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Posts Tagged ‘china’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Sony Pulls The Interview | 21st Century Fox Acquires TrueX

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9/11 Threats From Sony Hackers Cause Company to Drop The Interview (FishbowlNY)
In light of the recent threats of violence from those responsible for the ongoing cyber attacks against Sony Pictures (aka the “Guardians of Peace”), the company has decided to pull the plug on Seth Rogen and James Franco‘s latest movie, The Interview. The film was scheduled to premiere nationwide on Christmas day. PRNewser Tuesday, the hackers’ threats turned to violence, invoking 9/11 and implying that someone would attack theaters screening The Interview. The movie’s planned New York premiere was subsequently cancelled. Rogen and Franco also cancelled all further press dates. Time American officials have determined the government of North Korea is connected to the hack, a U.S. official confirmed Wednesday. Much remains unclear about the nature of North Korea’s involvement. The country, while lauding the hack against Sony, has denied being behind it. There were conflicting reports Wednesday evening, and officials are expected to unveil their findings Thursday. THR Sony decided to pull The Interview from all theaters Wednesday in response to the decision by the country’s major chains not to show the film. The country’s top five theater chains — Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, Carmike Cinemas and Cineplex Entertainment — chose to pull The Interview from their theaters Wednesday. Variety Sony is weighing releasing the film on premium video-on-demand, according to an insider. That would allow the studio to recoup some of the film’s $42 million budget and tens of millions in promotion and advertising expenditures. It would also enable the studio to experiment with the potential of VOD, something it has been hesitant to do at the risk of angering major exhibitors. TheWrap Wednesday, New Regency pulled the plug on its Steve Carell movie Pyongyang, which Gore Verbinski had been prepping for a March start date. Based on the graphic novel by Guy Delisle, Pyongyang is a paranoid thriller about a Westerner’s experiences working in North Korea for a year.

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China Jails the Most Journalists

china-flag.jpgMemo to all reporters — might want to bypass that assignment in China. According to a new report from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), China imprisoned 44 journalists this year, giving it the unfortunate honor of being the worst jailer of the press in the entire world.

Overall, there were 220 reporters in jail during 2014, up from 211 last year. China led the way, but Iran wasn’t far behind, with 30 journalists imprisoned.

“China’s use of anti-state charges and Iran’s revolving door policy in imprisoning reporters, bloggers, editors, and photographers earned the two countries the dubious distinction of being the world’s worst and second worst jailers of journalists, respectively,” explained the CPJ report. “Together, China and Iran are holding a third of journalists jailed globally—despite speculation that new leaders who took the reins in each country in 2013 might implement liberal reforms.”

The rest of the top 10 includes Eritrea, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Syria, Egypt, Burma, Azerbaijan, and Turkey.

Other highlights (or really, lowlights) from the CPJ report are below.

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PR Firm Edelman Unsure of China Chief Whereabouts

EdelmanBeijingIt may turn out to be a false alarm. But for now, this dispatch by Beijing Reuters correspondent Megha Rajagopalan is rather alarming:

U.S. public relations firm Edelman said on Friday it did not know the whereabouts of its China chief, who has been helping Chinese authorities with an unspecified investigation.

Two sources with knowledge of the matter said Steven Cao had not been seen this week at either the Edelman office in Beijing or that of its subsidiary, Pegasus Public Relations Consulting. Cao is chief executive of Edelman’s China arm and also runs Pegasus.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Handler to Host Netflix Show | NYT, WaPo, Mozilla Team Up

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Chelsea Handler to Host Talk Show on Netflix (LostRemote)
Late-night comedian Chelsea Handler is moving from TV to Netflix, announcing Thursday she’ll host a talk show on the streaming service in 2016. NYT The idea could appear counterintuitive because Netflix, the subscription streaming video service, has thus far only posted original series in their entirety, not day by day or even week by week. But this apparent incongruity may be what appealed to Handler, a comic who has been public about seeking a new and different landing place after declaring that she was planning to leave E!, where for seven years she has hosted Chelsea Lately, a daily late-night show. WSJ Netflix will likely release the talk show episodes in a different way than it has debuted its other original series, where it is released all the episodes at once to encourage “binge viewing.” THR / The Live Feed “If I was going to continue working in this industry, I knew I had to do something outside the box to keep myself interested. I wanted to sit with the cool kids at lunch so I approached Netflix to make sure they were as cool as I thought they were, and when I confirmed my suspicions, like with any other future lover, I made my move,” said Handler in a statement. The Washington Post / Style Blog Before this, Handler made no secret that she despised the E! network — and her manager told the media she was actively looking for another gig. When E! announced the series finale of her talk show this summer, she offered the most lukewarm departure statement ever: “I will always look back at my time on E! as most people look back at their time in college. I’m glad I went.” HuffPost In addition to the talk show, Handler will also be collaborating with Netflix on five comedy specials into next year, including stand-up and docu-comedy specials.

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China Set to Expel Second NYT Reporter

AustinRamzyTwitterpicIn the weeks since we first reported about the plight of Austin Ramzy, his bosses at the New York Times have been lobbying hard for the renewal of the reporter’s annual Chinese work visa. Today, per an update from colleagues Andrew Jacobs and Edward Wong, it’s looking very grim:

Despite objections raised by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in meetings with its top leaders, China appears set to force a correspondent for The New York Times to leave the country this week…

Ramzy, 39, has been based in China for more than six years. He was granted a month-long visa to remain in China at the end of December, but the government has indicated that he will be required to leave when that visa expires on Thursday.

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Patrick Smith Recalls Bloomberg, Tribune Apologies

The headline for Patrick Smith‘s latest Salon op-ed is a good one: “Get Over Yourself, New York Times. You’re Not Standing Up to Anyone.”

SalonLogoBut the first few sentences of his article might be even better:

They say fiction has had its day, given over to Brooklyn-dwellers with nothing to say. True and not. Our newspapers provide splendid fiction. It is a golden age.

From 1985 to 1992, Smith was the International Herald Tribune bureau chief in Hong Kong and then Tokyo. During that time, he also wrote “Letter from Tokyo” for the New Yorker.

He takes informed, cynical stock of the current struggles of the New York Times and Bloomberg News to get their China-correspondent visas renewed for 2014. Smith also candidly explains how he sometimes failed the related white-knight test:

My own batting average is one for three. I was expelled from Singapore in the early 1980s, and my magazine at the time, the regrettably defunct Far Eastern Economic Review, kept the bureau open and listed it on the masthead with a blank where the bureau chief’s name would have gone. This went on for years.

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Time Beijing Bureau Chief on the Hazards of Her (Hopefully, Continuing) Job

HannahBeachPicBefore heading back to New York City for the holidays, Hannah Beech joked with friends in China that she might not be back. That’s because once again, the renewal of her yearly journalist visa is coming down to the New Year’s Eve wire.

Beech has had a number of rough rides on that front since she began covering the China beat in the early 2000s. Two years ago, her coverage of self-immolating Tibetan monks led to bureaucratic stalling and a stern lecture. Last year, she was reprimanded for using the wrong kind of pen.

But as Beech notes in her highly informative piece about the past and present challenges of being a foreign journalist in China, nothing compares to the visa renewal process of 2003:

The Foreign Ministry called in a Chinese journalism professor to deliver many hours of lectures to me on media ethics. They had reviewed my CV and discovered that I had never attended journalism school.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Champion’s New Channel | China Inspects Bloomberg | Apple Buys Topsy

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Sam Champion Leaving ABC for The Weather Channel (TVNewser)
Sam Champion, weatherman for ABC’s Good Morning America, is leaving ABC and joining the Weather Channel. It’s the first talent departure at the No. 1 morning show in more than two years. Champion, an ABC veteran, has been GMA‘s weather anchor since 2006. He joined ABC 25 years ago as weather anchor for WABC in New York. Champion will be the face of the Weather Channel and also its managing editor. Beginning next year, he’ll anchor a morning show that on many days will be hosted remotely. NYT Both Champion and his boss at ABC News, Ben Sherwood, described the decision to leave GMA as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for a weather aficionado. Champion is not a meteorologist, but has been involved in coverage of numerous weather events at ABC in recent years, including the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy last year. ABC News won a Peabody Award for its coverage of that storm. NY Post ABC News meteorologist Ginger Zee will take over his weather responsibilities at the morning show and network. TheWrap “[Champion] is already one of the top names in morning television, as well as one of the country’s most respected and trusted weather reporters,” said Weather Channel president David Clark. “He will add a great deal to our network and be a great addition to our already proven and stellar team of talented weather professionals.” TVNewser Champion sent a note to his ABC “family” thanking them for the support and giving hints as to why he left the No. 1 morning show.

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Hollywood Reporter Names New Asia Bureau Chief

There has been a changing of the guard with regards to The Hollywood Reporter‘s on-the-ground coverage of China. Replacing the Hong Kong-based Clarence Tsui as Asia Bureau chief is the Beijing-located Clifford Coonan (pictured):

Before moving to China, Coonan was a Reuters correspondent for seven years. He was previously a China correspondent for Variety.

“What I’m trying to do is to share my experiences with those interested in how film and media work in this part of the world,” Coonan said. “I want to clarify this fascinating but often challenging market to overseas audiences. This is a fast growing and wildly vibrant region and helming The Hollywood Reporter‘s Asian coverage is a fantastic opportunity.”

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Hackers in China Have Been Attacking The New York Times Since October

When the editors at The New York Times delivered the well-reported piece exposing the extreme wealth of China’s prime minister, they probably weren’t that surprised when China blocked the online version of the piece. However, since then, hackers in China have been infiltrating the Times’ computers, gathering emails and passwords. This is a high tech spy story for the ages.

During the digital attack, the hackers installed malicious maleware that allowed them to gain entry to any Times computer. The hackers stole every Times employee corporate password and used this inforamtion to gain access to 53 personal computers. The Times says no customer information was accessed. The hackers tried to hide what they were doing, but the Times caught on:

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