Danish newspapers reprinted a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad, which led to violence when first printed in 2005, “to show commitment to freedom of speech”, Guardian.co.uk reported. This followed the arrest of three people who allegedly plotted to kill the 73-year-old cartoonist responsible for the drawing in which the prophet was depicted wearing a turban that looked like a bomb.
Yahoo! rejected Microsoft’s buyout offer of more than $40-billion, AFP/M&Gonline reported. Yahoo!’s shareholders have now instituted various lawsuits in an attempt to force it to accept the offer, according to the UK’s The Independent.
The Kenyan government said it would work with mobile operators to monitor SMSs and voice messages in an effort to catch offenders who used these messages as a tool to encourage tribal attacks, according to Sapa-AFP/M&Gonline.
The Namibian government plans to establish a media council to “police media ethics and to provide a platform for the public to complain about media reports”, according to The Namibian. The country’s information and broadcasting minister, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, said the media would be consulted, but stated that government would “have the last say”.
China would extend its ban on the broadcast of foreign cartoons, such as SpongeBob SquarePants, between 09:00 and 17:00 on children’s and cartoon channels, the Gaurdian.co.uk reported. The ban served to protect the country’s cartoon industry.
Chez Paziena, a senior producer for CNN’s American Morning, claimed he was fired by the network for href=”http://www.deusexmalcontent.com/” target=_blank mce_href=”http://www.deusexmalcontent.com/”blogging, The New York Times reported. A CNN spokesperson would not elaborate on the reasons for sacking Pazienza, save to say, “CNN has a policy that says employees must first get permission to write for a non-CNN outlet”.
Ã¢Â–Â Also fired
Thirty employees of a state TV channel were fired after the president of Turkmenistan, Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, discovered a cockroach had crawled across the studio table during a broadcast of an evening news programme, The Guardian reported.
All six major Hollywood studios have chosen Blu-ray DVD over HD-DVD, thereby making the Blu-ray format “the only next-generation game in town”, according to Reuters/The Hollywood Reporter.
The 100-day Hollywood writers’ strike came to an end as a deal was reached about payment for programmes distributed through new media (Sapa-AP/Business Day).
The tabloid TV show Entertainment Tonight decided against airing a video that shows the late Heath Ledger at a party where drugs were allegedly being taken. The decision came after “powerful film industry figures” lobbied against it (News24.com).
Ã¢Â–Â Also pulled
The BBC pulled the suicide drama Dis/Connected after academics, the police and the families of teenagers who had committed suicide in Bridgend in South East Wales blamed the suicides on “elements of the media”. Seventeen young people apparently committed suicide in this area in the past 13 months (Independent.co.uk).
Ã¢Â–Â YouTube blackout
Pakistani internet service providers may have “inadvertently blocked” worldwide access to the YouTube website for two hours, when they restricted local access to the site, Reuters reported.
Ã¢Â–Â Facebook decline
Facebook has lost 400,000 users between December 2007 and January 2008 in the UK, The Guardian reported. The decline was attributed to security concerns about personal information and a ban by some employers on using the social networking site at work.
British broadcaster Channel 4 was criticised by the UK communications regulator Ofcom for broadcasting a Jamie Oliver show in which “undue” prominence was given to the Jamie Oliver Flavour Shaker, Gaurdian.co.uk reported. Ofcom found “insufficient editorial justification” existed for the way in which the branded utensil was featured in Jamie at Home.
A BBC economics editor caused a stir by appearing on the evening news with a mohawk-style haircut, the Daily Mail reported. Evan Davis’s fashion faux pas follows that of presenter Kate Silverton, who had to apologise on air for wearing a “print blouse considered too garish for the breakfast news”.
Officials in Los Angeles are considering the implementation of a “personal safety bubble” of 20 m around celebrities deemed “paparazzi targets”, the Sunday Times reported.