Slovene media owned by oligarchs, corrupt politicians

first_img Media in Slovenia: among criminals, politicians and “the barbarians” Once praised as a role model country for the Balkans, Slovenia as the most developed part of former Yugoslavia, an EU and Nato member today, is facing many challenges in its media landscape. The transition from a former socialist republic to a parliamentary democracy brought some successes and failures where the media ownership structure seems to remain one of the major blunders, as media owners openly or covertly control editorial policies. During the transition period local oligarchs made a fortune mostly by collaborating with local post-communist politicians in dubious privatisation processes, which was arbitrary and similar to developments in Russia and other transitional countries. An important issue that affects Slovenia’s media landscape nowadays is that almost all mainstream media owners are under criminal investigation for gross crimes by the FBI-like National Bureau of Investigations and Special Prosecutors which deals with corruption, organised crime and terrorism. Some of them were convicted already. Stojan Petrič, owner of the Kolektor industry and construction group, who in 2015 purchased the previously most influential daily Delo and the tabloid with highest circulation Slovenske novice, is under investigation for abusing his position and the trust in his business activity. The police revealed that a group of perpetrators, including Petrič, gained at least 1,8 million euros of illicit money. But his actions as the new owner of Delo are troubling too. Immediately after the takeover he appointed Gregor Knafelc, chief of public relations in Petrič’s main holding company FMR, as acting editor-in-chief of Delo. Knafelc, without a single day of journalistic or editorial experience, consequently fired many of Delo’s media workers, mostly renowned and experienced journalists, and thereby significantly changed the editorial policy of following and covering business related topics. Knafelc was replaced on 1 December 2017 with new acting editor-in-chief, therefore the newspaper will remain without an editor with a full mandate for the next period again. “Loyalty” and “unity” In an unusual interview given in February 2018 to his own newspaper Delo, Petrič said that he expects “loyalty” and “unity” from Delo journalists. He praised the Chinese political system and said that smaller nations should follow the Chinese model. He also announced new media takeovers in Slovenia. Delo today is just a pale shadow of the respected and influential newspaper it once was, comparable to The Times or Le Monde in the UK and France. However, Delo’s credibility crisis did already start in 2005, when Janez Janša’s right-wing government came to power and started meddling intensively with the editorial policy, helped by then owner Boško Šrot, who is serving a sentence of five years and ten months for abuse of office authority in a chain sale trading of a 7.3 per cent stake in the holding Istrabenz in 2007, and who had been given an additional sentence of 5 years in 2014 for abusing his position or trust and for money laundering. Šrot is still in prison. In October 2017 prosecutors filed a request for a court investigation against Stojan Petrič and co-defendants, who denied any wrongdoings. Slovenia’s second largest newspaper Dnevnik is owned by the DZS financial group since 2003. DZS’s main business is the tourism industry. Its owner Bojan Petan is under criminal investigations in Slovenia and other countries for different crimes. He faces up to eight years in prison for the alleged crime of abuse of position or trust in business activity during the privatisation of the Terme Čatež tourist resort which allegedly resulted in dozens of millions of euros of illicit gains and damages to the company. Additionally, he was investigated for organised crime and money laundering by special prosecutors in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He denied any wrongdoing. Business operations in offshore countries Petan was also co-owner of the major advertising, PR and lobbyist agency Pristop, together with his business partner Franci Zavrl, the founder of Pristop and former owner of the left-leaning weekly magazine Mladina, who is the husband of investigative journalist Anuška Delić who worked with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists on the Panama and Paradise Papers. Both Petan and Zavrl have business operations in offshore countries and have been investigated by the police for the alleged misappropriation of dozens of millions of euros. The Slovenian elite criminal police conducted house searches in Petan’s and Zavrl/Delić apartments and many other offices in June 2014. Also this investigation is ongoing, and the accused deny all wrongdoing. Finally, Bojan Petan is well connected, and his business empire serves as a safe haven for many former intelligence and government officials. Sebastjan Selan, former chief director of the main Slovene intelligence agency Sova became one of the most important managers in his business empire. Some other former spies work for DZS, too. Meanwhile former government spokesperson Darijan Košir became the news deputy editor of Dnevnik and simultaneously runs his own PR company. A criminal case against Petan is still pending. He denies any wrongdoing. But prosecutors dropped the charges against Zavrl in this case. However, this was not the only close encounter of Zavrl with police investigators. He was investigated by Finnish and Luxembourg police for alleged money-laundering of millions of euros in the Patria arms deals*, which was one of the major scandals in Slovenia during the past decade. Also these criminal charges have been dropped. Former Prime minister Janez Janša, who was together with Zavrl arrested in 1988 by the Yugoslav People’s Army in a “Roška trial” which triggered the so called “Slovenian spring”, a popular movement which lead to democratic changes and Slovenia’s succession movement in then Yugoslavia, was convicted to two years in prison for bribery in the Patria deal. The conviction of Janša was confirmed by all of Slovenia’s regular courts, including the Supreme Court. However, the Constitutional Court later repealed these judgements and demanded retrial in the Patria bribery, then a statute of limitations had passed. Illicit gains The third mainstream daily Večer was purchased from Delo by Uroš Hakl and Sašo Todorovič. They paid just one million euro for this newspaper in 2014, but the deal was mostly financed by debt and they immediately started to sell some real-estate owned by the newspaper to finance the takeover. Todorovič is the former chief executive officer of T-2 telecommunication provider. Hakl is the former director at the Pristop PR agency and was also investigated for the alleged abuse of office and official duty. Hakl and co-perpetrators allegedly made more than a million euros of illicit gains from state aid, that was given to the most impoverished Slovene region. Hakl is facing up to eight years in prison. The criminal case against the co-owner of Večer is currently under court investigation, and he denies all wrongdoing, too. Another media mogul is Martin Odlazek, who is also a printing and waste management “baron”, and who was sentenced to six months in prison for abuse of position and trust in business activity in 2013. He served his sentence under house arrest. But his criminal past didn’t prevent him from expanding his media empire and starting the new tabloid Svet24 and many other weekly magazines, including the purchase of the right-leaning weekly Reporter. He also owns several Slovene radio stations. In Slovenia’s television landscape the public broadcasting service RTV Slovenija continues to serve as a political playground for major political parties who implement their influence on the editorial policy though the programme council where 21 of 29 members are elected by the parliament. A recent example happened in July 2017 when new CEO Director General of RTV Slovenia Igor Kadunc attempted to replace the director of the tv programmeLjerka Bizilj for violating editorial standards as she supported news-editor Jadranka Rebernik who approved the promotional programme of the neo-Ustasha Croatian singer Marko Perković ‘Thompson’ in prime-time. Kadunc’s proposal was then repealed by the programme council with a majority of votes from right-wing council members. This case confirms that politics are still controlling public broadcaster editorial policy through many proxies. The owner of the majority shares of the smaller private television station Planet TV and 100 per cent shares of the widely read online outlet Siol.net is the state owned major telecommunication company Telekom Slovenije which again offers many channels for political influence behind the scenes. The small party television station Nova24TV, founded by the right-wing SDS that is led by Janez Janša, on the other hand received significant financial investment from Hungary. Some Hungarian media owners who are close friends of Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban invested at least 800.000 euros in this small TV station and in exchange received significant capital shares in a media outlet that is constantly spreading right-wing political propaganda. Also SDS’ weekly magazine Demokracija is owned by friends of Orban today. Janez Janša, whose party is a member of the European People’s Party, is closely affiliated with Orban and his anti-immigration and anti-liberal politics. But the seismic shift in the Slovene media landscape happened in July 2017. Pro Plus company was the owner of the tv channels POP TV and Kanal A who are reaching 70 per cent of the viewers in the Slovene market and who receive an even higher share of advertising revenues in Slovenia. The company was bought by United Group, owned by the New York based private equity firm KKR (Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts) for 230 million euros. Before that, Pro Plus belonged to Central European Media Enterprises (CME) incorporated in the tax haven of Bermuda. “The Barbarians at the Gate” Two founders of KKR, Henry Kravis and George Roberts are known as inventors of leveraged buy-outs and their take-over of the RJR Nabisco company in the US was made into a Hollywood movie in 1993: The Barbarians at the Gate. However, these “barbarians” find strong support for lobbying in the Balkans in KKR Global Institute chairman David Petraeus, former director of the CIA and commander of US military forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. He served also in the Nato peace operation in the Balkans. Petraeus visited Slovene Prime Minister Miro Cerar on 18 May 2017 and lobbied for the purchase of Slovenia’s major television company which also owns the most visited online outlet: 24ur.com. Additionally, KKR bought Croatia’s most watched tv channel Nova TV simultaneously, but Croatian regulators did not approve this part of the deal. Minority shareholder and chairman of United Group, Dragan Šolak met premier Cerar on 19 April 2017, too. Without a doubt, after Petraeus’ lobby work the Slovene Agency for Protection of Competition Protection Agency (CPA) did probably greenlight the 230 million euros KKR deal despite the fact that such an investment is creating a vertical integration in the media and telecommunication markets as it bears the danger of a monopoly in many other local markets. Moreover, the appointment of CPA’s new director Andrej Matvoz raises many questions about his independence. Despite him lacking any experience in this demanding field of law, he was appointed by the Minister of Economic Development and Technology as acting director. But the Slovene court later declared the decision as illegal. Additionally, the Slovene Commission for the Prevention of Corruption filed charges against Matvoz for cheating in an expert exam to the Slovene police. Nevertheless, all these serious questions didn’t keep the ruling political coalition from confirming Matvoz in the parliament. Intensive lobbying is also confirmed by a decision of Slovenia’s Ministry of Culture which formally determined that Pro Plus is not a related party of POP TV and Kanal A programmes which are owned by Pro Plus with 100 per cent of the shares. Thus, the Ministry of Culture excluded itself from making any decision about the United Group (KKR) takeover in its role as a regulator of the media industry. United Group, registered in the Netherlands, also owns the SBB and Telemach telecommunications company, Sportklub, Total TV, Net TV and many other media companies in the region of former Yugoslavia. It reaches 1.74 million households and made 488 million euros of revenues in the last year. It is one of the most important telecommunication and media providers in the Balkans, offering also mobile phone services, and it airs the N1 TV channel, the local partner of CNN in Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia. The Serbian-Slovenian minority owner of United Group, Dragan Šolak – one of the richest man in the Balkans – regularly operates in offshore countries. According to the Croatian weekly magazine Nacional*, its subsidiary United Media with headquarters in Zürich, Switzerland, managed to funnel 6.7 million euros out of Croatia to secret bank accounts in Liechtenstein and Cyprus for broadcasting licenses without paying any significant tax. Additionally, KKR and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are hiding their ownership of United Group behind a complex corporate structure with more than a dozen offshore companies in tax havens of Delaware, the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg. Among such a concentration of media owners with a criminal past and present, with corrupted politicians as well as aggressive Wall Street barons it’s almost impossible to work as a professional independent journalist in Slovenia. Many experienced journalists already left their profession or were forced to leave. On the other hand, a new generation of young journalists seems to be fully adapted to business interests and the goals of new media owners. Professional solidarity among Slovenian journalists lies in the long forgotten past. The professional and personal ethics of journalists who are serving these criminals, politicians and “barbarians” tend to reach new lows again and again.By Blaž Zgaga for European Centre for Press & Media Freedom * The Patria scandal was unearthed in 2008 in collaboration between Finnish journalist Magnus Berglund (YLE) and author of this article. ** The investigative story in Nacional was written by the author of this article. The author of this article started his journalistic career at the national desk of the newspaper Delo in 1993. In 1998 he joined Večer where he spent the next ten years. In 2007 he initiated the petition against censorship and political pressure on journalists which was signed by 571 Slovene journalists, one quarter of all professional journalists in the country. Because of mobbing and censorship he quit Večer and works as a freelance journalist since 2008. He is a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and one of the Information Heroes of Reporters Without Borders. His articles are regularly published in the Croatian weekly magazine Nacional. Receive email alerts SloveniaEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalistsMedia independence Conflicts of interestJudicial harassmentEconomic pressure May 21, 2021 Find out more Slovenian Prime minister Miro Cerar meets Dragan Šolak, chairman of the United Group (copyright: Tamino Petelinsek, STA) RSF_en June 2, 2021 Find out more News Follow the news on Slovenia Help by sharing this information March 16, 2021 Find out more Six press freedom NGOs ask the European Commission to respond publicly to Slovenian Prime Minister’s attacks on the mediacenter_img News A European Union member since 2004, Slovenia successfully transitioned to democracy but has not been as successful in defending press freedom. Media ownership is nowadaysoverly concentrated in the hands of oligarchs and corrupt politicians, endangering editorial independence.Reporters Without Borders (RSF) publishes a report by Blaz Zgaga. SloveniaEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalistsMedia independence Conflicts of interestJudicial harassmentEconomic pressure Organisation Use the Digital Services Act to make democracy prevail over platform interests, RSF tells EU February 13, 2018 – Updated on February 14, 2018 Slovene media owned by oligarchs, corrupt politicians to go further News News Public media independence under threat in the Czech Republic and Slovenialast_img read more

Increased Garda presence called for UL charity week

first_img Previous articleCostigan victorious at Cage Warriors 65Next articleMid West can become sports tourism centre of Europe Alan Jacqueshttp://www.limerickpost.ie NewsLocal NewsIncreased Garda presence called for UL charity weekBy Alan Jacques – March 6, 2014 1128 University of Limerick research identifies secrets of Fantasy Premier League success TAGSGardaíMusic LimerickSéighin Ó CeallaighSinn FeinUniversity of Limerick Limerick nurse helping the fight against COVID-19, calls for round the clock garda patrols near University of Limerick following “out of control” student parties Linkedin University of Limerick ceases funding for off-campus Garda COVID-patrols after sanctioning students following massive street party LOCAL election candidate and UL student Séighin Ó Ceallaigh (Sinn Féin) has called for an increased Garda presence around the University and city centre for the University’s Charity Week, taking place this week.A final year student at UL where he is studying Irish and history, he has worked as a security guard for the Charity Week event and has described it as a “free for all”.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “Gardaí need to be present to stop the mayhem during Charity Week, which leads to the damage of cars, property and the community,” claimed the 21-year-old East Limerick candidate.Ó Ceallaigh, who is involved in UL’s Irish Language Society, encouraged students to participate in fundraising events and to “drink responsibly”.Meanwhile, UL Student Union president Emma Porter told the Limerick Post that a lot of pre-emptive measures were taken ahead of Charity Week which concludes this Friday, March 7.“We’ve been liaising with the Gardai, the County Council and the local residents. We’ve organised our student patrols for the surrounding estates, leaflet drops to remind students they live in residential areas and that a Garda presence will be obvious throughout the week. We’ve also organised for a higher number of our evening events to be held in town away from campus. A lot of these were measures we undertook during this year’s Fresher’s Week, which we’re proud to say went very well and was received very positively,” the ULSU president said.This year’s nominated charities include St Gabriel’s School, Heart Children Ireland, the Order of Malta and Acquired Brain Injury Ireland. The students union also revealed that they’ve noted a higher uptake in terms of volunteering this year. Print Twittercenter_img RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Email Facebook WhatsApp Sinn Fein plans for ‘all female’ election candidates are sexist and discriminatory, says male party member snubbed for election run Advertisement Decision on FIBA European Championships in Limerick to be made in May Gardai make arrests following chaotic student party near University of Limericklast_img read more

Experts to discuss swine flu vaccine decision May 14

first_img See also: “We are well aware and are not hiding the fact that manufacturers have agreements with a number of governments to provide access to a vaccine,” she said. “We are discussing with the manufacturers where they are in terms of filling up their books . . . and what may still be available. Some vaccine may still be available in the early weeks or months of production.” The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other WHO collaborating centers are developing seed strains of virus for use in H1N1 vaccines. “We expect these will be available to manufacturers most likely in the second half of May,” Kieny said. The decision whether to recommend production will depend on the accumulating epidemiologic evidence about the virus, including how much of the population is likely to get sick and how severe the illness is, she said. And if the recommendation is made, it will be up to the manufacturers to decide whether to go ahead. WHO press briefings on swine fluhttp://www.who.int/mediacentre/multimedia/swineflupressbriefings/en/index.html The officials will discuss the potential procurement by agencies such as the United Nations Children’s Fund and the Pan American Health Organization of vaccine for developing countries, she said. “The decision is not that of WHO; the decision will be the manufacturers’ to take,” she said. In other comments, Kieny reported that the WHO director-general and the secretary-general of the United Nations will meet with vaccine company executives on May 19 to discuss how to ensure “equitable access for all countries” to any H1N1 vaccine. Last week Kieny said some of the vaccine manufacturers had completed about 60% of their production of the seasonal flu vaccine and that WHO officials were talking with them about the best time to switch from making seasonal vaccine to a swine flu vaccine. Kieny was asked if any vaccine would be available for poor countries, given that a number of governments have contracts with manufacturers for large amounts of any pandemic vaccine produced. In addition, no one yet knows what size dose will be necessary, whether an adjuvant will be needed, and whether each person will need one dose or two, Kieny reported. “Being conservative, we think there’ll be at least between 1 and 2 billion doses,” she said. May 6, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) will convene a group of experts May 14 to advise the agency on whether to pull the trigger on production of a vaccine for the novel H1N1 swine influenza virus, a WHO official announced today. Kieny also acknowledged that multiple unknowns will govern how many doses can be produced and how many will be needed. For one thing, most of the vaccine will have to be grown in eggs—cell-based flu vaccine production is not mature enough to make much of a contribution—and no one knows how well the vaccine virus will grow in eggs, she said.center_img May 1 CIDRAP News story “Path to swine flu vaccine has major hurdles” Kieny offered an estimate today of global capacity to make a vaccine for the novel virus: somewhere between 1 billion and 2 billion doses in a year, based on an estimated seasonal vaccine capacity of about 900 million doses. Current world population is more than 6 billion. “It’s not at all that we’re hiding anything,” she said. “The reason nobody is answering this is that we don’t know.” For some vaccine makers, that would mean curtailing production of the seasonal flu vaccine for the northern hemisphere, since not all manufacturers have finished production. A WHO recommendation to do that could come in a few weeks, Kieny said. Kieny said “the vast majority” of manufacturers would need 5 to 6 months (from the identification of the virus) to begin producing a vaccine in quantity, but a few manufacturers might be able to start providing vaccine in as little as 4 months. “It will be a high-level meeting appealing for corporate responsibility and equitable access,” she said. In response to further questions, Kieny said she didn’t know “with any kind of precision” what fraction of potential pandemic vaccine production is already reserved. The experts will be asked if there’s enough evidence to warrant a WHO recommendation for manufacturers to start large-scale manufacturing of a vaccine for the new virus, said Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, director of the WHO’s Initiative for Vaccine Research, in a news teleconference in Geneva. She acknowledged that she previously mentioned an estimate of 700 million doses for seasonal vaccine production. She explained that the 900 million estimate is based on manufacturers’ figures and added that vaccine plants are under construction in several countries, increasing capacity month by month. It’s generally understood that with novel flu viruses, to which people have little or no immunity, two doses of vaccine may well be necessary. That’s true of H5N1 avian influenza vaccines, Kieny noted, but she said, “We hope that one dose will be sufficient [for the swine flu virus]. Before we know that, it’s very difficult to say how many doses will be available.” She added that most vaccine makers “still have some window of opportunity in their orders, and we want to make sure we don’t wait until that window is completely closed.” “What we’ve recommended for the timing at present was for all manufacturers to put everything in place to be able to start manufacturing vaccine,” she said. In response to questions today, she said some manufacturers might be able to make seasonal and swine flu vaccines at the same time, using different production facilities. “You can’t make two vaccines in the same plant at the same time,” but some companies have more than one facility, she commented.last_img read more

Thunderstorms, Gusty Winds and Hail Possible in South Florida Sunday

first_imgThey should begin to dissipate at around sunset.On Monday, the area will have sunny skies with no rain chances. Temperatures will be in in the upper 70s to around 80 degrees as the week begins. Thunderstorms are likely to once again develop across South Florida on Sunday afternoon, with a higher hail threat than normal, forecasters say.Showers and a few thunderstorms with gusty winds will become widespread as the day progresses. As the storms move into an area of moisture and storm fuel, the threat of hail may increase.The storms are likely to appear and become strong to severe between the around noon and 4 p.m.last_img read more

World’s dairy producers gather in South Africa

first_imgDairy producers and policy makers from around the world are gathered in Cape Town to discuss innovation, development and best practice in dairy. South Africa’s dairy industry is world class and has notched up several firsts in recent months.(Images: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free images, visit the image library)MEDIA CONTACTS • Palesa MokomeleSpokesperson for the minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries+27 12 319 7876 or +27 82 904 1908RELATED ARTICLES• SA dairy body takes top accolade• Milk brand cares for cows• SA’s greenest dairy• Cadbury Fairtrade choc now in SA• SA quartet plays for peace MediaClubSouthAfrica.com reporterSouth Africa is hosting the annual World Dairy Summit for the first time. This year’s event takes place during the first week of November under the theme A World in One Country, an indication of South Africa’s diversity.The summit is held under the auspices of the non-profit International Dairy Federation (IDF), a 109-year-old Brussels-based organisation whose membership accounts for about 86% of all milk produced worldwide.More than 1 000 delegates from 56 IDF member countries are expected to pass through the doors of the Cape Town International Convention Centre between 4 and 8 November.The IDF’s mission, according to the organisation, is to assist the dairy sector worldwide by providing scientific knowledge and expertise to support ever-better milk and dairy products.The annual summit is one of its tools, affording delegates an opportunity to network and learn about the latest technological and scientific developments in the industry. It also contributes to the benchmarking of countries in terms of their dairy policies and international trade issues.The South African dairy industry is a full member through the local national IDF committee.Talking all things dairyWith 11 discussions held over the four days, topics on the agenda include animal health and welfare; the socio-economic benefits of a strong dairy sector for emerging economies; sustainability; marketing; and issues around food safety and security.Delegates will be able to share the views of top executives from major dairy companies around the world at the World Dairy Leaders Forum.“This 2012 World Dairy Summit brings together producers, processors, technical experts and various other stakeholders to deliberate the challenges of the sector, and also to share experiences and best practices,” said agriculture minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, opening the proceedings.She added that the event’s theme was even more relevant for South Africa because the country supports various types of milk farming systems, from intensive total mixed ration to grass-fed and dairy ranching.Joemat-Pettersson said that her department helps emerging farmers – including women – to gain access to finance and markets, and encourages them through initiatives such as the annual Female Entrepreneur Award, which rewards women farmers for their progress in the sector.“The issue of emerging famers is a topic close to my heart, as we continue with our efforts to reverse our country’s unpleasant history of discrimination and disempowerment,” she said. “Furthermore, the gender question will continue to assume greater prominence during this century, also in the sphere of agriculture.”Delegates won’t spend all their time in the conference hall – a number of technical tours are arranged, where visitors can see the dairy industry in motion, from production to retail. On offer are trips to the Fair Cape farm and factory; the distribution centre of retailer Woolworths; spaza shops in the area; the Mooivallei grazing farm and cheese factory, Parmalat’s factory in Parow, the fourth-generation Klipheuwel farm; Stellenbosch University’s Welgevallen Experimental Farm; and cheese farms in the Bonnievale valley.Partners in the local summit include the South African-based Dairy Mail Africa, Landbou magazine, the South African Food Review, the Dairy Industry Association of Australia, and Dairy News Russia. Milk South Africa has also played a role in organising the event.Contributing to national growthAccording to Melt Loubser, chairman of the organising committee and president of the local chapter of the IDF, South Africa’s dairy industry is well developed and world class, and as well as meeting local demand, it exports dairy products to a number of African countries.The South African dairy industry is the third largest livestock sector in the country and has an estimated annual turnover of R10-billion (US$1.1-million). With a total of 2 347 milk producers in the country supplying more than 2.6-billion litres of milk to the nation, over 30 000 people have found employment in the industry.The dairy industry is not afraid to use technology to improve its products and also the way in which it operates. At the IDF’s 2011 Innovation Awards held in Parma, Italy, South African dairy companies were finalists as well as winners.Milk South Africa’s Consumer Education Project walked off with two first prizes for its innovative advertising and marketing campaign, while Fair Cape was named a finalist in the Best New Dairy Drink and Best New Functional Dairy Product categories, both for its innovative rooibos-dairy combinations.Also in 2011 the Eastern Cape’s Coega Dairy announced that it had the smallest carbon footprint of any southern hemisphere dairy, thanks to a R50-million (US$5.7-million) investment in technology that allows it to produce long life milk more efficiently.In 2012 Fair Cape again took the lead by publishing its carbon footprint on its Eco-Fresh milk bottles, thereby assuring consumers that it cares not only for them, but also for its cows and the environment.last_img read more

Gold Mount vs. V-Mount: Which Is Your Best Choice?

first_imgWhat if You Can’t Decide?Now, what if you’re in a situation where you have V-Mount batteries for your LED lights and Gold Mount batteries for your cameras?For situations where you’re invested in both platforms, fortunately, there are battery adapter plates. With these adapter plates, you can easily attach your Gold Mount batteries to a Gold Mount-to-V-Mount adapter plate (or vice versa) and solve most battery mount issues. However, this method is less preferred, as it provides an additional fail point.How to ChooseUltimately, it comes down to your personal preference and which system works best for you and your workflow. Some filmmakers may like the security and availability of Gold Mounts in U.S. rental houses, while others may prefer the international versatility that comes with V-Mounts.In the end, either battery system is a great choice and will fill the needs of your job. Most importantly, they’ll help you tell and create your projects and stories.Cover image by Kryuchka Yaroslav.Looking more video gear reviews? Check these out.Lumix S1H: Panasonic’s First 6K Mirrorless Camera Is HerePocket 4K and Pocket 6K Owners — BRAW Comes to Premiere ProIntroducing The Light That Can Do Everything: The ARRI OrbiterThe Video Camera Trends Currently Re-Shaping the IndustryAputure Releases a New Spotlight Mount Attachment We’ll look at the similarities and differences between the two battery mount options to help you decide which is best for you.When it comes to high-capacity batteries for cinema applications, there are two primary battery mount choices you’ll find on the market: Gold Mount and V-Mount. Most batteries with enough capacity to power larger cinema cameras offer these two battery mounting choices.However, when you’re looking to purchase your own batteries and, essentially, invest in one of these mounting platforms, it becomes confusing which mount option you should purchase. For the sake of simplicity, it’s typically best to invest all your battery purchases into just one of these formats.Gold MountGold Mount, also known as AB (Anton Bauer) Mount, was created by Anton Bauer fifty years ago. This mount seems to be the battery mount of choice for cinema applications in the U.S. With a secure three gold-stud mounting solution, many regard the Gold Mount as the most secure way to keep your batteries in place while mounted to the camera. This is due, in part, by the fact that to dismount the battery, you have to slide it out from the battery plate sideways. In return, this makes an accidental dismount less likely to occur.Gold Mount batteries also seem to be the most popular option at rental houses in the U.S.V-MountOriginally developed by Sony, the V-Mount battery option is also wildly popular, proven to be a successful battery mounting solution. Just as it sounds, the battery mounts to the battery plate via a v-shaped locking mechanism.According to multiple online forums, many filmmakers express concerns on how secure these batteries are when mounting onto a camera system. This concern is due in part to the fact that these batteries dismount by sliding up. If you’re operating on your shoulder, it is fairly easy to bump the battery up while taking the camera off your shoulder.Personally, I’ve had one instance of a V-Mount battery popping off a battery plate during the middle of a shot. As a result, I lost the shot when the camera immediately powered down. However, many other filmmakers have used V-Mount batteries for years and reported no issues.last_img read more