The EU has much to learn about how to engage its citizens | EURACTIV.com


The Conference on the Future of Europe is a brilliant idea to give citizens voice in European decision making. However, the politicians involved just do not know how to engage with them, writes Kaspar Schultz.

Kaspar Schultz is the citizen representative of Estonia to the Conference on the Future of Europe.

The second plenary session of the Conference on the Future of Europe was held last Saturday. If there is a takeaway from the plenary, it is that citizens’ dissatisfaction with their lack of voice in the conference took the central stage, even if it was not supposed to.

Source: The EU has much to learn about how to engage its citizens – EURACTIV.com

Unanswered Questions Haunt Case of Mexican Journalist’s Murder | OCCRP


Regina Martínez was a reluctant expert on Mexico’s most violent drug gangs.

The veteran journalist didn’t set out to cover crime and corruption — but the stories kept finding her, piling up as fast as the bodies in her home of Veracruz.

The once placid state, hugging the Gulf of Mexico and best known for its deep-water port, had been convulsed by waves of cartel violence that many, including Martínez, felt was being abetted by its government.

Source: Unanswered Questions Haunt Case of Mexican Journalist’s Murder – OCCRP

Inside Alden Global Capital | The Atlantic


A secretive hedge fund called Alden Global Capital is snapping up some of America’s most storied newspapers and gutting them for short-term profit. But to describe it as a vulture of a company isn’t quite right, one former Chicago Tribune reporter told my colleague McKay Coppins:

“A vulture doesn’t hold a wounded animal’s head underwater. This is predatory.”

Source: Inside Alden Global Capital – The Atlantic

Offshore havens and hidden riches of world leaders and billionaires exposed in unprecedented leak | ICIJ


Millions of leaked documents and the biggest journalism partnership in history have uncovered financial secrets of 35 current and former world leaders, more than 330 politicians and public officials in 91 countries and territories, and a global lineup of fugitives, con artists and murderers.

The secret documents expose offshore dealings of the King of Jordan, the presidents of Ukraine, Kenya and Ecuador, the prime minister of the Czech Republic and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The files also detail  financial activities of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “unofficial minister of propaganda” and more than 130 billionaires from Russia, the United States, Turkey and other nations.

Source: Offshore havens and hidden riches of world leaders and billionaires exposed in unprecedented leak – ICIJ

Trump sues niece, NY Times over records behind ’18 tax story


Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday sued his estranged niece and The New York Times over a 2018 story about his family’s wealth and tax practices that was partly based on confidential documents she provided to the newspaper’s reporters.

Trump’s lawsuit, filed in state court in New York, accuses Mary Trump of breaching a settlement agreement by disclosing tax records she received in a dispute over family patriarch Fred Trump’s estate.

Source: Trump sues niece, NY Times over records behind ’18 tax story

Afghan media brace for what’s next under Taliban rule


Afghanistan’s most popular private television network has voluntarily replaced its risque Turkish soap operas and music shows with tamer programs tailored to the country’s new Taliban rulers, who have issued vague directives that media must not contradict Islamic laws or harm the national interest.

Still, independent Afghan news stations are keeping female presenters on the air and testing the limits of media freedom under the group, whose militants have killed journalists in the past but have promised an open, inclusive system since coming to power in August.

Source: Afghan media brace for what’s next under Taliban rule

German publisher Axel Springer to acquire US news website Politico | EURACTIV.com


Axel Springer said on Thursday (26 August) it will acquire US political news website Politico, as the German publisher stitches together a global network of digital news operations.

The companies did not disclose the terms of the deal, but the New York Times reported last week that Politico could be sold for $1 billion in a potential deal with Axel Springer.

Springer CEO Mathias Doepfner told German news outlet Handelsblatt that Politico is its biggest investment ever, without mentioning the price. Politico was not immediately available for comment.

Source: German publisher Axel Springer to acquire US news website Politico – EURACTIV.com

Poland’s Attack on Press Freedoms Is Facing a Major Backlash


In mid-August, Poland’s ruling right-wing Law and Justice party, or PiS, introduced a bill that would ban non-European ownership of Polish media properties. Detractors saw a blatant attack on TVN, the biggest independent television news source in the country and frequent PiS critic, which is owned by U.S. media conglomerate Discovery. Despite the opposition, PiS pushed the bill through the lower chamber of parliament with the help of some dubious procedural maneuvers and the votes of several MPs from an allied party, sparking widespread—and at times colorful—accusations of political corruption.

The resulting political maelstrom leaves Poland with its freedom of speech under threat, its parliament in disarray and its ties with its most powerful ally strained.

Source: Poland’s Attack on Press Freedoms Is Facing a Major Backlash

Independent research is the ‘mother of any investigation’ | ICIJ


The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists collaborates with hundreds of members across the world. Each of these journalists is among the best in his or her country and many have won national and global awards. Our monthly series, Meet the Investigators, highlights the work of these tireless journalists.

In July, we spoke with the seemingly indefatigable Slovenian reporter Anuška Delic, a self-taught investigator who has covered issues ranging from asbestos on state-owned train infrastructure to abuses of election campaign law, and has been honored and recognized numerous times for her groundbreaking work, including on ICIJ’s Panama Papers investigation. After a successful — and challenging — career in Slovenia’s established media outlets, Anuška went on to found Oštro — the first investigative journalism center focusing on the Adriatic Region.

Source: Independent research is the ‘mother of any investigation’ – ICIJ

A biography of the pixel, the elementary particle of pictures | Aeon Essays

Pixel: a biography | Aeon
I have billions of pixels in my cellphone, and you probably do too. But what is a pixel? Why do so many people think that pixels are little abutting squares? Now that we’re aswim in an ocean of zettapixels (21 zeros), it’s time to understand what they are. The underlying idea – a repackaging of infinity – is subtle and beautiful. Far from being squares or dots that ‘sort of’ approximate a smooth visual scene, pixels are the profound and exact concept at the heart of all the images that surround us – the elementary particles of modern pictures.

This brief history of the pixel begins with Joseph Fourier in the French Revolution and ends in the year 2000 – the recent millennium.

Source: A biography of the pixel, the elementary particle of pictures | Aeon Essays