weCAN Digest October 2018

Media monitoring of the latest news about the media and advertising markets of Central and Eastern Europe
 
Hungary's top news portal closes briefly to highlight media freedom concerns
The largest source of independent news in Hungary briefly took down the front page of its online portal on Monday to sound the alarm over what it sees as its declining editorial freedom and to secure funding from readers to help protect its independence.
Oct 1
#hungary
 
Romania’s ruling party leader starts offensive against hostile media
Liviu Dragnea, the leader of Romania’s ruling party – the Social Democratic Party (PSD), said the Government should come up with a draft bill that would bring transparency to the way some media websites and NGOs are financed and how they spend their money, according to Hotnews.ro.
Oct 1
#romania
 
Article About Russian Media Boss's Alleged Crimean Home 'Withdrawn'
The print run of a Crimean newspaper that ran an article about a villa allegedly belonging to Russian state media boss Dmitry Kiselyov has been withdrawn, the article's author says.
Oct 2
#russia #ukraine
 
Analysis: Slovenian media firms broke even in 2017 after years of losses
After several consecutive loss-making years, media outlets in Slovenia broke even last year by generating a cumulative net profit of EUR 4m on EUR 447m in sales revenue, shows a fresh analysis of official data.  
Oct 2
#slovenia 
 
Ukraine’s MFA calls on international media to use #KyivNotKiev
“In accordance with the 10th United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names, we politely request all countries and organisations to review and where necessary, amend their usage of outdated, Soviet-era placenames when referring to Ukraine,” said the MFA in a statement on their website.
Oct 4
#ukraine
 
Stop press: has a journalist revolt at Forbes Russia saved the magazine’s independence?
For almost three years, staff at the once-respected Forbes Russia have been fighting a vicious battle with the company's license holder involving court cases, resignations and office blackouts.
Oct 4
#russia
 
Czech PM's former firm buys Bauer Media Group's local publisher
Czech media group Mafra, part of the business empire founded by Prime Minister Andrej Babis, has agreed to buy Bauer Media Group’s local publishing business, the companies said on Tuesday.
Oct 9
#czechrepublic
 
With Arrest in Journalist’s Killing, Bulgaria Rebuts Talk of Political Motive
A man has been arrested in Germany and charged with the rape and murder of a Bulgarian journalist, the authorities in Bulgaria announced on Wednesday, saying that there was no indication that she had been killed because of her work.
Oct 10
#bulgaria
 
Britain wages information war against Russia
Since March, when two officers in the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence service, deployed a “novichok” nerve agent in Salisbury to try to murder a former Russian spy, Britain has been on the front line of efforts to counter the Kremlin’s clandestine operations.
Oct 11
#russia
 
Attempt on LRT's independence poses threat to freedom of speech, Lithuanian president says
An attempt on Lithuania's national broadcaster LRT's independence poses threat to the freedom of speech, President Dalia Grybauskaite says.
Oct 12
#lithuania
 
Starting November, Eurosport 2 sells advertising to its customers in Romania
Discovery Romania announces that, starting in November 2018, Discovery Media will manage its local advertising sales also for Eurosport 2.
Oct 16
#romania
 
Kremlin networks to remain on air in Estonia
Three major Russian networks will remain on Estonians’ TV screens as service providers have no motivation to replace them. Most parliament parties are not willing to seriously discuss media restrictions or regulation.
Oct 18
#estonia
 
Serbia Eyes Tanjug Brand Sale, But How?
The 75-year-old former Yugoslav state news agency was officially closed down in 2015 but continues operating in a legal limbo. Now the government wants to sell the name.
Oct 18
#serbia
 
25th Golden Drum Festival Award Winners Announced
Golden Drum’s WHAT and WHY Competition Section announced the winners of this year’s Golden Drum Festival at the Grand Award Ceremony.
October 19
#slovenia
 
If You Want to Be Part of Russia’s Growing Ecommerce Market, You’d Better Like Putin
The story of ecommerce in Russia is the story of a maturing digital economy, but also oil tycoons, a fugitive, allegations of corruption and human rights violations—and a guy known as the Darth Vader of Russia.
Oct 19
#russia
 
New language law could kill independent media ahead of 2019 elections
Print media are struggling to survive around the world. But in Ukraine, they are now threatened by more than shrinking advertising budgets and falling subscription numbers.
Oct 19
#ukraine
 
Hungary’s Damaging Media Market Distortion
A new study, featuring interviews with advertising and media market figures, offers the clearest picture yet of the skewed media advertising market. From the International Press Institute.
Oct 22
#hungary
 
Exporting Hungary's media model
After a third successive landslide election victory this past April, Prime Minister Viktor Orban's dominance over Hungarian politics is clear. And with allies taking over previously critical news outlets, his influence over the Hungarian media seems equally unassailable.
Oct 22
#hungary
 
Minority Report-inspired billboards will target shoppers with tailored ads
A pair of entrepreneurs who were inspired by the film Minority Report have signed a deal to roll out their futuristic billboard technology across Europe. It aims to integrate its technology in 3,000 screens across Eastern and Central Europe within three years.
Oct 22
#cee
 
BBC Earth to launch in Slovakia and Czech Republic on 15 November
Global factual brand BBC Earth will make its debut in Slovakia and the Czech Republic as a linear channel on 15 November 2018.
Oct 22
#slovakia #czechrepublic
 
Russian-speakers increasingly turning to RTR Planeta for 'propaganda' dose
Russian-language TV channel RTR Planeta has usurped PBK as the most popular channel amongst Russian-speaking TV viewers in Estonia, according to daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL).
Oct 25
#estonia
 
Bulgarian anti-trust authority ends proceedings on Telegraph Media sale
Bulgaria's Commission for Protection of Competition said that it has ended the proceedings concerning local company Intrust's sale of a 50% stake in newspaper publishing company Telegraph Media to film production company Nu Image Bulgaria after Intrust retracted its request for clearance.
Oct 25
#bulgaria
 
What’s wrong with Ukraine banning two propaganda channels?
The Parliament of Ukraine has recently voted for a Resolution that proposes to shut down two national TV channels – NewsOne and 112 Ukraine. The MPs accuse them of spreading Russian chauvinist propaganda and the ideology of terrorism.
Oct 26
#ukraine
 
Publisher denounces pressure on few remaining free media in Bulgaria
The publisher of two Bulgarian newspapers, Ivo Prokopiev, has asked that an international prosecutor or international observers get involved in the recently launched investigations involving his businesses, Bulgarian media reported on Monday (29 October).
Oct 29
#bulgaria
 
Croatian newspaper circulation falls massively - in line with world media trends
The print media in Croatia is following the downward circle of the rest of the world with information released on the drop in circulations in 2017. The National Competition Agency conducted a survey of the leading newspapers in Croatia and the results reveal that not only are circulations falling but also the amount of advertising revenue.
Oct 30
#croatia
 
Hungary high court acquits fired camerawoman who kicked and tripped migrants
Hungary's highest court has acquitted a camerawoman who was filmed kicking and trying to trip migrants on the border with Serbia in 2015. The decision announced Tuesday revised the rulings of two lower courts that had sentenced Petra Laszlo to three years' probation for disorderly conduct.
Oct 30
#hungary
 
Why Does Croatian Media Give Revisionists a Platform?
Amid a growing trend towards historical revisionism in the country, Croatian television and newspapers offer airtime and space to right-wingers who downplay the crimes committed by the World War II fascist Ustasa regime.
Oct 30
#croatia
 
Ukraine media wars
Oligarchs battle over airwaves before Ukraine elections
As we have seen in the United States in vibrant real time over the last several years, the media have become a battleground for the powerful to fight it out with the goal of altering public opinion and, therefore, influencing policy — in other words, to gain power. However, Ukraine with its rampant corruption has been ground zero for this type of modern, non-lethal war, as oligarchs who own media outlets attempt to shape reality on the ground in Kyiv.
Oct 30
#ukraine
 

 Photo: Andris Romanovskis, Unsplash