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Media briefs: paying in cents … Vice selling out?… bad puns …

Vice Media is refusing to confirm or deny that it is in talks with three different potential suitors. And other media tidbits of the day…

Journalists free to report in Egypt, says Egyptian government. The Egyptian Foreign Ministery has defended its controversial jailing of Australian journalist Peter Greste and three other foreign nationals, along with several Egyptians. In a statement to be given to foreign governments, the ministry says foreign journalists are free to report in Egypt as long as they obey the country’s laws:

It is important to note that more than 1,200 accredited correspondents representing more than 290 foreign media outlets are currently operating freely in Egypt, including news agencies, newspapers, television stations, and radio stations. They are covering events in Egypt with no restrictions, as long as they do so within the framework of the laws of the country.”

The statement also calls on foreign governments to respect the independence of the Egyptian judiciary. Crikey has uploaded the unofficial translation of the statement, as well as a statement by the prosecutor in the case, here.

Saving journalism one cent at a time. Nick Ross, the ABC’s editor of technology and games, has begun crowdfunding a project called Nanotransactions, which allows publishers and blogging communities to charge users a few cents to access each piece of content. As with prepaid mobile accounts, under Ross’ model users top up their accounts using the online payment system of their choice, including bitcoin, to a minimum amount of $5. Unlike current micropayment systems, which charge publishers up to 30 cents per transaction, the Nanotransaction model is envisaged to involve a charge of just one cent for an article with an access charge of up to nine cents. The system will also be web-based, meaning users won’t need to download a specific app in order to access content. The same model could be used to provide pay-per-view videos or pay-per-minute access to content.

Ross told Crikey’s sister site StartupSmart that Nanotransactions fulfils an urgent need for the media industry, which is desperate for a business model that can support quality online journalism.

“We lost the Global Mail, a publication employing long-form journalists, when its sugar daddy decided he was no longer interested. We almost lost New Matilda, which is now run by one person effectively as a charity,” Ross said. “Then a few days ago we lost Delimiter, which covered politics and tech issues that no one else covers. That was run by just one person. It was a good living for him, but he was so overworked doing four long articles of his own every day of the week.” — StartupSmart journalist Andrew Saudaskas. Read the full article here.

Vice Media changes its tune? Some things that Vice Media founder Shane Smith has said about major media companies in the past, thanks to Quartz:

“CNN is a disaster. It’s spiraling into shit. They are trying to young it down, but everything they do is a fucking disaster. But what’s bad for CNN is good for me.”

This is particularly on the nose given reports, in The New York Times this morning, that Vice Media is in talks with Time Warner, which owns CNN,  as well as Fox and Disney to buy it out, with expectations the 20-year-old brand could go for between $1.5 to $2.5 billion.

Vice has recently invested millions in producing idiosyncratic video content, famous for its gonzo style and tattooed correspondents more likely to be seen in a war zone than on the red carpet of an awards show (Vice’s origins in culture journalism notwithstanding). Smith wouldn’t comment on negotiations, but told the NYT television is the next step in the company’s evolution.

“Our mobile and online stuff is going to grow exponentially, but we want a three-legged stool, and the third leg is TV.”

Front page of the day. Not all puns are good ideas …

Courier Mail

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  • 1
    Yclept
    Posted Tuesday, 24 June 2014 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Maybe the statement should say that journalists are free to report as long as they don’t work for Al-Jazeera.

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