“Don’t relegate journalism to Facebook’s cellars,” RSF tells Zuckerberg

Posted On Jun 12 2021 by

first_img “Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on 1 November but increasing earnings seems to be the rationale behind the disturbing change that Facebook has been testing in six countries (Slovakia, Serbia, Bolivia, Guatemala, Sri Lanka and Cambodia) since mid-October.Under this change, news media stories no longer appear in the main “News Feed” unless they pay to appear there. The “News Feed” now only shows content from the user’s “friends” and paid content including advertisements. News media content is relegated to a less prominent “Explore” feed.“In our view, this arrangement reinforces a discriminatory, pay-based distribution of media content that threatens journalism’s ability to survive,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “Given social media’s role in providing access to the news media, it would be dangerous for journalism to be relegated to Facebook’s cellars.”In response to the outcry about the experiment, Facebook has said it is just a test and that, for the time being, there is no question of extending it to other countries. If extended, it would further undermine the news media, whose content it already rendered less visible by ads and other forms of non-journalistic content, including PR content and rumors, which Facebook displays prominently.“We call on Facebook to behave more responsibly,” said Elodie Vialle, the head of RSF’s Journalism and Technology Desk. “We are extremely worried about the way this test is being conducted, the lack of transparency and the potential consequences for the media. Facebook’s goal is clear. It wants to keep its users on its site for as long as possible. But this must not threaten journalistic freedom and independence by undermining their practitioners.”Preserving the media’s watchdog roleFacebook has given no explanation for the six countries chosen for the trial and, although it has established many partnerships with news media, especially via its Facebook Journalism Project, it gave the media in these six countries no warning.The California-based giant’s actions have an impact on democracy and media freedom. Some news websites, whose readership has plummeted since the start of the test, play an essential watchdog role in countries with authoritarian regimes, where journalists not working for media oligarchs often migrate to Facebook. In Serbia, for example, independent media have been gagged by President Aleksandar Vučić and the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) since last May’s presidential election. In Slovakia, the media have had four times fewer interactions (likes, comments, shares) since Facebook launched the Explore Feed, according to Filip Struhárik of the Dennik N news website. “A company that big also has an enormous responsibility and cannot just do as it pleases,” he wrote on Medium. “What managers [at Facebook] consider a small test can cause serious problems in some countries.”With much less access to their readers, some media outlets will be condemned to die. Dina Fernández of the Guatemalan news site Soy502 told the Guardian newspaper: “The Facebook explore tab killed 66% of our traffic. Just destroyed it … years of really hard work were just swept away.” Guillaume Ledit of the French magazine Usbek & Rica points out that Facebook replaced Google several years ago as the main channel by which Internet users get access to the news. This is also the case in Cambodia, one of the six countries, where Facebook has overtaken television as one of the main sources of news, according to Jenni Reid, the Phnom Penh Post website editor.Forced into digital servitude, under growing pressure to swear loyalty to Facebook in order to survive, the media are finding it increasingly impossible to turn back. Online freedomsMedia independence Economic pressureFreedom of expressionInternet Online freedomsMedia independence Economic pressureFreedom of expressionInternet Organisation News RSF_en center_img Help by sharing this information RSF dislikes Facebook new functionality, “Explore” Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Facebook to act responsibly by abandoning the change to its news feed that it is currently testing in six countries. It would be disastrous for the survival of many media outlets if Facebook adopted the change worldwide. November 6, 2017 “Don’t relegate journalism to Facebook’s cellars,” RSF tells Zuckerberglast_img read more

Woman blogger abducted in continuing crackdown on coverage of protests

Posted On Jun 12 2021 by

first_img The photo that originally accompanied this press release was replaced after doubts about its authenticity were raised in the media and online.Reporters Without Borders condemns yesterday’s abduction of the well-known blogger Amina Arraf, who blogs under the name of Amina Abdullah and who holds dual US and Syrian citizenship. She was kidnapped by three gunmen as she was going to a meeting last night in Damascus. The press freedom organization has no information about the location to which she was taken by her abductors, who were probably government thugs.“There are absolutely no grounds for Amina Arraf’s abduction or for the abduction of dozens of other bloggers and journalists in Syria,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Like many other netizens, Arraf blogged about her everyday life and, of late, about the events shaking her country. This should not have led to her disappearance. We call for the immediate and unconditional release of the dozens of bloggers and journalists currently detained in Syria and we call on the Syrian authorities to end the abuses against them.”In her blog, A Gay Girl in Damascus, Arraf had been describing the current turmoil in Syria. Her posts had been getting more critical of the government and she had even called for its departure. In a blog entry about the disconnection of the Internet on 3 June, she wrote: “They must go, they must go soon. That is all there is to say.”She narrowly escaped arrest on 25 April when two men came to her home to take her away. Her father managed to convince them to leave. A page calling for her release has been created on Facebook: Free Amina Abdalla. Reporters Without Borders also condemns the suspension of Internet service that began on 3 June and lasted 24 hours. It was clearly ordered by the government. Most Internet connections use the service provided by Syriatel, which is owned by President Bashar Al-Assad’s cousin, Rami Makhlouf.The press freedom organization is also worried about the blogger Kamal Sheikhou. Freed on bail on 13 March, he was due to appear in court on 30 May on a charge of “publishing information liable to defame the nation.” It is not known what happened to him.Jehad Jamal, a journalist and blogger known by the pseudonym of Milan, meanwhile continues to be detained. He was arrested in the Milano Café in Aleppo on 5 May after the authorities managed to get into his Facebook account and take it over. The owner of the computer he was using at time of his arrest, Jilal Siris, is also detained.The government had nonetheless tried repair its image by making a few concessions, including a presidential amnesty on 31 May. Ali Al-Abdallah, a journalist and writer who was serving a three-year jail sentence on a charge of “trying to harm Syria’s relations with another state,” was freed under this amnesty on 4 June. Syria is on the list of “Enemies of the Internet” that Reporters Without Borders released on 12 March. March 12, 2021 Find out more News Help by sharing this information RSF_en June 7, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Woman blogger abducted in continuing crackdown on coverage of protests to go further Organisation Follow the news on Syria News Toll of ten years of civil war on journalists in Syriacenter_img Receive email alerts Damascus TV presenter arrested under cyber-crime law March 8, 2021 Find out more SyriaMiddle East – North Africa News SyriaMiddle East – North Africa News Wave of Kurdish arrests of Syrian journalists February 3, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Gorta Raffle

Posted On Jun 4 2021 by

first_img TAGS000 summer raffleGorta €5Music Limerick Watch the streamed gig for Fergal Nash album launch NewsCommunityGorta RaffleBy Guest Writer – July 30, 2013 911 #HearThis: New music and video from Limerick rapper Strange Boy Email Twitter WhatsApp Celebrating a ground breaking year in music from Limerick New Music: 40Hurtz Printcenter_img TICKETS for the first Gorta €5,000 summer raffle are now available at the Gorta shop in High Street.The overall winner of the raffle will receive a total prize of €5,000 with second and third prizes set at €2,000 and €1,000 respectively. As well as this, there is a cash prize of €1,000 for the person who sells the most tickets. The raffle closing date is Monday 14 October with the winner being announced on Friday, 18 October. Tickets cost €5 per ticket or a book of 6 for €25. For more information call 061 310833 or visit www.gorta.org for full terms and conditions.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Advertisement #SaucySoul: Room 58 – ‘Hate To See You Leave’ Emma Langford shortlisted for RTE Folk Award and playing a LIVE SHOW!!! this Saturday Linkedin Previous articleLimerick GAA Club Notes 30/7/13Next article€1.5m living space for artists Guest Writerhttp://www.limerickpost.ie Facebooklast_img read more

New Ryanair routes for Shannon

Posted On Jun 4 2021 by

first_imgRyanair adds new routes BUDGET carrier Ryanair has announced new routes to Kaunas in Lithuania and Manchester as part of its Summer 2015 schedule.And airline bosses are promising to deliver 125,000 new passengers, bringing the total to more than 825,000, brining 18% growth to the airport and delivering 825 jobs.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The schedule will deliver 65 weekly return flights.In Limerick, Ryanair’s Chief Marketing Officer, Kenny Jacobs said: “Ryanair is pleased to launch its Shannon 2015 summer schedule, a month earlier than last year, with 2 new routes to and from Kaunas and Manchester, which will deliver 125,000 new customers and 825,000 customers in total, as we grow by 18% at Shannon Airport.. TAGSairportfeaturedlimerickroutesRyanairShannon Advertisement Previous articleJobs announced for NewcastlewestNext articleHuge jump in numbers on trolleys in Limerick Bernie Englishhttp://www.limerickpost.ieBernie English has been working as a journalist in national and local media for more than thirty years. She worked as a staff journalist with the Irish Press and Evening Press before moving to Clare. She has worked as a freelance for all of the national newspaper titles and a staff journalist in Limerick, helping to launch the Limerick edition of The Evening Echo. Bernie was involved in the launch of The Clare People where she was responsible for business and industry news. Facebook Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival Email WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads NewsBreaking newsNew Ryanair routes for ShannonBy Bernie English – October 7, 2014 601 center_img Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live WhatsApp Vanishing Ireland podcast documenting interviews with people over 70’s, looking for volunteers to share their stories Linkedin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Print Twitter Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live last_img read more

Consolidation and the Value of Bank Debt

Posted On May 31 2021 by

first_img Consolidation and the Value of Bank Debt The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Cheryl is a Senior Portfolio Analyst at Angel Oak Capital. Pate has more than 15 years’ experience in financial services and primarily focuses on investment research, particularly in the non-bank financials and community banking sectors. Pate joined Angel Oak in 2017 from Morgan Stanley, where she was an Executive Director and Head of Consumer & Specialty Finance Equity Research. Her research coverage included the consumer finance, specialty finance, mortgage servicing/originations, mortgage REIT, payments, fintech, and banking industries. Pate holds an M.B.A. from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a B.S. in Commerce (Finance) from the University of British Columbia. She also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. About Author: Cheryl Pate May 9, 2019 7,427 Views Home / Commentary / Consolidation and the Value of Bank Debt Banks Community Banks Consolidation debt M&A 2019-05-09 Radhika Ojha Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Great Recession, although now fading into history, was certainly devastating to financial markets in general and banking institutions specifically. However, the strategic response to the crisis by financial institutions, coupled with legislative initiatives that drastically altered the regulatory landscape, has resulted in a fundamental reboot of the banking industry. Balance sheets have largely been scrubbed of troubled assets, capital and loan loss reserves are at all-time highs, and earnings are approaching pre-crisis levels. There are many environmental factors at work that point to continued strong performance from banking institutions across the board.While regulatory changes enacted in the Dodd-Frank Act have improved the overall health of the banking sector, the Dodd-Frank Act also forced banks to change their capital structure, bringing an abrupt halt to the $60 billion Trust Preferred Securities (“TruPS”) market. Post-financial crisis, large banks have had easier access to the capital markets, yet it has been more challenging for smaller banks to raise or replace capital, whether in the public or private markets, as potential investors are more scarce. Thus, community bank sub-debt issuance is on the rise due to renewed interest from investors after a long drought. The current market inefficiency leads to a unique opportunity for sophisticated investors who can identify relative value in the space.At the same time, larger banks continue to acquire smaller banks in order to achieve the much-needed scale required to survive in the new utility model of banking that regulators are encouraging – and mandating. As the Federal Reserve moves to a neutral stance and with earnings growth likely at cyclical highs, M&A will continue to accelerate. We are seeing evidence of this as M&A activity has continued despite recent stock market volatility.Additionally, industry consolidation generally has had a very favorable impact on the value of bank debt, especially those securities issued by smaller institutions, which tend to be acquired by larger and stronger banks. In most merger/acquisition scenarios, the acquirer assumes the liabilities and continues to service any outstanding debt of the acquired institution. The outcome is often an upgrade in the overall perceived credit quality of the acquired debt, leading to substantial price appreciation.Community bank sub-debt should provide stable performance with low volatility considering the banking sector’s strong capital bases and credit quality underpinned by solid economic fundamentals. In addition, the rising issuance of bank sub-debt, particularly by smaller banks, presents a compelling opportunity to find relative value. Tagged with: Banks Community Banks Consolidation debt M&A in Commentary, Daily Dose, Featured, Investment, News Previous: New Division President Announced for Title Company Next: Freddie Mac Announces $2B+ Securitization of Reperforming Loans Related Articles  Print This Postcenter_img Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Share Save The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Subscribelast_img read more

Mail bombing suspect Cesar Sayoc indicted on 30 counts, faces life in prison

Posted On May 18 2021 by

first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A federal grand jury in Manhattan on Friday returned a 30-count indictment against Cesar Sayoc, who allegedly mailed 16 improvised explosive devices to prominent Democrats, critics of President Trump and CNN.The charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.The charges include the use of a weapon of mass destruction, interstate transportation of explosives, illegal mailing of explosives and threatening interstate communications.The charges focus only on the IEDs sent to George Soros, Robert De Niro, Hillary Clinton, James Clapper and John Brennan, the indictment said.This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Colleges announce return policies

Posted On May 3 2021 by

first_imgSt Hugh’s told students that given the “slight change in the wording around the Government guidance on exemptions” they are hopeful that more students will be in College than in Hilary term. Wadham also “warmly encouraged” students who fall under one of the exemptions to apply, adding that the college is “very keen” to support those who wish to return.  In emails seen by Cherwell, colleges have outlined their policies for students who wish to return to Oxford before May 17th. In line with government and university guidance, students may return provided they fall under one of the exemptions: if they “do not have access to appropriate alternative accommodation, facilities or study space at home” or “for health or safety (including mental health and wellbeing) reasons.” In light of these changes, students who previously applied and were not given permission can contact their college to make a new request.  Following the latest government announcement on university returns, PresCom, the committee of JCR Presidents, wrote to the Heads of Oxford colleges to suggest they adopt “a more trust-based approach” to allowing students to return. In a Facebook post, they said: “This approach must be both uniform  across the colleges and must respect students’ abilities as responsible adults to make their own decision as to the seriousness of their reasons to return.”  Following the government announcement that students on non-practical courses not already exempt will be unable to return to Oxford until the 17th of May, the University of Oxford has updated its guidance on students’ returns, stating: “providers should support the return of students where necessary to support the continuation of their studies.”  He added: “While there will inevitably be some differences in procedures and language, I think you can be reassured that colleges have come together with a willingness to do everything possible to ‘support the return of students where necessary to support the continuation of their studies’, as the new guidance enables them to do.”  Students at Regent’s Park were told that the college would be happy to consider requests and would “interpret government and University rules as generously as [they] can”. The email also stated that if students wished to submit a request under one of the exemptions, they did not need to go into “great detail” but that a “simple statement of the relevant exemption” would be sufficient.  Students at St Edmund’s Hall, who were not already given permission to return, were told they could if “in [their] judgement, this is necessary for [them] to be able to use the facilities such as libraries to study effectively, to prepare for examinations, or for health reasons”. These students did not “need to secure the permission” of the college.  In an email to their students, Exeter wrote: “The College recognises that the prolonged period for which many of you have now been required to remain at home may have made individual situations and difficulties more acute, and that this may include some of you who have previously made unsuccessful applications to return.” center_img The Queen’s College wrote to students stating that those who do not have access to appropriate alternative accommodation, facilities, or study space would be allowed to “self-certify for the exemption” but would require a “supportive GP statement where the student is making a case on matters of mental health”.  Image Credit: Alison Day / CC BY-ND 2.0 In an email sent to students at St John’s College, the college said they shared students’ “disappointment and frustration” at the government update, but informed them: “our objective remains to welcome back as many of you as possible, within the parameters of what is permitted by the government.” For students who claim the exemption of health and safety, including mental health and wellbeing, the college said they would “initiate a discussion about what support [they] may need on [their] return” in order to ensure their safety and that of the wider college community.  On April 16, PresCom received a reply from Mr. Miles Young, Chair of the Conference of Colleges, which read: “I am glad to say that there is a clear consensus within colleges as a result of the consultation exercise we conducted in the early part of this week, which favours a consistent approach based on streamlined processes and a high degree of ‘self-certification’, but recognising, of course, that the granting of permission to return is the College’s prerogative, not the students’.”  Hertford College also told their students they shared in their “frustrations” and “had hoped for earlier clarity and a stronger recognition of both the case for return and the sacrifices made by students”. Students wishing to return early were asked to submit a “brief return request” flagging the “general grounds on which the request is being made” and if given permission, can return in the earlier window from 21 to 24 April.  The college also said that “all students who wish to return to residence for Trinity Term will be able to do so in preparation for 17th May” and instructed them to book an arrival slot between May 12 and 15.  Meanwhile, Merton, Somerville, Balliol and New College reminded students that due to continuing restrictions, study spaces in college will be limited in the coming term and there may be nowhere for students who do return to work other than their own study-bedroom. last_img read more


Posted On May 3 2021 by

first_img The City-County Observer is excited to announce that Brad Ellsworth the former Vanderburgh County Sheriff’,  past member of the U.S. House of Representatives and President of Vectren- South. has been selected as the Master Of  Ceremony for the City-County Observer  “Community Services Award”  2018 luncheon.This year’s awards luncheon will be held at Tropicana-Evansville Walnut rooms A and B. The registration begin at 11:30 am, the event officially starts at 12 noon on March 19, 2018.  This event is completely sold out.The “Community Services Award” winners for 2018 are Vanderburgh are TED C. ZIEMER, JR. and CLARE D. ZIEMER, HONORABLE JUDGE JIM REDWINE, EPD POLICE CHIEF BILLY BOLIN AND LIEUTENANT PAUL KIRBY, LOCAL ATTORNEY AND IU BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEMBER, THE HONORABLE SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE LES SHIVELY.ATTACHED IS THE PROFILE OF THE HONORABLE BRAD ELLSWORTHEducationThe University of Southern Indiana, Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology/Criminal Justice (81), Indiana State University, Master’s Degree in Criminology (93), Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy (95).Brad Ellsworth Professional ExperiencesServed with the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s office from April of 1982 until December of 2006. During this time he served in every merit rank and in every capacity. In 1998 he was elected as Sheriff of the County and served two terms (term-limited).Patrolman-1982-87 detention division, motor patrolCorporal -1987-89 supervised detention division, narcotics investigator, K-9 handlerSergeant-1989-93 supervised narcotics division, implemented DARE program county wideLieutenant-1993-95 shift commander in the patrol divisionCaptain-1995-96 Field Operations and Support Services CommanderChief Deputy -1996-98 Executive Commander of the Administration and Detention DivisionsSheriff-1999-2006 elected to 2 terms as Sheriff (Indiana is limited to 2 terms)U.S. House of RepresentativesElected to represent the 8th district of Indiana. Served two terms on the Armed Services, Agriculture and Small Business Committees.In 2010 made an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate, when then-Senator Bayh chose not to run.Brad is the President of Vectren- South.working for Vectren Energy Delivery, a combined gas, and electric utility, serving 1 million customers, based in Evansville, IN.Brad Ellsworth Current Boards and  Community ServiceUnited Way of Southwest Indiana- Board Member, Statewide 211 Board Member, RADIUS Indiana Board Member, Battery Innovation Center (BIC) Board Member, BRIDGELINK Board Member, Evansville Brownfields Board Member, WNIN Board Member, Chamber of Commerce Board Member, G.A.G.E. Board Member, Association for the Blind, Youth First Advisory Board. Copyright 2018 City-County Observer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without our permission.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Powerful Data Protection Extended to Multiple Clouds

Posted On Feb 27 2021 by

first_imgOn April 2, 2019 Dell EMC presented in an external webinar its powerful data protection enhancements with Dell EMC Data Protection appliances, Data Domain and Integrated Data Protection Appliances (IDPA). The announcement of these enhancements that extended to multi-cloud environments was made in February 2019. In this webinar, IDC presented its views and thoughts on the PBBA market and Dell EMC’s leadership position in this market. One of Dell EMC’s customers, GEI Consultants, Inc, expressed their experience and benefits achieved by deploying Dell EMC’s Data Protection solutions.According to IDC, 92% of organizations have adopted a cloud environment with 64% adopting a multi-cloud approach. With a mix of different clouds, protecting data while meeting compliance and security requirements is a critical challenge for many organizations.Key highlights of the Dell EMC Data Protection appliances announcementExpansion of leading cloud capabilitiesEnhanced support for ever-tighter SLAsMore choice for mid-size organizations with Data Domain DD3300 and IDPA.GEI Consultants, Inc., is currently using Data Domain as a target in their backup strategy. Before they implemented Data Domain from Dell EMC, they were seeing backup windows upwards of 48 hours. Once they made the switch to Data Domain, their backup windows decreased to 4 hours! They are now deploying Dell EMC Cloud Disaster Recovery (DR) in their AWS environment. By utilizing Dell EMC Cloud DR, they eliminated the need for a physical disaster recovery site saving them $250,000 annually.“Cloud DR’s efficient orchestration of resources is magnificent. It automatically chooses the lowest-cost resource option for restores in Amazon EC2.” – Adam Schmitt – Network Operations Supervisor, GEI Consultants, Inc.It’s okay if you missed the live webinar, you can find the recording here.Further resources that support our data protection appliance launch can be found below.Dell EMC data protection appliances launch blogVideo: IDC and Dell EMC backup appliancesDell EMC data protection appliances infographicTo learn more about Dell EMC Data Protection Appliances, check out the Dell EMC Data Domain home page, Dell EMC IDPA homepage, read Data Protection blogs, and follow @DellEMCProtect on Twitter for our latest announcements and content.last_img read more

Fall Garden Soil

Posted On Jan 17 2021 by

first_imgFall flowers and vegetables only live a season, but they can benefit greatly from amended soil. Gardeners who take the time to amend their soil will be rewarded with a bountiful fall vegetable harvest and more blooms on their pansies and other fall annual flowers.Most annual flowers and vegetables prefer moist, well-drained soils. Annual plants have a very limited root system and require consistent soil moisture to survive.The limited root system of fall annuals means that gardeners must water these flowers and vegetables more often than perennial plants require. Because they require more water, they are more susceptible to root rot and soil-borne diseases. Roots need oxygen to survive and grow. If a soil becomes too compacted or too wet, plant roots will die from a lack of oxygen. The best amendments for clay soils are pine bark humus (less than half an inch in diameter) and composted leaf mold. Ideally, amendments for clay soil should help loosen compacted soil, improve soil drainage and increase soil porosity, or the amount of pore spaces in soil available for air and water. Pine bark humus is preferred because it is cheap, readily available and easy to work with. It’s also called “bark fines,” “milled pine bark” or “finely ground pine bark mulch.” Soil conditioners, or soil amendments, are sold under a variety of brand names at local garden centers. These soil amendments are not the same as potting soils, which are often blended with materials like peat moss and vermiculite that help retain moisture. Potting soils are fine for use in potted plants, but not in clay garden soil. Clay already holds plenty of moisture by itself. Clay soil actually has the highest water-holding capacity of any soil in the world.To add amendments, till the soil 6 to 8 inches deep in the area you wan to place annual plants. If the site is excessively wet, plant on a raised bed 6 to 12 inches high. The raised bed can either be enclosed using treated lumber or it can be a mound of soil called a “berm.” Soil amendments need to be added at a minimum of 25 percent by volume and a maximum of 50 percent. This is roughly equivalent to the addition of 3 to 4 inches of soil amendments incorporated into clay soil 8 to 12 inches deep. This provides an ideal root environment for annual flowers and vegetables. One cubic yard (nine 3-cubic-feet bags) of soil amendment will cover about 100 square feet. Mix amendments thoroughly with the underlying clay soil. Add a starter fertilizer to annual plants immediately after planting. If needed, lime or sulfur can be added to adjust soil pH based on the results of a soil test. (Garden soil can be tested through your local University of Georgia Extension office. Call 1-800-ASK-UGA1 or visit extension.uga.edu to find the Extension office in your community.)When planting most trees, shrubs and other perennial plants, research shows there is practically no benefit to amending the soil. The only exception to this rule is plants that must have extremely well-drained soil, like azaleas, rhododendrons, mountain laurel and blueberries. Therefore, those plants that live longer than a year will eventually outgrow their planting hole. The sooner trees, shrubs, and other perennial plants’ roots get acclimated to Georgia’s red clay, the better off they will be in the long run.The greatest benefit you can provide is to dig a wide hole, at least two or three times larger than the original plant’s root system, and loosen up the clay soil with a pickax, shovel or garden tiller. No soil amendments are necessary for perennial plants. In Georgia, most organic materials or compost added to soil will break down and decompose within a year or two. This is primarily due to rainfall and high temperatures. Most soils in Georgia contain, on average, less than 1 percent organic matter.last_img read more