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.
Fake News, Hate Speech and Propaganda – new
The institutional threat of fake news, hate speech and propaganda is testing the mettle of those who toil in news media. Those three related evils are not new, by any means, but taken together have put the truth and those reporting it on the back foot. Words matter. This ftm Knowledge file explores that light. 48 pages, PDF (March 2017)
In the media sphere nothing is more important than knowing the audience. Once in a generation a target group evolves to catch the attention of publishers and broadcasters, advertisers and media buyers, social critics and politicians. The Millennials, also known as Generation Y and digital natives, are it, with unique characteristics and behaviors. They have already reshaped everything we do. 35 pages, PDF (December 2016)
State Aid - Media Rules
National authorities have at their disposal a variety of economic measures to stimulate, develop and improve competitive market sectors. Sometimes they miss the big picture or have special circumstances. Within the European Union an executive branch of the European Commission stands ready to clarify the rules of each and every game. State Aid rules are developing as the playing field gets bigger. 35 pages, PDF (September 2016)
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