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Links 1 through 10 of 472 CEU Center for Media and Communication Studies (CMCS)'s Bookmarks

Websites which exposed violations in Russia’s parliamentary polls were inaccessible Sunday due to massive cyber attacks. Radio station Moscow Echo, election monitoring group Golos and opposition news sites were among those targeted. Golos said that its websites were under “massive DDoS attacks,” in particular its online Map of Violations which crowdsources evidence of election fraud. Vladimir Putin has denounced NGOs like Golos, comparing them to the disciple Judas who betrayed Jesus. Golos and media outlets whose websites have become inaccessible, such as Kommersant, New Times and Bolshoi Gorod, are now frantically decentralising their content, posting news on Facebook, Twitter and Google Docs instead. The blogging platform LiveJournal has been a victim of DDoS attacks throughout the week as well, and the media director of LiveJournal owner SUP wrote on his blog that "it’s a Soviet-style signal jam .. to stop uncontrollable exchange of information.”

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A delegation of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have dismissed their talks with senior officials of the Hungarian media services and asset management fund (MTVA) on Tuesday as a “nice PR event”. The British, French, Greek, German, Austrian and Turkish reporters said they are monitoring the events in Hungary with particular concern. Addressing earlier remarks made by the Hungarian government party Fidesz in defence of its new media law, the EFJ said while some elements of the law can indeed be found in other countries’ media legislation, the “Hungarian media law is a collection of bad examples”.

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The BBC unveiled a blueprint which includes selling off buildings and shedding some 2,000 jobs by 2016, which would yield annual savings of £670 million. The plan includes a reduction in new TV programmes, less original radio programming, and more repeats; but the BBC decided against shutting one of its TV channels. There will be fewer overseas correspondents, and fewer newsdesk posts in business and regional reporting. Less money will be spent buying films and programs, and the number of "senior leaders" in the corporation is to be reduced from 3% of its staff to 1%. 1,000 more staff will move to Salford, as the BBC will leave its West London offices. Unions vowed strike action, saying the plan will “destroy jobs, and destroy the BBC". The NUJ argued that "you cannot reduce budgets by 20% and pretend the BBC will still be a world-class broadcaster." But BBC's Mark Thompson said a “smaller and radically reshaped BBC” would still "deliver the best broadcasting in the world".

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The UK press is not subject to regulation in the ordinary sense, Hugh Tomlinson QC reminds us: it must operate within civil and criminal law, but is otherwise only subject to a system of "self-regulation" through the Press Complaints Commission (PCC). Participating outlets established a code of practice and a complaints system. But the PCC has come under much criticism over its failure to deal with systematic breaches of its code – most notoriously by the "News of the World". There is now a consensus that the PCC, as Financial Times editor Lionel Barber put it, "in its current form is dead". What, then, should replace it? The Director of the Media Standards Trust, Martin Moore, has suggested seven possible options for reform. Here, Tomlinson reviews each of them, before suggesting his own proposal for a regulatory system which would be voluntary, but have teeth, and which would also seek to deal with some of the problems identified by the libel reform campaign.

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Hungary is to introduce regulations on cable subscription contracts that will require operators to inform customers 30 days in advance of any changes they plan to introduce, announced Gábor Mátrai, VP of the National Media and Telecommunications Authority (NMHH). Mátrai also raised other questions, conceding that a recent electronic communications law did not address a number of issues, including digital set-top boxes, which the NMHH would have to return to later. He said he would like to start a discussion on the issue of must-carry and the creation of a package corresponding to that offered by DTT services. Regarding must-carry, he added that Hungary does not wish to go down the route of France and the Netherlands, with it being important to establish a balance.

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Russian media mogul Alexander Lebedev, who owns the British newspapers The Independent and The Evening Standard and a major stake in the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, punched a fellow guest off his seat during a televised economic debate in Moscow. Lebedev hit former real estate businessman Sergei Polonsky with two right hooks, sending him off the back of the platform. He used his blog afterwards to justify the assault, writing: "In a critical situation, there is no choice. [..] I neutralised him."

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In Britain, shadow culture secretary Ivan Lewis of the Labour Party last week suggested that journalists found guilty of "gross malpractice" should be "struck off," prompting a critical debate about whether journalists should be licensed. He found support from the Independent editor, Chris Blackhurst, who said errant journalists should be barred from the profession – much in the way jockeys are sometimes barred from riding by the sport's regulator. Taking the comparison and running with it, MediaGuardian asked four specialists to explain how other professions are regulated, and what could be learned from the examples. They surveyed the regulation of medicine, the law, banking and horse racing.

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The European Commission said on Thursday it had asked Hungary to abolish a special tax on telecom operators which breaches EU rules but the Hungarian government said it saw no need to change the levy, imposed last year to help fill a budgetary hole. The ruling comes a day before a draft of the 2012 budget is due to be submitted to parliament. Hungary hoped to earn some $282 million this year from the "crisis tax", which was imposed last October alongside levies on energy and retail firms and banks and is due to stay in effect until 2013. In a statement, the Commission said Hungary should inform it within two months of measures to comply with European Union rules, or it may refer the case to the EU's Court of Justice. But the prime minister's spokesman said that "the government ... believes there is no reason for making changes and we are ready to face the debate over this in the European court as well".

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Facebook again may have gone too far, and this time news media could get burned by going along, writes Jeff Sonderman at Poynter. "Frictionless sharing," in which everything you read, view or listen to is automatically streamed to your Facebook without ever having to "like" anything, as is being introduced by the network's new OpenGraph service and apps offered by Spotify, Yahoo! News, The Guardian and others, is highly problematic. It derives the act of sharing of significance, he argues, citing recent research about the reasons people currently share news online. It introduces a new level of privacy concerns, as information can be shared unwittingly – and easily be misinterpreted. It might even create a 'chilling effect', as people will think twice clicking certain links if they know it will be visible to their friends - whether it's an article about gay rights or a Kim Kardashian gallery. News media should therefore be wary: clicks are easily won but trust is hard to regain.

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Negative opinions among Americans about the performance of news organizations now equal or surpass all-time highs on nine of 12 core measures the Pew Research Center has been tracking since 1985. Fully 66% now say news stories often are inaccurate, 77% think that news organizations tend to favor one side, and 80% say news organizations are often influenced by powerful people and organizations. On the other hand, news organizations are still more trusted sources of information than government entities and business corporations, and people rate the news media they themselves use most much more positively. The survey also provides a wealth of information about what types of media people use for their news (TV, Internet, press or radio) and how they use social media for news, and breaks down data by political affiliation and in historical perspective.

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