The Guardian - United Kingdom | 21/07/2014

Don't post images of dead children on Twitter

Images of dead children in the Gaza Strip are currently being spread through Twitter. But such pictures aren't necessary to make clear the horrors of the Israeli military intervention, columnist Suzanne Moore writes in the left-liberal daily The Guardian, complaining that they create a pseudo-indignation and show a lack of respect: "We are told that to understand war we need to see the slaughter of civilians. The awful reality is that all wars look much the same. We need not just to see but to imagine. Those who cannot imagine the suffering of others are those who continue to justify it. I don't need to see any more images of dead children to want a ceasefire, a political settlement. I don't need you to tweet them to show me you care. A small corpse is not a symbol for public consumption. It is for some parent somewhere the loss of a precious person. To make these images common devalues the currency of shared humanity. We do not respect those living in awful conflict by disrespecting their dead." (21/07/2014)

Club Z - Bulgaria | 18/07/2014

Bulgaria's newspapers as campaign pamphlets?

Bulgaria's Socialists have proposed a new law under which the media would only be allowed to publish information that had received the official approval of the parties ahead of elections. Web portal Club Z is appalled: "This is like destroying the media. Because with all due respect, who is interested in the official fairy tales of [the leader of the Socialists] Sergei Stanishev or [Turkish party leader] Lütfi Mestan - particularly during the election campaign? Their statements are nothing but a waterfall of rehearsed clichés and empty phrases. If the media were only allowed to use them, there would be no need for censorship. ... Thank God the days of this parliament are counted so that there will hardly be time to vote on this proposal. But it just goes to show that our politicians have learned nothing from the past, and clearly don't have any intention of doing so" (18/07/2014)

MK Latvija - Latvia | 17/07/2014

Baltic states doing Soviet-style propaganda

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia want to establish a joint television station in Russian. The decision was taken after Lithuania and Latvia blocked the transmission of two Russian-language stations for three months on the grounds that their coverage of the Ukraine crisis was biased. Columnist Alexander Nosovics ridicules the new project in the Russian-language daily MKLatvija: "The joint TV station will broadcast the 'right information', as an alternative to Russian propaganda. ... The politicians in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are now pursuing the methods dear to the erstwhile Communist Party secretaries and heads of propaganda. ... The BBC and Voice of America were banned for thirty years, and now it's the Russian stations NTV and RTR. ... The best thing would be for the new station's reports to be produced by representatives of the parties in power in the three Baltic states who are at least 50 years old. Because they know best what Soviet-style propaganda should look like." (17/07/2014)

Hotnews - Romania | 02/07/2014

Facebook's power of manipulation

The social network Facebook used manipulated news feeds in January 2012 to test the reactions of almost 700,000 users to positive and negative information without informing them they were being included in a study. The Romanian newsportal Hotnews finds such methods threatening: "The fact that Facebook was able to manipulate the emotional charge of the online life of hundreds of thousands of people has understandably raised concern. ... If this reflects the company's general attitude, things have indeed got out of hand. 'Online messages influence readers' experience of emotions, which may affect offline behaviour' the study concluded. We already knew that. What we didn't know was that the influence of such messages can be increased or reduced at will. Just as if a single bartender were to adjust the amount of alcohol in a cocktail as he pleased - without us knowing." (02/07/2014)

Politiken - Denmark | 01/07/2014

New owners could be good for Berlingske

The British media group Mecom has sold Denmark's oldest daily newspaper Berlingske as part of the media company of the same name to the Belgian company De Persgroep. After several years of economic turbulence the left-liberal daily Politiken is cautiously optimistic about the future of the venerable paper: "For Berlingske and the struggling newspaper branch, we must hope that the new owners have journalistic ambitions and sustainable investment plans. ... Denmark needs private media companies that ask those in power the relevant questions and provide the critical journalism so vital for democracy. ... Berlingske, fondly referred to as the 'old aunt', has survived for 265 years. May the coming years be less turbulent for this sprightly old lady than the last few ones have been." (01/07/2014)

Blog Dinamo - Hungary | 25/06/2014

Left-leaning press stoops to vulgarity on Orbán

Hungary's time-honoured daily Népszava is on the brink of closure. According to media reports, a Swiss investor is cutting off its financing for the paper. The philosopher and chairman of the Green Left Party, Gáspár Miklós Tamás, writes in the left-leaning blog Dinamo that the paper has recently distinguished itself less for the quality of its articles than for its biases: "Left-liberal journalism as a whole is in a mess. Just one example: these days discussions between leading politicians - talking in a way would make even the basest thief blush - were published in Poland. At the same time the left-liberal media in Hungary has taken pleasure in quoting the vulgar statements of a high-ranking Polish scoundrel [the head of the state oil company Orlen, Jacek Krawiec, is said to have asserted that Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had given Putin oral sex]. As if any coarse dig at Orbán were news in itself. The manic (and automatic) bias of the left-liberal press, including Népszava, apparently knows no bounds." (25/06/2014)

Milliyet - Turkey | 25/06/2014

Without Radikal Turkish journalism will suffer

The liberal Turkish daily Radikal will only appear online starting this week. A pioneer of investigative journalism in the country is being closed down, the conservative daily Milliyet laments: "Despite its low circulation, its influence was immense. It played a huge role in making Turkey democratic and promoting press freedom. ... Clearly, as an online platform Radikal will distance itself from the type of content it's put out to date. ... Many young and talented journalists are no longer part of the new publication. Voices that for years gave us food for thought and sometimes expressed views we'd never heard before (of women, workers, the Kurdish movement, civil society, homosexuals) aren't part of Radikal 2. An empty 'digital Radikal', made up of nothing but news agency briefs, is no longer Radikal!" (25/06/2014)

taz - Germany | 24/06/2014

Egypt's judiciary criminalises journalism

A court in Cairo on Monday sentenced three journalists from the news station Al Jazeera to seven years in prison for their reporting on protests against the military putsch in December 2013. The judges accused the journalists of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, which had by then been banned. The Egyptian judiciary is criminalising journalism in the country, Egyptian-German journalist Karim El-Gawhary writes in the left-leaning daily taz: "The message is clear: any journalist who takes his job seriously and dares even to contact the Muslim Brothers will face years in prison. ... A policeman who shoots out a prisoner's eyes with buckshot gets three years, a reporter who writes about it can reckon with seven. That's justice in today's Egypt. The population, meanwhile, stopped believing in justice long ago. Now the world also has proof that Egyptian courtrooms are nothing but kangaroo courts. This is a judgement that leaves every journalist working in Egypt speechless, because it makes criminals out of all of us." (24/06/2014)

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