Media Ownership Monitor: Ukrainian media prone to power plays more than ever

first_img to go further UkraineEurope – Central Asia Activities in the fieldReports and statisticsMedia independence CorruptionEconomic pressureFreedom of expressionCouncil of Europe News MOM is an international project launched by the international press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders. It is has been or is being carried out in eight countries worldwide, including as Turkey, Tunisia, Columbia and Cambodia. The Project is funded by the German Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ). Organisation RSF_en Follow the news on Ukraine UkraineEurope – Central Asia Activities in the fieldReports and statisticsMedia independence CorruptionEconomic pressureFreedom of expressionCouncil of Europe March 26, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information Maksym Ratushny [email protected]+380 63 239 64 16 February 26, 2021 Find out more News Ukrainian media group harassed by broadcasting authority Institute of Mass Informationcenter_img Media Contact:Reporters Without Borders Germany Screen capture from Receive email alerts Reports Crimean journalist “confesses” to spying for Ukraine on Russian TV [email protected]: +49 30 60 98 95 33-55 Ukrainian mass media outlets are mostly driven by their owners’ individual interests and thus serve as instruments to securing political and economic power. Corruption and lack of financial transparency further inhibit the healthiness of the country’s media landscape. These are some of the main findings of the Media Ownership Monitor (MOM), a research and advocacy project carried out in Ukraine by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Institute of Mass Information (IMI) over the past three months and presented in Kyiv today. The detailed results of the three-month study are now available to the public on the MOM website at in English and Ukrainian.The research also showed that TV and radio markets are particularly concentrated, mostly due to missing or dysfunctional safeguards for effectively controlling media oligopolies. Corporate structures of major media companies are disguised in offshore havens, which allow the owners to bypass existing legal requirements.”The Media Ownership Monitor has allowed us to reveal the intricate links between politics and business and how both sustain each other. Weak regulation means anyone with just about enough money and connections can use the powerful tool that a mass media outlet presents as their personal PR machines, allowing owners to manipulate the public into buying their goods, voting for them or pushing for laws that will make them even more powerful,” said Nafisa Hasanova, RSF’s MOM Ukraine project manager.The IMI’s coordinator for the project, Maksym Ratushnyi, added: “By scrutinizing the media sector, our research confirms a prevailing perception: Ukrainians live in a typical country of crony capitalism, a system where business can succeed only through close association with the political elites and vice versa.”The results of the study demonstrate that oligarchs occupy a special place in Ukraine’s media landscape. It is not a secret to ordinary Ukrainians who owns the most popular national TV channels in the country. For the first time, however, this comprehensive study reveals the economic and political interests behind these ownership structures. In addition, the website makes an easily accessible, searchable and user-friendly catalogue of media ownership available to every citizen.POLITICAL INFLUENCE OVER THE MEDIA IS EXTREMELY HIGHSome individuals control vast sectors of the country’s economy, and the media industry is not an exception. Political influence over the media remains extremely high. Ten out of the twelve most important TV channels selected for the study are linked directly or indirectly to political personalities. The radio market is equally marked by ownership structures too close to the ruling classes.The study reveals that the audio-visual markets are highly concentrated, as the major four TV owners – StarLightMedia, 1+1 Media, Inter Media and Media Group Ukraine – represent an audience share of more than three quarters. These media groups belong to some of the richest individuals in Ukraine, namely Viktor Pinchuk, Ihor Kolomoyskyi, Dmytro Firtash and Rinat Akhmetov, respectively.The top four radio groups, for their part, even combine a reach of 92% of the audience in Ukraine: Tavr Radio Group, Ukrainian Media Holding, Business Radio Group and TRK Lux. Three out of these four major groups belong to some of Ukraine’s richest, the exception being TRK Lux which is owned by the wife of the mayor of Lviv.The print media and online sectors are less concentrated. Online media in particular offer much more pluralism and choice to Internet savvy Ukrainians even though they remain unregulated by any laws in the country.The MOM’s findings also show that the country’s major media groups have very complex structures hidden offshore. Cyprus, British Virgin Islands, Hong Kong, Seychelles, Samoa, New Jersey, Belize are among the locations where some of the owners hide their assets from the Ukrainian public – regardless of a Ukrainian law explicitly prohibiting residents of offshore jurisdictions to own media companies. Shadow economy, however, remains quite significant. All this contributes to an unhealthy state of the media market in which, as a result, financial information is considered far too sensitive for the industry to disclose and thus remains intransparent.Concerning Ukraine’s legal framework, the MOM results show that some promising attempts have been made to shed light on media ownership, in particular through the adoption of a law aiming at greater media ownership transparency in 2015. Nevertheless, not all media companies have revealed their owners yet.Regulatory safeguards for controlling media concentration are still missing and the implementation of existing legal provisions stalls. For example, no objective criteria for measuring the market and media concentration have been defined yet. Regulatory authorities such as the National Council and the Anti-Monopoly Committee refer to the lack of legislation to assess concentration, as well as to the marginal level of possible sanctions. A lack of political will to reform and to regulate the media market, just as any other market, derives from the fact that politics and business are too cosy with one another.Last June, RSF already published a mission report about Ukrainian media’s situation, titled “Facing reality after the Euromaidan”. It describes the fragile situation of a country in which journalists are generally able to work freely and engage in investigative reporting, but yet face immense problems. The report also looked at concentration of the main TV networks in the hands of a few oligarchs, and at the difficulties of independent media outlets trying to develop functional business models.***The Media Ownership Monitor Ukraine was carried out by Reporters Without Borders in partnership with the Institute of Mass Information in Kyiv between July and October 2016. The project studied the legal environment, media concentration and ownership structures of the country’s 43 most popular national media outlets. October 11, 2016 Media Ownership Monitor: Ukrainian media prone to power plays more than ever Ukraine escalates “information war” by banning three pro-Kremlin media *** Ulrike Gruska / Christoph Dreyer / Anne Renzenbrink, media relations officers News September 7, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

West Spencer Street will soon be repaved

first_imgPaving will not begin on the 300 block until South Aurora Street reopens to accommodate detoured traffic (it has been closed for sidewalk construction since June). The city expects a start date of about Aug. 15 for paving the 300 block, according to a notice issued by the Streets and Facilities Department. In the interim, traffic will be allowed on the milled surface. Devon Magliozzi Featured image: The 300 block of West Spencer Street. (Devon Magliozzi/Ithaca Voice) The 300 block of Spencer was not initially included in work plans for the summer, according to city chief of staff Dan Cogan, because NYSEG expects to replace gas lines under the surface within the next couple of years. Rather than having NYSEG tear up pristine asphalt, the city planned to hold off on repairs until after the utility work was finished. When NYSEG replaces the gas lines under Spencer they’ll be responsible for restoring the street surface to the condition they find it in. In the meantime, drivers and cyclists can look forward to a smoother ride. Related: Interactive Pothole Map: Residents report roughest roads in Ithaca Tagged: department of public works, potholes, road work, spencer road, streets and facilities department The work will proceed in stages to minimize traffic impacts, though drivers should expect some delays. Each block will remain open during milling, with traffic flaggers on-site to maintain safety. Immediately after milling is complete, the 200 block will be briefly closed for repaving. “Numerous potholes on Spencer Street, at least 20, probably more. Some deep at one end of road. Surprised to see so many potholes on such a well-traveled street by many cars. It feels like a New York State Park Road very bumpy instead of a normal Road. The deepest holes maybe as much as 6 inches deep,” one person wrote in a complaint submitted last February. In light of complaints, the city has added the 300 block of West Spencer Street to the summer paving schedule, along with planned work on the 200 block. Spencer will be milled and paved from Stone Quarry to Cayuga, with work scheduled to begin at the end of this week and to conclude by Aug. 30. Residents’ consistent complaints, however, forced a change of heart. Given that work was already planned for the 200 block, Cogan said it made sense to move forward with milling and paving the 300 block at the same time. He said the project will also offer an opportunity for crews to address drainage issues and, possibly, to add a speed control device to slow cars coming down from Stone Quarry Road. While the work may make for a temporarily rough ride, complaints submitted to the city’s pothole request portal (obtained by The Ithaca Voice via a Freedom of Information Law Request) suggest that’s nothing new for this stretch of road. ITHACA, N.Y. — The stretch of West Spencer Street between Stone Quarry and the Elmira Road traffic circle is riddled with potholes, and residents have let the City of Ithaca know it. In the first six months of 2019, the street was the subject of more formal pothole requests than any other in the city, and the neighborhood’s e-mail list has regularly featured comments on the subject directed to city representatives and employees. “Flat tire on one of many potholes on street down from stone quarry. Now getting tire fixed at store. No way to not miss,” read another comment submitted in February, and, “There is an almost continuous rut of potholes on the western lane of the road (northbound travel lane). Cars are moving to travel on the other side of the road, which is causing issues with oncoming traffic,” read one from April. Devon Magliozzi is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at [email protected] or 607-391-0328. More by Devon Magliozzilast_img read more

CDC says declaration won’t change its pandemic plans

first_imgJun 11, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) pandemic declaration today isn’t a surprise and won’t affect the United States’ response to the spread of the novel flu virus, which is already aggressive, officials from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today.Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, who as the CDC’s new director spoke today at his first press conference on the novel H1N1 virus, said US officials expected the declaration. He added that the decision fits with the scientific data supporting continued human-to-human transmission in more than one WHO region.”For all intents and purposes, the US government has been in phase 6 of the pandemic for some time now,” he said. “This, however, is important, because is does send the strong message that the virus is here, and, in all likelihood, it’s going to stay.” He emphasized the pandemic level change doesn’t signify a change in the severity level or behavior of the new virus.Moving forward, the CDC’s goals are to identify where the virus is spreading and blunt its impact, particularly on vulnerable populations, such as those with chronic health conditions and infants, Frieden said.Preparing for a second waveHeath and Humans Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano said today in a joint statement that the next challenge is to prepare for a possible return of the virus in the fall. CDC officials said today that it has deployed its scientists to several southern hemisphere countries to directly monitor developments.Napolitano said in the statement, “We are reaching out to our partners in state and local government, in school districts and the private sector to urge them to modify and update their pandemic plans.”She added that the government is working with scientists to test and prepare a possible vaccine and comparing notes on the virus with experts in other countries.Virus acting much like seasonal H1N1Anne Schuchat, MD, interim deputy director CDC’s science and public health program, told reporters that though the CDC has reduced its focus on case numbers, the agency has received reports of more than 13,000 cases, more than 1,000 hospitalizations, and at least 27 deaths. The highest illness rates are in children younger than age 5, followed by the 5- to 24-year-old age-group, she said.The novel H1N1 virus is behaving like its seasonal H1N1 counterpart, which typically has a bigger impact on younger people, Schuchat said.Of people who were hospitalized with novel flu infections, 71% had underlying conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, immune deficiency, or pregnancy, she said.CDC officials said people should contact a healthcare provider right away if they or a loved one has a measured fever of 100.4°F or higher with a cough or a sore throat, along with an underlying health condition such as asthma or pregnancy.Though the CDC sees ongoing transmission in all states, two regions are above the influenza-like illness baseline for this time of year—New England, particularly Massachusetts, and the New York and New Jersey area.Schuchat said CDC is still emphasizing the steps Americans can take to reduce the impact of the virus: cover coughs, stay home when sick, avoid travel when sick, and prepare for more illnesses in the fall.Vaccine developmentThe CDC has ordered novel H1N1 vaccine components from five companies, $650 million worth of antigen and $287 million worth of adjuvant. Schuchat said, however, that the CDC doesn’t have a projection for the number of doses, because researchers haven’t yet pinpointed how much antigen and doses will be needed.”Even if the decision to use the vaccine is not made, these orders permit the chemicals to be stored in bulk where they could be later formulated,” she said. “We’ve done this in a way that’s giving us a lot of options for the future.”So far, there’s no evidence to suggest that circulating novel H1N1 strains won’t be a good match for the seed strains used in the vaccines, Schuchat said in response to a reporter’s question. Testing of isolates from different countries and states so far shows no changes. “But with influenza, we need to keep looking,” she added.In the months ahead, the CDC will be analyzing its pandemic response and make revisions to plans if needed for the fall. She said the CDC is working with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), in a series of regional meeting scheduled for July, to gather lessons learned from the response components and to explore any supply-chain weaknesses.See also:Jun 11 HHS-DHS joint statementlast_img read more

iPhone XR 2 will pack much bigger battery than iPhone XR, leak suggests

first_imgApple is expected to launch three iPhones this year similar to the last two years. This year — at least this is what the rumours and leaks suggest – Apple is going to launch the successor to the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. The upcoming iPhones are expected to be iPhone XI, iPhone XI Max and iPhone XR 2. We have come across several leaks and rumours about all the three iPhones in the past, now a new leak has revealed some new details about the iPhone XR successor aka iPhone XR 2. The leak suggests that the iPhone XR 2 will come bundled with a bigger battery when compared to predecessor.According to a report coming from the iPhone XR 2 will sport a much bigger battery when compared to the iPhone XR that launched last year. The report suggests that the iPhone XR 2 will come with a 5 per cent bigger battery than the iPhone XR. The iPhone XR comes with a 2,942mAh battery which means the iPhone XR successor aka the iPhone XR 2 will sport a big 3,110mAh battery. Having said that, the consumers can expect the iPhone XR 2 to offer a longer lasting battery life compared to the iPhone XR.The report further notes that Chinese Amperex Technology Limited (ATL) has “kicked off mass production of batteries for the successor to Apple’s iPhone XR”. As of now there are no words from Apple’s side as far as the upcoming iPhones 2019 are concerned. Rumours suggest that like every year Apple will host its Apple iPhone every around September end or October beginning.advertisementCompared to the iPhone XR the successor device aka iPhone XR 2 is expected to be much advanced in terms of both design as well as specifications. The iPhone XR 2 is expected to come with two cameras on the back panel that one sensor less than the upcoming iPhone XI series of phones. Rumours suggest that similar to the high-end iPhones this year the iPhone XR 2 is also expected to be powered by second-gen 7nm Apple A13 chipset. The iPhone XR 2 is expected to come in several funky colours like yellow, red, blue, white, black, among others.ALSO READ | WhatsApp gets a new sticker pack, here’s how you can download itALSO READ | Xiaomi Mi 9T, Mi 9T Pro launch today, likely rebranded Redmi K20 and Redmi K20 Pro for global marketsALSO READ | Samsung Galaxy M40 with Infinity-O display, 32MP triple camera launched: Price, specs, release datelast_img read more