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: Facebook drove Egypt’s revolution. Now it’s being used as a weapon to oppress women

Wired: Social media accelerated Egypt’s revolution. Now those same services have become a tool of control for a repressive regime

KENYA: KBC on the spot for paying lawyers Sh1.3 billion in fees

Business Daily: Cash-strapped Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) is on the spot for hiring and paying a local and London-based law firms Sh1.3 billion without tendering and contracts in an international arbitration case.

NAMIBIA: Parliament defends its attempt to gag media freedom

Namibia Economist: After receiving backlash for threatening to bar journalists from attending National Assembly sessions, Speaker of the National Assembly, Peter Katjavivi this week said that as long as journalists abide by the rules of the National Assembly, they have nothing to fear.

RWANDA: Rwanda’s new penal code is still tough on journalists

RSF: The new penal code decriminalizes defaming private individuals but not insulting or defaming the president, which carries penalties ranging from five to seven years in prison and up to 6,860 euros in fines.

SIERRA LEONE: Sierra Leone association of journalists rejects president Bio’s choice of chairman of media watchdog

Sierra Leone Telegraph: Sierra Leone’s Association of Journalists (SLAJ) has today condemned president Bio’s appointment of party loyalists to head the country’s Independent Media Commission (IMC), a decision that could seriously undermine media freedom in Sierra Leone.

SOUTH AFRICA: Mwasa urges SABC to follow law over retrenchments

SABC News: Media Workers’ Association of SA (Mwasa) says the SABC’s defective Section 189 notice on the Labour Relations Act, is a sign that management and the board did not follow the laws.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC admits it may not be able to pay workers

IOL: The news that the SABC might not be able to pay workers in the next three months because of a cash crunch has left labour unions fuming.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC exceeds targets despite financial constraints

IOL: SABC group chief executive Madoda Mxakwe said the SABC had, during the year under review, exceeded the Independent Communications Authority of SA’s (Icasa’s) local content and genre quotas on television and performed well on its local quotas on radio.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC looking at new ways to get South Africans to pay their TV licence

Business Tech: SABC board chairperson, Bongumusa Makhathini, has indicated that the state broadcaster is making progress in the collection of TV licence fees.

UGANDA: How the Ugandan Media has Borne the Brunt of Censorship for Decades

The Wire: Despite continual threats, the media in Uganda continues to tackle controversial issues and break big stories of corruption and abuse of power.

ZIMBABWE: Mangwana – ZBC to Expand TV Empire to Six Stations in the Next Three Months

Via All Africa: State-owned broadcaster, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) is set to expand its television empire to six stations within the next three months.

WEST AFRICA: Wanton Attacks on Journalists, Civilians Dominate FOE Violations in September 2018

MFWA: September 2018 recorded nine freedom of expression violations in four countries, an otherwise relatively quiet month that was disturbed by two killings in separate incidents in Guinea and incidents of wanton physical assault on journalists.

GENERAL: China flexes its political muscles in Africa with media censorship, academic controls

The Globe & Mail: When he announced another US$60-billion in financing for Africa last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping promised that the money had “no political strings attached.”

AFGHANISTAN: Afghanistan: Concerns over media access to upcoming elections

IFJ: As Afghanistan prepares to go to the polls on October 20, concerns have been raised about the access that provincial journalists will have at polling stations.

BANGLADESH: Editors’ Council to form human chain today (15 Oct)

The Daily Star: The Sampadak Parishad (Editors’ Council) will form a human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club today to press for proper amendments to nine sections of the Digital Security Act 2018.

BANGLADESH: New digital law ‘will hit press freedom and silence dissenters’

Asia Times: Journalists and rights group have condemned the Awami League government in Bangladesh for rushing to pass a new law, which they say could strangle investigative reporting and free speech

BANGLADESH: UN urges govt to revise Digital Security Act

The Independent (Bangladesh): Law does not meet international obligations of Bangladesh, it says.

HONG KONG: Britain condemns Hong Kong’s banning of UK journalist

The Guardian: Victor Mallet, a senior Financial Times editor, had visa renewal denied after chairing event where independence activist spoke.

INDIA: India’s media implicated in second #MeToo wave

IFJ: Accusations have been levelled at reporters, senior editors and public officials over sexual misconduct on social media in the past week.

INDIA: PM Modi plans string of FM stations along border

The Asian Age: Eighteen radio channels are expected to counter anti-India propaganda.

INDONESIA: Indonesia tsunami: After the death and destruction came the fake news

ABC: Fake news after a disaster can cause even more panic and divert precious resources away from the rescue effort. Within days, Indonesian police had arrested eight people for spreading fake news about the earthquake and tsunami.

JAPAN: NHK plans to reduce fees after it begins simultaneous online streaming of TV programs

The Japan Times: The head of public broadcaster NHK said Friday it aims to lower its subscription fees, possibly from fiscal 2019, after a government panel set a requirement for the company to start simultaneous online streaming of its television programs.

MALAYSIA: Media must be independent for a democratic press

The Star: There will be some changes in the “new” Malaysia landscape, which will benefit journalism, said the Malaysian Press Institute.

MYANMAR:Myanmar arrests three journalists over report on Suu Kyi protege, raising more press freedom worries

The Japan Times: Myanmar police Wednesday arrested three journalists after their paper criticized the financial management of Yangon’s government, which is overseen by a protege of leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in the latest case to spark concern over press freedom.

AUSTRALIA: Greens move to set up Senate inquiry into ABC interference

The Guardian: Sarah Hanson-Young says cloud hangs over ABC independence until allegations of political interference are dealt with

AUSTRALIA: Mitch Fifield knew about plans to sack Michelle Guthrie a fortnight before she was dumped by the ABC board

ABC: Communications Minister Mitch Fifield knew the ABC board was planning to sack managing director Michelle Guthrie a fortnight before she was formally dumped.

NEW ZEALAND: Growing Audiences for NZ on Screen – Aime Mills (Audio)

RNZ: Over the last few weeks we’ve been looking at initiatives the two main TV channels are trialing to entice audiences who want more than just seeing programmes on demand.

NEW ZEALAND: Māori media to be reviewed to keep up with changing technology

NZ Herald: The Māori media sector will be reviewed for the first time in 20 years to ensure it is keeping up with the changing digital environment.

BULGARIA: Bulgaria withdraws from 2019 Eurovision song contest

CTV News: Bulgaria will not take part in the next edition of the Eurovision song contest to be held in Tel Aviv in May 2019, the public BNT broadcaster announced Monday, citing financial constraints.

FRANCE: French Networks Ramp Up Investments in Drama Series

Variety: Faced with the rising competition from global streaming services and the inflation of sports rights, French networks such as TF1, France Televisions and Canal Plus have ramped up their investment in international drama series in a major way to sustain ratings, boost their brands and lure millennials.

HUNGARY: Hungary: Political pressure on advertisers threatens critical media

IPI: New study highlights economic risks of independence in ‘illiberal’ media market

IRELAND: Republic of Ireland Public Broadcaster Tabs Arvato Systems for Rights Management

SVG News: RTÉ, the Republic of Ireland’s public broadcaster, has commissioned Arvato Systems to implement its new broadcast traffic & rights management system. Arvato Systems, a specialist for IT solutions in the media and broadcast space, will fully implement its own solution, BMS Avatega, at RTÉ.

ITALY: Italian broadcaster to make first kids’ TV show about sexual harassment

SBS: Italian state broadcaster Rai has announced that its creating a miniseries about sexual harassment targeted to children.

KOSOVO: EBU: Kosovo pubcasting needs independent funding

BroadbandTVNews: Delegates attending a two-day event in Pristina organised by an EBU-funded programme have agreed that independent funding is indispensable to public service media (PSM) in Kosovo.

LITHUANIA: LRT Council criticizes proposals to change Lithuanian public broadcaster’s governance

DELFI: Proposals by a Seimas commission to revise the rules for appointing members of the LRT Council and change the public broadcaster’s governance model is a step toward its politicization, the council said.

MALTA: One year after Daphne Caruana Galizia murder, a family fights for justice

IPI: Matthew Caruana Galizia speaks to IPI on impunity and the hope for change.

SLOVAKIA: RTVS short news not to cite other media and inform about opposition proposals

The Slovak Spectator: The new rules introduce several controversial rules for the radio short news coverage. The opposition is calling for the dismissal of their author.

SPAIN: 8M Communicators: a platform for women journalists and feminists (Spanish)

PR Noticias: From this platform, they will defend journalists and feminists who fight to get joint representations in the media.

SPAIN: PSOE and Podemos agreed to “recover musical programmes” on public TV in prime time (Spanish)

VerTele: Pedro Sánchez and Pablo Iglesias include a clause in their agreement, “to promote the presence of our music in prime time schedules” although they do not specify any financial costs. All this within a proposal for the General State Budget of 2019 that still needs more parliamentary support to go ahead.

SWITZERLAND: Switzerland to cease DVB-T broadcasting in 2019

Advanced Television: Switzerland will abandon DTT broadcasts during 2019 opting instead for more widespread technologies such as cable, Internet and satellite, which also offer the possibility of reception of HD channels.

UK: BBC One to show first primetime film on climate change since 2007

CarbonBrief: The BBC has commissioned a major new documentary film on climate change.

UK: BBC Studios and China’s Tencent partner

BroadbandTVNews: The signing of the co-production agreement with Tencent for Dynasties is part of a larger multiyear partnership between BBC Studios and Tencent, which will see the two parties work together to develop and grow BBC Earth Tribe – a Chinese online community for people passionate about natural history and science.

UK: BBC warns its £800m cost-cutting target could impact services

TBI Vision: The BBC said it has completed nearly a third of its current £800 million cost saving target, but warned that making further reductions has “become increasingly difficult” without cutting services.

UK: Keep us at top of TV listings, say public service broadcasters

The Guardian: BBC, ITV and Channels 4 and 5 call on government and Ofcom to guarantee prominence

UK: Over 26,000 young people caught with no TV licence

Advanced Television: More than 26,000 young people between the ages of 18 and 25 were caught watching live TV or BBC iPlayer without a TV Licence in the past year, according to figures released by TV Licensing.

GENERAL: BIRN Holds Investigative Journalism Training for Public Broadcasters

BIRN: Thirteen journalists from public broadcasters in the Western Balkans met in Belgrade on Friday for the start of an investigative reporting workshop organised by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN.

GENERAL: Kids Pubcasters Talk Challenges at MIPJunior

TV KIDS: BBC’s Alice Webb, Rai’s Luca Milano and France Télévisions’ Tiphaine de Raguenel discussed the crucial role public broadcasters play in the kids’ media business at MIPJunior.

GENERAL: Mipcom: European Alliance Takes Aim at U.S. Streamers

Variety: Europe’s pubcasters have joined forces to combat such streaming giants as Netflix and Amazon in the international TV market — and the first projects from this collaboration are under way.

ARGENTINA: Journalists discuss new forms of verification and data visualization in Argentina #LatamChequea (Spanish)

Efecto Cocuyo: Latam Chequea brought together innovative journalists from 18 countries in Latin America, Brazil and the US, to discuss new ways to perform verification and visualization of data at an event held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

BRAZIL: As Brazil fights election misinformation, fact-checking sites work overtime

CJR: As Brazil faces one of its most consequential elections in recent times, news organizations are battling the same kind of misinformation that has plagued voting in the US and elsewhere.

BRAZIL: Brazil battles fake news ‘tsunami’ amid polarized presidential election

The Guardian: The country’s electoral court ordered Facebook to remove links to 33 fake news stories targeting a vice-presidential candidate

BRAZIL: New fact-checking project focuses on WhatsApp to combat disinformation in Brazil’s elections

Knight Center: After appearing in Colombia in May and passing through Mexico, O Poder de Eleger  fact-checking project debuted in Brazil in August, aiming precisely at the WhatsApp as the source of the problem and a possible solution to widespread misinformation during the elections.

GUATEMALA: Guatemala’s Plaza Pública shares its experience with journalism, safety protocols and investigative methods in new manual

Knight Center: The Guatemalan investigative journalism site Plaza Pública recently launched a journalism and safety protocols manual for journalists that summarizes the lessons of its first six years of existence.

PERU: Constitutional Court overturns the Gag Law (Spanish)

La República: The  Constitutional Court  declared unconstitutional the law that prohibits state advertising in private media, known as ” Gag Law “. The vote had six magistrates in favor and one against.

PARAGUAY: The general secretary of the Union of Journalists of Paraguay (SPP) threatened with death (Spanish)


GENERAL: Mapping trends in freedom of expression legislation in Latin America

CIMA: Regulation of the internet is on the rise worldwide. In particular, lawmakers are drafting bills and laws that seek to address a perceived flaw in the digital ecosystem.

SAUDI ARABIA & TURKEY: Jamal Khashoggi: details of alleged Saudi hit squad emerge

The Guardian: Fifteen-person team linked to disappearance of dissident, Turkish media report.

SAUDI ARABIA: Reality Breaks Up a Saudi Prince Charming’s Media Narrative

The New York Times: Built into the narrative was a mostly cheerful acceptance of the story Crown Prince Mohammed was selling about himself — that here, at last, was the modern Middle Eastern leader the West had been waiting for. That story started to crack apart on Oct. 2, when the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a sharp critic of the Saudi government, walked into the country’s consulate in Istanbul and didn’t walk out.

SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi Arabia defies ‘threats’ over missing journalist

RNZ: The country would respond to any punitive action “with a bigger one”, the unnamed senior source said.

TURKEY: Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of October 4, 2018


GENERAL: Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance in Turkey plays into Middle East media war

The Washington Post

CANADA: Canada urged to respond faster as digital landscape evolves

The Hamilton Spectator: Critics say the federal government must take action now to protect cultural industries from the threats posed by a rapid technological changes.

CANADA: Digital personalization in the spotlight at the CBC/Radio-Canada Hackathon

CBC/Radio-Canada: CBC/Radio-Canada today announced the launch of its first-ever national bilingual Hackathon which will be held simultaneously at the CBC Broadcast Centre in Toronto and at Maison de Radio-Canada in Montreal from February 1–3, 2019.

CANADA: How Indigenous journalists learn new techniques to tell First Nations stories

The Globe and Mail: “When it comes to Indigenous stories, First Nations, Métis and Inuit journalists are indispensable for providing the context and nuance required for a fuller understanding of the issues.”

CANADA: Why CBC News Created A Pop-up Newsletter For The Royal Wedding

Lenfest Institute: The CBC added an experimental element to its coverage: A short-run newsletter. For the eight weeks leading up to the wedding, the broadcaster sent a weekly newsletter covering every aspect of the nuptials. This week in Solution Set, we’re going to pop in to the CBC pop-up. We’ll look at how the newsletter was developed, how the team incorporated reader feedback, and how they wound it down.

US: About 1,300 U.S. communities have totally lost news coverage, UNC news desert study finds

Poynter: It’s hardly a secret that news deserts are spreading, but just how bad is it?

US: Florida newsrooms pummeled by Hurricane Michael, but the reporting goes on

CNN: In the wake of Hurricane Michael, many journalists in the Florida panhandle are living through the same nightmare as other local residents, and working in incredibly difficult conditions.

US: NPR: Minimize Harm and Maximize Relief to FM Stations

Radio World: Public broadcaster tells FCC that “innocent bystander” stations must be protected

US: Yes, Hurricane Michael is a climate change story

CJR: Even though a straight line between climate change and Michael cannot yet be drawn, coverage of major storms that fails to address profound environmental problems fails to provide audiences with a full picture.

Bloggers And Journalists: More Alike Than We Think?

EJO: Blogs polarise. Either, they are euphorically praised or sharply criticised as „communicative knick-knacks”. Professional journalists often consider bloggers as mere amateurs. But in how far do bloggers and journalists really differ? A new study by the Otto Brenner Foundation tries to answer this question.

Children drowning in ‘digital diet of pizza and sweets’: Public service broadcasters

CTV News: Children are being swamped by the visual equivalent of “pizza and sweets” in “a digital Wild Wild West”, some of the world’s top kids television programme makers have warned.

Cross-border data journalism tips, tools and tricks


Do journalists pay too much attention to Twitter?

CJR: Journalists often say they spend too much time on Twitter, and wind up devoting more time than they should to stories that come to them via tweets. Should Twitter play such an oversized role in what the media chooses to cover and how they cover it?

Do We Remember Where We Get Our News From?


Investigative journalism in an age of danger – and Netflix

RNZ: Before heading home to Sweden after six months off in Gisborne, award-winning investigative TV reporter Joachim Dyfvermark told local reporters they’re up against the likes of Netflix, HBO and YouTube.

Journalism: A dangerous activity

DW: In the first 10 months of 2018, 73 journalists and media workers have died — and not just in war zones. Threats to investigative reporters are increasing, with a number being arrested and jailed over the last year.

Khashoggi case shows importance of ethical reporting on hostages

CJR: The journalistic mission to be the first to break the most impactful story often does not coincide with the need for extreme sensitivity surrounding a hostage situation

Meteorologists to newsrooms: Hurricane impacts defy categorization

CJR: “The theme for the media should be, ‘Don’t focus on the category, focus on the impact.”

More journalists killed in first nine months of 2018 than in all 2017

RSF: More professional journalists were killed worldwide in connection with their work in the first nine months of 2018 than in all of 2017, according to the tally kept by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Satellite Journalism – The Big Picture (Report)

Reuters Institute: This paper examines media case studies, the two dominant US providers of commercial satellite imagery to media and raises questions on the applications and limitations of new satellite journalism

The Disappearance of a Saudi Critic Signals a Broader Danger for Journalists

The Atlantic: Khashoggi’s fate reflects a larger pattern of violence inflicted on journalists around the world this year. Year after year, reporters are detained, abducted, and, with some frequency, killed.

To teach people about climate change, feed them journalism

CJR: And although the story of what we eat is critical to understanding the day-to-day experience of our changing ecosystem, climate journalism often looks beyond food, and food journalism rarely gets at the issues behind the experience of the meal. But could a meal itself be a form of journalism—one that could bridge the gap between these two storytelling genres?

When Killing the Messenger Becomes the Norm

Foreign Policy: More journalists lose their lives for their work than die in war zones.

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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.

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Header image: Empty television studio with camera. Image: Grafissimo/iStock