‘Context, perspective and facts’ casualties of industry financial squeeze, says Bloomberg co-founder

Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief Emeritus Matthew Winkler talks about the news organization’s local training program. (File Photo / Reuters)
Updated 10 September 2018
0

‘Context, perspective and facts’ casualties of industry financial squeeze, says Bloomberg co-founder

LONDON: Arab News Business Editor, Sean Cronin, talks to Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief Emeritus Matthew Winkler about the news organization’s local training program.
Q: What is the next step for the students who go through the course?
A: The course exposes students to the various elements of financial journalism, and introduces them to Bloomberg’s brand of data-driven reporting, based on the “Bloomberg Way,” the students will hear directly from more than 20 Bloomberg journalists and analysts from London and the Middle East, on everything from using social media as a reporting tool and multimedia journalism, to journalistic ethics and principles and covering Middle East economies.
We hope to strengthen their existing interest in pursuing a career in financial journalism, and to inspire them to explore these specific areas further following the completion of the course.
Q:Will any go on to work for Bloomberg?
A: Through this course, and indeed all our global financial training programs, we want to inspire students to pursue a career in financial business and news organizations, whether that is at Bloomberg or elsewhere. We encouraged a number of participants from last January’s course to apply for our global internship programs. Two participants were particularly interested in how we use data across Bloomberg, and recently completed our summer data internship program in London. A third participant will begin a news internship in Dubai later this month.
Q: How many students do you expect to train every year?
A: We expect to train 40 to 50 students in total every year. Thirty students participated in the first edition of the program; this number dropped slightly in the second edition as we have implemented a rigorous application process to ensure we have the strongest candidates.
Q: Do you see core journalistic skills being threatened by financial pressures facing the industry and the churn demanded of reporters?
A: Yes, I believe this is especially the case in broadcast news where context, perspective and facts are casualties of this. This is where accuracy, which is at the heart of the “Bloomberg Way,” becomes particularly important.
Q: Is it becoming more challenging for local and national media to hold organizations accountble, and what can be done to change that?
A: Financial pressures have eroded local news reporting, so there is a lack of accountability when there is no vibrant local press, which in turn leads to limited public discourse.


Top journalist who fled Nicaragua says nation’s press threatened

Updated 22 January 2019
0

Top journalist who fled Nicaragua says nation’s press threatened

  • ‘They are trying to end the freedom of the press, freedom of expression’
  • Thousands of Nicaraguans have fled the country to self-imposed exile, including more than 50 journalists

MEXICO CITY: One of Nicaragua’s most prominent journalists says President Daniel Ortega is working to close any spaces of freedom in the Central American country.
Carlos Fernando Chamorro, who had the offices of his media outlets Confidencial and the television programs “Tonight” and “This Week” seized in December by Ortega’s police, said Monday night that he fled to Costa Rica after receiving information that a plan was afoot to jail him on phony charges.
“They are trying to end the freedom of the press, freedom of expression,” Chamorro said in an interview with The Associated Press. “And if not close, impose censorship and self-censorship. Everything is threatened.”
Chamorro announced his relocation Sunday along with the airing of a much-anticipated interview with former Nicaragua Supreme Court Justice Rafael Solis, who publicly resigned from the court and Ortega’s party earlier this month.
Chamorro said the information about the government’s imminent move against him created a dilemma: He could continue his resistance in Nicaragua knowing he would be dragged into a legal battle against false charges that he couldn’t defend against or he could leave the country and continue doing journalism at a safe distance.
In addition to the confiscation of his offices, the government’s closure of the news channel 100% Noticias later in December weighed on his decision.
“I have evaluated the two circumstances as a much more dangerous trend,” Chamorro said.
At least 325 people have been killed in the suppression of anti-government protests that began throughout Nicaragua last April. Hundreds of people have been jailed, many on terrorism charges that are bringing lengthy prison sentences in what Solis called “political” trials that should be annulled.
Ortega maintains the public demonstrations were part of a coup attempt orchestrated by conservative interests in Nicaragua and foreign powers.
Among those recently arrested and accused of inciting terrorism were journalists Miguel Mora and Lucia Pineda Ubau of 100% Noticias.
“Nicaragua’s independent press is threatened,” Chamorro said. “It is increasingly difficult to access sources. Sources, too, are being threatened. This isn’t only a threat against freedom of the press, but also a process that threatens freedom of expression.”
After the Sandinistas overthrew the dictator Anastasio Somoza, Chamorro ran their newspaper, La Barricada, for years. His mother, Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, was with the Sandinistas when they took power in 1979, but she ran against Ortega for the presidency and won in 1990.
Most of Chamorro’s journalists continue working in Nicaragua and are being provided security, but they also face harassment and persecution, he said.
Thousands of Nicaraguans have fled the country to self-imposed exile, including more than 50 journalists, Chamorro said. In April, journalist Angel Gahona was killed while reporting live via Facebook on protests in the southeastern city of Bluefields.
Last Friday, the newspaper La Prensa ran a blank front page bearing only the question: “Have you imagined living without information?” The government has been holding up its supplies of newsprint and ink, forcing the paper to reduce its page count and take other steps to save resources.
Solis, in his interview with Chamorro, said he finally decided to resign publicly after thinking about it for months, saying he saw no indication that Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, were willing resume dialogue to end the crisis. He had spoken personally to Ortega and Murillo and presented them with several ideas that could lead to a peaceful resolution, but he was ignored, he said.
Members of Ortega’s government have called Solis a traitor since his resignation. He is also living in self-imposed exile in Costa Rica. He said there was tremendous fear within the government and more specifically the judiciary to speak out against Ortega and Murillo.
At one point, Chamorro asked Solis if others in the government shared his view that there was never a coup attempt. “It is not a topic that we ever discussed in these nine months,” he said.