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

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CÔTE D’IVOIRE: Threat to Media Freedom as Authorities Seek to Introduce Repressive Press Law

Media Foundation for West Africa: On May 5, 2017, authorities in Côte d’Ivoire introduced to the country’s parliament a new media bill containing provisions that criminalise press offences. The introduction of the bill occasioned spontaneous protests and condemnation by the media and press freedom community in the country. 

ETHIOPIA: New Ethiosat TV platform on Eutelsat

Broadband TV News: Ethiopia’s Information Network Security Agency (INSA), in charge of the transformation of the country’s high-tech and security industry, officialised the launch of Ethiosat, its new TV platform.

KENYA: Kenya to get $10m investment in BBC expansion

Africa News: British broadcaster British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is set to invest about $10m in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, as part of an expansion they announced earlier this year.

NAMIBIA: Geingob to launch media code of ethics

The Namibian: The Editors Forum of Namibia’s code of ethics will be relaunched today as part of the belated World Press Freedom Day commemorations.

NIGERIA: Nigeria’s Senate Reverses Decision on Journalists

All Africa: The Chairman of the Senate Press Corps Cosmas Ekpunobi had described the decision of the Senate to limit or bar the number of camera persons and journalists in the plenary as “unhealthy and an attempt to cause friction between the media and the National Assembly”.

NIGERIA: OGBC Workers Shut down Station indefinitely over Unpaid Salaries

This Day: Staffs of Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation (OGBC), Abeokuta wednesday shut down the radio station over unpaid salary of workers.

SOUTH AFRICA: Content Creators Want SABC 90 Percent Local Content Policy Continued

Broadcast Media Africa: South Africa Creative Workers Union (Cwusa) is pleading with South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)’s interim board to consider carefully, and engage extensively, with all stakeholders before it takes the decision to axe the 90% local content policy.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC in Financial Crisis, Admits Acting CEO

Via All Africa: “We are facing a financial crisis,” admitted James Aguma, acting SABC CEO to the parliamentary portfolio committee on communications on Wednesday morning.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC wants you to pay a TV licence for your computer, cellphone and tablet

Channel24: SABC CEO James Aguma shocked on Wednesday by telling parliament the SABC wants the Broadcasting Act changed to include more viewing devices so that more people need a SABC TV licence, for instance for computers, cellphones and tablets.

SWAZILAND: National Overview 2016 (Report)

Media Institute of Southern Africa: As government tightens grip on state-owned broadcast media, Swazis now understand need for public service broadcaster.

ZIMBABWE: Expose Corruption, Zimra Urges Media

The Herald: Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has called on the media to expose corruption at all levels and all forms of illicit behaviour, as these vices reverse the gains of economic development.

AZERBAIJAN: Azerbaijani Court Bans Independent Media Websites

Freedom House: “By banning independent media websites, the Azerbaijani government has disproved President Ilham Aliyev’s most frequently used argument that Azerbaijan enjoys freedom on the internet”.

INDIA: Centre enhances subsidy to set up community radio stations

DNA: The government has enhanced the subsidy amount to set up community radio stations across the country from the existing 50 per cent to 75 per cent, Union minister Venkaiah Naidu said today.

INDIA: India’s Supreme Court bans reporting judge’s statements

CPJ: An Indian Supreme Court order banning news media from quoting a judge who accused other senior judges of corruption is a troubling blow to freedom of the press, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

INDONESIA: The Dark Side of Indonesia’s Social Media Boom

The Diplomat: Fake news, defamation, and hoaxes point to the urgent need for social media literacy training in Indonesia.

JAPAN: Disaster training for staff essential, broadcasters told

ABU: Akinori Hashimoto, an Executive Controller at public broadcaster NHK, told the 3rd ABU Media Summit on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction that regular training was essential to ensure effective disaster coverage.

MALDIVES: Killing of Yameen Rasheed underscores urgent need for reform in the Maldives

IFEX: 49 rights groups strongly condemn the brutal murder of popular blogger Yameen Rasheed in what is believed to be an attack motivated by his political and social commentary. Maldivian authorities are urged to hold all perpetrators to account and to implement reforms to improve the broader free expression environment in the country.

NEPAL: Attacks and arrests of journalists ahead of local elections in Nepal

IFJ: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) in expressing concern over incidents of violation of journalists’ rights ahead of elections to local bodies.

NEPAL: Multimedia tools help journalists tell meaningful stories of climate change

IJNET: Wedged between high mountains to the north and subtropical plains to the south, Nepal is one of the most vulnerable countries on the planet to the effects of global warming and climate change. But climate science is notoriously complicated and difficult to explain to readers.

PAKISTAN: Pemra warns TV channels not to air content jeopardising military’s image

DAWN: A statement issued by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Friday carried a warning for all TV channels against airing unverified news or analysis themed around the Pakistan Army or its relationship with the civilian government.

PHILIPPINES: Senate OKs bill protecting TV, online, radio journalists

Rappler: The bill seeks to amend the 70-year old Republic Act 53, also known as the Shield Law, which only protects print journalists from revealing their sources.

THAILAND: Facebook to block local content

Bangkok Post: Media giant response follows court order.

TURKMENISTAN: A day watching Turkmen television (Opinion)

Open Democracy: In Turkmenistan, people will do anything to avoid watching their tightly-controlled state media. This journalist spent a day glued to the screen to find out why.

VIETNAM: Vietnamese news media trivializes women leaders

Journalism Research News: The study is based on a survey that was conducted on Vietnamese journalists from two television news programs, one radio news, three news sites and two newspapers. The survey took place in December 2015 and in early 2016.

AUSTRALIA: Australian government announce inquiry into the future of journalism

IFJ: The announcement, on May 10, was backed by several Australian senators, and outlined that the inquiry will examine the structure of media organisations and their tax arrangements, fake-news, as well as the impacts of Facebook and Google on the media and outlets.

AUSTRALIA: SBS On Demand Offers Chromecast on iOS

Content & Technology: SBS On Demand has launched Chromecast functionality on iOS devices, allowing users to cast programs from SBS On Demand’s international and multilingual library to their TV screens to enjoy anytime, anywhere, and for free.

AUSTRALIA: Why media reform in Australia has been so hard to achieve

The Conversation: From the mid-20th century, there has been substantial international support for plurality of media ownership. But why has this been hard to achieve in Australia?

NEW ZEALAND: Change at the top for Māori Television

Radio New Zealand: This week, Māori Television’s Paora Maxwell became the latest in a series of media bosses to resign this past year. Mediawatch looks at the reaction – and why it’s not the only leadership issue currently confronting the broadcaster.​

TONGA: World public broadcaster body approaches Tonga’s King over media freedom concerns (Listen)

ABC: Tonga’s King has been approached by the world’s largest association of public broadcasters, expressing its concern over recent changes to the Tonga Broadcasting Commission.

ALBANIA: EBU Joins Forces with OSCE to Support Albanian Member

EBU: The EBU and OSCE Presence in Albania have joined forces to facilitate discussions on the development of a new strategy for national broadcaster RTSH.

BOSNIA HERZEGOVINA: Closure of broadcaster would severely weaken media pluralism in Bosnia

RSF: Bosnia-Herzegovina’s national broadcaster BHRT is in serious financial trouble and its closure could be imminent, which would make it the only country in Europe without a public television network.

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: Public TV Survived The War, But Can It Survive Peacetime In Bosnia?

Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty: You won’t find any Bosnians under the laser effects and artificial fog in Kyiv this week as acts from 42 countries perform in the Eurovision Song Contest. In September, Bosnian public broadcaster BHRT announced it was forced to withdraw from the annual extravaganza because it couldn’t afford the entry fee.

CROATIA: Public Broadcaster’s Ratings Plummit

Total Croatia News: Croatian Radio-Television is now the third most-watched TV station among three national-level broadcasters.

ESTONIA: Estonian Public Media Gets Government Manpower

Media Power Monitor: The appointment of a high government official in the body that governs Estonia’s public broadcaster is opening a can of worms. He promises to keep his two hats apart – but some people don’t trust him.

FINLAND: Report slams ‘arrogant’ Yle response to Terrafame-Sipilä scandal

Yle: Yle has been criticised in an independent report about the company’s handling of a scandal last year when editorial staff were accused of caving in to pressure from the Prime Minister over a negative story.

FRANCE: How journalists fought fake news in election full of scandals

ECPMF: An innovative project from the American think-and-do tank First Draft News has shed light on many murky aspects of the 2017 French presidential election campaign.

IRELAND: ‘RTÉ is in a truly critical place,’ Forbes claims

Irish Independent: The director general of RTÉ told Communications Minister Denis Naughten that “RTÉ is in a truly critical place”, at a recent meeting.

IRELAND: RTÉ to get classy under new cross-media plan

The Irish Times: Big themes will come to fore as Dee Forbes seeks to break down commissioning ‘silos’.

MACEDONIA: Government is controlling media with money and violence

SEENPM: The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) has prepared a report on the indicators for the degree of media freedom and journalist safety in 2016. The report has been prepared using qualitative and quantitative methods for data gathering and analysis.

NETHERLANDS: Netflix to create 400 jobs in new European hub

Advanced Television: Streaming giant Netflix has announced it will create 400 jobs at its new European customer service hub which opened this week in Amsterdam. It will support customers across 11 European countries.

NORWAY: How NRK Supernytt aims to ‘reduce fear’ with children’s news in Norway

Journalism.co.uk: The team publishes stories for TV, web, Snapchat and Instagram to explain the world to children aged 8-12.

POLAND: Open Letter to the General Affairs Council and Member States regarding the situation in Poland

RSF: Open letter regarding the current state of democratic institutions and the media in Poland.

POLAND: TVP finds Chinese partner

Broadband TV News: Poland’s TVP has signed a cooperation agreement with Sichuan-based Chengdu Radio and Television, one of the leading broadcasters in China.

SPAIN: RTVE launches the new mobile application of Radio Nacional de España (Spanish)

Europa Press: The Spanish Radio and TV Corporation (RTVE) has launched a new application for mobiles for Spain National Radio (RNE) that updates the existing one and offers new services, such as the registration of users to generate lists of podcasts, the programming of all the stations, or a system that alerts when the user’s favourite programs are broadcasting.

SPAIN: Sanchis calls for “infinite” resources for TV3 and denies that the independence movement “bores” the audience (Spanish)

ABC: The TV3 director believes that the “biggest core” of the television audience is frivolous.

SPAIN: Public television needs Spanish cinema (Spanish)

The independent Spanish cinema of Mediaset and Atresmedia has to compete with them and the American studios. Hence the important role to be played by public television.

SWEDEN: Record turnover Swedish TV market driven by web TV

Broadband TV News: Swedish consultancy Mediavision highlights the vast transformation that the Swedish TV market is undergoing.

UK: BBC must ‘reinvent itself’ for a new generation

Digital TV Europe: During its current charter period the BBC has set itself the challenge of reinventing itself for a new generation, according to deputy director general, Anne Bulford.

UK: BBC to roll out iPlayer password controls

TBI: The BBC will soon make iPlayer users create passwords and log-in in order to access the video-on-demand service.

UK: RSF urges politicians to respect press freedom in the UK general election campaign

RSF: In the weeks since the announcement that the UK will hold a snap general election on 8 June, the campaign period has been marked by a number of worrying moves to restrict the press. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for all candidates to respect press freedom in their campaigning.

UK: The next stage of a more personal BBC for everyone (Blog)

BBC: Last September, we outlined our plans to make the BBC more personal and relevant to you. We’re doing this by making some changes that mean you will need to sign in with a BBC account to access BBC iPlayer, BBC iPlayer Radio and some other services.

UKRAINE: Ukraine to block access to Russia’s social media websites

The Washington Post: In another round of sanctions in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says he will block access to Russia’s most popular social media websites and search engines.

GENERAL: Consolidation of broadcasting groups across Europe (Data graphic)

ECPMF: The European audiovisual market is witnessing the consolidation of a few big groups dominating the scenario, both at the national and transnational levels.

GENERAL: Journalists suffer violence, intimidation and self-censorship in Europe

Journalism Research News: A survey by the Council of Europe shows that journalists in Europe are often exposed to serious unwarranted interference in their work, including intimidation and violence.

ARGENTINA: Argentina has the most expensive cable TV in Latin America (Spanish)

Fibra: According to a study, the price of cable television in Argentina is the most expensive among Latin American and Caribbean countries.

BARBADOS: Nation board sacked

Barbados Today: The board of directors of the Nation Publishing Company Limited, including founder and board Chairman Harold Hoyte, has been sacked, as the Trinidad-based parent company continues structural changes, official sources have revealed.

BRAZIL: The two realities of public TV ( Opinion – Portuguese)

Globo: The Empresa Brasil de Comunicação (EBC), which controls TV Brasil, closed 2016 with a loss of R $ 11.3 million. This is a good result compared to 2015, when the loss exceeded R $ 36 million. The rigging promoted by the PT years is being restrained. But there is an inevitable question: who is watching and what is TV Brasil providing?

CARIBBEAN: Call for Application: Workshop & meeting to develop social media guidelines for Caribbean journalists

PMA: We are pleased to announce our upcoming workshop and meeting with UNESCO to develop social media guidelines for journalists and media organisations in the Caribbean.

GUYANA: Draft Broadcast legislation: Forcing broadcasters to air free 1 hour of Govt PSA’s

INews Guyana: Local broadcasters – both private and public – will now be compelled to air, without charge, Government’s public service announcements (PSAs) during a certain time frame according to the draft Broadcast legislation.

JAMAICA: PAJ Seeks Clarification On Reid’s Media Regulation Statements

The Gleaner: Following a statement by Information Minister Ruel Reid in the Senate on Friday that the Government was engaged in talks with the Broadcasting Commission regarding proposals to manage the media landscape, the Press Association of Jamaica has sounded a note of caution that the media watchdog will not allow Jamaica’s constitutionally protected rights to freedom of expression to be eroded.

VENEZUELA: Venezuela’s ongoing media war

AlJazeera: As Venezuelans continue taking to the streets, we examine competing media narratives and the problem of self-censorship.

GENERAL: Live from the Bully Pulpit: The Abuse of Obligatory Presidential Broadcasts in Latin America (Publication)

CIMA: In Latin America, several countries’ laws permit the president to commandeer all radio and television broadcasts.

GENERAL: UNESCO urges countries to rely on independent regulatory bodies to protect against media concentration

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: Considering the concentration of media ownership that has historically existed in Latin America – which threatens diversity and pluralism in that sector – UNESCO has recommended that States seek a balance between the rights of broadcasters and the audience.

IRAN: Iran targets Telegram app as it seeks to control news ahead of May election

CPJ:  As Iranians prepare to vote in presidential and city council elections on May 19, authorities have turned their attention to Telegram, arresting several channel administrators for the app.

ISRAEL: After 49 Years, This Is How Israel’s Government Shut Down Its Public Broadcaster With Hours’ Notice

Haaretz: With an emotional signoff, Israel’s longest-running TV news program has run its last broadcast

ISRAEL: At 7:04 p.m., after 81 years, Israel Radio fades to music

The Times of Israel: As part of changeover to new public broadcaster, the ‘Voice of Israel’ will only broadcast tunes, and news on the hour, until Monday

ISRAEL: High Court temporarily puts news division back in broadcaster’s hands

The Times of Israel: Court will decide Monday whether to permanently nullify government legislation that separated current affairs dealings from the new public entity

PALESTINE: Hamas cracks down on Gaza journalists

Al-Monitor: The security services in Gaza arrested 17 journalists last month in a crackdown against what it called “propagandists” who are alleged to be publishing false news and rumors.

SYRIA: World in Progress: Hard times for Syrian journalists (Audio)

DW: Syria is one of most dangerous countries for journalists. Both in the government controlled areas as well as those controlled by other armed groups and Islamic fighters, criticism is not wanted – and journalists are frequently threatened, abducted or even killed.

TURKEY: Turkey pressures Eutelsat to close three Kurdish channels

Broadband TV News: The Turkish media authority RTÜK has banned Kurdish TV channels Ronahi, Sterk and the News Channel and asked satellite operator Eutelsat to stop distributing the channels in Europe.

TURKEY: Turkish journalists fight the good fight (Watch)

Deutsche Welle: Around the world, newspapers and magazines struggle to stay afloat in the internet age. In the age of Erdogan, critical voices in Turkey are facing political pressure on top of the whims of the market. Some brave journalists and satirists remain unfazed.

CANADA: An Open Letter to Justin Trudeau on Press Freedom

CJFE: The following letter was sent to Justin Trudeau by a global coalition of press freedom organizations.

CANADA: Archive digitization: a coordinated effort by CBC/Radio-Canada to preserve and showcase our heritage

CBC Radio-Canada: CBC/Radio-Canada, have announced the beginning of the mass digitization of the public broadcaster’s audiovisual archive collection.

CANADA: Cultural appropriation vs. artistic licence: How far have we really come?

CBC News: Reaction to recent Writers Union of Canada editorial on cultural appropriation highlights renewed debate.

US: “It’s a pay-it-forward mission” and other reasons why people work in public media

Current: This year, as Current marks the 50th anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act, we are illuminating the experiences that inspired people to choose to work in public media.

US: Why public media remains a great bargain for Americans (Opinion)

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Public radio and television have survived yet another effort to slash their federal funding. That’s something we should all celebrate.

US: With budget cuts at bay (for now) public media are searching for new funding sources

Poynter: Federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is secure — for the next few years, at least.

‘Fake news’: the best thing that’s happened to journalism (Opinion)

LSE: Fake news is the canary in the digital coal mine. It is a symptom of a much wider systemic challenge around the value and credibility of information and the way that we – socially, politically, economically – are going to handle the threats and opportunities of new communication technologies.

More respect in the media for people who think differently (Opinion)

DW: Journalists are under increasing pressure in democratic countries like the US and Poland, partly because of narrowing public discourse. The media itself bears some responsibility for this development, says Ines Pohl.

Smarter Journalism? Artificial Intelligence in the Newsroom


“The way journalists interact with the communities we cover needs to change” (Opinion)

Nieman Reports: A journalist and a source explore objectivity, activism, open-mindedness and vulnerability—and the national listening deficit.

There is no open government without a free press

CIMA: The statistics are frightening: According to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, trust in media stands at 43% – an all time low in 17 countries.

Three ways of communicating to stop disasters happening (Blog)

Media Action: This past March, Peru was hit by devastating floods. Media reports led with death tolls and declarations of states of emergency. People volunteered their help on Facebook and offered refuge in their homes to those seeking shelter on Airbnb…

What does Facebook’s move into content mean for broadcasters?

IBC: Facebook looks set for a move into original content, with reports suggesting that the social media giant has already begun commissioning longform and shortform content.

What should be done to improve the impact of media research beyond academia?

Nordicom: The first issue of the year of Nordicom Information deals with the relationship between academia and the media industry. On the occasion of its launch we asked four Nordic media professors what should be done to improve the impact of research in media and communication beyond academia.

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Image: SABC Western Cape. Header: Richard Tanswell/Creative Commons