Gazeta Polska Codziennie - Poland | 28/08/2015

German media have already judged Duda

Poland's President Andrzej Duda visits Berlin today, Friday. The daily Gazeta Polska Codziennie, which is closely aligned with Duda's national-conservative party PiS, complains that prejudices abound regarding the new Polish head of state: "We already know how his visit to the German capital will go, and the important questions that the two leaders will discuss. The last interview he gave to the Bild Zeitung leaves no doubt that the Ukraine conflict and the relations to Russia will be the top points on the agenda. ... But no one doubts that these discussions will be extremely difficult. Because right from the start the German media mobilised public opinion against the Polish president. Immediately after his victory one weekly wrote that 'Poland has elected an anti-Russian Eurosceptic'. Today Duda will face an uphill battle." (28/08/2015)

Postimees - Estonia | 25/08/2015

Estonia's female journalists are afraid of opinions

The opinion pages of the Estonian daily newspapers are filled almost entirely by middle-aged men, at least this is the accusation published by the Estonian Public Broadcasting organisation last week on its website. The opinion editor for the daily newspaper Postimees Marti Aavik agrees with this assessment and blames the women: "For years, the declarations à la 'there are cleverer people than me' have mainly been coming from women. That is not just my experience, but also that of my female colleagues in the opinion editorial office. Of course there are also men who stay away for this reason, but in their case it's usually the question 'until when, how long?'. Men just go and do it. That's a big problem in the opinions section. This is not about the formal gender balance or about needing a particular female point of view (whatever that might mean). It really is about the great potential that is not being used and the important debates, valuable knowledge and arguments that are not being printed." (25/08/2015)

Newsweek Polska - Poland | 25/08/2015

Duda playing a new tune to the media

Poland's president Andrzej Duda will be accompanied only by selected representatives of the press on his flight to Berlin this Friday. Jacek Pawlicki of the liberal news magazine Newsweek Polska is not among those invited. This indicates that Duda is adopting a completely new strategy in his communications with the media, according to Pawlicki: "I have been involved in journalism since a quarter of a century - and dealing with foreign affairs and the European Union for nearly 17 years. During this period, I have seen several heads of state come and go. … As commentator for EU politics, I have accompanied President Lech Kaczyński and Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński on their foreign trips and to all EU summits. Additionally, I have also given interviews to other politicians of the PiS. As editor of the [daily newspaper] Gazeta Wyborcza I sharply criticised the Foreign Minister at that time, Anna Fotyga. This is a sign that Duda and his people are allowing themselves to be guided by different principles from those of their predecessors." (25/08/2015)

Diário de Notícias - Portugal | 17/08/2015

Spain's media right to warn about IS

According to reports in the media Spain has become a target of the IS terrorist group. The reports say there have been calls to free Islamists from Spanish prisons. The liberal conservative daily Diário de Notícias believes the threat of the IS must be taken seriously: "The Spanish newspaper ABC has dedicated so many front pages to this issue that you would think it was obsessed with al-Qaeda or the IS. But it is the jihadists that are obsessed; according to their fiery rhetoric al-Andalus [that part of the Iberian Peninsula that was dominated by Muslims in medieval times] must be recaptured. Since the Madrid attacks in 2004 no one doubts that this threat must be taken seriously. … But what is absurd is that it was precisely religious tolerance and an educated and open-minded Islam that defined the myth of al-Andalus. However the jihadists care little about that; we can't expect them to be rational. And precisely that is what makes them so dangerous." (17/08/2015)

Latvijas Sabiedriskie mediji - Latvia | 18/08/2015

TV in Russian: Estonia leads the way

The television station ETV+ goes on air in Estonia at the end of the month. The channel is aimed at the country's Russian-speaking population and is meant to counterbalance programmes broadcast from Russia. The website of the Latvian public broadcaster LSM sends its best wishes despite its reservations: "Our Estonian colleagues have done it! They've started their own Russian-language TV channel! ... Studies have shown that people are mainly interested in local news, well-known personalities, sports and business news. ETV+ hasn't come up with anything out of the ordinary, it just wants to address Russian-speaking viewers with a programme of its own. ... While there is no strategy to speak of for the Russian-language audience in Latvia, the Estonian public broadcaster is doing the craziest things: it's tossing money out the window and menacing the status of the Estonian language [that was the gist of some of the criticism of the new channel in Latvia]. ... Sounds a bit extreme, but we wish them the best of luck!" (18/08/2015)

Večernji List - Croatia | 13/08/2015

Do not spread photos of dead IS hostages

The IS terrorist militia has apparently executed the Croatian hostage Tomislav Salopek. It seems a photo of the hostage's headless body has been posted online by an IS supporter. Whoever spreads such material on the Internet becomes a henchman for the terrorists, the conservative daily Večernji list believes: "By blindly tub-thumping for so-called freedoms we only become henchmen for the terrorists. … It's no excuse to say that the Internet is full of this sort of material. … Terrorists use modern technology, social networks and press freedom - a pillar of democracy - to disseminate their crimes. … Sadly without global solidarity we will lose the battle of information against terrorism - the most important factor in modern wars. It is absurd that terrorists brutally abuse religion, technology and press freedom and turn it against us." (13/08/2015)

Standart - Bulgaria | 11/08/2015

Bulgarian media hungry for IS terror

The Bulgarian media over the weekend spread false information about two IS fighters who had allegedly forced their way into the country and were planning terrorist attacks. The Interior Ministry denied the reports. The daily Standart is outraged at the media's sensation-mongering: "Those announcing the end of the world were disappointed that the attacks they prophesied in Bulgaria did not take place. They were downright furious that the terrorists were not taking Bulgaria seriously. Thank goodness there are no sleeper cells in Bulgaria at the moment. Nor are we at the top of the list of [al-Qaeda leader] Zawahiri or [IS leader] al-Baghdadi as potential targets. But rather than making us unhappy, this should give us cause to rejoice. At the same time the chaos is increasing in neighbouring Turkey, after it joined the international coalition against IS. Which is why perhaps it would be better if society and the media concentrated on real dangers instead of spreading fantasies every day." (11/08/2015)

24 Chasa - Bulgaria | 09/08/2015

Only hatred for Bulgaria's bereaved president

The son of Bulgaria's President Rosen Plevneliev died on Saturday of a rare heart disease. The 14-year-old's death has sparked a wave of spiteful commentaries in the social networks, the daily 24 Chasa writes aghast: "As much as one may hate politicians like the president, what does his innocent son have to do with it? ... What happened [on Saturday] on the social networks is shocking and base. And yet such things happen every day. Every day someone or other is insulted and cursed. ... For the Bulgarians, who have lost their bearings and moral foundations after 45 years of communism and 25 years of post-communism and who now know nothing but hatred, this is an everyday occurrence.That is the reality of life in Bulgaria. We live in a country without a society, without morals, without belief, without pity, and without a future." (09/08/2015)

Kapital - Bulgaria | 31/07/2015

Bulgaria's media can still be bought

The Bulgarian daily Pressa and the weekly magazine Tema have declared bankruptcy and stopped printing on August 1. The two influential papers survived for years on loans from the Corporate Commercial Bank, which itself went bankrupt in 2014,  in return for supporting the Boyko Borisov government, writes the weekly paper Kapital. But Bulgaria's sick media landscape is a long way from recovery: "The 'patron' of the Bulgarian press [Corpbank] is out the window and there is no successor in sight who is prepared to pour vast sums into the media. This does not mean however that the media landscape will return to normal. It was not only the generosity of the Corpbank that destroyed the media but the ever present possibility for the Bulgarian media to sell its influence on public opinion to politics." (31/07/2015)

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