Media News

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  • 10 January 2012 | Newspaper Innovation

    Danish Press Subsidies 2012

    No less than 59 newspapers will receive money from the Danish Press Fund in 2012. The total amount is DKK 347m (EUR 47m). The pdf of the complete list can be viewed here and shows that 26 foreign newspapers receive EUR 420,000 in total. Among these ‘ailing’ papers are USA Today (EUR 180), The Independent (EUR 390), The Guardian (EUR 960), IHT (EUR 33,000) and The Financial Times (EUR 95,000). This could be the last year that non-Danish papers will get a subsidy as there is much resistance in parliament against this part of the law. The largest subsidy for a ‘foreign’ paper, however, goes to German Danish language paper Flensborg Avis (EUR 120,000). The bulk of the money goes to Danish newspapers. Kristeligt Dagblad will get EUR 3.8m, Information will receive EUR 3.5m this year. Borsen, BT, Berlingske, Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, Politiken and free dailies metroXpress and 24timer (both majority owned by Metro International) will each get EUR 2.6m. Free daily Urban (Berlingske, Mecom) is missing from the list of main beneficiaries. For Metro the subsidy is good news, as there is a discussion going on in Denmark about the press subsidies in general and in particular those for free papers. Without the subsidy not only Metro Denmark would lose money, but the whole company would suffer. Mecom, with eight titles getting a subsidy, profits much more. In total the loss-making company receives almost EUR 11m in subsidies in 2012. VAT on newspapers (subscription and single copy sales) in Denmark is zero percent.
  • 10 January 2012 | AFP

    Tunisian journalists protest over top jobs

    Several hundred Tunisian journalists demonstrated in Tunis Monday to protest at the appointment of media bosses by the government, which they regard as a return to bad practices of the past. "You, the backward ones, take your hands off the press!" shouted some of the demonstrators at the Kasbah, the government headquarters. "The press is public and it is not governmental." A government spokesman and former head of the bar association, Abderrazek Kilani, said the nominations were only provisional and could be changed. "We are issuing an alert after the increased assaults and attacks against journalists, and we also denounce recent anarchic appointments at the head of the media, without seeking the advice of specialised bodies," said Nejiba Hamrouni, president of the National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT). Hamrouni said she was "shocked to see symbols of the corruption of the old regime who contributed to the repression of journalists crowned today by the new government". Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali on Saturday announced appointments to the top jobs in the public media, including chief editors' posts, arousing the wrath of professional bodies that deplored the lack of consultation.
  • 10 January 2012 | The Guardian

    Oscar for best documentary hopefuls to face newspaper review rule

    The arcane processes by which films qualify for Oscar consideration took a bizarre twist Monday when it was revealed that, as of next year, documentaries will need to have been reviewed in the New York Times or Los Angeles Times to qualify. The New York Times itself broke the news after rumours began circulating last week. No specifics were forthcoming on whether both print and online reviews would be suitable, or whether "capsule" reviews would qualify. But "reviews by television critics were specifically ruled out". The move seems to be aimed at reducing the number of documentaries submitted for consideration (124 in 2011) while also lessening the influence of qualifying events such as the DocuWeeks festival, which has proved adept at enabling lesser-known films to enter the race. The Academy is also presumably concerned that acclaimed films such as The Interrupters, Senna, Into the Abyss and, further back, Capitalism: A Love Story, Hoop Dreams and Crumb were denied Oscar nominations. However, handing a decisive vote to film critics will lay the Academy open to charges they are handing control to an outside organisation, militating against non-distributed, low-budget films, and reinforcing the American bias of the awards.
  • 10 January 2012 | Hollywood Reporter

    Turkish media giant Sabah-ATV put up for sale

    Turkish conglomerate Calik Holding, which is run by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's son-in-law, has put Sabah-ATV, the country's second-largest media company, up for sale, the Wall StreetJournal reported. Time Warner, led by chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes, and private equity firms are among possible bidders, it said. A source familiar with the situation said the entertainment giant, which has made acquisitions in fast-growing markets overseas in recent years, has been approached in the bidding process. Sabah-ATV's assets include TV station ATV and daily newspaper Sabah. Bids are due in the third week of January, according to the Journal. The Turkish company's assets are valued at between USD 700m and USD 1bn, it said. Calik, which also owns energy assets, acaquired Sabah-ATV from the state for USD 1.25bn in 2008 in an auction that triggered suspicions that the government was looking to increase its control over the media, the Journal said.
  • 10 January 2012 | BBC News

    Netflix launches UK film and TV streaming service

    Movie and TV streaming service Netflix has launched in the UK and Ireland. It will face strong competition from online rivals, including Amazon-owned Lovefilm which recently surpassed two million subscribers. Last summer research suggested that Netflix was the single biggest driver of internet traffic in the US. However, the move follows a difficult period for the company shedding 800,000 customers in the third quarter of last year. The US-based service launched in 2007 and has more than 20 million online subscribers in 47 countries. Films will be available on a variety of platforms, including games consoles, smartphones and tablets. Netflix is betting on a breadth of locally produced content including full seasons of UK favourites such as Top Gear, The Only Way is Essex, The Inbetweeners and Torchwood. But chief executive Reed Hastings was guarded when it came to setting specific UK goals for the new service. Competition in the UK market is expected to be fierce. Lovefilm recently announced that it was experiencing its fastest customer growth rate since 2009.
  • 10 January 2012 | USA Today

    Yahoo and Tom Hanks to announce Net video project at CES

    The Oscar-winning actor and Emmy-winning producer (Band of Brothers) will be talking Tuesday at CES about his new project, a futuristic animated series called Electric City to appear on Yahoo later this spring. Hanks' production company Playtone will produce, along with Reliance Entertainment, the 90-minute series, set to be broadcast online in 20 segments. It will be the first original scripted program for Yahoo. "It is animated and it has a science fiction bent and in that way, like all great science fiction, it definitely plays on what is the best type of society to live in and themes around energy usage, conservation and sustainability," says Erin McPherson, Yahoo vice president and head of video. Electric City will be viewable online on computers, smartphones and tablets as well as on the Yahoo Connected TV on Samsung, Sony, Vizio and Toshiba TVs. In addition to the video series, Yahoo will have an explorable virtual Electric City 3-D map. Social-networking features, casual games and Yahoo Messenger avatars are planned; viewers might be prompted to relevant news stories elsewhere on the site, too. "We are going to bring all of our communication tools to bear in really creating a truly 360-degree experience for consumers and advertisers, since this will be ad-supported," McPherson says.