BIZweek n°325 15 jan 2021
BIZweek n°325 15 jan 2021
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  • Parution : n°325 de 15 jan 2021

  • Périodicité : hebdomadaire

  • Editeur : Capital Publications Ltd

  • Format : (260 x 370) mm

  • Nombre de pages : 7

  • Taille du fichier PDF : 2,2 Mo

  • Dans ce numéro : rapport Thomson Reuters.

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VENDREDI 15 JANVIER 2021 BIZWEEK ÉDITION 325 COV1D- 19 IMPACT ON FORECAST 2020 GLOBAL AD SPENOING Cipkol kt « Uitial. Mitla &Mine viclxo- and scmi.là Seech Online rima-m.1ft RO. Newspapes Magazines Out-rd-Hwin Cinema 47a Pre-outbreak Post-butbreak 11.5h Press Institute (IPI) has identified 17 countries that have passed ‘fake news’regulations since the COVID-19 outbreak began, giving them broad-ranging powers that can reduce the ability to cover the crisis. « On the one hand, » IPI observes, « while many of these laws stem from an understandable desire to combat falsehoods, their vague definition and broad scope means that they can be easily manipulated to censor critical reporting. » RSF (Reporters Without Borders) argues these types of COVID-triggered « emergency laws spell disaster for press freedom », noting how « weapons of repression against individual journalists as wellas news organisations have been greatly strengthened in many countries » and adding that « the arsenal of sanctions has been hugely expanded ». Aside from the need to push back on these efforts, a major risk to journalism is that this pandemic-era landscape becomes the norm. Reporting challenges and restrictions These considerations are not new to COVID, but the crisis may have encouraged some regimes to double down on efforts to control the news agenda. The Center for Media Data and Society at the Central European University has shared how independent media have been banned from attending government news conferences in countries such as Nicaragua and the Philippines. As countries went into lockdown, many nations implemented curfews and travel restrictions. Although, while working, some journalists might be able to bypass these constraints, this has not always been the case. « In the Philippines, » Meera Selva at the Reuters Institute recounts, « the President’s office -M> 6 116M1 0 ! i 1h T14 1.414 aa.1,1 12M banned all journalists from travelling to areas in lockdown without a specific identification card issued by his communications office. » « Several media organisations did apply, but the system was unable to cope with all the applications so only a few passes have been issued and apply only to individual reporters, » she noted. And if those designated reporters « get sick or have to self-quarantine, a colleague will not be able to take their place ». Elsewhere, there are concerns about access to data, and that coronavirus deaths have been under-reported. As The Economist explains, official statistics may « exclude victims who did not test positive for coronavirus before dying – which can be a substantial majority in places with little capacity for testing. » Misinformation and the ‘Infodemic’Discussions about these complexities can be further exacerbated by misinformation and a lack of agreement about what constitutes ‘facts’and ‘truth’. In China, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has documented efforts by the Chinese government to encourage news outlets to remove articles and reports featuring « negative facts ». At the same time, there is a hunger for information about this new virus among members of the public. However, especially in the early days, there has also been a great deal of confusion about the nature of this novel coronavirus and the best ways to respond to it. Journalists continue to face a number of challenges in combating the ‘infodemic’, including the speed with which misinformation travels, propagation by public officials and figures, and having the skills to discern LA TOUR « 2021 will be a defining moment for the news business » In the Foreword, Antonio Zappulla, Chief Executive Officer of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, explains how the media landscape has changed and the challenges awaiting the news business « The media landscape is simply unrecognisable from a decade ago. Continually in flux, constantly buffeted by the next wave of change, the profession has faced unprecedented challenges - fromupended business models, to the global erosion of trust in journalism, to fake news. The sweeping devastation of the global pandemic has exacerbated existing issues that had already caused fissures in the industry to a level where it is hard to see a clear path to recovery. As a result, 2021 will be a defining moment for the news business. The challenges faced by journalists as a result of COVID-19 must be understood and addressed in order to safeguard a diverse and healthy media ecosystem and freedom of speech. From user behaviour to news consumption, to the approach adopted by social media platforms, this pandemic has set significant precedents. And whilst much of the turbulence in the profession has been well documented since the beginning of the pandemic, it became clear over the past few months that there was an additional, important and untold dimension to this narrative  : the way the COVID crisis affected journalists and the media industry specifically in the Global South, where the Thomson Reuters Foundation has a very strong footprint, having trained and mentored thousands of journalists over the past 35 years. » fact from fiction. Obstruction and obfuscation on the part of public bodies can also make a journalist’s job harder and, in this vacuum, misinformation can flourish. In many cases, that activity takes place on social networks and private messaging services, like WhatsApp. In August, Reuters reported that Facebook had removed more than seven million pieces of content with false claims about the virus. However, these are only posts deemedto risk imminent harm. Conspiracy theories, hoaxes and false information may be identified on the social network yet remain in place. Each major platform(YouTube, Twitter et al.) has its own policies in terms of how this content is flagged, fact-checked, or potentially taken down, which can sow further confusion among users. Negative economics COVID-19 has accelerated long-termfinancial trends that have beset journalism, in particular newspapers, for some time. Reduced revenues, particularly advertising income, have contributed to the closing of news outlets, as wellas major job losses, pay cuts and furloughs. There’s an irony here in that this financial free fall comes at a time when – in the early stages of the pandemic at least – many news outlets and media platforms have been enjoying record traffic. This consumption, however, was not enough to offset declines in revenue primarily caused by a sudden advertising downturn. Some commentators initially predicted that the pandemic could create an « extinction-level event » for the media industry around the world. These fears now look somewhat overblown. But, whatever the outcome, it’s clear the news industry that emerges on the other side of this crisis will look very different from the one that went into it. Although few journalists have been immune from these impacts, freelancers may be among the hardest hit. Reduced opportunities, a broader freelance pool (due to laid-off journalists going freelance) and the rates paid by in-country media outlets (as opposed to international news organisations) are among the factors affecting this demographic. Digital dependency For journalists who have remained employed, the physical closure of most newsrooms has presented a series of unexpected difficulties. This includes access to reliable broadband connections, high data costs, unsuitable equipment, power outages and having to negotiate new ways of working. That many journalists are also having to do this on reduced pay – and often with increased costs as a result of high data charges – has merely added to their stresses. At the same time, there have been some potential benefits to this situation, such as the growth of online output, development of digital skills and opportunities to engage in online-delivered training. A legacy of renewed unease and uncertainty COVID-19 has had a twin impact on journalism  : not only has it presented a unique set of challenges for journalists, but it has also accentuated and accelerated several major structural issues that predate the pandemic. These issues include encroachments on press freedom, the news industry’s faltering business model, the erosion of trust in journalism and combating fake news. Laws banning ‘fake news’can be used as instruments to support government crackdowns on media freedom and on reporting with which political elites disagree. The pandemic has offered a justification for more countries to introduce these types of laws, tighten current restrictions or suspend existing laws. Even if these developments are rolled back, journalism and the news industry is unlikely to return to its pre-pandemic state. Many of the jobs and outlets that have been lost will never reappear, and those that do may look very different to the way they were. We do not know what the long-termimpact of the coronavirus will be on journalism, the news industry or our world as a whole. However, we do know that the impact of the COVID crisis has already been significant. Even with vaccination programmes on the horizon, COVID-19 will continue to play a major role in our lives, as wellas in the work that journalists do – and how they do it – for a long time to come. 4
VENDREDI 15 JANVIER 2021 BIZWEEK ÉDITION 325 ACTA PUBLICA COP26 ROUNDTABLE UN Secretary-General António Guterres  : « 2021 will be critical in the fight against COVID-19 and climate change » COP26 President Sharma said the global transition to clean power must move at least four times the current pace to achievetargets set out in Paris Agreement on climate change The virtual COP26 Roundtable on Clean Power Transition, under the theme ‘Achieving a rapid shift to green, affordable and resilient power systems’was held amid growing recognition that climate change remains one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. Participants included UN Secretary General António Guterres, COP26 President Alok Sharma, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio, and representatives from governments, multilateral development banks, the private sector and international organisations. Guterres said the year ahead would be critical « not only in beating the COVID-19 pandemic but in meeting the climate challenge ». He said African countries in particular were vulnerable and renewed his call for developed nations to fulfil their longstanding pledge to provide $100 billion a year for developing countries to support both climate mitigation and adaptation. « Huge amounts of money have been earmarked there i for the COVID-19 recovery and stimulus measures. But sustainable investments are still not being prioritized, » Guterres said. « We must invest in the future of affordable renewable energy for all people, everywhere. » Top priority These discussions have gained an added urgency in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has strained fiscal resources that are available to cope with global crises. The accelerated transition to green, affordable and resilient power systems has been identified as a top priority for COP26 under the presidency of the United Kingdom, which has established the Energy Transition Council to drive the transformation. One of the most direct impacts of the pandemic was the disruption it caused to the 2020 edition of the global climate change talks known commonly as COP, hosted annually by the United Nations. The event was postponed to November this year, when it is due to be held in Scotland. fog &leti COP26 President Sharma said the global transition to clean power must move at least four times the current pace to achievetargets set out in Paris Agreement on climate change. He called for enhanced global cooperation to boost innovation and economies of scale. « This is our moment in history to make those vital decisive and positive choices so that we can protect the future of our planet and our peoples. So, let’s continue to work together to bring the benefits of clean affordable and resilient power to the world, » Sharma said. Di Maio, whose government co-hosted Monday’s event, said a clean energy transition « must be a universal goal in the interests of the entire international community. » Largest solar zone to be built « Italy has been working with international agencies and private sector to foster smart and digital power infrastructure in African countries. Such an improvement would boost energy efficiency and facilitate energy access for all local communities. » Reiterating that the African Development Bank will no longer finance coal projects, Adesina said the Bank had prioritized renewables as the mainstay of its Light Up and Power Africa strategic priority, as a result of which the share of renewable energy in the Bank’s power generation investments now stands at 80%. « The Bank has been at the forefront of transformative renewable energy projects in Africa, including large-scale concentrated solar projects in Morocco – one of the largest in the world – and the Lake Turkana wind power project, the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa, » Adesina said. The Bank expects to invest $10 billion in the energy sector over the next five years, Adesina said. One of its flagship projects is the $20 billion Desert-to-Power program, which strives to build the largest solar zone in the world in the Sahel and to provide electricity to some 250 million people. « When we lightup and power Africa – based on an energy mix aligned to a low carbon transition and prioritizing renewable energy sources – we willachievea more economically prosperous Africa, » Adesina said. 5

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