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.

CHAD: Social networks disconnected again in Chad

RSF: Access to WhatsApp and Facebook began to be extremely restricted on 28 March, after the government organized a week-long forum on a proposed overhaul of Chad’s political and administrative institutions that was boycotted by the opposition.

KENYA: Cybercrime law changes too harsh, lobbies say

The Daily Nation: Civil society groups have welcomed the proposed amendments to the Computer and Cyberspace Bill, 2017, but they are warning that the bill contains several broadly defined offences with harsh sentences that could gag online freedom of expression.

LIBERIA: Government Downplays Growing Concerns of Attack Against Media

FPA: The Deputy Minister for Press and Public Affair at the Ministry of Information Culture and Tourism, Eugene Fahngon says the President of Liberia  will not dignify anything coming from Rodney Sieh, publisher of FrontPage Africa.

LIBERIA: Liberia’s Weah, media on edge as reporter flees

The Citizen: With one Liberian newspaper facing a $1.8 million defamation case and a BBC journalist fleeing the country, there has been no honeymoon period for the press under the new government of President George Weah.

NAMIBIA: NBC launches NBC Plus multimedia platform

NBC: The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) has launched a multimedia platform called NBC Plus, a mobile application that gives viewers unlimited broadcast anytime, anywhere.

NAMIBIA: NMT Condemns Spy Chief’s Attempt to Silence Media

Via All Africa: The Namibia Media Trust yesterday condemned an attempt by the Namibia Central Intelligence Service (NCIS) to silence and censor local media.

SOUTH AFRICA: SA on path to digital radio

IT Web: South Africa is making new moves to implement Digital Sound Broadcasting (DSB) services, or digital radio. This after telecoms regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), published a discussion document on the subject, giving the public until early June to comment.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC could lose half a billion rand if alcohol ads are banned


SWAZILAND: Editor Wants Media Freedom Inquiry

Via All Africa: Zweli Martin Dlamini, the editor who had his newspaper closed down by the Swaziland Government before he fled to neighbouring South Africa, has called for an international commission of inquiry into how the state has captured the media in the kingdom.

TANZANIA: RSF decries law that will kill off Tanzania’s blogosphere

RSF: Social media, online radio and TV stations, digital platforms and bloggers are all now required to register with the TCRA and buy a licence that must be renewed every three years.

TANZANIA: Tanzania law for online content ‘threatens free speech’

Aljazeera: Bloggers, social media influencers and online platforms will now have to apply for a licence and pay a fee of $930 if they want to keep their sites up.

UGANDA: Uganda wants to “tax” social media use to stop online gossip

Quartz: Uganda is proposing a tax on social media use in a bid to curb gossip online and to raise billions of shillings in government revenue.

CHINA: China’s outward propaganda strategy undermines independence of overseas Chinese media outlets


HONG KONG: Hongkongers say press freedom has dropped to its lowest point – survey

HKFP: The general public’s evaluation of press freedom in Hong Kong has dropped to its lowest since the Hong Kong Journalists Association’s (HKJA) annual survey began in 2013. The study – published on Wednesday – cited increasing pressure from the central government.

INDIA: I&B Ministry proposes installation of chip in new TV set-top boxes

The Hindu: The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry has proposed the installation of a chip in new television set-top boxes which will provide data about channels watched and their duration.

INDIA: Prasar Bharati’s policy on DD Free Dish to be out soon

Indian Television: The suspense surrounding Prasar Bharati’s policy on its free direct-to-home (DTH) platform is likely to end soon. The pubcaster has told the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) that it will come out with a new policy for DD Free Dish in a few weeks.

INDIA: Weight of legal cases and threats leave India’s journalists feeling exposed and alone

CPJ via Ifex: The media is in the worst state India has ever seen. That is how several journalists described the current climate in dozens of conversations with CPJ during a trip to Mumbai, Bangalore, and Delhi earlier this year. While the threats they outlined–political pressure, self-censorship, defamation suits, and attacks–are not a new phenomenon in India, many agreed that the environment has changed.

KAZAKHSTAN: Kazakhstan police raid newsrooms, detain journalists, seize equipment

CPJ: Kazakh authorities should stop harassing journalists with the independent news outlets Forbes Kazakhstan and Ratel and dismiss criminal defamation suits against the two outlets and their journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today (13 April).

KAZAKHSTAN: Kazakhstan should drop ‘false information’ case against critical media outlets

IPI: IPI condemns ‘excessive and unjustified’ investigation into Ratel.kz and Forbes Kazakhstan

MALAYSIA: ‘Fake news’ law threatens Malaysian media

IPI: IPI warns of measure’s potential to silence investigative journalists

MALAYSIA: National media council could serve as regulatory body, journalist says

The Malay Mail: The proposed Malaysia Media Council which is still at the discussion stage could serve as keeper in the professional integrity of media practitioners, according to a veteran journalist.

NEPAL: How Nepal’s media landscape is being transformed

Nepali Times: Some 4,145 respondents in 38 sample districts of all seven provinces were surveyed in January and February this year to measure their ownership of communication devices, mass media consumption patterns, and their views on the press itself.

PAKISTAN: RSF calls for end to Geo TV’s illegal suspension

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the illegal suspension by cable operators of Geo TV’s five channels, including Geo News, Pakistan’s leading TV news channel, and calls on the authorities to end the suspension.

PHILIPPINES: China commits to help Philippine state media

Philippine Star: The Philippine government secured RMB 17 million (P140.8 million) worth of aid from the Chinese government to improve the country’s state media during President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to China.

TAIWAN: Asia’s Bastion of Free Speech? Move Aside, Hong Kong, It’s Taiwan Now.

The New York Times: For decades under British rule and after its handover to China, Hong Kong was a bastion of free speech in the Chinese-speaking world.

AUSTRALIA: ABC changes ‘unnecessary and unjustified’, Michelle Guthrie says

The Guardian: Bills before parliament would see ‘fair and balanced’ added to broadcaster’s charter and require disclosure of presenters’ salaries.

AUSTRALIA: If sports broadcasts lose so much, why does TV keep bidding up the rights?

ABC News: In the Darwinian world of sport, if players kept racking up heavy losses the way sports broadcasts do they’d be moved on pretty quickly.

KIRIBATI: Kiribati govt’s media control stifling transparency, says MP

RNZ: An opposition MP from Kiribati says government control of media is stifling transparency in the country.

NEW ZEALAND: Media watchdog given wider scope

Otago Daily Times: A renamed Press Council has expanded its jurisdiction to cover video-on-demand programming.

SAMOA: Group advises Govt. against Facebook ban

Samoa Observer: The Samoa Alliance of Media Practitioner for Development (S.A.M.P.O.D.) has cautioned Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi against continuing with a threat to shut down Facebook in Samoa.

AUSTRIA: Austria’s far-right FPÖ threatens to fire public broadcaster reporters

Deutsche Welle: Right-wing lawmaker Norbert Steger, who sits on board of public broadcaster ORF, has threatened to ax one third of its foreign correspondents. Steger said he was upset by “biased” reporting on the Hungarian election.

BELARUS: BBC news for Belarus

Broadband TV News: Belsat TV broadcasts to Belarus now feature primetime news bulletins in Russian from the BBC.

FRANCE: France Télévisions reaches balance in 2017, for the 3rd year (French)

Challenges: France Télévisions recorded balanced results in 2017, for the third consecutive year, helped by an increase of its public resources and its commercial revenue, announced the group in a statement Friday.

FRANCE: Public media threatened by drastic cost reductions (French)

Pure Médias: The savings requested could amount to nearly 500 million euros cumulatively by 2022.

GERMANY: German FRK calls for ARD and ZDF to leave Facebook

Broadband TV News: German cable operator association FRK calls for public broadcasters ARD and ZDF to immediately withdraw from Facebook.

HUNGARY: Hungarian journalists admit role in forging anti-migrant ‘atmosphere of fear’

The Guardian: Employees of state TV network describe how channels pumped out pro-government messaging ahead of Victor Orbán’s election victory this week.

ITALY: Journalist under police protection after death threats and acid attack threat on social media

Mapping Media Freedom: Claudia Marra, a journalist working for public broadcaster RAI has been put under police protection after facing death and acid attack threats on social media, reported Ossigeno per l’Informazione.

ITALY: When a popular Italian debunking site was sued, a judge shut it down

Poynter: Beyond the results of the individual lawsuit, the case demonstrates the power that the Italian state already has to combat potential misinformation.

NORWAY: NRK’s ​​online presence does not cause significant restrictions on competition in the markets analysed

EPRA: In a report published on 11 April 2018, the Media Authority (Medietilsynet) concludes that the public service media NRK contributes positively to the overall media plurality in Norway, and that NRK’s online presence does not seem to cause significant restrictions on competition in the markets that have been analysed.

POLAND: TVP opens up VOD content

Broadband TV News: A large amount of paid on demand content from the Polish public broadcaster’s TVP VOD service has been made available free of charge to viewers exempt from the receiver licence fee.

RUSSIA: By blocking Telegram, Russia crosses another red line in online censorship

RSF: Telegram had been asked to hand over the encryption keys under Russia’s 2016 anti-terrorism law. The app is very popular in Russia, where it has more than 10 million users and is widely used by reporters, who rely on its encryption to protect the identity of their sources.

SERBIA: BIRN Editor Wins Case Against Serbian Pro-Govt Tabloid

Safe Journalists: A Belgrade court has fined the pro-government tabloid newspaper Informer for publishing untruths about BIRN in Serbia and its editor, Slobodan Georgiev.

SLOVAKIA: Management purging Slovak public broadcaster of experienced journalists

IPI: Concerns about politically charged leadership look well-founded amid resignations, protests.

SLOVAKIA: Unrest within Slovak public broadcaster over political pressure

RSF: The political pressure let up during the government crisis triggered by Kuciak’s murder but, after fear of possible early elections dissipated, the pressure resumed with even greater force, fuelling steadily mounting tension within RTVS in recent weeks.

SPAIN: CNMC and RTVE in advertising row

Rapid TV News: The Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC) has once again opened proceedings against RTVE for irregular advertising, while the public broadcaster claims no rules have been broken.

SPAIN: Rivera goes all in against TV3: “It’s the new NO-DO” (Spanish)

El Plural: The president of Ciudadanos believes that if the Parliament does not control the Catalan public media, the Senate should do so via 155.

SWITZERLAND: Workshops for teens to discover the trades of RTS (French)

Les Medias Francophones Publics: These one-day workshops were set up by RTS to respond to the growing number of teenagers who come into contact with RTS as part of their school curriculum. Aged 12 to 15 years, they want to discover the professions of television and radio to contribute to their professional orientation.

UK: BBC reports record February for iPlayer

Digital TV Europe: The BBC said its iPlayer digital service had its “best ever February performance” thanks to a strong line-up of dramas and live sport.

UK: BBC to Resurrect Full ‘Rivers of Blood’ Speech, Spurring Outrage

The New York Times: It has been widely denounced as one of the most divisive and racist public addresses made by a British politician in modern history.

UK: CBeebies Creates Slow TV ‘Daydream’ To Help Kids Wind Down

Huffington Post: CBeebies has launched an online video to help kids wind down, which shows children walking through a forest, playing with bubbles and splashing in puddles.

UK: Channel 4 kicks off bids for new headquarters

The Guardian: Broadcaster’s plans include moving 300 of its 800 staff out of the capital.

UKRAINE: Legislative Amendment Threatens Independence Of Ukrainian Public Service Broadcaster

EBU: The EBU is highly concerned by a proposed amendment to the Ukrainian Law on Public Television and Radio which threatens the editorial independence of public service media.

GENERAL: Media in exile: Eurasia’s last vestiges of freedom of expression

Index on Censorship

REGIONAL: Challenging Work: Media reporting on organised crime and corruption in Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia

SEENPM: A regional comparison of how media report on cases of organized crime and corruption in Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia analysing the main obstacles faced by reporters.

REGIONAL: Global Lessons on Media Manipulation from Eastern Europe

Freedom House: Democracy is under threat worldwide due to waning information integrity, but civil society can counter media manipulation without violating fundamental freedoms.

ARGENTINA: “I would not say it’s an adjustment plan, but austerity” (Spanish)

Página 12: In this interview, Lombardi defends politics in the public media, which includes voluntary withdrawals and dismissals, with a loss of audience as a result. He says he is looking to take public TV off the “seisieteochismo” and points at the unions.

BARBADOS: Media must be a ‘vigilant watchdog’

The Barbados Advocate: The media is an important cog in the wheel of democracy. This is the view of Cynthia Barrow-Giles, author of new book “The National Integrity System and Governance in The Commonwealth Caribbean”, which was facilitated by the Carib Research Publication Inc., in collaboration with the Department of Government Sociology and Social Work.

BRAZIL: After some tug-of-war, Temer proposes his spokesman to head the  EBC (Portuguese)

Folha de S. Paulo: President Michel Temer has decided to appoint his spokesperson, Alexandre Parola, to chair EBC (Empresa Brasil de Comunicação) of the federal government. The name of the ambassador, who has no experience in media or in the management of television channels, will still be submitted to the company’s board of directors.

ECUADOR: A Cautionary Tale for Media Regulators

Project Syndicate: For more than a decade, Ecuadorian journalists have increasingly felt the effects of repressive media and speech laws that were supposedly enacted in the “public interest.” As other countries consider regulations to combat misinformation, the public and policymakers must understand how even well-meaning efforts can go badly wrong.

ECUADOR: Ecuadorian journalists kidnapped by rebels have been killed, president says

The Guardian: Lenín Moreno offers reward for information about suspected killers and orders resumption of military operations on Colombian border.

PARAGUAY: Memetic Media innovates in design and distribution and focuses on digital journalism for young audiences in Paraguay

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: From the Paraguayan capital of Asunción, a group of professionals –including journalists, designers, illustrators and photographers– has been working for the last three years to build new digital journalistic narratives aimed at the country’s youth.

IRAN: New mobile apps are shaping Iran’s civil society

Aljazeera: Iranian rights activists are creating hi-tech solutions to promote civil liberties, despite frequent internet shutdowns.

IRAQ: Kurdistan Region of Iraq: Protesters Beaten, Journalists Detained

Human Rights Watch: Security Forces Suppress Demonstrations on Economic Crisis

PALESTINE: For third week, Palestinian journalists injured by gunfire covering Gaza protests

CPJ: Since the protests began on March 30, at least 12 Palestinian journalists have been wounded by gunfire and one, photographer Yaser Murtaja, was killed, CPJ research shows.

SYRIA: Syrian journalists go in-depth

IMS: In a country torn about by war, it could be argued that the need to document history and carry out accurate, investigative journalism is especially crucial to help to hold to account actors of war.

TURKEY: Turkey targets left-wing news agency in press crackdown

DW: A Turkish-German journalist from the ETHA news agency has been detained in Turkey, along with two colleagues. The organization’s editor-in-chief says the arrests are part of a wider crackdown on anti-government press.

CANADA: Can the CBC become a local broadcaster again? (Opinion)

iPolitics: In the last half-century, waves of budget cuts and consolidations have transformed the CBC into a primarily national broadcaster. Regional directors have relatively smaller budgets and less control over them. Most stand-alone, regionally produced documentary and variety shows have disappeared.

US: Five reasons to build on public media’s journalism collaborations (Subscription)

Current: If we set standards and build connections across the growing web of station-based collaborations, we will amplify our voices and expand the reach of our content.

US: New York Times and New Yorker Share Pulitzer for Public Service

New York Times: Pulitzer Prizes were awarded on Monday to the news organizations that drove two of the biggest stories of the year: the high-stakes investigation into President Trump’s relationship with Russia and the consequential reckoning about the treatment of women by powerful men.

US: Planners of universal sign-in for pubmedia platforms see benefits in understanding audience (Subscription)

Current: Digital leaders in public media working on a plan to provide personalised experiences for online audiences are thinking about Frank, an imaginary superfan who frequents multiple public media websites on five different devices.

US: Report for America Supports Journalism Where Cutbacks Hit Hard

The New York Times: A group of journalists have decided to do something about the diminution of newsrooms at the local level. They’re making reporting part of a national service program.

Advice for staying safe when interviewing dangerous people

Journalism.co.uk: What does it take to talk to perpetrators of violence, and what do journalists need to consider in order to stay out of danger?

Announcing the Global Council to Build Trust in Media and Fight Misinformation

EJN: Across the world, newsrooms and journalists have been on the front lines in the fight against misinformation and the preservation of trust in media — not just for months but for decades.

Countering Fake News in the “Emotional Democracy” (Opinion)

CMPF: Fake news entails real problems. Many European countries are facing spring elections amid growing concerns regarding alleged Russian propaganda, manipulative misinformation and brainwashing social media strategies launched by unscrupulous companies profiting through the dissemination of clickbait content.

Disinform, amplify and intimidate: attacking press freedom online

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is investigating and analyzing the way press freedom’s predators have managed to adapt their traditional and authoritarian practices to new technology.

Global council launches to document and connect initiatives fighting mis- and disinformation

Journalism.co.uk: The council, founded by six organisations including EBU and ONA, is building a repository to map projects and identify gaps and opportunities for collaboration.

Going Digital. A Roadmap for Organisational Transformation (Report)

Reuters Institute: “Legacy media need to put as much emphasis on transforming their organisations as they do transforming their content” – this is the premise underlying ‘Going Digital.

Former ProPublica journalists are launching a newsroom to cover the impact of technology on society

Nieman Lab: ProPublica investigative journalist Julia Angwin and data scientist Jeff Larson are leaving the company to start a newsroom built around investigating technology and algorithms, the two announced this week.

ICFJ Knight Fellow, Data Journalism, Central/Eastern Europe

ICFJ: The International Center for Journalists seeks outstanding applicants with a strong background in data journalism for a one-year ICFJ Knight Fellowship to promote data-driven reporting techniques in Central and Eastern Europe.

Journalists around the world are working together more than ever. Here are 56 examples.

Poynter: Collaboration has inspired journalism conferences, summits, Pew studies, J-Lab reports, essays and stories on newsrooms working together. It’s been cited, among other things, as one of the driving forces that could help the news ecosystem.

Mobile Journalism Manual (Tool)

MJM: Mobile Journalism makes journalistic video productions more affordable, flexible and faster. This mojo manual shall encourage and empower journalists to produce more video stories just using their smartphones.

New report highlights the online harassment faced by women in journalism, and the lack of training on how to cope

Journalism.co.uk: Many women interviewed by the Center for Media Engagement also reported they have changed the way they approach stories in order to minimise the risk of harassment

The challenges and opportunities of using artificial intelligence to tackle misinformation

Journalism.co.uk: AI can be used to create and spread propaganda but it can also be applied to solutions for identifying and verifying misinformation

The Power of Platforms

EJO: The news we get via platforms is still mostly produced by professional journalists working for news organisations. But the way in which we discover it, how content is distributed, where decisions are made on what to display, and who profits from our behaviour, is changing rapidly.

Tools for Trust: The list

Medium: A growing list of tools and resources for journalism.

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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.

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