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.
Social Media Matures (...believe it or not...) – new
Hundreds of millions use social media, billions even. It has spawned revolutions, excited investors and confounded traditional media. With all that attention a business model remains unclear or it's simply so different many can't see it. What is clear is that there's no turning back. 114 pages, PDF (July 2016)
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)
Media in the Middle East and North Africa
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)
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