Thirty Berlusconis – South American giant’s flawed media landscape

first_img News January 24, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Thirty Berlusconis – South American giant’s flawed media landscape Organisation Receive email alerts RSF_en Reporters Without Borders is today releasing a report entitled “Brazil, the country of 30 Berlusconis” that examines all of the shortcomings of this South American giant’s media landscape It is based on fact-finding visits to Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Brasilia in November 2012.Open publication – Free publishing – More brazilThe media topography of the country that is hosting the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics has barely changed in the three decades since the end of the 1964-85 military dictatorship.As well as the ten or so major companies that dominate the national media and are mainly based in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil has many regional media that are weakened by their subordination to the centres of power in the country’s individual states. The editorial independence of both print and broadcast media is above all undermined by their heavy financial reliance on advertising by state governments and agencies.The media’s fragility encourages violence. Five Brazilian journalists and bloggers were murdered in connection with their work in 2012, making Brazil the world’s fifth deadliest country for media personnel.Two journalists who specialize in police and public security issues also had to flee abroad last year, while the campaign for the October 2012 municipal elections saw an increase in threats and physical attacks on media regarded as showcases of the politicians who own them.This report also examines another obstacle to freedom of information – the increase in judicial proceedings accompanied by censorship orders targeting individual news outlets. The best-known is the leading daily O Estado de São Paulo, the subject of a censorship order for threatening the interests of former President José Sarney’s family. But the Brazilian Internet and blogosphere are also increasingly being targeted by court-ordered censorship, while netizens impatiently await the adoption of a new Internet law called the Marco Civil, which would guarantee Net neutrality.A new media law has proved to be a divisive challenge ever since the press law introduced by the former military government in 1967– under which recalcitrant journalists were jailed and both print and broadcast media were subject to prior censorship – was belatedly repealed in 2009, more than two decades after the adoption of the democratic constitution.An obsolete electoral law still limits political news and information, while ill-suited broadcast frequency regulation makes many community radio stations illegal, all to often leaving them to be ignored, like the grass-roots civil society organizations to which they are linked. Changing the legislation would require the consent of the many politicians with media interests they jealously protect.The new laws awaited by Brazil’s news providers are among the recommendations that Reporters Without Borders makes at the end of its report. The country has many strengths. Its diversity could become a model for other countries. April 27, 2021 Find out more BrazilAmericas Help by sharing this information Related documents Brazil ReportPDF – 1.88 MB Reports News Alarm after two journalists murdered in Brazil News May 13, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Brazil to go further 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies RSF begins research into mechanisms for protecting journalists in Latin America BrazilAmericas April 15, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Creative block

first_imgCreative blockOn 16 May 2000 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Caught up in the 21st century’s creative revolution, companiesare faced with a balancing act in attempting to marry innovative culture withbusiness ethicsCreativity is the modern corporate equivalent of the philosopher’s stone – amythical substance so powerfully imbued with magic that it was believed itcould transform base metals into gold and silver. Just as medieval alchemistsspent lifetimes in hopeful pursuit of this elusive commodity, so it is becomingthe norm for 21st century management to devote huge chunks of timeand resource to fostering a creative environment at work, in the hope that itwill lead to that most critical of competitive success factors – innovation.If you want to make your fortune in the current business climate, forgetthat great dotcom idea you’ve been nurturing and concentrate instead ondistilling Essence of Creativity. It will sell by the gallon.The problem facing companies is that the formula for this most elusive ofelixirs remains as intangible and remote as the original philosopher’s stone –indeed, many people question whether it exists at all. Key influenceYet “creativity” has already assumed such a pivotal position inthe new economy that its presence – or absence – in organisations is becoming akey determinant of such make-or-break metrics as stock price. As the partners of ?What If!, an “invention” consultancy set up tospur on the creative revolution at work, point out, the so-called creativesectors – chiefly communications, information, entertainment, science andtechnology – are already worth $360bn a year in the US, making them morevaluable than automobiles, aerospace and agriculture.Even relatively staid UK management experts are jumping on the creativebandwagon. According to a recent report by management consultancyPricewaterhouseCoopers, there is now such an inextricable link betweeninnovation and value creation that a failure to invest in the former”could be the death knell of many organisations”. But how do you go about forming such an environment, without falling prey tosome of the wilder excesses of creativity?Can you create an environment dedicated to innovation within the establishedcorporate framework, or does the process lead inevitably to disorder andanarchy? Even the movement’s greatest proponents concede that a certain amount ofdisruption and disorientation is inevitable. “The whole point ofcreativity is that you are stepping into the unknown,” says ?WhatIf!partner Dave Allan. “It is an incredibly wasteful discipline – nine out of10 things will fail.”This might be one reason why, despite its current ascendancy in fashionablethinking, creativity at work has established such a bad name for itself in theUK. For some people the very idea of attempting to channel such an elusivecommodity into formal business constructs is risible. The problem is that oneperson’s idea of a stimulating creative environment, is another’s idea ofoffice hell. “I’ve been on training programmes where people come in dressed in funnyclothes, in the spirit of bursting through the creative block. But for manypeople it is not inspiring, it’s embarrassing,” says Brian Baxter, apartner with organisational development and business psychology expert Kiddy& Partners.”A lot of this stuff is based on an extroverted model of the world –the extrovert needs contact and a lively atmosphere in which to bounce ideas. “But there’s another type of person, the introvert, for whom time,space, silence and privacy are key to ideas. They cannot handle a glamorous,colourful and jazzy environment. If you create that kind of wacky atmosphere,you raise levels of anxiety. I don’t think it’s just British reticence – peoplehave simply realised that on this level the creativity is contrived, and theyknow contrivances don’t work.”Divisive dangerFormer Radio 1 marketing manager, Sophie McLaughlin, agrees. Indeed, shemaintains the attempt to impose a creative environment often leads to moredivisiveness than cohesion in organisations.One major problem is how quickly creative ideas and images can go out ofdate. “At Radio 1 we were trying to steer the station into the futurewhile still surrounded with the “wacky” paraphernalia of the past. Itwas quite difficult to feel creative when you had pictures of Dave Lee Travisand Floella Benjamin staring down at you.”Moreover, the station’s new wave of modernisers, as epitomised by McLaughlinand her boss Matthew Bannister, endured flak for trying to stamp their ownbrand of creativity on the organisation.”I had a call from Andy Kershaw, who I had never met, accusing me ofbeing ‘a typical pony-tail-wearing, red-bespectacled marketing type’. Peoplewho try to enforce creativity, especially in a place like the BBC which doesn’thave the heritage, invariably get it wrong.”Now a partner with Blinc Media Intelligence, McLaughlin – also a stalwart ofthe London advertising scene – has seen her fair share of redundant creativeconstructs at work over the years. At advertising agency Chiat Day (now St Luke’s) she recalls “a sunkenbit in the floor, with fish at the bottom made of red carpet, designed to be athink-tank. After two weeks it was completely defunct. In many ways, she concludes, “creativity” is still perceived asthe antithesis of “cool”, and that is what turns people off. The moreexperts tell us to forget our adult assumptions and re-enter the inventiveworld of childhood, with its bean bags, bouncy balls and wide-eyedencouragement of ostensibly lunatic ideas, the more we revert to sulkingadolescence.Some commentators like Baxter, who has been round the block in terms ofliving through repetitive business cycles, believe such cynicism is justified. He claims the last time creativity was in vogue, at the height of the 1980sboom, the atmosphere of Friday night beer busts and morning doughnuts with theboss created “a trivialisation of business”. People were so busycongratulating themselves on the positive vibe they had created, they forgotwhat they were supposed to be using it for.Widespread cynicismNo wonder creative work gurus, such as David Firth of Leigh FirthAssociates, and author of How to Make Work Fun! and The Corporate Fool, claimit is virtually impossible to push creativity too far in the corporate world.Far from leading to disruption and anarchy in companies, he says the realproblem is getting people to think creatively at work in the first place. “Ten years ago business struck me as a pretty stuffy place,” hesays. “It has loosened up since then, but we are still dealing withbusiness people with an eye on the bottom line. They could never be so creativeas to damage the company.” He claims effective corporate creativity is about finding the right balancebetween structure and creativity. “Too much of the first and you getrigidity. But too much creativity leads to chaos. “I don’t think thebusiness world has got the ability to move all the way over to chaos. People inbusiness are conditioned by rationalism.”But some companies have taken significant steps in that direction. Allanadmits when he and his co-partners quit the stuffy corporate world to form?WhatIf!, they took the creative impulse a little too far when dealing with theaccounts. “We thought it would be fun to have a random invoicing system:we would go straight from invoice 272 to invoice 1,000,000.” The group was only dissuaded from this apparently cockeyed idea when itsaccountant reminded them the Inland Revenue might not look too favourably uponsuch a zany arrangement.Structure need”The story illustrates how creativity needs structure,” concludesAllan. “When you have complete creativity everything’s possible – but theworld is too big. There might be blue sky, but you get lost if you have noreference point.”Jazz musicians complain people think improvisation is flighty, freestuff. In fact it cannot exist without structure. The same is true ofcreativity,” says Firth. And Allan agrees, “Creativity has been dressed up as a sunken room withbean bags – it is easy to be cynical about that because there are no results.People think being creative is about having really good fun. But actually it’shard work.” He claims his research demonstrates that real creativity in companies stemsfrom the ability of team leaders to create “benign structures”.”The teams which do well on our MBA courses have got a level of leadershipdistinct from the others. The leaders do not typically come out with the ideasthemselves, but they are the facilitators. In our jargon, they build a‘platform of understanding’, create a shared vision and a positive andsupportive environment. They are also characterised by their resilience.”The real question, of course, is how to structure this framework forfreethinking. ?WhatIf!, which has coached such blue chips as Heinz, ColgatePalmolive, ICI, Pepsi Co and Cadbury Schweppes in the art of formulating aproductive creative environment, suggests making a clear distinction betweenthe rules which apply in the “emergency room” atmosphere of the dailybusiness environment, and those in the creative “greenhouse”.”Greenhousing was born out of a realisation that creativity needs adifferent environment from that offered by normal business behaviour. But the greenhouse need not be a physical place, nor do participants necessarilyhave to book a formal time in which to storm ideas. In fact, it is a state ofmind that can be switched on and off. “The knack to informal greenhousing lies in recognising a creativesituation and putting up a pocket greenhouse on the spot. It may last just afew minutes, but it is a safe haven for creativity.” The most important thing, however, is that in the greenhouse environmentanything goes – “normal” business judgement is suspended. Allan points out that the modus operandi of the greenhouse also needs toreflect the common culture of the company if it is to find real acceptance.”Define what you think creative means in your culture,” he advises.”Identify where you are in current creativity and where you want to go.Ask how people will act and behave differently than before. Ask what structuresyou need to put in place.” For example, one client, Bass Brewers, while generally accepting much of the?WhatIf! theory, found the notion of expressing these ideas in “Londonagency speak” unappealing. It consequently adopted its own greenhouse ruleterminology to discourage people from treading on the ideas of others. Anyonemaking a negative remark was shown a yellow card, while persistent offendersgot a red one, and were asked to leave the meeting. “This was done veryplayfully, but there was a very serious intent behind it.”Allan notes that encouraging creativity comes much easier to smallercompanies “where everyone knows each other. But in larger companiesefficiency becomes the dominant paradigm. The key challenge is how to encourageentrepreneurialism in a large environment. Companies that are successful arethose learning to create acorns from old oaks. Big firms should experiment morewith doing smaller things.”Creative spin-off operations that have been used to good effect includeBritish Airways’ Go operation, and the Saturn branch of General Motors.Separating these more dynamic environments from the main body also has theeffect of reducing corporate tension, claims Andrew Parker, a senior partner atForrester Research. “A separate structure creates a level of insulationfrom the rest of the company and makes it less problematic if things gowrong.”Sharing ideas When it comes to implementing a creative strategy, Allan advises a”land and expand” approach. “One thing we have noticed withclients is that when we have started on one section of the company, others havesaid, ‘this clearly works, we would like to do it too’.”Other creative thinkers have taken a different approach to the problem. InThe Corporate Fool, for example, the authors explore the idea of using anindividual to question existing assumptions in an organisation, thus encouragecreativity. It was an idea famously taken up by British Airways head ofstrategy Paul Birch, who restyled himself “Corporate Jester”. “My only objective was to swan around, sticking my nose into otherpeople’s business and being a pain in the rear,” he said in 1997.”Humour in business is necessary. It will become the big issue as peoplerealise much more gets done when people have fun.”Birch left the operation in 1998, but many of his ideas influenced the ethosbehind the £200m new BA building with its free-flowing cafe structure, dubbed”the biggest friendly building in the world”.Corporate Fool author Firth concedes that much of the “foolish”nomenclature in the book was a mistake “because it made peopletitter”, but it masked a serious purpose, namely the importance ofbringing independent judgement to bear.”A fool has three principles – first, to see things as they really are,second, to say them as they really are, third, to communicate.” It is the sort of role which might usefully be taken up by a non-executivedirector, he adds. “They have that objectivity. They are sort of in thecourt, yet out of it. This is one of the roles with the potential to change thestatus quo. As soon as you put the ‘foolish’ concept to one side and look atthe characteristics, you will see these people are common in companies.” What’s in a name?The most obvious way to demonstrate your creative corporate credentials isto come up with a zany job title or two.This might sound frivolous, but there is growing evidence that companies arebeginning to take the issue of job nomenclature very seriously indeed. In a recent survey quoted in The Guardian, an astonishing 70 per cent ofoffice workers claimed they would be prepared to forgo a pay rise for the sakeof a more “motivational” title.Unsurprisingly companies at the forefront of this movement are oftenmarketing companies looking to use their own organisations as a showroom forwhat they might do for clients. At the Fourth Room consultancy, for example,titles are informal, colloquial and ad hoc – designed to indicate a person’sbasic job function. They include “managing directors” (someone whoorganises senior management) a “members only” (the person responsiblefor customer lists and marketing), a “man of ideas” and “apath-finder”.A similar situation also exists within ice-cream maker Ben & Jerry – thoughit will be interesting to see whether such quaint titles as”flavourmeister” and “serving supremo” survives thecompany’s recent takeover.Proponents of ad hoc job titling claim the system helps boost self-esteemwithin individuals, as well as breaking down corporate hierarchies. And thereis evidence that the practice is gaining ground in established blue-chipoperations as well as new wave companies. At Polaroid, for example, thereexists a “senior creatologist”. Meanwhile, at US software house Netscape, the dreary connotations ofHR/personnel have been replaced by the unforgettable “director of bringingin cool people”. The Virginian-based marketing company Play boasts a “whatif”, a”checkplease” and (more traditionally) a “growth officer”.The one caveat to this informal approach to nomenclature is what happens ifa person’s performance or behaviour fails to live up to their title. Should itthen be changed to a more realistic one? How long before someone gets saddledwith “office lech” or “official team loser”? As a final word of warning, whatever happened to the Major administration’sMinister of Fun? Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Governor Pence Spokeswoman Statement on Meeting with Presidential Candidate Donald Trump

first_imgIndianapolis – Spokeswoman for Governor Mike Pence, Kara Brooks, issued the following statement after Governor Pence met with presidential candidate Donald Trump at the Governor’s Residence. Trump requested the meeting with Governor Pence. Previously, Governor Pence said he is willing to meet with all three Republican presidential candidates when they come to Indiana ahead of Indiana’s May 3 primary.“Governor Pence was pleased to welcome Mr. Trump back to Indiana and hear firsthand his plans for the country.  The Governor was also grateful for the opportunity to describe Indiana’s economic success and expressed his desire to have a partner in the White House who will help advance pro-growth economic policies, reduce burdensome regulation and curb the size and scope of government. With more than 130,000 new private sector jobs created since he took office, Governor Pence believes addressing these issues is critical in order for Indiana to continue to be a great place to live, work and raise a family.”FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Seasonal seller

first_imgFresh apricots are available now, and as they need a warm climate to thrive, most of the apricots on sale in Britain during the summer come from European countries revelling in hot climates. They are cultivated in many areas worldwide from Asia to Australia, North Africa to the USA. Many of these are sold dried.Apricots are related to peaches, nectarines, plums and cherries and can be substituted for them in many recipes. Their colour ranges from a pale yellow to a deep orange and, when they are ripe, the kernel falls out easily when the fruit is cut in half. The flesh is fragrant and the skin is velvety soft.Dried apricots are used widely in baking, but fresh apricots lend themselves to baking as well. To check if they are ripe, feel the flesh, which should be moderately firm and free of blemishes or wrinkles.Use them in crumbles and tarts; they are very good as a substitute to pears in a Bordaloue tart or used instead of apples in a tarte Normande. Both of these traditonal dishes can be served with vanilla ice cream to bring out the taste of the fruit.Apricots will also work well in pastries and, mixed with cream, as a filling in choux buns. They don’t give off a lot of juice when they are cooked, so small amounts can be added to muffin mixtures, cakes and tray bakes.In Season: June-SeptemberBy Fiona Burrell, co-author of Leith’s Baking Bible, from the world-famous Leiths School of Food and Winelast_img read more

Dawson committed to Tigers

first_img “That has happened too many times this season. “We have had games we should have won and when we’ve been ahead we have drawn.” Dawson’s team-mate James Chester says he will find it had to get over the disappointment of relegation. “This is the worst moment. This is a moment that will haunt us for the rest of our lives. It really hurts,” the Hull defender said. “But as sad as it is you need to get over it as quickly as possible as football doesn’t stand still. I know more than anyone how difficult the Championship is. “We are bitterly disappointed. It is a failure that we will all have on our career for the rest of our days. “It is a difficult one to take, especially when you look round the changing room at the players we have. “I think today we had six or seven in the team that got us promoted but as good as we think we are, we need help.” Shortly after Hull’s 0-0 draw against Manchester United on Sunday, Dawson came to terms with the fact that he will be playing in the second tier of English football next term. Since his last appearance in the division for Nottingham Forest 10 years ago, Dawson has won four England caps, played in a Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid and won the League Cup with Tottenham. Press Association Michael Dawson is ready and willing to lead Hull through what he admits will he a hard “slog” of a season in the Sky Bet Championship. Playing at the likes of Rotherham, Bristol City and MK Dons next season will not be regarded as career highlights, but Dawson made a three-year commitment to Hull when he signed for the club last summer and he seems determined to stay. “It is going to be a slog in the Championship,” the Tigers captain said. “I said when I signed for the club that I would give everything and I will keep doing that.” Hull spurned plenty of chances to beat United, but, even if they had found a way past the impressive Victor Valdes, it would not have mattered as rivals Newcastle beat West Ham 2-0. Dawson thinks the team’s profligacy has cost them their place in the top flight. “It wasn’t Sunday that sent us down,” the defender said. “We huffed and puffed and maybe it has been like that all season. “We created chances and couldn’t get the ball in the net. last_img read more