This week’s PMA Global Call Out sees us all working in new ways. Many of us are now working from home in a world that quite suddenly feels very different.

The PMA team have been pulling together resources and information about how public media worldwide is covering the coronavirus [Covid-19] pandemic. It’s a time when the value and importance of public media becomes clear for everyone to see, so don’t forget to promote the work that your teams are doing. It’s also a time for international collaboration so please do contact us as we’d like to be able to share your ideas.

Accurate information that the public can trust is at the core of public media.  At times like this it distinguishes public media platforms from the buzz and noise of misinformation and rumour. But as everyone is inevitably distracted by re-adjusting their workplans and schedules, PMA is aware that the battle for media freedom continues.

Accurate information that the public can trust is at the core of public media

This week two specific cases concern us involving our member organisations.  On the 11th March the offices of the Trinidad Express were searched by police in Port of Spain. The Trinidad Express is part of One Caribbean Media, a long term PMA member. A number of factors about this search concerned us and we have since made a formal representation about this to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.

Read more: Public media coverage of the coronavirus pandemic

Meanwhile, on the 12th March, the Pakistan authorities arrested the Editor in Chief of GEO, Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman. GEO, a popular TV network and PMA member in Pakistan, is also part of the Jang Group, which includes newspapers and electronic media. Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman has been detained on charges dating back to 1986. His detention, which is causing great concern to journalists and human rights organisations in Pakistan and beyond, follows increasing pressure on media freedom in the country. PMA is also making representations to the authorities in Pakistan following this arrest.

It’s because of cases like these that PMA is pleased to be an elected member of the Advisory Network of the Media Freedom Coalition, which was formed in 2019. It means that we will be able to take cases such as these to the Advisory Network in order to raise the profile of such threats to media freedom and urge action from other States.

As ever, we appreciate your continued support and input. Keep Safe!

Sally-Ann Wilson, CEO Public Media Alliance


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Header Image: TV cameras lined up, covering large public event. Credit: Microgen/istock


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