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.

EGYPT: Ahead of March elections, Egypt extends state of emergency and tightens censorship

CPJ: So far, authorities have used the state of emergency to censor media outlets and publications, bring “false news” charges against journalists who contradict official statements, refer civilians to military trial, and hold journalists incommunicado and in pre-trial detention indefinitely, according to CPJ research and news reports.

EGYPT: Egypt tightens leash on TV dramas

Al-Monitor: A new committee in Egypt designed to monitor TV series to make sure they abide by customs and traditions has been met with mixed reactions.

GHANA: When you default payment on TV license fees in Ghana

CNBC Africa: The Ghana Broadcasting Corporation [GBC], has been directed by its Governing Board not to pursue any prosecution of people who may default on the non-payment of TV license fees.

KENYA: Kenya thinks it has a fake news epidemic and these startups are taking on the fight

Quartz: Beyond the political landscape, these deliberate attempts to disseminate false or misleading stories have seeped through to the corporate world, small businesses, and media houses. And while there’s no easy answer in sight, local digital strategists are trying to figure out how to help clients deal with fake news.

KENYA: Protection of ‘sources’ law must be stringent to guard media freedom

The Standard: Idea that a public servant can threaten a journalist because of a story he is not pleased with means editorial independence is under attack.

NIGERIA: Fake News Has Put The Media In A Precarious Situation (Opinion)

Channels TV: The Chairman of Channels Media Group [& PMA Board member], Mr John Momoh, has raised concerns about the role of social media and the phenomenon of fake news in the Nigerian media landscape.

SOMALIA: IFJ expresses concerns over the escalation of attacks on media freedom in Somalia

IFJ: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is deeply concerned about the dangerous escalation of attacks on freedom of the media in Somalia after the authorities have tightened the noose on freedom of expression following imprisonment and reckless attacks on journalists during the past week.

SOUTH AFRICA: Four predictions for South African media in 2018

Media Update: South African media had a busy 2017, so what predictions can be made for 2018?

SOUTH AFRICA: No journalist or media organisation should ever reveal its sources – Sanef

News24: The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) has strongly condemned the City of Cape Town’s request for News24 to reveal its sources in a story about the metro.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC says process of appointing COO yet to be finalised

Eyewitness News: This follows the Sunday World’s report Chris Maroleng has been appointed to the SABC’s COO position, replacing Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

TANZANIA: Tanzania slaps fines on 5 TV stations after they report on alleged human rights abuses

CPJ: Tanzanian authorities should immediately annul fines levied against five television stations that the country’s regulatory commission accused of broadcasting seditious and unbalanced content, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

TUNISIA: Police harass journalists covering Tunisia protests

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns police harassment of journalists covering a ten-day-old wave of anti-austerity protests in Tunisia.

UGANDA: Uganda Considering Launching Its Own Social Media Platforms

VOA via All Africa: Uganda is mulling over the idea of creating its own social media platforms. But social media users and government critics see this as a potential effort to control free expression.

WESTERN SAHARA: Despite Threats of Censorship, Documentary Filmmakers Show Human Rights Violations in Western Sahara

Global Voices: Stories about life in Western Sahara — a disputed territory controlled by the Moroccan government — are rarely told by people who live there.

ZIMBABWE: Dismantling ZBCtv monopoly a very welcome move (Opinion)

The Zimbabwe Mail

ZIMBABWE: Government to allow private TV stations in Zim

Khuluma Africa: The broadcasting monopoly held by Zimbabwe Broadcasting Cooperation Television (ZBC TV) is nearing its end as government prepares to open up the airwaves to private players.

GENERAL: Africa to add 17.4 million pay TV subs

Screen Africa: The number of pay TV subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa will increase by 74 per cent between 2017 and 2023 to reach 40.89 million.

GENERAL: African governments urged to prioritise digital rights

MFWA via Ifex: The membership of the African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX) and other African internet governance stakeholders attending the Sixth African Internet Governance Forum (AfIGF) has called for the prioritisation of digital rights of all citizens across the continent.

AZERBAIJAN: Abducted journalist gets six years in “terrifying” signal to exiles


BANGLADESH: Journos protest ‘death threat to fellows by cop’

The Daily Star: Journalist leaders today [15 Jan] protested the death threats to two of their colleagues allegedly by Deputy Inspector General of police Mizanur Rahman for running news reports.

CHINA: Chinese regime’s true face – one of the worst free speech predators

RSF: As the Chinese government tries to project the image of a modern, powerful nation with a great future for French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) points out that China is one of the world’s worst countries as regards respect for the freedom to inform.

CHINA: How WeChat became the primary news source in China

CJR: In a country where information is tightly controlled by the ruling party, a voracious demand for news catered to specific interests has given way to a boom in what directly translates as “self-media”—user-generated content created by one person and inspired by the slogan “be your own media outlet.”

INDIA: Media In India More Objective, Fair Than In The US: Survey

NDTV: Against a global median of 62 per cent people agreeing that news organisations are doing a good job at reporting the news accurately, the Pew survey said that 80 per cent of its Indian respondents said that reporting by their news organisations was accurate.

INDIA: Prasar Bharati increased DTT investment in 29 states

ABU: PSB Prasar Bharati has incurred an expenditure of Rs 114.4 crore till November 2017 for setting up digital terrestrial transmitters (DTT) in 29 states, Minister of State in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has informed the Indian parliament.

JAPAN: Pew survey gauges Japanese confidence in media coverage at 65%

The Japan Times: A U.S. think tank survey released Friday found that 65 percent of Japanese saw the domestic media as doing very or somewhat well at reporting news accurately.

MYANMAR: Draconian law used against Reuters reporters

Aljazeera: Burma may have a new name and a democratically elected government, but the oppressive laws introduced by British colonial overlords are again the preferred weapon of choice when dealing with critical journalists.

MYANMAR: Reuters reporters face 14 years for ‘receiving Rohingya secrets’ (Subscription)

The Times: Charged journalists accuse Suu Kyi of covering up ethnic cleansing.

NEPAL: Nepali police ask journalists to reveal source

IFJ: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliates the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) and the Nepal Press Union (NPU) in expressing serious concern over a court’s ruling in Nepali which backed attempts by police to force editors of online media to reveal their sources.

PAKISTAN: Lawmakers pledge support to journalist

Dawn: Parliamentarians have reached out to journalist Taha Siddiqui, who escaped an abduction attempt last week, and have assured him that they will highlight his case in the national legislature, even as police failed to make headway in the hunt for suspects involved in the incident.

PAKISTAN: ‘The New Normal’ in Pakistan: a Journalist on the Run From Gunmen

The New York Times: Fearing that his attackers would spot him from a distance, the investigative journalist Taha Siddiqui threw off his bright red sweater as he jumped into a ditch and crawled through mud and shrubs to reach a highway in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi.

PAKISTAN: Pakistani TV shows aim to break taboos

Pakistan Today

PHILIPPINES: Philippines Most Dangerous Country in Southeast Asia for Journalists

Internews: It’s not just suspected drug users and dealers at risk of targeted killing in the Philippines. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) reported last week that the Philippines is the most dangerous country in Southeast Asia for journalists. Globally, the island nation came sixth on the list of most murderous countries.

PHILIPPINES: Rappler, a new media organization critical of the Philippines government, faces closure

Tech Crunch: Rappler, a high-profile new media news organization in the Philippines, is facing closure after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revoked its registration for an alleged breach of the country’s constitution.

THAILAND: ‘Judgemental’ Thai press comes under fire (Opinion)

Bangkok Post: Judgemental news reporting and a lack of critical thinking among members of the media remain key factors hindering quality development within the Thai press.

VIETNAM: Vietnam’s “cyber-troop” announcement fuels concern about troll armies

RSF: A senior general revealed that Vietnam has developed a 10,000-strong force of “core-fighters” ready to combat “wrongful views” in cyber-space “every second, minute and hour.”

GENERAL: Public broadcasters in Asia under fire from all sides

Nikkei Review: TV stations risk caving in to heavy-handed governments, alienating viewers

AUSTRALIA: SBS trials slow TV with The Ghan: Australia’s Greatest Train Journey

Media Week: SBS and The Ghan recently became a talking point on social media after the former aired 17 hours of footage of the train ride. The Ghan expedition from Darwin to Adelaide is 54 hours long. Of this, the 17-hour footage put to air on 14 January on SBS Viceland was all the daylight footage that the producers of The Ghan: Australia’s Greatest Train Journey had.

SAMOA: Samoa PM keen on media divulging sources

RNZ: Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says that he would be happy if news organisations were made to reveal sources.

TONGA: Tongan media head bemoans lack of govt information

RNZ: The chair of Tonga’s Media Council, Pesi Fonua, says there is a vacuum of information surrounding government moves and the health of the prime minister.

TONGA: Tonga’s human rights record to be reviewed by UN council tonight

Matangi Online: Tonga’s human rights record will be examined by the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group for the third time tonight, Monday, 15 January 2018, in Geneva. Reviews take place about every five years.

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: Whistleblowing and Distrust of Institutions

Media Centar Online: The deep lack of trust in the institutions’ ability to implement the rules also involves whistleblowers because, despite the various protection mechanisms available and the belief that corruption is omnipresent, the number of legally recognised whistleblowers remains residual.

BULGARIA: Bulgarian Publishers: With the current media environment, there would not have been any accession to EU”

MediaPool via OBC: “If Bulgaria was not an EU member, it currently would not get accession”. This was the message left by participants in a media conference held in Sofia and organized by the Union of Publishers in Bulgaria.

CROATIA: European Delegation Puts Croatian Media Freedom Under Spotlight

Balkan Insight: As European media organisations again visit Croatia to explore the problems facing the media there, one journalist and editor said that they were likely to find that the situation had got worse since they last came in 2016.

DENMARK: Danish Broadcasting Corporation and public service broadcasting under threat

Sveriges Radio: Ten Directors-General of public service companies in Europe sign statement in support of Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR). Proposed budget cuts to DR would drastically diminish DR’s ability to operate as a public service broadcaster.

FRANCE: 54% watch TV with a 2nd screen

Advanced Television: With an average of 6.4 screens per home in France, each is used for specific purposes, and by different users, according to a report from measurement company Médiamétrie.

FRANCE: France Télévisions targeting 10% share of SVOD market

Digital TV Europe: France Télévisions hopes to make €40-50 million from its planned SVOD service within five years, and €15-20 million within three years, according to commercial development director Julien Verley, cited by financial daily Les Echos.

GEORGIA: Discussions On Public Broadcaster Reforms Continue in Georgia

The Messenger Online: Western Experience shows innovative funding methods for Public Broadcasters.

GEORGIA: President Vetoes Changes to Broadcasting Law

Civil.Ge: Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili vetoed the controversial amendments to the Law on Broadcasting and returned the bill to the Parliament together with his objections.

GERMANY: German journalist Mesale Tolu urges more government pressure on Turkey

DW: The German journalist has called on Berlin to “stand up for the victims of human rights violations” in Turkey. A court has blocked Tolu from leaving Turkey pending a trial over alleged membership in a terror group.

GREECE: Six media groups submit bids for Greek TV licences

Reuters: Six media groups have applied to get TV licenses in Greece in the latest effort by government to shake up what it sees as a debt-ridden, unregulated broadcasting sector.

ISLE OF MAN: Time to examine funding of radio?

IOM Today: An MHK is calling for a full review of how Manx Radio is funded.

MALTA: European delegation investigates rule of law in Malta

EFJ: A European delegation of representatives from the various political parties of the European Parliament has released on Thursday the report from its mission to Malta, on 30 November and 1 December 2017. The delegation met Maltese journalists, the police commissioner and the attorney general of Malta, to discuss important issues affecting the rule of law in the country – including the state of the media.

MONTENEGRO: Media Situation Worsens, Journalists’ Position Deteriorating

SEENPM: The state should be more determined in finding a mechanism for resolving cases of attacks on journalists and preventing further attacks, stated Marijana Camović, President of the Trade Union of Media of Montenegro.

POLAND: Poland withdraws TVN fine

Broadband TV News: Poland’s National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT) has overturned a controversial fine it imposed on the Scripps Networks Interactive station TVN last month.

SLOVAKIA: A Dim Future Approaches for Objective Reporting in Slovakia

Media Power Monitor: The management of RTVS, Slovakia’s public broadcaster, is poised to turn the station into a political enterprise. The recent cancellation of the station’s sole investigative journalism program is part of that strategy.

SLOVAKIA: RSF concerned about Slovak party attacks on public media

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the repeated recent verbal attacks on Slovakia’s state-owned national radio and TV broadcaster, RTVS, by the Slovak National Party (SNS), a junior member of the ruling coalition. The attacks violate this public broadcaster’s independence.

SPAIN: RTVE journalists ask to renovate the direction urgently (Spanish)

Info Libre: The representatives of the different newsrooms are concerned about “the movements of the last days “, and request “an effort of consensus and speed so that the norm agreed in September will result, as soon as possible, in a professional, independent and ambitious presidency”.

SPAIN: RTVE News Council: “The two ‘proposed’ academics for the presidency are linked to PP and Ciudadanos” (Spanish)

Público: On Tuesday, January 23, the RTVE working table will be re-convened to decide how to proceed with the election of the Board of Directors and the president of the corporation: by public contest or by political consensus.

SPAIN: RTVE news programmes win the Fernando Delgado Journalism Award of the Victims of Terrorism Foundation (Spanish)

RTVE: The jury decided to award the journalism prize Fernando Delgado (who was director of Communication of the Victims of Terrorism Foundation from its creation until his death) to the news services of Radio Televisión Española  because terrorism and its consequences have always been addressed by RTVE news  “with exquisite professionalism, following the guidelines set out in its style manual” .

SPAIN: RTVE workers propose two academics to direct the corporation (Spanish)

El Economista: It is an “independent candidacy of the political formations” of two professionals “of recognized prestige” that aims to make a “real turn” in the management of RTVE apart from “short-term partisan interests”, have explained sources of the driving group of this proposal.

SWITZERLAND: “No Billag”, a major issue for the members of the European Broadcasting Union (French)

Le Temps: Based in Geneva, the EBU is following the Swiss vote on the abolition of the fee for public information services with the utmost attention. For its Irish director, Noel Curran, the acceptance of this initiative would be a very bad signal at the time of the “fake news”.

SWITZERLAND: No Billag: Is this the End of Public Service Television in Switzerland?

EJO: “For some, the SRG SSR is a national shrine, for others, it is simply an outdated institution which has no right to exist in the digital age.”

UK: The BBC’s latest head of news has inherited a tough series of defining decisions (Opinion)

The New Statesman: The wider battle facing the newly appointed director, Fran Unsworth, is simply to make the case for BBC News.

UK: The Brits are switching off AM – should we panic?

Asia Radio Today: This month will be another month of headlines about the end of radio – and this time it’ll be the British you can blame.

UK: Fear stalks the BBC, and women like me are being gaslighted and lied to (Opinion)

The Guardian: The Humphrys-Sopel ‘banter’ over Carrie Gracie reflects a wider contempt for women who demand equal treatment with men

ARGENTINA: Argentina secures FTA World Cup coverage

Rapid TV News: Public broadcaster Televisión Pública Argentina will live broadcast 32 games of the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup this summer.

ARGENTINA: In Argentina, fact-checkers’ latest hire is a bot

Poynter: Today an Argentinian fact-checking outlet is taking a big step toward automating more of its workflow.

ARGENTINA: Public TV staff will not receive salary increases in 2018 (Spanish)

La Nacion: The head of the Federal Media System, Hernán Lombardi, confirmed that in 2018 there will be no salary increases within the Public TV. In a conversation with the journalist Pablo Sirvén, in the program Desde el Diván, by LN +, he referred to the struggle the government has with public media workers and predicted a deepening of the austerity policy.

BOLIVIA: Bolivian journalists declare an ‘emergency’ regarding parts of new Penal Code that criminalize defamation

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: The National Association of Bolivian Journalists (ANPB, for its initials in Spanish) and the Association of Journalists of La Paz (APLP) have declared an “emergency” in rejection of articles of the country’s new Penal Code the entities say could be used against professionals in retaliation for their work.

BRAZIL: Data scientists in Brazil working on the country’s first robot-journalist to report on congressional bills

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: Bills making their way through Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies will be closely followed by a new kind of beat reporter: a news-producing robot, the first of its kind in the country

CARIBBEAN: ‘Urgent Need For Early Warning Systems In The Caribbean’

Gleaner: The urgent need for early warning systems is the most poignant lesson for Ronald Jackson, head of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, following warnings of possible tsunami surges throughout the region.

COLOMBIA: Supreme Court of Colombia orders to reveal sources and journalistic secret information: why is it worrying? (Spanish)

CNN: The blow that, for experts, the Supreme Court of Colombia gave to the professional secrecy of journalists has aroused concern in the country. The high court ruled in favor of a previous decision that asked Publicaciones Semana to reveal the sources about a story that was published in 2013. This Thursday, the Colombian Media Association issued a statement rejecting the court order.

MEXICO: A general law is now possible to protect journalists (Spanish – Opinion)

Ejecentral: We need a general law that outlines rights for people who practice professional journalism in Mexico; national standards that, when promulgated, dissolve the clutter and over regulation that exists around freedom of expression and its fundamental users, who are the journalists and who also suffer the highest risks of losing their lives for their work. Is this possible?

MEXICO: UN Human Rights Office condemns attacks by police against journalists in Acapulco, Mexico

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: The Mexican Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and various press advocates have called on the Mexican government to investigate reported attacks on journalists that took place Jan. 7 in Concepción, Acapulco in the state of Guerrero.

GENERAL: Duncan Tucker: Financial pressures are undermining Latin America’s media

Index on Censorship: With general elections scheduled in six Latin American countries this year, and another six to follow in 2019, the relationship between the media and democracy could have a major impact on the future of the region. However, mounting financial pressures are robbing many media outlets of their objectivity and forcing them to toe pro-government lines.

IRAN: What unblocking Telegram app means to Iranians

Aljazeera: Telegram is arguably the most popular social media application in Iran. So it will come as a relief to its estimated 40 million users – nearly half of Iran’s population – that the government decided this week to lift restrictions on the app.

TURKEY:  Obey Constitutional Court Ruling to Release Imprisoned Journalists

Freedom House: “When a lower court feels empowered to interpret the Constitution in direct contradiction to a ruling of the highest court in the land, government officials are acting outside the law and with complete impunity,”.

YEMEN: Yemeni authorities force local Al Jazeera station to close

CPJ: A video posted on Al-Jazeera Yemen’s Facebook page shows men with guns dressed in military fatigues and red berets bearing the Yemeni military insignia at the channel’s Taiz bureau.

CANADA: In three years, CBC/Radio-Canada has doubled its online audiences (French)

Les Média Francophones Publics: Canadians love their public broadcaster and, thanks to them, CBC / Radio-Canada has doubled its digital reach two and a half years earlier than expected.

CANADA: ‘We’re part of the community’: As other small town papers close, new owners expand Cut Knife Courier

CBC News: As many Saskatchewan communities are facing the loss of their local newspaper, one town’s publication is growing its reach.

US: About Slingshot, Public Radio’s Emerging Artist Spotlight

NPR: NPR member stations are uniquely tapped into local music scenes around the country. DJs share up-and-coming bands with listeners by playing their music on the radio, interviewing them on-air and writing articles and blog posts.

US: Global unhappiness with the news media is high. In the U.S. (surprise!) partisanship drives what people think about the media

Nieman Lab: In the U.S., supporting the party in power correlates with thinking the media does a terrible job. The opposite is true in nearly every other country surveyed.

US: How pub radio’s risk-averse culture impedes its chances for success (Opinion)


US: New York Festivals World’s Best Radio Programs (Call for Entires)

New York Festivals

US: Report: Most Americans don’t cite NPR, PBS as objective

Current: Most Americans can’t name an objective news source, and the 44 percent who do are less likely to cite NPR than Fox or CNN. The survey found a strong correlation between political values and media distrust.

US: Reporters who broke stories about harassment in pubmedia reflect on changing attitudes

Current: Washington Post reporters who revealed allegations about sexual harassment in public broadcasting said Tuesday that they’re now focusing on the systemic issues that have enabled men in media to get away with inappropriate behavior.

US: RSF to participate in unprecedented US press freedom mission

RSF: Reporters Without Borders, also known internationally as Reporters sans frontières (RSF), will join a delegation of global press freedom groups convened by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and IFEX on a fact-finding mission to the United States, reflecting concerns about threats to journalists and heightened anti-press rhetoric in the first year of Donald J. Trump’s presidency.

Facebook drastically changes News Feed to make it “good for people” (and bad for most publishers)

NiemanLab: Facebook is making big, immediate changes to News Feed. The company will now prioritize content from friends, family, and groups over “public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post Thursday night.

How newsrooms will be adopting artificial intelligence in 2018

Journalism.co.uk: A look at the state of AI in newsrooms from the 2018 ‘Journalism, media, and technology trends and predictions’ report published by the Reuters Institute

If Facebook stops putting news in front of readers, will readers bother to go looking for it? (Opinion)

Nieman Lab: The idea that the value of a piece of news is defined by likes and comments — that taking in information without getting into a back-and-forth with your uncle about it is somehow unworthy — is actually a profoundly ideological statement.

In European media experiment, only women choose the news

IJNET: “We wanted to know what would happen to the current affairs narrative if only women chose the news”

New guide helps journalists, researchers investigate misinformation, memes and trolling

SEENPM: The field guide’s series of visual “recipes” focuses on capturing how digital platforms shape misleading information.

Service and audience are synonymous with radio (Spanish – Opinion)

Medium: The radio is a customary means to attend to the immediate needs of the target audience. Whenever the radio talks to the audience, it improves its position in the media market.

What to expect for the media in 2018, according to Reuters

EFJ: The Reuters Institute for the study of journalism has predicted the year 2018 in journalism with the release of its report, ‘Journalism, Media, and Technology Trends and Predictions 2018’, part of its Digital News Project 2018.

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Header image: Set of NBC Good Morning Namibia. Credits: PMA