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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  • 14 March 2012 |

    TED-Ed, Khan Academy enable flipped classrooms

    Educators interested in “flipping” their classroom (that is, providing traditional lecture material for review at home and problem-solving exercises in the classroom) now have two more options to provide core content with a minimum of effort. Yesterday TED announced TED-Ed, a service designed to “capture and amplify the voice of the world’s greatest teachers.” In addition to hosting the videos, TED-Ed works with educators to review lessons and ensure they are less than 10 minutes. After the educator records and uploads the audio/video, TED-Ed works with animators to create story reels for each lesson, reports say. Also this week, Khan Academy announced a new iPad app. In a shot across the bow of traditional textbook publishers, this repackaging of existing Khan Academy content provides downloaded videos, subtitles, and progress tracking (requires a account.) Faculty are likely to struggle finding their place in this new paradigm. With the increasing availability of lecture content, many will need to bring more value to the educational experience in other ways. Educators can be content creators, content consumers, or both, depending on the needs of their students. But we are likely to see a smaller number of high-profile faculty providing content to a larger audience than in the past.
  • 14 March 2012 | Reuters

    BBC suffers cyber-attack following Iran campaign

    The BBC has suffered a sophisticated cyber-attack following a campaign by Iranian authorities against its Persian service, director-general Mark Thompson said on Wednesday. Thompson also reported attempts to jam satellite feeds of the British Broadcasting Corporation services into Iran and to swamp its London phone lines with automated calls. In extracts from a speech he will make later on Wednesday, Thompson stopped short of explicitly accusing Tehran of being behind the cyber-attack, but he described the coincidence of the attacks as "self-evidently suspicious". Last month, Thompson accused Iranian authorities of arresting and threatening the families of BBC journalists to force them to quit the Persian news service. "It now looks as if those who seek to disrupt or block BBC Persian may be widening their tactics," he said in the extracts of his speech, which the BBC released in advance. BBC Persian staff provide Farsi-language TV, radio and online services. Few Western journalists are permitted to work in Iran where the hardline Islamic government views much of the foreign media with suspicion. The BBC's TV service has often been jammed and is only available to owners of illegal satellite receivers. All BBC Persian service staff work outside Iran, and Thompson has accused Tehran authorities of instead arresting and intimidating their relatives who still live inside the country.
  • 14 March 2012 | Mashable

    KONY 2012 update: Al Jazeera launches “Uganda Speaks”

    In light of the worldwide spotlight on the non-profit organization Invisible Children and its viral YouTube video Kony 2012, Al Jazeera English has launched “Uganda Speaks,” an initiative to track down the voices of the people who have largely been missing from the debates regarding the viral video and its organizers. Namely, Ugandans themselves. Al Jazeera’s online platform for Uganda Speaks features an interactive map showing the different locations where views are filtering in from, as well as highlights the crowd-sourced, time-stamped views — cited as “reports” — on a stream. At the time of writing, the majority of reports were coming from Kampala, the largest city and capital of Uganda. “It is now too little too late,” “Skeptical about Kony 2012,” “African Forces Should Stop Kony” and “Hysteria” were just some of the headlines on the stream. Alongside Ugandan journalist Rosebell Kagumir’s YouTube video stating her response to Kony 2012, Al Jazeera’s initiative is one of the few drawing attention to Ugandan opinions. Meanwhile, Invisible Children released a video yesterday defending its organization and the Kony 2012 campaign.
  • 14 March 2012 | The Guardian

    Encyclopedia Britannica halts print publication after 244 years

    The Encyclopedia Britannica has announced that after 244 years, dozens of editions and more than 7m sets sold, no new editions will be put to paper. The 32 volumes of the 2010 installment, it turns out, were the last. Future editions will live exclusively online. For some readers the news will provoke malaise at the wayward course of this misguided age. Others will wonder, in the era of Wikipedia, what took the dinosaur so long to die. Neither view quite captures the company or the crossroads. Jorge Cauz, president of Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc, suggested that the encyclopedia was already something of a relic within the company itself, which has long since moved its main business away from its trademark publication and into online educational tools. The company has changed from a reference provider to an instructional solutions provider," Cauz said. He projects that only 15 percent of the company's revenue this year will come from its namesake publication, mostly through subscriptions and app purchases. "The vast majority" of the remaining 85 percent of revenue is expected to come from educational products and services, said Cauz, who declined to provide dollar amounts but said the company was profitable. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc, is owned by the Swiss banking magnate Jacqui Safra. The company's websites, which include Merriam-Webster dictionaries, attracted more than 450 million users over the course of 2011, according to internal numbers.
  • 14 March 2012 | Le Figaro, OJD via

    Four French media groups partner to sell online advertising

    Four French media groups, Amaury Medias, FigaroMedias, Lagardere Publicite and TF1 Publicite, have launched AdMediaPremium, a private platform to sell the unsold advertising space on their websites, an article on Le Figaro reported. As the article explains, the aim of this private marketplace is to restore the value of all the advertising on the media companies' websites through joining forces and audience. The four groups in fact have together an audience of 22 million unique visitors per month and a stock of 3 billion web printing. The advertising rates on websites vary, the article continued to explain. The homepages displays “super premium” advertising, usually sold at high rates directly by the media group, while ads on the other pages, progressively displayed in less visible spaces of the site, have lower rates and are sold by external brokers who sell them to advertisers amongst millions of other unspecified sites. For this reason this huge inventory loses value, the article explains. Through AdMediaPremium, the four media groups will regain control and value of the entire advertising on the websites putting together these “haute couture” and “ready-to-wear” different advert categories. According to the figures released by OJD (Office de Justification de la Diffusion) some of the titles which belong to the four media groups, such as, and, are among the sites with the highest traffic in France.
  • 14 March 2012 | AP

    Mexico’s Senate passes law to protect journalists

    Mexico's Senate has approved constitutional changes that would make all attacks on journalists a federal crime. The amendments endorsed by the Senate and earlier by the House of Deputies would have the federal Attorney General's Office investigates all crimes against news workers. The changes won't take effect unless they are approved by at least 17 of Mexico's 31 state legislatures and are then signed by the president. Attacks on Mexican journalists generally go unprosecuted. There is disagreement on the number of journalist killings. Mexico's national human rights commission says 74 were slain from 2000 to 2011. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists says 51 were killed in that time.