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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  • 31 May 2012 | The Guardian

    Israeli journalist faces trial over receiving secret documents

    Israel is to put a journalist on trial for receiving secret military documents from a former soldier. The country's justice ministry said charges will soon be filed against Uri Blau, an investigative reporter for paper Haaretz, "for the offence of possession of secret information by an unauthorised person". Blau used some of the documents in a 2008 article which claimed that troops had been ordered to carry out targeted killings of Palestinian militants in violation of a supreme court order. They were among thousands of Israeli Defence Force (IDF) documents passed to him by a former Israeli soldier, Anat Kamm, who was sentenced in February last year to four-and-a-half years in prison for unauthorised distribution of classified material. In a statement explaining its decision, the Israeli state prosecutor's office insisted that it had taken all "relevant considerations"- including press freedom - into account before concluding "that this case is an extreme one in terms of the severity of Blau's actions." The statement added that Blau had "betrayed his duty – and later his commitment before the state... and could have easily prevented harm to Israel's security without hurting his sources." Press freedom watchdogs have called on Israel not to charge Blau. Blau faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.
  • 31 May 2012 | Journalism.co.uk

    Bundlr shifts to become like Pinterest for curated media

    The content curation website Bundlr has announced a new version of its service which allows for embedding of content from a wide range of sources. By partnering with Embedly the site now supports over 200 sources of content, including Storify, Pinterest and Amazon, for users to add to their bundles. Embedly is the service that the new version of Twitter uses to embed photographs and articles in your Twitter stream and is used by a host of other sites such as Reddit and Bitly and comes as a WordPress plugin. While Bundlr was originally seen as an alternative to sites like Storify, which can be used to create stories from curated links and content, Bundlr's focus is now on creating a top-level resource for curated content around a story or topic. Articles can be read in a simplified style, akin to Readability or Instapaper, and interactive content like Prezi or Slideshare presentations can be played from the Bundlr site. Bundlr's new design is very visual and users of Pinterest boards will quickly grasp the idea of creating bundles. One clear advantage over Pinterest is the support for more than just images and links. When clipping various media Bundlr will pull an image for the tile but when clicked on this will display the full content.
  • 31 May 2012 | Knight Center

    Bambuser offers free live-streaming service for citizen journalists

    Touting its belief in "free speech and democracy," the live video-streaming app Bambuser announced that it is offering free premium access to its service for citizen journalists, according to EditorsWeblog. According to the Bambuser blog, live streaming from citizen journalists is especially important when professional news media don't have access. "Over the past years we've seen more and more activists and citizen journalists use Bambuser to broadcast real-time information about activities and events when they happen. We think that user generated content broadens the overall picture of what's actually going on, and is needed to complement professional news reporting," the site said. Citizen journalists who sign up will receive unlimited streaming and unlimited storage. Plus, Bambuser's deal with the Associated Press (AP) wire service means citizen journalists can opt to allow the AP to access and distribute their videos, explained journalism.co.uk. As the site The Next Web pointed out, Bambuser has been a key mobile tool for spreading the word during the protests of the Arab Spring and the Occupy Wall Street movement. Citizen journalists and activists who want to apply for the free Bambuser service should send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with their Bambuser username and a brief description of what they do.
  • 31 May 2012 | Journalism.co.uk

    Guardian’s n0tice launches iPhone app for geotagged news

    The Guardian's online noticeboard n0tice Wednesday announced the launch of a new iPhone app, to encourage people to read and share breaking news based on a location. The "see it, snap it, share it tool for geotagged breaking news" is now in the App Store. n0tice, which describes itself as the "local noticeboard that lives on the web" and utilises developments in social, local and mobile, wants to encourage "people to see and report what is happening near them in real-time", according to a release. The launch of the free app comes a week after notice announced its "open journalism toolkit", the opening of its API, enabling publishers to take data posted via the platform. According to the n0tcie blog, the technology used to build the iPhone app includes the n0tice API, the release of which came less that a month after the launch of a n0tice Facebook app.
  • 31 May 2012 | Knight Center

    New AP Stylebook updates entries on social media, race

    The Associated Press (AP) Stylebook, which sets the standard for spellings and style for much of the U.S. news media, on Wednesday launched the 2012 AP Stylebook with more than 270 new or updated entries, including new broadcast and fashion chapters, and an expanded social media section, the AP said in a statement. "At nearly 500 pages, the AP Stylebook continues to evolve to meet the diverse needs of writers and editors," the organization said, reported the Huffington Post. The chapter on social media use was originally added to the Stylebook in 2010. The AP prompted criticism in 2011 when journalists contended that the AP's guidelines on re-tweeting - which are included in the new Stylebook - demonstrated that the news organization just didn't "get" Twitter and social media. See this post from Poynter about other changes to the 2012 AP Stylebook, including guidelines on when to use racial identifications in stories. The relevance of race in the news came to the forefront during media coverage of the shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
  • 31 May 2012 | AFP

    EU: French press corps irked by EU use of English

    The Brussels-based French-language press corps reacted with fury Wednesday to the release in English of the EU's annual report cards on the bloc's 27 economies. In an angry open e-mail to the European Commission, the correspondent for the daily Liberation newspaper Jean Quatremer said - in French: "Once again, all the documents published today are available only in English. This is unacceptable." The Commission released 1,500 pages of hotly-awaited reports on the state of the bloc's economies along with proposals to redress public finances as Europe fights the debt crisis threatening some of its biggest economies. "I can't see why the Anglo-Saxon media should benefit from such an unbelievable competitive edge on the remainder of the other media and I can't see any practical reason for the Commission's incapacity to do this work." "The right to be informed in one's own language about the social and budgetary sacrifices demanded by the EU executive is a minimum right," he added. His protest was backed by most of his French colleagues. A spokesperson for the Commission told AFP that "the translations are coming."
  • 30 May 2012 | Reuters

    YouTube wins copyright case in French court

    A French court ruled that Google is not responsible for filtering content on YouTube, dealing a blow to French broadcaster TF1 which sought damages for copyrighted sports and movies which ended up on the video-sharing website. TF1 claimed EUR 141m in damages but was ordered to pay EUR 80,000 of Google's legal fees. The decision mirrors an earlier case in France in 2011 in which video-sharing website Dailymotion was classified as a 'platform' for content and not an 'editor' of content. The two French decisions mean that the websites are not legally responsible for ensuring that pirated content does not appear, as long as they take steps to remove it once the copyright owner indicates its presence. Mountain View-based Google faces other cases in the United States involving media giant Viacom and in Italy involving broadcaster Mediaset over whether its YouTube site is responsible for pirated content. A German court ruled in April that YouTube was responsible for the content its users published and should take down copyrighted clips or face a hefty royalties bill. In April a U.S. appeals court also dealt Google a blow by reviving lawsuits by Viacom, the English Premier League and other media companies over the use of copyrighted videos on Advertisement YouTube. In France, the courts have sided with Google.
  • 30 May 2012 | Business Week

    UK reporter won’t be prosecuted for hack leaks

    British prosecutors said Tuesday they won't press charges against a Guardian journalist and her suspected police source over leaks about the country's high-profile phone hacking investigation. The decision closes a sensitive case which has tested already strained relations between Britain's media and its largest police force, both of whom are struggling to deal with the fallout from the phone hacking scandal which erupted last year after revelations that journalists at the News of the World tabloid routinely hacked voicemails. Media groups were angered that police were pursuing The Guardian reporter Amelia Hill over the leaks, especially given that her paper had helped uncover the scandal. Britain's Crown Prosecution Service said in a statement Tuesday there was enough evidence to show that Hill had gotten leaks about the case from an unnamed 51-year-old detective constable, but that prosecuting them would not be in the public interest. The Guardian said in a statement on its website that it welcomed the "sensible decision to abandon this worrying attempt to criminalize legitimate contact between journalists and confidential sources."
  • 30 May 2012 | Fox News

    Thai webmaster sentenced in free speech case

    A Thai court sentenced a local webmaster Wednesday to an eight-month suspended sentence for failing to act quickly enough to remove Internet posts deemed insulting to the country's royalty in a case widely seen as a test of freedom of expression in this Southeast Asian nation. The ruling showed leniency toward Chiranuch Premchaiporn, who faced up to 20 years in prison for 10 comments posted on her Prachatai news website, but it still sends the message that Internet content in Thailand must be self-censored. Chiranuch was the first to be prosecuted under Thailand's computer-crime laws, which were enacted in 2007 under an interim, unelected government that came to power after a coup a year earlier. The laws address hacking and other online offenses, but also bar the circulation of material deemed detrimental to national security, which includes defaming the monarchy. Prachatai was founded by several respected journalists, senators and press freedom activists to serve as an independent, nonprofit, daily Internet newspaper.
  • 30 May 2012 | Knight Center

    Newspapers increasingly eliminating copy editors

    Faced with budget cuts due to declining circulations and ad revenues, newspapers across North America are moving behind paywalls, announcing they are cutting print editions, and laying off employees. When it comes to layoffs, more and more copy editors - the ones responsible for ensuring grammar and spellings are correct - are getting the short end of the stick, and content producers - reporters and editors -- are taking over copy editors' former duties. The Denver Post recently announced that it is eliminating its copy desk entirely. Instead of dedicated copy editors, reporters and assignment editors will be responsible for copy editing duties, which will be spread throughout the newsroom. And now Canada's leading newspaper publishing company, Postmedia NetworkCanada Corp., which publishes the Vancouver Sun, the Star Phoenix and the Leader-Post, is not only experimenting with a paywall and suspending publishing Sunday and Monday print editions of various of its newspapers, but also laying off copy editors as it "consolidates" editorial duties, according to Postmedia News. Meanwhile, the Contra Costa Times announced that it, too, is shifting copy editing duties as part of a digital-first strategy to get copy editing done earlier so content can be published faster, according to Poynter. Similarly, earlier in May the Salt Lake Tribune said it is laying off copy editors as part of a newsroom restructuring, in which "copy-editing and page-design functions, along with some copy editors and designers, will be integrated with existing news-gathering and content-producing teams."
  • 30 May 2012 | Wall Street Journal

    Fairfax journalists in Australia vote to strike

    Journalists at Fairfax Media Ltd., Australia's second-largest newspaper publisher, voted to strike Wednesday to protest the outsourcing of some production roles to New Zealand. The action comes as the struggling media company battles falling circulation, a tough advertising market and calls from its largest shareholder for change to tackle the company's poor performance. Staff at Fairfax's Australian Financial Review, Newcastle Herald, Sydney Morning Herald, Sun Herald and Illawarra Mercury newspapers in New South Wales state, the Age in Victoria and Fairfax Digital voted to strike for 36 hours from Wednesday, said the union representing journalists, Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance. The strike action is in response to Fairfax's announcement Tuesday that it would move sub-editing roles from the Newcastle Herald and Illawarra Mercury to New Zealand, affecting 66 positions. The latest job moves come after the company last year outsourced some of its editorial production at the Age and Sydney Morning Herald newspapers, resulting in about 82 redundancies. Fairfax is battling a downturn in advertising and, like many newspaper companies around the world, is seeking a way to remain relevant in a digital world as people move to the Internet and tablet devices for their news and away from newspapers.
  • 30 May 2012 | The Guardian

    Russian journalist attacked in Moscow

    A Russian journalist is in hospital after being lured out of his home and stabbed 20 times late on Monday night in the latest attack on a member of the press. Sergei Aslanyan, 46, works for Radio Mayak and spent 10 years as a presenter on Echo Moskvy, Russia's leading liberal radio station. Police sources said Aslanyan received a call from an unknown number just before midnight, inviting him outside for a chat. After leaving his home in southern Moscow, he was stabbed repeatedly in the chest, neck and arms by a man, or several men, wielding a knife. Police have opened an investigation into the attack. The Izvestiya newspaper suggested the attack could have been linked to a recent radio appearance during which Aslanyan insulted the prophet Muhammad. The programme prompted an angry response among some Muslims, with an imam in the eastern city of Kazan asking prosecutors to investigate the journalist. Others linked the attack to Aslanyan's reporting on Russia's auto industry and corrupt traffic police.
  • 29 May 2012 | Reuters

    Powerful “Flame” cyber weapon found in Iran

    Security experts said on Monday a highly sophisticated computer virus is infecting computers in Iran and other Middle East countries and may have been deployed at least five years ago to engage in state-sponsored cyber espionage. Evidence suggest that the virus, dubbed Flame, may have been built on behalf of the same nation or nations that commissioned the Stuxnet worm that attacked Iran's nuclear program in 2010, according to Kaspersky Lab, the Russian cyber security software maker that took credit for discovering the infections. Kaspersky researchers said they have yet to determine whether Flame had a specific mission like Stuxnet, and declined to say who they think built it. Iran has accused the United States and Israel of deploying Stuxnet. Cyber security experts said the discovery publicly demonstrates what experts privy to classified information have long known: that nations have been using pieces of malicious computer code as weapons to promote their security interests for several years. Kaspersky Lab said it discovered Flame after a U.N. telecommunications agency asked it to analyze data on malicious software across the Middle East in search of the data-wiping virus reported by Iran.
  • 29 May 2012 | BBC News

    Facebook smartphone to be ‘released next year’

    Social networking giant Facebook is to launch its own smartphone by next year, reports have suggested. The New York Times cited unnamed sources, including Facebook employees, suggesting that the network had been hiring several smartphone engineers. Facebook recently admitted it was struggling to make money out of its growing mobile audience. The company, which recently floated on the stock market, has also just launched its own mobile app store. The App Center currently offers links to Facebook-enabled apps within Apple's iOS and Google Android stores but developers will soon be able to write apps to be placed exclusively in Facebook's store. According to the New York Times, Facebook has hired experts who worked on the iPhone and other smartphones. It quoted a Facebook employee as saying the site's founder Mark Zuckerberg was "worried that if he doesn't create a mobile phone in the near future... Facebook will simply become an app on other mobile platforms". In a statement for potential investors ahead of its initial public offering earlier this month, the company admitted it had concerns about more users accessing Facebook through their mobile - a trend which could make it more difficult to sell advertising.
  • 29 May 2012 | Knight Center

    Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa asks citizens to boycott press

    In what appears to be a measure to silence the Ecuadorian press, President Rafael Correa asked for Ecuadorian citizens to boycott the press, reported the news agency AFP. "We have a way to defend ourselves, by not buying that junk called newspapers, stop watching those TV channels that keep politicking instead of informing," said President Correa during his weekly report on Saturday, May 26, according to the Peruvian newspaper Correo. After criticizing the newspapers El Universo and La Hora, the president also tore a copy of the newspaper La Hora, saying: "So they may complain as they wish, where ever they wish," reported the news agency EFE. On May 21, the United Nations expressed concern about the state of freedom of press and expression in Ecuador during the Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights. During this meeting, 17 governments asked the Ecuadorian government to “effectively respect and guarantee freedom of expression and of the press in the country,” and 24 suggestions for freedom of expression were given, according to the Ecuadorian NGOFundamedios and the newspaper La Hora.
  • 29 May 2012 | VOA News

    China’s Sina Weibo unveils new censorship system

    China's largest microblogging service has introduced new rules aimed at preventing the spread of online rumors and other content deemed inappropriate by Internet censors. Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like service with 300 million users, has been under increasing government pressure in recent months to more aggressively censor its content. It has rolled out a new set of guidelines that forbids posting material that is considered “untrue,” “harms national unity,” or “destroys societal stability,” among other things. Under the new “user contract,” Weibo users will be given a base score of 80 points, which will be deducted for each violation. The user's account will be terminated when the balance reaches zero. The system also punishes those who use code words, homonyms, or abbreviations in their online messages to attempt to bypass Internet censors. Sina Weibo already employs a large “rumor control team” and recently pledged to work more with government censors to squash online rumors after it was punished for failing to adequately restrict false rumors of a political coup. In March, Beijing introduced new rules requiring all of the country's microblog users to register using their own names, in an effort to better control what is being posted online. But many of the country's microblog services have struggled to enforce the rule.
  • 29 May 2012 | Knight Center

    Brazil now has its own version of the influential Columbia Journalism Review magazine

    Columbia University in the United States and the School of Advertising and Marketing (ESPM in Portuguese) in Brazil worked in collaboration to launch the Journalism Magazine of the ESPM, the Brazilian version of the influential Columbia Journalism Review, reported the portal Meio e Mensagem. The magazine, to be published every trimester, started circulating at the beginning of May. There will be translated articles from the U.S. magazine as well as content from Brazil. Journalist Eugenio Bucci, who also is the journalism graduate school director at ESPM, is heading the magazine. The first magazine edition, which will be sold through subscriptions, includes an article by journalist Alberto Dines about the effect of technology in journalism, Afro-American press history, and a reflection about the relationship between press consultants and the newsrooms, among other topics. The Journalism Magazine of the ESPM adds to the few journals dedicated to this profession. Another example is the Brazilian Magazine ofTeaching Journalism, oriented more to education than the journalism profession itself.
  • 29 May 2012 | Journalism.co.uk

    UK: Cardiff University to set up community journalism centre

    Cardiff University's School of Journalism is to set up a new centre for community journalism which will aim to equip those working on hyperlocal outlets with the skills and support to maintain such projects. The school last week appointed a manager for the new centre, who will begin work on setting up the training centre in late June, early July. The aim of the centre will be to bring together journalism staff and students with members of the public interested in working in community journalism and those running hyperlocal news websites. Head of the Cardiff School of Journalism Professor Justin Lewis added that the centre will aim to play an enabling role to "train, support and develop community journalists". Professor of Journalism Studies Bob Franklin said it is important for communities "to have a public space" where they can come together and discuss issues of local importance, particularly in the face of local newspaper closures. The centre will aim to provide support to the local community to facilitate the development of hyperlocal outlets and help them to be self-sustaining, he added. It will also aim to bring people up-to-date on legal issues and the importance of fact checking processes.
  • 25 May 2012 | AP

    US: Times-Picayune to cut paper to 3 days a week

    The Times-Picayune, one of the oldest newspapers in the US, will no longer offer print editions seven days a week and instead plans to offer three printed issues a week starting in the fall. The change means New Orleans would become the largest metro area in the nation without a daily newspaper in the digital age. The changes announced Thursday were combined with similar moves at three major Alabama daily newspapers also owned by the Newhouse family group’s Advance Publications. The Birmingham News, the Press-Register in Mobile and The Huntsville Times will switch to publishing three days a week as part of a new focus on online news. At all four papers, there will be unspecified staff cuts. All four papers will continue to publish continuously on their websites, and online access will remain free.
  • 25 May 2012 | Rapid TV News

    BBC flexes online video muscle in Europe

    Research from comScore has revealed the growing strength of the BBC's multi-platform offer shoing the corporation ’s has the most visited original news site in Europe and is overall second only to news aggregator Yahoo! The research firm showed that BBC.com boasts over 26 million unique users per month in Europe and has nearly 10 million unique visitors per month outside the UK. This is the second confirmation of the growing power of the corporation worldwide coming days after an Ipsos PAX survey revealed that in the face of stiff competition, BBC World News was Asia’s fastest growing channel of its type in 2011 claimed to be the leading media site among key demographics, such as top earners. It also showed that the BBC’s international news channel was delivering 8 percent more affluent Asian viewers than CNN, and more High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) than the Bloomberg and CNBC business news channels combined. As part of a growing trend, growing numbers of people were ccessing BBC News on mobiles and tablets and in an average month, the BBC News sites and apps were visited by around 8.5 million users worldwide on mobile and tablet devices.
  • 25 May 2012 | Journalism.co.uk

    Meograph tool to help journalists build interactive multimedia stories

    A new tool that will enable journalists to illustrate multimedia stories over time and locations using Google maps is to launch in around a month's time. Meograph will also enable journalists to integrate multimedia content, such as YouTube videos or images and link to extra context such as articles or galleries on other website. The graphic moves through a series of created moments through a timeline and uses Google maps to show the geographical journey, assisted by audio narrations uploaded by the user. The platform, which is due to be launched publicly in around a month, is the brainchild of Misha Leybovich. He said the ability to add extra context to a given "moment", such as by linking to a news article, a gallery, a full video or a wikipedia article, will offers a choice on the viewing experience. He added that he sees the platform being equally useful in breaking news situations, or to show the journey of a past event or story. Added features are due to be added to the platform in the coming weeks, including the ability to embed the final Meograph and search for other projects by location or time. The technology will be free to use, with the platform looking at "some sort of ad-support" and possibly video pre-roll adverts and "some sort of premium plans".
  • 25 May 2012 | Reuters

    Al Jazeera wants to build a sports broadcasting empire

    Al Jazeera, best known for its Middle Eastern news coverage, aims to become a global powerhouse in sports broadcasting over the next five years, its director said. The Qatar-based broadcaster will launch its new sports channel dubbed ’beIN Sport’ in France next week and plans for two more channels in the United States in August. It is also currently weighing whether to bid for the UK rights to the English Premier League, said Nasser al-Khelaifi, director of Al Jazeera Sports, in an interview. The moves are part of a broader effort by the emirate of Qatar to burnish its sports credentials ahead of hosting the soccer World Cup in 2022. Flush with oil and gas wealth, the Qatar Sports Investment fund has also bought the Paris St. Germain soccer team and the Spanish soccer team in Malaga. Al Jazeera is no novice at sports coverage. In the past decade, it has built the most popular sports network in the Middle East and Africa, with two free and 15 pay channels, plus an English version with a dozen commentators and producers. The question now is whether it can replicate that success abroad with local language channels in Europe and the U.S. To do so, it will have to take on established pay-TV groups in each market such as News Corp affiliate BSkyB and Vivendi’s Canal+, shell out big money for rights, and overcome its lack of a distribution network.
  • 25 May 2012 | The Guardian

    Press freedom watchdogs demand release of Palestinian broadcaster

    Press freedom watchdogs have called on the Israeli military to release the director of a Palestinian TV station who was detained last Thursday 17 May. Israeli soldiers arrested Baha Khairi Moussa, who runs the Palestine Prisoner Channel, a satellite broadcaster based in the West Bank. They also confiscated the station's equipment. But the reason for his arrest remains a mystery, as do his whereabouts. Both the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the Vienna-based International Press Institute (IPI) have called for his release. The Palestine Prisoner Channel, which began broadcasting a month ago, features reports and interviews with Palestinian prisoners on their status and condition in Israeli jails. The arrest occurred days after about 2,000 Palestinian prisoners waged a month-long hunger strike for more rights in the Israeli detention system. Issa Qaraqe, the Palestinian minister of prisoner affairs, said Moussa's arrest was "illegal and arbitrary." He said the channel had legal authorisation from the Palestinian Authority to broadcast.
  • 25 May 2012 | Knight Center

    Amnesty International 2012 annual report criticizes Venezuelan restrictions on press freedom

    In the annual Amnesty International 2012 report presented in London on Wednesday, the group said that there "were new restrictions" to freedom of expression in Venezuela, with journalists facing fines and myriad accusations, reported the newspaper El Universal and the news agency EFE. Although the Amnesty International report makes reference to the year 2011, conflicts between journalists and the Venezuelan government have continued in the country during 2012, specially during the period prior to the presidential elections, which will take place in October. On Friday, May 18, the Inter American Press Association formally asked Venezuelan authorities to stop attacks against the newspaper Notitarde. Globovisio'n is one of the TV stations that most frequently accuses the Venezuelan government and its supporters of attacks against journalists, making death threats and, damaging transmission equipment. Recently, the Venezuelan National System of Public Media (SNMP in Spanish) team was attacked by supporters of the presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, Chavez's opposition, reported the National Journalists Association of Venezuela. According to Venezuelan minister of communication and information, Andres Izarra, the SNMP reporters now cover the opposition equipped with safety helmets and shields, reported El Impulso.
  • 24 May 2012 | European Press Prize

    Seven media foundations launch European Press Prize

    Seven European media foundations are joining forces today to launch the European Press Prize, rewarding excellence in journalism across all 47 countries of Europe. They believe that saluting serious writing and reporting - in print or on newspaper websites - can help raise journalism's role as a vital defender of democracy's freedoms. Four awards In the first year of the Prize, awards will be given in four separate categories. Each award consists of EUR 10,000. 1. The Editing Award - For the editor who the judges believe has contributed most to public debate and public understanding; 2. The Commentator Award - For the feature writer, columnist or commentator who has done most to illuminate vital issues for readers; 3. The News Reporting Award – For the reporter or specialist expert whose work has made a decisive impact; 4. The Innovation Award – For the outstanding innovation of the year - in print or via digital: anything that makes a significant contribution to journalism's future. Entries for year one of the awards open on July 1 and close on October 26, 2012.
  • 24 May 2012 | AP

    Yahoo seeks to shake up search, Web browsing

    Joining the battle to redefine Internet search, Yahoo is taking aim with a new browser enhancement it calls "Axis." It alters browsers made by other companies to display search results in a more convenient and visual format. The troubled Internet company Yahoo Inc. released Axis in Apple's appstore late Wednesday. That version will work only on Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The software also can be installed as a plug-in on most major browsers used on desktop computers and laptops. Apps for other mobile devices are in the works. A device running Axis can display search results in a panorama of visual thumbnails that can be scrolled through above a Web page. It's a departure from search engines' traditional presentation of a list of staid Web links that require more navigation and guesswork. Its greatest appeal figures to be on mobile devices because users with the app installed can see their search results at the top of the screen just by flicking on whatever page is displayed. The relevant results appear in a ribbon of Web page snapshots, making it easier for users to find the right information. Much like Google's Knowledge Graph, Axis draws its results from a custom-built index. Most of the data in the Axis index resides on Yahoo's own services. If Axis can't find answers there, it presents links from Bing's search index.
  • 24 May 2012 | AP

    1000s of students protest media in Mexico

    Thousands of university students marched through central Mexico City on Wednesday to protest media coverage that they say favors the candidate of the former ruling party in upcoming presidential elections. The students say newspapers and television stations are tilting their coverage toward Enrique Pena Nieto, who is leading polls by double digits ahead of the July 1 vote. Many of the students were from the elite Iberoamerican University, where a May 11 appearance by Pena Nieto set off a rare wave of protests by young people against a return to the presidency of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which ruled Mexico for 70 years before it was voted out in 2000. The students say Mexico's largest television channel, Televisa, was particularly biased in its coverage of the rally and the campaign in general. Many finished the march at Televisa's studios, where Pena Nieto was appearing on a live interview show. Local media reported smaller, simultaneous marches in at least a half-dozen other cities around Mexico. Pena Nieto's backers have labeled the students as supporters of leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, but many at the rally said they supported none of three main presidential candidates.
  • 24 May 2012 | AP

    Mexico captures suspect in death of US journalist

    Prosecutors in southern Mexico announced Wednesday that they have captured a man suspected in the killing of independent U.S. journalist Bradley Will during protests against the Oaxaca state government in 2006. Suspect Lenin Osorio is a former state government employee who allegedly shot Will as he videotaped a clash between protesters and government supporters. Osorio had worked in the state education department, but it was unclear whether he was working there at the time of the killing of the New York man. Osorio was apparently angered by the acts of an alliance of protest groups that blocked streets and paralyzed Oaxaca's state capital for several months in 2006, said Samuel Castellanos, a special prosecutor for the Attorney General's Office. Will was covering the conflict for Indymedia.org. He sympathized with the protesters, one of whom was arrested in 2008 for the killing but was later released. Osorio was captured early Wednesday. Castellanos said he apparently acted alone, and had no known ties to political or union groups.
  • 24 May 2012 | The Sacramento Bee

    The Poynter Institute and Craig Newmark to host journalism ethics symposium

    The one-year-old initiative launched by craigslist founder Craig Newmark, craigconnects, is teaming up with The Poynter Institute to host an ethics symposium in New York City in the Fall of 2012. The symposium will lead to creation of a new set of guiding principles for journalists and other content creators concerned with democratic standards of truth in the digital age. The symposium will convene up to 16 invited journalism thought leaders, who will prepare by drafting essays and case studies that tackle the thorniest ethical topics journalists confront, including issues of diversity in the digital space, intellectual honesty and financial profit, as well as the traditional values of truth and accuracy, independence and minimizing harm. Participants will test their ideas in the symposium, which will be open to observers, then refine their essays for publication by CQ Press in a book edited by Poynter Senior Faculty for Ethics, Kelly McBride.
  • 24 May 2012 | Reuters

    “Citizen journalism” focuses on Israeli occupation

    Amateur video of Israeli soldiers appearing to watch idly as settlers opened fire on Palestinians throwing stones has emphasized the growing power of "citizen journalism" in the occupied West Bank. Shaky footage, captured on Saturday from two angles by residents of Aseera al-Qibliya village, shows bearded residents from the nearby settlement of Yitzhar aiming a hand gun and assault rifle at the crowd, followed by sounds of gunfire. A bloodied youth shot in the face was shown being carried away on the shoulders of fellow villagers. The video was soon posted on the Internet. Teacher Ibrahim Makhlouf, who filmed the incident, lives by the brush scorched in the clashes on the village's edge, beneath the gaze of the prefabricated suburbs of Yitzhar, which lie outside the official settlement boundary. The Israeli Defence Force has ordered an investigation and confirmed that live fire was used during the confrontation. B'Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization, provided the cameras used to document the event, as part of a program started in 2007 whereby it has distributed around 150 camcorders to "citizen journalists" throughout the West Bank. The group aims to use social media to bring alleged violations by settlers and the military into public view.
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