Libération - France | 22/04/2014

Don't forget other hostages in rush of joy

Four French journalists landed unharmed in Paris after being held hostage in Syria for almost ten months. The left-liberal daily Libération admonishes readers not to forget those who are still in captivity: "The liberation of hostages is always surrounded by a certain degree of mystery. And such moments are no doubt the only times in our profession when we are obliged to respect this. Numerous other hostages of many nationalities - journalists, NGO staff or ordinary citizens - remain captive in Syria or elsewhere, and of course nothing must be said that could endanger their liberation. The reporter from Europe 1 said it in his own way on the runway at Villacoublay: they had the luck to have a state, editorial desks, friends and family on their side. Many other hostages don't have all that. We must constantly bear this in mind. Everyone should do what they can to prevent these hostages from being forgotten." (22/04/2014)

La Stampa - Italy | 15/04/2014

Pulitzer Prize is rebuke for Obama and Cameron

The US edition of The Guardian and the Washington Post have won the Pulitzer Prize for their revelations in the NSA spying scandal, it was announced on Monday. This is a dressing-down for the White House and the British government, the liberal daily La Stampa writes gleefully: "The 'Nobel Prize for Journalism' for the two newspapers could represent a significant turnaround in the so-called Datagate affair. Their being awarded the Pulitzer Prize in the 'Public Service' category threatens to throw the White House and the British government off course after committing to a hard line and branding Snowden a criminal who belongs behind bars. ... The prize also adds force to demands that the governments in Washington and London make fundamental changes in their secret service policies." (15/04/2014)

Le Quotidien - Luxembourg | 11/04/2014

France 2 boosts its ratings with Le Pen

The state-run French TV station France 2 retracted its invitation to Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, to take part in a TV debate after the leader of the far-right Front National, Marine Le Pen, refused to talk with him. That's shameful, the left-liberal daily Le Quotidien writes: "Of course it would be dangerous for the media to ignore a phenomenon that is becoming increasingly important. In fact it comes as no big surprise that Marine Le Pen is seeking a new mandate as MEP and wants to establish a big far-right group in the European Parliament but at the same time expressly rejects a debate with Martin Schulz, the leader of the selfsame parliament. But what is surprising is that France 2 has obeyed like a little soldier. Because getting high viewer ratings with a 'good customer' is more important than taking the risk of posing good questions and cornering a candidate who is seeking re-election, but who has almost nothing to add to European construction." (11/04/2014) - Lithuania | 09/04/2014

Lithuanian broadcasting bans help the Kremlin

In recent weeks Lithuania's Radio and Television Commission has suspended the broadcasting of the Russian stations RTR Planeta and NTV Mir on the grounds that they were disseminating enemy propaganda. But that's pointless, the portal writes: "Nowadays there's nothing more stupid you can do than ban something - whether it's pornographic films or Moscow propaganda. ... Moreover, the bans only hold for cable TV operators, meaning that satellite TV operators couldn't care less about them and go on broadcasting the banned programmes. Even if the Commission refuses to give up, all its work will prove futile. Because it will 'suddenly' come out that you can also watch the programmes on the Internet. And because forbidden fruit always tastes that much better, the interest in the Russian channels will only grow. Moscow's propagandists will only be grateful to our inspectors." (09/04/2014)

Milliyet - Turkey | 03/04/2014

Ankara must prove it is democratic

Turkey's Constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday that the government's Twitter blockade is illegal. The conservative daily Milliyet welcomes the decision and says the government is now duty-bound to remove the major deficits in the areas of freedom of expression and the independence of the judiciary: "The government had assumed the role of censor, while the highest court is now acting as a force for freedom. There can be no disputing this. The Constitutional Court may in future at least partially remove the democratic deficits in Turkey. But if the political will for reform is lacking its efforts will be hindered. The list is long. The government may have won [the local elections on Sunday], but it most now repair its tarnished image. And mend the broken hearts. Both at home and abroad it must take pains to prove that it is truly democratic." (03/04/2014)

Lietuvos rytas - Lithuania | 01/04/2014

Creativity to counter Russian propaganda

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė spoke on Monday with the management of the public broadcaster LRT about how to limit the influence of Russian state media in the country. Creativity is called for in the battle against propaganda, the liberal daily Lietuvos rytas writes: "Grybauskaitė stressed yesterday that society cannot let itself be deceived and that the state must not be humiliated. To this end public broadcasting must be strengthened so that it can adequately inform the public in answer to the Russian information war. ... But are informational programmes enough as a weapon against propaganda? ... Moscow recognised long ago that humour and suspense are also key weapons in information warfare. ... Our response to the virtuoso performance of Moscow's department of propaganda will now be decisive: will it be boring or creative?" (01/04/2014)

Blog Entre medios - Spain | 28/03/2014

Bonuses for clicks fatal for journalism

In the US, certain media have begun paying their freelance staff a bonus in addition to their basic fees depending on the amount of clicks their articles attract, José San Clemente reports in his blog Entre Medios, and warns of the dangers of this trend: "The journalist could be tempted to deal only with the more popular and commercially successful topics and ignore relevant stories that require more intense research but don't appeal to a broader public. Thousands of traps in the selection of headlines, photos and videos that draw attention and attract readers, but perhaps distort reality, could end up filling the pages of many newspapers." (28/03/2014)

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