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Opinion | Want to protect people from social media? Start with kids. The Washington Post
Horizon Media, Madison Avenue’s Long-Time Independent Media Shop, Sells Minority Stake – Variety
Horizon Media, one of the largest advertising companies not owned by the big publicly-traded entities that dominate the industry, intends to sell off a minority stake to investment firms, ending its decades of pursuing a purely go-it-alone strategy.
Horizon, long controlled by entrepreneur Bill Koenigsberg, said it had sold a piece of the company to Temasek, a Singapore investment firm. LionTree Advisors, an investment firm led by Aryeh Bourkoff, will also become an investor as part of the transaction. Financial terms were not disclosed, but Koenigsberg is to remain “the long-term majority shareholder” of the agency. Horizon was founded in 1989, employs 2,500 people and manages media investments valued at more than $9.5 billion
“Horizon sees more opportunity than ever before to take advantage of gaps in the marketplace and continue our significant growth in driving positive business outcomes for our clients. In evaluating the next evolution of Horizon, I wanted a world class partner who is like-minded strategically, has the same appetite for growth, understands the media, marketing, and technology landscape, is global in scale, and culturally aligned,” Koenigsberg said in a statement. “I found that perfect combination in Temasek and LionTree.”
Horizon is one of a handful of large firms that help advertisers allocate and invest millions of dollars in advertising, serving all the while as influential go-betweens that deal with blue-chip marketers and the media outlets they need to get the word out about their products and services. Horizon has long worked for Berkshire Hathaway’s Geico, one of the nation’s biggest ad spenders, along with Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Corona beer and CBS. Horizon is also involved in the launch of the Hoop Dreams Classic, an event that is backed by actor Michael B. Jordan and WarnerMedia among others.
But the other media buying giants, like Magna, Omnicom Media Group and GroupM, are backed by Madison Avenue giants like Interpublic Group, Omnicom Group and WPP. Koenigsberg has, over the years, chosen to remain independent — and some clients have appreciated it.
In the past, Koenigsberg has seen his company’s independence as an advantage. “Being CEO for the company for the last 30 years and having a long-term vision is an enormous competitive advantage, because when I look at my competitors — and I don’t want to go back 30 years, let me go back 10 — there have probably been 100 different CEOs at my competitor agencies,” he told Ad Age in 2020. “When a new one comes in, they feel the need to shake things up and leave a mark,” he said, adding: “There’s an inconsistency in where they’re going. For me, I’ve had a much longer runway and an ability to drive the business forward with this long-term vision.”
Parents of the social media generation are not OK – CNN
(CNN Business)Last September, just a few weeks into the school year, Sabine Polak got a call from the guidance counselor. Her 14-year-old daughter was struggling with depression and had contemplated suicide.
A longtime concern that’s getting worse
Looking for answers
‘Frantic race backwards’ for China media freedoms: Report – Al Jazeera English
Reporters Without Borders says at least 127 journalists are detained in China, as Beijing takes ever harsher line on media freedoms.
At least 127 journalists – from major international news outlets to bloggers – are currently detained in China as the Chinese Communist Party continues a major crackdown on media initiated by President Xi Jinping, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has said in a new report.
China now ranks 177 out of 180 in the media watchdog’s 2021 World Press Freedom Index, two slots above North Korea, thanks to a sweeping campaign to limit free expression across every sector of society.
In the report, published on Tuesday, Secretary General Christophe Deloire described China as a country in the midst of a “ frantic race backwards” as Chinese citizens continue to lose press freedom.
Chinese journalists and writers have become a target of the campaign and face charges such as espionage, subversion and “picking quarrels”. They include whistleblowers like Zhang Zhan, a Chinese lawyer who last year was sentenced to four years in prison for documenting the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan, and Cheng Lei, an Australian Chinese anchor at Chinese state media outlet CGTN who was formally arrested in February and accused of supplying state secrets overseas.
Prior to their formal arrest, many detained journalists may spend up to six months under “residential surveillance at a designated location (RSDL),” according to the media group. Institutionalised in China in 2012, the practice allows authorities to hold an individual in solitary confinement and constant supervision at a designated facility. The practice is frequently described as “torture” by those who have experienced it.
Cheng was detained in August 2020 and reportedly underwent RSDL before she was formally charged six months later. Her trial and sentencing have yet to be announced.
Nearly two-thirds of journalists detained in China are Uighurs, according to RSF, many of whom helped to raise the alarm about China’s campaign of repression against the Muslim ethnic minority and other groups in the far western region of Xinjiang. Uighur journalists and bloggers appear to face harsher sentences than their Han Chinese counterparts, like Ilham Tohti, an economist and founder of the website Uyghur Online who was sentenced to life in prison for “separatism” in 2014.
Affiliation with major news outlets or second citizenship in a Western country has also failed to protect Chinese journalists, who under Chinese law can only work as “news assistants” for foreign media.
The release of the report coincided with the first anniversary of the detention of Haze Fan, a news assistant for New York-based Bloomberg News, who was taken away by plain-clothes police officers in Beijing last year. On Tuesday, Bloomberg’s editor-in-chief John Micklethwait said the media group was “very worried about her well-being” after 12 months of detention.
In a bid to control Chinese journalists in the future, the report noted, Chinese journalists are required to download an app “Study Xi, Strengthen the Country,” which can download their personal data, while they will soon have to undergo 90 hours of ideological training each year to renew their press card.
While the country has never been known as an easy place to report from, foreign journalists say that conditions in China have become more challenging in recent years and even more so under COVID-19 regulations, according to surveys by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China. In 2020, 18 foreign journalists were forced to leave China due to deteriorating diplomatic relations between China, the United States and Australia.
China’s crackdown has also extended into Hong Kong, a former British colony once considered one of the most open places in Asia.
The territory is the regional headquarters of media organisations including CNN, AFP and Reuters due to its formerly high level of press freedom.
Following months of democracy protests in 2019 and the imposition of national security legislation, Hong Kong media has also found itself under attack, RSF said.
One of the highest profile cases was the closure of pro-democracy news outlet Apple Daily and the arrest of its founder Jimmy Lai, who is facing life imprisonment for “colluding with foreign forces” under the terms of the new legislation.
Six additional Apple Daily employees are also in detention, including the newspaper’s former chief editor and several writers.
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