Media Tracker lists the challenges and achievements of the journalists and media organisations worldwide. Here’s a list of journalism at risk stories in the recent month. We would like to thank international media protection organisation and news outlets for their content.
- Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, has created a media conglomerate with several of the government friendly media houses. This act will confirm that, with a media market share of 16 per cent and more, the empire will now be the major opinion-maker in the country.What is feared is that the mammoth size of the media empire has evaded all legal scrutiny and competition rules. The transformation, though in the works for many years, came to light between the summer to this very month, as Orban’s friend Meszaros, now the richest man in the country, donated his media empire to Kesma, the foundation set up by the government. Soon other media houses followed suit and donated their media organisations to Kesma. In a matter of days Kesma had hundreds of titles under its umbrella. These included newspapers, websites, television and radio channels.Now, a market leader, Kesma and the government already have the public broadcasting under their firm control. Orban declared matters of the foundation’s transaction as matter of ‘national strategic importance in the public interest,’ thus saving his transactions from any possible criticism.Experts have accused Kesma for its blatantly violations of the Hungarian laws preventing the formation of media Foundation. The foundation now owns all national commercial radio stations and all of the regional print newspapers, to mention just a few of the obvious illegalities, and there are a large number of smaller ones.
- Editor at the Orion Informativo, Alejandro Marquez Jimenez, 40, was found dead, early this December, near Tepic in Mexico. He had founded the bi-weekly print and online newsmagazine only two years back; working at the local newspaper Critica Diaro previous to that.News reports claimed that Jimenez’s body had signs of torture and that he had 4 bullet wounds. Jimenez was well known for his critical reporting on local politics but sadly he wasn’t aware of any threats against his life.No details of Jimenez’s death have been disclosed by the Nayarit Attorney General’s Office, nor had the office issued a statement to this event. However, Ricardo Sanchez Perez del Pozo, head of the Federal Special Prosecutor for Attention to Crimes Committed against Freedom of Expression said that his office had embarked upon an investigation into the murder.
- Social media has become increasingly unsafe for the journalists. While it gives room to the journalists to better share and showcase their work, it also makes journalists vulnerable to online abuse. United Kingdom media personnel are seeking to develop in-house guidelines for journalists’ safety to use these social networks and are reaching out to these social media owners for improving terms of safety by offering the journalists a safe social media environment.In a recent bid, BBC, The Guardian, Reach PLC, The Telegraph, and the Times were found dealing with the issues of online harassment and started media’s Safety of Female Journalists Online (SOFJO) initiative. Editors said that Facebook could help by allowing turning off comments on news stories on media outlets’ pages.
Facebook and Twitter have in recent past pledged to improve safety and promote ‘healthy conversations’ by investing in technologies like artificial intelligence to remove abusive content from their platforms.
Facebook was especially forthcoming and released a safety guide for journalists in collaboration with journalists and press freedom entities. It deals with issues of reporting and blocking harassing comments and managing privacy settings on journalists’ accounts. Facebook recently offered ‘more protection’ to public figures, who are targets of attacks by social media users. Twitter said that they have been invested in consumer protection for the last two years but their focus hasn’t been on journalists’ safety.