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The Tickle File
short takes on daily media news

Media people share the pain of uncertainty
“the sum will come out about zero”

While UK media watchers sit mostly with mouths agape at the uncertainty bestowed upon them following the referendum results last week indicating they’ll be out of the European Union (Brexit) sooner or later, those elsewhere in the world are studiously formulating their best guesses on future impact.

Polish media news portal (June 27) reached out to several advertising and marketing analysts and their views, generally, are a grim assessment. “This is not good news for us,” said ad agency Group One CEO Marek Zoledziowski. “Fortunately, the world will not end because of Brexit.” There are, he added, “so many unknowns.” (See more about media in Poland here)

“The British decision has changed the entire world,” warned media buyer MullenLowe MediaHub managing director Ewa Goralska, “opting for a policy of economic isolation in the name of nationalism. This will put difficult challenges before the advertising market.” She expects “faltering purchasing power, changes in shopping preferences (and) falling consumer optimism.”

Marketing turmoil surrounding a likely BREXIT could hasten the shift in Poland to e-commerce as well-known portals “speed up the decision to enter our market,” said marketing professor Dariusz Jemielniak. Amazon, already established in Poland, can easily switch fulfillment centers to EU members France and Germany.

“For the Polish economy, the common EU economy is a great opportunity,” observed agency DDB&tribal managing partner Szymon Gutkowski. “The benefits of integration for the Polish market may be offset by losses resulting from one of the largest economies leaving the Union. If this disintegration trend grows, our GDr and advertising market will be plunged into stagnation. Traditional media will lose, new will gain, the sum will come out about zero. One thing is certain; uncertainty returns."

From Last Weeks ftm Tickle File

Cross border TV upset, rearranged
something about neighbors, fences and cable guys

Slovakia and the Czech Republic are neighbors. Languages are similar. They were, indeed, the same country until 1993, peacefully dissolved. Both members of the European Union.

TV land in the two countries is also shared. Czech channels appear on Slovak cable and satellite services and vice versa. A Czech court decision earlier this month signaled, somewhat, a separation.

Czech cable operators may no longer distribute Slovak channel TV Markiza, announced the TV Nova press release (June 16). TV Markiza and Czech company TV Nova are owned by Central European Media Enterprises (CME). Czech cable operators were unaware of the court decision by early this week, reported Czech media portal (June 21). And, too, the court decision applied only to distribution of TV Markiza within the Czech Republic. (See more about media in the Czech Republic here)

Several months ago CME launched Markiza International, intended to replace TV Markiza and sister channels in the Czech Republic, and Nova International to replace TV Nova and sister channels in Slovakia. That move was, quite simply, about distribution rights as well as holding onto the established brand names. (See more about media in Slovakia here)

Meanwhile, pay-TV operator UPC announced it is adding three channels in the JOJ family to its premium basic package and the Horizon Go mobile platform in Slovakia. UPC, owned by Liberty Global, is the biggest cable TV operator in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. TV JOJ was established in 2002 to compete with CME’s dominant reach in Slovakia.

There are so many stories to tell
All are magic

Professional awards are incredibly important for those who toil in and out of studios near and far. The annual New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards never fails to single out the very best in radio magic. There are, naturally, many categories but storytelling is the thread running through them all. See the complete list here at New York Festivals.

The four Grand Awards were bestowed on Anglosphere producers. Independent Irish producer Athena Media was honored for the historical documentary The Kinder Letters broadcast on Newstalk 106-108. BBC Radio 4 received two Grand Awards for episodes of the documentary series A New Life In Europe. TBI Media and BBC Radio 2 took a Grand Award for the live entertainment program The Battle of Britain at 75. The BBC was named Broadcaster of the Year and TBI Media production company of the year.

Not a few of the programs selected for honor related stories of recent migrants to Europe. The special United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI) gold award was presented to Austrian public broadcaster for Für ein Stück Glück (Train of Hope). The series, broadcast on ORF Radio 1, followed volunteers who assisted migrants arriving at the Vienna main train station last autumn. BBC Radio 4’s A New Life In Europe series about Syrian arrivals received the UNDPI bronze award.

No end to contempt for media freedom
How low can you go?

Critical news media continues to vex authoritarian regimes. Jailing reporters and shuttering news outlets has become commonplace where “illiberal” leaders take threats, real and imagined, seriously. Sides have formed with news outlets in the middle.

Turkish authorities took into custody Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) representative Erol Onderoglu and two colleagues this week. They were charged with supplying “terrorist propaganda.” They had guest-edited recent editions of Kurdish magazine Ozgür Gündem. Forty of the magazine’s contributors “are under investigation,” said its attorney.

“Erol Onderoglu has fought tirelessly to defend persecuted journalists for the past 20 years,” said RSF Eastern Europe/Central Asia director Johann Bihr in a statement (June 20). “He is a leader in this field because of his honesty and integrity, which are recognized the world over. It says a lot about the decline in media freedom in Turkey that he is now also being targeted.” (See more about press/media freedom here)

This latest episode of contempt for alternate opinion “goes against Turkey’s commitment to respect fundamental rights, including freedom of media,” offered European Union (EU) foreign policy Federica Mogherini and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn in a statement. “The EU has repeatedly stressed that Turkey, as a candidate country, must aspire to the highest possible democratic standards and practices.” (See more about media in Turkey here)

None of this affects Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his followers, increasingly blunt with reporters shining an inconvenient light. Pro-government news outlets, notably newspapers Vatan and Milliyet, ignored this latest episode. Opposition news outlets, led by daily newspaper Cumhuriyet, expressed outrage… again.

Previous weeks complete Tickle File

week of June 27, 2016

In Spots & Space

Words, Pictures, Algorithms Converge On Yachts
Hello, ad people Between robotics, artificial intelligence and other imagination-bending tricks, technology is the be-all and end-all of being-all and ending-all. Creativity is no longer an entirely human endeavor. There’s an algorithm for that.

Encore Une Fois - This Week Last Year in Write On

Mind The Cookie - Trade Secrets Are Recipes Until Leaked
cookie recipe Secrets are the stock in trade of investigative journalism, loosely defined. From juicy details of celebrities and politicians carrying-on to the rough entanglement of stuff some folks would rather the whole world just didn’t know there is hunger and thirst with all the desire a clever headline can raise. Click-bait is this century’s pop-art.



new ftm Knowledge

Investigative Reporting – new

Investigative reporters have a storied honor among journalists. Praise is less forthcoming from those with secrets, often ready to use all possible means - legal and otherwise - to avoid detection. New tools are emerging to shed light and tell all. This ftm Knowledge file explores methods, old and new, and the forces prefering darkness. 54 pages PDF (May 2016)

Order here

Media in the Middle East and North Africa – new

The striking contrasts in the MENA region’s media are the hopes for new media, fears for traditional publishing and broadcasting amidst conflict and insecurity. This ftm Knowledge file notes the accomplishments and the reversals. 90 pages PDF includes Resources (April 2016)

Order here

Media Measurement - Changing Times

The times are changing and so is media measurement. Everybody wants more, faster and better. As online and mobile metrics grow measurement of all other media must adapt. 101 pages PDF (March 2016)

Order here


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Friday June 24, 2016
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