The Public Media Alliance has an established role and reputation in commissioning original research and reports on key themes and stakeholders in public service media.

Here you will find a range of publications, including those produced during our time as the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association. They are all authored by an expert group of media professionals and academics, and cover a diverse range of topics, from the role of documentaries in advocacy to the way in which broadcasters cover elections.

True to the principles of public service media, the following content is free to download.


Situation Report: Gender-sensitive reporting in Southeast Asia

2023

The Public Media Alliance’s latest situation report — this time for Southeast Asia — will guide tailored interventions for each target country, catalysing regional collaboration and aligning regional efforts with broader international goals.*

The media situation report covers five Southeast Asian countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand – and forms part of the efforts to better understand just how the media can both support and undertake initiatives that improve gender representation and alleviate violence against women and girls, and violence against women journalists.

The report provides a snapshot of the current situation facing the Southeast Asian media on gender issues and considers how the media can do better. In each country, research was undertaken over a period of six months. Separately, a survey was conducted with regional journalists to determine gaps that exist within newsrooms to more effectively handle gender-related issues.

Key findings include:

  • The interconnectivity of the issues: While each country presented unique challenges – from poor adherence and existing policies to politically motivated attacks on journalists – there were significant overlaps between the issues.
  • The need for collaboration: Each researcher determined that collaboration among stakeholders was paramount for success, especially regarding the intricate interplay of media and gender issues.
  • The need for further research: Researchers noted that extensive and comprehensive research and data on gender representation in the media, violence against women and girls and female journalists, is lacking in the Southeast Asian context.
  • The need for wider social change: The researchers noted that achieving meaningful progress requires wider social change across the five countries.

The media situation report forms part of a wider project spearheaded by the Public Media Alliance with support from the UNESCO Bangkok Office and UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), and saw partnerships with AWARE Singapore, Konde.co, and the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand.

Download the situation report:

* – Page 29 updated 16 January 2024

Action Plan: Improving gender-sensitivity approaches for Southeast Asian media stakeholders

2023

In October 2023, 20 media workers and representatives from gender-focused non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from five Southeast Asian countries attended a two-day workshop in Bangkok, Thailand to develop country-specific action plans that would contribute towards more effective and gender-sensitive reporting.

The Public Media Alliance’s new action plans outline approaches that foster collaboration and address common challenges related to gender-sensitive reporting, women’s safety, and responsible media practices across the diverse media landscapes of Southeast Asia. The plans offer collective initiatives for media workers, NGOs, policymakers, religious institutions, and the broader public to undertake in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines.

Among the common action points highlighted in the plans are:

  • The need to build engagement and collaborations
  • Advocacy for gender-responsive policies and guidelines
  • The need to establish data collection and reporting systems
  • The importance of intersectional approaches to gender issues
  • The implementation of newsroom safety protocols and support for women journalists

The plans have been translated into Indonesian, Malay, Filipino, Mandarin, Tamil, and Thai. An English version encompassing all countries is also available.

 


The action plans form part of a wider project spearheaded by the Public Media Alliance with support from the UNESCO Bangkok Office and UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), and in partnership with AWARE Singapore, Konde.co, and the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand. Special thanks go to our workshop participants who contributed towards the development of the action plans, and our project facilitator Dagmar Skopalik.

Download the Regional Action Plan:
Download the Country-Specific Action Plans:

Investigative Journalism in the Digital Age 

2023

The Public Media Alliance is pleased to announce the latest publication from our Investigation Journalism in the Digital Age project. This project looked to ensure that broadcast journalists in Sub-Saharan Africa stay abreast of the latest technological-driven investigative techniques, including different approaches to accessing information. 

A two-day capacity-building workshop – Investigative Journalism in Sub-Saharan Africa – was held in Windhoek, Namibia in June 2023. 19 journalists attended from South Africa, Botswana, Nigeria, Seychelles, Namibia, and Mozambique. The curriculum included freedom of information, investigating the environment, information security, interview skills, and personal security.

From this workshop Public Media Alliance launched a new and openly accessible digital investigative journalism toolkit and an online safety checklist to bolster investigative journalism in sub-Saharan Africa.

Digital Investigative Toolkit modules: 

  • Part 1: Developing your Investigative Stories; Introduction to investigative journalism and its difference from other forms of journalism, How to lay the groundwork for an investigative story; how to choose story ideas; develop and utilise contacts and sources, How to keep yourself and your sources protected (whether it is digitally, physically, or legally)
  • Part 2: Evidence Gathering and Verification; Introduction to evidence gathering and verification, Dive into methods, such as open-source research techniques and social media research techniques and verification, Storytelling with digital evidence and sources

Online Safety Checklist:

  • This ten-point checklist highlights key tips for journalists undertaking digital approaches to investigative journalism. This checklist is not suitable guidance for working in war zones. Reporting in areas of armed conflict requires a different kind of specialist training, contacts, and vigilance

This important and timely project was organised by the Public Media Alliance, in collaboration with our local partner, the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) and fesmedia Africa made possible by our funder Grace Wyndham Goldie (BBC) Trust Fund. We extend our gratitude to our project facilitators, Emily-May Brown and Rob Freeman and toolkit developer Guy Porter. Special thanks are also extended to our attendees and key speakers. 

Access the online toolkit and download the checklist:

Situation Report: Media literacy, disinformation & misinformation in the Caribbean

2022

The Public Media Alliance’s latest situation report has called for a programme of media and information literacy across all levels of the school curriculum, to counter the threat of mis- and disinformation in the Caribbean.

The “Situation Report on Media Literacy, Disinformation & Misinformation in the Caribbean” covers eight Caribbean nations – the Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad & Tobago – and examines each country’s relationship with media and information literacy, disinformation, and trust in news. In each country, research was undertaken over a period of five months. Separately, research was conducted by ACM to determine the feasibility of a regional trusted news network.

It was produced in partnership with the Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) and the Media Institute of the Caribbean (MIC), and with support from the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean and UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).

Key findings from the report:

  • Unique challenges: No two country was exactly the same and the report highlights the unique challenges of each researched country, as well as the similarities across borders.
  • The need for more regional research: Notably, the situation report emphasises that more analysis is needed across the region to tackle disinformation, media literacy, and trust in news media.
  • Barriers remain: Barriers remain to achieving media literacy, particularly legislatively. Newsrooms are strapped for resources in an economically difficult environment (further exacerbated by the repercussions of the pandemic) and are working in highly competitive landscapes with pressure to report news before competitors.
  • Opportunities abound: Importantly, the report also demonstrates achievable opportunities for regional media organisations and governments.

This research report is part of a wider project implemented by the PMA and our regional partners, MIC and ACM. It is supported by the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean and UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). Read more about the project here.

Download the situation report:

Action Plan: Combatting misinformation and disinformation for Caribbean media workers

2022

The Public Media Alliance is pleased to release our latest publication: an eight-point action plan geared at supporting the Caribbean media landscape in their promotion of media and information literacy and their fight against disinformation.

This eight-point action plan charts the course for more robust efforts to tackle both misinformation and disinformation while committing to media literacy for all, with the goal of rebuilding trust in news media.

It is part of a wider project spearheaded by the Public Media Alliance, titled “Developing a Situation Report & Action Plan on Media and Information Literacy and Disinformation in the Caribbean”.

The plan incorporates key points raised by regional media stakeholders as part of PMA’s research and feedback. The plan not only benefited from consultations from both media professionals and media owners/managers, but also from months-long research conducted in several Caribbean territories. Key points include:

  • The need for strengthened and increased collaboration among regional journalists, media associations, and media houses.
  • The importance of launching a public awareness campaign aimed at empowering audiences on how to spot mis- and disinformation.
  • A commitment to train and develop the region’s journalists.

The project and this resulting action plan were organised by the Public Media Alliance with support from UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean and UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communications and were developed in partnership with the Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) and the Media Institute of the Caribbean (MIC).  We extend our thanks to our project facilitators, Ms. Kiran Maharaj of MIC and Ms. Nazima Raghubir of ACM, for their invaluable support and input and for overseeing key project elements. Special thanks are also extended to our workshop trainers and participants.

Download eight-point action plan:

Code of Conduct: Crisis Management Plan for Journalists and Media in Haiti

2022

The Public Media Alliance is pleased to release our latest code of conduct, this time aimed at media professionals in Haiti.

As part of our project, “Protecting journalists in Haiti and confronting dis- and misinformation during a pandemic”, the Public Media Alliance has developed a French-language crisis management code of conduct for Haitian media professionals to better enable them to report ethically and responsibly on crises and disasters, while ensuring their own safety.

This code was developed using feedback from 30 journalists and media stakeholders in Haiti who participated in virtual training sessions in March 2022 as part of our project.

The code of conduct on crisis management covers:

  • Holding power to account through ethical journalism
  • Ensuring the safety of journalists in times of crisis
  • Countering disinformation through ethical practices, quality journalism, and the promotion of media literacy

The project and this resulting code of conduct were organised by the Public Media Alliance with the support of our local partner Panos Caribbean, the UNESCO Haiti Office, and the Rapid Response Mechanism of the International Program for the Development of Communications (IPDC). We extend our thanks to Mr. Jean Claude Louis, Coordinator of Panos Caribbean, for his invaluable input and support throughout this project. Special thanks are also extended to our workshop trainers and participants and other local organisations who contributed to additional project elements.

Download Code of Conduct:

Impact of COVID-19 on media freedom, journalist safety and media viability in Southeast Asia

2022

The Public Media Alliance’s new research report gives a timely insight into the key impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the media across nine countries in Southeast Asia. Its accompanying draft Media Recovery Plan responds to the key challenges.

The report illustrates the strain news organisations have been under in recent years. For example, they have been forced to accelerate their move to providing more extensive digital services due to various lockdown restrictions; financial pressures imposed by the pandemic have occurred against a backdrop of broader threats to media freedom and the safety of journalists; and several laws purporting to combat the spread of disinformation and misinformation were introduced across the region.

The draft Media Recovery Plan concentrates on the key areas to be addressed in order to create a sustainable media environment, one which enables the media and journalists to work independently and collaboratively during a time of crisis such as COVID-19.

Recommendations include: 

  • Building strong partnerships between media organisations to produce high quality and cost-effective content
  • Establishing a regional (non-governmental) forum to cover welfare, safety, and the freedom of journalists
  • Strengthening coordination and communication between states (with respect to media)
  • Supporting improved digital media literacy
  • Analysing the impact of digitalisation, especially the impact of social media

 


This important and timely project was organised by the Public Media Alliance, in collaboration with our local partner, the Asia Democracy Network (ADN), and with support from the UNESCO Bangkok Office and the rapid response mechanism of the International Programme for the Development of Communications (IPDC). We extend our gratitude to our project facilitators, Laxman Datt Pant, Chairperson of Media Action Nepal, and Tess Bacalla, Project Lead and Editor in Chief of the Asia Democracy Chronicles. Special thanks are also extended to our research contributors.

Download the Research Report:
Download the draft Media Recovery Plan:

Code of Conduct: Improving conflict sensitive reporting & journalist safety in South Asia

2021

In September 2021, 30 journalists from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka gathered virtually to strengthen the capacity of the South Asian media environment in terms of conflict sensitive reporting, journalist safety, and self-regulation.

The participants – from journalists to academics and editors – worked collaboratively to develop a regionally relevant Code of Conduct that will act as a strategy document to advise journalists and media workers across the region on how they can cover pertinent areas in an informed, fair, and safe manner. 

Among the areas covered by the Code of Conduct are: 

  • Minimising risks to communal harmony through an intersectional and impartial journalism 
  • Human rights and gendered approaches to reporting 
  • Confidentiality of reliable sources 
  • Recommendations for further improvements

This important and timely project was organised by the Public Media Alliance, with support from our local partner Media Action Nepal, the UNESCO New Delhi Office, and the UNESCO International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). We extend our thanks to our workshop facilitators, Mr. Laxman Datt Pant, Chairperson of Media Action Nepal, and Dr. Sadia Jamil, UAE Country Representative of the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre. Special thanks are also extended to our South Asian fellows and media stakeholders from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. 

Download Code of Conduct:

News in Asia

2021

Understanding news media in the world’s most important region 

In September 2021, the Judith Neilson Institute published its ‘News in Asia’ report, bringing together experts and institutions to provide a nuanced account of journalism across the continent. The report comprehensively covers a broad range of topics, from changing news production and consumption to the impact of COVID-19 on the news media landscape and media development.

The Public Media Alliance is proud to have also contributed to this important and timely project. In our chapter, News of the nation: The transformation of national broadcasting, we explore the changing role of national broadcasters in Asia with a slide towards greater state control, and how remaining public service media are being redefined and normalised as a form of national broadcasting with less editorial independence.

Read our chapter

Social Media Guidelines | For media professionals & journalists in Southern Africa

2019

In June 2019, twenty-four journalists and media makers from the Southern African region (Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa and Zimbabwe) gathered in Windhoek, Namibia, to strengthen the capacity of media in their region by creating and adopting a clear plan on the use of social media in news and broadcasting.

They worked collaboratively to develop these detailed, regionally relevant guidelines on aspects of social media coverage that they could use within their organisations. These guidelines were also produced to strengthen the role of the media in Southern Africa and promote the positive use of social media within newsrooms and media organisations.

These guidelines:

  • Cover activities on a media organisation’s social media sites and external sites by journalists and employees of the organisation.
  • Exist to ensure that your social media output is as good as it can be and does not do anyone any harm.
  • Serve to protect employees as well as the organisations they work for to facilitate responsible journalism.

This important project and guidelines was run by the Public Media Alliance with support and funding from UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), UNESCO Harare and UNESCO Namibia. Our thanks to the workshop trainers Emily-May Brown, Senior Lecturer at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) and Robert Freeman, trainer in social media and digital journalism at the BBC College of Journalism.

Download Guidelines

Guidelines | Reporting Hate Speech, Terrorism & Violence in South East Asia

2019

In March 2019, a group of journalists, media managers and press regulators from five countries in the Asia-Pacific region [Indonesia, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Philippines and Malaysia] met in Kuala Lumpur.

They came together to collaboratively develop a set of guidelines to assist journalists covering hate speech, acts of violence and terrorism across the region. In doing so

Each set of guidelines begins by defining ‘hate speech’, ‘acts of violence’ and ‘terrorism’ respectively. It is important to establish such definitions before developing guidelines on how journalists and media professionals should respond to such situations.

These guidelines are divided into three sections, as there are specific considerations for each scenario, although some of the key principles are applicable in all three situations.

In interpreting these guidelines, consideration must be given to context, editorial justification, freedom of expression, public interest and the capacity of media.

This Action Plan workshop was organised by the Public Media Alliance (PMA) in collaboration with the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) and with the support of the UNESCO’s  International Programme for the Development of Communication prorgamme.

Download Guidelines

Funding Public Media

2019

“In a rapidly changing global media landscape there is growing uncertainty regarding the sustainability of income and funding levels for Public Service Broadcasters and Public Service Media”

These are the timely words written by the Public Media Alliance’s Finance Manager, Mervyn Warner, as many public media organisations seek to find new funding models in an attempt to future proof their financial sustainability. This is also the basis for Mervyn’s latest report, which offers vital insight into current funding models, the risks associated with them, and their potential for the future.

The original BBC model of a direct licence fee, payable by anyone owning and using specific broadcast receiving equipment, is transparent and demands accountability. This direct link between the public and the public media organisation has often been seen as fundamental to the ethos of PSM. But we need to ask if it is still fit for purpose at a time when people are increasingly interacting with public media via multiple platforms and devices.

Public media has evolved considerably worldwide as a response to different national contexts. The way that it is funded has also been adapted and changed. But despite the differences in funding and governance models, PMA is working to highlight and advocate for the shared values of public media. At a time when trust in the media is at an all-time low, these common values need promoting. They underpin democracy and are fundamental to rebuilding public confidence and trust.

To survive and thrive, public media needs secure and stable funding. In an increasingly crowded digital media space, public media needs to change to maintain political and public funding support. It is perhaps time to engage in a critical debate about what is essential and realistic in terms of funding for public media.

This Insight report draws upon Mervyn’s years of experience in media finance and offers a useful reference point for public media organisations to reflect on their current funding models and develop ideas to secure their long term sustainability.

Download Report

Raw data used in this report can be found via the links below (PDF):


Webinar | Developing guidelines & codes of conduct to report hate speech and acts of terror for South East Asia

2019

Watch our latest webinar, which explores the need to develop detailed guidelines on aspects of hate speech, violence and terrorism coverage for South East Asia that deal with language, significance, and context as well as accuracy and balance. This webinar was delivered by Paul Risley, Senior Communications Officer for East Asia and the Pacific at The World Bank, in partnership with UNESCO, the Ethical Journalism Network and the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union.

Themes:

Understanding and defining hate speech & misconceptions in South East Asia

The role of new technologies and social media in media practice when reporting hate speech and acts of terror

The importance of developing relevant guidelines or codes of conduct to report hate speech and acts of terror

The importance of language and visuals when reporting hate speech and acts of terror

Watch Webinar

PMA Global Conference 2018 | Presentations

2018

Explore some of the in-depth presentations from PMA18 on the theme “Speak Out! Rebuilding Trust in Media & Democracy”, which took place in Jamaica on 13 August 2018. The event brought together PMA members, journalists and public media thought leaders from around the world to discuss solutions to some of the key issues facing public media and public interest media worldwide.

Explore Presentations

Reporting Hate Speech & Violence in the Caribbean 

2018

In August 2018, a group of journalists and media professionals from across the Caribbean came together in Jamaica to discuss and create an action plan on hate speech and media coverage of violence for the region. The action plan was developed with the regional media landscape in mind, with participants using their local and personal experience to inform its development and ensure its relevance for the Caribbean context.


Social Media Guidelines for Media Professionals & Journalists in the Caribbean

2017

These new Social Media Guidelines were initially developed during a three-day workshop, supported by the UNESCO Caribbean Cluster Office, with inputs and feedback from media professionals and organisations in the Caribbean. The hope is that the guidelines will help new and existing broadcasters in the Caribbean to identify the essential ways in which public service broadcasting and its characteristics can be preserved and strengthened, within the context of emerging technologies and social platforms.

Download PDF

INFORM

The aim of INFORM is to provide a bridge between the academic analysis of Public Service Broadcasting and the views and experience of senior managers working within the industry. This issue places focus on media leadership in times of crisis, disaster and emergency.

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New World View

This 2013 report by Charlotte Jenner and John McCarthy examines the key role PSBs play in providing citizens with reliable and engaging international coverage, and how this content can empower audiences to make informed democratic choices. Research includes interviews with heads of PSBs, journalism academics and development experts.

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Reviewing the World

A review by Martin Scott, Charlotte Jenner and Rosie Smith of the WorldView project, international coverage and the UK media industry. A detailed impact study of a project that has worked to address barriers to media coverage of developing countries for over a decade through the seed-funding of documentaries.

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Brave New World Service

The 2011 report looks into the future of the BBC World Service, prior to some of the largest funding cuts and institutional changes in its history. By John McCarthy with Charlotte Jenner.

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A Road Map to Public Service Broadcasting

This 2012 book by Elizabeth Smith looks at countries that have established PSB or are in the process, to provide best practice and guidance for regions embarking on transition. It aims to open minds to the new opportunities offered to broadcasters by digital switchover to lead the way into interactive public service media. 

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Commonwealth Election Broadcasting

A set of guidelines drawn from a workshop held by the CBA and Commonwealth Secretariat with senior broadcasters from all over the Commonwealth. It upholds the ideal that all broadcast outlets, large or small, rich or poor have a public service duty to contribute to free and fair elections in any way they can.

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Covering Elections in Small States

This report by Mary Raine focuses on the way in which elections are covered by broadcasters in small countries and the extent to which the journalistic principles of accuracy, integrity and objectivity are upheld. 

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Editorial Guidelines

Now in its fourth edition, this handbook by Mary Raine is designed to help broadcasters identify and adopt good practices that ensure sound coverage by the media which operate freely and fairly.

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Guidelines for Broadcasters on Promoting UGC and Media and Information Literacy

How broadcasters around the world can encourage audiences to produce better quality user-generated content and to improve media and information literacy. By Martin Scott

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Guidelines for Broadcasting Regulation

Supported by Unesco, this second edition is by Eve Salomon, an international media consultant specialising in broadcasting and press regulation and a former Director of Legal Services at the UK Radio Authority.

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Handbook on Radio and Television Audience Research

Written by Graham Mytton, this handbook was published by Unicef and Unesco, and is a useful guide to the principles and practice of audience research.

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Maximising Income and Controlling Costs in Small and Medium Broadcasting Operations

This handbook covers ways to maximise income and discusses various income streams, corporate planning, marketing plans and an in-depth look at budgeting. Lastly the author Mano Wilkramanayake looks at controlling costs with a detailed sample budget.

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Media Literacy from the Perspective of Broadcasters and User-generated Content Producers Around the World

This report is based on a survey of 32 broadcasters around the world, focusing on their policies around three aspects of media literacy. By Lisa Stribbling and Martin Scott.

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Media Management Manual

A handbook for television and radio practitioners in countries undergoing digital transition. By John Prescott Thomas. 

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Performance Measurement

A practical guide to key performance indicators and benchmarking in public broadcasting, by Fulvio Barbuio.

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Reflecting the Real World?

Research by Joe Smith, Lucy Edge and Vanessa Morris on how British TV portrayed developing countries in 2005

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The World in Focus

How UK audiences connected with the wider world and the international news content in 2009, researched and written by Martin Scott

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