Media News

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  • 31 January 2012 | Wall Street Journal

    US: Media innovation goes bicoastal

    A USD 30m gift from legendary editor Helen Gurley Brown will fund a joint program between Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and Stanford University's School of Engineering. The donation, announced Monday, establishes the David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation, a program with the purpose of bridging journalism and technology. Each school will receive USD 12m for the program to fund professorships and fellowships for students. In addition, Columbia will receive an additional USD 6m to fund a building renovation to create a high-tech newsroom for students at the journalism school's Morningside Heights campus. It is the largest gift in the history of the graduate school and represents a large step forward in efforts to advance digital journalism and marry technology and media, said Nicholas Lemann, dean of Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism. The gift is about two years in the making and represents an unusual collaboration between the two universities which was driven, specifically, by Ms. Brown's wishes. No other such bicoastal, cross-discipline institute exists, according to the university officials.
  • 31 January 2012 | Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union

    FM Radio in the Arab World 2012

    A new report from the consultancy Arab Advisors Group (AAG) gives a detailed picture of the FM radio stations landscape in the Arab World. The 85-page report provides a detailed analysis of the FM Radio regulations and landscape in 19 Arab countries - Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Yemen, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Palestine and Sudan. The report includes analysis and profiles of the main FM radio stations (private and state owned) in the region. The research reveals that 210 local government-owned FM radio stations broadcast in 14 Arab countries by December 2011, compared to 72 private radio stations. The report also analyses 7 regional radio stations that broadcast on FM frequencies in multiple countries. These regional stations raise the total number of FM radio stations to 289 in 14 Arab countries by end of 2011. Liberalization in several Arab countries was a key factor for the growth in private FM radio stations. Still, out of the 19 countries covered in the report, three do not allow private radio stations, namely: Qatar, UAE, and Yemen. Mauritania and Algeria allowed the licensing of private radio stations in 2011, however, by end of 2011, there were still no private radio stations broadcasting in these countries. In addition to the liberalization of the sector, the need to broadcast in multiple languages to cater for expatriates enhances the number of FM radio stations even in countries where private FM radio stations do not exist.
  • 31 January 2012 |

    Pirate Party to sue FBI for closing Megaupload file-sharing site

    The Pirate Party is planning to launch legal proceedings against the FBI in retaliation for shutting down Megaupload, a popular file-sharing site that has been accused of being a haven for pirated content. Megaupload was closed by the US Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation on 19 January and no content has been accessible since. A statement on claims that closure of Megaupload has impeded the access to millions of archives of non-infringing content, and accuses the FBI of violating Articles 197 and 198 of the Spanish Penal Code by misappropriating personal data. "The widespread damage caused by the sudden closure of Megaupload is unjustified and completely disproportionate to the aim intended," the statement said. "For this reason Pirates of Catalonia, in collaboration with Pirate Parties International and other Pirate Parties (including the Pirate Party of the UK), have begun investigating these potential breaches of law and will facilitate submission of complaints against the US authorities in as many countries as possible, to ensure a positive and just result." The web site allows users to add their support to the complaint by providing their details, including what type of membership they had to Megaupload.
  • 31 January 2012 | The Guardian

    Chinese dissident on trial after using Skype to send poem

    Chinese prosecutors cited a poem and messages sent on Skype in the trial of a dissident, his son and his lawyer said, in the latest case highlighting the Communist party's drive to silence political challengers. Veteran activist Zhu Yufu faced trial on Tuesday in Hangzhou, where police arrested him in April and charged him with "inciting subversion of state power", according to his lawyer, Li Dunyong. The court did not deliver its verdict straight away. But Zhu, 60, appears likely to follow other Chinese dissidents who have received stiff prison terms from the party-run judiciary on subversion charges. In Zhu's case, the prosecutors cited his poem, It's Time, as well as text messages he sent using the Skype online chat service, said Li. There was no suggestion Skype helped police to collect evidence, he said. "They took his computer away from his home and went through it," he said. "His internet contacts and password were saved on it, with automatic access, and when the police accessed it they could open the records of text messages saved on Skype. He had not erased the records." Skype's online telephone and messaging service has become popular among Chinese activists as a cheap and relatively secure way to communicate.
  • 31 January 2012 | Knight Center

    International writers condemn violence against journalists in Mexico

    “Mexico is a magical country where there are murders, but no murderers,” said the Mexican poet Homero Aridjis, protesting the rampant impunity in crimes against journalists during an international delegation of writers - including several Nobel laureates - organized by the group PEN International, held Sunday, Jan. 29, in Mexico City. The group, including Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa and Toni Morrison of the United States, took out a full-page ad in the El Universal newspaper that was signed by 170 writers and celebrated the bravery of journalists in Mexico, according to the Associated Press. Aridjis was one of more than a hundred writers, reporters and freedom of expression defenders who condemned the killing of 77 journalists in Mexico since 2000. The PEN international delegation of writers, aimed at showing solidarity with Mexico's reporters, was received by the U.S. ambassador in Mexico Mexico, Anthony Wayne, as well as Canadian writer John Ralston Saul, president of PEN International, reported Voz de America and the Latin American Herald Tribune.
  • 31 January 2012 | Observers France 24

    Tunisian newspaper publishes photoshopped image of protests

    Between 8,000 and 10,000 people protested in the streets of Tunis Saturday to denounce extremism and violence. But apparently that number wasn’t big enough for some. On its front page, the daily newspaper Le Maghreb published a photograph photoshopped to add more protesters to the crowd. Web-users proved the falsehood by pointing to sections of the crowd that were duplicated in other parts of the photograph. Le Maghreb, which has a reputation for being a serious left-leaning newspaper, is headed by Editor-in-Chief Zied Krichen, who was attacked by an extremist Islamist last week just outside a courthouse. Contacted by FRANCE 24, Krichen explained that the photographer digitally altered the image himself, and that Le Maghreb’s editors were unaware of this when the newspaper went to print. Krichen says a correction will run in the newspaper's Tuesday’s edition (it is not printed on Mondays).
  • 30 January 2012 | The Guardian

    Facebook set to file for flotation

    Facebook could fire the starting gun on the biggest-ever technology company flotation by filing papers for an initial public offering as early as next week. Morgan Stanley is close to being picked as the lead underwriter for the social networking firm's stock market listing, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The company is understood to be looking at a valuation of between USD 75bn and USD 100bn. Facebook is expected to offer a 10 percent stake, raising up to USD 10bn in an exercise which could also make millions in fees for banks and other advisers. The appointment of Morgan Stanley as lead book-runner would be a blow to Goldman Sachs, which was seen as the frontrunner after arranging a USD 1.5bn private offering of Facebook shares in January last year. The float would dwarf Google's 2004 listing, which is still the largest American internet stock market float. The search engine giant raised USD 1.9bn, based on a valuation for the entire company of USD 23bn. Expectations of an imminent filing with the US securities and exchange commission, the precursor to any public offering, have been high since Wednesday, when Facebook suspended trading of its shares on the private secondary market.
  • 30 January 2012 | BBC News

    European Parliament rapporteur quits in Acta protest

    Negotiations over a controversial anti-piracy agreement have been described as a "masquerade" by a key Euro MP. Kader Arif, the European Parliament's rapporteur for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (Acta), resigned over the issue on Friday. He said he had witnessed "never-before-seen manoeuvres" by officials preparing the treaty. On Thursday, 22 EU member states signed the agreement. The treaty still needs to be ratified by the European Parliament before it can be enacted. A debate is scheduled to take place in June. Mr Arif criticised the efforts to push forward with the measures ahead of those discussions taking place. "I condemn the whole process which led to the signature of this agreement: no consultation of the civil society, lack of transparency since the beginning of negotiations, repeated delays of the signature of the text without any explanation given, reject of Parliament's recommendations as given in several resolutions of our assembly." Mr Arif's decision to stand down follows protests by campaigners in Poland. Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets after the agreement was signed. The treaty has caused controversy since an early discussion paper was published by Wikileaks in 2008 - two years after negotiations first began. The details were subsequently confirmed in 2010.
  • 30 January 2012 | Rapidtvnews

    South Africa rules against pornography on TV

    Pornography has no place on pay-TV in South Africa, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has ruled. The decision comes following the application by the owners of the Top TV satellite platform, On Digital Media, to launch three sexually explicit subscription-only channels. Jubie Matlou, spokesman for Icasa, said the regulator weighed up all the submissions and decided that women's right to dignity outweighed TopTV's right to freedom of expression, and the rights of viewers to receive pornography on television. He added that documentation of the reasons would follow within 30 days. TopTV applied to launch Playboy Europe, Private Spice and Adult XXX to paying subscribers in July 2011. It had planned to air the channels earlier this January prior to Icasa's decision, but a court interdict prevented the move. Icasa received 13 written submissions on the application and held public hearings for oral submissions, which ran until 16 January.
  • 30 January 2012 | Deutsche Welle

    Legal battles loom as home 3D printing grows

    The controversial website The Pirate Bay announced this week that it would begin hosting digital files for visitors to download and print out on their 3D printers. The site has coined a new word - "Physibles" - for data objects capable and feasible of becoming physical. The site has faced extensive legal battles in its home country of Sweden over potential intellectual property infringement of digital content. The concern for many intellectual property owners is that just as there is piracy in the digital world, so too will there be in the physical world. The process is an "additive" manufacturing technique that essentially takes digital data and, with the help of a robotic arm, forms a physical object by "printing" or releasing a hardening substance like plastic in thin layers without a mold. As utopian as data-to-object manufacturing may sound, it's a development rapidly gaining momentum and one that poses unprecedented implications for intellectual property law, encompassing patents, copyrights and trademarks. In the months and years ahead, scores of patent lawyers and open source advocates will explore to what extent existing IP legislation impacts 3D printing and other new technologies that digital data into objects.
  • 30 January 2012 | New York Times

    For ProPublica, more e-books

    ProPublica, the nonprofit news organization known for its investigative journalism, is about to expand its e-book efforts. Following in the digital footsteps of The New Yorker, The New York Times, Politico, Vanity Fair and Cosmopolitan, ProPublica will release its work in e-book form, this time through Open Road Integrated Media, the two companies are expected to announce on Monday. Beginning in February, Open Road, will release several e-books containing content ProPublica has already published. One of the e-books, titled “Presidential Pardons,” is a series that was originally published in The Washington Post. Another e-book, “Post Mortem,” is based on ProPublica’s investigation of coroner and medical examiner offices, work that was done in collaboration with NPR and Frontline. The arrangement is similar to a venture announced last year between Random House and Politico, in which Random House would publish four e-books from Politico’s reporting on the 2012 presidential campaign. ProPublica has previously published five e-books available on and ProPublica’s reporters produce articles published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR and dozens of other organizations. Open Road and ProPublica have to address the tricky problem of trying to sell content that already appears free online, so the e-books will go beyond the original work to include videos, maps, documents, photographs and interviews with journalists.
  • 30 January 2012 | Money Control

    Banks, Internet companies team up to fight spam

    Some of the world's biggest Internet companies and financial services firms have developed a new approach to fighting email spam that they hope will reduce online scams. Facebook, Google Inc and Microsoft Corp have joined with financial firms Bank of America Corp , Fidelity Investments and eBay Inc's PayPal to create a set of industry standards for preventing criminals from sending out spam emails that appear to come from corporate email addresses. Fraudsters often pose as banks and other trusted firms in attempts to persuade email recipients to provide payment card numbers, bank account information and other personal data or click on links that infect computers with malicious software. The new approach calls for email providers and businesses to attack spammers by coordinating on a massive scale the use of two existing technologies for email authentication known by the acronyms SPF and DKIM, which have yet to be widely adopted.
  • 27 January 2012 | Reuters

    Twitter to restrict user content in some countries

    Twitter announced Thursday that it would begin restricting Tweets in certain countries, marking a policy shift for the social media platform that helped propel the popular uprisings recently sweeping across the Middle East. "As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression," Twitter wrote in a blog post published Thursday. It said even with the possibility of such restrictions, Twitter would not be able to coexist with some countries. "Some differ so much from our ideas that we will not be able to exist there," it said. Twitter gave as examples of restrictions it might cooperate with "certain types of content, such as France or Germany, which ban pro-Nazi content." Twitter's decision to begin censoring content represents a significant departure from its policy just one year ago, when anti-government protesters in Tunisia, Egypt and other Arab countries coordinated mass demonstrations through on the social network and, in the process, thrust Twitter's disruptive potential into the global spotlight. In the interest of transparency, Twitter said Thursday, it has built a mechanism to inform users in the event that a Tweet is being blocked.
  • 27 January 2012 | Kuwait Times

    Kuwait: Al-Jazeera gets green light to reopen office

    Kuwait has allowed pan-Arab news channel Al-Jazeera to reopen its office in the Gulf state more than a year after ordering its closure, the television network’s Kuwait director said yesterday. The Al-Jazeera office was closed and the accreditation’s of its reporters withdrawn in December 2010 over the channel’s coverage of a police crackdown on a public gathering that involved beating of several MPs. Its reopening comes a week ahead of general polls in Kuwait described by many candidates as the most crucial in the state’s history.
  • 27 January 2012 | BBC News

    FBI plans social network map alert

    The FBI is seeking to develop an early-warning system based on material "scraped" from social networks. It says the application should provide information about possible domestic and global threats superimposed onto maps "using mash-up technology". The bureau has asked contractors to suggest possible solutions including the estimated cost. Privacy campaigners say they are concerned that the move could have implications for free speech. The FBI's Strategic Information and Operations Center (SOIC) posted its "Social Media Application" market research request onto the web on 19 January, and it was subsequently flagged up by New Scientist magazine. The FBI says the information would be used to help it to predict the likely actions of "bad actors", detect instances of people deliberately misleading law enforcement officers and spot the vulnerabilities of suspect groups. The FBI issued the request three weeks after the US Department of Homeland Security released a separate report into the privacy implications of monitoring social media websites. It justified the principle of using information that users have provided and not opted to make private.
  • 27 January 2012 | The Guardian

    African Twitter map reveals how continent stays connected

    The first Twitter map of Africa shows the social network is forging links between smartphone users from Cape Town to Cairo while, with a few exceptions, political and business leaders are yet to get the hang of tweeting. More than 11.5m geographically pinpointed tweets originating on the continent during the last three months of 2011 were analysed by Portland Communications's Kenya office and media platform Tweetminster. Africa's biggest economy, South Africa, generated the most tweets with over 5m, more than double second placed Kenya's 2.48m. Then came Nigeria (1.67m), Egypt (1.21m) and Morocco (0.75m). Rwanda, which has invested heavily in information technology, produced nearly 100,000 tweets – way more than its giant and impoverished neighbour, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with 2,408. The map also shows that thousands of people are now using Twitter in less "wired" countries such as Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mali, Niger and Sudan. The research, How Africa Tweets, also carried out a survey of 500 of Africa's most active tweeters. It found Twitter in Africa is fast becoming an important source of information on a continent with few guarantees of press freedom.
  • 27 January 2012 | AP

    Ethiopia: Journalists, politicians get jail time

    An Ethiopian judge on Thursday handed down prison sentences ranging from 14 years to life to three journalists and two politicians. The five were arrested last year and charged last week under Ethiopia's controversial anti-terrorism laws. Ethiopian officials had said they were involved in planning attacks on infrastructure, telecommunications and power lines. Ethiopia's federal high court found Elias Kifle, editor-in-chief of a U.S.-based opposition website, guilty of terrorism. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. Kifle was tried in absentia. The judge gave prison sentences of 14 years for Wubshet Taye, deputy editor-in-chief of the recently closed-down weekly Awramba Times, and Reeyot Alemu, a columnist of independent weekly Feteh. International rights groups have been calling for the release of the journalists. Ethiopia recently found two Swedish reporters guilty of supporting terrorism and sentenced them to eleven years imprisonment. In a separate court case, blogger Eskinder Nega, who had called for peaceful protest, faces the maximum punishment, a death penalty sentence, after a judge on Jan. 23 found him guilty on terror charges.
  • 27 January 2012 | Knight Center

    1000s of journalists using Facebook

    Since it launched in September 2011, thousands of journalists have signed on to use the Facebook "subscribe" feature, which allows users to subscribe to the news feeds of journalists and public figures without having to befriend them. And since November, the average journalist has seen a 320 percent increase in the number of subscribers, Facebook is reporting. When analyzing journalists' posts, Facebook also found that 62 percent of their posts contain links (such as to stories the journalist wrote), 25 percent pose a question to their readers, and 30 percent contained "promotional language" (like "read my 12th interview"). Interestingly, Facebook found that posts with promotional language, or with some kind of analysis accompanying a link, prompt more referral clicks and engagement. As TechCrunch noted, thousands of journalists - including 50 from The New York Times and 90 from the Washington Post - are using the Facebook subscribe button, which "poses a very real threat to Twitter. With time it could severely reduce the growth potential and unique value of Twitter by bringing its functionality and content to Facebook’s more popular network."
  • 26 January 2012 | Knight Center

    Chile, Brazil and US plummet in global press freedom rankings

    Brazil, Chile and the United States tumbled dramatically in the 2011-2012 Press Freedom Index that Reporters Without Borders released Wednesday, Jan. 25. Brazil dropped 41 places to no. 99, Chile plummeted 47 places to no. 80, and the United States fell 27 spots to no. 47. Brazil was taken down in part because of the killings of at least three journalists and bloggers, Reporters Without Borders said, and the arrests of journalists covering student protests in Chile and the Occupy protests in the United States contributed to those countries' falls. Canada (no. 10), Jamaica (16), and Costa Rica (19) topped the list of countries throughout the Americas and the Caribbean. Guatemala (97th), Panama (113th), Paraguay (80th), and Trinidad and Tobago (50th) all dropped at least 20 places. El Salvador (37th), Nicaragua (72nd), Surinam (22nd), and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (25th) all moved up at least 10 places on the index. Colombia (143rd), Mexico (149th), Cuba (167th), and Honduras (135th) rounded out the bottom of the press freedom index for Latin American countries.
  • 26 January 2012 | Reuters

    Breach of new EU online data rules to carry high fines

    Europe proposed strict new data privacy rules on Wednesday, putting greater responsibility on companies such as Facebook to protect users' information, and threatening those who breach the code with hefty fines. But the move, which legislators say is designed to better defend children against predators, has rattled major technology and Internet-based companies, with executives concerned the legislation will be almost impossible to implement in full or will do serious damage to their business models. The proposals, which are expected to become law by the end of 2013 if approved by all 27 EU member states and the European Parliament, were drawn up after a two-year examination of shifting Internet use and the behavior of consumers using sites such as Yahoo!, Google and Facebook. Viviane Reding, the European commissioner in charge of data privacy, said the proposed laws were necessary if consumers' data and privacy were to be better protected in the modern age. A breach of the rules could mean fines of up to two percent of a company's annual turnover, which in the case of Google could mean up to USD 800m.
  • 26 January 2012 | The Tokyo Times via Media Network

    Japan govt plants fake TV dramas to fight web piracy

    The Japanese government is running a rather original project against piracy on the Internet. It is releasing on two popular file sharing networks, between 23 and 29 January, a series of files made to look like popular TV drama videos, but which will make a big surprise to unsuspecting users. Named after some popular TV programmes, the files, when opened, are alerting users of popular file sharing networks Winny and Share to stop handling pirated media on the web. The message is that both uploading and downloading copyright protected media is illegal in Japan. The initiative belongs to the Japan Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and is supposed to trace the future behavior of the users who download the fake TV shows. It is yet unclear if any users caught in the act will be prosecuted. The ministry has partnered in the project with several associations active in the copyright field, according to Asiajin blog. Among them are the Association of Copyright for Computer Software, Recording Industry Association of Japan and the National Association of Commercial Broadcasters in Japan. According to the Japanese press, about 150,000 people in the country are using the networks Winny and Share every day.
  • 26 January 2012 | BBC News

    Thousands march in Poland over Acta internet treaty

    More than 10,000 people have taken to Poland's streets to protest the signing of an international treaty activists say amounts to internet censorship. Prime Minister Donald Tusk says his government will on Thursday sign the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The treaty, known as Acta, aims to establish international standards to enforce intellectual property rights. But critics say it could curb freedom of expression, and government websites have been hacked in protest. Several marches took place in cities across the nation on Wednesday, says the BBC's Adam Easton in Warsaw. Crowds of mostly young people held banners with slogans such as "no to censorship" and "a free internet". After convening a special government meeting to discuss the issue, Mr Tusk said the government would not be blackmailed by the treaty's opponents. There would be ample time for public discussion about the treaty before it was ratified by the Polish parliament, he said. The agreement has so far been signed by the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea. Poland is expected to sign it in Tokyo on Thursday. Acta shares similarities with America's Stop Online Piracy Act, which US lawmakers set aside last week after Wikipedia and Google blacked out or partially obscured their websites for a day in protest.
  • 26 January 2012 | Bhutan Broadcasting Service via Media Network

    Bhutan Broadcasting Service launches 2nd TV channel

    Bhutan Broadcasting Service officially launched its second Television channel on 21 January. The new channel known as BBS 2 will air current programmes and entertainment shows. BBS TV was first launched in 1999 with a daily one hour broadcast in Dzongkha and English. The news channel went nationwide in 2006. The General Manager of BBS 2, Tashi Dorji, said one of the reasons being whenever the parliament sat in session, both the houses requesting live coverage for the sessions has regularly put BBS in a very uncomfortable position, and the only option was to broadcast both the houses live. “And the other aspect is since the launch of television in Bhutan, BBS never really had a very clear identity and by identity I mean do not mean the mandate. I am talking more in terms of the content where presently we have mix of news, current affairs, educational programmes, entertainment and sports.” The General Manager added that now with the launch of the second channel, viewers have a choice. The launch of the 2nd Channel is a landmark in the history of BBS and more so because the launch was initiated without any additional manpower and equipment.
  • 26 January 2012 | Washington Post

    Washington Times launches news aggregator

    The Washington Times has launched a new digital news site,, which will provide a continuously updated blend of news, opinion and analysis from The Times combined with selected content from top news sources to an audience who shares conservative values. The news service will be distributed digitally to millions of opted-in readers and available over the Internet on a 24/7 basis. Users can choose the site’s home page or “The Skinny” section featuring breaking news headlines “without the filler.”
  • 25 January 2012 | BBC News

    Google in privacy policy changes across its services

    Google has changed its privacy policy, streamlining it across its multiple services including search, email, video and social networking sites. More than 60 different policies will be combined into one that will go into effect 1 March, the company said. Google said the new policy will give people more relevant search results and help advertisers find customers. Google has previously faced criticism over the sharing of users data. The single privacy policy will apply to Google search, Gmail, YouTube and Google+, its social networking site. The main change applies to users who have Google accounts. "If you're signed into Google, we can do things like suggest search queries, or tailor your search results, based on the interests you've expressed in Google+, Gmail and YouTube," the company said, explaining the changes. The revision comes after Google's previous attempt at social networking, Buzz, was shut down. The company was criticised for inadvertently revealing users' most e-mailed contacts to other participants through the Buzz platform. Last year, Google and the Federal Trade Commission reached a settlement to prevent Google from misrepresenting how it uses personal information and from sharing a user's data without approval. Google said it had been in touch with regulators over these latest changes to its privacy policy, which will apply globally.
  • 25 January 2012 | Media Network

    Turkey considers withdrawing support for Euronews

    Turkey is considering the possibility of withdrawing its support for Euronews, the France-based international news network. If taken, this decision could have serious consequences for Euronews, as Turkey’s national radio and television network TRT holds a 15.5 percent stake in the news giant. The head of the press office of the TRT, Birol Uzunay, commented on the situation for “Voice of Russia”. “It’s not decided yet. Because of the development in France we may protest the situation but no definite decision has been taken yet. We can’t give you an exact time when the decision will be taken. We are following the development in France. It’s depends on Euronews’ attitude to the development in France”, he stated. On Monday, the French Senate voted for adopting the draft law on criminal responsibility for denying the genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. Breaking the law will be punishable by a prison term of up to one year, or a fine of 45,000 euros. Modern-day Turkey is a legal successor to the Ottoman Empire. TRT, Turkey’s state-run broadcaster, said it plans to suspend its 15.5 percent partnership with Lyon-based Euronews if France approved the bill, Anatolia reported Monday.
  • 25 January 2012 | AFP

    Pro-Kremlin television channel to air WikiLeaks talk show

    A Russian state television channel said Wednesday that it would exclusively air a television chat show hosted by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. RT, formerly known as Russia Today, an English language channel funded by the Russian government, said in a statement that Assange "is launching his own talkshow, to be broadcast exclusively on RT." Assange had announced the show on Tuesday on the WikiLeaks website saying that it had licensing commitments covering more than 600 million viewers across cable, satellite and terrestrial networks. A spokeswoman for the channel told AFP that RT had the rights to air the episodes of the chat show first. Russia launched RT in 2005 with the aim of broadcasting the Russian point of view on current affairs to international audiences. It cannot be viewed on Russian terrestrial television.
  • 25 January 2012 | Knight Center

    International report criticizes Ecuador’s deteriorating state of press freedom

    The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) published a report criticizing the Ecuadoran government for measures taken against freedom of the press and expression. WAN-IFRA conducted its investigation in November 2011, interviewing representatives from the Ecuadoran communications industry and government. Based on this investigation, the report determined that there is a "rapid degradation in the state of press freedom in the Andean country." President Rafael Correa is known for his aggressive stance towards the press and against freedom of expression. His administration's actions have concerned defenders of freedom of expression inside and outside Ecuador. According to the news website, the WAN-IFRA report concluded that Correa is carrying out "a sophisticated strategy of marginalizing all voices independent of state power." The Ecuadoran NGO Fundamedios reported last year that there are at least 13 claims and investigations open against media companies or journalists in the South American country. The NGO also reported that there were "156 attacks on the media, journalists, and citizens exercising their right to free expression" in 2011.
  • 25 January 2012 | AFP via EU Business

    Google hit by new anti- trust complaint in Europe

    The French online shopping website Twenga has filed a complaint against Google at the European Commission, accusing the Internet search giant of abusing its dominant position to eliminate any competition. The commission, the European Union's competition watchdog, has been investigating Google since November 2010 following several complaints, with US IT giant Microsoft filing its own grievance last year. Twenga, which allows users to search and compare prices of a wide-range of products, announced Tuesday that it had filed a complaint against Google the day before. The French company accuses Google of giving an edge to its own services, such as Google Shopping, in search results while systematically putting competing websites lower down. The European Commission told AFP it would review Twenga's complaint and decide whether to include it to the ongoing investigation. Nine other complaints are already part of the probe.
  • 25 January 2012 | Reuters

    US: Tablet, e-reader ownership almost double over holidays, survey says

    The number of Americans owning a tablet computer or e-reader nearly doubled over the holiday period as Kindles, Nooks and iPads proved to be popular gifts, a new study found. In early January, 19 percent of Americans surveyed by Pew owned an e-reader, up from 10 percent in December, with identical results for tablets, according to a report released on Monday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. As a result, the percentage of Americans owning at least one digital reading device rose to 29 percent in January from 18 percent, according to the survey. Inc and Barnes & Noble Inc each introduced new tablets and cheaper versions of their Kindle and Nook devices respectively ahead of the holidays, while Apple Inc's iPad continued to be popular. The report also found that men and women were equally likely to own a device but that ownership was also more likely among people with higher education and higher income. The figures are from several surveys conducted by Pew. The first, pre-Christmas survey of 2,986 Americans 16 and older was conducted in November and December, while the second and third were done about 2,000 adults in January.
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