The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) has launched a new cross-border journalism platform called “Reporting Democracy.” Its coverage will extend from the Balkans to the Visegrad countries (Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia). The platform’s goal, according to editor Timothy Large, is “to put rigorous, fact-based journalism to work in exposing the trends and developments that will shape democracy, for better or for worse, and to look at things from a cross-border perspective.” The project is supported by ERSTE Foundation, which is the main shareholder of Austrian bank Erste Group.
Source: Balkan Insight
The 78th annual Peabody Awards were given out on May 18 at a ceremony in New York, highlighting some of the best storytelling on TV, radio and the web. A number of international investigations were rewarded in the news and radio/podcast categories, including BBC Africa Eye’s “Anatomy of a Killing,” an open source investigation of a viral video that showed Cameroonian soldiers killing two women and their children; Caliphate, a New York Times podcast about the rise and fall of ISIS; and “The Plastic Problem,” a PBS NewsHour documentary about how plastic affects ecosystems worldwide. GIJN member ProPublica won a new award called the Catalyst Award for its reporting on family separation at the US/Mexico border that led the Trump administration to halt its “zero tolerance” separation policy.
Source: Peabody Awards
Soundtrap, a music-editing software company owned by Spotify, launched a new product this week that’s designed to make podcast editing easier. Soundtrap for Storytellers is a web-based podcast production tool that allows users to record, edit and master their audio. Its most impressive feature is how simple it’s supposed to make editing: podcasters can just cut words out of an automated transcript of their conversation, and the changes will be automatically reflected in the audio. Designed to function like Google Docs, it’s collaborative, letting multiple people edit a project at once.
Source: The Verge
Wa Lone, 33, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 29, are now free. The two Reuters reporters spent more than 500 days behind bars after they were convicted to seven years in prison for breaking Myanmar’s Official Secrets Act. Before their arrest, the pair had been investigating the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men and boys by security forces and Buddhist civilians. Throughout their imprisonment, Reuters as well as press freedom and human rights advocates campaigned for their release. They were freed May 7 as part of a presidential amnesty for 6,520 prisoners. “I’m really happy and excited to see my family and my colleagues. I can’t wait to go to my newsroom,” Wa Lone told reporters as he left prison.
May 3 marks World Press Freedom Day (#WPFD2019), a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom with events around the world by its sponsor UNESCO and others. The theme for this 26th edition is “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation.” On this occasion, UNESCO’s Director-General Audrey Azoulay said: "Press freedom is the cornerstone of democratic societies. All States, all nations, are strengthened by information, debate and the exchange of opinions. At a time of growing discourse of mistrust and delegitimization of the press and journalism, it is essential that we guarantee freedom of opinion through the free exchange of ideas and information based on factual truths."
Famed investment guru Warren Buffet, whose Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has investments in the daily press, says that most newspapers today are “toast.” The decline of advertising has transformed the newspaper industry “from monopoly to franchise to competitive,” the billionaire told Yahoo Finance, and now to "toast... The world has changed hugely.” By 2016, ad revenue for US newspapers was nearly a third of what it was just a decade before, according to the Pew Research Center. Not all papers will perish, however. The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal will survive, he said.
Source: Yahoo Finance