weCAN Digest August 2019

Media monitoring of the latest news about the media and advertising markets of Central and Eastern Europe

Russia, in retaliatory move, to amend law to fine UK media
Russia’s media regulator said on Thursday it planned to change the law so it could fine British and other foreign media working in Russia for breaching impartiality standards, a step it called retaliation for London fining Russia’s RT TV channel.
Aug 1

Confidence in the European advertising business increases marginally in Q2/2019
Business confidence in the European advertising and marketing sector has taken a marginal turn upwards, according to the latest European Advertising Business Climate Index, issued by the European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA). The report, based on a sample of nearly 1,500 advertising and market research companies across Europe, shows that business confidence in the ad industry has increased from +2.7 to +3.4 over the last quarter.
Aug 1

Russia Tests Encrypted ‘Military Internet,’ Media Reports
Russia has tested its high-speed military internet that can send encrypted data over long distances, the pro-Kremlin Izvestia newspaper reported Thursday. The secure military internet tests come three months before parts of a Russian law tightening state control over the internet come into effect.
Aug 1

Bosnia and Herzegovina: every fifth citizen thinks attacks on journalists are justified
21% of the Bosnian citizens share the opinion that attacks on journalists are justified, says a new report made for the needs of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Journalists’ Association (BH Journalists) and the Friedrich Erbert Foundation, published on 16 July.
Aug 1

Maverick TV Host to Launch New Party in Bulgaria
Bulgarian TV host and singer Slavi Trifonov is launching a new political movement and his own TV station in September, he announced on Wednesday, on the last episode of his signature TV show, Slavi’s Show, aired on bTV, Bulgaria’s largest TV channel.
Aug 2

First Croatian online network & social media platform being developed
A Croatian-run tech company downunder in Australia are building what will be the first of its kind, an online network and social media platform for Croatians and people interested in Croatia. Kraljevic Technology are currently developing a Croatian online community and social network and hope for a beta release in the next few months.
Aug 4

Coca-Cola ads promoting gay tolerance stir furor in Hungary
Advertisements by Coca-Cola around a music festival in Hungary that promote gay acceptance have prompted a boycott call from a senior member of the conservative ruling party.
Aug 5

Postimees Grupp to take over advertising sales in BMA Estonia’s TV channels
The Estonian media group Postimees Grupp AS is to take over advertising sales in the television channels of the Estonian branch of the Baltic Media Alliance (BMA) from Jan. 1, 2020, informed LETA/BNS.
Aug 5

Yulia Kostecka joins Media Group Ukraine
Yulia Kostecka has been appointed the business director of Media Group Ukraine (MGU), effective August 1. She has extensive experience in the media, specifically in ad sales and the monetisation of projects, and has previously held the position of director of the sales house Media partnership and director RA of Media Partnership Baink.
Aug 5

Leaders of Bosnia’s main ethnic parties sign coalition deal 10 months after election
The leaders of Bosnia & Herzegovina’s three main parties have reached a deal to form a state-level government, ending a 10-month political crisis. Bosnia held a general election in October 2018 but since then the main political parties have been unable to form a ruling coalition mainly due to differences in their ideas for the country’s Nato membership.
Aug 6

Report: Establishment of KESMA Exacerbates the Overall Risk to Media Pluralism in Hungary
Central European Press and Media Foundation (KESMA) was established in Hungary, and almost immediately, most of the media owners that were considered by public opinion as affiliated or sympathetic to the Hungarian government transferred the ownership rights of their media holdings to it.
Aug 8

Hungarian funding supports spread of disinformation between Greece, Slovenia and North Macedonia
During July 2019 a new trend for spreading disinformation affected the online sphere in North Macedonia. Possibly to compensate for lack of coverage of political events that can be misconstrued during the vacation season, social media were flooded with links to old articles promoted through Facebook ads and right-wing Facebook groups.
Aug 9

Thousands rally in Romania on anniversary of violent protest
Tens of thousands of protesters rallied peacefully against the ruling Social Democrat government in the capital, Bucharest, on Saturday on the one-year anniversary of a violent protest where riot police disproportionately used force.
Aug 10

Google Put On Kremlin’s Growing List Of Alleged Moscow Rally Promoters
Russia has added California-based Google to its growing list of alleged Western culprits whom it accuses of calling on Muscovites to attend protests, some of which have been held without official authorization.
Aug 11

Hungary and Finland wage media war of words
In July, a spat broke out between Hungary and Finland, which took over the EU’s rotating Council presidency from Romania and quickly became a new enemy for Budapest. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his spokesperson Zoltan Kovacs have launched a series of verbal attacks against the Finnish presidency, which has prioritised the so-called article 7 process, under which Hungary could faces sanction of having its voting rights in EU institutions suspended for breaching EU standards on the rule of law.
Aug 12

Ukraine: Media Group Ukraine closed deal with Polcast
Media Group Ukraine (MGU) has closed a deal for its top-rated TV series, such us detective psychodrama “Who Are You?” and reality series “True Mystery” which will premiere on Polcast Poland soon.
Aug 13

Anonymous Messenger Apps and Drug Distribution in Ukraine
Drug dealers in Ukraine have cultivated an open drug distribution network largely unfettered by law enforcement scrutiny via a widely used tool: the secure messenger app Telegram.
Aug 13

Press suppliers in Latvia overjoyed with government’s success finding necessary funding
Transport Ministry has managed to find the necessary additional EUR 3.7 million to finance press supplies, said Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits after a meeting of the government coalition cooperation council on Monday, 12 August.
Aug 13

Bosnia Failing in Fight against Extremism Online
Amir Haskic called himself ‘Allah’s slave’ when chatting with fighters in Syria via the encrypted messaging apps Telegram and Viber. This, the trial demonstrated, was the climax of his radicalisation, a process that began with viewing hardline Islamic sermons on YouTube and graphic videos shared on social media.
Aug 13

Russia Suspected by Some in Giant Bulgaria Hack
Kristiyan Boikov was 14 years old and living in Bulgaria’s second-largest city, Plovdiv, when his parents gave him his first computer as a gift. He was soon obsessed, teaching himself a variety of computer languages and then, like many of his friends, turning his focus to issues of network security.
Aug 14

Culture Ministry hopes Saeima will support withdrawal of public media from advertising market
The Culture Ministry has expressed hope that the government and Saeima will support the planned withdrawal of the public media from the advertising market, stressing that this is a significant structural solution for the media environment, LETA was told at the ministry.
Aug 15

U.S. Special Envoy To Ukraine Says Russian Propaganda Hindering Peace Efforts
The U.S. special peace envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, says Russian propaganda is making it a challenge to solve the conflict in the east of the country. “To the extent that Russia tries to confuse the issue and deny what they’re doing, it complicates the effort to actually solve the problems,” he said.
Aug 16

‘1 Out Of 5 Million’ Anti-Government Protests Resume In Serbia
Serbia’s anti-government rally resumed on August 17 as hundreds of protesters gathered at Belgrade’s Terazijske fountain to march toward the presidential office with 42 demands for free and fair elections.
Aug 18

Russian Publishers Say Social Media Users May Read Audiobooks on VKontakte
The St. Petersburg-based social media platform called VK, for VKontakte—”in contact”—is among the most popular social networks among Russian speakers, and is expected to add audiobooks to its service in cooperation with some of the market’s publishing houses.
Aug 19

Women journalists and online harassment: the resistance in Bosnia
A daily occurrence in Balkan newsrooms and a risk factor for press freedom according to international bodies, online harassment against women in the media is on the rise everywhere
Aug 22

Organisations call on Russia to end targeting of journalists covering Moscow protests
A coalition of eight media freedom and journalists’ organisations are calling on Russian authorities to immediately stop the harassment of journalists who have been covering the recent protests in Moscow.
Aug 22

Protest technologies: can innovation change the balance of power in Russia?
Crisis situations, whether natural disasters, armed conflicts or political protests are often accompanied by a cycle of technical innovation. And if it’s a question of political conflict, each side tries to use new technology to shift the balance of power in their direction – and neutralise the tools of their opponent. The 2011-2012 fair election protests in Russia are a good example of this kind of innovation cycle.
Aug 23

Lithuania top ranked CEE economy on digital quality of life index
Lithuania is the top ranked economy of the wider Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region on the Digital Quality of Life (DQL) survey published by online privacy specialist Surfshark.
Aug 26

Int’l media organisations support Serbia’s hunger striking journalist
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European counterpart EFJ, say they support the demands by Maja Pavlovic, the owner of a local TV in Serbia, who has been on hunger strike for 16 days, to adjust costs of regional TVs to their income and for President Aleksandar Vucic to see her, the Beta news agency reported on Tuesday.
Aug 27

How to Gain a Political Sinecure in Romania: Join a Media Regulator
Media regulation in Romania remains an openly political affair where chaos rather than strategy and expertise rules. Realitatea TV, a Romanian all-news television station, was officially declared bankrupt last April after the station’s reorganization plan was rejected by a local court.
Aug 27

Romania’s ruling coalition splits, country left with minority government
ALDE, the junior party in Romania’s ruling coalition, has announced that it is pulling its ministers out of the government amidst a row over government restructuring and the nomination of its leader, Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, for president.
Aug 27

15 countries, and counting, revoke recognition of Kosovo, Serbia says
With Togo becoming the fifteenth country to revoke its recognition of Kosovo, according to Serbia’s foreign minister, Belgrade has moved closer to its goal of having half of UN member states not recognising its former province’s independence.
Aug 27

Ukraine’s internet advertising market jumps 82 per cent in first half of 2019
The Ukrainian internet advertising market grew by an impressive 82 per cent during the first six months of 2019 compared with the same period of last year, Open4Business Ukraine has reported. The total value of the market was worth 1.987 billion hryvnias (71.76 million euros) from January to June.
Aug 27

Serbia Arrests Business Associate of Opposition Politician
Police on Wednesday arrested Jovan Stojanovic, the director of Direct Media, a company formerly owned by opposition leader Dragan Djilas, and two employees of Serbian public broadcaster Radio Television of Serbia, RTS on suspicion of defrauding the state of more than five million euros.
Aug 28

Russian Media Reporting Sentsov Transferred To Moscow Detention Center
Russian media reports say Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, whose imprisonment has been criticized by Kyiv, Western governments, and human rights groups, has been moved from a remote prison in Russia’s Arctic region to a facility in Moscow.
Aug 29

Political novice Honcharuk appointed Ukraine PM, to focus on economy
Political novice and presidential protege Oleksiy Honcharuk was appointed as Ukraine’s prime minister on Thursday and said economic reforms aimed at accelerating growth would be the focus of his premiership.
Aug 29

U.S. Poised to Sign 5G Accord With Poland Amid Huawei Concerns
The U.S. and Poland are poised to sign an agreement on 5G security as President Donald Trump’s administration seeks to persuade European nations to block Huawei Technologies Co. and other China telecommunications firms from their networks.
Aug 30

DTT licence award in Lithuania
The Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission (LRTK) has awarded a DTT licence for the south east of the country.
Aug 29

Matjaž Merkan at the head of Telecom Slovenia
Telecom Slovenia’s Supervisory Board has appointed Matjaž Merkan as the new President of the Management Board. This decision was made before tomorrow’s general meeting of the company, which will elect two new members of the Supervisory Board.
Aug 29

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