Big Issue Archives

Data

Propaganda

Consumption

Journalism

Public media

Business models

Regulation

Social media

 

Older Big Issues


Data

 
By Michelle Fabio
7 April 2018
In today’s installment of "I’m Not Terrified, You Are," Bloomberg Law reports on a FedBizOpps.gov posting by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with the relatively benign-sounding subject “Media Monitoring Services.”
The details of the attached Request for Information, however, outline a plan to gather and monitor the public activities of media professionals and influencers and are enough to cause nightmares of constitutional proportions, particularly as the freedom of the press is under attack worldwide.
 
By Mark Di Stefano
29 March 2018
Two of Britain's most prestigious media brands, the Economist and the Financial Times, hired controversial data firm Cambridge Analytica to help them get more subscribers in the United States, BuzzFeed News has learned.
As the fallout continues from a Cambridge Analytica whistleblower's bombshell claims that the London-based firm misused Facebook data in an effort to intervene in elections around the world, there are now questions about whether commercial clients also benefited from the data.
 
By Nicky Woolf
15 February 2018
David Moore is having fun. The former director of the Participatory Politics Foundation, a nonprofit open-government group that operated OpenCongress.org — a site that tracked the revolving door between Congress and lobbying and became a leading resource for government transparency — is now part of a project with an ambitious goal: finding a way to save journalism.
 
The Algorithms Aren’t Biased, We Are
5 January 2018
Excited about using AI to improve your organization’s operations? Curious about the promise of insights and predictions from computer models? I want to warn you about bias and how it can appear in those types of projects, share some illustrative examples, and translate the latest academic research on “algorithmic bias.”

Propaganda
 
By Jonathan Ladd, with Alex Podkul
8 April 2018
We know that trust in the media is at an all-time low, and that what confidence there is in the press is polarized across party lines. Some pundits have pointed to the decline in trust overall in institutions, but the press appears to be a special case.
Looking closely at the data, we can see that while confidence in the press declined among both parties in the 1980s and 1990s, a large and still growing gap opened between the parties after 2000.
 
By Danielle Allen and Justin Pottle
1 April 2018
It was a time when elites were worried about a public manipulated into nationalist fervor by divisive populist figures. Students were not being taught how to tell propaganda from facts, was the concern. So in the 1930s, department store magnate Edward Filene and a small group of educational reformers founded the Institute for Propaganda Analysis (IPA) in hopes of teaching young people to identify and resist information manipulation.
 
By Shane Greenup
20 March 2018
I have found myself using the term Fake News more than any other word or phrase to describe what I, and many others, are fighting against in this war against untruth, despite the fact that I agree with everyone who says we need to do away with the term.
 
By Rasmus Kleis Nielsen
18 March 2018
In many countries over the past few years, the political process – and social cohesion – have been threatened by various forms of disinformation, sometimes misleadingly and inadequately called “fake news”. Politically-motivated and for-profit disinformation is blamed, among other things, for the UK’s decision to vote to leave the EU and the election of Donald Trump as US president.
 
By Ory Okolloh
10 March 2018
We live in a growing environment of public mistrust, especially when it comes to the media, and the explosion of the number of sources of information makes deciphering what is factual, what is misinformation, and what is propaganda increasingly difficult. An absence of credible information prevents citizens from participating in public decision-making, particularly on key issues of concern such as education, health, and governance.
 
By Nancy Watzman
24 February 2018
Since launching this site in mid-November, we’ve been asking you for your ideas on how to improve trust in the media and strengthen our democracy. We’ve summarized and submitted what you’ve told us to the members of the Knight Commission on Trust, Media and Democracy ahead of their meeting last week in Miami, Florida. Here is what we told them.
 
By Andrew Guess, Benjamin Lyons, Brendan Nyhan & Jason Reifler
14 February 2018
With critics decrying the “echo chambers,” “filter bubbles,” and “information cocoons” created by the rise of online news and social media, you’d think that the entire American public was consuming a near-exclusive diet of politically pleasing news.
Voters do increasingly face an information glut that requires them to make choices about what news to consume. In these polarized times, it may therefore seem intuitive that people will overwhelmingly select into or be directed toward media and information flows that confirm their pre-existing biases, further reinforcing those views.
 
By Frederic Filloux
11 February 2018
French startup Storyzy spotted six hundred forty-four brands on questionable sites ranging from hard core fake news sites, hyper-partisan ones, to clickbait venues hosting bogus content with no particular agenda, except making a quick buck.
 
17 January 2018
Public trust in the media is at an all-time low. Results from a major new Knight-Gallup report can help us understand why.
As the debates over trust in media, misinformation and control over information rage, a new Knight-Gallup survey of more than 19,000 U.S. adults shows that Americans believe that the media have an important role to play in our democracy — yet they don’t see that role being fulfilled.
 
By Aaron Edell
14 January 2018
We made a fake news detector with above a 95% accuracy on (a validation set) that uses machine learning and Natural Language Processing that you can download here. In the real world, the accuracy might be lower, especially as time goes on and the way articles are written changes.
With so many advances in Natural Language Processing and machine learning, I thought maybe, just maybe, I could make a model that could flag news content as fake, and perhaps take a bite out of the devastating consequences of the proliferation of fake news. See Edell’s story on Medium.

Consumption
 
By Nathan Bomey
11 April 2018
After moving to Arlington, Va., in 2015, I quickly discovered that two of the seminal events of the information age occurred within steps of each other about a mile from my new home.
Just north of Wilson Boulevard in the Rosslyn neighborhood near the Potomac River is the parking garage where Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward famously met in the early 1970s with Deep Throat, the secret source who helped to expose the Watergate scandal.
 
By Karen Rundlet and Sam Gill
6 April 2018
Some would argue the local television news industry sits in an enviable position. It still reaches large audiences and brings in considerable revenue, thanks to political advertising and the retransmission fees that cable and satellite systems pay to carry local channels. But television news leaders are well aware of the shifting landscape.
Broadcast ratings have declined and TV news leaders, like those working in other media, know, that in the digital age, audiences find their news on mobile devices and social streams. That’s led to television newsrooms accelerating their efforts to serve viewers across websites, social and next generation platforms that promise to deliver ultra-high definition TV anywhere, anytime. TV now means much more than producing stories for the 5 o’clock news.
 
By Suchit Leesa-Nguansuk
6 February 2018
Thailand is the world leader for time spent on the internet and mobile internet per day, a consequence of higher social media use and the popularity of online video consumption. Thailand ranks in the top 10 for mobile social media penetration and top four for time spent on social media, according to social media management platform Hootsuite and global agency We Are Social.
 
By Jeffrey M. Jones and Zacc Ritter
30 January 2018
As the information available to news consumers has expanded greatly in recent decades, Americans believe the media landscape is becoming harder to navigate. They say the increase in the information available today makes it harder (58%), rather than easier (38%), to be well-informed because people have to sort through lots of information to determine what is true or important.

Journalism
 
By Cristina Romero
6 April 2018
One of the greatest challenges in development reporting is creating connections. How can journalists build strong links between people from both sides of the world and make them relate to topics that seem so far away from their immediate reality?
 
By Ethan Zuckerman
2 April 2018
The news is in crisis.
I’ve been studying news and digital media since 2002 and the news has been in crisis for those past 16 years, possibly longer. And not just the handwringing “oh no, citizens are producing their own news, what will happen to journalism as a profession?” crisis. No, we’re more than a decade into the “We can’t afford to pay for the news, what happens now?” crisis, and no closer to a solution.
 
By Daniela Kraus
20 February 2018
In times of digital transition, media enterprises are constantly looking for people with specific technical or managerial skills. But these enterprises cannot neglect the core expertise that all newsrooms require: journalism.
Have you recently browsed through articles on future jobs in newsrooms? If so, you’ve probably learned that newsrooms are increasingly seeking growth editors, platform wranglers, newsroom conductors, or automation editors. These jobs are necessary to keep pace with the ongoing digital transition process. However, in this race, we sometimes seem to forget that all newsrooms — big or small, global or local — need real journalists in order to be successful.
 
By Cory Haik
10 February 2018
Facebook ostensibly announced a major change to its News Feed algorithm via a push notification from the New York Times. A notification heard ‘round the media world, with news that was intended less for it than for the 2 billion-plus humans that spend time on the social media platform. Facebook was getting back to its roots, to its original mission of connecting friends and family. It wanted to create more “meaningful social interaction,” as opposed to, we can only assume, non-meaningful social interaction. Read: no more viral publisher (or brand) “space junk” — seemingly random, purposeless, churned-out content — floating in the Feed. If implemented as such, this should be celebrated, full stop.
 
By Penseur Robinson
1 February 2018
Steven Spielberg’s latest film, “The Post” tells an interesting, but well-worn historical tale. It doesn’t dig new dirt, plow new ground, or tell us anything those of us old enough to remember didn’t already know.
 
By Mike McCue
27 January 2018
As election day 2016 approached in the United States, thousands of specifically targeted Americans began seeing racially, politically and religiously charged ads on Facebook with headlines like “Don’t Mess With Texas Border Patrol” and “Satan: If I Win, Clinton Wins!”. The ads spanned the spectrum of divisive American issues. Some promoted far-right positions while others were radically liberal.
 
By Howard Amos
24 January 2018
After she was fired as editor-in-chief of Russia’s highly respected media outlet RBC for critical reporting, Elizaveta Osetinskaya left her country and headed to the US. Now she’s founded The Bell, a six-person media start-up fighting for space in Russia’s troubled world of independent media. The Calvert Journal caught up with Osetinskaya to talk about The Bell, state control, and the future of journalism. Howard Amos reports
 
22 January 2018
Whether it’s combatting misinformation, being strategic in the use of our limited resources, restoring audience trust or tackling the complicated stories our audiences need us to cover, collaboration between newsrooms is no longer a luxury reserved for special projects, it’s a daily necessity. Heather Bryant is a guest writer of the Monday Note.
 
By Lydia Polgreen
18 January 2018
We live in a cacophonous world. Thousands of voices shout for our attention from our social media timelines and TV screens. It’s hard to know what deserves our focus and what to tune out. At HuffPost, we believe it’s our job to bring you, our audience, the most thoughtful, diverse and provocative points of view from across the globe. So today we are launching two new sections: Opinion and Personal. Read the HuffPost article
 
9 December 2017
An Outline investigation found that contributors to prominent publications have taken payments in exchange for positive coverage. See The Outline
 
3 January 2018
By Margaret Sullivan
When most newspapers get a new publisher, few people know or care. It gets a shrug, except by those directly affected. But when Arthur G. Sulzberger took over this week as the top boss at the New York Times, even President Trump took notice, blurting out a tweet that managed to be simultaneously insulting, congratulatory and divisive. (“The Failing New York Times has a new publisher, A.G. Sulzberger. Congratulations! Here is a last chance for the Times to fulfill the vision of its Founder, Adolph Ochs, ‘to give the news impartially, without fear or FAVOR, regardless of party, sect, or interests involved.’ ”)

Public media
 
By Anders Hofseth
3 April 2018
The ability of the media to secure democracy is being challenged by great disruptions: ad funding doesn’t work that well anymore and large, non-transparent platforms are increasingly central in our information flow. Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia, thinks public service media may be about to play its most important role since World War II.
 
By BBC
4 March 2018
Voters in Switzerland have decisively rejected a proposal to abolish the national broadcasting license fee. The country was voting in a referendum on Sunday on whether to axe the mandatory yearly fee of 451 Swiss francs ($480; £348) per household.
More than 71% voted against the plan, which was defeated in all 23 states. The Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) offers programming in four different national languages - German, French, Italian, and Romantsch.

Business models

 
By Simon Galperin
31 March 2018
The journalism industry is pivoting to audience revenue. It is a fundamentally different pivot than those of recent years. Those pivots have been to different news products. This a different way of funding all of those news products. Where once journalism businesses courted advertisers, they must now court their audiences.
 
By Bob Gilbreath
1 April 2018
We talk a lot about how individual startups disrupt existing business models — such as Airbnb vs. hotels or Craigslist vs. newspaper classifieds — but we sometimes fail to appreciate the more massive disruptions that cut across many industries at once. Ecommerce is one example: People increasingly choose to purchase everything from airplane tickets to underwear via digital storefronts. Consumer habits are slow to change, but when they do change they cut across categories — and even iconic companies with hundreds of years of history can fall away.
 
30 March 2018
Alan Mislove studies algorithms. Recently, his research at Northeastern University, in Boston, has shown that Facebook’s software was leaking users’ phone numbers to advertisers. He has also found new ways to audit that same software for racial bias. But work like his faces challenges. Scraping data from public-facing websites often sails close to breaching their terms and conditions. And the companies those websites belong to are generally unwilling to give researchers more direct access to their systems.
 
By Bertrand Pecquerie
25 March 2018
Mediapart is a strange one. Very French — I would say typically French — but also a model for the whole news industry. Mediapart is a participatory media organization exclusively funded by subscriptions. Today, it is trendy and not very original, but ten years ago it was pioneering and very few publishers or editors believed in this business model.
 
By Frederic Filloux
5 March 2018
Periodically, I hear someone say, “Oh, I intend to be the Spotify of news,” or, “What the news industry needs is a Spotify-like platform!” In fact, it is far from certain that the news industry could pull out a profitable model based on Swedish streaming. Why? Because, after ten years of operation, Spotify’s future is still uncertain, and a news version of would face the same issues.
 
By Heidi N. Moore
2 March 2018
Journalists in America’s major newsrooms are asking a question of their bosses: Is anyone in charge here?
Turmoil is currently engulfing The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Time Inc., NPR, and others—enough in fact to mark this moment as one in which internal civil wars are threatening to break out unless something changes. And the only thing that will fix it is a wholesale reckoning with newsroom culture that many newsrooms have long ignored and only just started to address. (Here’s a hint: It starts with something media executives are not particularly practiced at, which is listening to staff instead of talking at them).
 
By Maria Teresa Ronderos
1 March 2018
In the last few weeks, we confirmed that one country can indeed derail the public debate of another during the critical election period, infesting the information waters with piranha-like social media bots and fake profiles carefully crafted to deepen divisions and erode faith in democratic systems.
It’s no wonder that media, as protagonists of this muddled ecosystem, are particularly worried about losing trust. In the last two years, universities, philanthropic and non-governmental organizations, and digital platforms have been developing diverse projects to study how media loses the public’s confidence, and finding practical ways this trend could be reversed.
 
By Caroline Scott
17 January 2018
Community journalism, the local news coverage typically focused on neighborhoods, suburbs and small towns, helps to address gaps in the mainstream media, providing increased diversity, greater depth and context to reporting in any particular area. With the advancement of technologies such as virtual reality (VR), live-streaming capabilities, 8K video footage and 5G internet, it's never been easier for local news organizations to get eyeballs on stories outside of the mainstream, national news agenda. Read the story in Journalism

Regulation
 
By Firat Kozok
22 March 2018
Turkey’s parliament approved a new law on Wednesday that allows its radio and TV watchdog to vet Internet broadcasts, granting the government the ability to intervene against content by producers including Netflix Inc.
The regulation will require online video streaming companies and pay-TV services to apply for a license from the watchdog, known by its Turkish initials RTUK. Courts can block access for Turkish users if the necessary permits aren’t secured. RTUK has become notorious for aggressively handing out penalties or banning broadcasts that it judges to be immoral, inconsistent with Turkish family values, or that stray from the government line on politics.
 
By Rebecca Hawkes
21 March 2018
China's ruling party is seeking to abolish the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) and replace it with a media regulator under the direct control of cabinet.
The proposals were unveiled on Tuesday (13 March). "The proposed administration directly under the State Council will be responsible for drafting policies and measures for radio and television management and their implementation, coordinating development of broadcasting undertakings and industries, promoting institutional reform in the sectors, importing radio and television programmes, and facilitating the sectors to go global," reported China's state news agency Xinhua.
 
By Elisabet Cantenys
14 March 2018
Azmat Khan and her colleague Anand Gopal did what no one had done before: they spent 18 months systematically researching unrecorded civilian deaths by anti-ISIS airstrikes by going door to door in some Iraqi towns in search of the truth. Their groundbreaking investigation culminated in “The Uncounted,” a fearless in-depth report for the New York Times Magazine which not only sparked widespread criticism from across the political spectrum, but also forced the Pentagon to answer some of the tough questions they’d long avoided.
 
By Heike Jahberg
23 February 2018
What are you worth? Today your answer might be based on what you earn, the price of your belongings or how much your family loves you. But in the near future, you may well be valued in a different way altogether – and your online behavior most certainly will be.
“We live in a world where judgment is being replaced by numbers – by scores that calculate the value of a human being, with the help of algorithms,” says Gerd Gigerenzer, director of the Harding Center for Risk Literacy at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. Mr. Gigerenzer also heads a council of experts on consumer affairs that advises the German Ministry of Justice. The panel is currently working on a report on this topic.
 
By Aoife White
16 February 2018
Facebook Inc. must stop tracking Belgian users’ surfing outside the social network and delete data it’s already gathered, or it will face fines of 250,000 ($312,000) euros a day, a Belgian court ruled.
Facebook “doesn’t sufficiently inform” clients about the data it gathers on their broader web use, nor does it explain what it does with the information or say how long it stores it, the Brussels Court of First Instance said in a statement.
 
9 February 2018
A key feature of one of the most popular social sites in China has returned after government pressure forced Weibo to close part of the site for a week.
In late January, the microblogging site shut down Hot Search, its trending topics section. The reason? State media said Weibo failed to censor content that contradicts with Communist Party values, including vulgar and pornographic materials.
 
Kazakhstan Tightens Squeeze on Media
By TOL
4 January 2018
Astana reinforces its status as a no-go area for independent media, while ostensibly more open Kyrgyzstan cracks down on opposition TV station. See more in TOL

Social media
 
By Nicholas Thompson & Fred Vogelstein
19 February 2018
One day in late February of 2016, Mark Zuckerberg sent a memo to all of Facebook’s employees to address some troubling behavior in the ranks. His message pertained to some walls at the company’s Menlo Park headquarters where staffers are encouraged to scribble notes and signatures. On at least a couple of occasions, someone had crossed out the words “Black Lives Matter” and replaced them with “All Lives Matter.” Zuckerberg wanted whoever was responsible to cut it out.
 
By Rachel Metz
10 February 2018
In the past, if you wanted to change the world, you had to pass a law or start a war. Now you create a hashtag. Ethan Zuckerman studies how people change the world, or attempt to, by using social media or other technological means. As director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT and an associate professor at the MIT Media Lab, he tries to help his students make sense of these issues. Zuckerman is also writing a book about civic engagement during a time when we have a lot less trust in institutions—government, businesses, banks, and so on.
 
9 February 2018
It only took 12 years, but Twitter has finally turned a quarterly profit.
The social network reported its fourth-quarter earnings today, Feb. 8, and as expected, the company posted a modest profit, pulling in $91 million on $732 million in revenue. That’s a jump of 2% on the revenue it posted in the same period last year. It attributed the small rise to increased advertising revenue, stemming from the myriad updates it made to its product over the last year, as well as video ad sales. (Annual revenue for the company was slightly down in 2017, however—it generated $2.4 billion, versus $2.5 billion in 2016.)
 
By Frederic Filloux
16 January 2018
For Facebook, journalism has been a pain in the neck from day one. Now, bogged down with the insoluble problems of fake news and bad PR, it’s clear that Facebook will gradually pull the plug on news. Publishers should stop whining and move on.
Let’s admit that publishers have been screwed by Facebook. Not because Mark Zuckerberg is evil, but because he’s a pragmatist. His latest move should not come as a surprise. On Thursday, for the second time in six months, Facebook stated publicly that news (i.e., journalism) will appear further down in everyone’s newsfeed, in order to favor posts from friends, family and “groups.” Read the article on Medium.
 
Facebook Demotes the News : What It Means for News Orgs
By Matt McAlister
12 January 2018
Facebook announced a considerable change to their news feed that will profoundly affect professional media. We don’t yet know how dramatic the numbers will drop, but there are some indicators that could help us understand what’s going to happen.
While Facebook’s decision to demote news in the feed may feel sudden and drastic there have been signals for some time that things were going to change. Kaleida data has been showing a steady decline in news engagements for several months. See the article
 
Facebook’s Changes
By Jeff Jarvis
13 January 2018
So, here’s what’s on my mind about Facebook’s changes, just announced by Mark Zuckerberg, to “prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people” over content from media and brands. Read Jarvis’ take
 
Facebook’s Newsfeed Changes: A Disaster or an Opportunity for News Publishers?
By Charlie Beckett
13 January 2018
Social media and digital executives in newsrooms already have a tough job connecting their content to consumers via social media, but Facebook’s proposed changes in the algorithms of its ‘newsfeed’ are going to make it a lot harder. Social networks offer immense opportunities for reaching vast new audiences and increasing the engagement of users with journalism. The most important platform in the world is about to make that more difficult. See the article
 
How WeChat Became the Primary News Source in China
By Mia Shuang Li
12 January 2018
Flourishing social media platforms like WeChat are changing journalism in China. In place of legacy media companies, independent influencers called Key Opinion Leaders, or KOLs, are attracting both attention and money. See the article in CJR.
 
How Morocco Has Weakened Its Press, Pushing Readers to Social Media for News
By Jackie Spinner
9 January 2018
For David Alvarado, a Spanish journalist who has been covering North Africa for more than a decade, the real indication of how free journalists are to report in Morocco is which government ministry is watching most closely. See more in PulitzerCenter
 
Thai Broadcasters to Return TV Licenses
22 December 2017
By Wasamon Audjarint
In another bid to achieve media reform, media professionals have called for a legal change to allow television broadcasters to return some of their owned frequencies to regulators. This would not only solve the ongoing oversupply crisis but also help to promote qualified broadcasters in their ongoing efforts at self-regulation, they claimed.
The number of broadcasters has dramatically increased following the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC)’s auction of digital television frequencies n 2013. But the “gold rush” soon faded as the increase of TV channels without an increase in the consumption rate meant many broadcasters could not make ends meet.

Older Big Issues

Why Paywalls Don’t Work
20 December 2017
By Rob Howard
Congratulations! You’ve read too much. Please pull out your credit card.
And so goes the frustrating, backward logic of the journalism paywall. It’s the most popular income idea to arise since the newspaper industry was flooded with low-budget competitors, and it seems like the last best hope for profits as Google and Facebook strangle independent advertising sales.

 

 

Myanmar’s Media Development Has Stalled
14 December 2017
By Kavi Chongkittavorn
The atmosphere surrounding the development of liberal media in Myanmar, which began in earnest and has been carefully nurtured since 2012, is in a serious state of amnesia. This sentiment is widely felt and shared throughout the media community in the country.
The National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government has not yet harnessed the vibrant media environment and journalists' goodwill and enthusiasm for the country's benefit. Myanmar's journalists are suffering from acute anxiety about not knowing what their future holds.

 

Net Neutrality: The Reality
12 December 2017
By E Price
On December 14, the FCC will vote to change the net as we know it. But has the open internet already been destroyed?
On December 14th, the Federal Communications Commission will vote on whether to remove Net Neutrality rules installed during the Obama administration. This vote, spearheaded by FCC chairman and Trump appointee Ajit Pai, will pass.
Don’t get me wrong; like every other responsible person I have been calling the FCC, sending furious emails to the commissioners, grinding my teeth, and weeping over my decades-old DeviantArt account in preparation for this vote. But. It’s gonna pass.

 

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
By 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
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
23 October 2017
By Adam Mosseri
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.

 

Five Lessons in Trust and the Media
20 August 2017
Over the past six months, some of the brightest minds in media have visited the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication to discuss issues ranging from flaws in mobile design, the challenges of data journalism, as well as the role of small town newspapers, and how citizens of the Arabian Gulf are embracing social media. Despite these varied subject areas, all five talks had a core thread running through them: trust.
 
The News Business Close to Rock Bottom
10 July 2017
A consortium of newspaper publishers are preparing to take the unusual step of begging the nation’s legislature for the right to collectively negotiate with Facebook and Google, the Atlantic reported. (Generally, antitrust laws forbid this kind of collective bargaining because it reduces economic competition, except in specifically legislated cases such as labor unions.)
 
Fake News: A Price List
20 June 2017
“新闻软文,” or “News-style soft article.” Want to discredit a journalist? That’ll be $55,000. 100,000 real people’s signatures on a Change.org petition? $6,000. And those Chinese “soft articles” can be gotten for as little as USD $15. The folks at security software company Trend Micro studied Chinese, Russian, Arabic/Middle Eastern, and English marketplaces and found that “everything from social media promotions, creation of fake comments, and even online vote manipulation [is] sold at very reasonable prices. See more at NiemenLab.
 
Good News About the News Business
7 June 2017 By Ellen Hume
At first glance it does not look like a promising time to be a professional journalist. Not only have the internet and DIY communication tools weakened their financial structures, but authoritarian political actors in many once-promising democratic regions are compromising media independence and security.
 
What the BBC Has to Say About the Papers
5 June 2017 By Media Reform Coalition
New evidence of BBC bias in its reporting of election newspaper coverage A new report suggests that the BBC is in violation of its Charter, Election Guidelines and the Broadcasting Code in its regular reporting of newspaper coverage on major bulletins and news programmes.
The study, produced by a leading statistician in association with the Media Reform Coalition, focused on daily broadcast segments on ‘The Papers’ as well as the BBC’s online ‘Papers Blog’ between 18th April (the day on which the current general election was announced) and the 21st May. Across both outlets, the BBC gave between 69 and 95 percent more attention to the Conservative Party compared to what would be considered a balanced proportion, using 2015 election voting as a reference.
 
Hungarian Gov't Becomes Largest Advertiser
10 May 2017
According to data compiled on Hungary’s advertising market in 2016, the Hungarian government spent 80% more on advertising than in 2015, becoming the single biggest advertiser in the country.
According to napi.hu, a total of HUF 216.09bn (US$755.4m) was spent on advertising in Hungary in 2016, up 2% from 2015 and showing a growth in every medium. Some 26% of that sum was spent on television advertising, making it the second-largest advertising medium after the internet.
 
Israel’s Gov’t Shuts Down Public Broadcaster
9 May 2017
With an emotional signoff, Israel's longest-running TV news program has run its last episode after a sudden cancellation following a political battle with the prime minister.
The state-run Israel Broadcasting Authority was notified hours before Tuesday's broadcast that "Mabat LaHadashot" (A glance at the news), which has been on air for 49 years, was to be shut down.
 
Challenges of Reporting on Romania's Corruption
1 April 2017
Are Romania's media outlets caught in a conflict of interest when reporting the country's top news story? As 2016 drew to a close, Romanians elected a new government. A month later, that government came under serious pressure after issuing an emergency decree about corruption. See more from Al Jazeera.
 
Sean Spicer Downplaying ProPublica's Credentials
2 April 2017
In his briefing Monday, the Press Secretary dismissed ProPublica as just a "left-wing blog." The Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalism site took notice and brought the facts.
 
Facebook, Mozilla, Craig Newmark to Fund News Integrity
2 April 2017
Facebook, Mozilla, the City University of New York, and other tech industry leaders and nonprofits have joined together to launch a $14 million fund dedicated to advancing news literacy. The money will be invested in the News Integrity Initiative with the goal of increasing trust in journalism worldwide and “better informing the public conversation.”
 
One Woman’s Brilliant “Fuck You” to Wikipedia Trolls
9 February 2017
The “fuck you” project crystallized one Friday night last year. As Emily Temple-Wood video-chatted with friends, an email pinged in her inbox: “There are alternate realities where I raped you and got away with it,” it read. “In those realities it’s legal for me to rape you as long as I want and as hard as I want. I am dead serious.” See more
 
Digital Bonapartism
12 December 2016
In light of recent events I've decided to publish a few excerpts of my book's “Control 2.0” section online. Here's the conclusion from the section headed “Digital Bonapartism”:
"It remains to be seen whether a more genuine form of democracy, in which dissenters’ rights are protected from extrajudicial threats and vigilante violence, will emerge from Russia’s digital bonapartism. In the meantime, a new model has emerged that can be replicated elsewhere: government leaders use the Internet to carry out a much more direct and populist discourse with citizens in ways that were not possible before the Internet, thus bridging an emotional and psychological gap between rulers and ruled, and building greater public sympathy for the leaders as people.”

 

Networks of Influence
10 December 2016
Since the mandatory digitisation of cable distribution began in 2012, it has spurred a series of mergers and acquisitions to the benefit of large, cash-rich cable companies. See the story in Caravan Magazine
 
Slovak Prime Minister: Journalists Are Dirty, Anti-Slovak Prostitutes
25 November 2016
Slovakia’s prime minister, Robert Fico, has hit out at journalists questioning him about allegations that public procurement rules had been broken during the country’s EU presidency, describing them as “dirty, anti-Slovak prostitutes”.
Fico has long had poor relations with media critical of him or his government, refusing questions from certain journalists and in some cases filing lawsuits.
 
LinkedIn Banned in Russia
17 November 2016
Roskomnadzor (Russia’s telecom and IT watchdog) blocked the social network LinkedIn in Russia claiming that it violates the rights of personal data owners. The decision is based on a ruling made by Moscow City Court that rejected LinkedIn appeal last week. Under Russia’s Federal Law On Personal Data, Russians’ personal data can be processed and stored only in Russia.
 
Government Daily in Hungary Peddles Russian Propaganda
21 November 2016
Hungarian pro-government daily newspaper Magyar Idők published an article this week on an alleged plot by George Soros and the Clinton family to start a “Purple Revolution” against the US government, listing Strategic Culture, a Kremlin-backed propaganda news site, as one of the authors. For information about this article in English, check Budapest Beacon.
 
An Interview With Agnes Callamard: The Way Forward
11 November 2016
Agnès Callamard is the former Executive Director of ARTICLE 19 and former IFEX Council member. She is currently the Director of Columbia Global Freedom of Expression at Columbia University and the newly appointed UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Arbitrary or Summary Executions. Sara Whyatt spoke with her about the changing human rights landscape, the role of civil society, gendered online threats, what she terms "legal deterioration by imitation", and more. An interview with her here
 
Freedom for All Imprisoned Journalists in Turkey
14 November 2016
Today we delivered some special newspaper packages for #pressfreedom to the embassy of #Turkey in Berlin: Freedom for all imprisoned journalists in Turkey! Journalism is not a crime
 
Eight Steps Reporters Should Take Before Trump Assumes Office
14 November 2016
While we are dutifully reporting on the presidential transition, we should also dig out our helmets and flack jackets, harden our legal defenses, and get ready for the coming war on transparency. Here are eight steps to take immediately.
 
Knight Awards for Investigative Journalists
14 November 2016
So proud of our Knight International Award Winners Miranda Patrucic and Carmen Aristegui - intrepid investigative journalists. Follow our ceremony tonight on Facebook Live and on Twitter #icfjdonner
 
Barlett & Steele Prize for Panama Papers
7 October 2016
Hearty congratulations to the entire #PanamaPapers team of 370+ journalists and 100+ media organizations - the investigation has been awarded with two major prizes this week!
 
Digital Help for Latin America
Twitter: Digitization could help Latin American public media out of current crisis (third and final article of series)
 
Kitchen Appliances Become Content Distributors
6 October 2016
The day I've been predicting for a while has now arrived. Kitchen appliance makers are now content intermediaries in addition to being personal data intermediaries.
 
Censorship and Journalism in Hungary
23 September 2016 
Me on TV talking about the situation of journalists in Hungary. It's in Hungarian with my voice underneath. The point is that the government subtly intimidates journalists as a means of censorship. They shouldn't have used auto-correct on my last name, but the newscaster pronounces it correctly.
 
BBC Becoming a Mouthpiece for the Rightwing Press?
29 July 2016
Justin Schlosberg: BBC parrots Daily Mail speak accusing us of 'vested interests' without offering any evidence or basis. The Media Reform Coalition was founded by world-renowned professors including James Curran and research carried out by academics at Birkbeck and Goldsmiths, University of London. Rather than engage constructively with that research, which is what we appealed for in the report, they chose to slander us. This is exactly the problem: the BBC has become a mouthpiece for the right wing press.
 
The New Censorship: Google
22 June 2016
How did Google become the internet’s censor and master manipulator, blocking access to millions of websites?
By Robert Epstein | Contributor
Google, Inc., isn't just the world's biggest purveyor of information; it is also the world's biggest censor. 
The company maintains at least nine different blacklists that impact our lives, generally without input or authority from any outside advisory group, industry association or government agency.
 
Roy Greenslade: Does the Government want the BBC to Be a State Broadcaster?
8 June 2016
No? Then it should think again about packing the corporation’s board with its own appointees, or face accusations of adopting the practices of eastern Europe British politicians attempting to undermine the independence of the BBC should be careful what they wish for.
 
Dunja Mijatovic: Why Quality Public Media Has Not Caught on in Transition Societies
6 June 2016
Since the 1920s, generations of western Europeans got used to the monopoly of public radio and later public television. These broadcasters developed strategies to better serve audiences and distance themselves from governments. The arrival of private broadcasters, in many cases taking place only in the 1970’s, was generally viewed as a complimentary service aimed at entertaining the public. Although public service broadcasting lost market share, it remained a respected institution in society; necessary to bring up youth, to get an objective picture of the world and cater to the interests of minorities.

 

Press Freedom Fighters
4 May 2016·
Honored to be included in this RightsInfo list of "seven tireless press freedom fighters"
Yesterday was World Press Freedom Day 2016. This day celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom and pays tribute to the power an independent and free media brings to bear on individuals. … Continued RIGHTSINFO.OR
 
Journalists Concerned About Use of Online Company Register in Hong Kong
3 May 2016
An outrageous move to close off public information access in the name of privacy
Need to declare reason for search means reporters and members of the public could be exposed to legal risks
 
Emily Bell: Who Controls Media?
1 April 2016
UK culture secretary John Whittingdale announced that he would be setting up a round table on ad blocking, offering government support to news websites hit by the use of ad blocking technology. Previously, the UK mobile carrier Three had statedthat it planned to implement network-level ad blocking, which could well clash with EU’s net neutrality laws. But the discussion following Whittingdale’s comments is likely to have a wider bearing on online publishing and its regulatory environment: here Emily Bell argues that a view on ad blocking requires first a broader examination of the dynamics of mobile web and the roles its biggest players – Apple, Google, Facebook – might have.
 
Social Media Swallowed Eveything
20 March 2016
"Social media hasn’t just swallowed journalism, it has swallowed everything. It has swallowed political campaigns, banking systems, personal histories, the leisure industry, retail, even government and security." (Columbia Journalism Review)
 
Htin Kyaw Myanmar’s President
11 March 2016
Htin Kyaw will become Burma’s first civilian president in a half-century. The good news for Burmese people is this: Like his preferred white jacket, Htin Kyaw is known to be clean, with no trace of corruption tainting his respected if little-known résumé, Irrawaddy reported.
Few outside the country would have known the name before Thursday, when he was put forward by Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy as the party’s presumptive presidential pick. Asked to bet on a class of foreigners most likely to know the man, the money would be on diplomats, who would have known Htin Kyaw as a close confidante of Suu Kyi who kept lines of communication between her and the outside world open during her years under house arrest.
 
Burma Likely Headed for Htin Kyaw Presidency
10 March 2016
NAYPYIDAW / RANGOON — The National League for Democracy (NLD) has selected Htin Kyaw and Henry Van Thio as its nominees for the presidency, significantly narrowing the scope for speculation over whom the party will choose as its proxy for popular leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
While their nominations do not yet officially reveal who will ultimately assume the post, Thursday’s announcement would appear to make a Htin Kyaw presidency all but assured.
 
Membership: A Third of the Guardian's Revenue Within Three Years
9 March 2016
The Guardian has not been agile enough to respond to the challenges faced by the publishing industry over the past few years, according to Guardian Media Group CEO David Pemsel.
Speaking at Digital Media Strategies 2016, Pemsel said that an overly narrow focus on the "big number" of its global audience masked some of the strategic issues that the Guardian was facing: "I think all those big numbers are a proof point about how fast and innovative we've been in getting to digital [but] monetising anonymous reach is essentially over. “To be able to parade around and say ‘we’re big’ is not good enough. We want to convert our anonymous reach into a known audience.”
 
Malaysia: SRC’s RM170m Returned, Says Najib
9 March 2016
The RM170 million transferred by SRC International to Putra Perdana Construction in 2014 was for "turnkey" construction projects that were later cancelled, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said. In a written reply in Parliament, Najib, also the finance minister, said the money was later returned to SRC International upon cancellation of the project.
 
Asia Pacific: A Win for Net Neutrality, a Devastating Setback for Press Freedom
1 March 2016
An arrest of a university student for sedition and subsequent attacks against journalists covering the story in India sparked international attention in February, drawing criticism from scholars and observers worldwide in defence of freedom of expression. Jawaharlal Nehru University student union president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested on charges of sedition and 'anti-national' activities on 12 February, igniting widespread protests and debates on free speech. Media personnel covering courts in Delhi were threatened, manhandled and beaten by lawyers on 15 February as they were trying to cover Kanhaiya Kumar's hearing.
 
Mystery of Hong Kong Book Publishers Solved
29 February 2016
New York Times reported: "Four of the five Hong Kong booksellers who went missing in October appeared on Chinese television confirming for the first time they'd been detained for "illegal book trading" in mainland China. The five booksellers - including a British and Swedish national - had been linked to the same Hong Kong publisher and bookstore that specialized in scandalous books on the private lives and power struggles of China's Communist Party leaders."
 
A First on Cyberspace: Sentenced for Republishing News
16 February 2016
Romanian Andrei Ciobanu was sentenced yesterday to two years in jail for stealing and republishing news online. The sentence can’t be appealed. A young graduate of the Journalism School in Iasi, Mr Ciobanu has on top of the jail sentence to work for 60 days for the community either on a stadium or in an elderly care home.
Mr Ciobanu was sued when representatives of the public TVR local studio in Iasi realized that Mr Ciobanu published news and information generated by TVR on a website where he was working. The case was handled by the Directorate for Investigations of Organized Crime and Terrorism.
 
Atresmedia and Mediaset Duopoly Under Fire in Spain
15 February 2016
In Spain, the regulatory body of competition objects to the duopoly Atresmedia television and Mediaset. The two groups control more than 80% of the TV advertising pie. "All duopolies are disturbing,” said on Monday the president of the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC), José María Marín Quemada. The CNMS is the Spanish competition watchdog.
 
Macedonian TV Sitel Slammed
11 February 2016
CIVIL expresses its abhorrence of the extremely presumptuous, unprofessional and unethical performance of the pro-government TV Sitel.
CIVIL expresses its abhorrence of extremely presumptuous, unprofessional and unethical performance of the Editor-in-Chief of TV SitelDragan Pavlovic-Latas, on February 10, 2016, as the host of the opposition leader Zoran Zaev.
 
Activists With No Ad Budgets Affected on Facebook
11 February 2016
...activists with no ad budgets are being hugely affected by Facebook's focus on paid impressions:
So far coverage of Facebook's plan to squeeze the organic reach of Pages has focused on its impact on "brands" that spam us with ads and promotions. But nonprofits, activists, and advocacy groups with much fewer resources (and no ad budgets) are also being hugely affected. It's starting to look like Facebook is willing to strangle public discourse on the platform in an attempt to wring out a few extra dollars for its new shareholders.
 
Hate Speech Online Rare in Romania
11 February 2016
A study that analyzed over 2.6 million comments in Romanian language on Facebook, public officials sites, blogs and online newspapers found that: hate speech comments appear only in less than 1% of the comments.
 
New York: Art Installation and Internet Freedom
9 February 2016
Friends in NYC check this out!
A month-long Pop-Up Internet Cafe, FIREWALL is a socially engaged research and interactive art installation designed to foster public dialogue about Internet freedom. The goal of this art project is to investigate online censorship by comparing the disparities of Google searches in the U.S.A. versus…
 
 
 
An FT Reply to Advertiser’s Threat
8 February 2016
Brilliant Lucy K - too bad there is no FT in the Czech Republic to approach the writer vs advertiser dilemma with the same gusto
Meg Whitman’s lieutenant was ‘disappointed’ with what I’d written. Here is my considered response NEXT.FT.COM
 
Ten Proposals to Regulate Government Advertising
8 February 2016
Debe crearse el tipo penal y el supuesto administrativo para sancionar a los servidores públicos que proporcionen pautas publicitarias por vías distintas a las que la ley prevea
SDPNOTICIAS.COM
 
 
Canada’s Journalism in a Near-Soviet-Style Mess
5 February 2016
Journalism professor Marc Edge got it partly right when he said that it’s the regulators — not the media — that should be blamed for the ugly, near-Soviet-style mess Canada’s journalism trade is in now — a climate of vanishing media diversity and dwindling independence.
Journalists also need to direct more of their ire where it belongs — on the owners and politicians. That, unfortunately, has not been in anyone’s interest so far, unless you count the public’s interest.
 
Journalist Sent Behind Bars in Turkey
5 February 2016
Serious questions about the future of democracy in Turkey. Media freedom and independence of the judiciary are basic conditions. In a complicated regional context and with growing interest for EU and NATO cooperation, Turkey needs to heed the advice of its partners. Even if these complicated scoops related to Syria may be linked to something less benign than covering a story, the onus is entirely on governments to handle such things in a way compatible with both freedom standards and national security.
The Washington Post's Editorial: "Mr. Erdogan must free the two Cumhuriyet journalists and dozens of others held in prison in Turkey for nothing more than committing journalism and exercising free speech. These are not crimes."
 
New Times in Russia Fined and Hacked
2 February 2016
Russia’s New Times magazine has been hit with a state fine and a hacker attack on the day it published an investigation of president Vladimir Putin’s daughter. The state communications oversight agency on Monday issued a warning and a fine to the magazine, which was founded in 1943 and has been critical of the Kremlin in recent years, for an article in the January issue that mentioned the Ukrainian ultranationalist group Right Sector without noting that it is banned in Russia, RBC newspaper reported. A publication can be shut down if it receives two warnings in 12 months.
 
Social Media to Blame for Poor Elections Debates
1 February 2016
Bob Shieffer, veteran CBS journalist, blames social media for the state of today's campaigns in the US presidential elections. I enjoy his remarks, but have doubts. What do you think?
Jeff Patrick I blame the Internet in general. So much misinformation put out by everyone with access to computer, it's hard to tell what the facts really are.
CBS News' Bob Schieffer has covered every presidential election since 1968. But this one, he says, isn't like the rest.
 
Egyptian Cartoonist Arrested for Being on Facebook
31 January 2016
Egyptian security forces arrested on Sunday afternoon cartoonist Islam Gawish for reportedly operating a "Facebook page and news website without permission.”
Mr Gawish was arrested Sunday afternoon for operating a website without permission, authorities said. However, his official Facebook page and lawyer claim he was arrested for an anti-regime cartoon, AhramOnline reported.
 
Argentina’s New Media Policy to Choke Competition
28 January 2016
Mauricio Macri, the president of Argentina elected last fall does not have a pro-market policy. What he implements is an anti-competition policy, which does not encourage competition but prevents it, Martin Becerra said in an interview in LaPoliticaOnline. He warns that the Clarin Group will again try to enter the telecom market, which was the reason for the war that the group had with the Kirchner administration that rules Argentina until 2015.
 
Twitter Exodus Begins
25 January 2016
Twitter exodus begins as five top executives depart overnight. Shakeup comes as new CEO Jack Dorsey tries to make Twitter exciting again.
Late on Sunday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey confirmed that four of the company's top executives will be departing. Additionally, the head of Vine—Twitter's short-form video sharing service--is also leaving the company, to rejoin Google. The exodus, it would seem, has begun.
 
Politicians and Journalists Least Trusted in UK
22 January 2016
Isabel Taylor Retweeted Tim Montgomerie
MPs always rank badly in these - most people have voted for someone else & are predisposed not to trust opponent.
Politicians at bottom of truth telling league table - from today's @timesredbox
 
New Romanian Portal Pays US$ 5 Cent per Article
19 January 2016
Job offer at Radio Stil Romania: “we pay RON 0.2 (US$ 0.5) per article”. No, it’s not a bad joke, it’s Romania. Radio Stil Romania. Remember. (translated from Romanian)
 
Digital Killed Half of the Fortune 500 Companies
17 January 2016
 has only just begun - 's Pierre Nanterme, via   

Digital disruption is at the heart of all the conversations I have with CEOs today. And this is not surprising, as it presents the most significant threats and opportunities any of us have faced in business.
When assessing the implications, consider the fact that that new digital business models are the principal reason why just over half of the names of companies on the Fortune 500 have disappeared since the year 2000. And yet, we are only at the beginning of what the World Economic Forum calls the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” characterized not only by mass adoption of digital technologies but by innovations in everything from energy to biosciences.
 
Argentina: New Media Policy
14 January 2016
Restoration. Analysis of the new policy of media and telecommunications of M. Macri in Argentina.
I'm surprised, negatively to myself, that to so many readers you sound so clear, and I, on the other hand, find it very difficult to understand. Unlike countries with totalitarian states and hubs, media in democracies have a classic first and main objective: the profit. Without profit they can't exist. And the profit comes from advertising, the public and private (sources). And the advertising is paid if the means of communication are selling it. And the means of communication sells if people buy it (in the broad sense). And people buy it if they are interested in their content. I agree on the harmfulness of the monopolies. But I can't explain how to legislate on the preferences of the citizen. (translated from Spanish
 
Local Radios Fire Staff in Mexico
13 January 2016
What was the point of the reform in telecommunications? Now the government wants to eliminate the indigenous forms of communication such as radio. “So far we have received direct information of redundancies in the radios of Yucatán, Campeche, Quintana Roo, Veracruz, Chiapas and one of Oaxaca, and according to some media dismissals include 50 % of the workers of these radios at the national level. After this remain virtually dismantled broadcasters with small personnel.” (translated from Spanish)
 
Sri Lanka’s RTI Act: The Strongest in the World
16 December 2015
The Sri Lankan Cabinet has approved a draft Right to Information (RTI) Act which, if passed into law, would be among the strongest in the world. Although Sri Lanka is a relative latecomer in this area – being the only country in South Asia apart from Bhutan that has yet to adopt an RTI law – an assessment of the draft Act by the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) gives it a score of 120 out of a possible 150 points on the RTI Rating, which would make it the seventh strongest law in the world. At the same time, CLD’s Analysis points to a number of areas where further improvements are recommended.