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Polish media tax `unacceptable', says coalition partner – Financial Post

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WARSAW — A proposed tax on media advertising in Poland is unacceptable in its current form, a junior partner in the government said on Friday, raising doubt over whether parliament could pass a bill critics say threatens media independence.

The objections of Accord, a centrist partner in the conservative United Right coalition, are the latest sign of tension in a government that has become increasingly fractious in recent months, with conflicts breaking out over issues ranging from animal rights to the European Union budget.

“For me, it is unacceptable in this form, and most of the lawmakers I have talked to are of that opinion,” Accord spokeswoman Magdalena Sroka told private broadcaster Radio Zet on Friday morning.

“Accord … does not see the possibility of supporting the bill in its proposed form,” the party said in a statement published on Twitter in the evening, adding that the proposed tax can negatively impact Polish business, media and citizens.

Several private TV and radio stations and web portals in Poland took themselves off the air on Wednesday in an unprecedented protest against a law they say would weaken independent media that are critical of the government.

Critics say Poland is following the example of central European ally Hungary in trying to increase government control over the media. That issue came into sharp focus in December when state-controlled oil refiner PKN Orlen said it was buying German-owned newspaper publisher Polska Press.

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The government says the tax will help raise funds for healthcare and culture, both hit by the coronavirus pandemic. It has long argued that foreign media groups have too much influence in Poland.

Finance Minister Tadeusz Koscinski said it was important to get feedback on the bill. “There is not the slightest intention to knock anybody out with tax,” he said.

The Polish prime minister’s top aide, Michal Dworczyk, said the bill was still in a consultation phase and denied it was intended to limit media freedom.

“We are dealing with a serious manipulation, or a lie,” he told public broadcaster Polskie Radio Program III. “An attempt to tax big companies is presented as an attempt to limit the freedom of the media.” (Reporting by Alan Charlish, Pawel Florkiewicz, Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk, Agnieszka Barteczko and Alicja Ptak; editing by Larry King, William Maclean)

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InvestorChannel's Media Watchlist Update for Friday, February, 26, 2021, 16:00 EST – InvestorIntel

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InvestorChannel’s Media Stocks Watchlist Update video includes the Top 5 Performers of the Day, and a performance review of the companies InvestorChannel is following in the sector.
Sources Include: Yahoo Finance, AlphaVantage FinnHub & CSE.
For more information, visit us at InvestorIntel.com or email us at info@investorintel.com

Watchlist Companies:
– GVIC Communications Corp. (GCT.TO) CAD 0.32 (14.29%)n- Lingo Media Corp (LM.V) CAD 0.08 (6.67%)n- Wix.com Ltd (WIX) USD 348.57 (4.52%)n- HubSpot Inc (HUBS) USD 515.00 (3.91%)n- Glacier Media Inc. (GVC.TO) CAD 0.39 (2.67%)n- Zoom Video Communications Inc (ZM) USD 373.61 (2.43%)n- Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc (TBRD.V) CAD 4.35 (2.35%)n- Stingray Group Inc (RAY-A.TO) CAD 7.11 (2.16%)n- Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJR-B.TO) CAD 5.27 (2.13%)n- Adobe Inc. (ADBE) USD 459.67 (0.11%)n- Postmedia Network Canada Corp (PNC-A.TO) CAD 1.60 (0.00%)n- Media Central Corp Inc (FLYY.CN) 0.03 (0.00%)n- WOW! Unlimited Media Inc (WOW.V) CAD 0.53 (-1.85%)n- Slack Technologies Inc (WORK) USD 40.93 (-2.08%)n- MediaValet Inc (MVP.V) CAD 2.62 (-4.73%)n- QYOU Media Inc (QYOU.V) CAD 0.30 (-4.76%)n- ZoomerMedia Limited (ZUM.V) CAD 0.10 (-4.76%)n- Network Media Group Inc (NTE.V) CAD 0.16 (-6.06%)n- Quizam Media Corp (QQ.CN) 0.52 (-7.14%)n- Moovly Media Inc (MVY.V) CAD 0.64 (-11.11%)n

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New initiative will rate social media platforms based on how safe they are for LGBTQ2S+ users – CTV News

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TORONTO —
A new initiative by the LGBTQ2S+ advocacy organization, GLAAD, plans to rate social media platforms based on how well they protect people from abuse.

The organization announced Friday that it will release an index with the ratings, along with recommendations for policy changes and product updates to better address misinformation, hate speech, privacy, and other issues that queer people uniquely face.

“Social media is a lifeline for LGBTQ people, but too often we face real harm that goes unchecked by the platforms,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement. “LGBTQ policies and product updates have long been low on priority lists, even as the tech industry is finally waking up to the issues that marginalized communities face on their platforms.”

Ellis added, “our Social Media Safety Index will hold social media platforms accountable and provide a roadmap for creating safer and more inclusive online spaces.”

While there is little research on the incidence and experience of online hate against LGBTQ2S+ individuals, a 2019 report by researchers at the London School of Economics and Politics in the U.K. found that online abuse can have a severe impact on victims.

“Online hate crimes can have various effects, including impacting upon a person’s emotional state and psychological wellbeing, causing or worsening mental illness, disruption of daily behaviours and routines, and causing financial/economic losses,” the report notes.

Experts suggest that queer people of colour, and transgender individuals in particular, experience a greater rate of online abuse compared to white cisgender people.

A 2019 report by the anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label and consumer intelligence company Brandwatch analyzed 10 million social media posts in the U.S. and U.K. over a period of three and a half years. The group says during that time they uncovered more than 1.5 million transphobic comments and posts.

“This report does not make for light reading as it uncovers the shocking and inhumane ways in which transgender people are targeted, harassed, and abused on digital platforms,” Ditch The Label CEO Liam Hackett notes.

With the creation of a social media safety index, GLAAD says it hopes to hold social media platforms accountable for years of unchecked abuse and provide a roadmap to improve the user experience for queer people.

The organization says it plans to launch the index in spring 2021. 

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College Media, Tourism Programs Axed – ckdr.net

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It’s the end of two programs at Confederation College as it permanently suspends its Digital Media Production and Tourism, Travel, and Eco-adventure offerings.

Academic Vice President Neil Cooke explains it’s because of declining enrolment, especially in Digital Media.

He explains it’s the successor to the Broadcasting program, which was reworked into Digital Media in 2018.

“They had basically a three-year run. The first two years, we started off with 28 students in the class, and it started to slide immediately in the following year, 2019, and then last year enrolment was so low that we suspended the intake,” Cooke says.

The current class of students will be able to graduate, and no new students will be accepted into the programs.

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