The board of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) has voiced its strong disapproval of a recent Belgian Superior Court judgement to order daily newspaper Le Soir to alter an article published 22 years ago.
The judgement was made on privacy grounds to make anonymous the individual named in the online version of the original report.
The court upheld the ruling of the appellate judge and agreed that publication of the article in the newspaper’s online archives could be considered as a new disclosure of facts regarding the individual’s judicial past. It ruled that the subsequent damage to the right-holder’s reputation outweighed the interest of the public in maintaining access to the totality of the information.
The WAN-IFRA board expressed solidarity with Groupe Rossel, the owner of Le Soir, in an appeal against the decision before the European Court of Human Rights, and called on all courts to preserve freedom of the press in all claims relating to the so-called “right to be forgotten”.
The board cited the 2014 decision by the European Court of Justice in the case known as “Costeja vs Google Spain”. In that decision, the court found news media should be exempt from individual claims based on data protection laws and, in particular, on “right to be forgotten”.
It acknowledged the relevance of the human right to privacy, as defined by “right to be forgotten”, but strongly believed that newspaper archives, whether on paper or digitalised, should remain intact in the interests of freedom of information and historical accuracy. Furthermore, it maintained that any imposed alteration of news articles represented an unacceptable restriction on the freedom of the press.
Half of US adults get news from Facebook
The Pew Research Center annual State of the News Media report shows that digital technology continues to upend the news industry. Almost half of American adults now get news from Facebook, Pew found. Daily newspaper circulation fell 7 per cent from 2014 to 2015, and newspaper ad revenue fell 8 per cent over the same period.
Spending on mobile advertising grew by 65 per cent between 2014 and 2015, Pew said. In 2015, $US31.6 billion, or 53 per cent of total digital advertising, was spent on mobile ads.
“While that is a steep climb for mobile, the rate of growth is down from recent years, when growth rates were in the triple digits,” the report says. Still, mobile accounted for 17 per cent of the $US183 billion that was spent in media advertising on all platforms in 2015.
Video advertising spending climbed 46 per cent to $US7.7 billion in 2015, accounting for 29 per cent of display advertising.
Five companies — Google Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Twitter — took home 65 per cent of the $US59.6 billion that was spent on digital advertising in 2015 (up from 61 per cent in 2014). Facebook alone accounted for 30 per cent, or $US8 billion, of display ad revenue, up from 25 per cent in 2014.
Gawker wins funding for bankruptcy
A US bankruptcy judge has approved a request by Gawker Media to borrow $US22 million from an affiliate of buyout firm Cerberus Capital Management to help fund the online publisher through its court-supervised auction.
The gossip website owner, facing a crippling court ruling to pay $US140 million to former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan over the publication of excerpts from a sex tape, needs the money to stay in business as it seeks to go into bankruptcy.
Gawker filed for bankruptcy last week, with an agreement from publisher Ziff Davis LLC to buy it for $US90 million, setting the floor for future bids in an auction expected to take place later this year.
Reuters reports attorneys for both Gawker and Hogan, whose legal name is Terry Bollea, agreed on Wednesday to a stay in litigation faced by the publisher in Florida until July 13.
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