One potential issue at stake regarding state aid for private sector media companies is concerns about editorial independence once the aid has been forthcoming.
Raudsaar noted in a Postimees piece (link in Estonian) that media companies have so far received indirect support during the current coronavirus emergency situation arising from applications from the Estonian Newspaper Association (EML), involving the reduction of VAT on digital subscriptions, and support for domestic delivery of newspapers in rural areas, neither of which should have issues related to editorial independence, ERR’s online news in Estonian reports.
The EML has however asked for the state to purchase advertising space in the Estonian press, to the tune of around a million euros per month, to year end, and this brings more questions with it of editorial independence, Raudsaar went on.
“There is still a request from the media union for the government to buy advertisements in the Estonian press for one million euros every month, and until the end of the year, for a total of eight million euros. Postimees does not want our journalistic independence to be called into question..”
In mid-April, the EML proposed to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center), who is also head of the emergency situation, that the state organize large-scale campaigns in all private media channels through to year-end, and also that the European Commission could permit member states to reduce VAT on all media output to zero percent.
The EML had also suggested state support for journalistic staff to a total of 40 percent through to the end of July, but this was rejected by the government.
Part of the Postimees Group, Postimees is Estonia’s largest daily, tracing its lineage to the 19th century. It is available in regional variants in Tartu and Pärnu; the group also owns and operates several other regional dailies including Sakala, Saarte Hääl and Viru Teataja.
What is Blackout Tuesday? The social media trend and controversy around it, explained – For The Win
Welcome to FTW Explains: a guide to catching up on and better understanding stuff going on in the world.
You may have seen a hashtag at the top of social media trends —#BlackoutTuesday — this morning. You may have also seen some people criticizing the movement, and wondered exactly what is going on.
That’s what this post is for. We’re here to explain what’s going on with this movement, which started in the music industry but appears to have seeped into other businesses, but it’s also caused some controversy.
Let’s break it all down for you, starting with the first question you might have.
What is Blackout Tuesday?
As protests and unrest over the death of George Floyd continue around the United States, a movement was started by music execs Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang, who wrote on a site that Tuesday, June 2 would be a day to pause all business and take a stand against the “racism and inequality that exists from the boardroom to the boulevard.”
The movement would take the form of people posting all black pictures to Instagram and other social media platforms.
Who is participating?
Artists from Quincy Jones to Mick Jagger, with music companies and studios, all announced they would be participating ahead of June 2:
How do people join in?
They post a completely black square on social media, like these companies, sports teams and celebrities did, with the hashtag #BlackoutTuesday or #TheShowMustBePaused.
You said there were criticisms about the movement?
Part of the controversy stems with the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. Many people participating in the movement are using the hashtag along with their posts. But the hashtag #blacklivesmatter is normally used as a tool for protestors to communicate information through social media.
With the blackout, it’s being rendered useless as a hashtag. Now, when people click on the hashtag, they’re being confronted with a sea of black squares and not with anything about what’s going on with protests across the country.
But there are also larger complaints about the movement, saying this is a time to spread awareness, and not just literally “black out” social media feeds. There are arguments that now, more than ever, is when communication shouldn’t be “blacked out.”
Are there any proposed solutions?
To start, organizers are asking users to stop tagging those images with #BlackLivesMatter and stick with either #BlackoutTuesday or #TheShowMustBePaused.
Wuhan doctor at whistleblower's hospital dies from coronavirus, state media report – CTV News
BEIJING, CHINA —
A Wuhan doctor who worked with coronavirus whistleblower Li Wenliang died of the virus on Tuesday, state media reported, becoming China’s first COVID-19 fatality in weeks.
Hu Weifeng, a urologist at Wuhan Central Hospital, passed away after being treated for COVID-19 and allied issues for more than four months, state broadcaster CCTV said.
He is the sixth doctor from Wuhan Central Hospital to have died from the virus, which emerged in the central Chinese city late last year.
Cases have dwindled dramatically from the peak in mid-February as the country appears to have brought the outbreak largely under control.
The official death toll in the country of 1.4 billion people stands at 4,634 — well below the number of fatalities in less populous nations.
Wuhan Central Hospital has yet to give a formal statement on Hu’s death. In early February it said some 68 staff members had contracted coronavirus.
Hu’s condition became a national concern after Chinese media showed images of him with his skin turned black due to liver damage.
Fellow doctor Yi Fan showed similar symptoms, but recovered and has since been discharged from hospital.
The death of their colleague Li Wenliang in February triggered a national outpouring of grief and rage against the government as he documented his final days on social media.
The 34-year-old ophthalmologist was reprimanded by authorities after he warned colleagues about the virus in late December.
Beijing has since named him a national martyr, but suppressed much of the dissent and criticism sparked by his death.
Other medical whistleblowers at Wuhan Central Hospital — including emergency unit director Ai Fen — have told Chinese media they were punished by authorities for speaking out.
China has not released a complete figure of the number of medical worker deaths from COVID-19, but at least 34 medics have been awarded posthumous honours by health authorities.
In February the National Health Commission said about 3,387 health workers had been infected.
U of G 'taking steps' to address student's racist social media posts – GuelphToday
Racist videos from a University of Guelph student posted on the popular social media site TikTok on the weekend has sparked outrage among students and concern by the school.
In the 24 hours since the student posted the two videos, numerous students alerted the U of G’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, with the university issuing a statement that declared its intolerance towards any expression of hatred and its solidarity with black students.
In one of the TikTok videos, a caption reads ‘Me teaching the black kid how to read in the 2nd grade,’ and the student is seen performing a skit where he says ‘you saved me. Why?’ to which he himself responds ‘monkey.’
In the second video, the student is seen searching the word ‘slave’ on google and then hovering over the ‘shopping’ option on the website.
The student’s TikTok account has since been deleted and the videos garnered over 3,000 views when they were was last seen Monday afternoon.
In an interview with GuelphToday, U of G student Nanci Dos Santos — who shared the video on Facebook — said no one can look at the student’s content and say that it is not hurtful.
“It expresses hate and racism. I would be a part of the problem if I let this go,” said Dos Santos.
She said if the university listens to the students’ pleas to let the student go, it will be a step in the right direction towards equality and justice on campus.
“The University of Guelph has been made aware of a racist social media post by a student. We are a university community committed to mutual respect and anti-racism. We will not tolerate any expressions of hatred. We are taking steps to address this troubling situation that we know is hurtful to many members of our community,” read a statement issued by the university on Sunday.
“We stand in solidarity with black students, faculty and staff at the U of G against racism and violence during this troubling time and always. We offer support to anyone feeling vulnerable or at risk. We are here as allies to the black community and will do our part to ensure respect, safety and dignity on our campuses.”
U of G administration declined further comment when contacted.
The University of Guelph Student Life and Student Experience Group also issued a statement saying it recognizes that the videos have impacted Black students on campus and a cultural diversity advisor is available for support.
Several attempts to reach the student who posted the offensive material were unsuccessful.
Students expressed anger at the posts on the popular student Facebook group, Overheard at Guelph:
RACISM IS NOT A TREND. PERIOD.
aint nobody posting this for likes. I’m posting this so people will pressure the school to act. acknowledge your privilege to ignore these issues and go.
Brennan Georges this video isn’t just plainly offensive or a “mistake” he made on tik tok. what this video really means to people like me is that the next time i have to go to class, i do have to worry if the person sitting next to me may just think that i’m nothing more than a monkey or i deserve to be sold into slavery. and that pain runs deeper than you could ever even care to imagine. so yes, exposing him is necessary so that we can recognize who really feels what and just maybe he can start realizing the effects of his action
As a Guelph prof, as a mother of 2 half black (very smart) sons, as a Canadian, as a concerned citizen for racial equality—I am appalled at this young man’s post. I have forwarded this post to the interim president’s office. Contact Dr Charlotte Yates if you want to add your voice. BLM
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What is Blackout Tuesday? The social media trend and controversy around it, explained – For The Win
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