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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  • 19 January 2012 | Reuters

    Lawmakers flip on piracy bills protested on Web

    Some members of the Congress switched sides to oppose antipiracy legislation as protests blanketed the Internet on Wednesday, turning Wikipedia dark and putting black slashes on Google and other sites as if they had been censored. Content providers who favor the anti-piracy measures, such as Hollywood and the music industry, were scrambling to win back public opinion and official support. Wikipedia, the world's free online encyclopedia, shut down for a day. Google and others used the black censorship bars to draw attention to what had until recently been an obscure and technical legislative proposal to curb access to overseas websites that traffic in stolen content or counterfeit goods. Many of the sites participating in the blackout urged their users to contact their legislators on the issue, a plea that brought quick results. Several sponsors of the legislation, including Senators Roy Blunt, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch and John Boozman and Marco Rubio, said they were withdrawing their support. Some blamed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for rushing the Senate version of the bill. The legislation, known as PIPA in the Senate and SOPA in the House of Representatives, has been a priority for entertainment companies, publishers, pharmaceutical companies and other industry groups who say it is critical to curbing online piracy, which they believe costs them billions of dollars a year. But Internet players argue the bills would undermine innovation and free speech rights and would compromise the functioning of the Internet.
  • 19 January 2012 | Forbes

    Huffington Post set to launch live Web TV ‘Network’

    AOL’s Huffington Post Media Group is preparing to launch a live over-the-internet video channel modeled on the 24-hour cable news networks. The project hasn’t been announced yet, but Huffington and AOL chairman Tim Armstrong have been dropping hints about it in their public remarks. It will be called the Huffington Post Streaming Network, or HPSN. The idea, according to sources, is to harness the considerable editorial talent of the 320-person Huffpo newsroom while at the same time fulfilling rising advertiser demand for premium video content. Huffpo editors and reporters will appear on the stream live throughout the day, analyzing breaking news events in real-time. On-camera editorial meetings will let viewers in on the newsgathering process, and their social media feedback will be incorporated into the broadcast. Later, video editors will recut footage from the live stream into clips to distribute across the site’s many verticals, where it can more easily find sponsorship.
  • 19 January 2012 | Knight Center

    Online media leading “quiet revolution” in Colombia, new study notes

    In its first study of online journalism in Colombia, the Consejo deRedaccion, or Newsroom Council, (CdR in Spanish) looked at who is producing online journalism in this South American country and how. The report found that since Colombia first connected to the Internet on July 4, 1994, online media have become "the protagonists of a quiet revolution in Colombia." The report, Digital Journalism in Colombia, examined 391 websites in collaboration with Centro Atico, the first Center of Information and Communication Technology Resource in Latin America, and the School of Communication and Language from Javeriana University. German Rey and Carlos Eduardo Huertas, the authors of the study, noted that "online journalism in Colombia is strongly differentiated from traditional journalism. It emphasizes a local perspective and places importance on the regions. It is concerned with developing its own stories, establishes a closer, more active relationship with the readers and audiences, explores niches, places importance on quality journalism, and relates with different sectors of society, seeing these less as sources and much more as partners." Looking to the future, Colombia's digital media face challenges of financing and sustainability, as well as the need to increase interactivity with readers and take better advantage of the Internet's multimedia possibilities, the report noted.
  • 19 January 2012 | Wall Street Journal

    US: Chinese media aiming high in New York City

    Four major Chinese media companies are expanding their presence in New York City as they lay the groundwork to begin competing on a global stage. Xinhua, one of the Chinese government's main news outlets and propaganda arms, last year moved into the top floor of an office building on Broadway with 30 journalists and lit up a 60-foot video screen with its logo nearby in Times Square. Meanwhile, China Daily, the largest English-language newspaper in China, has increased its presence here to more than 20 journalists and other employees, and China Central Television, the main state broadcasting agency, plans to hire 62 journalists here and in other parts of the country. Smaller media operations are also setting up shop here. Caijing Magazine, a largely independent publication dedicated to covering business, has expansion plans, according to its New York correspondent, Yu Wang. She said there's demand in particular for coverage of the trade surplus, the currency debate and the unfamiliar workings of the New York Stock Exchange. Journalists and senior advisers to these Chinese media companies concede they're a long way from rivaling the likes of Reuters and CNN. But they also have big ambitions for covering U.S. news and reporting it—not only in China, but in other parts of the world.
  • 19 January 2012 | The Guardian

    Huffington Post names Strauss-Kahn’s wife as French site editor

    The launch of a French edition of the Huffington Post has been marred by controversy over its choice of editorial director, Anne Sinclair: the one-time TV journalist who is married to Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the IMF. Sinclair, who was a star TV political interviewer in the 1980s, is to head Le Huffington Post, the first foreign-language spin-off of the US news and opinion site, which goes live next week. But some in the French media have raised questions over a possible conflict of interest. Strauss-Kahn was widely tipped to become the next French president before his arrest last May over the alleged attempted rape of a New York hotel maid. Criminal charges were dropped but a civil case is pending. The saga destroyed Strauss-Kahn's IMF career and ended his presidential hopes. Strauss-Kahn still dominates headlines in France because his name has been linked to a high-profile investigation into an alleged prostitution-ring centred on a luxury hotel in Lille. Some question how a site run by Sinclair, who has stood firmly by her husband, would cover the issue of Strauss-Kahn in the news. The French Huffington Post is a joint venture, with a 34 percent stake held by the group which owns the French daily, Le Monde. But staff at the paper protested at Le Huffington Post's planned prominent use of Le Monde's logo, namely its strapline "Le Huffington Post with Le Monde.fr". Some journalists warned that the paper's editorial independence could appear compromised.
  • 19 January 2012 | BBC News

    Facebook unveils 60 apps under latest expansion plan

    Facebook is adding a series of new applications to let users share such things as photos, travel or fashion. The online social network firm unveiled more than 60 new apps that users can share on their Facebook profiles, known as their Timeline. Users can already share the music they are listening to or news articles they are reading. But this latest development expands the number of apps significantly. Tech watchers have described the activity as "frictionless sharing". Once users sign up for the apps, they will automatically share your activity through Facebook. The company, tipped for a $100bn initial public offering, is looking for new ways to get people to spend more time on the site - which will attract more advertising. The latest apps include Ticketmaster, movie review site Rotten Tomatoes, and Foodspotting. But developers are expected to create many more apps. "We think that thousands of applications will be built on this platform in the coming weeks and months," said Carl Sjogreen, Facebook director of platform products, at the launch of the apps in San Francisco. Timeline is a feature that Facebook says can turn users' personal profiles into virtual scrapbooks. It can over the years catalogue aspects of the user's life and preferences, from travel to favourite books. There will be security settings available so that users can limit who will be able to follow their activities.