Is the Gannett–GateHouse merger good or bad for local journalism?

Is the Gannet GateHouse merger good or bad news for local journalism?

It's probably bad. So it's the two biggest newspaper chains in the U.S. combining. They're going to own 1 in 6 newspapers in America. The problem is we're not seeing much of a strategy here, it's really mostly a financial deal and an expensive one at that with a lot of pressure to cut costs. They're looking to save about $300 million annually. That means layoffs. That means centralizing some functions like ad sales or design editing, consolidating regionally possibly selling off newspapers, selling off real estate. The problem is a lot of these things have already happened to American newspapers and more than once. So you're really getting blood out of a stone at this point. It's not good news for the communities they cover or the people who work there.

What does the CBS Viacom merger mean for consumers?

Ultimately, it's going to further divide up the content that you love across multiple platforms. The streaming war is on! CBS and Viacom felt they had to merge in order to stand up to the bigger players in the game like Disney, Netflix, Amazon. Viacom was so far quite happy to put their content on whatever platform would have them That's probably going to change. For you, it means you have to get more subscriptions and pay more to see all of the shows that you love especially the Star Trek franchise, in this case. So unfortunately, just more expensive bills just like back in the days of cable.

That's it for this week. It's a special episode of Media in 60. It's the last one produced by the wonderful Adam Pourahmadi, who's moving on to bigger and better things. Thank you, Adam. You were a joy to work with. Godspeed. We'll take a short break and we'll be back in September with more Media in 60 Seconds.

Last week, in Fulton, WI, together with election officials from the state of Wisconsin and the election technology company VotingWorks, Microsoft piloted ElectionGuard in an actual election for the first time.

As voters in Fulton cast ballots in a primary election for Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates, the official count was tallied using paper ballots as usual. However, ElectionGuard also provided an encrypted digital tally of the vote that enabled voters to confirm their votes have been counted and not altered. The pilot is one step in a deliberate and careful process to get ElectionGuard right before it's used more broadly across the country.

Read more about the process at Microsoft On The Issues.

Coronavirus, and the anxiety it provokes, have spread far beyond China. More than 1,200 additional cases are now confirmed across more than 30 countries. Fears are growing that the outbreak has reached the early stages of a global pandemic, because infections in South Korea, Italy, and Iran have no apparent connection to China, where the first reported cases emerged.

Alongside its obvious public health and economic effects, coronavirus is also shaking up politics—especially in a few countries where governments have good cause to worry how citizens will judge their performance.

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Ian Bremmer explains the history and significance of the annual Munich Security Conference, now in its 56th year. The gathering of heads of state and top foreign and security ministers has diffused some political bombs and been the source of stinging barbs as world leaders spar on a global stage and behind closed doors.

Joseph Stiglitz, American economist, public policy analyst, and professor at Columbia University spoke with Ian Bremmer at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany. The Nobel prize-winning economist weighs in on the global impact of coronavirus and whether or not he feels the U.S. economy is in good shape. Spoiler alert: He doesn't believe the hype.

The coronavirus, which first surfaced in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, has infected more than 79,500 people in China and at least 33 other countries. Two months since it was first identified, coronavirus has spread far beyond China's borders, with several Italian towns now under quarantine. Global financial markets have also taken a hit as investors are on edge about the uncertainty. Here's a look at where the coronavirus has spread to date.