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Survey: Financial leaders turning to broadcast channels for news?

The financial world’s decision makers are turning to TV channels for their news, according to research from the Global Capital Markets Survey (GCMS).

CNN International was the most popular news channel amongst these users, the survey suggests, above BBC World, CNBC and Bloomberg, according to a press release.

There’s a full breakdown of the media sources and their audiences within this sector at this link.

According to the results, CNN.com and CNNMoney.com were ranked second behind Bloomberg in terms of popularity for news sites – closely followed by Reuters.com, FT.com and WSJ.com.

The research was conducted by the Think Media Consultancy on a group of senior bankers, chief financial officers and treasurers of the world’s largest financial organisations, over a period between October 2008 and March 2009.

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Threats to Zimbabwe’s voters mapped by campaigners

April 29th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Uncategorized

As part of their Zimbabwe Election Watch campaign, website Sowanele.com has mapped data of conditions affecting last month’s election (thanks to a tweet from Paul Bradshaw for the link).

Users can see where different factors or issues, including violence, state propaganda and press freedom, have had an impact on the election process.

The map below shows areas where voters have been affected by issues relating to food supply, voter registration, looting and political cleansing.

Map of conditions affecting the Zimbabwe elections from Sowanele.com

The map is based on data collected since July last year from media sources in the country. As such the creators point out some caveats to the project:

“Zimbabwe has a highly restricted media environment, and fuel shortages make remote rural areas inaccessible to journalists who do manage to circumvent the legislation and report regardless. This means that urban areas have a greater representation on the map. Blank areas on the map do not indicate ‘uneventful’ areas; they are more likely to represent stories we are unable to tell and incidents that have not been reported.”

Nevertheless the map is a fascinating combination of campaign journalism, political coverage and interactive mapping.

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Online Journalism China: There’s an expanding array of tools to supply uncensored news – but how many are prepared to listen?

April 15th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Citizen journalism, Online Journalism

To add to our burgeoning hoard of international bloggers, Journalism.co.uk has recruited China Daily’s Dave Green to write about online journalism in China.

I recently fell into conversation with a Beijing taxi driver regarding his opinion on the situation in Tibet. His view was that he really had no idea who to believe, as he felt the government-controlled news sources could not be relied upon to provide a truthful account of what was really happening, and, even if he could read English, he would be reluctant to trust Western news sources either.

As an employee of China Daily I encounter on a daily basis the worst of China’s state-peddled misinformation and propaganda.

While it is true that Chinese language newspapers are sometimes prepared to go against the grain and report the truth, the reality is that all traditional media sources are state controlled, and those who wish to dig deeper must do so on China’s burgeoning blogosphere.

The cautionary tale of Zhou Shuguang illustrates the dangers Chinese bloggers face when attempting to bring the truth to light.

Zhou gained a measure of fame early last year for documenting the plight of a homeowner in Chongqing who refused to give in to the demands of a property developer and allow his home to be demolished.

Under the pen name Zola, Zhou publicized the case on his blog and provided up to date coverage with video and still images as the dispute progressed.

The publicity Zhou generated eventually led to the authorities reaching an agreement with the homeowner, inspiring Zhou to continue exposing similar cases.

However, his work, which was funded by a mixture of interview payments and donations, came to an abrupt end in November last year after he travelled to the city of Shenyang in northeast China.

There, he met with a number of defrauded investors who had been promised a 30 per cent return for providing for an aphrodisiac powder. The scheme was, of course, (ant) pie-in-the-sky and resulted in an army of angry investors demanding compensation and government action.

On his way to an interview, Zhou was picked up by Chinese police and told in no uncertain terms to get on a plane home and cease his activities.

He has since returned to his native home to open a business selling vegetables.

Zhou’s short-lived crusade raises a number of interesting issues, not least how he managed to keep his blog open.

Unsurprisingly, Zhou Shuguang’s Golden Age blog was added to the list of blacklisted websites soon after he began work, which prevented it being accessed in China.

However, Chinese netizens, led by blogger Isaac Mao are now increasingly hosting their blogs on servers outside the Chinese mainland.

While this still requires viewers to circumnavigate China’s firewall via the use of proxy servers, it does mean they are safe from being totally shut down by the authorities.

As John Kennedy documents on his excellent Global Voices China blog, the work of AIDS and environmental activist Hu Jia has inspired an increasingly net-savvy population to continue using the highly-encrypted services offered by Skype and Gmail to communicate.

Skype drew criticism in 2006 for partnering with TOM Online, a mobile internet company based in China, to restrict Chinese netizens to downloading a modified version of the software that incorporates a sensitive word filter.

However, for those who intend to seriously pursue citizen journalism in China, obtaining original Skype software is not a problem, and Zhou Shuguang used it extensively to interview people regarding the sensitive topics that he covered.

Those who choose to try and provide uncensored and accurate news in China have an expanding array of tools to help them win the battle with the censors, there are also tools to help read and watch their material behind the firewall.

However, as James Fallows says, the wider question remains how many Chinese will be prepared to listen and watch.

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