The Big Issue

Google of South Korea to Save Struggling News Outlets?
7 December 2017 By Ariel Bogle 
The nation’s dominant search engine has a model for benefiting local publications—but many are worried about its implications.
Also like Google and Facebook, Naver has a tense relationship with journalists. Though the company produces no journalism itself, Naver’s desktop and mobile news portal is South Korea’s most popular news site. (The second is another local portal, Daum.) Naver hosts stories by various outlets, somewhat similar to news-aggregation apps like Apple News. In a country where around 83% of the population accesses news online, the company has outsize control over what Koreans read and see.


How the New Ownership at LA Weekly Played Itself
6 December 2017
Semanal Media bought the beloved paper and gutted it from the inside. For what?
Semanal Media, the mysterious new owner of LA Weekly, took the reins of the paper from Voice Media Group. In the span of a few hours, Semanal fired 75 percent of its full-time editorial staff, including all five editors, the publisher, two staff news writers, the film critic, and the head of sales. Only one staff writer, an art director, and a copy chief remain.
Former editor-in-chief Mara Shalhoup compared the cuts to the Red Wedding, the particularly brutal slaughter scene in Game of Thrones. Only a shell was left of the newspaper staff that had existed the day prior.


The Big Picture: Misinformation Society
3 December 2017 By Victor Pickard    
Trump’s election laid bare structural flaws in our news and information systems. As mainstream news media sensationalized and trivialized what was at stake in the elections, social media amplified misinformation and propaganda. These media pathologies paved the way for the triumph of a demagogue. While criticism of such problems has escalated since the election, the underlying policies that enabled them have largely escaped scrutiny.
Facebook Has Paid Millions to French Media Companies
1 December 2017 By Nicolas Becquet
Facebook has won. French media organisations are now indeed addicts. They are, in fact, triply addicted – to expanding their audience for free, to using the social network’s production and distribution tools, and to earning additional revenue. Facebook’s publishing ecosystem has become something the media can’t do without.


How to Survive the Media Apocalypse: Pivot to Readers
30 November 2017 By Derek Thompson
Agony is the natural state of the news industry. Newspaper sales per capita peaked before color television was a thing, and magazines have been in decline since the Clinton administration. When it comes to the finances of the Fourth Estate, bad news is, generally speaking, the news.


SABC Seeks to Alter Rules on Pay-TV Stations
23 November 2017 By Bezekela Phakathi
The SABC has asked the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) to conduct an urgent public review of regulations that allow pay-TV operators to carry its television channels for free.
Passed in 2008, the so-called “must carry” regulations oblige all subscription broadcasters with more than 30 channels to transmit the SABC’s three free-to-air television channels.


First Local Podcast in Myanmar
22 November 2017 By Joshua Carroll Splice
When journalists approached people on the streets of Yangon last month to get their views for a new human rights podcast, they typically got two responses: “What’s a podcast?” was one. “What are human rights?” was the other.
The three-person team behind Doh Athan, or Our Voice, face an unusual challenge as they launch in a country that has been deprived of both internet access and independent media for decades: their key concept is poorly understood and few are familiar with the platform they’ve chosen.
Why Mashable Flamed Out
21 November 2017 By Lucia Moses
Few images better capture the unfettered optimism and indignity of digital media than 2014 at South by Southwest, where a line of hoodie-wearing attendees snaked around the block at Mashable House, a pop-up lounge run by the tech news site, to get their picture taken with Grumpy Cat. Nearby, AOL “digital prophet” Shingy swung on a Mashable-branded wrecking ball.


How the ‘Paradise Papers’ Set the Bar Even Higher for Global Collaboration
17 November 2017 by Heather Bryant
It’s been only been a year and a half since the Panama Papers set a new bar for what collaboration between newsrooms could achieve. This entailed an unrivaled data leak, hundreds of journalists and a reporting project that highlighted the modern reality journalists now frequently work in: big leaks, big data, big stories.
FCC Relaxes Media Ownership Rules
20 November 2017 By Ted Johnson @tedstew
Broadcasters will be allowed to combine with a newspaper in the same market, and could be allowed to own two of the top four stations in a city, as the FCC on Thursday relaxed a series of long-standing media ownership regulations.
The new rules, passed in a 3-2 vote, may be challenged in court, but if they survive, they will mark the most significant changes to media ownership regulations in a generation. They could lead to further consolidation and mergers among broadcasters, who have long argued that they need greater scale to compete with cable and internet companies for local ad dollars.


Crunch Time for Digital News Brands?
19 November 2017
We used to speculate about when the next newspaper might close, now we watch as digital native newsrooms teeter on the brink. How bad is it out there for news brands trying to make a living, let alone a profit?


The Decline of Digital Media Darlings Has Begun
17 November 2017
The rapid growth of Google and Facebook continues to take its toll on digital media companies. Thursday was a rough day for digital media. Within hours, a series of reports, some unofficial and others confirmed, underscored a bitter reality that’s become increasingly harder to avoid: Not even the biggest digital media startups are immune from the seismic shifts in digital advertising affecting the whole industry.


Somaliland Blocking Social Media to Stave Off “Fake News”
11 November 2017
Somaliland, the self-declared republic in northwestern Somalia, has announced it will restrict access to social media sites during its upcoming presidential elections.
The electoral commission has asked phone companies to block more than a dozen social media outlets in order to limit hate speech and “fake news”. It includes Facebook, Twitter,WhatsApp, Snapchat, Viber, Flickr, Instagram, LinkedIn, Duo, Google Plus, among others.


When Fake News Will Be Made by Pros
13 November 2017 by Frederic Filloux
A funny game. A scary conclusion: today’s social tools, put in capable hands, make false information very hard to detect and extraordinarily damaging.
Eight Strategies for Saving Local Newsrooms
6 November 2017 By Christopher Ali and Damian Radcliffe
Since 2000, nearly half of newsroom jobs—more than 20,000 of them—have disappeared. Revenues have plummeted by almost $20 billion. Titles continue to be shuttered, and layoffs are a regular occurrence.
In telling the story of the changing fortunes of the newspaper industry, the focus has been on large metro and national newspapers. Less attention is given to the small-market newspapers, with a weekly or daily print circulation of under 50,000.


Is Facebook Flagging Fake News, or Just Filtering It?
1 November 2017 By Shane Greenup
After getting ahold of a letter from a Facebook executive, Buzzfeed revealed that flagged content on Facebook see an 80% reduction in impressions.
This headline was repeated by the Washington Post and ABC News, though they both emphasised the slow process for applying flags to false stories. Jason White, the Facebook executive, acknowledged that the days-long delay was a major issue, and that Facebook was committed to improving it.


The Winners and Losers of the EU’s New ePrivacy Law
31 October 2017 by Jessica Davies
The European Union’s new ePrivacy regulation is becoming a nightmare for the digital media and advertising industries.
It’s easy to confuse the ePrivacy regulation with the General Data Protection Regulation, a broader law addressing consumer data privacy that has dominated the market’s attention lately. The core difference is that cookie use is central to the ePrivacy regulation, which is why it’s known as the “cookie law.” Businesses in Europe must get explicit consent to use cookies and provide clear opt-outs to users under the proposed new law. Meanwhile, the GDPR regulates the general handling of personal data. Read more on DigiDay


Election Spurs Fact-Checking Collaborations in Japan
30 October 2017 By Masato Kajimoto
“We looked at First Draft News’ guide and realized in Japan, we have very little understanding of where false information originates or how it spreads.”
When Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dissolved the parliament and called a national election in late September, Japan’s newest fact-checking initiatives saw an opportunity to test the waters. NiemenLab reports.


The Internet Giants Should Demand Regulation, Not Duck It
30 October 2017 John Battle
The tech industry can’t go it alone. Pretending otherwise only makes the problem worse. As Sheryl Sandberg would say: Lean In.
When books are written about the role played by technology companies in our national dialog, the events about to unfold in Washington this week will likely play a starring role. For the past month, communications, policy, and legal executives at Twitter, Facebook and Google have been prepping for this week’s testimony, where each company will be asked by a wary Congress what role it’s played in the corruption of our political system. If it goes well, there won’t be a second act. If it goes poorly, an entire nation could well turn against its own Internet darlings.
Murdoch and Agenda Power: Worse Than We Thought
26 October 2017 By Media Reform Coalition
Damning new research suggests the agenda influence of the Murdochs is more extensive than previously thought.. And it would be greatly enhanced were the takeover of Sky to go ahead.
In our submission to the Competition and Markets Authority this week, we have presented interim findings showing that News UK brands (Times, Sunday Times and Sun) play a lead role in shaping the wider news agenda. Examining over a hundred news stories covering UK political, economic and social issues, the research found that the Times and Sunday Times were especially influential, despite operating an online pay-wall.
Civil: Blockchain-Based Journalism Marketplace
25 October 2017
If you’re still confused by Civil, the cryptocurrency-based journalism marketplace that went public this summer, you’re probably not alone. Since the company made its first appearance, reactions have included muted excitement, bewilderment, and outright dismissal about the company’s potential to provide a viable new funding model for journalism. (“What B.S.,” shrugged the sole commenter on our initial story about the company).


Facebook: Clarifying Recent Tests
By Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed
23 October 2017
There have been a number of reports about a test we’re running in Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala, and Cambodia. Some have interpreted this test as a future product we plan to deliver globally. We currently have no plans to roll this test out further.
We always listen to our community about ways we might improve News Feed. People tell us they want an easier way to see posts from friends and family. We are testing having one dedicated space for people to keep up with their friends and family, and another separate space, called Explore, with posts from pages.
Management of Romanian Public TV Sacked
27 September 2017
The Romanian parliament today rejected the annual report of the country’s public service TV station TVR. That triggered the sacking of the entire Council of Administration (CA), the broadcaster’s main governance structure. Thus, Irina Radu (pictured), the institution’s president was fired as well.
She was replaced by Doina Gradea, who is now the acting president of TVR. Ms Gradea started her career back in 1992 at the news agency Mediafax. She later worked for the news channel Canal 31 and for the entrepreneur Adrian Sarbu, the founder of the private broadcast group MediaPro. Ms Gradea started to work with TVR in January 2016.
Emotionally Networked Journalism: Regaining Trust, Rebuilding Truth?
18 September 2017 By Charlie Beckett
How news is turning emotional and how journalists should respond
In the wake of the success of various ‘populist’ political campaigns such as Brexit and Trump, there has been a moral panic amongst mainstream news media. A rise in ‘Fake News’, propaganda and hyper-partisan publishing online has compounded the sense of a disruption of political journalism. This has fed into concerns about effects of a range of structural shifts in mediated deliberation, especially online.
Hungarian Oligarchs Expand Media Investments in Slovenia
15 September 2017
Slovenia’s small media market, which is highly concentrated in its TV segment and has repelled rather than attracted foreign investment in the past decade, has recently experienced two seemingly strategic investments by Hungarian and US companies. These are potentially motivated by political and geopolitical interests, SEENPM reported.
The Rise of Sinclair Broadcast Group
7 September 2017
Sinclair Broadcast Group, founded in 1971 by Julian Sinclair Smith, is the largest owner of television stations in the entire country. The Maryland-based media company controls 173 local stations in nearly 80 markets, which means it reaches just under 40 percent of the population — and is continuing to increase its range. Just yesterday, they closed on an acquisition of Bonten Media Group, adding fourteen more stations in eight markets.
Privacy is Now a Right in India
1 September 2017
India's top court has put tech companies on notice. In a ruling that privacy is a fundamental right, the country's Supreme Court singled out tech firms for gathering huge amounts of data: Facebook knows who we are friends with, the justices wrote, while Alibaba studies our shopping habits and Airbnb tracks our travel. "This can have a stultifying effect on the expression of dissent and difference of opinion, which no democracy can afford," the court said last week. "There is an unprecedented need for regulation regarding [how] such information can be stored, processed and used.”
Duterte Eyes Lopez Companies
28 August 2017
President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he would go after Benpres Holdings Corp., now known as Lopez Holdings Corp., and six other companies that have debts with state-run Development Bank of the Philippines.
“I’ll go after itong mga elite,” Duterte said in a speech during the 23rd anniversary celebration of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) in Taguig City.
For more public blabber on media and power check Mediapowermonitor Unsifted archives