Why hasn’t Biden’s White House leaked? | The problem with ad transparency | Media strikes

Why hasn’t Biden’s White House leaked?: Two months into his presidency, Biden’s administration and his relationship with the media differs from Trump’s in a crucial way — the absence of leaks. By this time in 2017, reporters had become accustomed to regular information coming from within Trump’s administration or Trump himself, while Biden’s administration (and his 2020 campaign) have been relatively airtight, says Jack Shafer in Politico. Shafer attributes this to a relatively cohesive administration behind the scenes, whereas Trump’s was full of inner-administration conflict and adversarial relationships. The Biden White House will leak eventually, as they all do, says Shafer, but this administration seems to be working more together and not being on “both the supply and the demand side” of political gossip. 

The problem with ad transparency: Social media platforms are claiming to be transparent when it comes to political advertising, say Madelyn Webb and Bethan John in Nieman Lab, but their definitions of transparency are very subjective, leading to more questions. Sites like Google, Facebook, and Twitter are all taking different actions when it comes to how they regulate political ads. Twitter has banned them entirely, while Facebook and Google are making past advertisements more accessible. Transparency in advertising is meant to monitor the spread of information, but it is a “tool, not an end” when it comes to political ads, say Webb and John. Murky language in the companies’ definitions of “political advertising” is making transparency difficult to enforce, raising questions regarding the sources and reliability of the ad data being reported, efficacy of pro-transparency measures, and the end result of openness in advertising. 

Media strikes: The New Yorker, Pitchfork and Ars Technica unions are planning a strike against their parent company Condé Nast, reports Angela Fu in Poynter. The unions have been recently authorized to strike amid ongoing bargaining negotiations. Financial difficulties in Condé Nast have caused union members to worry about their own job security, and the three companies are pushing for increased wages and other workplace needs like professional development and commitments to diversity and inclusion. Though the three units are communicating regularly regarding the strike, a win at one negotiating table does not necessarily translate to the other two. If Condé Nast fails to negotiate in “good faith,” the unions will move forward with the strike, says Fu.


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