By Marius Dragomir 15 October 2017
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
Gartner Takes Over CEB
Facebook News Index North America
1 October 2017 By Kerry Meyerhoff
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.
25 September 2017 By Francesca Fanucci
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?
15 September 2017
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 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.
3 August 2017 By Marius Dragomir
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.
Facebook News Index Asia
17 July 2017 By Urmas Loit
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.
15 June 2017
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.
4 June 2017 By TechBrain
The companies chosen to build the EU-funded data collection system for Romania’s intelligence agency are hardly the cleanest.
In late May 2017, the Romanian Information Service (SRI), Romania’s intelligence agency, selected the companies that will run the controversial SII Analytics project, which IT and surveillance experts described as a Big Brother-like data hoarding system. The winner of the contract is a consortium with Siveco Romania in the driver’s seat, Nova Tech Integrated Solutions as partner, and Romsoft International and BAE Systems as subcontractors, according to information from the SRI.
By Marius Dragomir
26 May 2017 UPDATED 5 May 2019
For ten years, the Russian government has built media across eastern Europe. They are becoming a fearsome player in the region’s media market.
Last March, far-right British activist Jim Dowson told the Guardian that the website Patriotic News Agency, which he had launched in July 2016 to spread pro-Trump propaganda, has bases in Hungary and Serbia. He said that other such platforms are also based there.
4 May 2017 By Urmas Loit
The appointment of a high government official in the body that governs Estonia’s public broadcaster is opening a can of worms. He promises to keep his two hats apart - but some people don’t trust him.
On 3 May 2017, Riigikogu, Estonia’s parliament, appointed Paavo Nogene to the post of Chancellor of the Ministry of Culture, who is the second highest official in the ministry, in the council of the Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR). Mr Nogene was appointed thanks to his credentials as an “expert.” The reshuffling included the appointment of three new ERR council members. This was a regular move, given the fact that the terms of three former council members, all appointed because they qualify as experts, had expired.
1 May 2017 By Marius Dragomir
Open society media camp has lost the information war with the often inarticulate, yet vociferous, populist lot. To gain back the trust of the masses, they have to learn a more popular language.
“If a Republican acted like me and ran for office, it’d be a movement. Donald Trump has proven me right. People are tired of pussies.”
It was not the first time Mike Cernovich, the Southern California-based founder of the blog Danger & Play, was sharing such a contentious opinion online. The tweet, posted in the summer of 2015, was both a premonition (about Mr Trump’s rise to America’s presidency) and a telltale sign of the new generation of influencers in the country's political discourse.
18 April 2017 By Primavera Tellez Giron G.
Interview with award-winning investigative journalist Marcela Turati, Marcela Turati is an investigative journalist who specializes in covering the impact of Mexican drug war on society.
Marcela Turati also has experience in human rights activism, and she reports on poverty and marginalized groups. She has been vocal against the murders and exile of journalists in Mexico. Ms Turati works for Proceso, a leading news weekly in Mexico. She co-founded Periodistas de a Pie (Journalists on Foot), an outfit dedicated to training journalists to improve the quality of their journalism and to defend freedom of expression.
15 April 2017 By TechBrain
Internet companies and telcos are not particularly good at disclosing policies on freedom of expression and privacy. On a long-term basis, this could dent their sales.
Last summer, as electoral debates were heating up in America, anti-Hillary voters in possession of iPhones could find a facetious method to vent their fury against the Democratic candidate for how negligently she handled her emails. HillAwry, a game developed by John Matze from Base10 company, was made available by Apple on its iPhones. The goal of the game was “to collect as much money through email donations as possible while maintaining a decent approval rating in the polls.”
5 April 2017
Interview with Helena Bengtsson of the Guardian in Britain, previously the database editor at Sveriges Television, Sweden’s national television broadcaster.
Helena Bengtsson is the editor of data projects at the Guardian newspaper in London, United Kingdom. She previously worked as the database editor at Sveriges Television, Sweden’s national television broadcaster. In 2006 and 2007, she was the database editor at the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C. She has been awarded the Stora Journalistpriset (Great Journalism Award) in Sweden twice, in 2010 for Valpejl.se and in 2016 for Innovator of the Year.
31 March 2017
Our MENA Facebook Index shows an exceptional news appetite, but also room for further growth in the Arab world.
28 March 2017
Hungarian government is poised to shut down the Central European University (CEU), George Soros’ key asset in the country.
The Ministry of Human Capacities in Budapest announced today that a number of universities are operating “illegally” in Hungary. Its representatives said that the government found “irregularities” in the operations of several foreign universities that operate in Hungary.
23 March 2017 By Aino Kivela
The world’s telecom and internet behemoths are far from being transparent when it comes to users’ privacy. It’s time for them to improve.
The world’s most powerful telecommunications, internet, and mobile companies are mostly failing at informing consumers about their rights, according to Ranking Digital Rights Corporate Accountability Index.
13 March 2017 By Francesca Fanucci
Italian lawmakers have reacted to the spread of fake news and misinformation with an authoritarian law. Far from solving the problem, though, it in fact creates even more.
A new strain of meningitis brought in by African immigrants ravages the country. Members of parliament pass a law setting up a “crisis fund” for their survival if they can’t find a job after completing their mandate. The icing on the cake: the Prime Minister urges Italians to “stop whining and start making sacrifices”.
8 February 2017
Today, we released Facebook Index Africa, which ranks Africa-based news media according to how much of the local Facebook markets they control.
Big Boys on the Block
The African Facebook market is highly concentrated. Unlike other continents, Africa has a fair amount of dominant news outlets. More than 100 news outlets in our Facebook Index reach at least ten readers in their national market. The continent also boasts ten news media platforms with a score of over 50, meaning a reach of over half of the Facebook population in the markets they’re targeting.