Date

Fri - 22.09.2017


Ownership and Regulations

The board of Dow Jones & Company, which publishes The Wall Street Journal, is taking over negotiations with Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation over the media conglomerate's unsought $5 billion bid to buy the company.

The company's announcement states that “the best way to continue to evaluate the News Corporation proposal to acquire the Company would be for the Board of Directors to take the lead in addressing all aspects of the proposal and all other strategic alternatives, including remaining independent.” The statement added that the board of directors, including representatives of the Bancroft family, which owns shares representing a majority of the company's voting power, will continue to discuss the proposal with News Corp., as well as explore other alternatives to News Corp.'s offer.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2007-06-22 03:34

A Dare County judge ordered the town of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina to pay The Outer Banks Sentinel $75,000 to cover legal fees the newspaper racked up as it fought to access government records.

The newspaper sued the town in 2004, after city officials refused to release billing records of the town's contract attorney in 2003 and 2004. The Sentinel also wanted copies of contracts, engineering documents and appraisals, in an attempt to find out whether the town was paying proper compensation for condemned properties. The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled earlier this year that the documents were public record, and the newspaper was entitled to them.

Superior Court Judge Richard Parker said in a June 19 decision that the town's attorneys used “totally unwarranted” tactics in defending the case, which added to the newspaper's legal costs. The town's current attorney, Robert Outten, who was not part of the original legal dispute, said the town officials respected the judge's ruling.

For years, media and government watchdog groups have tried to persuade lawmakers to make the awarding of such fees automatic, and in many cases only small amounts are awarded to individuals who incur large legal bills while trying to gain access to records or other information they are entitled to, said Hugh Stevens, an attorney representing the Sentinel.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2007-06-22 03:20

by Tatiana Repkova

Google UK has denied forming secret deals with several UK publishers to supply content to its Google News service. A report in the Sunday Herald claimed that Google was understood to have reached deals with several large UK news groups over carrying their content on Google News.

The report added: "The deals are reputedly being kept strictly secret for fear that Google will end up having to pay for similar licences with all of the 4,500 news services it carries on its news aggregator." The report went on to say that although it could not confirm which news groups had reached deals with Google, it seemed likely that it has bowed to pressure from news groups.

A spokeswoman from Google UK today said the company had not forged secret deals with UK publishers to pay for indexing content. She also countered suggestion that Google may have lost the argument over carrying stories without paying for them. She said that Google considered its news service to be legal and not a breach of copyright as only a limited amount of content was used. She added that no new deals had been struck with UK publishers to provide longer form content that went beyond current copyright limitations on Google News. Google does have several deals in place with UK publishers to index content behind pay walls, although the report suggests that the deals are in relation to free-to-access content.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2007-05-21 09:44

by Tatiana Repkova

Journalists of the Journal du Dimanche addressed an open letter to Arnaud Lagardère, head of the group that owns the newspaper, in which they denounce the “unacceptable censorship” after the non-publication of an article on Cécilia Sarkozy.

"You intervened Saturday with the editorial direction so that this article is not published,"JDD journalists wrote. "We consider that it is a matter of unacceptable censorship, in contrast to the press freedom.” The journalists believe equally that "the short article, purely factual (revealing that Cécilia Sarkozy had not voted May 6 during the second round of the presidential election) was the result of an investigation at the prefecture of the Hauts-de-Seine. AFP; May 15, 2007

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2007-05-16 07:50

by Tatiana Repkova

Thailand's decision to ban the video-sharing site YouTube highlights how aggressively the kingdom has tried to rein in the media since the military coup last year, analysts said.

YouTube has been unavailable in Thailand since April 4, after Thai authorities blocked it over videos deemed offensive to the nation's revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej. In the nearly seven months since the ouster of prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the military has also blacked out international news broadcasts, seized a private television station, and blocked political Web siteWeb sites. Thailand has a long history of military rule, but the last time the country had a coup was in 1991, when the revolution in communication was still in its infancy.

Censors now face a much more difficult job, as critics of the regime use technology to find new ways to get their message out. Immediately after taking power, the military gave itself broad powers of censorship and dispatched armed soldiers to TV newsrooms to watch over the news broadcasts. The soldiers left the newsrooms after a few weeks, but the military-installed government last month seized control of the only private station in Thailand.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2007-04-09 07:55

by Tatiana Repkova

The World Association of Newspapers and a coalition of the world's leading news agencies protested on March 15 against severe restrictions placed on press coverage of this year's Rugby World Cup in France, and said the restrictions imposed by the International Rugby Board "are a serious breach of freedom of the press." And in a separate action, WAN and the news agencies protested to the Australian Football League against its refusal to provide media accreditation to global and foreign news organizations for any games in the 2007 season.

The AFL has announced the creation of its own exclusive agency to provide the media with AFL images. WAN, representing the world's newspapers, and the coalition of news agencies including Agence France-Presse, The Associated Press, Reuters and Getty Images, told the International Rugby Board and the AFL that they would explore their legal options and inform event sponsors of "the very clear loss of exposure from which they will suffer owing to these restrictions."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2007-03-16 06:57

By Tatiana Repkova

The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalises the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists.

The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French civil liberties group warned on March 6.

The council chose an unfortunate anniversary to publish its decision approving the law, which came exactly 16 years after Los Angeles police officers beating Rodney King were filmed by amateur videographer George Holliday on the night of March 3, 1991. The officers' acquittal at the end on April 29, 1992 sparked riots in Los Angeles. If Holliday were to film a similar scene of violence in France today, he could end up in prison as a result of the new law, said Pascal Cohet, a spokesman for French online civil liberties group Odebi.

Anyone publishing such images could face up to five years in prison and a fine of €75,000 (US$98,537), potentially a harsher sentence than that for committing the violent act. The law, proposed by Minister of the Interior Nicolas Sarkozy, is intended to clamp down on a wide range of public order offences. During parliamentary debate of the law, government representatives said the offence of filming or distributing films of acts of violence targets the practice of “happy slapping,” in which a violent attack is filmed by an accomplice, typically with a camera phone, for the amusement of the attacker's friends.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2007-03-07 05:48

by Tatiana Repkova

A Belgian court dealt a blow to Google on February 13 by ruling against the U.S. Internet giant in a copyright case lodged by French-language Belgian newspapers and closely watched by other media.

Upholding an earlier ruling, a Brussels court found after a year-long legal battle that the California-based company had "violated copyright" rules and ordered it to remove the papers' content from its sites. The court ruled that "by reproducing on its Google News site articles and short extracts from articles, Google reproduces and communicates to the public works protected by copyright." Google said in Paris that it would appeal against the decision.

"Google regrets today's decision and will appeal," said Google News legal counsel for Europe Yoram Elkaim in Paris. "We continue to believe that the Google News service conforms with copyright law and benefits publishers as much as Internet users," he said.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2007-02-13 08:43

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