Tag Archives: Hungary
Highlights from the world of digital media. Sign up here for the full version of CIMA’s weekly Digital Media Mash Up.
Is Internet Access a Human Right?
Internet Access Is Not a Human Right
Vint Cerf: From the streets of Tunis to Tahrir Square and beyond, protests around the world last year were built on the Internet and the many devices that interact with it. Though the demonstrations thrived because thousands of people turned out to participate, they could never have happened as they did without the ability that the Internet offers to communicate, organize and publicize everywhere, instantaneously. (New York Times, 1/5)
Is Internet Access a Fundamental Human Right?
Should internet access be seen as a fundamental human right, in the same category as the right to free speech or clean drinking water? The United Nations says that it should, but in a New York Times op-ed, one of the fathers of the internet argues that it should not. Vint Cerf is the co-creator of the TCP/IP standard that the global computer network is built on, so when he says something about the impact of the internet it’s probably worth paying attention to. But is he right? And what are the implications if he is wrong? (GigaOM, 1/5)
Vint Cerf on Why Internet Access Is Not a Human Right (+ A Few More Reasons)
In an provocative oped in today’s New York Times, Vint Cerf, one of the pioneers of the Net who now holds the position “chief Internet evangelist” at Google, makes the argument for why “Internet Access Is Not a Human Right.” You won’t be surprised to hear that I generally agree. But there are two other issues Cerf fails to address. First, who or what pays the bill for classifying the Internet or broadband as a birthright entitlement? Second, what are the potential downsides for competition and innovation from such a move? (Tech Liberation Front, 1/5)
Top Trends to Watch in 2012
2011 was a big year for news in more ways than one. Reporters were amply tested in their coverage of big breaking news stories such as the death of Osama Bin Laden or Muammar Gaddafi, major disasters such as the Fukushima earthquake, and complex political unrest much of the Arab World. Meanwhile, newspapers continue to seek an effective digital business model, to tackle the challenges posed by social media and community involvement, to create innovative tablet applications and respond to ethical dilemmas. Looking forward to 2012, what can we expect? (Editors Weblog, 1/2)
Forecast for 2012: BBC Boss Predicts ‘First Truly Digital’ Olympics
Phil Fearnley, general manager of news and knowledge at BBC Future Media, predicts an explosive year for takeup of new technology as the Olympic games come to London. (The Guardian, 1/1)
Issues for 2012 #5: How Will Online News Be Organized?
Just ask the man who signs my paychecks… or at least, go back to October 2007 and ask Richard MacManus, the founder and EIC of this publication. He would tell you directly and succinctly that ReadWriteWeb is not a blog. That is, by the definition of that time, it’s not a one-man show. “ReadWriteWeb has evolved,” Richard wrote at the time, “into something different than a blog, which is traditionally thought of as the voice of a single person.” (Read Write Web, 1/3)
The Mobile Revolution Is Here
2011 saw smartphone and tablet shipments outpace computer purchases for the first time and the world’s largest search engine spend over $12 billion to snatch one of the world’s largest mobile device manufacturers. We met Apple’s Siri, watched BlackBerry fall from the summit of mobile dominance, and witnessed vicious mobile-patent gamesmanship over devices and operating systems. With 20% of all searches being conducted from mobile devices, the mobile revolution is upon us. (MediaPost, 1/5)
INDIA: Is 2012 the Year for India’s Internet?
It’s estimated as many as 121 million Indians are logged onto the internet. It is a sizeable number, but still a relatively small proportion of the country’s 1.2 billion population. Predictions suggest the ways Indians use the internet for business and pleasure will change even further in the next year. (BBC, 1/3)
NIGERIA: Nigeria Yearns for Broadband Internet in 2012
Over one year after the landing of two additional undersea broadband cable networks – Main-One and Glo-One in the country, the penetration and cost of broadband internet services have remained hardly accessible. This is despite the fact that internet penetration in the country has catapulted from 10 to 40 million content of the population in a few short years. The reason for the poor broadband penetration, is that although more capacity has landed at the country’s coastline, the infrastructure to take it into the hinterland is largely lacking. (Business Day, 1/3)
Social Media Usage in Russia and Eurasia
Statistics from Focus, December 2011 (Russian)
Global Social Technographics Update 2011: US And EU Mature, Emerging Markets Show Lots Of Activity
Last month George Colony, CEO of Forrester, talked about a “Social Thunderstorm” at the LeWeb conference in Paris. He argued that social is running out of hours and running out of people. What does that mean? Well, the second one is easy: The vast majority of consumers around the world who have access to a computer use social media. And the first one? George goes on to say that Americans are spending more time on social media than volunteering, praying, talking on the phone, emailing, or even exercising. With so many people spending so much time on social media, it is crucial for companies to understand how their customers use social media. We just released our newest report, Social Media Adoption In 2011, which reveals the latest trends. (Forrester, 1/4)
HUNGARY: New Study: “Hungarian Media Laws in Europe: An Assessment of the Consistency of Hungary’s Media Laws with European Practices and Norms”
A new CMCS study led by researcher Amy Brouillette analyses the consistency of the Hungarian media regulations with European practices and norms. It addresses a key international policy debate regarding the conformity of Hungary’s new media legislation to European and EU media-regulation standards. The study also contributes to the ongoing policy making process regarding Hungary’s media laws—particularly in light of the recent rulings by Hungary’s Constitutional Court which requires several provisions to be amended by 31 May 2012—as well as contributing to the debate around other areas of concern that have been raised by the European Commission, European lawmakers, and domestic and international stakeholders. (Center for Media and Communication Studies, 1/5)
Global Censorship Update – January 2012
View Global Censorship Update – January 2012 in a larger map
Highlights from the world of digital media. Sign up here for the full version of CIMA’s weekly Digital Media Mash Up.
Hungary Media Law Update
Some updates after last week’s post on Media Law on Hungary:
Media Council Deals Serious Blow to Broadcasting Pluralism
Reporters Without Borders strongly condemns yesterday’s decision by Hungary’s Media Council to strip Klubradio, the country’s only national opposition radio station, of its broadcast frequency within a couple of months. (Reporters Without Borders, 12/21)
Hungary Court Rules Media, Criminal Law Violate Basic Rights
Hungary’s Constitutional Court vetoed parts of the media and criminal codes that were internationally criticized for curbing press freedom and the judiciary’s independence. The court also annulled a new law regulating religious organizations on procedural grounds, the court in Budapest said in three separate rulings that were e-mailed today. (Bloomberg, 12/19)
How Luther Went Viral
Five centuries before Facebook and the Arab spring, social media helped bring about the Reformation. (The Economist, 12/17)
News as a Process: How Journalism Works in the Age of Twitter
We’ve written many times about how journalism is changing in the age of social media, thanks to what Om has called the “democracy of distribution” provided by tools like Twitter — and how everyone now has the opportunity to function as a journalist, even for a short time, during news events like the attack on Osama bin Laden’s compound. A new study of the way information flowed during the Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt earlier this year paints a fascinating picture of how what some call “news as a process” works, and the roles bloggers, mainstream media and other actors play during a breaking news event. More than anything, it’s a portrait of what the news looks like now. (GigaOM, 12/21)
Design Your Own Profession
The world is coming apart in many interesting ways. I recently bought an iPad. After using it for a few days I bought a wireless keyboard. A week later I bought a case that puts the iPad in one half and the keyboard in the other. Presto! A disaggregated laptop that is lighter and more versatile, since I can use the screen by itself as an e-reader and the keyboard with other devices. (Harvard Business Review, 12/22)
Like Democracies, Internet Freedom Cannot Be Taken For Granted
If there had been any doubt before, events over the past year have underscored just how important the Internet has become for activists fighting for human rights and democracy around the world. However, 2011 also highlighted how censorship, surveillance, and the shutdown of Internet and wireless services can impact digital activism. (New America Foundation, 12/22)
After Chinese Hacks, How Do We Secure the Internet of Things?
Reading about the Chinese hackers hitting the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. I was struck by the last two paragraphs, which detailed how the hackers accessed the IP address of a thermostat — as well as the overall tone of resignation around preventing such attacks — and I wondered, how will we secure the web of things? (GigaOM, 12/21)
AFGHANISTAN: Afghan War’s New Weapon: 140-Character Twitter Salvo
Afghanistan’s Twitter war began in earnest Sept. 14, during a sustained attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and the adjacent headquarters of the U.S.-led international military force. Until then, NATO officials had kept close tabs on the messages posted on two accounts linked to the Taliban’s media arm — but had refrained from engaging or acknowledging them. (Seattle Times, 12/20)
SOMALIA: U.S. Considers Combating Somali Militants’ Twitter Use
The United States government is increasingly concerned about the Twitter account of the Shabab militant group of Somalia, with American officials saying Monday that they were “looking closely” at the militants’ use of Twitter and the possible measures to take in response. (New York Times, 12/20)
Can the U.S. Government Close Social Media Accounts?
The Obama administration and The New York Times are teaming up to expose and combat the grave threat posed by a Twitter account, purportedly operated by the Somali group Shabab, and in doing so, are highlighting the simultaneous absurdity and perniciousness of the War on Terror. (Salon, 12/20)
CHINA: Weibo and “Iron Curtain 2.0” in China: Who Is Winning the Cat-and-Mouse Game?
At the 2008 Chinese Internet Research Conference, Lokman Tsui, in his paper titled “The Great Firewall as Iron Curtain 2.0,” argued that the Great Firewall metaphor obscures and limits our understanding of Internet censorship in China. The term, combining “great wall” and “firewall,” is used to describe the Chinese government’s efforts to control the Internet while at the same time drawing on the Cold War term “iron curtain.” Yet the phrase “Great Firewall of China” gives outsiders the wrong impression, suggesting that in order to bring freedom of speech to the Chinese people, the wall should be pulled down to enable all good things, such as democracy, from the outside to get in. The reality, however, is much more complicated. (East Asia Institute, 12/20)
PAKISTAN: InterMedia and PEPL Strengthen Capacity and Assess Needs in Pakistan’s FATA
InterMedia recently partnered with the Popular Engagement Policy Lab (PEPL) to conduct research in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan in support of radio programming produced by Raabta Consultants. Their radio shows aim to provide citizens with solutions to problems faced by them, their families and their communities, particularly problems that contribute to increased violence in society. (Intermedia, December 2011)
Arabic Highest Growth on Twitter, English Expression Stabilizes below 40%
The analysis, carried out by Semiocast, is an update of the study on language shares on Twitter published in February 2010. In October 2011, the top 5 languages used on Twitter were: English, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and Malay. The survey was conducted on 5.6 billion public messages gathered between July, 1st 2010 and October, 31st 2011, to establish the evolution of most used languages on Twitter. (Semiocast, November 2011)
Global Digital Communication: Texting, Social Networking Popular Worldwide
Cell phones are owned by overwhelmingly large majorities of people in most major countries around the world, and they are used for much more than just phone calls. In particular, text messaging is a global phenomenon – across the 21 countries surveyed, a median of 75% of cell phone owners say they text. (Pew Research Center, December 2011)
43 Journalists Killed in 2011/Motive Confirmed
Committee to Protect Journalists 2011 Annual Report
The 10 Most Dangerous Places for Journalists
Reporters Without Borders has this year, for the first time, compiled a list of the world’s 10 most dangerous places for the media – the 10 cities, districts, squares, provinces or regions where journalists and netizens were particularly exposed to violence and where freedom of information was flouted. (Reporters Without Borders, 12/21)
The World Is Getting Unhappier, According to Twitter
‘Tis the season to be jolly. And a lot of us are during the holidays, if statistical analyses of our tweets provide sufficient measure. (CNet, 12/20)
MIDDLE EAST: The Revolutions Were Tweeted: Information Flows during the 2011 Tunisian and Egyptian Revolutions
This article details the networked production and dissemination of news on Twitter during snapshots of the 2011 Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions as seen through information flows—sets of near duplicate tweets—across activists, bloggers, journalists, mainstream media outlets, and other engaged participants. (International Journal of Communication, December 2011)
(alternative link: http://www.danah.org/papers/2011/IJOC.html)
EFF’s Reading List from 2011
We’ve compiled a list of notable books from the past year that stuck out to us. Even if we don’t necessarily endorse the arguments being made in them, we’ve included them for adding some valuable insight on conversations surrounding our issues and the work that we do. (EFF, 12/21)
Global Censorship Update – December 2011
View Global Censorship Update – December 2011 in a larger map
When a Nobel Prize winner is worried about the state of your democracy, you know you’re in trouble.
A column by Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman appeared in the New York Times over the weekend, pointing out that Hungary is experiencing a backsliding of democracy. Entitled “Depression and Democracy,” the column painted a bleak picture for the global economy, which seems to have instigated a rise in rightwing nationalism across Europe that is contributing to this backsliding.
Charles Gati of Johns Hopkins University goes so far to claim “Hungary is no longer a Western-style democracy. It is an illiberal or managed democracy…” in his own op-ed that appeared in the Times two days after Krugman’s column.
That backsliding on democracy is felt strongly in the media. The draconian media law enacted a year ago has, according to Gati, “reawakened the old self-censorship that helps reporters and editors stay employed and news outlets stay in business.” It was acknowledged by the panelists, however, that measures in the law had not been implemented but it was the threat of some of the sanctions that was stultifying.
Among other measures, the media law:
- created the National Media and Infocommunications Authority, a body that oversees the regulation of all media, including the Internet. Members serve nine year terms and are all from the ruling Fidesz party.
- gave the Media Authority judicial authority and the power to levy fines of up to €727,000 on media outlets that don’t comply with the law.
- banned media companies that have been subject to past complaints from bidding for new licenses.
- removed the protection of journalistic sources.
The environment is such that state media outlets are dominated by the ruling Fidesz party, leading to political interference in the reporting. The most recent case involved Balazs Nagy Navarro, the president of the Council of Public Media Trade Unions and Aranka Szavuly, another union official, both of whom began a hunger strike on December 10 to call for an inquiry into a case of photo manipulation on a public television station.
Yesterday, CIMA and the Open Society Foundations held a discussion on Hungary’s Media Law: One Year Later. In addition to Gati, panelists included Miklós Haraszti of Columbia University and former OSCE representative on freedom of the media; Balazs Weyer of the Foundation for Quality Journalism; and Ellen Hume, an Annenberg fellow in civic media at Central European University in Budapest.
Highlights from the event:
- Gati: The character of the Hungarian regime is an illiberal, managed democracy. It’s not a dictatorship, but there is a demand for efficiency rather than democracy.
- Gati: Viktor Orbán believes that the West is in decline and what he calls a new “Eastern wind” is blowing.
- Haraszti: Not since communism has government told media what is proper to report.
- Haraszti: Guarantees of independence of media have been removed.
- Haraszti: Arbitrary licensing has inflicted self-censorship on Hungarian media.
- Haraszti: The media law outsources media censorship to the owners.
- Weyer: Maybe it’s not widespread self-censorship, but journalists are definitely discouraged.
- Weyer: Hungary needs to create a journalistic society where editors share standards.
- Hume: Journalists are looking over the shoulders in a way they didn’t anticipate after 1989.
- Hume: Three factors are attacking quality of journalism in Hungary: 1. Backsliding against 1990 reforms. 2. Global erosion of media business models due to the growth of the Internet. 3. Fragility of democracy exposed across the globe.
- Hume: Solutions to Hungary’s media law problems: 1. Get an EU directive on press freedom. 2. Enlist the support of the international community.
- Hume: 70 percent of Hungarians get their news from television. Online media is an undeveloped space.
You can watch the whole event here.
Further resources on media in Hungary:
Read more about the law from Mike Harris, Head of Advocacy at the Index on Censorship.
Hungary media law resource page of the Center for Media and Communications Studies at Central European University
Watch a January 2011 interview with Miklós Haraszti.