Our weekly round-up of public service media related stories and headlines from around the world.

Click on the drop-down menus below to reveal the latest regional stories.

ANGOLA: TV Zimbo’s Serge Kalu on taking on the state-owned TPA – “We pride ourselves on showing more.”

Balancing Act: Angola’s TV Zimbo has been the pioneering privately owned broadcaster and has built itself a space. Once tightly controlled, the Angola broadcast market is now changing under the country’s new President. At the recent Global Media Forum, Russell Southwood spoke to Serge Kalu, Programmes Manager, TV Zimbo about its output and how things are changing.

BURKINA FASO: An internet surfer is on trial for a Facebook post in Burkina Faso [French]

LeMonde Afrique: Lawyers, bloggers, and defenders of human rights are worried about freedom of expression and point to the ‘leeway’ within the government.  

DR CONGO: Censored, harassed and arrested: DR Congo’s politicised media

Aljazeera: With funding tied to political interests, journalists in the DRC are restricted in the stories they can and cannot tell.

EGYPT: Egypt: “Shawkan’s death sentence would forever tarnish Sissi’s regime” [French]

RSF: On June 30th, an Egyptian justice will decide the fate of Shawkan, detained for nearly five years, and accused of “terrorist actions” with more than 700 co-detainees. A few days of the trial, few national media dare evoke the case of this young photographer who could receive the death penalty.

LIBERIA: Alfred’s Free Press: Liberia’s Blackboard Reporter

Aljazeera: One innovative journalist has found a way to get daily news and information to Liberians – with a big blackboard.

anzanian weekly.

MOROCCO: Three years in jail for Moroccan journalist covering Rif protests [French]

LeMonde Afrique: Hamid El Mahdaoui, director of the “Badil” site, was sentenced for “non-denunciation of an attempt to harm the internal security of the State”.

NIGERIA: Fake news and Nigeria’s herder crisis

BBC News: Fake pictures circulating on social media which users are falsely claiming depict inter-communal violence are inflaming already high tensions in Nigeria.

NIGERIA: What is Nigeria’s Grand Plan to Stop Fake News in 2019?

All Africa: African Arguments caught up with Information Minister  Lai Mohammed to talk about the government’s record in office, next year’s elections, and the Information Ministry’s plans (or lack thereof) to combat fake news.

SEYCHELLES: Seychelles Broadcasting Corp makes leap to digital’s better images, sound and choice

Seychelles News Agency: Television viewers of the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) can now enjoy more channels with a higher quality image and sound after SBC switched over to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) on Thursday.

TANZANIA: Freedom of the press: the battle continues [French]

LePoint Afrique: The Court of Justice of the Community of East African States ordered Thursday the lifting of the suspension of a Tanzanian weekly.

UGANDA: Anger at Uganda’s tax on social media

BBC NEWS: Ugandans have taken to Twitter to complain about the imposition of a 200 Uganda shilling [$0.05, £0.04] tax on the use of social media.

UGANDA: Government installs system to track telecoms revenues

Daily Monitor: Though the system was expected to monitor only the voice and data aspect of the telecom system, UCC says it is now monitoring all the transactions of the telecom operators, including mobile money and the newly introduced social media tax.

UGANDA: Uganda Blocks Access to Social Media, VPNs and Dating Sites as New Tax Takes Effect

CIPESA: As of midnight on July 1, 2018, telecom companies in Uganda blocked access to social media platforms for all users and required them to pay a newly introduced Over-The-Top” (OTT) tax before regaining access.

GENERAL: Africa’s OTT TV market ‘poised for growth’

Digital TV Europe: Africa’s TV and OTT video markets are poised for growth, despite challenging conditions across much of the region, according to a study by IHS Markit.

GENERAL: China, Africa Media Eye Closer Ties

Via All Africa: The fourth Forum on China-Africa Media Cooperation ended with a joint statement on further deepening exchanges and cooperation, in Beijing Tuesday.

CAMBODIA: Cambodian regime completes war on press freedom just before poll

RSF: Hun Sen’s clique dealt the final blow to 25 years of Khmer democracy at the start of June, when the National Election Commission (NEC) unveiled a code of conduct for election coverage that constitutes a shocking litany of press freedom violations.

CHINA: The great firewall of China: Xi Jinping’s internet shutdown

The Guardian: Before Xi Jinping, the internet was becoming a more vibrant political space for Chinese citizens. But today the country has the largest and most sophisticated online censorship operation in the world.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong: 21 years after the handover, a wave of independent media seek to preserve press freedom

RSF: More than two decades after the handover, in a context of rampant Chinese censorship, Hong Kongers are turning to a new generation of websites and independent information that focus on reviving journalism ethics.

INDIA: Terrifying Beauty: A Question Every Kashmiri Photojournalist Must Confront

TheWire: Are photographers complicit in the ‘percepticide’ their work evokes?

INDIA: Indian State cuts internet after three new lynchings

AFP: Authorities in north-eastern India have cut internet access after crazed mobs beat three people to death in the latest cases of lynchings sparked by false rumours spread on smartphones, officials said Friday.

INDIA: Election Commission Asks Facebook to Block Ads 48 Hours Before Polling

TheWire: The Election Commission requested Facebook to block posting of election advertisements during the period of last 48 hours and to collect details about the expenditure part of the advertisements for elections.

INDONESIA: RSF Plea to investigate reporter’s death in detention

Pacific Media Center:  Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called for an independent inquiry into the death in detention of Muhammad Yusuf, a reporter who was being heldin South Kalimantan province, in the far south of the Indonesian part of Borneo, on a charge of defaming a local palm oil production company.

INDONESIA: CekFakta: collaborative fact-checking in Indonesia

Google News Initiative: Twenty-two media companies—including all major national and regional news orgs—have launched CekFakta, a collaborative fact-checking and verification project in collaboration with the Google News Initiative, the Indonesian Cyber Media Association (AMSI), the Indonesian Anti-Slander Society (Mafindo), the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), and Internews.

JAPAN: A prolific Japanese blogger held a seminar about internet trolls. Moments later, one killed him, police say.

Washington Post: Cybercrimes expert and prolific Japanese blogger Kenichiro Okamoto was killed over the weekend, allegedly by a man with whom police say he repeatedly clashed online.

KAZAKHSTAN: Video: Mass arrests carried out to pre-empt protest in Kazakhstan

IFEX: Local IFEX member Adil Soz reports that at least eight journalists were targeted to prevent them from covering the planned protest.

MALAYSIA: Comms Ministry to promote press freedom at RTM, Bernama

The Straits Times: The Communications and Multimedia Ministry will take immediate steps to enhance the freedom and professionalism of government-owned entities Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) and the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama), said its minister Gobind Singh Deo.

MYANMAR: Myanmar court urged to drop case against Reuters pair

Rappler: Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are accused of breaching the Official Secrets Act – which carries up to 14 years in jail – during their reporting of a military crackdown on the Rohingya minority

MYANMAR: Burmese press face ‘threats’ and ‘shame’ in reporting Rohingya crisis

Asian Correspondent: DESPITE receiving brickbats at home and abroad over media coverage on the Rohingya crisis, Burmese journalists face hurdles that undermine their role as torchbearers of press freedom amid the profusion of fake news and hate speech.

PAKISTAN: EU election observers keeping a close eye on Pakistani media

DW: In an interview with DW, Micheal Gahler, EU’s chief election observer, says that his team is closely observing the local media coverage ahead of the general elections in Pakistan on July 25. Some Pakistani analysts accuse the military of influencing the upcoming vote to keep former PM Sharif out of power.

PAKISTAN: RSF, Freedom Network write to caretaker PM over curbs on media

Dawn: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and its partner in Pakistan, Freedom Network (FN), have expressed concern over reports of media censorship in the country, observing that “censorship and intimidation of media are incompatible with democracy”.

PHILIPPINES: Media bootcamp arms Filipinos to fight fake news

AFP: The training, which is delivered free-of-charge to groups who request it, provides an overview of how fake news works as well as techniques to spot and debunk it.

PHILIPPINES: Philippine media after 2 years of Duerte

Rappler: As the President enters his second year, we look back at the attacks that journalists have had to endure

VIETNAM: Vietnam’s Cybersecurity Law threatens free speech and digital economy

Global Voices via IFEX: A new cybersecurity law in Vietnam may usher in a new era of increased online censorship, privacy-invasive data processing methods, and deprivation of internet connections for organizations and individuals who publish “prohibited” content.

REGIONAL: Asia-Pacific Analysis: Is media reporting of climate change adequate?

SciDevNet: With climate change an undeniable fact, there is a need for better media coverage of the phenomenon.

AUSTRALIA: ABC reinforces value to media sector and Australian society

ABC: The submission rejects any notion that the ABC has an unfair advantage or is crowding out commercial media companies.

AUSTRALIA: ABC rejects idea it is unfairly competing with commercial media

The Guardian: Broadcaster tells inquiry it spent less than 0.2% of its budget on digital marketing to promote its content.

NAURU: Nauru blocks ABC access to Pacific Islands Forum, arguing ‘blatant interference’ in domestic politics

ABC News: The Nauruan Government is refusing the ABC access to a regional forum later this year, which Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be attending.

NEW ZEALAND: The battle for hearts and minds on our op-ed pages

RNZ: Ultimately, both in the US and here, many op-ed writers are more interested in influencing the opinions of decision-makers than the general public.

REGIONAL: Help ‘revitalise’ Australia’s broadcast voice in Asia-Pacific, say advocates

Asia Pacific Report: For more than 50 years, ABC-Radio Australia was a trusted and respected friend in the region broadcasting independent news and information, says the group in a media release. But five years ago, the service was almost silenced by budget cuts

REGIONAL: Pacific Beat changes ‘are not cuts’ says Radio Australia

Asia Radio Today: Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat morning program has undergone some format changes, causing concern that there have been more cuts to the Australian national broadcaster’s international radio service.

DENMARK: Government inks new media agreement

CPH Post: Better conditions for digital media and phasing out the DR licence among the main points.

FRANCE: For TV5, Macron reform will be tough (French)

Le Temps: The French-language TV channel, financed in part by Switzerland, could suffer severe budget cuts from 2019.

FRANCE & RUSSIA: French and Russian regulators trade blows

Broadband TV News: The Russian regulator Roskomnadzor has accused France 24 of breaking the country’s media laws.

GERMANY: ZDF to approach Cartel Office on OTT platform prospects

Broadband TV News: German public broadcaster ZDF wants to approach the Federal Cartel Office to find out whether the conditions for a joint OTT platform of the public broadcasters or a platform together with other broadcasters have changed.

IRELAND: RTÉ report highlights ongoing challenges facing the broadcaster

The Irish Times: Figures show it made a loss of €6.5m in 2017, down from €19.4m a year earlier.

ITALY: Italy approves new National Frequency Allocation Plan

Advanced Television: Italy’s Communications Authority (AgCom) has approved the new National Frequency Allocation Plan (PNAF 2018).

KOSOVO: Judge Says Kosovo to Get Tough on Threats to Media Freedom

Balkan Insight: A judge in Kosovo says his new role in coordinating cases involving journalists shows the judiciary is serious about protecting media freedom.

NETHERLANDS: Van crashed into office façade of Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf

EFJ: The Dutch media organisations has been under threat from organised crime for some time now, with two leading journalists having to rely on round-the-clock protection because of their publications on the criminal cases in the Netherlands.

POLAND: Poland’s controversial ‘Holocaust Law’ set to be reversed after global outcry

WashingtonPost: When the Polish government pushed ahead with a controversial Holocaust speech law at the beginning of the year, the outcry was so swift and intense that even Polish lawmakers themselves appeared surprised. Besides Israel’s strong rejection of the Polish legislation, U.S. condemnations hit Warsaw policymakers especially hard.

RUSSIA: 52 NGOs urge UN to challenge restrictions to online expression and digital privacy

RSF: Over the past six years, Russia has creating a framework, which, if fully implemented, would not only severely limit the free flow of information online but potentially give them access to the personal communication data of anyone, anywhere.

RUSSIA: The World Cup of Press Freedom

Project Syndicate: Russia today has more reporters behind bars than at any time since the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991. With Russia under the spotlight as the host of soccer’s quadrennial global tournament, the international community has a rare opportunity to push President Vladimir Putin to end his attacks on the media.

SLOVAKIA: Former RTVS reporters sue the broadcaster

The Slovak Spectator: Their lawyers say the reporters had ordinary employment, which was not terminated properly.

SPAIN: Iglesias and Sánchez propose journalist Andrés Gil for RTVE (Spanish)

El Pais: Last-minute agreement between PSOE and Podemos after Iglesias’ group vetoed Arsenio Escolar and the Socialists did not approve Ana Pardo de Vera.

SPAIN:  Unusual limit of  Constitutional Court to freedom of expression: orders to hide a search in a newspaper library for the ‘right to be forgotten’ (Spanish)

Publico: It establishes that a newspaper must restrict the search in its own web archive of information from the 1980s on a raid against drug trafficking in which, according to the sentence, “the family member was involved in a prominent public office and other members of the upper class linked to two names.”

SWEDEN: Tomorrow’s SVT, SR and UR – now it will be decided (Listen) [Swedish]

Sveriges Radio: Just before midsummer, the public service committee leaves its proposals on how the future will look like SVT, SR and UR. What does the proposals mean to the audience, for democracy and for the media landscape? This seminar is about a topical and important topic: the future of the three public service companies.

SWITZERLAND: Savings, partnerships and new priorities for the SRG SSR (German)

SRG: Less than four months after the clear rejection of the no-billag initiative by 71.6 percent of the Swiss population, SRG launches a sustainable reform programme.

SWITZERLAND: Swiss public broadcaster to phase out 250 jobs

Swissinfo.ch: The Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), swissinfo’s parent company, announced on Thursday a series of belt-tightening measures, including the elimination of 250 full-time positions over the next four years.

UK: 29% of all European TV channels are UK-based

Broadband TV News: The UK represents a massive 21% of the European TV market, according to a new report by the European Audiovisual Observatory, with 1,203 TV channels out of 3,005 in the EU (28) based in the UK.

UK: BBC apologises to Carrie Gracie over pay

BBC News: The BBC has apologised to news presenter Carrie Gracie for underpaying her and says it “has now put this right” by giving her back pay.

UK: BBC in talks with Channel 4 to launch £500m bid for UKTV

The Guardian: Broadcaster, 50% controlled by BBC Worldwide, is major source of profit for the BBC.

UK: The BBC has a new app to counter Spotify and Apple Music

Engadget: BBC Sounds will replace the iPlayer Radio app later this year.

UKRAINE: Ukraine needs a national action plan for the safety of journalists

EFJ: The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) called on the Ukrainian government to launch a national action plan for the protection of journalists, in cooperation with Ukrainian journalists’ unions.

REGIONAL: New Skills For The Next Generation Of Journalists

EJO: The digitalisation has significantly changed the dynamics of journalism and the job of journalists. Journalism education should stay abreast of these changes. Against this background, we have analysed how academic journalism education in Germany, Hungary, Portugal and Romania teaches new skills needed for todays’ journalists.

REGIONAL: Western Balkan PSM Sign Mou For Future Cooperation

EBU: Over 60 representatives of public service media, international organisations, politicians and regulators have met in Tirana to discuss the best ways to help and support public service media in the Western Balkans.

GENERAL: “They tell the truth I like” – Partisan And Alternative News Sites in Europe

EJO: In recent years we’ve seen the emergence of a number of alternative, populist, or partisan websites that have grown rapidly in some countries largely through free social media distribution.

GENERAL: Tony Hall and Delphine Ernotte Cunci Elected President and Vice-president of EBU

EBU: BBC Director General Tony Hall has been elected as the new President of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Delphine Ernotte Cunci, Chief Executive Officer of France Télévisions, will serve as Vice-President.

BRAZIL: Data journalists, unite! How data journalism is evolving in Brazil

Journalism.co.uk: A growing community of data journalists, programmers and hackers put collaboration before competition to push authorities towards transparency.

BRAZIL: UNESCO calls for safety for journalists amid killing of radio journalist in Brazil

DEVDiscourse: The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, today condemned the killing of radio journalist Jairo Sousa in the state of Pára in northern Brazil on 21 June.

BRAZIL: Facebook boosts ad transparency as it braces for Brazil, U.S. elections

Rappler: With the update, users will be able to see all ads a page is running on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger via the ‘Info and Ads’ tab

MEXICO: Mexico struggles to weed out fake news ahead of its biggest election ever

The Verge: With Mexico’s election on the horizon, weeding out fake news in the country of 127 million has never been more pressing. Mexicans have long distrusted the press and for good reason.

MEXICO: UN, IACHR: Aggression against journalists is the most direct and significant threat against freedom of expression in Mexico

Knight Center: While Mexico is preparing for the general elections on July 1, the recent joint report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the United Nations (UN) urges the country’s government to guarantee the safety of journalists covering the electoral process as they are vulnerable to threats and physical aggression by political actors and third parties.

NICARAGUA: Independent journalists in Nicaragua report physical attacks, death threats and defamation campaigns on social media

Knight Center: As attacks against journalists in Nicaragua grow after months of protest, independent journalists in the country are calling for freedom to carry out their work.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Will Trinidad and Tobago’s cybercrime bill stifle media freedom?

GlobalVoices: Legislators in Trinidad and Tobago are taking aim at a spate of pernicious issues online — ranging from hate to phishing and fraud — with a draft cybercrime law, following in the footsteps of many governments around the world that have passed comprehensive legislation addressing online crimes.

GENERAL: Latin American women journalists face sexual harassment while covering the World Cup in Russia

Knight Center: Colombian reporter Julieth González Therán was delivering a live broadcast for Deutsche Welle (DW) in front of the stadium that was about to host Russia and Saudi Arabia when a man hugged her, groped her and kissed her on the face before running off screen.

GENERAL: Platform uses crowdsourcing to fund journalism where press freedom is weak

CJR: Funes followed the dirt roads to the adobe houses of Honduras’  coffee-growing region to investigate in September 2016, funded by Press Start, a platform that crowdfunds independent journalism in countries where the press is not fully free.

ISRAEL: Knesset amends broadcaster law to keep Israel eligible to host 2019 Eurovision

The Times of Israel: Lawmakers unanimously vote in favor of nixing planned split of news and entertainment divisions at Kan, to comply with competition rules.

JORDAN: ‘Al Mamlaka’ TV channel to start broadcasting July 16

The Jordan Times: While Al Mamlaka will offer public service broadcasting (PSB), officials have said that it will be fully independent from the JRTVC.

LEBANON: Lebanon jails journalist for insulting minister over treatment of Syrian refugees

The New Arab: The court in the city of Baabda handed down the four-month prison sentence to Fidaa Itani for “defaming” Gebran Bassil after the minister sued the reporter over his harsh criticism, local newspaper The Daily Star reported on Saturday.

SAUDI ARABIA: Female Saudi TV Presenter Flees Country Amid ‘Indecent Dress’ Probe

Haaretz: Shereen al-Rifaie, who was reporting on the lifting of the ban of women driving, was accused of dressing inappropriately, and has since fled the kingdom

TURKEY: Netizen Report: As Erdogan’s reign continues, journalists remain under attack — are translators next in line?

Global Voices: As Turkish voters went to the polls on June 24 to cast their ballots — and ultimately re-elect incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to a fourth term in office — internet users braced themselves for darkness.

TURKEY: Reporting human rights violations in Turkey

SEEPNM: In this paper Reporting human rights violations in Turkey Kemal Göktaş (Journalist Fellow Oct 2017 – April 2018) looks at the development and decline of the Turkish media, and how journalists have coped with its turbulent politics.

CANADA: Local newspapers closure harms plurality

IFJ: Canadian company Postmedia announced it will end the publication of eight weekly newspapers and one daily in Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba and cut about a tenth of its workforce across the newspaper chain.

CANADA: Welcome Catherine Tait! Today is the first day of CBC’s new President and CEO

CBC/Radio-Canada: Catherine Tait was appointed President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada on April 3, 2018, for a five-year term. She began her mandate on July 3, 2018.

US: 5 People Dead in Shooting at Maryland’s Capital Gazette Newsroom

The New York Times: A man armed with a shotgun and smoke grenades stormed into the newsroom of a community newspaper chain in Maryland’s capital on Thursday afternoon, killing five staff members, injuring two others and prompting law enforcement agencies across the country to provide protection at the headquarters of media organizations.

US: Fake News: An Origin Story [Listen]

NPR: “Fake news” is a phrase that may seem specific to our particular moment and time in American history. But Columbia University Professor Andie Tucher says fake news is deeply rooted in American journalism.

US: Fewer women, people of color worked at radio stations in 2017 than 2016, a new survey shows

NiemanLab: While more women are taking on leadership roles in radio and TV, fewer people of color are working in radio and TV is nowhere near representative.

US: News outlets join forces to track down children separated from their parents by the U.S.

Poynter: BuzzFeed News, ProPublica, The Intercept and Univision announced Wednesday that they are partnering to gather vital information about the children in immigration detention facilities and shelters. Joining the effort: a leading Mexican news site, Animal Político, the Guatemalan site Plaza Pública, and El Faro, from El Salvador.

US: Politics pushes Central American voices out of child separation coverage

CJR: Both the amount of coverage and the intensity of the emotions that coverage inspires are unprecedented. Depth and accuracy are another story entirely.

US: Spartan PBS Station Launches ATSC 3.0 Test Facility

Radio & Television Business Report: In collaboration with Michigan State University and WKAR-23 in East Lansing, Mich., Public Media Company has launched an experimental Next Gen TV broadcasting station.

6 newsroom lessons for addressing challenges with a design mindset

EJC: A round-up of the key learnings from the News Impact Summit in Paris

As publishers pump out repetitive content, quality reporting suffers

CJR: It’s an instructive exercise to think of the news media as a friend who tells you things.

Complicating the Narratives

Solutions Journalism: What if journalists covered controversial issues differently — based on how humans actually behave when they are polarized and suspicious?

Ending Misogyny In The Media: A Call To Action

EJO: An epic ‘manel’, sexist jokes about breasts, and on-stage sexual harassment at the recent World News Congress in Portugal put the gap between acknowledging gender inequality and actually empowering women into stark relief.

Facebook grounds internet drone project


Five lessons learned about the drone part of drone journalism

For the Media to Regain Credibility, the Business of News Needs to Change [Opinion]

The Wire: The current revenue-incentive structure followed by most mainstream media organisations is grossly misaligned.

HackPack: How A Virtual Newsroom Transforms Journalism

EJO: When a client publishes a request, they indicate the price they are willing to pay and journalists can then state whether they are interested. The money is automatically frozen from the clients account once they confirm a freelancer. The journalist sends in the work, the client accepts it, and then the money is released to the journalist’s account.

Hands off female football reporters!

ECPMF: Media freedom campaigners are urging newsrooms to show ’zero tolerance’ to football hooligans who grope, harass or insult female reporters during the World Cup in Russia.

Howard G. Buffet Fund for Women Journalists 2018 Round 2

IWMF: Promoting the work and advancing the role of women in the news media across the globe is critical to transparency and a diversity of voices.

SLAPPs’ 5 W’s: a background of the Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation

ECPMF Resource Centre: Following the assassination of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, a group of European MEPs is calling on the EU Commission to promote an anti-SLAPP EU directive, to counter the attempts at silencing investigative journalism. A backgrounder on the use of the acronym “SLAPP”.

WBU warns of threats to C-band

Digital TV Europe: The World Broadcast Union (WBU) has warned that continued access to the C-band by broadcasters is under increasing threat from terrestrial and mobile services licensed to operate on adjacent frequencies.

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