Our weekly round-up of public service media related stories and headlines from around the world.
As we enter the new year our thoughts are with all those affected by the catastrophic bushfires in Australia.

It is at times like this when the importance of independent and accountable public broadcasters, like the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), becomes most evident. The ABC’s extensive emergency broadcasts across television, radio and online services are in no doubt lifesaving, with staff working tirelessly to provide accurate, reliable and rolling coverage under incredible pressure.

The scale of the crisis is unprecedented. As of 3 January, the ABC had already provided over 670 emergency broadcasts within this financial year, nearly double that of the previous year. When the organisation’s emergency broadcasting policy was created in 2011, the emergency division ran for six months of the year – now it runs for the entire year.

As a trusted public broadcaster, the ABC is where people turn to in times of crisis to both source and share information on a regional and local level. But the extra resources required to provide this service come at a cost.

With further cuts due to hit the organisation later this year it’s important to acknowledge just what an invaluable service this is.

Find out more

Use the tabbed section to find out more or follow the links below:

What we're listening to...

Future Government Media Policy – Interview with Harald Fidler (German)

Deutschlandfunk: The new government in Austria wants to continue to finance public broadcasting independently, says media journalist Harald Fidler from the Austrian “Standard”. However, ORF has to adapt to challenges.

Trump and the media: will 2020 be different?

The Guardian: Ed Pilkington hears from some of the most influential journalists in the US on how hard lessons were learned after their coverage of the 2016 election. But will 2020 really be any different? Plus: Carol Anderson on voter suppression and the US election

What we're watching...

The science and the art of open-source journalism 

Aljazeera: From Xinjiang, China to Douma, Syria – how challenging stories are being reported using tools of open-source journalism.

New: Sign up to our Global Call Out

Promote, support and advocate for public service media

Global Headlines

Click on the tab menu below to reveal the latest regional stories.

BURUNDI: 15 years in prison required against four journalists and their driver (French)

RFI: Fifteen years in prison were required Monday December 30 against four journalists and their driver. They work for the Iwacu group, one of the last independent Burundian media. They are accused of “complicity in endangering the internal security of the state”.

ETHIOPIA: Rights Group Calls New Law a Threat to Freedom of Expression

Via All Africa: A new law being considered in Ethiopia is being called a threat to free speech and online expression.

GHANA: Ghana’s RTI Implementation: How Prepared Are We?

MFWA: It took over two decades for Parliament to pass the Right to Information (RTI) law, a bill that would allow the public access to information. In one month, the law will be implemented but is government prepared? 

MALAWI: ‘Self-regulation key to media independence’ (Opinion)

MISA Malawi: MISA Malawi has described media self-regulation as key to media freedom and independence.

MOROCCO: A crackdown on the press is demolishing what’s left of Morocco’s liberal reputation (Opinion)

The Washington Post: Morocco has long enjoyed a reputation as one of the most progressive countries in the Arabic-speaking world. When protests swept the Middle East and North Africa in 2011, many observers spoke of the “Moroccan exception” and the “Moroccan model,” citing a series of apparently liberalizing reforms made by the king.

NAMIBIA: Namibia bids to host World Press Freedom Day

The Namibian: The information ministry has submitted a bid to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation to host the 2021 World Press Freedom Day.

NIGERIA: Nigerians attack Buhari’s spokesperson over false claims on media freedom

Premium Times: Nigerians have criticised Garba Shehu, the spokesperson to President Muhammadu Buhari, over his claim that the current administration has not detained any journalist nor seized copies of newspapers since it assumed office.

SOMALIA: Somali government detains record number of journalists

Reuters: Somalia’s Western-backed government forces beat and detained a record number of journalists last year, the journalists’ syndicate told Reuters on Friday, prompting suggestions the government is suppressing scrutiny of its security record ahead of elections due this year.

SOUTH AFRICA: Government pleased with how SABC spending bailout money

SABC News: Government says it is satisfied with how the SABC is spending the R2.1 billion it transferred to the public broadcaster. In October this year, the government transferred part of the expected R3.2 billion cash injection into the public broadcaster.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC case to reverse irregular appointments resumes (Watch)

SABC News: The SABC’s case to reverse irregular appointments in the corporation has resumed in the Labour Court. The public broadcaster wants the 28 appointments which it says violated company policy reversed but it has been challenged in court. 

TANZANIA: Incidents of press freedom violations on the rise: Media Council of Tanzania

The Citizen: Incidents of violations of press freedom including threats and editorial independence have increased in Tanzania from eight in 2015 to 28 cases in 2019, according to a new report by the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT).

TUNISIA: RSF asks Tunisian president’s office to respect journalists

RSF: After seven foreign media outlets were denied access to the joint press conference that the Tunisian and Turkish presidents gave in the presidential palace in Tunis yesterday, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reminds the Tunisian president’s office that it has a duty to treat journalists responsibly and to respect press freedom.

ZIMBABWE: ZBC Faces Eviction Over Rental Arrears

Via All Africa: The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has been dragged to the High Court by the Zimbabwe Electricity Industry Staff Pension Fund (ZEISPF) seeking to recover a $43, 367, 33 debt it is owed by the State broadcaster.

GENERAL: BMA To Survey The State-Of-Play Of Africa’s OTT Streaming And On-Demand Content Industry

Broadcast Media Africa: The industry information and intelligence platform, Broadcast Media Africa (BMA), has announced that as part of its “OTT Content Streaming In Africa programme” it is launching an industry-wide survey on the “State of Play” of Africa’s OTT Streaming And On-Demand Content Industry.

BANGLADESH: Bangladesh blocks news website accusing minister of corruption

Aljazeera: Sweden-based site reported on minister’s watch collection which includes a Rolex worth almost as much as his salary.

CAMBODIA: New network of journalists vows to promote press freedom and independent media in Cambodia

Global Voices: More than 200 participants attended the launching of the Cambodian Journalists Alliance (CamboJA) on 13 December 2019 in the capital city of Phnom Penh. CamboJA aims to promote press freedom, freedom of expression and professionalism in Cambodia’s media sector.

CHINA: China internet: Top talking points of 2019 and how they evaded the censors

BBC Monitoring: China has one of the most tightly controlled internet environments in the world, but despite this its 854 million internet users yet again in 2019 found ways to challenge the government or talk about the issues they want to discuss.

HONG KONG: Slash RTHK’s funding, says former CE CY Leung

RTHK News: Former Chief Executive CY Leung on Sunday dismissed calls by an advisory panel for RTHK for more funding for the public broadcaster, saying the government should instead ask the Audit Commission to look into its books to see if there is any room for funding cuts.

INDIA: All India Radio’s Director General retires

Asia Radio Today: Director-General of India’s public broadcaster All India Radio (AIR), Fayyaz Sheheryar retired on Tuesday after a five-year stint at that position.

INDIA: All India Radio marks World Braille Day in a unique way; Drishti Divyangs read news in Braille

News on Air: All India Radio News and its regional units in Pune and Nagpur have observed World Braille Day in an innovative way by broadcasting news read by Visually impaired students and officers. 

INDIA: ‘Many lives have been lost’: five-month internet blackout plunges Kashmir into crisis

The Guardian: Seven million people are still unable to go online after a ban first imposed from Delhi last August. 

JAPAN: Japanese journalist Shiori Ito wins damages in high-profile rape case

ABC News: Japanese journalist Shiori Ito has won a civil lawsuit seeking damages from a prominent reporter in a high-profile rape case, a verdict welcomed by women’s rights advocates in a country where sexual assault victims often stay silent.

JAPAN: Japan Post scandal coverage critic elected NHK governing board chair 

The Mainichi Shimbun: NHK Board of Governor Acting Chairman Shunzo Morishita, who played a leading role in rebuking NHK’s president over the public broadcaster’s coverage of predatory insurance policy sales tactics by Japan Post Co., assumed the post of chairman on Dec. 24.

KYRGYZSTAN: Kyrgyz Authorities Pressure Civil Society and Media Following Corruption Reports (Statement)

Civil Rights Defenders: A recent investigation by several Kyrgyz media outlets on corruption in the country’s customs service, has led to increased pressure on civil society and media. The investigations have led to large public protests against corruption in the country.

MALAYSIA: Govt urged private TV stations to revise rates to stay in the game

The Malaysian Reserve: Private television stations need to review their programme procurement rates to stay in the game following the government’s move to increase the price tags for programmes that are supplied by independent producers to channels that are run by Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM).

MALAYSIA: Fix laws before creating media council (Comment)

Malaysiakini: The talk about having a media council has been going around for many decades. But like most things in Malaysia, talk always remains as just talk.

NEPAL: Nepal’s hard-fought press freedom at risk amid restrictive bills, government pressure


PAKISTAN: ‘A disturbing crackdown on press freedom’: Pakistan arbitrarily blocking Slate.com

Global Voices: The Pakistani authorities continue their arbitrary blocking of slate.com, a U.S based online news magazine that covers current affairs, politics, and culture. This is the second time that the website has been blocked in Pakistan in 2019, and the third time since 2018.

PAKISTAN: Facebook curbs streaming of PBC bulletins about Kashmir

DAWN: Facebook has blocked live streaming of the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation`s (PBC) news bulletins for highlighting Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir, Radio Pakistan reported on Monday.

PHILIPPINES: Even after the Ampatuan verdict, Filipino journalists are still in peril (Opinion)

Rappler: As long as there are still Filipinos who choose to be misinformed and disinformed, the Philippines will still be a dangerous place for journalists

SINGAPORE: $310m set aside annually for public service broadcasting in last 5 years

The Straits Times: The Government has set aside about $310 million a year for public service broadcasting (PSB) programmes over the last five years.

SOUTH KOREA: AFP and KBS forge new strategic partnership

AFP: Starting from January, AFP will become a main provider of international video news for KBS, the public service broadcaster in Korea.

TAIWAN: Awash in Disinformation Before Vote, Taiwan Points Finger at China (Paywall)

The New York Times: The self-governing island is on high alert for digital-age trickery and deception that Beijing might be using to try to swing a crucial election.

TAIWAN: Q&A: Taiwan’s digital minister on combatting disinformation without censorship (Blog)


THAILAND: Thai journalist gets two years in prison for a tweet

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the draconian two-year jail sentence that Thai journalist Suchanee Cloitre has just received for allegedly defaming an agribusiness company in the central province of Lop Buri in a tweet more than three years ago, and calls on Thailand’s justice system to overturn her conviction on appeal.

GENERAL: Registration open for Radiodays Asia 2020

Asia Radio Today: The second edition of Radiodays Asia 2020 will be held at, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on September 2 and 3, 2020.

AUSTRALIA: ABC under ‘growing’ cost pressure as bushfire emergency broadcasts surge

Sydney Morning Herald: The ABC’s extensive coverage of bushfires ravaging the country threatens to push the taxpayer-funded news organisation into more budget strife with emergency broadcasting events on track to double in 2020.

AUSTRALIA: Australia bushfire coverage: ABC emergency fire broadcasts praised but News Corp goes on attack

The Guardian: The ABC has received overwhelming praise for its ‘vital’ emergency reporting, despite ongoing scorn from Murdoch-owned media.

AUSTRALIA: Bushfires drive viewers to breakfast TV

Sydney Morning Herald: Australia’s bushfire crisis has delivered a ratings boost for the nation’s major breakfast news and current affairs programs. Today’s new lineup, Sunrise and ABC News Breakfast all recorded higher metropolitan ratings on Monday in comparison to their 2019 averages. 

AUSTRALIA: Millions of Australians welcome the new year on the ABC and donate to the Red Cross

ABC Media Centre: Australians across the country and people around the world turned to the ABC on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the biggest night of the year and to support bushfire-affected communities. The ABC’s Party of the Decades reached 3.5 million viewers and helped raise more than $2 million for the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.

NEW ZEALAND: Media Council: Good fat complaint upheld, with dissent

RNZ: The Media Council has upheld a complaint against RNZ for publishing an article which it says presents a single view of an issue.

NEW ZEALAND: The innovation of indigenous journalism (Comment)

RNZ: Sitting in the slick, sterile and modern confines of a Hamburg University lecture room thousands of kilometres from home I thought to myself what does it mean to be a Māori journalist – an indigenous journalist?

REGIONAL: New Year Honour: Gary Wilson’s services to Māori and Pacific journalism

RNZ: A journalist receiving a New Year honour for services to Māori and Pacific journalism and broadcasting says the mainstream media remains “too comfortably white”.

ALBANIA: Albania’s EU Commitment Questioned over Media ‘Censorship’ Laws

Balkan Insight: Fears grow over the state of media freedom in Albania after Edi Rama’s Socialist government pushed through laws that critics say will allow it to censor online media.

AUSTRIA: ORF: Government program ‘more positive than that of the last government’ (German)

HORIZONT: Horizont asked for an ORF statement on the government program for turquoise green.

BULGARIA: Politicians put pressure on public service media in Bulgaria – but journalists fight back and win 

ECPMF: There is a great pressure against public media in Bulgaria at the moment, with the Bulgarian National Radio holding on as a stronghold for free speech and independent journalism. Just a few weeks ago, a major attack was mounted on the independence of the BNR. 

CZECH REPUBLIC: Strong year for Czech TV

Broadband TV News: Ceska televize (CT) maintained its position as the leading broadcaster in the Czech Republic in 2019, with an average all-day audience share of 29.99%.

ESTONIA: Urmas Reinsalu: It was a year of media radicalization (Opinion)

ERR News: President Lennart Meri once said that the press was acting like a political party. I did not understand the criticism at the time. I believe I do now. Meri was suggesting that the media was trying to enforce its agenda in the public domain, [Minister of Foreign Affairs] Urmas Reinsalu writes.

FRANCE: France Télévisions to invest €144m in digital

Advanced Television: France Télévisions has confirmed it will dedicate an additional budget of €24 million to accelerate its digital development, bringing its investment total to €144 million in 2020. 

FRANCE: Strike at Radio France: the choir is silent for a weekend (French)

RFI: The strike continues at Radio France, against the reorganization of the public audiovisual sector (France Television, Radio France and France Médias Monde). The choir members and musicians of the Maison de la Radio also denounce this savings plan.

FINLAND: Changes in YLE’s news offering at the turn of the year – live broadcasts increasing, news broadcasting replaced by 15 pm TV news program, Marja Sannika’s own program (Finnish)

Yle: In the coming year, Yle News will focus more on live broadcasts on the web and on television. Whether it’s a government crisis, major foreign elections, the Nobel Prize award, a special weather event or a major accident, the Yle broadcasts events and backgrounds live and often on the ground.

GERMANY: ARD and ZDF made life difficult for private broadcasters at the end of the year (German)

HORIZONT: This year, it was above all the public service channels that scored with the viewers. The large private broadcasters, on the other hand, had a hard time at the end of the year.

GERMANY: Exiled journalists in Germany find ‘hope’ with a magazine that speaks their language

PRI: Sitting in a Berlin newsroom, exiled Iranian journalist Aora Helmzadeh said she appreciates being able to write her in mother tongue again as a staff writer with Amal, Berlin! a new online news outlet for Arabic, Farsi and Dari audiences.

GERMANY: WDR hires communications consultant to chair ARD (German)

Süddeutsche Zeitung: Westdeutscher Rundfunk chairs ARD in 2020 and 2021 and is hiring an external communications agency to do this. In connection with the ARD chairmanship, extensive additional communication measures can be expected in the next two years, a WDR spokeswoman said on Saturday.

ITALY: Italy’s RAI Successfully Uses Live Show to Boost Streaming Service 

Variety: In what is being billed as a first, Italian state broadcaster RAI has scored a significant boost to its RaiPlay streaming service by using an original, live variety show hosted by a hot local entertainer to attract viewers.

NETHERLANDS: Dutch far-right parties to get own television channel

The Irish Times: The Unheard Netherlands secures 50,000 subscribers needed for broadcast licence. 

POLAND: Media Owners Committee formed in Poland

Broadband TV News: Representatives of Polish TV broadcasters have decided to set up a new organisation whose goal is to represent the interests of the union members in the field of media consumption research, and in particular TV media.

SERBIA: Protesters Descend On Serbian TV Offices For Weekly Anti-Government Protest

RFE/RL: Around 1,000 people gathered in the Serbian capital on December 28 for the latest in more than a year of weekly demonstrations against the Serbian government.

SPAIN: The strike and the strikes in RTVE have been called off (Spanish)

RTVE: The Management of the Company and the strike committee have just reached an agreement to call off the general strike scheduled for December 22 and partial stoppages on December 31 and January 8.

SWEDEN: Thanks for the help! (Opinion – Swedish)

Barometern: “Never has the competition for the audience’s ears been as great as now and Sweden’s Radio must be chosen in this competition in a completely different way than before. We are fully aware of this and humble before.”

UK: BBC seeks to settle equal pay cases ahead of Samira Ahmed tribunal verdict

The Guardian: The BBC has approached women who are bringing equal pay cases against it to discuss potential settlements, in an apparent attempt to head off a repeat of Samira Ahmed’s employment tribunal in which embarrassing details of the corporation’s inner workings were made public.

UK: The BBC’s 50:50 Project partners with academic institutions to increase female representation in student journalism (Press Release)

BBC: A group of universities and academic institutions has partnered with the BBC’s 50:50 Project by adopting the initiative’s methodology and providing hundreds of journalism students with a mechanism to track the gender balance in their reporting.

UK: Urgent reforms needed to protect journalists from vexatious legal threats: Index on Censorship

Index on Censorship: The UK should make it harder for powerful individuals and companies to bring libel actions or use other vexatious legal threats designed to stifle investigative journalism, Index on Censorship said on Friday. 

GENERAL: George Foulkes: “A free media is as important to democracy as regular elections”

EFJ: The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes Council of Europe Rapporteur on media freedom George Foulkes‘ call for better protection for journalists in Europe.

ARGENTINA: Television, between the crisis and audience migration (Spanish) 

Página: In 2019, Argentine television was marked by an election year as well as the definitive withdrawal of the State in the production and/or financing of television content, evidenced by the emptying of public media. 

ARGENTINA & URUGUAY: Election fact-checking projects in Argentina and Uruguay reflect on successful collaboration and fighting disinformation

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: Election coverage is perhaps one of the biggest challenges in newsrooms: processing large volumes of information in a short time and with the same team that works in everyday conditions. 

BARBADOS: BARJAM wants access to info 

Barbados Advocate: President of the Barbados Association of Journalists and Media Workers (BARJAM), Emmanuel Joseph has called for the government to take the promised Freedom of Information Bill to Parliament for approval this year.

BRAZIL: Judge delays trial in 2012 killing of Brazilian radio journalist, citing lack of resources

CPJ: Judge Jesseir Coelho de Alcântara announced on December 17 he was withdrawing himself from the trial of the suspected perpetrators of the 2012 killing of radio journalist Valério Luiz de Oliveira because the court lacked the necessary resources for the trial. 

BRAZIL: Of lions, hyenas and “scum”: Bolsonaro’s fight against the press (German)

Über Medien: Patricia Campos Mello says she never needed a bodyguard. Neither in Syria, nor in Afghanistan or Libya, where she worked as a war correspondent. But when she reported on the Brazilian presidential election in her hometown of São Paulo in October 2018, she could only watch the streets. 

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS: British Virgin Islands law to impose fines, jail terms for online defamation

CPJ: On October 18, the islands’ House of Assembly approved the Computer Misuse and Cybercrime (Amendment) Act 2019. Under section 14A, journalists can suffer fines of up to $500,000 and jail terms of up to 14 years.

CHILE: The Association of Journalists of Chile rejects statement of acting president  Sebastián Piñera during CNN interview (Spanish) 

Kaso en la red: The Association of Journalists of Chile issued a public statement, rejecting the declarations of the acting president Sebastián Piñera in an interview with CNN of Miami where he said that the audiovisual evidence of crimes against humanity were false. 

COLOMBIA: Colombia faces its “old demons”: RSF in press freedom report (Spanish) 

El Colombiano: Latin America, with Mexico at the helm, is as dangerous for journalists as a Middle East hit by wars, according to the 2019 Reporters Without Borders (RSF) report, which accounts for 49 informants killed in the world, the lowest figure in 16 years. Colombia faces its “old demons”, after a relative truce after the signing of peace agreements In 2016. 

COSTA RICA: President Carlos Alvarado signed decree that lowers salaries for journalists (Spanish) 

El Mundo: President Carlos Alvarado signed the decree that lowers the salary of journalists where journalists will earn according to the university degree they have, either a bachelor’s degree or a bachelor’s degree, and they will no longer have the plus availability corresponding to 23% of their base salary.

HAITI: “When journalists are the targets of violence, society as a whole pays the price”

Le Nouvelliste: According to the director of human rights of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH), 50 journalists have been victims of violence, assassination and death threats since the beginning of the crisis in Haiti. 

JAMAICA: Gleaner Journalist Gets CMEx Leadership Award

Jamaica Gleaner: Gleaner journalist Janet Silvera has received a Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx) Leadership Award at a ceremony in Miami last Saturday. 

PERU: IAPA denounces legal harassment against journalist (Spanish) 

Deutsche Welle: The Inter-American Press Association (SIP) rejected  the use of multiple lawsuits against the Peruvian journalist Paola Ugaz when considering that they seek to intimidate and discourage the press in their country.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Trinidad and Tobago Television (TTT) board fired in surprise move

Trinidad Express: The entire board of directors of State-owned television station TTT has been fired. The Lisa Agard-led board was advised of the decision by Communications Minister Donna Cox on Thursday, a source familiar with the board’s operations confirmed to the Sunday Express.

VENEZUELA: CNP denounces censorship in the National Assembly of Venezuela (Spanish) 

La Libertad: The National College of Journalists demanded the right to information after they denounced the actions of the Bolivarian National Police preventing access of the National Assembly to members of the press. 

VENEZUELA: Venezuelan intelligence services raid, shutter news outlets Venepress and Telecaribe

CPJ: On December 18, agents from Venezuela’s intelligence services, known as SEBIN, shuttered the Caracas office of local news agency Venepress and the Puerto La Cruz office of television broadcaster Telecaribe, according to Venepress news editor Israel Barbuzano, who spoke to CPJ via phone. Authorities have barred staffers from entering either office to access their equipment, Barbuzano said.

REGIONAL: Presidents against the press (Spanish) 

El Tiempo: Trump, Bolsonaro and Obrador have launched attacks against the press which cannot be minimised. The US President Doland Trump has called the media “enemies of the people”, Brazillain Jair Bolsonaro called journalists “rotten” and “immoral”. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador called journalists “hypocrites” and indicated that they accept bribes. 

REGIONAL: The Caribbean’s First Non-Profit Investigative News Network Launches

PRN Newswire: The Caribbean Investigative Journalism Network (CIJN) just launched with the unveiling of four deep dive exposés produced by over a dozen Caribbean journalists. CIJN is a project of the Media Institute of the Caribbean (MIC) which is headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica.

IRAN: Iranian Journalists Abroad Say Iran Intelligence Threatens To Kidnap Them

Radio Farda: The Iranian intelligence has threatened to kidnap journalists working for the London-based Iran International TV and take them back to Iran. It has also pressured their families back in Iran to persuade their relatives to leave the channel.

IRAN: Journalists involved in U.S.-Iran coverage should provide context, explain decisions and make case-by-case calls (Opinion)

Poynter Institute: In the coming days, journalists around the world will be making critical decisions about the words, images and sounds they will share with the public about the death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

LEBANON: Arabic press review: An-Nahar newspaper launches campaign to save itself

Middle East Eye: Lebanese newspaper An-Nahar surprised its readers in its Monday issue with a half-blank front page calling for donations to “support the continuation” of the newspaper. The campaign is attempting to draw attention to the crisis that has affected the media in Lebanon, especially print media outlets.

LEBANON: Censorship highlights role of alternative media outlets in Lebanese revolution

Al-Monitor: Twitter has blocked the accounts of several Lebanese journalists and activists over the past two weeks. The commentators and activists are in favor of the protests that began in October and have been tweeting about the demonstrations on a daily basis. Most of them believe their accounts were reported by Twitter users who support the authorities and oppose the protests.

SAUDI ARABIA: Jamal Khashoggi: Saudis sentence five to death for journalist’s murder

BBC: A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced five people to death and jailed three others over the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year. 

SAUDI ARABIA: Twitter removes network linked to ‘state-backed’ Saudi disinformation operation (Paywall)

BBC Monitoring: Twitter has removed a large network of nearly 6,000 accounts originating in Saudi Arabia after an internal investigation revealed they were involved in a “significant state-backed information operation”. 

SYRIA: Radio silence: The Syrian broadcasters in exile

BBC News: Until recently, a small, politically neutral Syrian radio station was broadcasting in exile from Istanbul, but then, last year, the US administration withdrew funding for Syrian stabilisation projects. Radio Alwan is now off-air, and – as Emma Jane Kirby discovered – its journalists no longer feel welcome in Turkey.

TURKEY: PEN International launches database on over 110 journalists imprisoned in Turkey

PEN International: Freedom of expression in Turkey continues to deteriorate. Independent media has been all but wiped out and at least 117 journalists are languishing behind bars, making Turkey the biggest jailer of journalists in the world.

TURKEY: Turkey sentences critical newspaper journalists to prison

Deutsche Welle: A Turkish court has convicted six journalists and another employee of the opposition newspaper Sozcu of terrorism for aiding a network that Ankara says orchestrated a failed coup in 2016, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. They were accused of supporting the coup by publishing newspaper articles that were critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 

REGIONAL: Finding data – and hope – in journalism in the Middle East

ICIJ: The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists collaborates with hundreds of members across the world. Mohammed Komani, an investigative reporter from Yemen and the data editor at Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism, has trained hundreds of Arab journalists on data tools, verification and storytelling. Here he speaks about the process of utilising data within investigative pieces. 

REGIONAL: Middle East and [the] role of Social Media

Scoop: Wellington’s Tahir Nawaz, President of the International Muslim Association of New Zealand recently met with the prominent Jordanian academic Mr Ra’ed Fawzi Ihmoud, Founder of Third World Institute for Research and studies, to discuss the mood in the Middle East. 

CANADA: 25 years ago, RDI released its first bulletin (French)

Radio-Canada: On January 1, 1995, RDI was born, a unique journalistic experience that radically changed the face of French-language news in the country. And it’s not over.

CANADA: Canadian broadcaster’s cut of Trump’s ‘Home Alone 2’ cameo done in 2014, not politically motivated

Politifact: Conservatives slammed Canada’s leading public broadcaster this holiday season for cutting President Donald Trump’s cameo out of its broadcast of “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.” But what many writers and social media users chalked up to anti-Trump bias was actually the result of a standard edit made five years ago, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said.

CANADA: How digital activists around the world are trying to change the tone of social media

Calgary Herald: A growing network of citizen volunteers in Canada and abroad has joined the “counterspeech” movement, which aims to push back against the spread of hate and disinformation online through positive messages, not confrontation.

CANADA: Pending decision on Huawei 5G puts Trudeau government under pressure

CBC News: Conservatives and some Five Eyes allies want Liberals to limit Huawei’s participation in building 5G network.

CANADA: Tentative agreement reached between CBC/Radio-Canada and AR

CBC/Radio-Canada: CBC/Radio-Canada and the Association des réalisateurs (AR) are pleased to announce that the parties have reached a tentative agreement after a marathon bargaining session. The deal comes right before the current labour contract was set to expire. 

U.S: Changes to FCC licensing standards lay groundwork for new radio filing windows

Current: The latest FCC report has laid the groundwork for new general application filing windows. Most of the changes in the order have no effect until a new filing window opens, except for permittees and license-holders who were authorized in earlier windows. For those groups, the commission simplified its rules defining changes in ownership and board membership. 

U.S.: Local news initiatives run into a capital shortage

Nieman Lab: “There may not be enough philanthropic capital, even on the sidelines, to support the scope and depth of local news-gathering that our democracy requires.”

U.S: Nevada Public Radio looks to access endowment to pay off $1.4 million in bills

Current: An internal review at Nevada Public Radio has so far uncovered convoluted financial records and $2 million in previously unpaid bills, the station’s interim CEO said this month.

U.S: PBS Member Stations Now Live on YouTube TV

PBS: PBS announced that more than 100 of its member stations are now streaming live on YouTube TV making local public television and PBS’s award-winning content available to more than 75% of U.S. households, with additional stations launching next year. 

U.S: Senate approves first CPB funding increase in a decade

Current: The Senate passed an appropriations bill Thursday that includes a $20 million increase in CPB’s funding for fiscal year 2022. Ready To Learn will receive $29 million in FY2020, an increase of more than $1.2 million. The Department of Education grant program funds public television educational content, research and community outreach for educators.

U.S: Sleepwalking into 2020

Columbia Journalism Review: In the weeks after the election of Donald Trump in 2016, the American press realized it had failed. With eleven months to go before Americans go to the polls again, there already are signs that journalists will repeat the mistakes of 2016. CJR and The Guardian have teamed up to talk to journalists who cover the election, and to some of the people who monitor what they do. 

2020 set to be year of AVOD

Rapid TV News: Leading analyst Ampere Analysis is advising the video industry to prepare for no less than an avalanche advertising-supported video-on-demand throughout 2020 as many of the current free streaming platforms build scale and roll-out internationally. 

A reason to be proud: At least 25 awards were given to IFCN’s fact-checkers in 2019 

Poynter Institute: At least 10 verified signatories to the International Fact-Checking Network were publicly awarded 25 times for the impressive work they did this year.

Amol Rajan: My 9 media predictions for 2020

BBC News: “Well, my predictions from last year inevitably adhered to the forecasters’ tendency to be better on generalities than specifics.”

Charlie Hebdo and the demise of caricature

Deutsche Welle: Five years after the Islamist attack on the Parisian satire magazine “Charlie Hebdo,” experts say caricatures in the press are an endangered species — and not only in France.

How can journalists protect their mental health from online harassment? (Guide)

EFJ: Journalists have always been in the spotlight and now, with the rise of the use of social media, they are one of the main targets for online harassment. These attacks often include threats to the journalists themselves and their families and are most commonly directed to women and their biggest consequences are psychological, according to an IFJ survey

Journalists under threat: January’s 10 most urgent cases

Deutsche Welle: Every month, the One Free Press Coalition draws attention to unresolved cases of crimes against journalists. In January, the list includes the cases of Daphne Caruana Galizia and Sakharov Prize laureate Ilham Tohti.

The Washington Post Press Freedom Partnership expands to include International Press Institute and National Press Club

The Washington Post: The Washington Post today announced the addition of the International Press Institute and the National Press Club to its Press Freedom Partnership.

These 10 Journalists Deserve Justice in 2020

Fortune: Incarceration, public scrutiny, and harm do not fall under most job descriptions, but for many journalists around the globe, those risks come with the territory. When journalists set out to seek and expose the truth, they do so knowing that individuals and governments may retaliate, often leading to cases of foul play, unjust incarceration, and wrongful death.

What will the next decade look like for journalism?

Journalism.co.uk: From augmented reality to changing business models, we look at the challenges and tools that might shape the 2020s

PSM Weekly is available via email. You can subscribe by signing up to our mailing list at the bottom of the page or email editor@publicmediaalliance.org.

All PSM Weekly stories are provided for interest and their relevance to public service media issues, they do not necessarily reflect the views of the Public Media Alliance.

All headlines are sourced from their original story.

If you have any suggestions for our weekly round-ups, please email PMA at editor@publicmediaalliance.org.

Header Image: Sydney, Australia – March 24, 2015: People entering and leaving the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Centre in Ultimo. Credit: kokkai/iStock 

Sign up to PSM Weekly

Receive our weekly round-up of public service media headlines and PMA news straight to your inbox.