Global round-up: US state law extends protection of sources

In a United States first, Montana has passed a law that prevents government agencies from forcing third-party communications providers to provide information that reveals a journalist’s confidential sources.

The state legislation closes a loophole in the state’s shield laws. While the laws precluded a reporter from being compelled to name sources, government agencies could still demand copies of emails and other forms of communications from providers such as Facebook or Google.

This now cannot be done without the consent of the parties concerned.

Three other laws also exist to protect sources, however, they do not block subpoenas to third parties. This new state law provides “an absolute privilege for the protection of sources,” James Warren wrote on the Poynter site.

Tribune Publishing announces staff cuts

Tribune Publishing has announced a voluntary redundancy program as part of a program to reduce expenditure by $US10 million and cut 80 staff positions.

Tribune is a media and marketing-solutions company that owns various publications, including The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune.

In an email to staff, the company’s chief executive Jack Griffin informed employees of the voluntary redundancy program, and praised their achievements.

“The senior management team and I recognise that each employee makes important contributions to our company,” the email said.

“At the same time, in the challenging revenue environment that all publishing companies face, it is critical that we make hard decisions and take the necessary steps that continue to position Tribune Publishing Company for success over the long term.”

NYT creates centralised desk for print production

To move the focus away from the traditional print deadline, The New York Times has separated its daily print teams from their digital counterparts.

Previously, individual desks were responsible for print production, and digital and print were produced alongside each other.

In a note to staff, executive editor Dean Baquet explained the changes.

“Instead of doing digital at the same time as print, then essentially having the newsroom as a whole turn to the print deadlines, we’re going to publish things when they are ready and focus our print work in a new way,” Mr Baquet said.

“This new centralised print group will be part of a news hub – an expansion of the current news desk – that oversees the placement and presentation of coverage on all platforms.

“The print group will include the designers who, in consultation with backfields, will order space and make decisions about play on all inside news pages.”

New president for Newspaper Association of America

David Chavern has been named as the new president and CEO of the Newspaper Association of America.

He takes over the role from Caroline H. Little, who has been with the organisation for four years.

Previously, Mr Chavern worked at the United States Chamber of Commerce and, prior to that, was president of the Center for Advanced Technology & Innovation at the Chamber.

“I am honoured to join the Newspaper Association of America in a time of great change and great opportunity for the newspaper industry,” said Mr Chavern.

“I look forward to working with the organisation’s incredible board and staff as we continue to strategically refocus our efforts by leveraging new technologies to bring the irreplaceable newspaper content that is loved by so many to more people than ever before.

“Newspapers play such a vital role in all of our lives, and I am excited for what is to come.”

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