Media News

A handpicked selection of today’s media-related news. With 24.000 entries, our archives chronicle 15 years of press industry developments. A goldmine for scholars and researchers.

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  • 16 January 2012 | Reuters

    Microblogging use in China quadruples in 2011: report

    Use of microblogging in China quadrupled in 2011 compared with the previous year, with nearly half of all Chinese Internet users now taking to the near-instant service to gather news and spread views, a government Internet think tank said Monday. Microblogging, or "Weibo" as it is known in China, allows users to send short messages of 140 characters or less to their followers. Twitter, the most popular microblogging platform in the world, is blocked by China's censors. Sina Corp and Tencent Holdings both run popular Weibo platforms in China, both firms claim to have more than 200 million users. In December, city governments announced rules to regulate microblogging operators, requiring new users to register with their real names. The total number of Weibo users rose 296 percent to 249.9 million in 2011, data from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) showed, meaning nearly half of the Chinese Internet population used Weibo. CNNIC said in its report that by the end of December, there were 513 million Internet users in China, representing an Internet penetration rate of 38.3 percent.
  • 16 January 2012 | BBC News

    Associated Press news agency opens North Korea bureau

    The Associated Press news agency has formally opened a news bureau in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang. It is the first major Western news organisation to do so, although agencies such as China's Xinhua also have a presence there. AP president Tom Curley said the bureau would operate under the same standards as other bureaux worldwide. All media outlets in North Korea are state-run. Most citizens have no access to the internet or foreign media. Visits by most foreign journalists are severely restricted and, if granted a visa, reporters are accompanied by government minders to carefully selected locations. AP said that the bureau would have two permanent North Korean reporters and would be supervised by two Seoul-based US journalists who would make regular visits. The news agency first established a presence in Pyongyang in 2006, when it opened a video bureau. The US and North Korea do not have formal diplomatic ties. But the president of state-run KCNA news agency, Kim Pyong-ho, said the two sides had "been able to find a way to understand one another and to cooperate closely enough to open an AP bureau". The move comes a month after the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. His third son, Kim Jong-un, has been installed as his successor.
  • 16 January 2012 | Reuters via Media Network

    Somaliland closes TV station, arrests journalists

    Somaliland has shut down a private television station it accuses of airing anti-government propaganda, and arrested 13 journalists as they held a protest against the move, a minister said Sunday. Minister of Interior Mohamed Nour Arrale said that the government of the breakaway territory had suspended the licence of Horn Cable TV, which was taken off air on Saturday. “Its activities have been suspended for disseminating anti-Somaliland propaganda which contradicts the freedom of media,” he said told reporters, without elaborating. Journalists in the capital Hargeisa held a demonstration against the closure, but police dispersed it and arrested 13. Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991 and has enjoyed relative stability compared to the rest of Somalia. But it has not been formally recognised internationally. The National Union of Somali Journalists condemned the shutdown and arrests. It said the action against Horn Cable arose from its coverage of a district tribal meeting in which politicians and elders announced an autonomous administration.
  • 16 January 2012 | AFP

    Pakistan probe draws a blank on journalist killing

    An investigation into the killing of a Pakistani journalist who reported that Islamist militants had infiltrated the military has not been able to find his murderers, an official report shows. Saleem Shahzad, a 40-year-old father of three, vanished in May last year after leaving his home in Islamabad to appear on a television talk show, two days after writing an article about links between rogue elements of the navy and Al-Qaeda following an attack on a naval base. The journalist, who worked for an Italian news agency and a Hong Kong-registered news site, told Human Rights Watch he had been threatened by intelligence agents. The Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, Pakistan's main spy agency, has denied as "baseless" allegations that it was involved in his murder. A government commission set up to investigate the death and comprised of senior judges, provincial police chiefs and a journalist representative was unable to trace Shahzad's killers, said its concluding report released Friday. The report said the inquiry had met 23 times and interviewed 41 witnesses, as well as examining a large batch of relevant documents. The report said investigators would continue to look into Shahzad's death, while his family would be given generous government compensation.
  • 16 January 2012 | Mashable

    US: Politico taps into Facebook’s data gold mine

    Politico, the politics-focused media outlet, is teaming up with Facebook to take a look at Facebook users’ opinions of Republican presidential hopefuls. It’s all happening during the lead-up to the next primary, being held Jan. 21 in South Carolina. Every time a Facebook user posts about a candidate, Facebook’s team will pick it up and determine whether the mention expresses favorable sentiment about the candidate. To do that, they’ll be armed with new software that researchers use to determine opinion from text. They’ll analyze every mention from Thursday until the primary. In turn, they’ll hand that data over exclusively to Politico, whose journalists will add insight and commentary. The first round of data is already available. Sentiment analysis won’t be the only element of the arrangement. Politico is taking advantage of Facebook’s ability to provide data about its users, such as age and location. When combined with the near-ubiquitous nature of the social network, Facebook can become a unique space to conduct survey-based research. Politico plans to tap directly into the data gold mine available on Facebook. Over the next 9 days, the website will be polling South Carolina Facebook users of voting age about the GOP candidates and hot issues of the day. The Facebook sentiment analysis and commentary will be posted on Politico.com, while the polling results will be posted on Politico’s Facebook Page and on Facebook’s own politics hub.
  • 16 January 2012 | CCTV/AFP via Media Network

    CCTV Africa launched in Kenya

    The first African news hub of China Central Television, CCTV Africa, has been launched in Kenya. The reports will cover news from the entire African continent. CCTV Africa will initially produce a one hour programme every day at 1700 UTC, broadcast through CCTV’s English channel. The main focus will be on news, but it also features interviews with leading news makers, and documentaries. The report will cover political, social, economic and cultural aspects in the entire African region. At the same time, CCTV’s mobile application, “I Love Africa” is also officially launching after six months of trial broadcast. CCTV Africa has about one hundred employees from different background, many of them are Kenyan citizens.