Media News

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  • 2 May 2012 | AFP

    Spanish media crushed by economic crisis

    More than 6,000 journalists have lost their jobs in Spain in the three years since the economic crisis broke out, the industry warned ahead of World Press Freedom Day on Thursday. "It is the most severe situation journalism in Spain has gone through in all its history," said Elsa Gonzalez, president of the Spanish Federation of Journalists' Associations. "The figures for the last quarter are alarming and the outlook is dark." The association, which represents 21,000 members of the profession, says that 6,234 journalists have lost their jobs since the worst of the financial and economic crisis began in late 2008. Fifty-seven media organisations have closed down and 23 have made lay-offs. Now Spain's two biggest-selling daily newspaper, El Pais and El Mundo, are planning mass job cuts too, says Fernando Cano, editor of the specialist media news site El Mundo plans to lay off a third of its journalists, cutting some 195 jobs, and El Pais is likely to make comparable cuts, he said. The left-wing daily Publico, which champions victims of the economic crisis and criticises the ruling class, now has only an online presence since it scrapped its print edition in February with the loss of 160 jobs. The federation has called for rallies in 40 towns across Spain on Thursday to mark World Press Freedom Day, to "demand better conditions for journalists and raise awareness that weakening journalism also weakens democracy."
  • 2 May 2012 | New York Times

    Panel in hacking case finds Murdoch unfit as news titan

    A damning report on the hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s British newspapers concluding that Mr. Murdoch is “not a fit person” to run a huge international company has convulsed Britain’s political and media worlds and threatened a core asset of Mr. Murdoch’s American-based News Corporation. The parliamentary report, issued Tuesday, found that three senior Murdoch executives misled Parliament in testimony. It also alleges that the company sought to cover up widespread phone hacking that Mr. Murdoch’s News of the World, a tabloid newspaper now shut down, used to gather information about politicians, celebrities and other people in the news. It has opened deep divisions between the main political parties, accentuated the challenge Prime Minister David Cameron faces in explaining his past ties to Mr. Murdoch and some of his top executives in Britain, and added new momentum to regulators’ scrutiny of Mr. Murdoch’s controlling interest in the British Sky Broadcasting network, or BSkyB, which is one of the most lucrative Murdoch investments. It also offers new details that suggest further damaging revelations may lie ahead. Sprinkled through its 121 pages are tantalizing references to potentially damaging sealed documents in dozens of lawsuits from the scandal, and an audio recording in police hands of a conversation between two News of the World journalists that may implicate an unnamed Murdoch executive.
  • 2 May 2012 | The Guardian

    Palestinian TV station sued as journalists fear media crackdown

    An independent Palestinian television station is facing a potentially crippling court case next week amid growing evidence of a clampdown by the Palestinian Authority on freedom of expression and journalists critical of its activities. Wattan TV is being sued for USD 1m over an investigation into alleged corruption at a Palestinian university. It claimed that the son of a senior PA official was offered a place at the university despite having failed to meet academic requirements. The station, which says it has evidence to support its allegations, fears that some of its executives could face prison sentences and that freedom of speech in the Palestinian territories will be curtailed. It follows the resignation last week of the Palestinian communications minister in protest at the PA's blocking of at least eight websites that criticised President Mahmoud Abbas. Most of the targeted websites were associated with Mohammed Dahlan, an arch-opponent of Abbas within the ruling Fatah faction. The attorney-general, Ahmad al-Mughni, issued a statement on Sunday confirming that some sites had been blocked following complaints from individuals and others were censored for security reasons.
  • 2 May 2012 | AP

    PEN honors jailed Ethiopian journalist

    An imprisoned Ethiopian journalist and blogger who could face the death penalty for advocating peaceful protests in his Horn of Africa homeland was honored Tuesday with PEN America's "Freedom to Write" award. Eskinder Nega was arrested in 2011 under Ethiopia's sweeping anti-terrorism laws, which PEN says criminalize any reporting deemed to "encourage" or "provide moral support" to groups and causes the government deems "terrorists." Nega is still in jail after a judge in Addis Ababa found him guilty Jan. 23 on terror charges. He could face the death penalty at sentencing. Ethiopia has arrested close to 200 people, among them journalists and opposition politicians and members, under last year's anti-terrorism proclamation. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, more journalists have fled Ethiopia than any other country in the world over the past decade.
  • 2 May 2012 | Zapaday

    Zapaday launches Breaking Future News service

    Zapaday, the open news calendar, Tuesday launched a news service that publishes breaking future news headlines. The service, available at, uses real time analysis of online news and Twitter texts to spot upcoming headlines as they emerge. The news service is freely available at Mid May, the Breaking Future News service will be available in the free ‘Tomorrow’ iPhone app and in the upcoming Zapaday mobile website. Zapaday uses Natural Language Processing technology to analyze events and stories from thousands of news, government and company websites. Zapaday also spots ‘trending future events’ on Twitter, working together with Alan Ritter, a computer scientist at the University of Washington. The future news service now requires approval by editors. In June, Zapaday will launch a next version of the service that will include stories that are automatically spotted, selected and published by computers.
  • 2 May 2012 |

    Demotix and Storyful announce ‘real-time social newswire’

    Citizen photo wire Demotix has announced a partnership with social newswire Storyful, which will see the creation of a real-time wire service. According to an announcement by both parties, Demotix content will be "delivered through a dedicated channel on the StoryfulPro platform". "Clients will now have the ability to source from a comprehensive real-time feed of content, discovered and verified by Storyful alongside rights-cleared imagery from the Demotix network." Chief executive of Storyful Mark Little said the new channel "meets the great challenge facing journalists in a social age – how can we find user-generated content that we can trust and safely use in our stories?". Turi Munthe, chief executive of Demotix, said: "By combining Storyful's discovery and verification system with the vast reach of the Demotix network, we can offer a valuable commercial connection between the most authentic and compelling content creators and the most forward-thinking newsrooms". As well as Demotix content being published via Storyful, it is understood Demotix will look to license Storyful's breaking news material.