weCAN Digest December 2017

Media monitoring of the latest news about the media and advertising markets of Central and Eastern Europe
 
Russia calls for answers after Chechen leader's Instagram is blocked
The Russian internet watchdog has demanded an explanation from Facebook and Instagram over the blocking of social media accounts belonging to the controversial Chechen leader, Ramzan Kadyrov.
26 December
#russia
 
‘Fake News’ Fights Back
Russian disinformation. A government attacking the media. A populace deeply skeptical of it. These Slovak journalists had seen it all — and decided to do something about it.
20 December
#slovakia
 
Ukraine’s Oligarchs Still Control the Media. Will Anyone Ever Challenge Them?
The oligarchs still control the airwaves in Ukraine. Ten of eleven national television channels are directly or indirectly connected to politicians and oligarchs. More than 75 percent of Ukrainians regularly watch TV channels owned by Ukrainian oligarchs Viktor Pinchuk, Ihor Kolomoisky, Dmytro Firtash, and Rinat Akhmetov. In radio, the situation is even worse: the top four radio groups (which also belong to oligarchs) reach 92 percent of the market. It’s easy to see why Ukraine needs an independent public broadcaster.
19 December
#slovakia
 
Opus Global makes television acquisitions
Listed holding company Opus Global on Monday said it has acquired indirect stakes in a television content provider and a TV ad agency.Expanding in multiple directions, Opus most recently partnered with a Czech firm to buy the Mátrai Erőmű power plant.
19 December
#hungary
 
Facebook deals a cruel blow to Slovak media
Facebook's experimental Explore Feed -- currently tested in six countries, among them Slovakia -- has caused a dramatical decrease in impressions and interactions for the fanpages of many media outlets. Meanwhile, pages that propagate conspiracy theories prosper.
18 December
#slovakia
 
Unclear Ownership Restrains Media Freedom in Bulgaria - Friedrich Naumann Foundation
Freedom of both traditional and online media outlets in Bulgaria is limited to a certain extent due to unclear media ownership, partisan reporting and dependence of media on the state, a report issued by German foundation for liberal politics Friedrich Naumann Foundation shows.
18 December
#bulgaria
 
U.S. criticizes Poland for fining U.S.-owned broadcaster TVN
The United States criticized a decision by Poland’s media regulator to slap a $415,000 fine on TVN, a U.S.-owned private broadcaster, saying the ruling appeared to undermine media freedom.
13 December
#poland
 
Facebook says Russian-linked accounts spent just 97 cents on ads over Brexit
Russian-based operatives placed three adverts on Facebook in the run-up to Britain’s 2016 referendum on EU membership, spending just 97 cents to raise the issue of immigration, the social media platform said on Wednesday.
13 December
#russia
 
Bulgaria freezes assets of independent media publisher
Bulgaria has frozen assets and property and bank accounts belonging to businessman and media owner Ivo Prokopiev, who said the state was trying to silence the country’s independent media.
12 December
#bulgaria
 
In the News: Legislative Amendments on Outdoor Political Advertising
On December 6, 2017, the State Audit Office (ÁSZ) determined that the opposition party Jobbik had accepted 331.7 million forints (1.05 million euros) in illegal non-monetary support during the first half of 2017. Although ÁSZ did not specify the source of this support, it obviously stemmed from outdoor advertising space that Jobbik had purchased at significantly below the market price from companies under the ownership of former Orbán-government oligarch Lajos Simicska.
6 December
#hungary
 
Russia designates Radio Free Europe and Voice of America as 'foreign agents'
Russia designated Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and Voice of America (VOA) as “foreign agents” on Tuesday, a move aimed at complicating their work in retaliation for what Moscow says is unacceptable U.S. pressure on Russian media.
5 December
#russia
 
Facebook War Raging on Croatian Internet
Facebook groups and profiles are reporting each other for alleged rules infringement, trying to ban their political opponents. (...) All this is just part of the Facebook war which started in Croatia after the recent suicide of Slobodan Praljka, a Bosnian Croat who was convicted of war crimes and who took poison in a courtroom at the Hague war crimes tribunal.  
5 December
#croatia
 
Ukraine’s Council of TV, radio broadcasting wants its authority expanded
National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine says it’s necessary to expand their authority, according to their statement. It comes shortly after the incident when Ukrainian MP and owner of NewsOne Muraviev said on air that the Revolution of Dignity was a coup d’état.
4 December
#ukraine
 
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash