Was there a ‘veil of silence’ over international media when it came to covering the buildup up to Israel’s recent invasion of Gaza or has coverage been biased in favour of Palestine, readers’ letters to E&P ask.
Further to our blog post this morning, showing police interfering with photojournalist Marc Valleé while he was attempting to photograph protests at the Greek Embassy on Monday, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has released a statement criticising the Metropolitan Police for the way they handled media coverage of the protests outside the Greek Embassy on Monday.
The NUJ said it had received reports that ‘at least one of its members suffered physical injury as a result of their handling by the police’.
“There are clear guidelines which discuss how the police should work with the media and officers policing demonstrations need to be made aware of their responsibilities. The police know very well our concerns around cases like this and it’s simply unacceptable for our members to continue to have problems when covering protests. Such basic infringements of our members’ rights must stop,” the release said.
“Heavy-handed policing meant journalists were prevented from doing their jobs as they tried to report on the protests which took place on Monday. Photographs from the protests show the police deliberately obstructing photographers in their work and journalists have complained of being physically removed from any area from which they could document events.”
“The police must remember that they have responsibilities towards the media,” said NUJ Legal Officer Roy Mincoff, in the release. “Even where a protest is itself illegal, the media have a right to report on events and the police should not be taking action with the intention of obstructing journalists in their work,” he added.
Journalism.co.uk is following up, and will report more when further information is received.
Yesterday I picked up a discussion on Facebook, via a friend, about media coverage of the Ghanaian elections (voters went to the polls yesterday, and votes are being counted now, if you missed it, by the way) why had there been so little election coverage on the Western networks? Very little on CNN; very little on BBC.
“I was hoping, only hoping that for just a fraction of a moment the media cameras and the pens will slip from Mugabe’s Zimbabwe onto Ghana. Just a bit of positive reportage on Africa! That’s all I was hoping for. But I guess that’s not sensational enough for the Western media. ‘Ghana peacefully elects a new President’… that’s not headline stuff! It simply does not sell,” wrote Maclean Arthur.
Meanwhile, , on his blog. ‘Does Ghana exist’ he asks? He finds it ‘interesting that many of the leading Western media outlets have not made a mention of Ghana 2008 Elections.’ rounds up the poor global news coverage here
“Perhaps, Ghana does not exist on their radar screen. Ghana, like the rest of black Africa will only pop-up on their monitoring screens when over 1,000 people have butchered themselves or over 300,000 people are dying of starvation, or over 500,000 people are displaced by a civil war,” Ajao writes.
Over on Facebook, others were quick to join in the criticism and call for more African specific coverage, in the form of an African television network.
That’s exactly what Salim Amin wants to set-up, in a bid to counter existing coverage (or lack thereof) with a proposed all-African television network, A24, as I have written about on Journalism.co.uk before. Amin told me in September:
“Everything we get is negative out of Africa. 99 per cent of the news is genocides, wars, famine, HIV.
“We’re not saying those things don’t occur or we’re going to brush them under the carpet, but what we’re saying is there are other things people want to know about. About business, about sport, about music, environment, health…
“Even the negative stuff needs to be done from an African perspective. African journalists are not telling those stories – it’s still foreign correspondents being parachuted into the continent to tell those stories. We want to give that opportunity to Africans to come up with their own solutions and tell their own stories.”
However, Amin is still searching for suitable investors that won’t compromise the ideals and aims of the channel. In the meantime, A24 exists as an online video agency.
The pitiful global coverage of the Ghanaian election reinforces the need for better and wider spread African news coverage, that isn’t just the stereotypical coverage we’re so used to, as Maclean Arthur referred to on Faceboook as ‘the usual images of dying children with flies gallivanting all over their chapped lips.’
Yes, some websites are bridging some gaps (for example, New America Media for the ethnic media in the US, and Global Voices Online – who wrote about Twittering the Ghanaian elections here), but there’s still a heck of a way to go. BBC World Service may have a Ghana Election page, but it’s not quite on the same scale as you might see for a European election is it?
This is the full transcript of a speech given by Chris Cramer, global head of multimedia for Reuters’ news operations, at Nottingham Trent University last night. Journalism.co.uk’s report on the address can be read at this link.
So I accepted this invitation shortly after I retired from CNN international – where I was managing director and where I’d been for 11 years or so.
I became a consultant for Reuters news in January and now, in the last few months, have become their first global editor for multimedia.
So, I’m talking to you today as a working journalist, broadcaster and manager for 43 years now and what I would like to talk about is ‘trust and integrity in the modern media’.
I also want to ask the question of you whether the media has maybe lost the message somewhere along the way?
The editor of Radio 1’s news programme, Newsbeat, says the reaction to prank phonecalls made by radio presenters Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross is more varied across the BBC’s audience than media coverage of the incident suggests.
Guardian News & Media has this morning announced the heads of ‘its new integrated production, media and environment teams’, which are to be called pods. Appointments to its sport and picture desks were also announced.
New editorial roles are as follows (quoted from original article):
- Damian Carrington: head of the environment pod
- Jon Casson: head of production. Casson will be responsible for all sub-editors in the integrated production and subbing teams across the Guardian, the Observer and guardian.co.uk, and will also do news subbing.
- Andy Beven: head of production, business and pods. He will line manage the subbing teams within the pods and the business desk.
- David Marsh: production editor of the Guardian
- Steve Busfield, news editor of guardian.co.uk: head of the media and technology pod (which will include MediaGuardian.co.uk, the MediaGuardian print section, the Guardian Technology print section and website, and the Observer’s media coverage.)
- Jason Deans has been appointed editor of MediaGuardian.co.uk.
The Sun hosted an hour-long web chat with Boris Johnson yesterday, who answered questions from MySun readers. The answers to his questions are now on the Sun’s forums and have been edited into a couple of short video clips for the site. Brian Paddick will take part in a web chat on the site on April 25 at 1pm.
Elsewhere, Johnson fared less well with new media coverage: a mobile citizen journalist on the Evening Standard’s website captured the Conservative candidate admitting his plans to replace bendy buses in the capital would cost £100 million.
The Standard is running an interactive section covering the campaigns. The YouVote channel has been set up for users to submit images, video clips and comments and given today’s scoop, seems to be doing a good job.
Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has written to the Chinese ambassador in the UK attacking China’s censoring of foreign news websites – including Guardian.co.uk – in the wake of the Tibetan riots.
Mr Rusbridger asked for the ambassador’s assistance in unblocking his website back online and ensuring that access to it remained free of interference.
“As you will be aware, the blackout has coincided with media coverage of the recent unrest in Tibet, forcing the conclusion that this is an act of deliberate and wholly unacceptable censorship,” wrote Mr Rusbridger.
“We are dismayed that Beijing should curtail international press freedom, particularly in Olympic year.”
The move comes in the wake of a violent crackdown on protests in Tibet by Chinese authorities that have also attempted to block the media from reporting what was going on.
Tibetan exiles say at least 80 protesters died in the clashes as reporters were being forced to leave.
The Foreign Correspondents Club of China reported that as many as two-dozen reporters have been turned away from or forced to leave Tibetan areas and government censorship of the internet and television broadcasts was also hampering journalists’ work.
“Reporting interference is not in the interest of the Chinese government which is trying to show a more open, transparent and accountable image to the world,” said FCCC President Melinda Liu, in a piece carried on the FCCC website.
“Such interference is not in keeping with reporting regulations adopted during the Olympics period – and is especially not in keeping with the international community’s expectations of an Olympic host nation,” added Liu.
Writing for the Telegraph.co.uk Richard Spencer claimed to have been ordered to leave the Tibetan town he was staying in by local police (Spencer also points to some bloggers who are managing to get information onto the net about the crackdown)
The Honk Kong Journalists Association (hat tip Roy Greenslade) is also reporting that journalists from at least six Hong Kong media organisations have been placed under escort and ordered out of Lhasa, the Tibetan capital.
Prince Harry is to be withdrawn from his tour of duty in Afghanistan after reports on US blog, Drudge Report, revealed he was serving with British forces there.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) issued a statement today confirming speculation that the third-in-line to the throne would cease active service and return to the UK.
“Following a detailed assessment of the risks by the operational chain of command, the decision has been taken by Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, Chief of Defence Staff, in consultation with General Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff, to withdraw Prince Harry from Afghanistan immediately,” read the statement.
“This decision has been taken primarily on the basis that the worldwide media coverage of Prince Harry in Afghanistan could impact on the security of those who are deployed there, as well as the risks to him as an individual soldier.”
The media blackout agreed between the Ministry of Defence and UK news outlets about Prince Harry’s secret deployment was broken after popular US blog, The Drudge Report, ran a story about his activities in Afghanistan.
The MoD and the media struck a deal that meant extended access to Prince Harry during his time in Helmand Province in exchange for news of his deployment to be held until after his tour had been completed.
A stipulation of the agreement was that media in the UK would hold its stories unless a foreign news publisher made the news public first.
When Drudge broke the story news groups in the UK were then forced to flood their stories on an unsuspecting public.
The MoD asked the media to refrain from speculating on Prince Harry location and other details of his mission until he returns to the UK.
1) Who are you and what’s it all about?
Hello. I’m Kristoffer Lassen. I’m the co-founder of Imooty.
Imooty is an interactive compendium of news stories from across Europe. It provides direct access to the latest breaking media coverage from the most important newspapers and media organizations based in the European Union, Switzerland and Norway.
2) Why would this be useful to a journalist?
Imooty makes it possible for users to compare and contrast vast amounts of information.
By clicking the European map, readers may browse through a particular country’s major and minor papers and blogs in English and local languages.
One can easily search for a particular term across all European papers or simply navigate by the common news topics such as politics, science, or business.
MyImooty allows users to create their own media universe. By collecting and saving the most frequently accessed news topics, you may collect your favourite sources on a single customized page. Each time you return to your page, the news is updated and sorted by subject, search terms and titles.
3) Is this it, or is there more to come?
The technical and conceptual goal of Imooty is not only to provide access to the latest breaking news, but also to enable a convenient way to review news archives.
With its integrated search engine, users may find specific content located in several different databases and retrieve them through a single business transaction. We’re also in the process of adding Podcast and IPTV modules.
4) Why are you doing this?
I’m Norwegian and co-founder Blaise Bourgeois is French but we are both expats living in Germany.
We are both interested in commentary and analysis of current events; however, keeping up to date on both the media landscape here in Berlin, as well as in our respective home countries was unmanageable.
So we set out to create a platform that could solve this problem. We believe that as the European Union continues its development, more people will migrate and follow news and current events in different languages from nearby countries.
5) What does it cost to use it?
Access to the latest news is free and we simply redirect traffic to the newspapers. As mentioned, also archived news will be searchable on the platform and such content will be displayed in the same format as the latest news (headline with a teaser text below it). Access to this information is a premium feature.
6) How will you make it pay?
Our business model is based on a combination of sales commission and advertising revenue.