weCAN Digest December 2018
Media monitoring of the latest news about the media and advertising markets of Central and Eastern Europe
Ascanius Media – new name of the agency network in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Croatia
Agencies that have been operating within the Direct Media system in the markets of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Croatia have changed their name to Ascanius Media. Ascanius Media Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ascanius Media Croatia and Ascanius Media Slovenia continue to operate under a new name, as part of a new business strategy.
Mattis Confirms Russia Interfered in U.S. Midterm Elections
Secretary of Defense James Mattis confirmed on Saturday that the U.S. government has determined Russia attempted to interfere with the U.S. midterm elections last month.
How an Internet Impostor Exposed the Underbelly of the Czech Media
[Tatiana] Horakova has never been photographed. She does not appear to have a medical license. Her nonprofit, which she has claimed employs 200 doctors, appears to be a sham. Her exploits, so far as anyone can tell, are entirely fabricated.
Enemies of media freedom on the rise in Bulgaria, AEJ report finds
An in-depth-ranging Report by AEJ-Bulgaria analyses the retreat of media freedom in the spheres of politics, business and society. Its troubling conclusion is that a repressive regulatory media environment and fierce campaigns to discredit investigative journalism strengthened the grip of the enemies of independent media in Bulgaria in 2018.
German media report on Romania’s 1918 Union sparks controversy
The Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) said it took note with “consternation” of an article published by the German state press agency DPA – Deutsche Presse-Agentur and referenced by German TV station ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen) on the 100-year anniversary of Romania’s 1918 Union.
Antenna Group sells Serbia and Montenegro channels
International broadcast company Antenna Group has agreed to sell its media operations in Serbia and Montenegro to Serbian media entrepreneur Srdjan Milovanovic for €180 million.
News Consumption And Media Trust In Ukraine
Since 2013, Ukraine has seen the EuroMaidan revolution, the annexation of Crimea, and a lasting armed conflict in the East with thousands of soldiers killed and more than a million people forced to leave their homes. These developments also had an effect on the country’s media sphere. A new study now shows how news consumption and views of the media have changed in Ukraine over the last few years.
Hungary's Orban exempts pro-government media group from scrutiny
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has exempted a mammoth pro-government media group from scrutiny by the national competition watchdog, according to a decree published late on Wednesday.
Estonia was attacked again on Kremlin TV
On Sunday, November 25. Russian warships captured three Ukrainian ships in the Kertš straights. On Wednesday, November 28. the Estonian Foreign Ministry, summoned the Russian Ambassador in Estonia in connection with the incident.
Telia Estonia opts for Ateme
Ateme’s Titan solution has been chosen by Telia Estonia to compress and package its next generation OTT offering. The project aims to extend the reach of HD services throughout Estonia and introduce new packaging formats.
Prominent Crimean Lawyer Jailed For Five Days Over 2013 Social-Media Post
A Russia-controlled court in Crimea has sentenced prominent lawyer Emil Kurbedinov to five days in jail for a 2013 Facebook post made before Russian forces seized and subsequently annexed the peninsula from Ukraine.
Hungary accuses Brussels of censorship after 'police action against controversial billboard'
Hungary's government accused the Belgian capital of trying to censor it on Thursday after a van it commisioned to drive through Brussels with a billboard linking migration to terrorist attacks was stopped by police.
France to Probe Possible Russian Influence on Yellow Vest Riots
France opened a probe into possible Russian interference behind the country’s Yellow Vest protests, after reports that social-media accounts linked to Moscow have increasingly targeted the movement.
Competition regulator fines Bulgaria's Elprom Troyan over false advertising
Bulgaria's Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) said on Tuesday that it has fined local electric motors producer Elprom Troyan over the company's unsubstantiated claims, published on its website, stating that the company holds a leading market position and a large market share in Bulgaria.
Russian propaganda prompts alarm in Ukraine and France
Russian propaganda activity has raised alarm of further escalation in Ukraine, amid separate concern on Moscow's role in recent French rioting. The Russian foreign ministry has, for the best part of a month, promulgated the idea that Ukraine was planning to use chemical weapons against fighters in Russia-occupied east Ukraine.
BIRN Report Says Media Freedom Declining in Serbia
A new BIRN report on the state of the media in Serbia notes abuses of funding, lack of pluralism in terms of content, an unclear legislative framework and administrative pressure on independent media as some of the most concerning issues.
Top court rejects opposition complaints against campaign billboard law
The Constitutional Court rejected complaints submitted by 55 opposition MPs against a law tightening regulations on political billboard advertising justified by the desire to protect cityscapes.
ShowMax to exit Poland
The SVOD service ShowMax will cease operating in Poland from the end of January, barely two years after it made its debut. News of its exit from the Polish market, the first it entered in Europe, was confirmed to Wirtualne Media by Magdalena Marzec, the PR manager of ShowMax Poland.
BBC widens reach in Latvia
The Latvian public broadcaster’s channel LTV7 has started carrying Russian-language news from the BBC. On Wednesdays, as part of the LTV7’s Russian-language programming from 19.00, there will be a live linkup with the BBC’s Broadcasting House in London.
Seimas takes to deliberating on LRT activities investigation commission’s conclusions again
On Thursday, the Seimas returns to deliberating on the conclusions of the commission on the LRT’s activities. Legislative amendments were to be presented based on the conclusions, however the amendments were prepared without awaiting the conclusions being approved by parliament or a response from the Constitutional Court (KT).
Law further restricting speech in Russia might negatively affect freedoms of media and of information on Internet, says OSCE Representative
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir today conveyed his concern about a new draft law in Russia which can impose excessive restrictions on media and citizens using their right to free expression online.
SBU: Russia makes massive attempts to meddle in future elections in Ukraine through social media
The Security Service of Ukraine has recorded massive attempts by Russian security services to use open toolkits of Facebook and Twitter to meddle in future presidential and parliamentary elections in Ukraine.
Controversy in Bulgaria over billboards promoting tolerance towards same-sex couples
Billboards promoting tolerance towards same-sex couples, put up in various Bulgarian cities, have been targeted by vandalism and public outrage. The negative response has prompted organisers of the campaign to say that the reaction shows how deep the problem of homophobia runs in Bulgarian society.
Press freedom in Poland under pressure at year’s end
Poland ends 2018 with worrying developments in the climate towards journalists. As the country enters election season, leading up to parliamentary elections in autumn 2019, two separate incidents point to rising pressure on the press.
Serbia: Journalist’s house burned down – swift investigation demanded
The Journalists’ Association of Serbia (UNS) on Wednesday called for an immediate investigation into the fire in the home of news portal journalist in a Belgrade suburb.
Russia using 'hardcore propaganda' against UK, warns top diplomat
Latvia has raised concerns with Britain over what one diplomat described as "hardcore propaganda" against the UK and its allies aired by two Russian-language television channels that are registered in London.
New report on Russian disinformation, prepared for the Senate, shows the operation’s scale and sweep
The report, a draft of which was obtained by The Washington Post, is the first to analyze the millions of posts provided by major technology firms to the Senate Intelligence Committee.
New Czech DVB-T2 milestone
A quarter of Czech households are now able to receive DVB-T2 services, according to the national transmission company CRA, quoting current surveys. However, it adds that the number will increase by the end of the year due to this being the main shopping season and interest in TV receivers.
Hungary state TV hit as 'slave' labour law protests continue
Anti-government protests in Hungary hit the country's public broadcaster on Monday, with the opposition galvanised by the furious reaction to a controversial new labour law.
Slovenia welcomes Italian amendment related to minority media
The Slovenian Foreign Ministry has welcomed a planned change to Italian print media funding with which public funding for Slovenian minority media is to be preserved.
Croatia's Ericsson Nikola Tesla, Crnogorski Telekom sign 50 mln kuna (6.73 mln euro) cooperation deal
The Croatian subsidiary of Swedish telecommunications equipment producer Ericsson said it reached with Montenegrin telecommunications provider Crnogorski Telekom (CT) a cooperation agreement worth more than 50 million kuna ($7.68 million/6.73 million euro) on Wednesday.
Ukraine to spend $550,000 for ads on CNN
State-owned enterprise “The center of protection of the informational space of Ukraine” of the Ministry of Informational Policy ordered advertising service in CFC Consulting, which belongs to Hennadiy Kurochka, and spent $550,000 for that. The information about the competitive tender is published on Prozorro.
'Pinpointed For Murder': Media Watchdog Says More Journalists Targeted In Reprisal Killings
Out of the 53 journalists killed on the job so far this year, 34 were targeted in reprisal for their work, a media watchdog said on December 19. In its annual report, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said the danger of reporters being targeted for their journalism grew this year, despite a decline in the risks for war and conflict.
Societe Generale announces an agreement with a view to sell Societe Generale Serbia to OTP Bank
Societe Generale has entered into an agreement with a view to sell Societe Generale Serbia (SGS) to OTP Bank. The closing of the transaction is subject to receipt of clearances from the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) and antitrust authorities. It is expected in the coming months. The scope of the transaction includes insurance and leasing activities in this country.
Lithuania to ban kids’ mocktails or champagne-like drinks
Lithuania is planning on banning companies from producing or selling soft drinks, foods, toys or any other goods aimed at children and teenagers that imitate alcoholic drinks or their packaging.
Lithuania clamps down on TV piracy
Lithuania’s Radio and Television Commission (RTK) has issued a binding order to ISPs forbidding them from giving access to websites that distribute TV programmes without its permission.
Google gets e-money licence in Lithuania
Bank of Lithuania has granted Google Payment an electronic money institution licence, authorizing it to issue and redeem electronic money as well as provide payment services.
Russian media regulator to investigate BBC's operations
Russia’s media regulator has said it will carry out checks to determine whether the BBC is in compliance with Russian law, in a retaliatory move after the UK regulator censured the Russian broadcaster RT.
Draft national media strategy handed to Serbia government
The Media Coalition said on Thursday that it had handed its draft of the national media strategy to the Serbian government for consideration. The statement said that the draft includes proposals and solutions advocated by the Media Coalition for a long time and warned that the situation on the media scene in Serbia was deteriorating daily.“
Romania’s press freedom in free fall as its takes over EU presidency
As Romania prepares to take over the European Union’s rotating presidency next week, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is concerned about the sharp decline in press freedom in this East European country and calls for active measures to combat disinformation and promote quality journalism.