Monday, February 10, 2014

FINAL CALL FOR NOMINATIONS FOR 2014 INTERNATIONAL MEDIA AWARDS

The Next Century Foundation wishes to issue a final call for nominations for the 2014 International Media Awards. With shortlisting due to take place by mid-February, nominations sent in after Friday, 14 February will not be considered. This year's awards will be held on May 10, 2014.

The International Media Awards are presented at a ceremony held each year by the International Council for Press and Broadcasting, a subsidiary body of the Next Century Foundation. The awards honour editors, journalists, TV producers and broadcasters in recognition of the vital role that the media can play in fostering understanding, the essential pre-requisite of any peace process.

The Award categories are: Lifetime Achievement, Peace Through Media, Cutting Edge, Breakaway, New Media, Photography and Visual Media, and Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting and Media

Please send your nominations, and if possible a short biography of the nominees and why you are nominating them, to the International Media Awards via ncfmediagroup@aol.com.

For further information about the International Media Awards, visit www.internationalmediaawards.org

You may remember that the 2013 winners were:
 
Peace Through Media Award
  • PAT LANCASTER, editor of Middle East Magazine.
  • IGAL SARNA, columnist for Yediot Ahronot.
  • WAEL DAHDOUH, Al Jazeera correspondent in Gaza.
Photography and Visual Media Award
  • DON MCCULLIN, photojournalist and author. 
Lifetime Achievement
  • BENJAMIN POGRUND, contributor for the Guardian and previous sub-editor on the Independent foreign desk.
The Cutting Edge Award
  • LINA SINJAB, Damascus correspondent for the BBC.
  • RACHEL SHABI, journalist and author of ‘Not the Enemy: Israel’s Jews from Arab Lands’
  • NABILA RAMDANI, columnist and broadcaster for BBC and Al Jazeera.
The New Media Award
  • MAHMOUD AL YOUSIF, blogger. 
The Breakaway Award
  • GEORGE BUTLER, war artist.
Award for Outstanding Achievement
  • RANIA ALATTAR, journalist for BBC Arabic.

Friday, January 10, 2014

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS FOR 2014 INTERNATIONAL MEDIA AWARDS

The Next Century Foundation wishes to remind you that the nominations for the 2014 International Media Awards will remain open to the public until the end of January. This year's awards will be held on May 10.

The International Media Awards are presented at a ceremony held each year by the International Council for Press and Broadcasting, a subsidiary body of the Next Century Foundation. The awards honour editors, journalists, TV producers and broadcasters in recognition of the vital role that the media can play in fostering understanding, the essential pre-requisite of any peace process.

The Award categories are: Lifetime Achievement, Peace Through Media, Cutting Edge, Breakaway, New Media, Photography and Visual Media, and Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting and Media

Please send your nominations, and if possible a short biography of the nominees and why you are nominating them, to the International Media Awards via ncfmediagroup@aol.com.

For further information about the International Media Awards, visit www.internationalmediaawards.org

You may remember that the 2013 winners were:
 
Peace Through Media Award
  • PAT LANCASTER, editor of Middle East Magazine.
  • IGAL SARNA, columnist for Yediot Ahronot.
  • WAEL DAHDOUH, Al Jazeera correspondent in Gaza.
Photography and Visual Media Award
  • DON MCCULLIN, photojournalist and author. 
Lifetime Achievement
  • BENJAMIN POGRUND, contributor for the Guardian and previous sub-editor on the Independent foreign desk.
The Cutting Edge Award
  • LINA SINJAB, Damascus correspondent for the BBC.
  • RACHEL SHABI, journalist and author of ‘Not the Enemy: Israel’s Jews from Arab Lands’
  • NABILA RAMDANI, columnist and broadcaster for BBC and Al Jazeera.
The New Media Award
  • MAHMOUD AL YOUSIF, blogger. 
The Breakaway Award
  • GEORGE BUTLER, war artist.
Award for Outstanding Achievement 
 
RANIA ALATTAR, journalist for BBC Arabic.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA AWARDS 2014

The Next Century Foundation is delighted to announce that the nominations for the International Media Awards 2014 are now open to the public. They will close by the end of this year on 31st December 2013.

The International Media Awards are presented at a ceremony held each year by the International Council for Press and Broadcasting, a subsidiary body of the Next Century Foundation. The awards honour editors, journalists, TV producers and broadcasters in recognition of the vital role that the media can play in fostering understanding, the essential pre-requisite of any peace process.

Please send your nominations, and if possible a short biography of the nominees and why you are nominating them, to the International Media Awards via ncfmediagroup@aol.com.

For further information about the International Media Awards, visit www.internationalmediaawards.org

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Russell Twisk - A Tribute



It is with great sadness that we report the death of Next Century Foundation Board Member, Mr Russell Twisk. Russell was formerly editor of the Listener and of the Reader's Digest Magazine (during Russell's time at the Reader's Digest he turned it into Britain's best selling periodical). He was also a member of the Board of the Press Complaints Commission and President of the Media Society, as well as serving on our own International Council for Press and Broadcasting and as a Board Member of the International Communications Forum.

Russell was a great campaigner for the best standards of journalism and worked tirelessly to promote improved standards of Media Ethics. Russell was a strong believer in rapprochement between nations which was what led him to become one of the founding members of the Next Century Foundation. One of his last public appearances was to present the Peace Through Media Award to Dov Alfon, the Editor in Chief of Haaretz, at the International Media Awards. Russell will be sorely missed.

Tributes to Russell can be found on the pages of the Next Century Foundation, Media Society and International Media Awards websites as well as on the obituaries pages of The Times and the UK Press Gazette

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Thank Heavens they sold the Washington Post

The Washington Post has been sold to the Amazon boss (who can afford a few losses) and how good is that? It is a great professional world beating newspaper but it has been in decline for the best part of a decade. The cash injection that the Amazon boss can bring - combined with his sheer energy - should breathe new life into this splendid newspaper.



The Guardian Newspaper writes:

The Washington Post is to be sold to Jeff Bezos, the founder of the web retail giant Amazon, in a move that has shocked even seasoned observers of the turmoil in the US newspaper industry.
The agreement to sell one of the legendary titles in American newspapers brings to an end the 80-year control of the paper by the Graham family which steered the Post to national prominence through such landmark journalism as Watergate in 1972. The deal was conducted in such secrecy that even the Post's own stable of investigative reporters were taken by surprise when the paper published on its website a story about the transfer.

"This is absolutely stunning news," the media commentator Jim Romenesko told the Guardian. "Just as surprising is that it didn't leak in a building filled with investigative reporters."

According to the Post's own account, the initiative for a sale came from the Graham family and not from Bezos. Donald Graham, chief executive of the Washington Post Co which currently owns the title, used an investment firm to approach six "potential suitors" amid tightest security before choosing Bezos.
The sale price was set at $250m, a relatively small sum for such a legendary institution – 1% of Bezos's enormous personal wealth as put by Bloomberg at $22bn. The figure elegantly captures the dire economic state of many of America's leading news titles, coming as it does just days after the sale of the Boston Globe by the New York Times Co to the owner of the Red Sox, John Henry, for an even more paltry $70m.
Graham told his own newspaper that after four generations of ownership in the family, "every member of my family started out with the same emotion – shock – in even thinking about selling the Post. But when the idea of a transaction with Jeff Bezos came up, it altered my feelings."

Graham added: "The Post could have survived under the company's ownership and been profitable for the foreseeable future. But we wanted to do more than survive."

According to the Post article, Katharine Weymouth, Graham's niece, will continue to act as publisher and chief executive of the newspaper following its transfer to Bezos. "No layoffs are contemplated as a result of the transaction," the paper said. The Grahams will retain control of the Slate website, the Kaplan education business and, for now at least, the building that houses the Post in Washington, which is for sale.

The end of the Graham dynasty is the latest in a long line of family proprietorships that have succumbed in the face of the economic strife that has swept through traditional newspaper businesses in the US with the advent of the internet. The many casualties include the Bancroft family that sold the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones to Rupert Murdoch in 2007, leaving the Sulzberger family still at the helm at the New York Times as stalwart examples of a dying breed.

At the other end of the extraordinary convulsion in fortunes brought by the digital revolution is Bezos himself, who started Amazon out of a garage of his home in Washington state in 1994. Since then he has torn a strip through the book publishing industry and through conventional retailing businesses that have struggled to keep up with his flexibility and taste for innovation.

Bezos told the Post that as its new owner he would be entering "uncharted terrain" that would "require experimentation". He tried to assuage those who fear his reign might bring editorial interference by saying "there would be change with our without new ownership. But the key thing I hope people will take away from this is that the values of the Post do not need changing. The duty of the paper is to the readers, not the owners."

The sale came as a complete surprise to almost all of the Post staff, and stunned the US media world. "This whole thing happened with admirable and amazing secrecy," said Jeff Jarvis, associate professor of journalism at City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism.

Jarvis expressed reservations about the Post being owned by the CEO of Amazon, a relatively secretive company. "Bezos doesn't believe in openness. And that somewhat worries me. Both with how a newspaper operates, how a Washington institution operates and also with the need for business model experimentation to occur in the open for the good of the entire industry."

But Jarvis said that on balance, he said the sale was a good thing. "Bezos is incredibly smart, a nice man. He's terribly successful, he has the resources to do this, I think all in all, at first rush it seems like a good idea."

Bezos's purchase follows a recent trend of wealthy businessmen buying up newspapers. Last week John Henry, the Red Sox owner and Fenway Sports Group mogul, bought the Boston Globe and its websites for $70m, beating off competition from half a dozen rival bidders.

In July Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway company – a major shareholder in the Washington Post Company – bought the Press of Atlantic City. Last year the billionaire investor bought 63 Media General newspapers for $142m, and in 2011 bought the Omaha World Herald for $200m.
"I would hate to think that the only way for news organisations to survive is by way of sugar daddies. That also brings its own set of problems," Jarvis said. "But the Post didn't have a clear strategy for where to go and private ownership does protect it.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

How Others See Us

The Islamic Republic's State TV has an interesting take on the Royal baby. We are told:

 Nothing could have manifested English people's hatred of their monarchy as much as the birth of this baby

England has one of the most reactionary and medieval forms of governments.

The Queen reigns as an absolute dictator in this country

For the full report see Potkin's blog
http://www.azarmehr.info/2013/07/islamic-republic-state-tv-special.html

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How Israel can return to the Middle East

Haaretz Online
By Benjamin Pogrund | Jun.11, 2013 |
At a dinner event in London I sat next to a Syrian. During the evening I had a long talk with someone from Bahrain who told me about his fight at home for human rights. I spoke to a man from Afghanistan who told me his hopes for his country's future. Also at the dinner were people from Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.
To an Israeli it was an unusual and strange experience. All these people from our neighborhood, friendly and wanting to talk, to share information and thoughts. Yet we never see them, we know little about their aspirations and day-to-day lives. They are 'the enemy'.
We know that there are surreptitious contacts behind the scenes. Limited trade continues: in shops we can buy dates from Iran and dried lemons that come from Basra in Iraq. Israeli products make their way to countries in the region. Israeli tourists go to Petra in Jordan. There is undoubtedly contact at diplomatic and intelligence levels. Last month the Foreign Ministry announced it had established a diplomatic mission in a country in the Gulf state but it kept the location secret.
The Middle East is another world to us. It barely exists in our consciousness. We are focused on the United States and on Europe: we look there in politics, for travel and for culture.
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with that. Modern Zionism, which led to Israel's founding, was dominated by immigrants from Europe, joined later by those from the U.S. and other parts of the Western world. Their heritage underpins the nature of our society.
Yet nowadays, Sephardi Jews and Jews from Arab lands constitute nearly half of Israel's Jewish population, and 20 percent of our domestic population are Arabs. Geographically, we are in the Middle East.
We are on the edge of our eastern hinterland but we are remote from it. That is our loss and everyone's loss. We could be so enriched by contact with people, by two-way tourism and by trade.
It does not mean that we must turn away from the West. Instead we are a prime candidate for fusing the best of the East and the West and also for serving as a bridge between the two, to smooth misunderstandings and to further contact.
Of course it would be naïve and silly to put all the blame on ourselves for the lack of connection. Arab states have shunned us since 1948. Their formal boycott dating from that time continues up to now, and they incessantly harass and condemn us in international forums. Iranian leaders want to eliminate us. We have signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan which help to keep us out of war but we do not enjoy normal relations.
It goes without saying that a primary reason for what we don't have is the continuing conflict with Palestinians. That is such an overwhelming factor in our lives that we should be exhausting every possible opportunity to resolve it. That starts with getting out of the occupation, whose moral and material costs are as catastrophic for us as for Palestinians.
The cynical will say that we will never achieve closeness with our neighbors because they deny our very existence. That is true for some. But it does not apply to everyone and evidence of that is in the overtures made through the Arab Peace Initiative proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002. Then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon looked the other way and pretended it had never happened. The Arab League took it over, backed by the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation. We have remained indifferent.
The API offers normalization of relations in exchange for withdrawal from territories we conquered in 1967; it speaks of a "just solution" for Palestinian refugees and the division of Jerusalem.
It certainly does not offer everything we want. It does not soothe all our fears. But the mere fact that it was put forward and 11 years later is still on the table is crucial – and even more because it was affirmed as recently as April this year with an amendment that limited exchanges of land would be acceptable.
The Arab Peace Initiative must not be viewed as a final take-it-or-leave declaration. It is an opening statement. It opens up the possibility of dialogue, negotiation and compromise. If we genuinely want peace we must seize the chance - and then put the Arab states to the test.
South African-born, Benjamin Pogrund was deputy editor of the Rand Daily Mail, Johannesburg, and later chief foreign sub-editor of the U.K.'s Independent newspaper. After moving to Israel in 1997 he founded Yakar's Center for Social Concern in Jerusalem. He is writing a book about Israel and apartheid.