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

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What we're listening to...

Daphne: A Fire in Malta

BBC Radio 4: Drama series based on the true and extraordinary story of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Maltese journalist who was murdered in 2017.

What we're watching...

SABC refutes retrenchment claims

SABC News: The South African Broadcasting Corporation is refuting weekend newspaper reports that it plans to cut its staff by up to 33%. Newspaper reports suggest that this is part of the public broadcaster’s turnaround strategy. SABC’s turnaround strategy was rejected by finance and communications ministries when it applied for a R3.2 billion government bailout. Now for reaction on the story, we are joined on the line by SABC spokesperson, Vuyo Mthembu

BURKINA FASO: Burkina Faso tightens press freedom amid security crisis

The Guardian: One of Africa’s bastions of press freedom is attempting to enact harsh legislation that threatens journalists reporting on an unfolding security crisis, human rights organisations and press freedom advocates have warned.

ETHIOPIA: In era of reform, Ethiopia still reverts to old tactics to censor press

CPJ: On June 22, Ethiopia was plunged into an internet blackout following what the government described as a failed attempted coup in the Amhara region. In the aftermath at least two journalists were detained under the country’s repressive anti-terror law, part of an uptick in arrests that CPJ has noted in the country since May.

GAMBIA: GPU President Says Freedom of Information, Expression Strengthens Good Governance

All Africa: Sheriff Bojang Jnr. the President of The Gambia Press Union addressed a gathering of members of the judiciary both from the bench and the bar in a two-day consultative meeting for lawyers and judges on Freedom of Expression and Information. 

GHANA: Ghana joins Commonwealth Nations in supporting press freedom

Ghana Web: Ghana has joined other commonwealth nations to pledge their commitment to the protection of journalists. The pledge was made at the just-ended Global Conference for Media Freedom in London.

GHANA: Press freedom must resonate with all – Anas

Ghana Web: Anas Aremeyaw Anas, an Undercover Investigative Journalist, has bemoaned that media freedom must resonate with other journalists across Africa or the world.

MALAWI: Malawi commits to media freedom as UK warns countries to pay diplomatic price 

Nyasa Times: Malawi government makes pledge to ensure “ enabling environment for media freedom, diversity and independence.” 

NIGERIA: Press Attack in Nigeria: ’36 journalists attacked in 6 months’

Premium Times: At least 36 Nigerian journalists were attacked between January and July this year, with 30 of the attacks recorded during the 2019 general elections.

SOMALIA: Somali-Canadian journalist Hodan Nalayeh killed in Somalia hotel attack

CBC News: Hodan Nalayeh, a Somali-Canadian journalist who once resided in Vaughan, Ont., was killed in an attack on a hotel in Somalia on Friday, Mogadishu-based Radio Dalsan tells CBC News.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC refutes retrenchment claims 

SABC News: The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has refuted the contents of a Sunday Times article which indicates that the public broadcaster plans to cut a third of its staff and some regional offices such as Kimberley in the Northern Cape, Pretoria in Gauteng and Montague Gardens in the Western Cape will be closed.

SOUTH AFRICA: Ndabeni-Abrahams required to regularly brief Committee on state of SABC finances 

SABC News: Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams will be required to regularly brief the Communications Committee in Parliament about the progress of discussions to address the financial crisis at the SABC.

SUDAN: MTN contributed to human rights violations in Sudan, say 23 civil society groups (Comment)

Mail & Guardian: 23 organizations signed a joint letter to  MTN Group CEO Rob Shuter and MTN Sudan CEO Melik Melamu calling on them to end their roles in Sudan’s internet shutdown.

SUDAN: Media and Web Freedom Threatened in Sudan Turbulence

The Wire: The United Nations has condemned an internet shutdown and the blocking of social media channels during Sudan’s political crisis, as fears persisted over a crackdown on media freedoms in the turbulent African country.

TANZANIA: In BBC interview, Tanzanian foreign minister says journalist Azory Gwanda is dead

CPJ: The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on the Tanzanian government to provide a detailed public account of the fate of freelance journalist Azory Gwanda after the country’s foreign minister, Palamagamba Kabudi, said in an interview that the journalist is dead. Gwanda went missing on November 21, 2017. 

UGANDA: Anite named on global panel to defend media freedom

Daily Monitor: Ugandan lawyer, Ms Catherine Anite, is among the 16 people unveiled at the weekend to head a high level panel of experts to defend media freedom around the world. She is among the only two Africans selected onto the panel. 

AFGHANISTAN: Radio journalist found murdered after disappearance

IFJ: Nader Shah Sahebzadeh, a talk show host for Radio Gardez Ghar, was found killed in the Gardez, the capital of Paktia province in Afghanistan’s east. 

CHINA: Two years after Liu Xiaobo’s death, China remains the largest prison of journalists in the world

RSF: Two years after the death of Nobel Peace Prize and RSF Award laureate Liu Xiaobo while in detention, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates that China remains the largest prison in the world for defenders of free information.

CHINA: ‘We’re Almost Extinct’: China’s Investigative Journalists Are Silenced Under Xi (Paywall)

The New York Times: She was once one of China’s most feared journalists, roaming the country uncovering stories about police brutality, wrongful convictions and environmental disasters. But these days, Zhang Wenmin struggles to be heard.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong Journalists Association finds government has done little to safeguard press freedom

CPJ: The Hong Kong Journalists Association annual report entitled “Red Line Stifles Freedom”, released on July 7, shows a deterioration of press freedom in the special administrative region as China toughens its “one country” policy.

INDIA: Hyderabad police detain Mojo TV’s Revathi Pogadadanda

CPJ: On 12th July Revathi  Pogadadanda, the founder and former CEO of independent news channel Mojo TV, was forcibly taken to a police station. The Committee to Protect Journalists have called for  her immediate release.

INDIA: Indian media body asks government to withdraw restrictions on journalists

Reuters: The Editors Guild of India, which represents the country’s newspapers, urged the government on Wednesday to withdraw curbs that have reduced journalists’ access to officials in the finance ministry.

MALAYSIA: Malaysians now trust traditional media more, studies show

Malay Mail: Malaysians now have more trust in local media compared to five years ago, a new study by global market research firm Ipsos Malaysia found. The increase in trust however, appears to be for traditional media such as newspapers, television and radio, rather than online media platforms.

PAKISTAN:  Three TV channels taken down after airing opposition leader’s live speech

IFJ: Three television channels in Pakistan were taken off air after broadcasting an “unedited live telecast” of an opposition politician on Saturday July 6. 

PAKISTAN: Media watchdogs slam ‘brazen censorship’ by Pakistan

Aljazeera: Rights groups criticise government for ‘dictatorial tendencies’ after channels taken off air for covering opposition.

PHILIPPINES: Radio journalist Eduardo Dizon shot dead in Philippines

SBS News: Philippines radio journalist Eduardo Dizon, who often focused on corruption, was fatally shot on his way home from work.

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s laws to stop fake news could backfire,’ according to Google and Facebook (Video)

South China Morning Post: The financial hub is among several countries looking at legislation to rein in fake news but critics have cautioned this could be used to curb free speech

SOUTH KOREA: ‘MBC violates anti-workplace bullying law’

The Korea Times: Announcers of local broadcaster MBC submitted a complaint to the labor authorities against their company, Tuesday, claiming it was violating the law banning workplace bullying. 

AUSTRALIA: AFP raid on ABC reveals investigative journalism being put in same category as criminality

ABC News: On April 1, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) wrote an extraordinary letter which could signal a dramatic change in how the media is viewed in this country: it wanted the fingerprints of two senior journalists.

AUSTRALIA: Australia leads the Western world on media restrictions: UN rapporteur

The Sydney Morning Herald: David Kaye: “We are seeing a lot of backsliding around the world in democratic societies around basic protections, and a lot of it has been digital interference [with press freedoms]. Australia is following that line. But I think it’s also gone a lot further.”

AUSTRALIA: Country Press Australia and Deakin University study into regional news decline

ABC News: The largest study of country newspapers ever undertaken in Australia is hoping to develop sustainable models that can help the declining regional media landscape survive into the future.

AUSTRALIA: Marise Payne criticised for attending global forum on press freedom

The Australian: Marise Payne has been attacked for attending a global forum on press freedoms in London and promoting “a free press to keep Australians safe’’ at a time when Australian journalists face raids when reporting on sensitive stories.

NEW ZEALAND: AUT’s Pacific Media Watch ‘lighthouse’ role featured in freedom doco (Watch)

Asia Pacific Report: Pacific Media Watch has become a challenging professional development opportunity for AUT postgraduate students seeking to develop specialist skills in Asia-Pacific journalism. It is was launched by Professor David Robie, then head of the UPNG journalism programme in Port Moresby and Peter Cronau, editor of Reportage investigative magazine at UTS.

NEW ZEALAND: Broadcasting watchdog targets harm (Listen)

RNZ: ‘Freedom in Broadcasting without Harm’ is the newly-stated mission of our most powerful media watchdog. The BSA is also asking if broadcasting standards need to change after the Christchurch mosque attacks. This could be controversial against the backdrop of increased angst about hate speech and freedom of expression these days.

SAMOA: No denial to TV news access says Pacific Games broadcaster

RNZ: Samoa’s public have not been receiving televised news footage from the Pacific Games despite being the host country. Local news networks said they’d been shut out by the host broadcaster and the local licence holder who, in turn, said it was not the case.

ALBANIA: EU scrutinises controversial Albanian media legislation

Balkan Insight:  The EU ambassador to Tirana said the European Commission is examining legislation backed by Albania’s government that would make it possible to impose large fines on online media, which critics describe as an attack on freedom of speech.

BULGARIA: The fight against disinformation in Bulgaria is almost nonexistent, says journalist Ivan Georgiev (Q&A)

Global Voices

CROATIA: Journalists consider critical reporting threatened (German)

Deutschland Funk: Die Nachtrichten: Croatian journalists and media scientists accuse the management of the public service broadcasting HRT of wanting to suppress critical reporting.

DENMARK: Danes do not hesitate (German)

Der Tagesspiege: During the summer, DR will stop several broadcasts, and as of January 1, 2020, there will be only three TV channels left. The closures are the result of a media agreement that closed DR in the summer of 2018 with the then Conservative Center government.

FRANCE: France’s lower house passes online hate speech law

Rappler: Members of the National Assembly lower house of parliament vote by 434 in favor to 33 against to adopt the law, which is modelled on German legislation that came into force last year.

FRANCE: French authors and producers’ groups slam France 4 closure plan

Digital TV Europe: French minister of culture Franck Riester has confirmed plans to close down France Télévisions youth channel France 4 along with international service France Ô, next year, to the consternation of groups representing creatives in the country.

FRANCE: French MPs pass landmark bill to fight online hate speech (Video)

Euronews: French MPs have passed a landmark bill to fight online hate speech. There were 434 who voted for the law and 33 who voted against it. It means social media networks will have to remove offending content within 24 hours.

GREECE: Greece: New Democracy – New Press Freedom?

ECPMF: Greece’s newly-elected Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has been sworn in. From a far-left to a conservative government in the crisis-ridden country – what does it mean for press freedom?

IRELAND: Virgin Media, RTÉ negotiations break down over time-shifted offering

TVBEurope: Negotiations between Virgin Media and RTÉ have broken down over plans to make a time-shifted version of RTÉ2 available on the Virgin platform, according to the Irish Independent.

MALTA: Malta sends three suspects for trial on charges of killing anti-corruption journalist

Reuters: Three men will face trial in Malta for their alleged involvement in the murder of anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia after the island’s attorney general issued a bill of indictment against them, court officials said on Tuesday. 

MOLDOVA: Moldova’s journalists cautiously optimistic after ‘silent revolution’

Global Voices: Moldova seldom makes international headlines. When it does, the country usually plays a walk-on role in a greater drama between Russia and the West. But that script changed last month, when bitter foes put their differences aside to oust nominally pro-Western but deeply unpopular rulers.

NETHERLANDS: ‘It should not be accepted as normal’: Female journalists on harassment, intimidation in the Netherlands

CPJ:  The Netherlands is generally considered to have a positive press freedom reputation, but when the independent Dutch Association of Journalists released the findings of its survey of over 350 female journalists in May, over half said they had been subjected to intimidation or violence in their work and around 70 percent said these threats were a danger to press freedom.

SPAIN: DTT: a continuous technical plan (Spanish – Blog)

Teledetodos: Again the channel dance for the sake of the so-called second digital dividend. More radio spectrum, more public domain, for advanced telecommunications services (5G), less for television. More advanced payment services with big promises ( Internet of things ), the same services of open television relocated in a smaller bandwidth.

SPAIN: Television of Galicia condemned for violating the right to strike (Spanish)

El Plural: The autonomous public chain will have to pay 6251 euros to the Intercentros Committee of the Corporation to have reduced the effect of unemployment by replacing a worker. 

RUSSIA: Over 5000 Russian disinformation items in four years and a half

European Data Journalism Network: At election time, Russian actors responsible for spreading misinformation seem to be tireless. But even if there is no election, they do not rest, EU Stratcom data suggests.

UK: Corbyn calls for journalists to be ‘set free’ from ‘billionaire’ press barons as he proposes ‘public interest media fund’ and editorial elections

Press Gazette: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn today floated a number of ideas, some “radical” by his own admission, about how to “set free” journalists from “billionaire” press barons and democratise news in the digital age.

UK: London conference puts UK on world press freedom map

ECPMF: An EU Member State where the murder of a journalist remains unpunished and investigative journalists have been prosecuted for refusing to reveal whistleblowers hosted an international media freedom conference. 

UK: This week at Index: Media freedom needs more than just warm words 

Index on Censorship:  Index CEO Jodie Ginsberg called for media conference to be followed with action, “not just warm words”. 

UK: Theresa May refuses to defend journalists’ right to publish leaks 

The Guardian: Downing Street has refused to stand up for the right of journalists to publish leaked official documents in the public interest after police warned last week that editors could face prosecution if they reveal any further diplomatic cables from the British ambassador to the US, Sir Kim Darroch.

WESTERN BALKANS & TURKEY: Call for Registration: Mapping organizations working on media and information literacy in the Western Balkans and Turkey

SEENPM: The Coalition of Information and Media Users in South East Europe (CIMU SEE) in cooperation with UNESCO and the European Commission, opens a call for registration (until 31 July 2019) aimed at mapping all organizations in the Western Balkans and Turkey working in the field of media and information literacy (MIL).

GENERAL: Europe is fighting for money for broadcasting (German)

NTV: Many European countries are discussing how public service broadcasting should be financed. Governments disagree over whether the institutions should be funded through taxes or by budget. Particularly striking is the attitude of the right-wing populist parties.

ARGENTINA: Hard warning for businessmen on freedom of the press (Spanish)

La Nacion: A group of important businessmen united in a Whatsapp group of more than 260 members called “Our Voice” to defend “freedom of the press” and to respect “secret sources.” The message of the businessmen was in support of Daniel Santoro, who will testify tomorrow before judge Ramos Padilla for the D’Alessio case. 

BAHAMAS: Smith Leads Calls To End ‘Archaic’ Criminal Libel Laws

Tribune 242: Bahamas yesterday renewed calls for an end to archaic criminal libel laws after social media commentator Gorman Bannister was remanded to prison over the offence. RB legal director Fred Smith yesterday said calls for the abolition of the criminal libel laws went back to the early 1980s.

BARBADOS: Announcer Muted

Barbados Today: The Programme Manager at Starcom Network has had his 2019 calypso Reading for Pleasure banned by his own radio station and the state-owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

BRAZIL: Glenn Greenwald becomes focus of Brazil press freedom debate

SFGATE: Several weeks after publishing explosive reports about a key member of Brazil’s far-right government, U.S. journalist Glenn Greenwald was called before a congressional committee to face hostile questions.

CUBA: Independent Cuban media criticize the government decree that established sanctions against sites housed outside the country

Knight Centre: A new Cuban government decree on internet on the island generated criticism from independent media and citizens on social networks that point to the risks that the rules will be used to undermine freedom of expression and access to information in the country.

HONDURAS: When showing credibility imperils a story’s subjects 

Columbia Journalism Review: Three weeks after Azam Ahmed and Tyler Hicks published a story in the New York Times on a small gang called Casa Blanca in the  Rivera Hernández neighborhood of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Salvadoran anthropologist Juan José Martínez d’Aubuisson, author of A Year Inside MS-13: See, Hear and Shut Up, criticized the Times for identifying the story subjects to such a degree.

JAMAICA: Johnson Smith bats for journalists, media workers at UK conference

Jamaica Observer: Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith says she will intensify efforts to promote and strengthen media freedom across Commonwealth countries at the Global Conference for Media Freedom in London, United Kingdom. 

MEXICO: A Mexican BBC? (Spanish – Opinion)

Excélsior: The start of a new government is an opportunity to promote our own model of public media

MEXICO: Urgent call on authorities to protect threatened journalists and writers (Spanish)

Pen International: PEN International, Article 19, Office for Mexico and Central America and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) make an urgent call to Mexican authorities to protect threatened Mexican journalists and writers

NICARAGUA: Ortega Continues to Persecute Independent Media in Nicaragua

Havana Times: On June 9th journalist Miguel Mora, owner of 100% Noticias, warned that the Nicaraguan government is trying to kill his media through a “civil death,” by preventing the television channel—his only source of income—from returning to the airwaves after the government confiscated it last December. 

VENEZUELA: The 3 Venezuelan journalists in Miami who are a media power and networks (Spanish)

Alnavi: Three Venezuelan journalists have found in exile a formula to achieve much more impact and influence than the media for which they worked. They have gone from information and opinion workers to becoming, themselves, in communication media with their own name and style.

SAUDI ARABIA: Khashoggi’s Killers ‘Must Be Held to Account’

The Atlantic: The UN rapporteur who found “credible evidence” linking the Saudi crown prince and others to the killing of the journalist tells The Atlantic justice would also mean that all sides, including the U.S., need to tell the truth about what they know.

SAUDI ARABIA: Media watchdog visits Saudi Arabia to free journalists

Aljazeera: Reporters Without Borders visited Saudi Arabia to seek freedom for at least 30 jailed journalists amid sustained criticism of Riyadh following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

SYRIA: Harassment of pro-government journalists growing in Syria

RSF: The pro-government journalist who was arrested last week in Aleppo is the latest in a steadily growing list of journalists to fall victim to the Assad regime, a list that includes those who are supposedly its supporters.

TURKEY: Reporters in Turkey adopt a new beat: Imprisoned journalists

Deutsche Welle: First hearing of the trial where journalist Ferhat Parlak faces “membership in a terrorist organization” charges will be held at Diyarbakir 10th High Criminal Court.

TURKEY: ‘Police officers demanded to see my books’: Elif Shafak on Turkey’s war on free-speech

The Guardian: The author once put on trial for ‘insulting Turkishness’ explains why writers, academics and especially women, face escalating hostility in Erdoğan’s Turkey

TURKEY: IPI Report Launch in Turkey: “It Won’t Always Be Like This”

IPI: IPI to announce its report on how to strengthen Turkey’s journalists for the future

TURKEY: Turkey: Rights defenders tried for standing up for press freedom, must be acquitted

Amnesty International: Ahead of the expected verdict in a case against two prominent human rights defenders and a writer accused of ‘making terrorist propaganda’ for participating in a solidarity campaign for a Kurdish daily newspaper, Amnesty International is calling for their acquittal.

YEMEN: Journalist Yahya al-Sawari arrested and held incommunicado

IFEX: The journalist was reportedly arrested while trying to interview protesters injured by forces aligned with the Saudi-led coalition. 

CANADA: CBC launches new slate of programming for young adults on CBC Gem, including original series Warigami and Utopia Falls

CBC/Radio-Canada: CBC today announced the launch of a new slate of content created for young adults between the ages of 13 and 24 that will be available on the CBC Gem streaming service. 

CANADA: Canada pledges $1-million for fund to help imprisoned journalists as conference on press freedom ends (Paywall)

The Globe and Mail: The fund will rely on donations from governments although, so far, only Canada and Britain have committed money. Canada has offered $1-million and Britain is contributing £3-million over the next three years.

CANADA: Canadian court forces VICE to reveal journalist’s confidential correspondence after four-year legal battle 

RSF: After four years of legal turmoil, VICE has resigned itself to divulging national security reporter Ben Makuch’s protected correspondence with his late source ISIS fighter Farah Shirdon to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). 

US: CPB aids Greater Public initiative to help stations step up major-gift game (Paywall)

Current: CPB has awarded Greater Public a $500,000 grant to start an online course to train stations in major-gift fundraising.

U.S. Looking back on the lesser-known histories of ‘Chicano Public Radio’ (Paywall)

Current: Since the 1970s, Spanish-language and bilingual (Spanish-English) community radio has flourished in rural, farmworker and Mexican-dominant communities.

U.S. Trump excludes, targets social media and press at unconventional summit

RSF: As the US election season approaches, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is concerned by the unsubstantiated and misleading accusations of anti-conservative bias and the continuing diatribe against the “mainstream media” made during President Donald Trump’s Social Media Summit on July 11. RSF reminds the President that a slandering of the press cannot bring about press freedom. 

US: With ‘Molly of Denali,’ PBS Raises Its Bar for Inclusion

The New York Times: Dozens of Alaska Native writers and advisers were recruited to help create the children’s series Molly of Denali, one of the first to have a Native American lead. It also represents what is perhaps PBS’s most ambitious effort yet to educate its young viewers about a distinct cultural group, while investing in making sure that members of that group are involved at every level of production.

Future of freedom of expression online does not have to be a dark one

Index on Censorship: UN Special Rapporteur David Kaye speaks to Timandra Harkness about free speech and the internet.

Global press freedom – a downward spiral

Open Democracy: What was previously understood as something that took place in conflict zones or countries with few legal protections and no independent judiciary, has spread to functioning, modern and robust democracies, leaving journalists everywhere at risk in complex and challenging ways. 

How do we tackle this contempt for honest reporting?

The Guardian: From Saudi Arabia to the UK, misinformation is fuelling hostility towards journalists

Insight: Where the right to free speech went wrong (Opinion)

San Francisco Chronicle: Free speech is fundamental for artists, advocates and activists, the basis of all we do. Today, however, this value is being pushed to the limit by the internet, the new front line of hate, and very little is being done about it.

IPI launches resource platform for newsrooms on online abuse (Resource)

IPI: Website collects best practices from dozens of leading newsrooms in Europe.

Public service media: Trust in news (Paywall)

IBC: Public service news is facing increasing pressures from politicians to declining audiences and attacks on impartiality. But is it all doom and gloom? – Raymond Snoddy investigates.

Shrinking ad revenues undermining local and investigative journalism, experts warn

Press Gazette: Freedom of expression experts have claimed dwindling advertising revenues are undermining local and investigative journalism in a joint declaration published today.

The Netflix cash machine needs the kind of hits that money can’t buy 

The Observer: Netflix is a multibillion-dollar programming machine in dire need of homemade hits – and it can no longer rely on Friends for help. 

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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.

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