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

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COMOROS: Comoros authorities detain journalist, censor newspapers amid political crisis

CPJ: Authorities in the Comoros should stop detaining journalists and censoring the press in the wake of the disputed March 24 presidential election, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today [10 April].

MALAWI: DPP confiscating, smashing phones of anyone seen recording Mutharika’s whistle stop speeches

Nyasa Times: As a way of controlling the gaffes at the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the party ruffians on Sunday [14 April] started confisticating phones of all those who are seen taking videos and demanding that they delete everything or have their phones smashed.

MOROCCO: Moroccan court sentences two journalists to several years in prison


NIGERIA: ‘Fake news’ driving ethno-religious crisis in Nigeria

France 24: Misinformation risks worsening ethnic and religious tensions in Nigeria, media commentators and researchers say, at a time of heightened concern about internal security and fragile community relations.

NIGERIA: ‘You cannot muzzle the media’: Nigerian journalists on press freedom under Buhari


SOUTH AFRICA: Political parties welcome appointment of SABC Board

SABC News: Political parties have welcomed the appointment of eight new board members to fill vacancies on the SABC Board.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC News goes on the road with hybrid news gathering vehicles

The Media Online: SABC News has deployed nine hybrid electronic news gathering (ENG) vehicles across South Africa ahead of the May elections that have the capacity to broadcast from the most remote areas of the country.

SOUTH AFRICA: ‘SABC News app aims for integrated approach to news gathering’

SABC News: The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has recently introduced a new News App where consumers can access daily breaking news and updates as it happens.

SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa’s Department Of Communications And ICT Stakeholders Discuss Licensing Of Spectrum

Broadcast Media Africa

SUDAN: How the press emerges from the coup in Sudan


WEST AFRICA: A critical juncture in West Africa: Why regional processes matter

CIMA: In CIMA’s recent report, A Regional Approach to Media Development in West Africa, co-published with the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), authors Dr. Gilbert Tietaah and Sulemana Braimah note that West Africa is at a “critical juncture” in terms of media freedom, pluralism, and democratic governance.

GENERAL: Civil Society, Press Freedom & Human Rights Under Attack in Africa

IPS: The civic space in several African countries, including Tanzania, Burundi, Zambia, Sudan, Mozambique, Somalia and Eritrea, is gradually shrinking – and mostly under authoritarian leaders and repressive regimes.

INDIA: Doordarshan launches biggest ever election coverage

The Asian Age: The coverage — which is the biggest ever embarked upon by the national broadcaster — is also being telecast on its channel DD India simultaneously.

INDIA: Indian court gags news outlets from reporting ‘derogatory’ information about candidate

CPJ: A Bengaluru court on March 30, 2019, issued a gag order to 44 Indian news outlets as well as Google, WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook, and Yahoo…

INDIAN & PAKISTAN: Attacked by both sides: journalists caught in the crossfire of Kashmir conflict


INDONESIA: Foreign media banned from covering elections in West Papua

Pacific Media Centre: The Indonesian Immigration Office in West Papua has warned that it will take firm action against foreign journalists trying to cover the elections in the Melanesian region.

JAPAN & SOUTH KOREA: Mutual distrust between Korean, Japanese mainstream media (Opinion)

The Korea Herald: Whether in published narratives or private talks, South Korean and Japanese journalists deplore the present status of relations between their two governments, which remain in an abyss of mutual distrust. They call for greater efforts to increase understanding in official as well as civil sectors across the Korea Strait.

KAZAKHSTAN: Nazarbayev’s long rule leaves toxic legacy for Kazakhstan’s media (Blog)

CPJ: In 2011, I observed an astonishing spectacle in the Respublika newspaper offices in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s financial capital. Journalists were putting a modern-day twist on samizdat, a practice in the Soviet Union whereby dissidents laboriously copied illicit material to circumvent censorship.

MALAYSIA: Backtracking on Abusive Security Law

HRW: The Malaysian government is breaking a key election pledge by proposing to amend rather than repeal an abusive national security law, Human Rights Watch said today [10 April].

MYANMAR: Myanmar urged to protect media freedom in constitution

IPI: International groups welcome creation of Constitutional Amendment Committee.

MYANMAR: Reuters Journalists Jailed in Myanmar to Receive U.N. Press Freedom Prize

Time: Two Reuters journalists who are currently serving seven-year prison sentences in Myanmar are to be awarded a prize for press freedom by the U.N.’s cultural organization.

PAKISTAN: Airing Indian channels: Pemra chairman warns of action against cable operators

The News: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Chairman Mirza Saleem Baig on Friday warned of strict action against cable operators who air Indian channels.

PAKISTAN: Vague laws and lack of transparency pose major threats to digital rights in Pakistan

DW Akademie: Broad legal limitations on free speech on the Internet are applied without transparency or oversight. Data protection and right to information laws are a work in progress.

PHILIPPINES: CPJ mission finds increased intimidation, shrinking space for free press in the Philippines

CPJ: A Committee to Protect Journalists mission to the Philippines, led by Board Chair Kathleen Carroll, found increasing levels of intimidation and a shrinking space for the free press in the country.

PHILIPPINES: ‘Hold the line’: Journalist Maria Ressa says democracies are fragile

PRI: Filipina journalist Maria Ressa says journalists need to “hold the line” as democracy is under threat throughout the world. The Philippines and her news organization, Rappler, she says, are the “canaries in the coal mine.”

PHILIPPINES: Rappler asks Supreme Court to end Duterte coverage ban

Rappler: A significant press freedom test case under the Duterte administration, the Rappler petition argues that the coverage ban violates constitutional guarantees of a free press, free speech, equal protection and due process.

THAILAND: Thailand tilts towards Chinese-style internet controls

Bangkok Post: A swathe of the world is adopting China’s vision for a tightly controlled internet over the unfettered American approach, a stunning ideological coup for Beijing that would have been unthinkable less than a decade ago.

AUSTRALIA: ABC Brisbane staff threatened in video, told to hide work IDs

Brisbane Times: ABC Brisbane staff have been threatened in a video sent to the public broadcaster overnight [10 April], leading to warnings that they should not show their staff IDs in public.

AUSTRALIA: George Pell case: Australian media defend ‘contempt’ allegations

BBC News: Dozens of journalists and major news outlets in Australia have begun defending accusations that they breached a reporting ban on the sexual abuse trial of Cardinal George Pell.

AUSTRALIA: In Australia gap between linear and SVOD is closing

Broadband TV News: In Australia, scheduled TV and subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services have been engaged in a battle for viewers’ time, and now the gap between them has closed, according to exclusive research by Ampere Analysis.

AUSTRALIA: Message from David Anderson on the Federal Budget

ABC: Last night [2 April], the Government handed down the 2019-2020 federal budget. The most significant elements for the ABC are the extension of the Enhanced News Program and the imposition of the indexation pause in funding.

FIJI: Fijian apology versus media freedom (Listen)

RNZ: Media commentator Gavin Ellis talks to Kathryn about the Fiji Prime Minister’s apology to three wrongfully-detained New Zealand journalists, claiming it rings hollow when it comes from the man responsible for the dire state of media freedom in Fiji.

NEW ZEALAND: NZ On Air and RNZ Joint Innovation fund delivers on diversity

RNZ: Twenty-five multimedia projects to spark curiosity and kōrero have been funded for diverse New Zealand audiences through the NZ On Air / RNZ Joint Innovation Fund.

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: Republika Srpska public order bill would curb reporting freedom

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the parliament of Republika Srpska, the part of Bosnia and Herzegovina with Serbian majority, to reject proposed amendments to a public order law that would penalize journalists who “disrupt” police operations.

FRANCE: French TV embraces risk to stay relevant in digital era

IBC 365: A noticeable shift toward greater risk-taking and collaboration by French broadcasters was one of the big talking points at the MipTV programming market in Cannes this week.

FRANCE: Sibyle Veil: “It’s vital that the real media control their distribution”


Le Monde: Faced with the giants of the Net, which disseminate information without editorial rigor or ethical requirement, it is time for Europe to establish a framework of digital industries, pleads, in a tribune to the “World”, the president of Radio France.

FRANCE: Voice of his master” against the ad “supporter of capital”: little political history of the royalty (French)

France Culture: For 139 euros per year, the French directly finance the bulk of the public media budget. For a century, this link to the state has cast a shadow of servility while the private media depend directly on private interests.

IRELAND: Radio stations call on Government to ‘stop sitting on its hands’ on media funding

The Irish Times: Independent Broadcasters of Ireland group urges action on promised reforms.

RUSSIA: Russia’s parliament votes to unplug internet from world

Deutsche Welle: The Russian Duma has given its final approval to a bill creating a domestic internet. Lawmakers say it aims to protect Russia from cyber threats — but the law has sparked protest: Critics worry it will allow censorship.

SERBIA: New, heavy pressures on independent media

OBC Transeuropa: Yet another worrying case of threats and pressure on Serbian media not aligned with power.

SWEDEN: Are you Lotta? (Blog)

Swedish Radio: Swedish Radio is currently out on a nationwide public tour. Communications director Helena Engqvist reflects on her impressions and the many conversations from one of several stops on the way.

SWITZERLAND: Balanced Annual Results 2018 of the SRG SSR (German)

SRG SSR: SRG closes the year 2018 with a stable annual result of 6.8 million Swiss francs. This despite the decline in revenue from reception fees and continuing declines in commercial revenues. At the same time, the program and production costs increased – especially due to major sporting events. For SRG, 2018 was dominated by the “No Billag” vote and the launch of a savings and reinvestment program.

UK: RSF calls on the UK to protect role of journalistic sources in treatment of Julian Assange

RSF: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested in London for alleged breach of bail. He was taken into police custody on 11 April after being evicted from the Ecuadorian embassy, where he had been living for nearly seven years.

UK: Why the prosecution of Julian Assange is troubling for press freedom (Opinion)

CPJ: After a seven-year standoff at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, British police yesterday arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange–a development press freedom advocates had long feared.

REGIONAL: Attacks on Media in the Balkans Sound Alarm Bells for Democracy (Opinion)

IPS News: Anti-government protesters invading Serbia’s state-owned television station, demanding that their voices be heard. Journalism bodies writing to the Albanian prime minister over plans to censor online media outlets. A Belgrade corruption-busting reporter forced to flee his house that had been torched; a Montenegrin investigative journalist shot in the leg outside her home.

GENERAL: Press release: Historic day for whistleblowers as EU agrees pathbreaking legislation

Transparency International: The European Parliament and EU Council have agreed a pathbreaking piece of legislation that will help protect whistleblowers around Europe.

ARGENTINA: Argentina’s media: Big business for a few

RSF: Leading media outlets in Argentina are in the hands of only a few companies, which determine what the vast majority of 44 million Argentinians watch, read and listen to.

CUBA: Threats to free expression and the independent press in Cuba


VENEZUELA: DW is re-broadcast in Venezuela (German)

Deutsche Welle: After about 24 hours of interruption, people in Venezuela can inform themselves again via Deutsche Welle. Under pressure from the federal government, the Spanish-language TV program is being re-distributed.

GENERAL: Researchers discuss the status and limits of journalistic practices in Latin America and the Caribbean at ISOJ

Knight Center: During the research panel “Digital media and democracy in the Americas” at the International Symposium on Online Journalism (ISOJ) on April 12, three scholars shared their research and unveiled the limits of journalism in holding the powerful accountable across in Uruguay, Cuba and Chile.

GENERAL: South American journalists use social media to publish uncensored versions of their investigative stories

Journalism.co.uk: In countries where authorities are clamping down on independent journalism, newsrooms find new strategies to report the truth for their audiences.

PALESTINE: Funding cuts to Palestinians take toll on independent media

Al-Monitor: Independent Palestinian media outlets, especially TV channels, are folding due to financial pressures stemming from reduced or cancelled funding typically received by Palestinian non governmental organisations.

TURKEY: 26 free expression groups urge acquittal of Özgür Gündem guest editors in Turkey

IPI: IPI-led joint statement calls for IPI member Erol Önderoğlu and others to be acquitted at Monday [15 April] hearing.

TURKEY: Lengthy judicial harassment in Turkey must stop (Statement)

ECPMF: The below-named freedom of expression organisations denounce the lengthy judicial harassment suffered by Reporters Without Borders representative and IPI member Erol Önderoğlu, Turkey’s Human Rights Foundation Chair Şebnem Korur Fincancı and journalist Ahmet Nesin, and call for their full acquittal at the hearing on 15. April 2019, when a verdict is expected.

GENERAL: Hard Battle Ahead for Independent Arab Media (Opinion)

IPS: It was the talk of the Middle East’s largest annual media industry gathering: a robot journalist – the region’s first – that wowed some 3,000 industry leaders and practitioners at the Arab Media Forum (AMF) in Dubai recently.

GENERAL: Social media in the Middle East: five trends journalists need to know about

Journalism.co.uk: What is the most popular channel in Saudi Arabia and how many young people still use Facebook? Here are some key facts about one of the most youthful regions on the planet.

CANADA: Budget 2019: Budget reveals details of government’s news media fund

iPolitics: Media outlets must provide general news coverage and receive certification from an independent expert panel if they hope to access new federal tax incentives, the 2019 budget reveals.

CANADA: Canadians get news from social media but don’t trust it: poll

RCI: While Canadians increasingly rely on their social media feeds to get their daily news, social media platforms are also the least trusted source of news, according to a new poll.

CANADA: What works and what doesn’t in the way the media represent Indigenous people?

CBC News: How can the media shed stereotypes and tell a more honest story when it comes to Indigenous people?

US: Colorado public radio awarded $1.2M to boost climate reporting (Paywall)


US: Fair and balanced: is U.S. media biased against Female presidential candidates? (Watch)

France24: The race for the White House is already underway with a record number of women on the Democratic side already putting their hands up. But how are they being treated by the media?

US: For many rural residents in U.S., local news media mostly don’t cover the area where they live

Pew Research: Americans in urban communities are more likely to say local news media mostly cover the area where they live, while rural residents say that their local news media mostly cover another area, such as a nearby city, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

US: How Public Media Gets Funded

Protect My Public Media: Federal funding for public media is a process that happens annually. It’s a long and intense journey that is critical to securing essential federal support for local public radio and television stations.

US: NAB Show Wrap: The Trends That Mattered This Year

The Hollywood Reporter: What looks like a fad and what could be the future?

US: On NPR Board, small-market stations aren’t getting a fair shake (Paywall)


US: PBS program chief shares strategies for ‘building bridge’ to younger, more diverse audiences (Paywall)

Current: “This is one of the biggest challenges I’m facing with my colleagues at PBS,” Perry Simon told TechCon attendees, “but we’re committed to it.”

US: Pulitzer Prizes reflect a violent year for journalists

CJR: The first piece of journalism that Dana Canedy, administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes, mentioned during Monday afternoon’s announcement of the 2019 prizes was one that did not win: a series of obituaries, by the staff of The Eagle Eye student newspaper at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

5G ‘not a viable replacement’ for broadcasting, says EBU

Digital TV Europe: 5G networks are unlikely to provide meaningful coverage before 2030, meaning that 5G will not emerge as a viable replacement for terrestrial broadcasting, according to a study by public broadcaster organisation the EBU.

9 media literacy guides and what they have in common

IJNET: These quick and easy shortcuts guide users through the step-by-step process of information verification.

Al Jazeera’s graphic novel-style story on Nigerian children facing witch-hunt receives award in innovation


‘Basically playing favorites’: Apple News+ gets off to a rocky start for some publishers

Digiday: Five participating publishers Digiday spoke to detailed a series of early headaches, including struggles with Apple News+ article formatting, confusion about user experience and design, worries about jeopardizing big digital ad campaigns, and a gripe that Apple is favoring large publishers at the expense of smaller ones.

Courting future business models: Are public media and scrappy startups the next trend for mergers?

Nieman Lab: NJ Spotlight and NJTV News may be onto a trend: “Really the quality of the journalism and business model made it viable for us and make it viable for the other legacy stations around the country.”

Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2019 Feature Conference (Call for Presentations)

UNESCO: The annual Global Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Week Feature Conference and Youth Agenda Forum will be held this year from 24 to 26 September under the theme “MIL Citizens: Informed, Engaged, Empowered”.

How The Times Thinks About Privacy (Opinion)

The New York Times: We’re examining our policies and practices around data, too.

Media are reluctant to label far-right attackers as terrorists, study says

The Guardian: Global research finds violent Islamists are three times more likely to be called terrorists.

Netflix to pass 150m global subscriber mark as domination goes on

The Guardian: Streaming giant’s first-quarter results are expected to show healthy increase in revenues.

Top Three Trends from NAB 2019

BBC R&D: Every year in April content producers, Engineers and Broadcasters from around the world get together in Las Vegas to discussthe latest trends in Broadcasting and technology at the National Association Of Broadcasters Show – or NAB.

What will journalism do with 5G’s speed and capacity? Here are some ideas, from The New York Times and elsewhere

Nieman Lab: Always-streaming reporters, a searchable past, and new internal tools and external products: 5G will have a big impact on news, just as previous-generation networks did.

Whether you like Julian Assange or not, his arrest is a threat to press freedom, says friend

CBC Radio: ‘Everyone who cares about freedom of speech and democracy should be really concerned,’ says Srecko Horvat.

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Header image: Cameraman shooting crowd. Credits: iStock/denizbayram