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October 14, 2021

Publishing News


Hearst, Writer Seeks New Hearing In Defamation Battle With Devin Nunes
MediaPost: Hearst and journalist Ryan Lizza on Wednesday urged a federal appellate court to reconsider its recent decision to revive Rep. Devin Nunes' defamation claim over a tweet.The decision, handed down last month by a three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, not only “broke from all authority,” but also “would allow public officials to silence critical press coverage by using blanket, implicit denials devoid of any factual content,” attorneys for Lizza argue in papers filed Wednesday with the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. The dispute between the Nunes (R-Calif.) and the journalist centered on his Sept. 2018 Esquire article, “Devin Nunes’s Family Farm Is Hiding a Politically Explosive Secret.” In September of 2019, Nunes sued Hearst Magazines and Lizza for defamation, arguing the article falsely implied that Nunes conspired with his family to cover up the use of undocumented labor at the family's farm. In November of 2019, two months after Nunes sued, Lizza posted a link to the article on Twitter, along with the following statement: “I noticed that Devin Nunes is in the news. If you’re interested in a strange tale about Nunes, small-town Iowa, the complexities of immigration policy, a few car chases, and lots of cows, I’ve got a story for you.” Nunes subsequently amended his lawsuit to include a claim that Lizza “brazenly and gratuitously republished" the article to his Twitter followers. A trial judge dismissed Nunes' defamation claims against Hearst and Lizza last year, ruling that statements in the article didn't meet the standards for defamation for a variety of reasons including that Nunes' allegations, even if true, wouldn't prove “actual malice.” To prove actual malice, Nunes would have had to show that Lizza and Hearst knew the article contained false statements (or implications), or recklessly disregarded that possibility. Last month, a three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that Nunes couldn't proceed against Hearst, but said Nunes could attempt to prove that he was defamed when Lizza “republished” the article by tweeting a link to it.Those judges said Nunes' original lawsuit put Lizza on notice of the article's “alleged defamatory implication"... Lizza is now asking for a new hearing at the 8th Circuit for several reasons, including that the panel's decision broke with precedent and will encourage “self-censorship” by the media.
 

Penguin Classics to Publish Special Editions of Marvel Comics
PW: "Penguin Classics and Marvel Comics will collaborate on a new series, the Penguin Classics Marvel Collection. The books will anthologize "the original stories and seminal tales of key Marvel characters," the publisher said. The initiative marks the first time that Penguin Classics has published comics. The first three books in the series, Black Panther, Captain America, and The Amazing Spider-Man, will be published on June 14, 2022, in both a paperback sporting Penguin's iconic black spine and a collectible hardcover edition. Each will include a foreword by a contemporary young adult author — Jason Reynolds for Spider-Man, Nnedi Okorafor for Black Panther, and Gene Luen Yang for Captain America — and a scholarly introduction: by series editor and University of Oregon English professor Ben Saunders for Captain America and The Amazing Spider-Man and University of South Carolina English and African American Studies professor Qiana J. Whitted for Black Panther. More titles are to be announced"...
 

Facebook Claims It Will Better Protect Journalists
Reuters: Facebook "will now count activists and journalists as "involuntary" public figures and so increase protections against harassment and bullying targeted at these groups, its global safety chief said in an interview this week. The social media company, which allows more critical commentary of public figures than of private individuals, is changing its approach on the harassment of journalists and "human rights defenders," who it says are in the public eye due to their work rather than their public personas... How Facebook, which has about 2.8B monthly active users, treats public figures and content posted by or about those figures has been an area of intense debate. In recent weeks, the company's "cross check" system, which the Wall Street Journal reported has the effect of exempting some high-profile users from usual Facebook rules, has been in the spotlight... The company declined to share a list of other involuntary public figures but said they are assessed on a case-by-case basis. Earlier this year, Facebook said it would remove content celebrating, praising or mocking George Floyd's death, because he was deemed an involuntary public figure. Facebook's Global Head of Safety Antigone Davis said the company was also expanding the types of attacks that it would not allow on public figures on its sites, as part of an effort to reduce attacks disproportionately faced by women, people of color and the LGBTQ community. Facebook will no longer allow severe and unwanted sexualizing content, derogatory sexualized photoshopped images or drawings or direct negative attacks on a person's appearance, for example, in comments on a public figure's profile."
 

Facebook Alleged to Keep Blacklist of 'Dangerous' Individuals, Groups
The Intercept alleges that, to ward off accusations that it helps terrorists spread propaganda, Facebook maintains "a blacklist of over 4,000 people and groups, including politicians, writers, charities, hospitals, hundreds of music acts, and long-dead historical figures" on a "dangerous individuals and organizations" (DIO) list. "A range of legal scholars and civil libertarians [and its own "Oversight Board"] have called on the company to publish the list so that users know when they are in danger of having a post deleted or their account suspended for praising someone on it," reports The Intercept. "The company has repeatedly refused to do so, claiming it would endanger employees and permit banned entities to circumvent the policy... The DIO policy and blacklist also place far looser prohibitions on commentary about predominately white anti-government militias than on groups and individuals listed as terrorists, who are predominately Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Muslim, or those said to be part of violent criminal enterprises, who are predominantly Black and Latino, the experts said... A Facebook spokesperson categorically denied that Facebook gives extremist right-wing groups in the U.S. special treatment due to their association with mainstream conservative politics"... The Intercept has "reviewed a snapshot of the full DIO list and is today publishing a reproduction of the material in its entirety, with only minor redactions and edits to improve clarity. It is also publishing an associated policy document, created to help moderators decide what posts to delete and what users to punish."
 

OTHER NEWS OF NOTE:




Retail News


Retailers Optimistic About 2021 Center-Store Sales
SN: "... nearly half (45%) of retailers say that the coronavirus pandemic led to increased sales of more than 10% in center store, with 18% seeing increased sales of 5% to 9.9% and 19% with increased sales of 0 to 4.9%. The news is even better for center store dollar sales in 2021, as 80% of retailers expect sales to remain the same or increase this year. A full 20% of retailers anticipate dollar sales increases of more than 10%, while 24% expect increases of 5% to 10% and another 21% expect increases of 2% to 4.9%. Those are among the findings of this year’s Supermarket News Center Store Trends Report, based on responses from 110 food retailers and wholesalers, surveyed throughout August 2021.The top-selling center store categories during COVID have shifted since our 2020 study. The same three categories rank in the top three, but the order has changed and their numbers have dropped. In 2021, shelf-stable food/grocery, household cleaners and paper goods landed in a virtual tie with 56% to 57% of retailers citing those as biggest-selling categories in center store. A year ago, during the onset and early peaks of COVID, the order was household cleaners (73%), paper goods (71%) and shelf-stable food/grocery (60%)"... Article includes link to detailed by-category breakouts.
 

Why Grocery Workers Are Quitting: Survey
PG: "Nearly half of front-line workers are planning to leave their jobs, and the reason may surprise you.According to Axonify's annual Global State of Frontline Work Experience Study, retail workers reported burnout (63%) as being a more important motivating factor for resigning compared to compensation (50%), with grocery workers citing 56% burnout... Over 2,500 front-line employees in the U.S., U.K. and Australia from a range of industries including retail, grocery, finance, banking, insurance and professional sales were surveyed about their experiences during the pandemic. Takeaways: "While many front-line employees report pay as a motivator to stay at a company (49%), compensation doesn’t even make the top three resignation factors. Front-line workers aren’t just looking for better pay, they’re looking for better conditions when they are overworked and burned out. half of front-line employees reported they’re planning to leave their current jobs, with Gen Z most eager to leave (63%). When front-line employees were asked why they’re planning to resign, over half of respondents cited feeling burned out at work (58%), followed by a lack of appreciation from management and/or peers (53%), and a lack of interest in daily work (52%), with poor compensation (52%) coming in fourth. When looking at the different industries, retail workers reported burnout (63%) as being a more important motivating factor for resigning compared to compensation (50%).How can employers prevent front-line employees from jumping ship? Compensation matters, but employees say they also want more flexible scheduling (44.2%), more appreciation (42.6%) and more positive relationships at work (42%)"... The results also highlight that retailers still have a long way to go to remedy gender and other equity gaps, including a growing gap between corporate and front-line workers. And it underscores frontline workers' strong desire for career and skill development opportunities.
 

Walgreens to Invest in 2 Healthcare Companies; Beats Expectations
Yahoo Finance: In reporting fiscal Q4 results, Walgreens Boots Alliance said it would "take majority stakes in two smaller health care providers for about $5.5B, as the second largest U.S. pharmacy chain shifts focus beyond its drugstores. The company said it would make a $5.2 billion investment in VillageMD, raising its stake in the primary care provider to 63%. It will also invest $330M in post-acute and home care provider CareCentrix to take a 55% stake. Walgreens, which has more than 9,000 drugstores across the country, said these investments will support its new business unit that will provide pharmacy and primary care services in-store, at home, in the doctor's office and via mobile app... Walgreens said it expects adjusted earnings growth, at constant currency rates, to be flat for fiscal year 2022.The company aims to open at least 600 physician-led primary care clinics in more than 30 U.S. markets by 2025 and 1,000 clinics by 2027... Same-store sales at its U.S. pharmacies rose 8.8% in the fourth quarter, which included a 485 basis point boost from COVID-19 vaccinations, the company said.Excluding items, Walgreens earned $1.17 per share, compared with Refinitiv IBES estimates of $1.02 per share."
 

UNFI Offers DoorDash Deliver to Indie Grocers
SN: "United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) has entered into a reseller agreement with last-mile provider DoorDash to offer its on-demand grocery delivery service to independent supermarkets.Under the deal, UNFI’s independent retail partners will be able to build an e-commerce and delivery offering using the DoorDash platform, the Providence, R.I.-based grocery distributor said Thursday. The solution will enable customers to shop online for groceries and staple products on DoorDash’s marketplace website and mobile app and receive their orders in as soon as an hour, with no time slot, queues or minimum order size required"...
 

Natural Grocers Hikes Wages
SN: "Natural Grocers has raised wages for all hourly store associates and plans to lift starting wages for new store workers beginning next week. The Lakewood, Colo.-based natural and organic grocery chain said Thursday that all current hourly store personnel started receiving another $1 per hour effective Oct. 4. With the increase, average hourly pay for full-time store associates rose to $18.43, including $1 per hour in Vitamin Bucks. Also, effective Oct. 18, the hourly pay rate for entry-level positions will rise to a range of $14 to $18, including Vitamin Bucks"...
 

Sen. Warren Calls for Amazon Breakup
The Hill: "Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is calling for the breakup of Amazon after Reuters reported that the online retail giant created knock-off products and manipulated product searches in India. In response to the report, Warren tweeted that the documents at the heart of the news service's article “show what we feared about Amazon’s monopoly power—that the company is willing and able to rig its platform to benefit its bottom line while stiffing small businesses and entrepreneurs." "This is one of the many reasons we need to break it up,” she added"...
 

OTHER NEWS OF NOTE:



 
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