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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  • 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, Times247.com, 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.”