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While Armenia and Azerbaijan fought over Nagorno-Karabakh, their citizens battled on social media

Social media played a significant role in the way that Armenians and Azerbaijanis experienced this year’s brief war. Globally, people could follow military movements, drone footage, respond to statements by authorities and discuss the events. All of this activity provided leaders with instant public opinion that informed decisions.

Whose social media approach worked?

Armenia’s leaders have long been active and accessible online, especially in the 2016 democratic revolution that brought Prime Minister Pashinyan to power. But Pashinyan’s casual approach to social media may have led to muddled posts about the conflict. And there was a lack of coordination between Armenian authorities’ messaging that provided opportunities for misinformation to spread.

Conversely, the Azerbaijani leadership simply blocked or slowed access to social media platforms others during the entire six-week period, stating this was “in order to prevent large-scale Armenian provocations.” Savvy users quickly discovered VPNs to bypass the restrictions.

Azerbaijani officials in

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Russia protests charges against state media journalists in Latvia

VILNIUS (Reuters) – Russia protested on Friday after Latvia charged several journalists from the Rossiya Segodnya news agency with violating European Union sanctions.

The journalists were charged because of their association with Dmitry Kiselyov, who heads Rossiya Segodnya, said Sputnik Latvia, a subsidiary of Rossiya Segodnya.

The Kremlin media mogul was sanctioned by the EU for his role in Russia’s seizure of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.



Dmitry Peskov wearing a suit and tie: FILE PHOTO: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov listens during Russian President Vladimir Putin's annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow


© Reuters/EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA
FILE PHOTO: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov listens during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow

“We consider such actions of intimidation against journalists unacceptable”, Dmitry Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, was quoted as saying by Baltnews, another Rossiya Segodnya outlet.

“We count on a prompt and tough response from the relevant international organisations”.

Latvia’s counter-intelligence State Security Service said on Friday it had initiated “court-sanctioned proceedings” against seven unnamed people for alleged violation

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Judge refuses to dismiss media charges in Pell trial

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A Supreme Court judge in Australia’s Victoria state on Friday dismissed submissions from news media organizations and journalists that there is no case to answer on charges they breached a gag order on reporting about Cardinal George Pell’s sex abuse convictions in 2018.

More charges were tossed out in the case against Australian media outlets prosecuted over reporting of Pell’s abuse convictions. But the judge refused to throw out the bulk of the 87 charges of contempt of court for stories published after the cardinal’s guilty verdict.

His child sexual abuse convictions were overturned by Australia’s High Court earlier this year and the cardinal is back in Rome.

More than two dozen media organizations, reporters and editors were charged with breaching of suppression orders and other reporting rules in the days following the guilty verdicts.

In a mid-trial ruling on Friday, Justice John Dixon dismissed eight

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Africans are embracing digital media, but they’re wary of the downsides

Earlier this year, Ethiopians took to social media after the killing of singer Hachalu Hundessa. While many shared expressions of sadness, others spread speculation and rumors. Some asserted that government agents killed Hachalu as retaliation for his activism on behalf of displaced ethnic Oromo. Others blamed the government of Egypt, reasoning that the country was trying to sow chaos as Ethiopia proceeded with plans to construct a controversial dam on the Nile. Riots followed, leaving as many as 230 dead.

These examples highlight the promise and peril of social media in Africa. WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook are providing new platforms for social mobilization. But they are also making it easier to spread disinformation, rumors and hate speech, sometimes with deadly consequences.

New data from Afrobarometer show that the use of digital media (news from the Internet and social media) is growing fast across Africa. But access is uneven, and many

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Trump Won His Other Campaign — to Destroy Media Credibility

Convinced that President Donald Trump lost his bid for reelection, the media suddenly became less hysterical. Just like that, the media, at least to some degree, rediscovered concepts such as fairness and perspective, AWOL the last four years. 

Two weeks after the election, New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Nicholas Kristof haltingly, grudgingly and reluctantly, admitted that yes, Trump was right. Banning in-person school education to fight COVID-19 was and is bad policy. Kristof wrote: “Some things are true even though President Trump says them. Trump has been demanding for months that schools reopen, and on that he seems to have been largely right. Schools, especially elementary schools, do not appear to have been major sources of coronavirus transmission, and remote learning is proving to be a catastrophe for many low-income children.” Kristof, of course, could not acknowledge Trump’s correct judgement without the “somethings are true even though Trump says

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Australian media trial over Pell reporting to continue in January

By Sonali Paul



a man wearing a suit and tie: Former Vatican treasurer George Pell arrives at Rome's Fiumicino Airport


© Reuters/ALBERTO LINGRIA
Former Vatican treasurer George Pell arrives at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – An Australian court on Friday dismissed eight out of 87 contempt of court charges against media on their reporting of ex-Vatican treasurer George Pell’s 2018 conviction for child sex assault.

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The trial on the remaining 79 charges that media breached a suppression order on reporting of the cardinal’s conviction will continue in January, Supreme Court of Victoria Justice John Dixon said.

Pell was convicted in December 2018 of sexually abusing two choirboys, but reporting on the trial and its outcome was gagged by the County Court of Victoria to ensure the cardinal received a fair trial on further charges he was due to face.

The second case was later dropped and Pell’s conviction was quashed by the High Court of Australia in April this year.

Local media did not

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Some Sino-U.S. relations damage ‘beyond repair’, Chinese state media warns

(Reuters) – Chinese state media warned that some damage to Sino-U.S. ties are “beyond repair” amid a new wave of counter-China measures by the Trump administration, with an ugly Twitter spat between a U.S. senator and Chinese reporter underlining the rising rancour.

FILE PHOTO: Chinese and U.S. flags flutter near The Bund, before U.S. trade delegation meet their Chinese counterparts for talks in Shanghai, China July 30, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

The government-backed newspaper China Daily said in an editorial it viewed Washington’s decision to limit visitor visas for Chinese Communist Party members and their families and a ban on Xinjiang cotton imports are “worrisome signs.”

“Even if the incoming administration has any intention of easing the tensions that have been sown, and continue being sown, some damage is simply beyond repair, as the sitting U.S. president intends,” the newspaper said.

Relations between the

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Media companies must defend coverage of George Pell case, judge rules

Media companies will be forced to defend their coverage of Cardinal George Pell’s sexual abuse trial in the supreme court.



George Pell wearing a suit and tie: Photograph: Gregorio Borgia/AP


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Gregorio Borgia/AP

During a supreme court hearing on Friday, Justice John Dixon declined to throw out the entire case, paving the way for a trial next year.

He rejected submissions from the media companies that the prosecution’s case could not be proved at trial.

However, Dixon did agree there was “no case” to answer in eight of the 87 charges and dismissed them.

Those sub judice charges were levelled against Queensland Newspapers Pty Ltd and Sam Weir (Courier Mail), Nationwide News Pty Ltd and Ben English (Daily Telegraph), Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd and Lisa Davies (Sydney Morning Herald) and Radio 2GB Sydney Pty Ltd and Chris Smith (2GB).



George Pell wearing a suit and tie: A Victorian supreme court judge has declined to throw out a contempt case related to media companies’ reporting of a guilty verdict against Cardinal George Pell that was later overturned.


© Photograph: Gregorio Borgia/AP
A Victorian supreme court judge has declined to throw out a

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Daniel Radcliffe explains why he isn’t on social media



Daniel Radcliffe holding a sign


© Bang Showbiz
Daniel Radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe thinks he’d get into “fights with random people” online if he had social media accounts.

The 31-year-old actor doesn’t have an official Twitter account, and has said that if he did, people would constantly be reading stories in the news about how he got into a war of words with someone on the platform.

When asked why he isn’t on social media, he said: “I would love to say there’s some sort of intellectual, well throughout reason for this. Because I considered getting a Twitter and I 100 percent know that if I did, you all would be waking up to stories like ‘Dan Radcliffe gets into fight with random person on Twitter’.”

Daniel also admitted he doesn’t like the idea of social media because he knows it would negatively impact his mental health in the long run.

He added during an appearance

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Japanese PM Suga to hold news conference amid third coronavirus wave

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, is set to hold a news conference to provide an update on the country’s pandemic response on Friday, his first since coronavirus case numbers surged in November.



Yoshihide Suga wearing a suit and tie sitting in front of a curtain: FILE PHOTO: Yoshihide Suga speaks during a news conference following his confirmation as Prime Minister of Japan in Tokyo


© Reuters/POOL
FILE PHOTO: Yoshihide Suga speaks during a news conference following his confirmation as Prime Minister of Japan in Tokyo

Suga is expected to explain his backing of a widely criticised travel subsidy campaign meant to help revive the economy amid infection controls.

In recent weeks, a third wave of the coronavirus has arrived in parts of the country, and some medical groups and experts blame it on a government campaign to encourage domestic tourism.

His news conference will take place at 6 p.m. local time (0900 GMT), according to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Suga’s approval ratings have dipped, with many unhappy with his handling of the pandemic, polls showed. That could deal a

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