The Rupert Murdoch-owned News Group has issued a public apology for hacking the phones of Heather Mills, the former wife of Paul McCartney, and her sister Fiona Mills. A financial settlement over the charges filed by Mills against the company was awarded in February. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed. According to a report in the Financial Times, News Group has settled approximately 1,000 civil cases related to phone hacking practices since 2010, with legal costs estimated at more than $520 million. While Mills’ case related to 141 articles that appeared in the Sun and News of the World, both News Group papers, the company’s apology only pertained to activities carried out by News of the World, which shut down in 2011 after it was revealed that the paper had intercepted the voicemail of a missing teenager who was subsequently murdered. Though Mills said outside court that she and her sister had been “awarded the highest media libel settlement in British legal history,” the award was actually for invasion of privacy, and was not a libel case.
The Chicago Defender, a newspaper that has served the city’s African-American community since 1905, will be putting out its last print edition on July 10. Hiram Jackson, CEO of Real Time Media, parent company of the publication, told the Chicago Tribune that “doubling down on our digital platform” was seen as the best way for the Defender to continue reaching its audience. He said that while the print paper has been publishing 16,000 copies weekly, it reaches more than 475,000 unique visitors per month online. “In 2018, the Chicago Defender print version was profitable,” Jackson said. “But the readership trends as it relates to our print product were decreasing and our digital audience was vastly increasing.” While access to the website is currently free, he said the Defender plans to erect a digital paywall to get online subscriptions to monetize the website.
Nelson Mandela’s family is partnering with Sugar23, a production company headed up by Academy Award-winning producer Michael Sugar, and ad agency DMA United to launch Mandela Media, according to a report on Deadline. Sugar23 and DMA will be responsible for Mandela Media’s content development, production, branding and initiatives pertaining to creative business development. A statement from the company says that “through the Mandela Media banner, Mandela’s family will seek stories from around the world that fit with the core ethos of who he was and what he continues to represent, focusing on racial inclusion and equality, gender equality, mental health awareness and social justice.”