading partner of his province has become not only a news story, but the focus of innuendo and outrage.

I am talking about Victorian premier Daniel Andrews’ four-day visit to China, which started this week, and the bevy of articles suggesting that there is something shady about it – with that impression bolstered by his refusal to include a media contingent.


At the macro level the controversy says something about China, our region, and the difficulties of Australian foreign policy. Once, Australia’s main trade relationships were with our strategic allies. That time has long passed.

Now we must manage a trade relationship with an autocracy, and an increasingly aggressive strategic rival to our main ally, the US.

And at the micro level, the dispute tells us something about the dire state of relations between the media in Victoria and the premier. And this trip is a convincing demonstration of another kind of democratic problem.

Let’s deal with the macro first. Once, a visit to China by a Victorian premier would have been unexceptional, and a cause for congratulations.

I was in Shanghai, working for the University of Melbourne, in 2011 when premier Ted Baillieu was also in town leading a delegation of businesses.

At a combined drinks function, Baillieu and academics chatted with local government officials and a large number of University of Melbourne alumni, who had returned home with the benefits of a Victorian education and were now working throughout government and business.

It was a celebratory affair. In university lecture halls discussion with students and academic colleagues was surprisingly free. There was great optimism that China would be liberalising, that relations between our countries could only improve to the benefit of all.

That was the year before president Xi Jinping became paramount leader, and bit by bit that optimism faded.

Some of those former students and academic colleagues are now much more cautious. Some of my former journalism students have even been detained, or banned from contact with people like me.

Baillieu had a small media contingent with him – as have most if not all premiers who have visited China since, including Andrews on his previous visits.

But things are different now. China has changed, and not in the way the optimists hoped for.

The Albanese government has been working hard to stabilise relations with China, with good results. Another trip by a premier is therefore not surprising, and indeed a good sign.

And despite some weird, innuendo-laden articles in the Victorian media, nobody respectable has suggested that Andrews shouldn’t go. Rather, the disputes are about the lack of a media contingent to accompany him, a lack of transparency about his aims and whether he should raise human rights issues.

It’s not helpful that too many commentators are stuck in binary thinking – China good or China bad – rather than dealing with the more complicated reality that China is a major power and a major trading partner and we have to learn to live in a region where it will continue to be important, and perhaps dominant, without surrendering our national interests.

That takes a subtle approach.

In interviews and speeches, Australia’s foreign minister, Penny Wong, has made it clear that she is talking about “stabilising” the relationship with a deliberate use of language. “I don’t use the word normalise. I don’t use the word reset because … neither country is going back to where we were 15 years ago.”

Rather, she is pursuing “managed strategic competition” between the superpowers, and greater agency for the middle powers of the region, including Australia. She has talked about “guardrails” to prevent the inevitable competition between the superpowers escalating to war.

How does all that affect the visit of a provincial leader, such as Andrews?

When Baillieu and the University of Melbourne were hobnobbing in Shanghai, it was possible to believe that the economic aspects of the relationship could be separated from the strategic foreign policy.

That is no longer the case. China has demonstrated it is prepared to use trade policy as an instrument of wider foreign policy, and in particular to try to punish its critics.

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Australia has not cowed under that pressure, and things are getting better now, hence the unsurprising nature of another visit to China by Andrews. But Wong has made it clear that businesses should continue to diversify their markets, because China could once again restrict trade at anytime.

Andrews is certainly too intelligent not to “get” this context, but he is eschewing any suggestion he should let it get in the way of business.

Rather, he is performing the time-honoured role of state premiers – an entrepreneur and a hustler for his state, after money and business.

He has so far resisted raising human rights issues such as the detention of the Victorian journalist Cheng Lei, let alone acknowledging concerns that new trains for Melbourne’s railway network continue to be built with parts from a Chinese company accused of using forced labour from Uyghurs.

So what about the lack of a media contingent? Most trips by state premiers and indeed Wong’s own trip to China have included media. Not many get to go. Wong’s media contingent included just two journalists.

Journalists’ presence means that travelling politicians can clarify what they are doing and, perhaps particularly important in Andrews’ case, what they are NOT doing.

The idea that such a trip can be used as a major “holding to account” is a fiction. First, getting visas is increasingly complicated and not to be taken for granted. And, once in China, access to the local officials is negligible. The main person any travelling journalists would get to see would be Andrews.

Nevertheless, of course it would be better for Andrews to take some media. I agree that his refusal to do so is a worrying sign of increasing arrogance from this long-term, dominant premier.

But here’s the thing. Would they do a good job, or would it be all “Chairman Dan” binary thinking, innuendo and local political bullshit?

Andrews won his fourth term despite an extraordinary, fact-lite and vitriolic campaign by the Murdoch press in particular, including stories suggesting there was something suspicious about the 2021 accident in which he broke his back.

While this was the Murdoch press, some of the silliness has infected most Victorian media outlets, at least since the Covid-19 lockdowns and the Daily Dan press conferences, in which the premier exemplified the art of ignoring questions, using the journalists as props while speaking over their heads to the audience watching live.

Too many in the media engage in performative watchdoggery, not actual holding to account.

Would a media contingent travelling with Andrews do better than this? We have to hope so.

But clearly Andrews reckons he can snub the media without bearing a political cost, and he is probably right about that.

That is a worrying democratic deficit – but the blame for it cuts multiple ways.

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From LinkedIn to TikTok: How newcomers are using social media to succeed in Canada – Canada Immigration News



Published on March 29th, 2023 at 08:00am EDT


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Woman recording content for her social networks with a mobile phone.

Data from a 2022 survey by CBC’s Media Technology Monitor (MTM) indicates that nearly half (42%) of surveyed “newcomers who have consumed news within the last month cited social media as their go-to news source.”

According to the survey, over three-in-ten (31%) Canadian newcomers who use social media use “six or more platforms.”

Put simply, social media is a significant part of the lived experience for many Canadian newcomers. From finding job opportunities and building a support network to learning about Canadian culture and staying connected with loved ones back home, social media offers a wide range of benefits to new Canadian immigrants.

Discover if You Are Eligible for Canadian Immigration

There are many ways social media can help new immigrants succeed, both before and after they arrive in Canada.

Building a strong personal brand

In 2022, 256,000 permanent residents landed in Canada through economic immigration streams. As defined by the Canadian government, this immigration category focuses on choosing “skilled immigrants who are able to settle in Canada and contribute to [the] economy.” This contribution occurs, largely, because these immigrants arrive and find employment in Canada, which allows them to contribute to the economy by then spending money on goods and services.

It is vital that immigrants coming to Canada work hard to establish a strong personal brand, as doing so will help them during the job search and hiring process. Having an active social media presence means job seekers will be better able to market themselves and be accessible to recruiters or hiring professionals looking for an individual with their skills, qualifications, and expertise. In addition, as a job seeker looking for a good place to work, immigrants (and Canadians alike) can also get to know companies (values, culture, day-to-day activities) via their various social channels.

Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can be imperative in this journey, as many employers perform online background checks to analyze an individual’s online presence when considering candidates for a job position.

In fact, nearly two-thirds (65%) of Canadian companies use social media as a means of screening applicants, and 64% of companies find this screening method effective. This is according to a survey by The Harris Poll published in January this year. More than 40% of surveyed employers who used social media for candidate screening “report finding content on a job candidate’s social media that caused the hiring manager not to employ them.”

Here are three tips for establishing a strong, positive online presence:

  • Be active and engaging: Part of creating a positive online persona is engagement. Find others in your field, experts in your industry, and regularly comment and engage with their content
  • Share relevant and informative content: Sharing informative and relevant content related to your industry can help demonstrate your expertise and passion for your work to potential employers
  • Keep your content clean and professional: Proofread your posts and captions, use a professional headshot as your profile picture, and avoid mixing personal content with professional content

Social media as a tool for employment opportunities

Once newcomers establish a strong personal brand, social media can be used as a tool for finding employment opportunities.

According to a study by Toronto Metropolitan University, “those that use social media are 3.5 times more likely to be employed than those that use traditional media.”

Using Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, newcomers to Canada can connect with potential employers, research companies, and learn about job opportunities. In fact, Twitter and LinkedIn can be used to follow companies and connect with individuals in industries/professions of interest.

In particular, LinkedIn can also be leveraged by newcomers to ask questions of their connections, find helpful career resources and engage in conversation around professional topics of interest. Connections made through this platform may ultimately help newcomers to Canada build relationships and expose them to job prospects they may not otherwise get. That is a significant reason why LinkedIn has become an increasingly popular job searching platform. In fact, 2023 data from social media management platform Hootsuite indicates that 52 million people use the platform to search for jobs each week. Every second, 101 job applications are submitted on LinkedIn globally and eight people are hired through LinkedIn every minute.

Note: LinkedIn also offers employers the ability to post jobs directly to the platform, further enabling newcomers to increase their employment prospects through this application

Building a support network by connecting with other newcomers

Apart from arriving in Canada and establishing a professional life, immigrants can use social media to connect with others and form a support network, helping them become more comfortable with life outside of work.

In other words, newcomers to Canada can use features available on traditional platforms like Facebook (groups) to find others in a similar situation as them. Examples of Facebook groups to join include “neighbourhood” groups, specific to an immigrant’s local community. These groups are often where people share information about community events, a good way for newcomers to connect with other locals and build a support network, potentially leading to new friendships and opportunities.

Other examples of platforms that are known for community-building are LinkedIn and Reddit, where users can connect and form bonds with others over shared experiences and challenges. Discussion forums like the CanadaVisa Forum also exist for newcomers to connect and discuss their questions, concerns and milestones throughout the immigration journey, both after they land and settle in Canada as well as before they arrive in this country.

Embracing Canadian culture and enhancing the Canadian experience

New immigrants to Canada can also use social media to discover cultural events and activities, stay informed about Canadian news and trends, learn about Canadian culture, and enhance their overall experience in Canada.

Twitter, for instance, allows users to stay informed about what’s happening across Canada. Following news outlets, journalists, and bloggers on Twitter also allows newcomers to participate in discussions on current events, just like over 7 million Canadians already do.

Note: Aside from Twitter, subscribing to Canadian news channels on YouTube can also help newcomers remain aware of what’s going on around the country

Here are other ways to use social media to become more connected with Canadian culture:

  • Use Instagram or TikTok to follow Canadian influencers who share insights and perspectives on Canadian culture
  • Subscribe to channels by Canadian travel vloggers or lifestyle influencers on YouTube for inspiration and ideas on how to get more involved with events and develop a social life in Canada

Influencers, whether they are newcomers themselves or they were born in Canada, will share ideas on activities to experience, places to visit, foods to try and more. Influencers who are newcomers themselves often also share things that helped them get settled or feel at home when they first came to Canada.

Vloggers, meanwhile, often take their viewers on a journey through video, including to different parts of this country. This can help newcomers experience areas of Canada that they may not know about and learn about the general way of life in different Canadian communities.

Staying connected with friends and family back home

While it is crucial for immigrants to embrace their new environment, it is also important that newcomers to Canada do not completely lose touch with the friends and family they may be leaving in their home country. The power of social media makes staying in touch with friends and family back home easier and more accessible than ever before.

In addition to traditional video conferencing tools such as Skype and Zoom, social media platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger and Instagram offer a range of inexpensive international communication options. From free messaging to voice and video calling, these platforms provide newcomers to Canada with an easier way to stay connected with those back home no matter where they are in the world. Additionally, many social media applications enable users to share updates and photos, giving family and friends another way to stay connected with the newcomer’s life in Canada and vice versa.

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