weCAN Digest April 2018

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

RSF Index 2018: Hatred of journalism threatens democracies
The 2018 World Press Freedom Index, compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), reflects growing animosity towards journalists. Hostility towards the media, openly encouraged by political leaders, and the efforts of authoritarian regimes to export their vision of journalism pose a threat to democracies.
April
#europe #easterneurope
 
Romanian online ad market goes up by 15 pc in H1 2017
The value of the Romanian online advertising market reached EUR 20.3 million (RON 92.56 million) in H1 2017, up 15 percent over the same period of 2016, (related to the annual value in lei), according to the latest edition of the ROADS (Romanian Online Advertising Study) carried out by IAB Romania and PwC Romania.
April 2
#romania
 
Facebook takes down over 200 accounts and pages run by the IRA, a notorious Russian troll farm
Facebook announced Tuesday that it has removed 70 Facebook accounts, 138 Facebook pages, and 65 Instagram profiles linked to a notorious Russian troll factory that spread disinformation in an effort to interfere in the 2016 US election.
April 3
#russia
 
High Fake News Risk in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia, and Montenegro
In 2018's edition of the OSI institute's media literacy index, they have considered many countries of the Balkans to be at the highest risk out of all countries in Europe with regards to fake news.
April 3
#balkans
 
Slovak protesters demand police chief be fired over journalist's murder
Slovaks returned to the streets in their tens of thousands on Thursday, in one of the biggest demonstrations over the murder of an investigative journalist since protests that forced the prime minister to resign last month.
April 5
#slovakia
 
Former Trump aide approved 'black ops' to help Ukraine president
Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort authorised a secret media operation on behalf of Ukraine’s former president featuring “black ops”, “placed” articles in the Wall Street Journal and US websites and anonymous briefings against Hillary Clinton.
April 5
#ukraine
 
Jeansa: vehicle of oligarchs, Ukraine’s largest threat to media freedom
Jeansa, the menace of Ukrainian media, is one of the main vehicles for the power of oligarchs in the country – and one of the obstacles to a functioning representative democracy. Thanks to this disguised political advertising, the media – and political – discourses in the country are permanently altered, allowing to propel the “needed” candidates to victory.
April 6
#ukraine
 
Facebook’s new rules aim to thwart the kind of ads bought by Russian trolls during the election
Facebook will soon require political campaigns, advocacy groups and other entities that purchase ads about hot-button policy debates to disclose more information about themselves, as the social giant looks to prevent malicious actors from secretly spreading disinformation on its site.
April 6
#russia
 
In-depth: The battle for Czech public media
Czech President Zeman, the communists and the national populists are united in their grudge against the country’s public media. The outcome depends on billionaire Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.
April 9
#czechrepublic
 
Polish watchdog in EU talks amid data scandal
Poland’s data watchdog is set to talk with other EU data protection authorities on Tuesday after nearly 60,000 people in Poland had their personal data shared in the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
April 10
#poland
 
Reddit just shut down nearly 1,000 Russian troll accounts
Reddit has banned close to 1,000 accounts linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency, the troll farm that used social media to sow divisions in American politics during the 2016 elections.
April 11
#russia
 
Philip Morris fined EUR 2,100 in Lithuania for misleading advertising
Global tobacco giant Philip Morris has been slapped with a fine of 2,100 euros in Lithuania for misleading consumers in advertising its electronic smoking device IQOS.
April 12
#lithuania
 
State of Hungary’s independent media uncertain after election
Magyar Nemzet appeared for the last time on Wednesday. Lánchíd Rádió went silent Tuesday at midnight.  The president of the Hungarian Journalists Countrywide Association (MÚOSZ) expects a further narrowing of the free press after the Fidesz two-thirds parliamentary victory on April 8. The experts say that Fidesz can employ numerous techniques to silence critical voices.
April 13
#hungary
 
Hungarian journalists admit role in forging anti-migrant 'atmosphere of fear'
Employees of state TV network describe how channels pumped out pro-government messaging ahead of Victor Orbán’s election victory this week
Friday 13
#hungary
 
How Did the Pentagon Quantify This Bizarre Statistic on 'Russian Trolls'?
Pentagon spokesperson Dana White did trot out a bizarre statistic on “Russian trolls” on Saturday, telling reporters, “The Russian disinformation campaign has already begun. There has been a 2,000 percent increase in Russian trolls in the last 24 hours.”
April 14
#russia
 
Satellite TV encryption gathers pace in Ukraine
The Ukrainian regulator National Council has reissued satellite licences for the channels Inter, NTN, Mega, K1, K2, Pixel, Enter-film and Zoom, all of which are part of the Inter Media Group.
April 16
#ukraine
 
Hungary: Pro-govt weekly prints list of 'Soros mercenaries'
A Hungarian magazine published Thursday the names of more than 200 people it claimed Prime Minister Viktor Orban had in mind when he alleged U.S.-Hungarian billionaire George Soros paid "mercenaries" to topple the government and open the country to immigrants.
April 16
#hungary
 
Russia puts Facebook on alert after ruthlessly banning Telegram
Russia has been so determined to shut down messaging app Telegram that it blocked Google's and Amazon's cloud services for the whole country to achieve a lockout. Now, the Kremlin has warned that Facebook could be next.
April 18
#russia
 
Nobody knows who was behind half of the divisive ads on Facebook ahead of the 2016 election
According to a new study, “suspicious” groups were behind half of divisive political ads on Facebook in the 2016 election, and one-sixth of those were linked to Russia.
April 18
#russia
 
Advertising of medicines may disappear from TV programs in Russia
A draft law on banning the advertising of medicines in television programs was submitted to Russian State Duma. “The bill proposes to ban the advertising of medicines in TV broadcasts and programs,” said the corresponding explanatory note.
April 18
#russia
 
Czech media group buys Lagardere’s radios in Romania
Czech Media Invest, one of the biggest media groups in Czech Republic, is the new owner of Romanian radio stations Europa FM and Virgin Radio.
April 18
#romania #czechrepublic
 
Twitter bans ads from Russia's Kaspersky Lab
Twitter Inc said on Friday that it has banned ads from Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab, saying the cyber-security company’s business model conflicts with advertising rules and citing U.S. government claims that Kaspersky has ties to Russian intelligence agencies.
April 20
#russia
 
Czech Energy Billionaire Raises Questions with French Media Spree
French media have described it like a bomb exploding, the news that a Czech billionaire is on the verge of taking over some of the country’s best known magazines. For them, the billionaire in question, Daniel Křetínský, is a total bolt from the blue.
April 20
#czechrepublic
 
KKR expects timely regulatory decision on Pro Plus takeover
A senior official at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) said Thursday he expected a decision on regulatory approval for the takeover of media owner Pro Plus shortly.
April 20
#slovenia
 
Russia Blacklists 250 Pirate Sites For Displaying Gambling Ads
Russia has found a creative way of taking down pirates by using old legislation. Online gambling is forbidden in the country so sites carrying such advertising are breaking the law. Around 250 pirate sites were spotted carrying gambling ads by tax authorities who ordered telecoms watchdog Rozcomnadzor to have them all blocked at the ISP level.
April 21
#russia
 
Second Saturday protest tackles Hungary government on media freedom
Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters rallied in the Hungarian capital Budapest for the second successive Saturday, this time challenging controls on the media and a campaign against non-governmental organisations.
April 22
#hungary
 
Lithuania considers consulting with Latvia on controlling political ads on Facebook
Lithuania's Central Electoral Commission (CEC) is considering turning to Latvia for consultations on controlling political ads on social media, as presidential, municipal and European Parliament elections approach.
April 22
#lithuania
 
US company, ready to invest USD 50 mln in Romanian media
Ellaal Goldberg Corporation, a US company based in Washington DC, plans to invest as much as USD 50 million in Romanian media projects, the company’s representatives announced on Friday, April 20.
April 23
#romania
 
Two months after journalist murder, Slovakia still waits for real change
The motive and the culprits remain unknown, Aktuality.sk Editor-in-Chief Peter Bárdy told the International Press Institute (IPI) in an interview last week at the site’s offices in Bratislava, the Slovak capital.
April 25
#slovakia
 
Lassakova: Slovakia Best Within V4 Group in Press Freedom Ranking
The murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak has significantly contributed to Slovakia’s year-on-year drop by ten places in the Reporters without Borders (RSF) 2018 World Press Freedom Index, stated Culture Minister Lubica Lassakova (Smer-SD) after the Cabinet session on Wednesday.
April 25
#slovakia
 
Serbia Considered Major State Intervention in Media Market
The Serbian government’s discarded media strategy draft, which has been obtained by BIRN, planned to bring the state back into the media market through public-private partnerships.
April 25
#serbia
 
Bulgaria is last on media freedom in EU and in the Balkans
Bulgaria, which currently holds the rotating EU Presidency, ranks last among all EU countries in terms of media freedom. It is also the worst in the Western Balkans, a region Sofia hopes to bring closer to the EU.
April 25
#bulgaria
 
Nu Image Bulgaria to acquire 50% stake in Telegraf Media – report
Film making company Nu Image Bulgaria, part of US-based Nu Image Inc., has signed a preliminary contract for the acquisition of a 50% stake in Telegraf Media newspaper publisher with Sofia-based Intrust, a company wholly owned by member of parliament Delyan Peevski, local media reported on Wednesday.
April 25
#bulgaria
 
Growth in Online Advertising Revenue in Bulgaria in 2017
More than 100 million leva are revenues from online advertising in 2017. The growth is about 16%, it became clear at the annual IAB Forum, which gathers specialists from the digital industry in Bulgaria.
April 27
#bulgaria
 
Lithuania’s Prime Minister targeted by Facebook scammers
Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis became a target of social media scammers creating fake Facebook profiles with the name of the prime minister, local media reported Saturday.
April 28
#lithuania
  
Media: Ukraine’s expanding online advertising market attracts international attention
Global group IAB arrives in Kyiv with plans to take the dynamic Ukrainian digital advertising sector to the next level
April 30
#ukraine
 

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