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11 - 15 September 2020
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  • In a fight to battle the misinformation on coronavirus, organisations including Facebook, the European Broadcasting Union and the BBC have launched initiatives to tackle harmful content sharing.

    Mark Zuckerberg Facebook CEO regulation

    Facebook: Launches a corona helpdesk chatbot in India

    In a fight to battle the misinformation on coronavirus, organisations including Facebook, the European Broadcasting Union and the BBC have launched initiatives to tackle harmful content sharing.

    In India, Facebook has launched a Corona Helpdesk Chatbot on its messenger platform to raise awareness, provide authentic and accurate information to its users in a move to expose fake news on the pandemic.

    The chatbot and news hub has been launched after the Indian government issued an advisory to social media companies to monitor and remove the circulation of false information and unverified data on the coronavirus outbreak.

    The government of India deployed its own officials to debunk fake news on 20 March.

    Facebook vice president of global affairs and communication Nick Clegg confirmed the social media giant was combatting Covid-19 misinformation across its apps after launching the Covid-19 Information Centre which is featured on the top of its news feed in several countries and includes real-time updates from national health authorities and global organisations.

    He said: “Through these efforts across Facebook and Instagram, we’ve directed more than one billion people to resources from health authorities including the World Health Organisation (WHO) – more than 100 million of whom clicked through to learn more.

    “We’re also giving the WHO as many free ads as they need and millions in ad credits to other health authorities so they can reach people with timely messages.”

    Users of Facebook-owned WhatsApp can also sign up to receive a daily report with the latest statistics from Covid-19 with tips on how to prevent the spread of the disease.

    He added: “We’re also working directly with health ministries in the UK, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Israel, South Africa and other countries to provide similar health updates specific to those nations.

    “In the last week, over 100 million messages have been sent by these organisations to WhatsApp users. In addition, we donated $1 million to the International Fact-Checking Network to expand the presence of fact-checking organizations on WhatsApp, so people can submit rumours they find directly to fact-checkers.”

    More information is available here.

    The firm also is working on limiting the spread of Covid-19 related misinformation including posts on false claims about cures, treatments and the availability of essential services or the severity of the outbreak across its WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram platforms.

    Clegg added: “This is an evolving crisis, so as world health officials issue new guidance and warnings about COVID-19, we’ll continue working with them to ensure people have access to accurate and authoritative information across all of our apps.”

    EBU announces news initiative to tackle coronavirus disinformation
    An industry collaboration of major news and technology organisations will work together to rapidly identify and stop the spread of harmful coronavirus disinformation.

    The Trusted News Initiative (TNI) was set up last year by the EBU to protect audiences and users from disinformation, particularly around moments of jeopardy, such as elections. The TNI complements existing programmes partners have in place.

    The partnership will now extend its efforts to identifying false and potentially harmful coronavirus information by putting in place a shared alert system.

    The partners within the TNI include: BBC, Facebook, Google/YouTube, Twitter, Microsoft, AFP, Reuters, European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Hindu, CBC/Radio-Canada, First Draft, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

    Partners will be able to alert each other to disinformation about coronavirus so that content can be reviewed promptly by platforms, whilst publishers ensure they don’t unwittingly republish disinformation.

    Alerts will also flag up content that undermines trust in partner news providers by identifying imposter content which claims to come from trusted brand identities or sources.

    EBU director general Noel Curran said: “During emergencies of this magnitude, the need for trusted, factual, evidence-based reporting is more crucial than ever. Yet there is a tide of misinformation and bad information, driven mainly through online social platforms, which is threatening to undermine public trust and cause further anxiety for people.

    “This initiative underlines the role of public service media in tackling misinformation head-on and delivering accurate content that audiences can safely rely on.”

    Last summer the BBC convened a Trusted News Summit, bringing together senior figures from major global technology firms and publishing.

    It agreed to collectively work, where appropriate on various initiatives including early warning systems, media education, voter information and shared learning.

    BBC director general Tony Hall said: “The BBC and all our partners feel an urgent sense of responsibility to give everybody the very best, most accurate information, we can during this time of crisis. It’s vital that we all have access to the facts so we know how to protect ourselves, our friends and families.

    “These are challenging times for each and every one of us. We’ll do everything we can, working together, to stop disinformation about coronavirus in its tracks.”

  • The London-based satellite start-up OneWeb has filed for bankruptcy protection in the US pointing to the instability to secure additional investors during the Covid-19 crisis.


    OneWeb: Files for bankruptcy

    Source: OneWeb

    The London-based satellite start-up OneWeb has filed for bankruptcy protection in the US pointing to the instability to secure additional investors during the Covid-19 crisis.  

    The company has voluntarily filed for bankruptcy relief under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code with its intent to pursue a sale of its business in order to maximise the value of the company.  

    OneWeb chief executive Adrian Steckel said: “OneWeb has been building a truly global communications network to provide high-speed low latency broadband everywhere. Our current situation is a consequence of the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis.  

    “We remain convinced of the social and economic value of our mission to connect everyone everywhere. Today is a difficult day for us at OneWeb.” 

    Steckel acknowledged the commitment and dedication seen from its investors - including the backing from Japanese giant SoftBank – and said he hopes in the future the company can complete its mission and build on the effort and billions of invested capital.  

    He added: “It is with a very heavy heart that we have been forced to reduce our workforce and enter the Chapter 11 process while the company’s remaining employees are focused on responsibly managing our nascent constellation and working with the Court and investors.” 

    Adrian Steckel

    Adrian Steckel: OneWeb chief executive

    Source: OneWeb

    OneWeb’s mission is to enable everyone across the globe to access the internet through its low earth orbit (LEO) satellites.  

    To date, the company has successfully launched 74 satellites as part of its constellation and confirmed it has secured global spectrum to begin developing a range of user terminals for a variety of customer markets.  

    Last week it successfully launched 34 LEO satellites from Kazakhstan.  

    In a statement the firm claim: “The OneWeb ecosystem has transformed the satellite industry introducing innovative new technologies and operational advances. These developments have fundamentally changed the economics of satellite communications, opening up new markets such as cellular backhaul and connectivity on the move.” 

    OneWeb is actively negotiating debtor-in-possession financing, which, if acquired and approved by the Bankruptcy Court, will ensure OneWeb is able to fund additional financial commitments as it conducts a sale process under Section 363 of the US Bankruptcy Code.  

    The firm said it plans for these actions to allow OneWeb to meet post-petition obligations to its remaining employees and certain vendors in the ordinary course. 

    In October last year the company issues its Consolidated Financial Statements in London which said that OneWeb had secured nearly $3.3 billion in equity and debt financing.  

    However it remains unclear of the impact this filing will have on its London-based parent company, OneWeb Communications Ltd as well as its Jersey business, OneWeb Ltd and WorldVu Satellites Ltd.  

  • 30 Mar - 5 Apr: Your guide on what to look forward to this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry

    What’s on

    IBC365’s Live Production themed week commences for which a host of content will be available to watch and read:


    Register to attend our webinar on Wednesday 1 April - Live production: Delivering a richer viewing experience, featuring speakers from Vizrt and Futuresource.

    How broadcasters are using VR in production

    What role is VR and immersive tech playing in live productions? How is the technology being used to make live easier?

    Live news

    Amid the conditions of lockdown for coronavirus, numerous broadcasters have stripped back their approach to news, with reporters broadcasting from home using webcams, or from on-site with just one member of crew. We will be looking at how live news is dealing with reporting the coronavirus. 

    OB Trucks

    We will be asking what the defining characteristics of OB trucks being built or refitted in 2020 are. To what extent do they vary from project to project, or are UHD/HDR/IP bringing greater standardisation? What impact is more remote production having on the demand for the larger trucks?

    Reminder: The coronavirus is a global pandemic that is continuing to disrupt the international events and conference industry. Several events are cancelled.

    Netflix releases

    I, Tonya (2017) will be available to watch from Tuesday. The biographical film is based on the career of controversial figure skater Tonya Harding.

    British comedy series Man Like Mobeen Season 3 arrives on Wednesday.

    Popular US comedy series Community comes to Netflix globally on Wednesday.

    The Spanish phenomenon Money Heist (Part 4) returns for its fourth part on Friday.

    On this day

    1 April 1976 Apple was founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in Cupertino, California.

  • ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Max Conze has stepped down from his role as part of a management reshuffle at the German broadcaster.

    Prosieben credit Lukassek shutterstock

    Prosiebensat.1: Criticism from within leads to management shuffle

    Source: Lukassek shutterstock

    ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Max Conze has stepped down from his role as part of a management reshuffle at the German broadcaster.

    The executive reshuffle sees chief financial officer Rainer Beaujean additionally assume the office of chairman of the executive board – a role previously held by Conze, who has departed with immediate effect.

    The move came following criticism from within the company’s own ranks and a sharp decline in ProSiebenSat.1’s share price. It is the latest high profile departure for the company, after CTO Nick Thexton announced his departure in February.

    With the departure of former Dyson CEO Conze, ProSiebenSat.1 announced a change in its strategic focus and several new appointments to the executive board.

    Wolfgang Link, who heads the Entertainment segment, and Christine Scheffler, who is in charge of Human Resources, have both been named to board.

    ProSiebenSat.1 said it will now focus on its core business in the entertainment sector primarily serving the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) with an emphasis on local and live content.

    This, according to the announcement, will see the company work in close collaboration with subsidiaries Studio71 and Red Arrow Studios, the latter of which had been up for sale since September, until the coronavirus pandemic struck.

    The company said its digital reach is to be further extended, including via the streaming platform Joyn, while NuCom remains an important pillar of the group in “synergistic terms”.

    Werner Brandt, chairman of the supervisory board of ProSiebenSat.1 Media, said: “The Supervisory Board would like to thank Max Conze for his service. He has navigated the Company through a difficult period with resolution and determination. I have full confidence in the new Executive Board team.

    “In Rainer Beaujean, a manager with analytical and implementation prowess, is assuming the chairmanship of the executive board. His 20 years of board experience will be of great benefit to the Company, particularly at this critical time. In Wolfgang Link and Christine Scheffler, we have also two highly capable new appointees on the Executive Board whose portfolios are key to the future success of ProSiebenSat.1.”

    Beaujean has been CFO of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE since July 2019. He joined ProSiebenSat.1 from stock exchange-listed packaging manufacturer Gerresheimer AG, where he was also CFO, and also speaker of the management board from 2012. Prior to that, he was a member of the executive boards of the Elster Group, Demag Cranes and T-Online.

    Beaujean said: “This company has far greater potential than is currently credited to it from outside. Under the leadership of the new executive board team, we will now return to focusing more strongly on our core segment of entertainment and on sustainably profitable business. While the corona pandemic poses a huge challenge for us in the weeks and months ahead, I firmly believe that we will emerge from this crisis all the stronger and return to generating shareholder value.”



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