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A Dim Future Approaches for Objective Reporting in Slovakia

The management of RTVS, Slovakia’s public broadcaster, is poised to turn the station into a political enterprise. The recent cancellation of the station’s sole investigative journalism program is part of that strategy.
By Marius Dragomir
15 January 2018

The Twitter Savvy News Media in Latin America

 

In Latin America, the Twitter news market is in the hands of the big nations such as Mexico and Brazil. When it comes to truly effective news operations, though, smaller markets like Uruguay lead the pack. One nation though scores big in both size and effectiveness; and that is Colombia.

15 December 2017

Controlling the Message in Romania to Lock up the Election in Hungary

The Hungarian government gobbles up media wherever its citizens live. With the recent expansion into Romania’s media, their control over the electorate is nearing completion.
 

Facebook News Media: The Heroes and Zeros

One would expect the richer western newsrooms to be more agile in commanding online audiences; however, it is news outlets in less developed markets that are far more effective in capturing audiences on Facebook, according to our newly released in

Catalan Referendum: Si Democracia, Yes for Chaos

Madrid failed to show sympathy for, or pay enough attention to, Catalunya. That cost them dearly.

Red and yellow striped flags, emblazoned with the blue star of independence, hang from one in every ten balconies, and are draped on the backs of passersby in the streets. The slogan “Si democracia” is stamped on buildings, street signs and even spray painted onto the roads.
 
Thousands upon thousands of campaign posters urging people to vote have been plastered to all public buildings, only to be torn down by the police and re-pasted up the next day. It is the night before 1 October 2017, and the whole city is waiting with bated breath for what comes next.
 

Facebook’s Fake News Fighters Punish Italian Satirical Website

A popular satire website in Italy found out what happens when Facebook loses its sense of humor: they see fake news everywhere.
 
Publishing under the slogan “The filth that makes the news”, Lercio is a fabled multi-award-winning website of satirical news in Italy. 
 
In its early days, some of Lercio’s stories were taken as truth and shared by the mainstream press. However, soon the name Lercio (Italian for “dirt”) appearing alongside as the source of the news became a renowned synonym of virulent satire, to the point that nowadays the expression “Is this Lercio?” has become common use amongst Italians whenever they read or view any scarcely credible news in the mainstream media.
 
But what happens when satire lampooning people or institutions fails to be perceived as such, even by the social media and ends up being treated as misleading “fake news”? More importantly, how exactly do social media draw a distinction between pungent satire and mere trolling?

Facebook News Media: Who Is Winning in Asia?

Chinese and Indian news media command millions of followers on Facebook - but it is in the much tinier Myanmar where news media is really effective?
 
Today, we released the Facebook Index Asia-Pacific, which measures news outlets in this part of the world based on the number of their followers reported to the size of their local market.
 
The news media market on Facebook in the Asia-Pacific region is extremely vibrant. Only two media outlets score more than 100 in the Index in Asia-Pacific, which is a low score compared to, say, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region where we have 17 such news outlets. However, that is explained by the homogeneity of the MENA market, where nations are united by the common use of Arabic. It is not the case in Asia, one of the most diverse continents, an amalgam of language markets, foreign influences and cultures.

Cambodia Daily: Sudden Death, Khmer Style

Cambodia Daily is shutting down operations after nearly a quarter-century in business. An outright dictatorship is on the horizon.
5 September 2017
By Norina Solomon
The journalists of Cambodia Daily newspaper delivered their last piece of investigative journalism on 4 September 2017. The last edition of the newspaper went out with a bang featuring a story under the headline “Descent Into Outright Dictatorship.”
 
A front page story covered the arrest of Kim Sokha, the Cambodian opposition party leader. Mr Sokha was arrested at his house in the early hours of Sunday, 3 September 2017 under accusations of “treason”, namely his closeness to America.

Russian Television in Moldova: Winning Hearts and Minds

With blistering attacks on the west and extolling coverage of Russia’s head honchos, Russian TV channels are making inroads in Moldova’s media market.
 
In a 2011 film, the Marvel Comics character Captain America has a mission to stop the mastermind villain Red Skull from using an artifact called the Tesseract as a source of energy to dominate the world. Red Skull is a character depicted as the archenemy of Captain America, the patriotic super-soldier in the eponymous movie serial. Captain America is armed with a shield that is almost unbreakable. He uses it to fight his foes; and he always wins.
 
Substitute Captain America with the Russian president Vladimir Putin and Red Skull with a western country and you get a sliver of the Russian television diet in Moldova, an eastern European nation with a population of 3.5 million, sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine.
 

Estonian Daily Postimees: Journalists Ward off Ownership Meddling

Journalists at the biggest Estonian daily newspaper confront intrusive management.
 
“To our knowledge, for the first time in the history of Postimees, we are told about what [to write] and how we should write. It is prescribed to us whom to cover and with what degree of criticism,” the department heads of the Estonian daily newspaper Postimees wrote in a memo sent last March to the publication’s owner, Margus Linnamae, and its general manager, Sven Nuutmann.
 
Postimees is the largest and oldest daily in Estonia with 160 years of continuous publication. The letter was sent by journalists angered by the repeated practices of the newspaper’s general management to dictate about whom to write or not to write and even in what kind of tone, according to the memo, a draft version of which was intercepted by Eesti Rahvusringhaaling (ERR), Estonia’s public broadcaster.
 

The Big Facebook Boys in the Russian Commonwealth

Facebook is not particularly popular in the former Soviet Union space when it comes to news media. Outside Russia, though, Facebook news media from other CIS nations are steadily building a strong market.
 
Today, we release Facebook Index CIS/Russia, which measures news outlets in this region based on the number of their followers reported to the size of their local market.
 
The size of the Facebook market in the former Soviet Union space is strikingly small. The Facebook Universe in that part of the world totals some 20 million users. That is less than a fifth of the total combined population in the region. The low popularity of Facebook in the former Soviet Union region, particularly Russia, can to some extent be attributed to the solid position on these markets of Russia-originated social media such as Vkontakte, Odnoklassniki and Mail.ru (originally, an email service that is growing into a social hub). In 2016, Vkontakte alone had a total of some 100 million active users, according to data from the site.
 

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