The 5 stories PR pros need to know on Thursday morning, 5.19.2016

EgyptAir urges journalists not to jump to conclusions; Theranos throws out two years of blood tests; Bayer makes bid for Monsanto; Facebook tries to wow conservative leaders with VR; Journalists try to set up Trump press pool.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, by Per aspera ad Astra - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
Image via Wikimedia Commons, by Per aspera ad Astra - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Leading Thursday morning’s news cycle: EgyptAir Flight 804
French officials confirmed Thursday morning that EgyptAir flight 804, en route from Paris to Cairo Wednesday evening with 66 people on-board, has crashed. They urged the public not to jump to conclusions about the cause. French news reports said the plane went down near a southern Greek island. EgyptAir warned media outlets overnight to be careful in their reporting and stick to information from official airline press releases.

Theranos throws out two years of blood tests
The Silicon Valley-based healthcare technology company voided blood tests taken with its Edison device, its flagship product, from 2014 and 2015. The company told the Department of Health and Human Services that it has sent doctors thousands of corrected reports. The once-heralded startup, which vowed to make blood tests easier and more accurate, has faced months of questions about the validity of its products.

Bayer makes bid for Monsanto
German drug giant Bayer has made an unsolicited bid for seed company Monsanto. An acquisition, valued at more than $40 billion, would create the largest agricultural supplier in the world. Monsanto’s board is reviewing the prospective deal. Bayer’s shares dropped on the news as investors worried about its cost.

Conservative leaders give Facebook meeting mixed reviews
Facebook turned on all the charms for conservative leaders including Glenn Beck on Wednesday, rolling out Oculus VR headsets for them to test before meeting with Mark Zuckerberg. Attendees, irked by reports that the platform slants its trending lists to avoid conservative topics, gave the meeting mixed reviews, with some saying the Facebook CEO was gracious but others noting conservative thought isn’t well-representated in Silicon Valley.

Trump team, journalists in press-pool negotiations
Media outlets are discussing setting up a press pool to cover the presumptive Republican nominee, the system in which reporters rotate to monitor a candidate’s daily activities, then circulate that information to a wider group of media outlets. While press pools are usually formed when a candidate wraps up his or her party’s nomination, Trump’s difficult relationship with the media and impromptu style could make organizing one more difficult than usual in this case, BuzzFeed notes.

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