The Scourge of Inexorable Corruption 1.2

March 11, 2011

You can read the previous post in this multi-post commentary here.

Complicity

Our world seeks change. And it is ours to drive that change – a change that leaves the world a better place than the world which we received into our servant hands. Change, however, must begin with our refusal to be complicit in wrong-doing.

And that’s no easy thing to do.

In the case of Realitatea-Catavencu v. The Romanian People, the complicity of Romanian journalists and media agencies in downplaying the investigation of fraud and tax evasion is nothing less than a betrayal of the people’s trust in main stream and new media.

The irony is not lost on me when journalists who decry the failure of the Romanian government are complicit in corporate schemes of tax evasion that disable the Romanian economy.

This is not unique to Romania; it happens everywhere for one reason or another.

As Jeff Jarvis, Director of the interactive journalism program at City University of New York, has noted on Twitter and elsewhere, main stream and new media (a la AOL) increasingly conspire with governments, corporations and powerful interest groups. For profit, obviously. Despite the messiness of citizen journalism, Jarvis believes that the truth is out there. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Scourge of Inexorable Corruption 1.1

March 11, 2011

You can read the previous post in this multi-post commentary here.

Case Study in Corruption: Realitatea-Catavencu defrauds the Romanian People

The present anti-corruption investigation of the Romanian Press agency, Realitatea-Catavencu, is an interesting example of how difficult it is to overcome corruption.

Realitatea-Catavencu is a major media group in Romania that includes television, radio, print and new media networks including The Money Channel, Academia Catavencu and Realitatea TV (one of the leading news channels in Romania). This group is currently being investigated for tax-evasion practices on a sophisticated level. In lieu of a complete salary payment that is commensurate with the duties and responsibilities of a position at Realitatea-Catavencu, employees receive part of their salary in the form of compensation for intellectual property contributions.

In other words, Realitatea-Catavencu paid employees the minimum salary as salary and additional amounts of a negotiated salary through compensation for intellectual property. Realitatea-Catavencu used this scheme to evade the higher taxes on officially registered salaries. Salary taxes and various mandatory contributions can reflect up to 100% of a net salary, whereas taxes for compensation for intellectual property is about 16% . Read the rest of this entry »


How to evaluate the value of an online business in Romania

August 10, 2007

Through the Interactive Advertising Bureau Romania (IAB Romania), I have received several queries about how to evaluate the value of an online business in Romania. The answer is an interesting problematic. However, I shall endeavor to provide my honest opinion of the current situation. But I’m not quite sure how my colleagues in Bucharest will feel about my candor.

Below, something relevant from Bob Dylan to set the tone of my honest opinion.

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Copycats want their cake and to eat it too

February 23, 2007

In Bablion, we trust… no one.

Weening Romanian web publishers from the deep muck of intellectual property theft is not likely. Wild aspirations for online advertising revenues and future sell outs drive the need to draw and keep online traffic. Desperate for content, Romanian publishers depend heavily on the editorial content they lift from foreign websites and portals. Is it for lack of writers and thinkers in Bablion? Or, more likely, lack of business sense and too much World of Warcraft?

The future of advertising is here (see below), but it’s not as easy as 1-2-3 as some naive entrepreneurs would like to believe.

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