News From You
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Week ending July 7, 2012
Europe’s leading publishers have called the European Parliament’s rejection of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) a travesty as MEPs failed to wait for the opinion of the European Court of Justice. MEPs voted today, Wednesday, 4 July.
Executive Director of the European Publishers Council (EPC) Angela Mills Wade said: “The European Parliament has totally ignored proper judicial procedure. It has given in to pressure from anti-copyright groups despite calls from thousands of companies and workers in manufacturing and creative sectors who have called for ACTA to be signed in order that their rights as creators be protected.”
The text of ACTA, in line with current EU law, establishes common procedures for dealing with IPR infringements across countries accounting for 50% of world trade.
Angela continued: “For Europe to have a successful knowledge economy and manufacturing base, it must protect its workers, creators and the innovations of its manufacturers and industries abroad. The EPC firmly believes that the ACTA treaty sends an important message to third countries and to Europe’s workforce that our rights must be and can be protected in practice.”
The European Commission will wait for the Court’s ruling and then will approach other signatories of the Agreement and the Parliament to agree the next steps.
BBC Radio 4’s Today programme has selected the winning design for a limited edition digital radio which will go on sale later this year to commemorate the programme’s return to New Broadcasting House, with profits going to BBC Children in Need.
Mr David Hampson, a Today listener from Cardiff, has been announced as the winner. His design was inspired by the architecture of the original Broadcasting House and the new building which opened earlier this year. David’s design will now go into production and the finished radio will be on sale for a limited period in late Autumn.
David said: “When I heard the announcement of the competition on the Today programme, my mind was filled with all sorts of concepts for radios. I began to investigate plans and photographs of Broadcasting House, old and new and took it from there. I’m thrilled to have won the competition and it’s wonderful to know that my design will be a part of people’s homes. I’m also pleased that profits will be going to BBC Children in Need.”
Ceri Thomas, Editor of Today said: “It was a very strong field of entrants but David is a deserved winner. His entry really impressed the judges with a striking design that incorporates elements of the original Broadcasting House and celebrates the new building as well. I’m sure it will help to raise much-needed funds for BBC Children in Need.”
David’s winning design along with some other impressive entries is available to view now on the BBC News website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18635356
Designs were judged by Ceri Thomas, Editor of Today, Deyan Sudjic, Director of The Design Museum, Sarah Montague of the Today programme and Stevie Spring, Chair of Trustees for BBC Children in Need. Joining the panel as a Design Adviser was Tom DeVesto, Founder and CEO of Tivoli Audio.
The Today programme launched in October 1957 and has been BBC Radio 4’s flagship news and current affairs programme ever since, with over 7 million listeners a week. The programme started its life at Broadcasting House in central London but in recent years has been based at Television Centre in Shepherd’s Bush. It will return to the newly renovated Broadcasting House in November.
As the European Football Championships drew to a close yesterday, with the spotlight on Ukraine, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), Article 19, Freedom House, Open Society Foundations (OSF), and the Ukraine Association of Press Publishers today release their joint report on the country’s press freedom situation.
Entitled ”Make freedom of expression a reality, Mr President" – A Report on Press Freedom in Ukraine, the report outlines the findings of a research mission conducted at the beginning of April that found serious corruption issues and other problems and recommends steps to improve freedom of expression in the country.
“This report lists concrete actions that the government of Ukraine should urgently consider in order to raise press freedom standards,” noted Erik Bjerager, president of the World Editors Forum, the organisation within WAN-IFRA for newsroom executives, which was a member of the April delegation.
WAN-IFRA is holding its 64th Annual World Newspaper Congress and 19th World Editors Forum in Kiev in September and will use the opportunity to further highlight the Ukrainian governments responsibilities in relation to freedom of expression.
“We are going to Kiev to stand in solidarity with the local independent press, which struggles daily under great pressure, often in isolation,” Mr Bjerager continued. “By holding our events in Kiev, we will provide them with an opportunity to share their experiences with the international newspaper community… and offer moral support.”
The report highlights a number of areas where urgent action is required if Ukraine’s democratic pretentions are to be maintained through the measure of a free and independent press.
The report calls for calls for:
- The authorities to allow media professionals to report openly on corruption;
- An immediate end to “envelope” payments to journalists and other media professionals;
- An efficient structure for the Interagency Working Group involving media professionals, the government, and the public to engage in issues of press freedom;
- The authorities to ensure that the Access to Information law is respected and that information requested is provided in a timely manner;
- Training for government officials and media professionals in how to access information;
- An urgent need for a strong and independent media that is self regulated and where journalists, editors and publishers abide by ethical reporting;
- A pilot programme on the development of the retail trade of the printed press;
- Increasing the availability of digital channels reserved for regional and local broadcasters;
- An open inquiry into why new companies without experience in digital broadcasting were granted licences over long-established regional broadcasters;
- A formal response by the government explaining why it did not follow its own strategic documents on the signal compression standard for broadband and why DVB-T2 was chosen for digital broadcasting, instead of DVB-T;
- An independent, transparent and fair judicial process in the Gongadze murder case.
Download and read the full report complete with detailed recommendations, available in English and Ukrainian, from the WAN-IFRA website at http://www.wan-ifra.org/node/60102/
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