Why does Netflix keep making so many cheap TV movies?

From the studio that brought you Roma comes Secret Obsession, the latest in an increasingly long line of sub-Lifetime channel, semi-ironic duds You dont need to watch Netflixs upcoming movie Secret Obsession to know exactly what its going to be like. Theres the title, which appears to be chosen via some sort of generic thriller tombola. Theres the typography, which has a crack through it. Theres the cast, who all unfailingly look like catalogue models troubled by the incoming prospect of gastroenteritis. But mainly you know exactly what Secret Obsession will be like thanks to its trailer, which does a very good job of explaining the entire story. A woman suffers from amnesia. Her husband takes her back to their …

Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest shows the power of one newspaper’s investigation

New York (CNN Business)In the past year the Jeffrey Epstein case was catapulted onto the national news radar by one newspaper, the Miami Herald, and by one reporter in particular, Julie K. Brown. The paper’s “Perversion of Justice” series came out last November, and Brown has stayed on the story ever since. Brown, true to form, shifted the spotlight: “The REAL HEROES HERE were the courageous victims that faced their fears and told their stories,” she tweeted Sunday. Brown was actually scheduled to interview another one of Epstein’s accusers on Monday. Instead, she cancelled that flight and booked a ticket to New York. She’ll be in court on Monday when Epstein has a bail hearing. “There are some women who …

House begins probe into Big Tech with sympathetic look at news business

New York (CNN Business)A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here. “If online news publishers can’t survive, then who can?” Darcy emails: Cicilline made an important point at the hearing, noting that “massive cuts” have taken place in recent years not only at “traditional news companies” but also at “online news sources.” Cicilline then said, “This raises a critical question: if online news publishers can’t survive, then who can?” That point was echoed by News Corp’s David Pitofsky, who said, “Many in Silicon Valley dismiss the press as old media, failing to evolve in the face of online competition.” Explaining that “this is wrong,” Pitofsky said “online platforms …

Nigeria accused of ‘scurrilous’ attempt to gag press

Access to countrys law-making National Assembly will be restricted, says Guild of Editors Strict new conditions for covering government proceedings and the re-arrest of a prominent journalist on terrorism charges have raised concerns about deteriorating press freedom in Nigeria. To be permitted to report on the countrys National Assembly, the highest law-making authority, journalists will now have to prove that their media outlet has a daily circulation of 40,000 copies or online media 5,000 daily views. Journalists will also have to show they have two years experience covering the assembly on a temporary basis, be members of the Nigerian journalists union, and fit other criteria listed by the assemblys director of information, Emmanuel Rawlings Agada. The new rules, due to …

Here’s what we didn’t know when William Barr released his letter in March

New York (CNN Business)A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here. On Tuesday both the NYT and the Washington Post were working on stories about Mueller’s previously undisclosed private letter. The Post’s story hit first, just after 7 p.m., and the NYT followed just a few minutes later. When the stories hit, I felt a flashback to the days of 2017 and 2018 when the Times and the Post published dueling scoops the way fighters trade blows… Mueller was watching… The Post also reported that Mueller and Barr spoke by phone on March 28. “In that call, Mueller said he was concerned that media coverage of the obstruction …

Northern Irish police call for peace in name of killed journalist

Lyra McKee, 29, shot during riots in which petrol bombs were thrown and cars set alight Police in Northern Ireland have issued a call for peace in memory of the journalist Lyra McKee, who died after being shot during rioting in Derry on Thursday night. Evoking the 29-year-olds own words about the power of conversation, police encouraged relatives of dissident republicans, who have been blamed for shooting McKee, to urge their family members to step away from violence and pursue peace. The heartfelt appeal followed a rare joint statement from leaders across the political spectrum in Northern Ireland condemning the murder as an attack on the peace and democratic processes on the 21st anniversary of the Good Friday agreement. At …

Facebook spent $22.6m to keep Mark Zuckerberg safe last year

Security costs for the tech billionaire and his family more than doubled last year, as an outcry over Facebooks practices grew Facebook more than doubled the money it spent on top executive Mark Zuckerbergs security in 2018 to $22.6m, a regulatory filing has showed. Zuckerberg drew a base salary of $1 for the past three years, and his other compensation was listed at $22.6m, most of which was for his personal security. Nearly $20m went toward security for Zuckerberg and his family, up from about $9 million the year prior. Zuckerberg also received $2.6m for personal use of private jets, which the company said was part of his overall security program. Facebook in the past few yearsrevelations that Cambridge Analytica, …

What Apple is up against in the streaming-video world

New York (CNN Business)We don’t know exactly what Apple will debut during its big press event on Monday. A new streaming-video product? A revamped TV app and video storefront? There’s Disney (DIS), which will demo its new service Disney+ at an investor day on April 11. The House of Mouse has one of the most vast (if not the most vast) content libraries in Hollywood: We’re talking “Star Wars,” Marvel, Disney Animation, Disney live action, Pixar and now, thanks to its $71 billion acquisition of Fox’s assets earlier this week, even more content. Disney also owns a controlling stake of Hulu, which gives it an even bigger slice of the streaming pie. AT&T (T)‘s WarnerMedia, CNN’s parent company, is also …

Guardian film Black Sheep nominated for best short documentary Oscar

Ed Perkins film about a young black boys response to a racist gang after he moves out of London is up for an Academy award murder of schoolboy Damilola Taylor in 2000. Walker, the same age as Taylor and of similar background, found himself confronting a gang of local racists and, after first fighting back, went to extraordinary lengths to fit in and gain their friendship. The film features interviews with Walker looking back 15 years on from the events he describes, which are re-enacted in the locations where they took place, with Kai Francis Lewis playing Walker. Responding to the nomination, Walker said that he was, humbled and proud. I worked on this film to tell my story and …