Hot Topic - Ukraine Media
It is a given that authoritarian rulers seize every opportunity to keep the lid, metaphorically, on dissent. Free and independent media, in their view, only serves to stir the pot of discontent, many voices disturbing their realm. For the kitchen that is democracy to serve up a full course the pot sometimes boils.
Nothing shines the light better than pictures. Those who carry cameras into the places that need to be seen are the most vulnerable of all media workers. Their load is enormous, the job increasingly precarious. The bad guys target them.
Since Croatia’s accession to European Union (EU) membership this summer, nations with aspirations to join the European club have a long wait. The EU hasn’t forgotten them; it’s the arduous process. For six countries, all more or less adjacent to Europe and all formerly in the Soviet orbit, the EU has organized a special outreach program to cement ties or at least to build rapport.
Measuring media freedom is a subjective art. Freedom for one represses another, say critics. Indisputable, though, is death. Where media workers die for their work, mysteriously ordered, we learn that freedom isn’t free.
It’s only a matter of hours now before the next big television event of the year. Broadcasters are offering more hours with more reporters and commentators. There will be HD, 3D, mobile TV and, well, more. Everybody is having a go at it, hoping to satisfy the insatiable fans. The accountants will have a go at it later.
As new media shortens the attention span of viewers and readers to 140 characters, reporters and editors are even quicker to move from one event, crisis or revelation to the next. Context is lost, some say post-modernly irrelevant. Those intent on controlling images are ever more pleased.
Press freedom, loosely defined, is a mirror on the social values on nations. Post-modern media gives away nothing, jumping from platform to platform, often loudly. National leaders either accept the chaotic information blitz coming from all directions or choose silence.
The Curtain Falls - Media Rises – new
This updated set of essays focuses on the dramatic changes in Europe's media that began with the fall of the Berlin Wall and Iron Curtain thereafter; Germany in 1989, new media rules,transition of State broadcasting to public broadcasting, refocus for international broadcasting, the rise of commercial broadcasting and the importance of youth culture. PDF (December 2014)
Media in the Baltics - New World Order
By the time Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined the European Union they were known as the Baltic Tigers. The media sector grew spectacularly with big multi-nationals investing. Times have changed. This ftm Knowledge file reports the changes, new opportunities and lingering ghosts. 63 pages PDF (October 2014)
The Privacy Issue
The privacy issue touches every aspect of media. From consumer protection and the rights of individuals to news coverage privacy is hotly debated. New media and old media stumble and the courts decide. ftm offers views from every side of the Privacy Issue. 68 pages. PDF (July 2014)
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