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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  • 5 July 2013 | The Verge

    Sky Deutschland campaign will pipe ads straight into train passengers’ skulls

    Sky Deutschland, the German wing of TV provider Sky, is testing a marketing concept that may be pure evil genius, or possibly just pure evil. Sky Deutschland and advertising company BBDO have tested a concept that would pipe messages directly into the heads of people who try to rest or sleep against train windows. The idea, which was first unveiled at the advertising-focused Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in late June, is known as the Talking Window. It uses bone conduction like that found in headphones, hearing aids, and Google Glass to send vibrations through a window. When a commuter leans against the window, he or she will hear a message that nobody else can, asking if they're bored and want to download Sky's mobile app.
  • 5 July 2013 | The Wall Street Journal

    South Korea to train 5,000 cybersecurity experts

    For a country that’s often cited as one of the most wired in the world, South Korea has a serious deficit when it comes to expertise in preventing and containing cyberattacks.The country’s science ministry said Thursday that it will coordinate an effort to train 5,000 people as cybersecurity experts by 2017 to augment a woefully inadequate staff that currently numbers just 200. The announcement comes a week after several South Korean government websites came under attack. Security software company Symantec Corp. said last week that the hacking effort was partly the work of a group dubbed “Dark Seoul,” whose link to North Korea has yet to be verified.
  • 5 July 2013 | The Guardian

    Google ordered to rewrite privacy policy

    Privacy watchdogs in the UK, Germany and Italy have told Google to rewrite its privacy policy in Europe or face legal sanctions, 15 months after the search giant unilaterally altered them to unify data collection. The move follows similar complaints to the US company last month from the equivalent organisations in France and Spain, and ratchets up the attention over its handling of the huge amounts of personal data that it collects from users every day. Google has already been censured in Europe over its collection of Wi-Fi data, including usernames, passwords and web page viewing while collecting photos for its Street View system.
  • 5 July 2013 | Net News Check

    Millennials still want their newspapers

    Despite the perception that the under-30 crowd is leaving newspapers and their websites behind for other digital news outlets, studies are finding that the newspaper is still a vital source of information for the millennials. Some 57% of those ages 18-34 read newspapers, in print or online, during the course of an average week. "There is no question that members of the younger generation tend to be more active in using digital media to seek and absorb information they consider relevant to their lives," says Newspaper Association of America's Jim Conaghan. "Newspapers continue to refine existing methods and invent new ones to reach younger generations through their digital platforms."
  • 5 July 2013 | BBC

    Twitter translates tweets from leading Egyptians

    Tweets from leading Egyptians are being automatically translated as part of a new Twitter service for non-Arabic speakers. As Egypt's military ousted President Mohammed Morsi on Wednesday, non-Egyptians were able to read his tweets in their local languages. Other figures being translated included opposition leader Mohammed El Baradei and Arab Spring activist Wael Ghonim. Twitter is using Microsoft Bing translator as an "experiment".
  • 5 July 2013 | CNET

    Apple hit by patent suit from Boston University

    Apple is on the receiving end of a patent lawsuit from one of the US' top universities. In a suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, Boston University claims that a part used in the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Air was patented by computer engineering professor Theodore Moustakas in 1997, the Boston Herald has reported. The patent known as "Highly insulating monocrystalline gallium nitride thin films" refers to a semiconductor component invented by the professor. This isn't the university's first attempt to fight for this patent. Over the past year, BU has filed the same complaint against other companies, including Samsung and Amazon.
  • 4 July 2013 | The Daily Beast

    Rupert Murdoch caught on tape talking about phone hacking scandal

    Two years to the day after news broke that his best-selling tabloid, the News of the World, had hacked the cell phone of murdered teenager Milly Dowler, Rupert Murdoch himself has been caught on tape making a series of explosive statements about his company’s cooperation with the police and his attitude to the last two years of the hacking scandal. Murdoch was recorded this March in London during a meeting to reassure 20 or so of his senior staff, many of them among the hundred or so journalists and informants already arrested over allegations of illegal payments to police. According to Exaro News, which exclusively published the transcript and redacted recordingson Wednesday, more than one of the journalists was covertly recording the conversation.
  • 4 July 2013 | The LA Times

    Apple taps former Yves St. Laurent executive for special projects

    Apple has hired a fashion executive to work on special projects, fueling speculation that the company is looking to perfect the look and branding of wearable computing devices such as the iWatch. The technology giant confirmed the addition of former Yves Saint Laurent Group chief executive Paul Deneve in a statement to Bloomberg. Apple didn’t offer any details on what Deneve would be working on. Apple shares have tilted upward this month amid iWatch speculation, including trademark filings for the device in at least seven countries.
  • 4 July 2013 | Poynter

    Esquire charges $1.99 for article, while Australian and British papers continue paywall battles

    Men’s magazine Esquire has joined the throng of publications experimenting with online paywalls, asking readers to pay a $1.99 fee to read a feature from its August issue called The Prophet. Ad Week’s Emma Bazilian says it is the first time Esquire has made such a request of its online readership. The 10,000-word Luke Dittrich story — about a neurosurgeon named Dr. Eben Alexander who wrote a bestselling book about claiming to see God during a weeklong coma — was a perfect peg for the magazine to try a fee, editor-in-chief David Granger told Ad Week. So far the purchase rate among readers is 3 to 4 percent, Bazilian writes.
  • 4 July 2013 | The Next Web

    eBay buys Belgian classifieds websites 2dehands.be and 2ememain.be; terms undisclosed

    E-commerce juggernaut eBay has announced that it has acquired Belgian online classifieds websites 2dehands.be and 2ememain.be (Dutch and French for ‘second-hand’, respectively). As a result of the acquisition, the sites will be folded into the eBay Classifieds Group, which comprises local classifieds sites in more than 25 countries and 1,000 cities across the globe. Both 2dehands.be and 2ememain.be will remain free, and eBay says it intends to invest in bolstering the offering. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but eBay says both classifieds sites will continue to be run by local teams who “understand the nuances of the local culture”.
  • 4 July 2013 | The Herald Sun

    Egyptians take to social media to make their voices heard

    After days of protests Egypt's military dramatically stepped in and removed President Mohamed Morsi and replaced him with the chief justice of constitutional court, with news of the political coup reaching social media first. As the country's new rulers outlined their road map for the future, including a freezing of the Islamist-drafted constitution and early presidential elections, social media played a key part in the crisis. After being given 48 hours on Monday to vacate his post, Morsi yesterday issued a bold tweet in which made it clear he had no plans to step down. The presidential post was retweeted by over 12,381 and favourited by 2,590 Twitter users within an hour of it being published through the micro-blogging website.
  • 4 July 2013 | PC Mag

    Pew: 6 percent of American adults use Reddit

    Reddit, the self-proclaimed "front page of the Internet," has finally earned a place at the social network table. The online community, which allows people to submit content and vote it up or down based on interest, is used by 6 percent of U.S. Internet users, according to the Pew Research Center. That's still eons behind Facebook with 67 percent, but Reddit is on par with Tumblr, which has also attracted the attention of 6 percent of the Web. Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram all hover around the 15 percent mark. Unsurprisingly, Reddit appeals mostly to young men, who are more inclined to spend hours sifting through memes or voting up Minecraft images than their female counterparts.
  • 3 July 2013 | The Wall Street Journal

    Russian court convicts media mogul Lebedev of assault

    Russian media mogul Alexander Lebedev was convicted Tuesday of assault and sentenced to 150 hours of community service for a televised punch-up with a real estate tycoon that later became an Internet sensation. The 53-year-old Mr. Lebedev, who financially backs the Independent and Evening Standard newspapers in England—which are formally owned by his son—and co-owns Russia’s opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta, had faced up to five years in prison on a far more serious charge of “hooliganism inspired by political hatred” stemming from the 2011 episode with real estate developer Sergei Polonsky.
  • 3 July 2013 | The New York Times

    Regulator in France raids office of Apple

    Authorities searched the French offices of Apple and some affiliated companies as part of an investigation into retailing practices, a spokesman for the French competition regulator said on Tuesday. The raids took place last week on “some of Apple’s premises in France, as well as those of some of its wholesalers and distributors,” said André Piérard, a spokesman for the regulator, the Competition Authority. Mr. Piérard said the investigation was carried out by competition officials accompanied by judicial police officers. Authorities seized documents in the raids.
  • 3 July 2013 | The Independent

    Bebo founder Michael Birch buys back failing $850m social network for $1m

    The British founder of Bebo, the social network which briefly soared in the noughties, has bought back the company he originally sold for $850 million for just $1 million. Launched in 2005 by Michael Birch, with his wife Xochi, Bebo swiftly became the number one online hang-out for UK teenagers to chat and share pictures. But the craze faded and by the time Birch sold Bebo to AOL in 2008. Yesterday he announced that Monkey Inferno, his San Francisco-based investment company has bought Bebo’s assets from the receivers for $1 million in an auction.
  • 3 July 2013 | Forbes

    With 30M uniques under its belt, Upworthy is ready to monetize

    The fastest growing news site ever is ready to start making money. Coming off its biggest month of traffic yet, Upworthy, the social news aggregator that pairs progressive politics with viral marketing savvy, is in the early phase of introducing advertising to its model. The 14-month-old site is talking to marketers about participating in a sponsored content pilot program. While Upworthy will invite the expected liberal advocacy groups and nonprofits to pay to have their messages promoted, it will also welcome for-profit brands, says editor in chief and cofounder Peter Koechley.
  • 3 July 2013 | The Guardian

    News UK chief backs digital paywalls

    Mike Darcey, the chief executive of Rupert Murdoch's UK publishing operation, believes free websites may get more readers than those behind a digital paywall, but says they do not generate meaningful revenue– and that focusing on building a mountain of users is "only good for the ego". The head of News UK, the freshly rebranded name for News International, said that giving digital content away free undermines a print business which is still by far and away the engine room of revenues and profits.
  • 3 July 2013 | Poynter

    Andrew Sullivan’s ‘The Dish’ has more than 27,000 subscribers six months in

    In the six months since “The Dish” shifted to an independent, reader-funded blog, it has acquired 27,349 subscribers. Traffic dipped a little in the spring but has picked back up again, Andrew Sullivan says in a blog post. In March, Sullivan tweaked The Dish’s paywall model after the initial subscription rate slowed down; he tightened the meter from seven free reads a month to five over two months and announced a $1.99-a-month offer. (An annual subscription costs $19.99.) Sullivan, who’s “really trying to forge a new path here for online media,” says the monthly offer and gift subscriptionshave benefited the site.
  • 2 July 2013 | The Guardian

    Ex-BBC chief faces questions on payoffs

    Former BBC director general Mark Thompson will face further scrutiny over his eight-year tenure at the BBC after a damning report by the public spending watchdog into the corporation's six-figure payoffs to former members of its top management. Tory MP Rob Wilson said Thompson had questions to answer after the National Audit Office investigation revealed that a string of senior executives were paid hundreds of thousands of pounds more in severance payments than they were contractually entitled to. They included one senior manager who received a payoff of nearly £900,000, despite being given 14 months' notice and finding another job before leaving the BBC.
  • 2 July 2013 | The Financial Times

    China censors urge media to curb ‘cash crunch’ coverage

    With a cash crunch roiling the Chinese economy, propaganda authorities have told local media to tone down their reporting to help stabilise financial markets. In a directive written last week and transmitted over the past few days to newspapers and television stations, local propaganda departments of the Communist party instructed reporters to stop “hyping the so-called cash crunch” and to spread the message that the country’s markets are well stocked with money. Chinese propaganda officials regularly send guidelines to the nation’s media about sensitive political subjects, telling them which words to avoid and how to frame their reporting. But it is rare for such instructions to be sent to financial media.
  • 2 July 2013 | The Examiner

    US military blocks troops from entire Guardian website

    The US military and the Pentagon told the Guardian that it has completely blocked troops abroad from accessing the Guardian’s website after Edward Snowden revealed some of the truth about widespread US surveillance, according to a Guardian report Monday. The troops are under "theater-wide block", the Guardian reports Monday. As the US military sacrifices lives to "take democracy" and "end rights' abuses" to countries abroad, Friday, the Pentagon and US army told the Guardian that automated content filters installed on Department of Defense (DoD) networks to prevent unauthorized dissemination of classified information had blocked access to selected aspects of the Guardian’s website.
  • 2 July 2013 | The Age

    Five men rape journalist, 22, in Tahrir Square

    A Dutch journalist has been raped by a group of five men in Cairo's central Tahrir Square as millions of protesters take to the streets to demand the removal of Egypt's President Mohammed Mursi, according to reports. The woman is believed to have undergone surgery for horrific injuries sustained in the attack, as a volunteer vigilante group formed to protect women in Tahrir Square reported a new wave of sexual violence by groups of men targeting women. Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment said it had recorded 44 cases of sexual assaults and harassment against women on Sunday night alone, the highest number it had encountered since the group was formed in November 2012.
  • 2 July 2013 | The Washington Post

    Tribune to buy Local TV’s 19 stations for $2.73 billion in cash, boost commercial TV holdings

    Tribune Co. said Monday that it reached a deal to buy Local TV Holdings LLC’s 19 TV stations for $2.73 billion in cash, significantly boosting its television business as it looks to sell its newspaper operations. Tribune currently owns 23 TV stations and cable network WGN America, along with the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and other newspapers. The deal will give it 42 stations, making the Chicago-based company one of the nation’s top TV station owners. The deal reshapes the broadcast media landscape and follows two recent broadcast acquisition deals by companies whose roots are in newspapers. These companies are trying to acquire additional television stations at a time when the newspaper industry is faltering.
  • 2 July 2013 | The Drum

    The Observer pulls front page splash claiming secret data harvesting deals

    The Observer has pulled its front page story claiming to reveal ‘secret European deals’ that would have seen private data handed to the US, after the credentials of its single source were called into question. The exclusive story has been pulled from the later edition of The Observer this morning, as well as the Guardian’s website, having run claims by former Navy Lieutenant and National Security Agency (NSA) employee Wayne Madsen that ‘at least six European countries', including Britain had agreed ’to harvest’ private data to the NSA and that seven European countries as well as the US had access to a network of fibreoptic cables that could intercept phone calls, emails and website log in details.
  • 1 July 2013 | Der Spiegel

    Partner and target: NSA snoops on 500 million German data connections

    America's National Security Agency (NSA) is apparently spying on Germany more than previously believed. Secret documents from the US intelligence service, which have been viewed by SPIEGEL journalists, reveal that the NSA systematically monitors and stores a large share of the country's telephone and Internet connection data. Internal NSA statistics indicate that the agency stores data from around half a billion communications connections in Germany each month. This data includes telephone calls, emails, mobile-phone text messages and chat transcripts. The metadata -- or information about which call or data connections were made and when -- is then stored at the NSA's headquarters in Fort Meade, near Washington, DC.
  • 1 July 2013 | Reuters

    China state media blames Syria rebels for Xinjiang violence

    Chinese state media on Monday blamed Syrian opposition forces in unusually specific finger pointing for training Muslim extremists responsible for the deadliest unrest in four years in China's far-western region of Xinjiang. China has traditionally blamed violence in Xinjiang, home to Muslim Uighurs, on Islamic separatists who want to establish an independent state of "East Turkestan". This appears to mark the first time Beijing has blamed a group in Syria and fits a common narrative of the government portraying Xinjiang's violence as coming from abroad, such as Pakistan, and not due to homegrown anger.
  • 1 July 2013 | BBC

    Fans braced for Google Reader’s demise flock to new services

    Millions of users of Google's Reader service are preparing for its closure, with many still angered at the search giant's decision. Google announced in March that it would shut down the RSS reader, blaming a decline in use. The company admitted that Reader had a "loyal following", and gave instructions for exporting feeds. Other web companies are now clamouring to gain "Google Reader orphans" when the service finally closes on Monday.
  • 1 July 2013 | The Next Web

    Apple files trademark for iWatch in Japan as tech firms ramp up smartwatch efforts

    Apple has filed a trademark for “iWatch” with Japan’s patent office, seeking to protect the name it has coined and adding credence to rumors that the company is developing a smartwatch, according to a June 3 filing made public last week (spotted by Bloomberg News). It was previously reported that Apple has a team of “about 100 product designers” working on a new device, similar to a wristwatch, that can perform many of the tasks currently dominated by the iPhone and iPad – which could include the ability to make phone calls, identify incoming callers and check map routes.
  • 1 July 2013 | CNET

    FCC approves Google’s ‘white space’ database operation

    The Federal Communications Commission has approved Google's plan to operate a database that would allow unlicensed TV broadcast spectrum to be used for wireless broadband and shared among many users. Google, which was granted commission approval Friday, is the latest company to complete the FCC's 45-day testing phase. Spectrum Bridge and Telcordia completed their trials, and there are another 10 companies, including Microsoft, which are working on similar databases. The new database will keep track of the TV broadcast frequencies in use so that wireless broadband devices can take advantage of the unlicensed space on the spectrum, also called "white space."
  • 1 July 2013 | WHTC

    Wikileaks founder says Snowden info will keep getting published

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said on Sunday that Edward Snowden made sure that the information he took about U.S. surveillance programs will continue to be published regardless of what happens to the former U.S. spy agency contractor. Assange criticized the United States for revoking Snowden's passport and said it would not stop the classified information taken by the 30-year-old former contractor from getting out. "Look, there is no stopping the publishing process at this stage," Assange said in an interview with ABC's "This Week" television show. "Great care has been taken to make sure that Mr. Snowden can't be pressured by any state to stop the publication process."
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