Catalin Zaharia

Donald Trump: New Media Success, or Old Media Problem?

The Donald may be master of the Twitter-verse, but his influence extends at least as much from the structural contradictions of old media campaign coverage.
 
A year ago, experts were saying Donald Trump had little chance of winning the Republican nomination for the U.S. presidency. A political outsider, he was an insult-prone, ticking time bomb who had never held political office; he exhibited not just ignorance of but contempt for the basic knowledge required for running the country, and he lacked the support of the party hierarchy.
 

Slovak Prime Minister Wins Less Than Expected, Votes Go to Neo-Nazis

Slovakia’s election was not short of surprises with some gaining more votes and some less than expected. Prime-minister Robert Fico eventually won the election but with fewer votes than he anticipated. Overall, his party Smer-SD gained roughly 29% of the votes, according to the nearly complete results.
The big surprise was the far-right People’s Party Our Slovakia, which won seats in Parliament for the first time. Mr Fico, a leftist, nationalist prime minister with a harsh anti-migrant rhetoric, lost much of his expected support and made it easier for the far-right party, led by Marian Kotleba, to be represented in Parliament after gaining more than 8% of the vote. Mr. Fico is in a real pickle now, as he will be forced to form a new government that is likely to be very divided. No fewer than eight parties are likely to be represented in it. Slovakia will take over EU presidency in July 2016.
 
 
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2 March 2016
 

China Plans to Push out Foreign Owners From Its Internet

Chinese authorities have never liked dissenting voices. Now, they want to solve that problem by removing foreign players from their internet. This would be a major blow for international news producers.
 
The Chinese government traditionally doesn’t cope well with critical voices and has done all they can to fence opinionated people off of its internet. But as of next month Chinese authorities seem poised to purge their online space of all foreign players, according to a new set of rules adopted by the country’s industry and IT ministry, which are to take effect on 10 March 2016.
 
 
The move has triggered anxiety amongst some of the larger international media groups that operate in China, as they have pumped hefty investments into building their businesses there. Essentially, if these rules are implemented verbatim, foreign-owned companies with operations on the Chinese internet have to pack up and go. These include news media outlets, entertainment companies, gaming sites and publishers.