Media News

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  • 3 April 2012 | AP

    Hungarian President resigns in plagiarism scandal

    Hungarian President Pal Schmitt resigned Monday because of a plagiarism scandal regarding a doctoral dissertation he had written 20 years ago on the Olympics. Schmitt, who was elected to his largely ceremonial office in 2010 for a five-year term, told Parliament he was stepping down because the controversy over his dissertation was dividing Hungary. Parliament later voted 338-5, with six abstentions, to accept Schmitt's resignation. Last week, Schmitt's 1992 doctorate from Semmelweis University was revoked after a university committee found that most of his thesis about the modern Olympic Games had been copied from two other authors. The International Olympic Committee said Monday it would review the case and decide whether any action is needed against Schmitt, who has been an IOC member since 1983. Schmitt, who won gold medals at the 1968 and 1972 Olympics for fencing, could face IOC sanctions for tarnishing the Olympic movement.
  • 3 April 2012 |

    US magazines agree new guidelines on tablet edition metrics

    A group of magazine publishers in the United States has drawn up a new voluntary set of guidelines on reporting user data from tablet editions. The agreement aims to set a "common language" when publishers refer to reader statistics and avoid any confusion or inconsistencies from one publisher to the next. The guidelines are the result of discussions since last autumn between seven publishing houses: Conde Nast, Bonnier, Forbes, Hearst, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Meredith and Time Inc. Seven advertising agencies also took part in the talks. US magazine association MPA said the clarifications were intended "to provide enhanced understanding and clarity about the measurement of magazine media audiences on tablets for the advertising community". The publishers have agreed on an initial set of terms and definitions, and have selected five key metrics that they have all pledged to use consistently. These are: total consumer paid digital issues; total number of tablet readers per issue; total number of sessions per issue; total time spent per reader per issue; and the average number of sessions per reader per issue. The new protocol also aims to provide a consistent position on timing for data release.
  • 3 April 2012 | Betakit

    UK startup Postdesk launches online journalism community

    Long, in-depth blog posts and articles have increasingly been replaced by short, 140-character-style communication online. But a new crop of startups are attempting to bring back long-form journalism with their online communities and publications. U.K. startup PostDesk is launching in private beta to provide long-form editorial content, publishing in-depth news, reviews, critique and opinion pieces, surrounding the topics of tech, gaming, culture and politics. PostDesk has an in-house editorial staff, as well as a network of 20 curated content contributors, and they handle promotion and marketing of all pieces. The community also encourages readers to comment on and debate articles – they earn points and badges through their comments, and the ones with the best insight or strongest followings will be invited to become a contributor. Founder Sam England plans to pay all contributors through a revenue-sharing model. He said the company is already profitable and it has a “solid revenue model,” and isn’t looking for additional funding. They have secured launch partners and sponsors for each section, as well as the site as a whole.
  • 3 April 2012 | The Guardian

    UK: Internet companies warn over government email surveillance plans

    Internet firms have warned that government plans to monitor email and social media use in Britain are liable to be used by repressive regimes elsewhere in the world to justify their state surveillance. No internet business was willing to offer a public criticism of the coalition's proposal on Monday, but many privately raised fears over the legalising of a power to see who is contacting whom online in real time. A number of MPs and civil liberties groups argued that the plan would endanger privacy and unfettered free expression online. Julian Huppert, the Lib Dem MP, said on Twitter that the Commons home affairs committee wanted to call the home secretary, Theresa May, to give evidence on the proposal. More than 14,000 people have signed a petition by the internet advocacy body Open Rights Group. The proposal is expected to be outlined in the Queen's speech on 9 May; it allows the authorities to have "on demand" access to online traffic in real time. However, the security minister, James Brokenshire, said the purpose was solving crime not "real-time snooping on everybody's emails". One official familiar with the plan said the government wanted to bring social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, "broadly into line" with existing legislation covering the surveillance of phone calls.
  • 3 April 2012 | Reuters

    Web surfers to pay online using Facebook, Twitter

    A one-click online payment system using Facebook and Twitter that could boost Internet sales for newspapers, music vendors and other low-priced goods and services is being tested by a major European media company, according to its developer. The Internet poses an increasingly urgent problem for newspaper publishers who want to make money from the articles they put on their websites, but who are worried they will deter visitors by asking them to take out a full subscription. The new system, developed by a start-up company in Belgium, means Internet surfers can pay to read a single article or download a piece of music without having to fill out forms or enter their credit card details on the website. The company, called Paycento, uses the fact that surfers are often logged in any way with their profiles on social networking sites like Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. It means that visitors to a website can pay small amounts with a single click, much in the same way that they would click a 'Share' or 'Tweet' button to post an article on their social network profile. The system works by a user having an online Paycento account, which they then link to their Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin accounts.
  • 3 April 2012 | Wall Street Journal

    China eases crackdown on Internet

    Two of China's top online communities lifted government-imposed restrictions on Tuesday that signaled to hundreds of millions of Chinese Internet users that Beijing will crack down to keep its traditional grip on political discussion. The restrictions, imposed on Saturday in response to unsubstantiated rumors last month of a coup attempt in Beijing, affected Twitter-like microblogging services that have become increasingly important nationwide outlets for information and social interaction. The nation's two largest microblogging operators, Sina Corp. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., at 8 a.m. Tuesday allowed users to resume commenting on one another's posts after a three-day outage. The commenting function is a key feature for the two companies' hundreds of millions of users, allowing for fast-paced and freewheeling online conversations, and the weekend move to halt comments was harshly criticized by some members of China's voluble online community.