Connect with us

Media

Kyrgyzstan Authorities Renew Attack on Media

Published

 on

(Berlin, October 28, 2022) – In Kyrgyzstan, the authorities have increased efforts to control and censor mass media amid their recent crackdown on freedom of expression and civil society, Human Rights Watch said today.

On October 26, 2022, the Kyrgyz government ordered a two-month blockage of the websites of Azattyk Media, the Kyrgyz service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, because of a video covering the recent border conflict between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The order was based on the Law on Protection from False Information, which drew significant criticism when adopted in August 2021. The authorities claim the video used hate speech and false information that Kyrgyzstan had attacked Tajikistan, which the radio service’s Tajikistan-based correspondent referred to during a video segment featuring correspondents in both Bishkek and Dushanbe, the countries’ capitals.

“It is standard journalistic practice to provide information from both sides of the conflict,” said Syinat Sultanalieva, Central Asia Researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The blockage of Azattyk Media is a blatant attempt to control and censor independent journalism in Kyrgyzstan in violation of the country’s international human rights obligations, particularly with respect to freedoms of expression and of the media.”

The blockage of Azattyk’s websites followed a protest outside Azattyk’s office on October 13, saying it should be closed down, and an initiative by a member of the Kyrgyz Parliament, Nadira Narmatova, for people to sign a petition calling for closure of Azattyk Media and two other media – Kloop, and Kaktus.Media. On October 14, an open letter signed by 70 public figures called for closing these organizations, contending that they were foreign-funded entities working against the national interests of the country. At least seven people included in the list of public figures publicly denied signing the letter.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

The Kyrgyz Ministry of Culture and Information, which is responsible for enforcing the Protection from False Information Law, had previously blocked websites of the ResPublica newspaper for two months, starting in June, and attempted to block the website of the 24.kg information agency in August over an anonymous complaint of false information. The website was subsequently unblocked.

On September 28, the Kyrgyz president’s administration submitted draft amendments to the Law on Mass Media, which would include penalties for “abuse of freedom of speech” (Article 4) for public consideration. The last day to submit comments on the draft amendments is October 28, after which the amendments will be submitted to parliament for consideration.

On October 27, dozens of representatives of Kyrgyzstan’s media community published an open appeal to the Kyrgyz government to immediately cease all pressure on freedom of speech and freedom of media and to withdraw the Protection from False Information Law.

Analysis by several mediagroups found that actions that constitute “abuse of freedom of speech” in the proposed amendments would include sending “subliminal messaging” to viewers, mentioning any organization that was legally liquidated or whose activities were prohibited in Kyrgyzstan, and distributing any information prohibited by law.

The draft law also would increase registration requirements for foreign-based and funded mass media organizations, including identifying their main thematic interests to be covered and their sources of funding. It would also require other media, including internet publications, to register.

Media experts have pointed out that the text of the draft amendments is very similar to passages of the Russian Law on Mass Media and have expressed concern that the law would be used to eliminate media outlets critical of the government.

“Kyrgyzstan should stand up for, not undermine, independent media,” Sultanalieva said. “Authorities should immediately cease their attempts at controlling this fundamental human right by withdrawing the proposed amendments and uphold its commitment to respect all freedoms and human rights in the country.”

Source link

Continue Reading

Media

Guelph drag queen sees all-ages shows targeted by social media campaigns – CBC.ca

Published

 on


A Guelph drag queen says their shows are being targeted by two Ontario-based social media campaigns, resulting in the cancellation of one event and the performer feeling uneasy about an upcoming show. 

Last month, Crystal Quartz had a drag brunch organized at Kelseys Original Roadhouse in Burlington. But following threats made to the restaurant, management was forced to cancel, the restaurant confirmed to CBC Kitchener-Waterloo. Restaurant management couldn’t disclose information about these threats due to an ongoing police investigation.

Since then, a link to Quartz’s Dec. 11 all-ages brunch at a Boston Pizza in Hamilton was shared in a Facebook group, asking members to purchase tickets to sell out the event in a bid to prevent “sick parents” from bringing their kids. 

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

These incidents come shortly after a mass shooting at a LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo., that killed five people, and have left Quartz feeling unsafe.

The drag queen posted an impassioned video on social media about the anti-LGBTQ threats that they, and other performers and promoters, have received.

Crystal Quartz is now raising funds to help enhance security at the shows. (Submitted by Crystal Quartz)

Guelph Police Services are investigating the alleged incidents Quartz brought up in the video. 

In the meantime, Quartz told CBC News they’re raising funds for an ID scanner, self-defence classes and said that they’re looking into other security options.

“I want to get an ID scanner so that even if the people come in there, we know what their names are at least,” said Quartz.

‘It was absolutely terrifying’ 

Hamilton drag performer, Hexe Noire, was also confronted during a drag storytime last month at a public library in the city. 

There were people protesting the event, but also counter-protesters  with a heavy police presence — something Noire hadn’t seen before.

“This is the first time in my drag career that I’ve been affected directly by this,” Noire, a cis woman, told CBC News. “It was absolutely terrifying.”

This wasn’t Hexe Noire’s first rodeo with storytime, she has done many other drag storytimes across Hamilton, including at Hamilton Public Library’s Binbrook branch on Nov. 14. (Aura Carreño Rosas/CBC)

Noire explained she received online threats as well. 

“I’m a mother with four children who goes into the library dressed as a drag clown to teach children about diversity and that it’s ok to be different,” she said. 

“Had I had a program such as this for myself as a young queer child, I would have flourished and I don’t understand what the issue with reading books to children is.”

Quartz said that this type of harassment is new as the LGBTQ community becomes more visible and more mainstream.

“Before we were hiding who we were, right? So now we’re being seen more and these people just, they don’t want anything to do with that,” Quartz said.

“And that’s fine. If you don’t like me, that’s cool. Just go on your merry way and I’ll go on mine, right?”

But this harassment isn’t just aimed at drag queens, according to K-W-based trans activist, Cait Glasson. The transgender community is being targeted too.

Activist Cait Glasson believes that education is key in combating transphobia. (Joe Pavia/CBC)

“They’re definitely well and truly emboldened, the transphobic people,” said Glasson. “They are very emboldened. I get threats on my Twitter with some regularity.” 

“My personal belief is that the best way to fix it is education,” she said, stressing that understanding about the trans community comes from knowing someone who is trans.     

A study done of LGBTQ people in Waterloo region in 2018 found that 10 per cent of those surveyed have experienced violence due to their sexual orientation; 26 per cent faced violence due to their gender identity. 

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Media

Heading Into 2023 Media And Tech Companies Are Tightening Their Belts – Forbes

Published

 on


Over the past few months, Disney, Paramount
PARA
Global, Warner Bros. Discovery, Comcast
CMCSA
and AMC Networks
AMCX
have all announced employment layoffs, hiring freezes and/or restructuring heading into 2023. Coming out of the pandemic the goal is to continue to grow revenue, reduce debt and increase market value. With viewers steadily migrating to streaming video, media companies have been looking for a moneymaking revenue model as the lucrative linear TV revenue model, that had generated billions for decades, is slowing down. With inflation and concerns about a slowing ad market, media companies, are looking to impress Wall Street as the media behavior of consumers continue to evolve.

These employee cutbacks are not limited to “traditional” media companies, such digital titans as Meta, Amazon
AMZN
, Alphabet, Microsoft
MSFT
and of course, Twitter have also been looking to drive down costs and grow revenue as the digital advertising slows and their market value declines.

Below is a breakout of some recent announcements on the belt tightening taking place across the media and tech industries.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

AMC Networks: Ten years ago, AMC Networks was one of the most popular cable TV networks airing The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad and Mad Men. Since then, the cable TV industry has been besieged by cord-cutting as viewers migrated to streaming video. In response AMC launched its own standalone streaming service AMC+. In the latest quarter, AMC+ reported a year-over-year increase in subscribers of 44% and now totals 11.1 million. Nonetheless, for the quarter, AMC’s net revenue dropped by 16% to $682 million with a decline of 10% in ad dollars for the quarter.

AMC Networks Chairman James Dolan noted the revenue losses from cord cutting were not being offset by the gains from streaming. As a result, the Wall Street Journal reported AMC will lay off up to 20% of the estimated 1,000 total employees. Also, it was announced AMC CEO Christina Spade was stepping down after only three months at the helm.

Disney: In early November, Disney’s then CEO Bob Chapek announced cost-cuts (i.e., curtailing business trips unless absolutely necessary), a hiring freeze with potential layoffs. The announcement came in the aftermath of a disappointing quarterly earnings report with Disney’s stock price falling to a 52-week low. In the earnings report Disney noted their streaming services had lost $1.47 billion, more than double the loss from the previous year. Chapek maintained their streaming unit would be profitable by 2024. Ten days later Bob Iger, in a surprise announcement, returned as Disney’s CEO replacing his handpicked successor. Chapek had served as Disney’s CEO in February 2020 just prior to the start of the pandemic.

The 71-year-old Iger agreed to return as CEO for two more years and will look for another successor. Besides developing a new organization chart, Iger announced Disney’s hiring freeze would continue. The CEO will also place a priority on making Disney’s streaming unit profitability instead of focusing on subscriber growth. (In its latest earnings report Disney said that Disney+. Hulu and ESPN+ had 235.7 million global subscribers, up from 221 million in the previous quarter.)

Warner Bros. Discovery: When Discovery acquired Warner Media earlier this year, CEO David Zaslav shared with Wall Street plans to cut costs by $3 billion each year for the debt-ridden company. The merger approval came during a tenuous time, as investors were beginning to take a more hardened look at the revenue potential of streaming providers. In addition, Zaslav told investors the ad economy has been weaker than it was during the pandemic and the merger was messier than previously thought. As a result, the market value of Warner Bros. Discovery has been cut in half this year.

Since the merger Warner Bros. Discovery have undergone a sweeping series of layoffs. In August, 70 people were let go at HBO accounting for 14% of the entire staff. In October, the studio group Warner Bros. Television laid off 82 people which was 19% of the staff. Sports was impacted, in mid-November when an estimated 70 people, primarily at Turner Sports and Bleacher Report, were laid off. With the current NBA media rights contract expiring after the 2024-25 season and the possibility fees could triple, Zaslav has said they would stay disciplined when renewal negotiations begin, saying “We don’t need the NBA.”.

Most recently massive cuts were made at CNN with a reported 400 layoffs. While the direct-to-consumer CNN+ jettisoned within one month of launch, new CNN President Chris Licht announced further layoffs at the venerable news division. The layoffs were made across most CNN units from on-air talent to operations to CNN International. Among the CNN units hit hardest was Headline News which will no longer produce live content. Prior to the cutbacks CNN had a staff of between 4,000 and 4,500 workers.

Warner Bros. Discovery notified the Securities and Exchange Commission that it could cost upwards of $1.5 billion with cutbacks on content that were already approved and severance packages for employees laid off.

Comcast: In September, Comcast announced it was looking to cut $1 billion from its traditional TV networks entertainment division at NBCUniversal. The funding would be allocated to bolster other parts of Comcast’s portfolio such as streaming (with 15 million paid subscribers Peacock has room to grow).

The cutbacks would impact both staff members and programming budgets forcing the network to develop lower cost unscripted shows instead of more costly scripted programming. It’s been reported that 37 employees were laid off at E! Entertainment which was restructuring. NBCU has recently shuttered G4 cable network with 45 people losing their jobs. Additionally, Comcast has reportedly been offering retirement packages to long-time employees. Besides declining linear TV ratings, Comcast continues to be impacted by cord-cutting and broadband subscriber growth has been slowing.

Paramount Global: In November it was reported Paramount Global was cutting back on its ad sales department with fewer than 100 positions in New York and Los Angeles being eliminated. The media company has also made a number of organizational changes in recent months such as the scripted original division of Paramount+ becoming a part of Paramount TV studios resulting in a loss of jobs.

Roku, a streaming device, announced in mid- November they were planning to lay off 200 employees or about 5% of their 3.000 full-time workforce. The company cited the current financial conditions prevalent in the streaming industries and a sluggish ad economy. During its third quarter earnings report Roku executives told investors to expect a challenging fourth quarter.

Netflix

NFLX
:
After reporting a decline in subscriber counts, Netflix earlier in the year announced layoffs. In May, 150 employees saw their position eliminated as well as a number of contractors and part-time workers. The following month Netflix followed up with 300 additional employers laid off. At that time Netflix had about 11,000 full-time workers worldwide.

Digital Media: Even digital media companies are pulling back in these uncertain economic times and sluggish earnings reports.

The mass layoffs at Twitter have been well documented, the micro-blogger site has downsized from 7,500 employees to fewer than 2,500 in just a few weeks.

In mid-November Amazon reportedly was going to lay off 10, 000 workers or roughly 3% of its 1.5 million global work force. Cutbacks will be more prevalent with devices such as Alexa.

In early November Meta announced 11,000 employees would be let go accounting or 14% of the entire workforce. The cutbacks were across all divisions and included Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Also, Meta decided to move out of their 250,000 square foot office in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards section. Meta has been focusing on the metaverse and has been incurring startup costs.

In August Snap announced a reduction in their workforce of 20% from what had been 6,400 employers. Snap said the company would be restructuring. The company has been struggling post-pandemic and its stock price had been down 80% since the first of the year.

In October Microsoft announced globally nearly 1,000 workers were to be let go. Similar to other tech companies, Microsoft has seen its stock price tumble this year. Globally, Microsoft has 221,000 employees.

More traditional media are also reporting cutbacks. Gannett
GCI.I
, the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, announced that 200 additional workers (6% of the workforce) would be laid off. Washington Post recently announced that after three decades they would no longer publish a Sunday print magazine, resulting in a loss of ten positions. The last issue will be on Christmas Day. With a cutback in revenue from sponsors, NPR is looking to cut $10 million in costs (3% of their budget), announcing they would severely curtail any hiring and would cut back on any discretionary spending. By doing so NPR is hoping to avoid layoffs. Vice Media announced they will lay off 2% of their staff or roughly 12 members in its sales, branded content, editorial in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Economic slowdowns and market valuations are transient and a hiring binge in media and tech companies could take place relatively soon as a workable business model evolves. Another silver lining is there are now thousands of experienced and talented workers now available for hire.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Media

Media Advisory: Auditor General to Deliver Report on a Performance Audit of Adult Custody and Community Corrections – News Releases – Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

Published

 on


Auditor General of Newfoundland and Labrador, Denise Hanrahan, will deliver a performance audit report on The Department of Justice and Public Safety’s Corrections and Community Services Division (Adult Custody and Community Corrections) to the House of Assembly tomorrow (Wednesday, December 7).

A technical briefing for media will take place on Wednesday (December 7), beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the Office of the Auditor General’s boardroom, 7 Pippy Place, St. John’s. Media representatives planning to participate are asked to RSVP to Chrysta Collins (chrystacollins@oag.nl.ca).

The Auditor General will be available to the media beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

Media planning to participate are asked to be at the Office of the Auditor General no later than 10:15 a.m.

-30-

Media contact
Chrysta Collins
Manager of Communications and Stakeholder Relations
709-730-1568
chrystacollins@oag.nl.ca

2022 12 06
9:30 am

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending