Release of newsprint offers “provisional respite” to Nicaragua’s last newspapers

first_img Organisation Nearly half of UN member countries have obstructed coronavirus coverage The two surviving newspapers, La Prensa (founded 1926) and Hoy, had to drastically reduce their size and print run in order to eke out their dwindling raw material stocks for as long possible. La Prensa has reduced its size from 36 to 8 pages, and both La Prensa and Hoy are now distributed in only four of the country’s 17 districts. In a 27 January editorial headlined “The dictatorship strangles La Prensa,” La Prensa’s editorial board said the newspaper’s days were now numbered as a result of this form of censorship. September 29, 2020 Find out more Follow the news on Nicaragua RSF_en Thanks to mediation by the Vatican representative in Nicaragua*, Papal Nuncio Stanislaw Waldemar Sommertag, the General Directorate of Customs finally agreed on 7 February to allow La Prensa and its sister newspaper Hoy to receive the raw material, including 90 tons of newsprint, that it had been holding for the past 18 months. News In Nicaragua’s case, the policy of depriving outspoken media outlets of the raw material they need was inspired by the Venezuelan government’s example. Source: MAYNOR VALENZUELA / AFP NicaraguaAmericas Condemning abusesProtecting journalists Freedom of expressionEconomic pressure “The unblocking of the raw material essential for producing La Prensa group’s newspapers is an encouraging sign but it offers the country’s last two newspapers only a provisional respite,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America bureau. “We ask President Ortega’s government to put a stop to all forms of administrative censorship, which have such disastrous consequences for Nicaraguan society in its entirety, and to comply strictly with Nicaragua’s international obligations, which implies guaranteeing and protecting press freedom.” *The Catholic Church has tried to mediate between the government, civil society and opposition in Nicaragua ever since the political crisis worsened in 2018. News In a report entitled “Newspapers that never arrive,” published in September 2019, RSF shed light on the methods used by governments, powerful oligarchs and private corporations – including restricting access to newsprint ­– to obstruct the publication and distribution of print media. Nicaragua has seen repeated attacks on its independent media since its political crisis worsened in April 2018. The police have seized equipment, carried out searches without a warrant and even surrounded media premises, including Confidencial, 100% Noticias, Niú and Esta Semana, which have been blocked since December 2018. Journalists are often the victims of smear campaigns, arbitrary arrest and even death threats, to the point that some have fled the country. NicaraguaAmericas Condemning abusesProtecting journalists Freedom of expressionEconomic pressure July 29, 2020 Find out more Help by sharing this information Nicaragua’s newspapers have tried to reorganize online but, in a country where barely 20% of the population has online access – the lowest rate in Central America – the Internet alone has not ensured their survival. Nicaragua is ranked 114th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index. Gruesome death threats against Nicaraguan exile journalist RSF and PEN urge Nicaraguan legislators to reject “foreign agents” bill to go further Without any explanation, President Daniel Ortega’s government had denied Nicaragua’s privately-owned newspapers access to their imported newsprint, ink and rubber since September 2018, depriving them of the raw materials they need to produce print editions and throttling them economically. This resulted in the disappearance of most of the print media including El Nuevo Diario, which closed in September 2019, ending 40 years of publishing in Nicaragua. News Reporters Without Borders (RSF) welcomes the release of the newsprint and ink for Nicaragua’s last two independent daily newspapers that had been arbitrarily blocked in customs for the past 18 months. But this provisional respite must not deflect attention from the censorship to which the state has subjected the media since 2018, RSF said. June 29, 2020 Find out more February 7, 2020 – Updated on February 10, 2020 Release of newsprint offers “provisional respite” to Nicaragua’s last newspapers News Receive email alerts The publishing house that owns both newspapers, Grupo Editorial La Prensa, immediately sent employees to examine the condition of the supplies. They found that some of the newsprint was infested with mites, and that it would therefore have to be quarantined and was probably unusable. The newspapers were nonetheless able to take possession of all the supplies yesterday.last_img read more

Sri Lanka: Media-capture in real time

first_imgNews “Transparency of media ownership is crucial for democracy as it helps us understand to what extent information we receive is monopolized. Political affiliations or state capture of media can only result in producing biased information. The public has a right to know who controls the audience”, said Deepanjalie Abeywardana, Head of Media at Verité Research. Sri LankaAsia – Pacific Reports and statisticsMedia independence [email protected] Role of the state: media owner and regulator The law in Sri Lanka has not yet identified political affiliations as a potential problem. There are no legal provisions on conflict of interests which could prevent Members of Parliament or their family members from owning shares in media organizations. Media owners are not obliged to disclose their political affiliations to the Department of Registrar of Companies. MOM analyzed 46 media outlets with the largest audience shares in Sri Lanka. The research revealed that the country’s media market is highly concentrated. In the print media, the top four owners (the Wijewardene Family, the Government, the Welgama Family, and the Alles Family) have a combined readership share of 75 percent. In this media sector, the gap between the market leader and the remaining outlets is exceptionally high, with the Wijewardene Family alone reaching almost half of all readers. Sri Lanka: tamil reporter held on absurd terrorism charge Ulrike Gruska / Christoph Dreyer / Anne Renzenbrink / Juliane Matthey Organisation News Stephanie Nicolle / Deepanjalie Abeywardana / Chalani Ranwala Receive email alerts Media and Communications Manager: +94 11 205 5544 The research also revealed a high level of cross-media audience concentration, which implies ownership across television, print, radio and online. Three of the top four owners in TV are also among the top four owners in Radio. The only media owner with a significant foothold in all media sectors is the government. Currently, no regulatory safeguards are in place in Sri Lanka to prevent cross-media ownership concentration. These tendencies in audience concentration pose a high risk to media pluralism in Sri Lanka. This could also be the result of the fact that the country lacks an overarching legislation specifically designed to mitigate media concentration and monopolies. As in many other countries investigated by the MOM project worldwide, many owners of media outlets in Sri Lanka are also affiliated with political power, posing a potential risk of bias and manipulated content. To assess these political affiliations, MOM examined whether individuals holding political office or their family members can be found in the shareholder structures of media companies. Media Contacts: Initiated by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the Media Ownership Monitor project is a global research and advocacy project to promote transparency and media pluralism at an international level. In Sri Lanka, it was conducted together with Verité Research, an independent think tank that provides strategic analysis for Sri Lanka and Asia. Its main research divisions are economics, media, law and politics. The project is financed by the German government.Country studies were so far published in Albania, Brazil, Colombia, Cambodia, Ghana, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Peru, and the Philippines. In addition to Sri Lanka, this year, MOM researches media markets in Egypt, Lebanon, Pakistan and Tanzania. For more information visit the MOM website: The laws enabling this procedure date back to 1982 and 1966, respectively. An independent regulatory authority for media does not exist. The audio-visual media sector does not self-regulate either. The MOM findings also revealed that the state plays a key role in the Sri Lankan media market, not only as a media owner reaching a large share of audience in the country, but also as the main regulator. The state runs four TV channels through two companies. One of them, the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC), regulates private broadcasting services on behalf of the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media by issuing licenses to its commercial competitors, which results in a conflict of interest. Similarly, in the radio segment, the Ministry uses the state-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) to issue licenses to commercial radio stations. Reporters Without Borders Germany Help by sharing this information November 6, 2018 Sri Lanka: Media-capture in real time In addition to the SLBC and SLRC, electronic broadcasters are required to obtain an additional license from the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC), which comes under the purview of the country’s president Maithripala Sirisena. The current chairperson of the TRC also serves as the Secretary to the President. One of the biggest hurdles in the project’s investigation in Sri Lanka was obtaining the ownership information of the media companies. Media outlets are not obliged to publicly disclose their ownership structure, for example on their websites, or in their printed publications. However, media companies have to be registered at the Department of Registrar of Companies (ROC). The ROC is the only institution in Sri Lanka that oversees the registration of companies, including media companies. “The public needs to have access to impartial news coverage, especially during times of political turmoil”, added RSF Germany’s board member Martin Kaul, who took part in the MOM launching event in Colombo. “Before the political crisis, our findings already revealed a high level of media concentration and a lack of regulatory safeguards that endanger a pluralistic media landscape in the country.” Violence against journalists Media relations officers center_img The top four owners in Sri Lanka’s television market (the Rajamahendran Family, Dilith Jayaweera & Varuni Fernando, Rayynor Silva and the Government) together account for 77 percent of the viewership share. An equally high concentration can be observed in the radio sector, where the top four owners (Rayynor Silva, the Rajamahendran Family, Dilith Jayaweera & Varuni Amunugama Fernando as well as Nihal Seneviratne Epa) account for 74 percent of the listenership share. January 13, 2021 Find out more Some examples: Ranjit Sujiva Wijewardene (the owner and the chairperson at Wijeya Newspapers) is the uncle of the – now ousted – Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The father of Varuni Amunugama Fernando (owner of Power House (Pvt) Limited, operator of the leading outlets in television and radio) presently serves as the Minister of Science, Technology, Research, Skills Development & Vocational Training and Kandyan Heritage. The brother of Rayynor Silva (Chairperson of Asia Broadcasting Corporation (Pvt) Limited, the largest radio network in Sri Lanka) is a former Member of Parliament. July 15, 2020 Find out more Sri Lanka: RSF signs joint statement on attacks against human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists Sri Lanka: Journalist manhandled by notorious police inspector currently on trial On RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index, Sri Lanka climbed up 10 ranks and is now placed 131st out of 180 countries. After the presidential elections in January 2015, the new government took over, ending the term of the previous president, during which there was a high level of violence against journalists and media. Between 2004 and 2015, more than 20 journalists and media assistants in Sri Lanka have been killed in direct connection with their work. Rajapaksa had in the past earned a prominent position on RSF’s list of the world’s biggest press freedom predators. [email protected] Political affiliations, lack of transparency and conflicts of interest are among the major threats to media pluralism. Media Ownership Monitor: a global research project Just hours after the sudden reinstatement of Sri Lanka’s strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa on the afternoon of 26 October, his supporters took over state-owned media outlets, literally over night. These events illustrated, most visibly and in real time, the main findings of the Media Ownership Monitor (MOM), a research project carried out in Sri Lanka by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Verité Research (VR) over the past four months and presented in Colombo just on the day prior to what is widely considered as a cold coup d’Etat. Political affiliations of media owners Violence against journalists has abated during the term of the current president, which has helped Sri Lanka to improve its ranking in the World Press Freedom Index. However, journalists in the country still encounter restrictions in their work. The independent Tamil journalist Uthayarasa Shalin for example has been the target of harassment and intimidation for the past two months, ever since he was summoned for questioning about his coverage at the Terrorist Investigation Division headquarters in Colombo in August. Sri LankaAsia – Pacific Reports and statisticsMedia independence Ownership information is available at the ROC, but obtaining the data is a costly and a time consuming affair. Some of the company files were outdated, misplaced and stored under poor conditions – when files get damaged, the information becomes inaccessible. More than half of the analyzed media outlets belong to owners with known political affiliation. In addition, in print media, the politically affiliated outlets account for a readership share of almost 80 percent, indicating a high risk of media politicization. Tel.: +49 30 60 98 95 33-55 News News The strong role of the state, as a player, referee and rule-maker in the media sector, combined with a number of regulatory shortcomings, is mentioned as a main threat to media pluralism in the country, in addition to high levels of concentration and political affiliations of media owners. All of these risks materialized less than 24 hours after the study was published. The detailed results are now available to the public on the MOM website at in English, and soon in Sinhala and Tamil. Follow the news on Sri Lanka to go further Verité Research July 29, 2020 Find out more High concentration challenges media pluralism RSF_en Transparency issues last_img read more

Syracuse keeps No. 1 Clemson within reach but falls 37-27

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 14, 2015 at 7:29 pm Contact Sam: [email protected] | @SamBlum3 Zack Mahoney ran into nothing but open space as a crowd of 36,736 roared as loud as it boo’d only minutes before. An extra point away from tying the game, it took the Orange less than 10 minutes to erase a fate that seems all but certain only moments after kickoff.The first play, a 64-yard deep ball to Charone Peake, who was a step ahead of Cordell Hudson.The second, an 11-yard handoff to Wayne Gallman. Thirty-three seconds in, 7-0.The third was a fumble from Mahoney and one minute and 23 seconds later it was a two-touchdown lead for the No. 1 Tigers.Syracuse overcame the first hurdle with two touchdowns of its own. But after that, Clemson (10-0, 7-0 Atlantic Coast) flexed its top-ranked muscles to a 37-27 win over Syracuse (3-7, 1-5). Watson, a Heisman Trophy hopeful, threw for 360 yards. Syracuse’s 242 yards on the ground weren’t enough to keep it close down the stretch. Syracuse plugged away, with the Dome rocking to a team that had forgotten its 3-6 reality.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter Mahoney, two Clemson turnovers on two straight possessions boosted the Syracuse comeback. But just three minutes later, Clemson had retook the lead. Then it happened again to start the third quarter.Syracuse wasn’t out of the game, but didn’t feel in it either. It started with the ball at the outset of the second half. After one first down, George Morris was brought down four yards behind the line of scrimmage. He got one back on the next play but two more penalties and a dropped Steve Ishmael pass forced an SU punt.Its chance to get back in the game was fading. Facing a fourth-and-11 from its own 2-yard line, Mahoney fired a 30-yard strike as he was being tackled back into SU’s end zone. The ball hit a leaping Ishmael, and another 70 yards in the next five plays put the Orange within one score.Clemson would only tack on two field goals the rest of the way. It’s offense moving the ball but the Orange defense showing timeliness in the second half that it hasn’t all season.It was one of Syracuse’s best halves of the season in the best played, coached and executed game this season. But it still ended the same as the six before it. Down 10 on forth and long following a dropped pass from Josh Parris, Riley Dixon came on to punt.He didn’t unleash a downfield toss like he had in the first half. His punt was deep, but only aided in Clemson bleeding the clock. Each first down, more fans walked out. Each tackle came with a fainter roar.Syracuse lived in the moment of big-time college football game on the national stage. But the end of the fourth quarter brought reality back. Syracuse lost its seventh straight game. Commentslast_img read more

Huskies hold on for victory in D.C.

first_imgWith ten seconds remaining, Jason Higson scored to narrow the gap to 5-4, but Dawson Creek couldn’t get the equalizer, and the Huskies escaped with a victory.Garrett Muir earned the win in goal, making several outstanding saves in the third period to preserve the lead.Click here to listen to a highlights package from Friday’s game. [asset|aid=2432|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=28ea9c8df30d278df7f6536de044aed7-huskies in Dawson _1_Pub.mp3]The Huskies head to Peace River on Saturday, for a matchup with the Navigators. Catch the action live on Moose FM, with the puck drop scheduled for 8 o’clock.Advertisement The Huskies took advantage of an inconsistent night from the Junior Canucks, in a 5-4 win in Dawson Creek.Kole Norris opened the scoring for Fort St. John, when he walked out from the right corner and shelved the puck over Tyson York four minutes into the game. Halfway through the first period, Dawson Creek got a powerplay goal, when a Colter MacLean effort appeared to go in off the skate of Brandon Juell.But, after an outstanding first ten minutes, the Jr. Canucks allowed three straight goals in the final four minutes of the first, scored by Cody Hildebrand, Robbie Sidhu, and Owen MacKinnon.- Advertisement -The teams exchanged goals in the second, with Hildebrand scoring his second of the game, when the puck trickled out of York’s equipment and over the goal line. Jason Higson responded for Dawson Creek, when he batted in a rebound right at the height of the crossbar.The Huskies had plenty of chances in the third period to ice the game, including a couple of breakaways, and a penalty shot for Sidhu, but they couldn’t capitalize, and the Jr. Canucks hung around.With five minutes remaining, Trevor Dahlin scored to get Dawswon Creek within two. But, a big penalty kill from the Huskies (including about 1:30 of 5-on-3) seemed to deny the best chance the Jr. Canucks had to climb back in the game.Advertisementlast_img read more