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Hanfeld, Michael

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4 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | 07/08/2013

Journalism demoted to junk status

The sale of the Washington Post to Amazon boss Bezos brings just as radical a shift to the media landscape as the Springer deal in Germany did, the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung comments: "The Springer group sold newspapers and magazines to the Funke group for 920 million euros. And it wasn't that the publications had dwindled into insignificance. They just didn't make enough of a profit any more. So journalism becomes a junk product and a publisher turns into a digital casino. The Springer sale was a turning point for the German newspaper landscape, just as the sale of the 'Post' to Bezos is for the US. But in view of the global moves towards concentration which online companies are now making with newspapers, we must ask whether Lenin wasn't perhaps right with his theory of state monopoly capitalism: the world is ruled by a financial data online oligarchy with top connections to the secret services. We'll soon see how Jeff Bezos treats the Washington Post's 'values' when his newspaper covers Amazon."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | 26/07/2013

Springer media group in online megalomania

Springer Verlag announced on Thursday that it is selling several of its traditional papers because it plans to concentrate more on the online business. This megalomaniacal move has nothing to do with the crisis, argues the conservative daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: "The group sees how easily gigantic companies like Google make money online and how hard it is to turn a profit from journalistic quality. So Springer has decided to jump on the bandwagon of the online oligopolists. ... Now company boss Döpfner is even getting rid of [the TV programme guide] Hörzu, the cornerstone of the company; with a circulation of 1.2 million it is as profitable as ever. The Funke Gruppe is actually being given a loan so that it can afford the takeover. ... This is the birth of a supraregional newspaper group and there's a wannabe super digital journalism group."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | 10/09/2008

Google's raid

The Internet company Google has begun work on creating a huge virtual newspaper archive. The company is scanning all the pages of all the newspapers published worldwide for its Google News Archive and providing access to them through online search engines. The daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung harshly criticises the project. "It was just a matter of time and it is just the next step - the next step with which search engine company Google establishes its monopoly over the world's knowledge and the consciousness industry. Google is making history – and availing itself once more of the knowledge of others and capitalising on that knowledge. ... Anyone who wants to read what a given newspaper has written will be able to find out whenever he wants to with Google. ... For all those who want to preserve or pass on their own accumulated knowledge – be it in their heads, in an archive, on paper or online – and establish their livelihood on the basis of that knowledge this is the next raid by the copyright pirates who thanks to the digitalisation of all the libraries of this world are making rapid progress."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | 15/12/2006

The broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 has been sold

Michael Hanfeld comments on the Bavarians' delight that the international investment companies Permira and KKR (Kohlberg, Kravis und Roberts) have taken over the majority holding in the Munich-based TV broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1. "A pan-European media empire is emerging and everyone is clapping their hands. The relief on all sides is understandable to a certain point. If Springer Verlag had taken over the broadcaster a year ago, it would have become an overwhelming presence in the media sector, while other investors may have broken the company up... The fear of monopolies or large media groups exercising too much foreign influence is not unfounded. Media ownership means power, and the experiences with Silvio Berlusconi and Richard Murdoch have shown us what this can lead to in a democracy. So in this respect investors who are only interested in making a profit are the lesser of two evils, even if they build up corporations whose scope transcends national borders."

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