Date

Thu - 21.09.2017


Ownership and Regulations

The arrests of five Sun journalists over alleged corrupt payments made to police and public officials have prompted angry responses from sections of the UK press and from the National Union of Journalists.

Sun deputy editor Geoff Webster, chief reporter John Kay, chief foreign correspondent Nick Parker, picture editor John Edwards and deputy news editor John Sturgis were arrested early on Saturday morning and later released on bail.

Trevor Kavanagh at The Sun condemned the arrests in an article today, beginning "The Sun is not a 'swamp' that needs draining". He protested that the paper's journalists are being "treated like members of an organised crime gang" who are "subjects of the biggest police operation in British criminal history".

Kavanagh characterises the ongoing police investigation as "out of proportion", and describes the alleged crimes of the journalists who were arrested as being nothing more than "to act as journalists have acted on all newspapers through the ages, unearthing stories that shape our lives, often obstructed by those who prefer to operate behind closed doors"

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-13 16:03

What's the best way to ensure press standards while protecting press freedom?

This old chestnut has been preoccupying the media industry for some time and the question has come into particular focus as the Leveson Inquiry continues to examine press standards in Britain in the wake of the News of the World phone hacking scandal.

Speaking at the Leveson Inquiry yesterday, editor of the Daily Mail Paul Dacre advocated a new system of ensuring press standards by accrediting journalists.

Under the proposed system, news organisations and freelance agencies would have to voluntarily sign up to receive accreditation. Journalists convicted of serious misconduct would be struck off the list, much like doctors being struck off the Medical Register.

Described in the Daily Mail as "a badge of good journalism", an accredited press card would entitle journalists to attend, for example, government briefings, official press conferences and celebrity, sports and royal events.

Dacre stated: "The public at large would know the journalists carrying such cards are bona fide operators, committed to a set of standards and a body to whom complaints can be made."

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-07 14:17

Today Wikipedia has blacked out its English language pages in protest again the proposed anti-piracy legislation in the US, which it says could "fatally damage the free and open Internet."

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) bills that have caused the controversy are intended to stop the infringement of US copyright material by overseas websites. If passed, SOPA would give the US Justice Department and copyright holders the power to seek court orders to block search engine results or websites linking to pirated material. PIPA, due to come before the Senate on January 24th, proposes similar measures.

Wikipedia objects that the proposed laws will block entire sites unnecessarily and place the onus on site owners to police the material they link to, with damaging consequences:

"Small sites won't have sufficient resources to defend themselves. Big media companies may seek to cut off funding sources for their foreign competitors, even if copyright isn't being infringed. Foreign sites will be blacklisted, which means they won't show up in major search engines. And, SOPA and PIPA build a framework for future restrictions and suppression."

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-18 15:55

The Ecuadorian National Assembly have passed changes made by President Rafael Correa to the country's Democracy Code restricting media outlets from publishing positive or negative material about political candidates in the run up to elections, due to take place on January 20, 2013.

The changes come into effect on February 4th and prohibit news media from directly or indirectly promoting any kind of material that carries positive or negative messages about any candidate, electoral preference or political opinion.

The press freedom organisation Fundamedios has condemned the new law, saying that it "represents the imposition of censorship in advance on the content of news media". The group notes that "the legislation due to come into effect contains ambiguous language that will make journalistic work subject to the discretion of the National Assembly".

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-18 12:18

How can a country make sure that its press behaves responsibly? Government regulation compromises freedom of speech. Self-regulation can't always be trusted, as revelations about the unethical and illegal practices from parts of the British press, which continue to be discussed by the Leveson inquiry, prove.

Now the UK culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt and the Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke are advocating a third way: a powerful independent regulatory body.

Speaking at a parliamentary Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions, part of an inquiry that was launched to deal with controversy over super-injunctions, Hunt stated: "I think that it is clear that nobody wants statutory regulation of the press" and said that such regulation would be "completely the wrong direction to go".

Clarke was equally vocal in his opposition to direct government regulation of news organizations, maintaining: "no one has so far made a clear case for a new law."

But Hunt also was suspicious self-regulation from the press, noting "self-regulation is very often characterised as something which is very similar to the current system and clearly some very significant failings have emerged on that."

The third way that Hunt suggests is "industry-led independent regulation". He stated that the news industry should "come up with a structure that will have [widespread] confidence and has proper sanction-making powers." In other words, an enhanced and independent PCC.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-17 16:14

In the biological world, diversity means strength. The same also goes for the publishing industry, where having a diverse portfolio can do a lot to bolster your business.

One example is Schibsted, the Scandanavian media group that was praised by WAN-IFRA in August as a "shining example of how a newspaper publisher can transform its traditional publishing business into a diversified multimedia company". At the time the company was investing heavily in online classifieds. Now it is continuing to expand its portfolio, as it plans to buy the digital music streaming company Aspiro.

Schibsted is offering to buy up Aspiro for 340 million Swedish krona (that's $49 million or £32 million), Paid Content reports. Schibsted's interest in the company is not unexpected, as it's already an 18.3% shareholder in Aspiro and Schibsted's CFO chairs Aspiro's board. Paid Content writes that, so far, one third of Aspiro shareholders have given their support to accepting Schibsted's offer.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-12 15:09

We've come a long way in the few short months since the full Hackgate scandal exploded, writes Press Gazette guest blogger Lara Fielden.

The immediate aftermath saw seismic criticism of self-regulation under the Press Complaints Commission, the departure of its chairman and demands for statutory press regulation. Punitive fines and effective licensing, akin to the model for broadcasting regulation, were the order of the day.

Continue reading on Press Gazette

Author

Anton Jolkovski

Date

2011-12-14 08:43

Human beings cling to the past, ensuring that the nostalgia industry never declines. Indeed, the greater the change, the more it thrives. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the regional newspaper industry as it copes with a range of problems that make it inconceivable it could ever turn back the clock.

Delegates to this week's Society of Editors conference, like so many journalists, are particularly prone to the illusion that there is a magic solution to their industry's long-term decline.

Continue reading in the London Evening Standard

Author

Anton Jolkovski

Date

2011-11-17 10:50

A former regional newspaper editor has come up with a 10-point plan to help cure the crisis in the regional press - which includes a call for debt relief for big PLC publishers like Johnston Press and Trinity Mirror .

Neil Fowler, Guardian Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford , outlined his plan in a lecture in which he warned that Johnston, Trinity and Newsquest -owner Gannett were "having to pull as much cash as possible out of their businesses to service these debts - which in turn is causing those businesses long term damage."

Continue reading on TheMediaBriefing

Author

Anton Jolkovski

Date

2011-11-15 11:46

You may not have heard of Alden Global Capital, but it has become a significant investor in media companies, including Tribune Co., MediaNews and Philadelphia Media Network.

"They kind of, along the way, supplanted [investment firm] Angelo Gordon as a lead force in private equity ownership of distressed newspapers," said Poynter's Rick Edmonds.

Continue reading on Poynter

Author

Anton Jolkovski

Date

2011-07-19 09:36

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