Magazine Author

Our ongoing selection of journalism and media news.

  • 15 November 2012 | {CATEGORY}

    Publishers, Searching for Profits, Look to Google

    The Google tax can be seen as a contrived idea that could only catch on because a majority of the political establishment does not yet understand the economics of the Internet. At the same time, it is way too chummy with publishers and editors-in-chief. Is the drive for the Google tax a classic backroom lobbying effort attempting to secure an undeserved windfall profit and to rein in new competiti
  • 16 August 2012 | {CATEGORY}

    Eight Ways the EU Can Help Journalism

    Eight well-considered ideas for Neelie Kroes and the European Commission to help burst the "Brussels Bubble," improve media pluralism and better connect EU citizens. Have more ideas, or contributions to these? Add your own in the comments!
  • 18 November 2011 | {CATEGORY}

    A critical mass for Public Service Media freedom in South East Europe

    To say, it were an uphill struggle to provide Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) in South East Europe, would be an understatement. “The situation is somewhere between a headache and a nightmare”, one director-general said at a recent seminar in Sarajevo on the transformation from state to public broadcasting in South East Europe. What are the challenges facing PSB in the region and how can regional and international cooperation be stimulated?
  • 27 October 2011 | {CATEGORY}

    The EU, its neighbours, and journalism revolution

    Among many others, one of the challenges faced by post-revolutionary countries concerns journalism and the media. Free, pluralistic, and responsible media are a prerequisite of a functioning democracy, and they require, in turn, a base of qualified contributors – professional journalists and citizen stakeholders alike. Yet to achieve this is anything but simple.
  • 2 February 2011 | {CATEGORY}

    Why I want my newspaper to go out of business

    Curious about the future of print media? Get the scoop here!
  • 27 October 2010 | {CATEGORY}

    The EU’s digital agenda (part II): Megalomania or jack of all trades?

    This article is the second of a two-part report on the Digital Agenda Stakeholders Day, an event held by the European Commission in Brussels on 25 October 2010. The report looks at some of the overarching issues that most areas of information and communication technology (ICT) have in common, and puts the EU's digital agenda into its political context.
  • 20 October 2010 | {CATEGORY}

    The EU’s digital agenda (part I): What is at stake?

    This article is the first of a two-part report on the Digital Agenda Stakeholders Day, an event held by the European Commission in Brussels on 25 October 2010. Part one looks at some of the overarching issues that most areas of information and communication technology (ICT) have in common. Part two (published Wednesday 27 October, 2010) will put the EU's Digital Agenda into its political context, and will include a review of the actual Stakeholders Day event.
  • 6 September 2010 | {CATEGORY}

    Redefining democracy: A job for eurocrats?

    Austrian writer Robert Menasse recently spent time at the EU institutions in Brussels on a research trip for a new novel that will be set in Europe in the year 2030. Formerly rather critical of the EU, the experience has led him to substantially change his mind. He says that it is not a lack of democratic legitimacy that impedes the European Union, but that Europe's democracy has a major construct
  • 11 June 2010 | {CATEGORY}

    A primer on EU funding for NGOs

    Gaining access to European Union financing is a scientific discipline in its own right, one many kinds of European NGOs might be interested in mastering. The EJC's business developer, Eric Karstens, shares his insights in this overview of the various kinds of contracts the EU awards.
  • 25 March 2010 | {CATEGORY}

    German media stakeholders discuss regulations for commercial TV in an Internet era

    At a meeting of the German Association of State Media Authorities, the Internet and roles of public and private media featured in a discussion on how to regulate news programmes on commercial television platforms. The role of the Internet and society's behaviour on the platform was analysed as keynote speaker Viktor Mayer-Schönberger discussed the role of broadcastors - both private and public - in working to improve the media literacy of the general public. This kind of education can be seen as "the new regulation," Mayer-Schönberger has said.
  • 22 March 2010 | {CATEGORY}

    German regulators consider micromanaging news on commercial TV

    German media regulators could do many things: crusade for quality in commercial programming in general, go after violations of human dignity in the media more effectively, step up their efforts in media education, and become strong advocates of net neutrality and open access to information as well as technology. But micro-managing news in private television, as considered in a position paper earlier this month, would mean missing out once more on an opportunity to modernise German media regulation.
  • 10 March 2010 | {CATEGORY}

    Experimental Europe: Dealing with FP7 complexities

    The FP7 programme and application process are so immensely complicated and difficult that it basically takes a dedicated FP7 expert to identify the appropriate call and to draft a proposal match the strict format and eligibility criteria officially prescribed for it. Potential applicants unfamiliar with the intricacies of FP7 nomenclature might also be easily confused trying to find the appropriate call. If you are into nuclear energy, it is pretty obvious you should go for Euratom funding, but it is otherwise not at all self-evident whether your proposition will best match calls under “Cooperation”, “Ideas”, “People”, “Capacities”, or any of the plethora of specific (and occasionally puzzling) categories and their numerous sub-categories. To make matters worse, all of the above are usually referred to strictly by their acronyms only, leaving FP7 novices puzzled and desperate. Just try and find the respective explanations on the European Union's websites.
  • 2 March 2010 | {CATEGORY}

    Experimental Europe: Why some FP7 research projects fall short

    The European Union disburses more than 7 billion euro a year for research. Multi-annual Framework Programmes for Research (FPs) play a role in these EU efforts to step up innovation and competitiveness by co-funding specific projects rather than the mere operation of universities and labs. Every few months, the European Commission publishes thematic calls on EU-endorsed research priorities, encouraging universities and industry as well as small- and medium-sized enterprises to form consortia and generate concrete proposals. Research efforts throughout the continent have long been virtually unthinkable without this substantial support. However, funding programmes and application procedures are also very complex and demanding.
  • 9 December 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    KPN considers crowds, social media for reputation management

    If I were a corporate communications manager, I would start a few pilot projects, as KPN has done on a large internal scale, or engage in a Facebook group pertinent to my field of professional interest. When EU blogger Jon Worth spoke at a European Association of Communication Directors event in Brussels, he quoted an encouraging experience with – of all entities – the European Commission's London Representation. The office responded to a question of his via Twitter within an hour, just in time so he could use the answer in a radio interview he was doing immediately after. Wow.
  • 30 November 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Media welcome comments, but journalists ignore the crowds

    Obviously, journalism is supposed to be done in the public interest. But what about journalism research? A need for a big picture affords an opportunity for journalism science. At a gathering at Winterhur, Switzerland, a group of sceptical academics discussed journalism critical research, including a critical examination of comments sections of various European newspapers. Journalists, it seems, are not listening to what their audiences are saying.
  • 25 November 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    How Internet structure affects content pluralism

    The collateral effects two overarching Internet trends are important to track. The first, search engine optimisation, has prompted an abundance of available content and made it easier to retrieve historical material from trusted quality sources. A decrease in peer-to-peer traffic on the Internet, though, is means that the web is becoming less decentralised. Music companies, TV stations and the like make their content freely available not for download, but to listen to or watch online. In such a way, they manage to retain control over their products while making money through subscriptions and advertising.
  • 17 November 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    End of days for commercial TV?

    A pity though it may be, the days of linear broadcast television are numbered.Pekka Karhuvaara, the CEO of Finnish MTV Media, said Second Annual Conference of the Association of Commercial Television in Europe: “TV and Internet is a marriage made in heaven.”He may be wrong about their relationship. The Internet is the next generation, not an equal partner.The Second Annual Conference of the Assoc
  • 11 November 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    ZDFneo: New spur for German public TV

    Nationwide German public broadcaster ZDF recently announced the relaunch of one of its digital channels. The new offering, to be on air from November 2009, is called ZDFneo, thus epitomising the channel's intention. And there is a lot about ZDF that needs to be updated indeed.
  • 29 October 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Brussels: Exile or Opportunity for German Politicians?

    The southwest German state of Baden-Württemberg has about the same population as Belgium, and is considered one of the major drivers of the German economy. Its outgoing Prime Minister, christian democrat Günther Oettinger, might not be a bad choice to fill the role of a European Commissioner. But is he going willingly and will he return to a top job like Frattini and Mandelson?
  • 26 October 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    The Curriculum Trap: Future-proofing Youth Media and Education

    On 15 and 16 October, 2009, the EJC hosted yet another conference in its Innovation series, titled Innovations in Youth Media and Next Generation Classroom, and I was kindly invited to moderate the Maastricht event. Here are some conclusions I drew, loosely based on my wrap-up remarks at the end of the first conference day.
  • 8 September 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Rebuilding ambition in television

    At this year's Edinburgh International Television Festival, the CEO of RTL Group, Gerhard Zeiler, gave a speech about the current state of Europe's commercial television industry. He summed up the situation early in his address: “We have to face up to the fact that the heady days of the television industry that we've all known and loved, are gone at least for a while.” Rather than looking excitedly at overnight audience ratings and profits, Zeiler said, media managers today are fixated on maintaining the ability to pay back debts and stay in business.
  • 26 August 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Gamescom 2009: Instant everything and the addictive potential of marriage

    Concerns about youth protection topped the agenda at a recent gaming industry trade fair in Cologne. Germany has the strictest screening measures with its own body of experts who actually try the game in order to obtain a thorough impression. But neither this body, the USK, or the business sector's self-imposed system of PEGI ratings, apply to games available online in the form of browser games or illicit download. Panelists at the one-day event discussed this sorry situation as well as how to move to open systems and easy interoperability instead of usage restrictions and prohibitive rights management.
  • 5 August 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    The truth about Marika: Lie or Gesamtkunstwerk?

    Crossing the boundaries of conventional media categories and integrating them into one single interconnected experience is all the rage in show business – a bit like what the German intellectuals call a Gesamtkunstwerk, a synthesis of different art forms. But cross-media projects are often contrived proofs of concept rather than a truly entertaining and inspiring experience. In Sweden, a 2007 cross-media project called The Truth About Marika proved to be a big success. But two years later, there have not been any follow-ups. Why might that be?
  • 31 July 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Digital TV in shackles

    Once upon a time, TV engineers and the broadcasting industry strove to make watching the tube an ever better experience for the mass audience they coveted. Not anymore. Under the pressure of the Internet, several economic crises, dwindling advertising revenues, growing competition, and a demand for higher profit margins, the TV industry has moved from providing luxury goods to becoming a cheap supplier.
  • 18 June 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Media Pluralism Monitor unveiled

    How do you determine whether regulations for diversity in public broadcasting are successfully implemented? Or whether a self-regulatory body in the printed press performs well? How do you decide which kind of political influence on media outlets is undue and was not sufficiently warded off by owners or editorial staff? A new media pluralism monitor aims to answer these questions and more.
  • 10 June 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    The Internet: Tool of tyranny or democracy?

    Professor Helge Rønning calls the Internet “the most perfect surveillance machine of all time”. In Western countries, control of online communication is being massively extended as a matter of routine. Meanwhile, the governments of Tunisia, Yemen, China, among others, are perfecting their crackdown on the Internet in a fashion that approaches George Orwell's dark prophecies. Tunisia, for example, was reported to block some 200 websites each day and to exercise complete control of Internet access, web surfing, and email. China even exports its know-how for web censorship to like-minded countries, as one participant observed.
  • 4 June 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Journalism under friendly fire?

    The Global Forum on Freedom of Expression 2009 portrayed journalists as heroes, defending truth and an open public sphere under conditions of severe political oppression. Yet they were also criticised for sloppy research, being sensationalistic, and sticking to a black-and-white or simply commercial rationale.
  • 14 May 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Science communication gets savvy

    The new communication ecosystem could facilitate a slightly different co-operation between Europe's scientific and the journalistic communities, or at least prevent further misunderstandings.
  • 6 May 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    The benign ecology of Public Broadcasting

    Imagine that one day you wake up and public broadcasting is gone – would you miss anything? It is probably not an easy question, depending on the country you live in, the quality, diversity, governance and cost of its respective public broadcasting system, your personal media habits, or whether you prefer radio or television. But it is quite an essential question. It came up at a conference on the sidelines of this year's 2009 Rose d'Or festival...
  • 27 April 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Journalists become stakeholders in innovation systems

    The European Year of Creativity and Innovation, 2009, coincides with a deepening financial and economic crisis. Against this backdrop, the EJC organised a journalist's conference to provide the media with more and better opportunities to cover the subject area.
  • 6 February 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    European Institute of Technology: The tapas principle

    If the EIT manages to establish a scientific tapas culture, it could become a success. Pulling autonomous entities together in a few selected locations could create a gravitational force attracting all kinds of researchers and independent experts to work on a loose range of topics.
  • 2 February 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    European Institute of Technology: KIC(K)starting innovation or networking itself to death?

    Is a complicated international consortium the best way for Europe to address the future information and communication society?
  • 14 October 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Clairvoyance and scandal at the 2008 German Television Awards Ceremony

    An unfortunate yet not entirely singular case of, well, journalistic clairvoyance malfunction, brought about by the pressures of real-time reporting and by cost-cutting in news organisations.
  • 8 September 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Of webwashers and enablers: Multimedia Semantics Conference in Crete

    Automated detection of meaningful interconnections between data can make human work easier and inspire new ways of looking at and interpreting information, a group of scientists, students and media professionals saw in Greece last week.
  • 5 September 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Reshaping the American television market

    While American television industry incumbents have stabilised their position, the advertising industry has been slower to adapt. A look at recent changes in the American television market.
  • 3 September 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Challenges of the European Neighbourhood Policy: Three

    The final piece of this three-part analysis of the European Neighbourhood Policy, a special programme for countries outside but geographically or otherwise close to the European Union, looks at power issues and the challenges of practically implementing it.
  • 21 August 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Challenges of the European Neighbourhood Policy: Two

    Continued analysis of the challenges of the European Neighbourhood Policy, one of the more recent and still emerging policy initiatives of the European Union.
  • 13 August 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    German mobile TV a non-starter

    After an endless preparation phase and numerous unkept launch dates, German mobile TV is now rumored to be terminated before it even really started. Allegedly, the companies involved are looking for a face-saving exit strategy. This is hardly surprising, because the commercial players' business optimism was neither matched by an appropriate regulatory environment, nor a clear as to what kind of content should be distributed. The finishing blow to the project might now have been dealt, rather surprisingly, by the consumer electronics industry.
  • 13 August 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Challenges of the European Neighbourhood Policy: One

    Examining the internal contradictions of the ENP.
  • 23 July 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    New media and social change in the Arab and Muslim world

    Emergent transnational satellite television channels and the Internet increasingly affect politics, the public sphere, and the daily lives of Arab and Muslim people. This is, as Daniela Conte from the Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca, Italy, pointed out, a mostly unintentional result of the technological modernisation. Keeping up or catching up, respectively, with world standards of communication infrastructure, Arab and Muslim nations could not help but at the same time create opportunities for the distribution and exchange of news and opinion that did not exist before.
  • 25 June 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Part two: Future user guidance in television and online video

    We must no longer leave the field of Electronic Programme Guides – or of any form of user guidance, for that matter – to the consumer electronics industry, to the boadcasters, or to cable and satellite companies with their respective particular interests. On the contrary. User guidance in audiovisual media is a genuine task of the free press. It depends on variety, choice, and expert judgements.
  • 24 June 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Future user guidance in television and online video

    For the last few years, printed TV guides have been continuously dropping in circulation. This is not surprising. What we need is a diversity of impartial guides out of which consumers can choose freely and without technological difficulties, and a sensible combination of machine-generated automatic recommendations and human editorial input.
  • 4 June 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Globalised business and the limits of media regulation

    The German state media authorities have published the study on the influence of financial investors on the media. The authors explain in detail how financial investors work and take a close look at a representative number of case studies from Germany and other countries in order to determine typical strategies of hedge funds and private equity.
  • 8 May 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    German Public Broadcasters try to defuse Public Value Test

    German pubcasters are engaging in a kind of trench warfare in a desperate attempt to secure their status quo which is under attack from many sides. And now, as a new law is about to deliver them a golden opportunity to innovate and enhance the public's attention and appreciation for their real and future value, they are trying to nip it in the bud.
  • 14 April 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Barking up the wrong tree: Quality in commercial television

    German politician Franz Müntefering, former head of the Social Democratic Party, a few years ago coined the expression that hedge funds and private equity investors behave like swarms of locusts – buying good companies, squeezing them for all they are worth, and subsequently leaving them for bankruptcy or in a zombie-like existence. As catchy as metaphors can be, Müntefering's dictum has since then become the leitmotif of a sometimes hysterical debate concerning virtually any kind of foreign or financial investor in Germany.
  • 3 April 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Private equity investors in German media

    The association of the German state media authorities (DLM) in March convened a group of experts and policy makers in Berlin to debate whether and how the intention of yielding profit from television channels might compromise the quality of programme content and the public value required from the media. I will examine what was talked about regarding the behaviour of financial investors and other European countries' efforts to safeguard public value in broadcasting.
  • 19 March 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    The German TV market as seen from abroad

    Public value is not appreciated until it is lost. Journalism professor Johanna Haberer used this rather pessimistic motif on 13 March to open a Berlin Conference that examined the effects of an ever more commercialised television landscape. The association of the German state media authorities (DLM) invited about 250 representatives of media organisations and journalists to the high-level meeting. In a short series of articles I will examine what was discussed in Berlin.
  • 27 February 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    UGC: News with street cred?

    I was invited to take part in two weekend panels at the International Youth Service of the Federal Republic of Germany in Berlin. The international conference concerned itself with the current challenges of reaching young people with news, educational offers and other purposes of youth work. The first panel in which I participated discussed the role of professionals and users in the process of generating content. The other probed into the function of mobile communication for youth work.
  • 31 January 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Broadcasting regulations to govern online video?

    “In the hangman's house one should not talk about the noose,” quipped Norbert Schneider, director of the North Rhine-Westphalian media authority, at a 28 January meeting in Düsseldorf.He then proceeded to do so.
  • 29 January 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Risk management in media policy: Balancing stakeholders

    When the EU's Directorate-General for Information Society and Media commissioned a study to explore a risk-based approach to media pluralism, they have put into motion a process that could thoroughly upset the media policies and media regulation measures to which we are accustomed.
  • 17 January 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Risk management in media policy: Dealing with complexity

    The search for an innovative foundation of media regulation spanning all 27 member states of the EU has recently prompted the European Commission to initiate a study on media pluralism based on the concept of risk management. This is the fourth in a series of articles exploring the motivation for this endeavour and the practical conditions of its actual implementation. Here we will examine how existing risk management theory can contribute to the governance of media landscapes.
  • 11 January 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Risk management in media policy: The challenges of diversity

    The third in a series of articles written on the occasion of a study ordered by the European Commission in December. The study, which is supposed to define indicators for media pluralism from a risk-based point of view, might very well affect the fundaments of media laws across the continent. This article will focus on why such change is considered necessary or desirable at all.
  • 7 January 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Risk management in media policy: The context of EU politics

    Regulation is one of the cornerstones of risk management in modern society. It imposes and enforces rules on different aspects of public and private life, on business and political actions. The intention of regulatory activities is normally, of course, to either benefit the entire society or to protect and assist groups whose rights would otherwise be infringed. But at the same time regulation frequently also runs the risk of hampering new or collateral developments which may actually turn out to be desirable.
  • 3 January 2008 | {CATEGORY}

    Risk management in media policy

    The EU Directorate-General for Information Society and Media in December commissioned a study titled Indicators for media pluralism in the Member States – towards a risk-based approach. Behind this is a pretty ambitious objective: The European Union would like to come up with no less than a universal mechanism to make sure that the news media effectively support the public sphere while not being at odds with either commercial freedom or the diverse national media landscapes.
  • 20 November 2007 | {CATEGORY}

    Service-neutral air waves in Europe

    Over the last few weeks, Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media, has further elaborated on her policy objectives concerning the regulation of the telecommunications sector in Europe. Among other statements, she said that air frequencies should become service-neutral, and thus caused an outcry by the television and radio broadcasting establishment.
  • 12 November 2007 | {CATEGORY}

    German broadcasting in a crisis of meaning

    Out of the 7,000 participants and more than 500 speakers at this year's Munich Media Days, it took comedian Oliver Kalkofe to put the subliminal feeling of general cluelessness and perplexity into words: Fewer and fewer Germans, he said in his keynote, are voluntarily watching TV anymore.
  • 1 November 2007 | {CATEGORY}

    Public money for commercial broadcasters?

    According to newspaper reports, the commercial broadcaster's lobby organisation in Germany, VPRT, has started thinking about demanding a share of the public broadcasting fee. The rationale behind this idea is that private television and radio have the occasional programme that minds the public interest – however rare though it may be.
  • 25 October 2007 | {CATEGORY}

    The public broadcasting license fee and public value

    In a 33-page statement, the German Constitutional Court ruled that the freedom of public service broadcasters is infringed upon as soon as politicians and governments interfere with the process of determining the price level of the mandatory license fee to be paid for Germany's extensive public broadcasting system. This was a slap in the face of the state governments, which the last time when the broadcasters applied for a raise, just did not follow through and cut a percentage of the demanded increase.
  • 8 October 2007 | {CATEGORY}

    News and commercial TV

    Is respectable, serious news at all compatible with commercial television? German politicians recently had a rude awakening, when the new owners of one of the country's two major private TV chains, ProSiebenSAT.1, cut back journalistic staff, got rid of their news anchor, and removed a couple of information programmes (actually, they were more like tabloid formats) from the schedule. Not that this came as a real surprise to anyone but the politicians.
  • 8 October 2007 | {CATEGORY}

    Content for ageing audiences

    There is a lot of discussion going on about media aging with their audiences and the media outlets therefore frantically trying to make programmes and other contents for ever young people in order to rejuvenate their audiences. There are a few things to be said about that. There is absolutely nothing wrong with catering to target groups above the age of 50.
  • 20 June 2007 | {CATEGORY}

    Politicians pontificate on media theory

    Chancellor Angela Merkel and EU Commissioner Viviane Reding visited Cologne, Germany, to discuss their respective views of media policy in a European context.
  • 12 May 2007 | {CATEGORY}

    Broadcasting to a younger public

    How to entice younger audiences to watch public service television at all and at the same time to get them interested in political and social affairs?
  • 28 March 2007 | {CATEGORY}

    Digital road signs for German public service television

    As it frequently happens, the annual Mainz conference on television issues (Mainzer Tage der Fernsehkritik), organised by and taking place on the premises of Germany's largest pubcaster, allowed for watching politics in the making.