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

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CAMEROON: Police Arrest Nine Anglophone Journalists in Bafoussam

Cameroon Info.Net: The journalists from the North West and South West regions who are currently taking part in a three-day UN-organized capacity building workshop were apprehended on their way to a store.

EGYPT: Egypt parliament approves bill to monitor social media

Rappler: Egypt, which ranks in the bottom tier of the World Press Freedom Index, is set to ratify a bill that will place social media accounts with more than 5,000 followers under a government committee.

ERITREA: Eritrea’s UPR – RSF requests proof of life of detained journalists

RSF:As Eritrea undergoes its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by the United Nations Human Rights Council, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) deplores the lack of any significant progress on press freedom and calls on the Eritrean authorities to allow all journalists held arbitrarily since 2001 to receive visits.

GHANA: Media Stakeholders, Police Commit to Improving Safety of Journalists and Police-Media Relations

MFWA: Stakeholders in the media and the Ghana Police Service have made a commitment to sustain dialogue and cooperation in order to promote the safety of journalists’ situation in the country and as well improve relations between the media and police.

KENYA: Google’s high-altitude internet balloons could soon connect rural Kenya

Quartz: Google is in talks with telecom operators in Kenya to bring balloon-powered internet to people in rural and remote areas.

KENYA: Government should bail out national broadcaster from financial crisis (Opinion)

The Standard: Last week, KBC, the national broadcaster, admitted it was broke. Officials from the organisation told the Senate Committee on Information and Communications Technology (ICT), chaired by Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, that KBC is unable to meet its financial obligations.

MADAGASCAR: Madagascar has faster internet than UK, France and Canada

Quartz: The broadband speed in Madagascar is due to the 10,000km-long East African Submarine Cable System (EASSy). In 2014, the country’s largest internet provider Telecom Malagasy signed an agreement with the international operating division of Hong Kong Telecom to make this happen. However, just 13% of its 25 million population has access to electricity and only 2.1% of the population has access to the internet.

MOROCCO: China, Morocco Pledge to Enhance Media Cooperation

Morocco World News: Morocco and China expressed hope to enhance media exchanges and cooperation during a meeting convening Moroccan officials and a Chinese media delegation in Rabat on Thursday.

NIGERIA: NBC urges broadcasting stations to adhere to ethics of election coverage

The Guardian (Nigeria): The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has enjoined broadcasting stations to adhere to ethics of elections coverage.

SOUTH AFRICA:SABC embarks on second round of public consultations into the editorial policy review process (Statement)


UGANDA: Reality Check: Taxing ‘gossip’ on the internet

BBC News: Claim: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s decision to impose a tax on “gossip” on social media has led to drop in usage.

UGANDA: Uganda social media tax to be reviewed

BBC News: Uganda is reviewing its decision to impose taxes on the use of social media and on money transactions by mobile phone, following a public backlash.

WEST AFRICA: Deadly Police Brutalities Taint West Africa’s FOE Landscape in June 2018

MFWA: June 2018 was marred by police brutalities against demonstrators in The Gambia and Mali, as well as the arbitrary detention of a journalist and a social media activist in Guinea and Burkina Faso, respectively.

ZIMBABWE: Safety of Journalists in Question As Poll Date Nears

Via All Africa: As the Zimbabwe elections approach, fears have been raised over threats to journalists. This follows a press conference by the military at which it accused members of the fourth estate of peddling lies against the army.

BANGLADESH: Journos’ Safety: Media outlets need common guidelines

The Daily Star: Editors, journalists, academics, and activists recognised the need for a common framework of guidelines for better safety and security of journalists in the wake of increasing threats and risks.

BANGLADESH: PIB chief: If you fear to tell the truth, you are not a journalist

Dhaka Tribune:A journalist should always strive for accuracy and objectivity, and be fearless in telling the truth, Shah Alamgir, director general of Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB), said at an event on Sunday.

CAMBODIA: Cambodia’s Election Crackdown [Video]

Al-Jazeera: A look at alleged corruption by Cambodia’s elite as the ruling party cracks down on critics leading up to elections.

CHINA:  China Radio International seeks to address ‘misunderstandings’

RNZ: China Radio International is seeking to bridge the gap in understanding about China in other parts of the world according to Viola Kuo Huang, a Principal Researcher and Full Senior Translator at China Radio International’s English Service. CRI recently grabbed some spotlight in the region after it took up frequencies formerly used by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s short-wave service into the Pacific Islands.

CHINA: Chinese embassy attacks Swedish reporter based in Taiwan

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns an extremely violent verbal attack by the Chinese embassy in Stockholm on Jojje Olsson. The attack on Olsson, an experienced reporter and recognized China specialist, was made in an unsigned statement issued on 3 July by China’s embassy in Stockholm.

INDIA: 2019: Government plans new DD Hindi news channel

The Asian Age: Bilingual DD News to give way to separate Hindi, English channels.

INDIA: ‘Fake news often goes viral’: WhatsApp ads warn India after mob lynchings

The Guardian: Messaging services takes full-page advertisements showing how to spot false information after spate of killings

INDIA: Don’t Harass Journalists, Say Press Groups After NIA Questions Kashmiri Reporter

The Wire: A Kashmiri reporter, Auqib Javeed, was reportedly questioned for three hours by the National Investigative Agency (NIA) in New Delhi on Saturday (July 14) and summoned again on Sunday. Two journalists’ organisations – the Kashmir Working Journalist Association and Kashmir Journalist Association – have condemned the NIA’s decision to question Javeed in a statement.

INDIA:Teargas attack on reporter’s home in Kashmir

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns last weekend’s teargas attack on journalist Fahad Shah’s home in Srinagar, in northern India’s troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir, and calls on the authorities to protect the region’s journalists.

JAPAN: Gov’t to allow public broadcaster NHK to simultaneously stream its programs online

The Mainichi: The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has decided to allow public broadcaster NHK to begin simultaneous online streaming of its programs broadcast on TV, the Mainichi Shimbun has learned. NHK hopes to start online streaming in fiscal 2019.

MALAYSIA: Malaysia’s weekly radio listenership rises to 20.2 million

Asia Radio Today

MALAYSIA: New Speaker must review ‘dungeon’ ruling for journalists covering Parliament

The Star: The Human Resources Minister said the new Speaker should, among its other tasks, reverse the ruling by predecessor Tan Sri Pandikar Amin who had placed a “zonal” restriction on journalists “to a ‘dungeon’ on the lower floor as some reporters use to put it.”

MALAYSIA & PHILIPPINES: Rappler: Fighting fake news and patriotic trolls

RNZ: Social media can give the news media an almost unlimited number of eyeballs for stories. But they can also be used to target the media and put pressure on journalists. ‘Mediawatch’ meets an award-winning editor fighting back against fake news and online attacks in the Philippines. It’s a similar story in Malaysia.

PAKISTAN: How pressuring the media is risking the quality of our democracy (Opinion)

Dawn: The media is the lifeblood of an election. In Pakistan’s context, even at the best of times, both elections and the media is widely believed to be adversely manipulated and influenced not just by corporate interests but also by powerful lobbies with political objectives.

PAKISTAN: Protest held across country to show solidarity with Dawn

Dawn: A large number of journalists, politicians, lawyers and civil society activists showed up at protest camps set up by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), headed by Afzal Butt, across the country on Wednesday to express solidarity with Dawn newspaper and DawnNews TV channel.

GENERAL: ‘Don’t look at media through a bipolar prism of East versus West’

Asia Radio Today: Speaking in this morning’s session of Media2020, All India Radio Director General Fayyaz Sheheryar encouraged Eastern and Western media to understand each other better, rather than taking adversarial positions on media issues.

AUSTRALIA: ABC supporters rally at South Bank studios

Brisbane Times: Hundreds of supporters of the public broadcaster demonstrated out the front of the ABC’s South Bank studios this morning, as part of a nationwide series of public protests.

AUSTRALIA: ABC would ‘cease to exist’ if it was barred from digital platforms, chairman says

The Guardian: Justin Milne says commercial media and ‘political fringe’ want to shrink ABC for ‘self-serving’ ends.

AUSTRALIA: An ABC Fit for the Future (Speech)

ABC: The bigger question facing the ABC, which was, in a way, the one prompted by our critics, is this: how can Australia have a public broadcasting system that is fit for purpose, as efficient as possible, and just as valuable to our children as it has been to us?

AUSTRALIA: SBS boss Michael Ebeid stands down days after World Cup ratings success

ABC: SBS managing director Michael Ebeid has described his decision to stand down from the helm of the public broadcaster in October as “one of the most difficult decisions” he has ever made.

AUSTRALIA: Why the ABC, and the public that trusts it, must stand firm against threats to its editorial independence

The Conversation: The people who are turning up at Save the ABC rallies around the country are defending a cultural institution they value because they trust it.

NAURU: Protests gather force over Nauru ban on ABC from Pacific Forum

Asia Pacific Report: Protests from politicians, news organizations, and other media outlets have been gathering force over the Nauru government ban on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) from entering the country to cover the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Summit in September.

NEW ZEALAND: New era in broadcasting – or more of the same?

RNZ: The allocation of $15 million for public broadcasting will be split between RNZ, New Zealand on Air and a new fund targeting “under-served audiences.” It’s the biggest single boost for public broadcasting for a decade, but will it make a big difference?

AUSTRIA: Austria in EU hotseat with broadcasters in uproar over ’political muzzle’

ECPMF: As Austria assumes the Presidency of the European Council, its own public service broadcasters are protesting about alleged ’political censorship’. And opposition politicians fear the TV licence fee may be used as a financial weapon to attack the broadcaster’s political neutrality.

BELARUS: RSF calls for release of journalist on trial in Minsk

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the immediate release of Zmitser Halko, a freelance journalist whose trial began in Minsk on 10 July and was due to continue today. Detained since April and facing a possible six-year sentence on a charge of using force against a police officer, he is clearly the victim of persecution.

CYPRUS: Words That Matter: Cyprus Journalists Working Together to Stem the Flow of Bigotry

EJN: This week a small group of journalists from both sides of the divided island of Cyprus launched a small publication, Words Matter: A Glossary for Journalism in Cyprus.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Two-thirds of Czechs distrust news media, russia-backed sources a factor

Czech Radio

FINLAND: Press freedom: Finland takes on Trump and Putin

IPI: Helsingin Sanomat plasters the two leaders’ route with press freedom messages.

GERMANY: Critics say Germany’s hate speech law comes at a price

DIGIDAY: Germany’s controversial law requiring the tech platforms to remove hateful content has turned up only a few offenders in the last six months. But some worry that this is because the platforms have gone overboard in blocking questionable content to avoid fines.

IRELAND: Anger over plan to have Revenue collect TV licence fees

Irish Examiner: The Government is to face strong opposition to plans to get Revenue to collect the TV licence. The high evasion rate is costing RTÉ €40m a year.

IRELAND: Switching off: 17pc of under-30s have stopped buying TV licences

SiliconRepublic: TV licence fee is a turn-off for a generation weaned on internet streaming.

ITALY: RAI: 13,000 employees, 1,760 journalists, 8 newspapers, but last in online news (Italian – Opinion)

Corriere della Sera: Free from the parties, it had to take off three years ago. Instead the largest cultural company in the country remained in the parking lot, entangled in the same clients and inefficiencies of all time.

POLAND: Divided Media Users, Divided Society?

EJO: A new study analyses the effect of Polish media on political preferences of Polish voters – and tried to find links between the daily “media diet” of Polish citizens and their positions and attitudes towards the most important social and political divisions in the country.

SPAIN: A new public service mission for RTVE

El Confidencial: The time seems to have come for a rethinking of the mission of public media, which should be able to offer citizens a different value with respect to private offerings

SPAIN: RTVE workers suspend ‘black fridays’ (Spanish)

El País: The twelfth day of protest will be, for the time being, the last mobilisation.

SPAIN: The fiasco in RTVE’s renewal puts in evidence of the Government’s fragility (Spanish)

El Confidencial: The candidacy for the RTVE council endorsed by the PSOE, Unidos Podemos and the PNV, and supported by forces such as ERC and PDeCAT, obtained 175 votes. Only 175 votes. And not the necessary, 176, absolute majority, for the error of two deputies.

UK: BBC pay: Men still dominate star salaries list

BBC News: The top 12 earners on the BBC’s latest list of star salaries are all men.

UK: BBC to reveal list showing increase in high-paid women

The Guardian: Corporation claims significant step in addressing gender imbalance but critics are wary

GENERAL: Euro Parliament makes ‘trilogue’ agreement on EU audiovisual landscape

TBI Vision: The European Parliament’s culture and education committee has approved a ‘trilogue’ political agreement on revision of the EU’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive.

GENERAL: ‘Murders of journalists cannot be tolerated in the EU’ – Justice Commissioner

ECPMF: The Justice Commissioner of the European Union is offering support to police investigating the murders of journalists Daphne Caruana Galizia and Jan Kuciak.

BRAZIL: Offices of local news outlet shot at in southern Brazil

CPJ: The building was empty at the time. VipSocial reporters said the perpetrators left a note that read: “If you continue supporting the wrong side, you will suffer the consequences.”

BRAZIL: Transnational journalism networks investigate Brazil’s largest corruption scandal

IJNet: To reveal a corruption and money laundering scheme that involved businessmen and politicians, not only in Brazil but around the world, journalists in Latin America, the United States and Africa have united to launch two international consortia: Investiga Lava Jato and Lava Jato en Latinoamerica.

COLOMBIA: Fact-checking around the world: Inside Colombiacheck

IJNet: Modeled off Chequeado, an Argentinian nonprofit fact-checking organization, Colombiacheck started an uphill battle against the spread of fake news on social media before the referendum on the peace agreements.

CUBA: PRESS RELEASE: Political Police detains and interrogates four ICLEP journalists (Spanish)

ICLEP: Combined forces of State Security and the National Revolutionary Police (PNR) arrested and interrogated four journalists of the Cuban Institute for Freedom of Expression and Press (ICLEP), this past Friday the 13th.

ECUADOR: The U-turn: Moreno steers Ecuador away from Correa’s media repression

CPJ: The administration of President Lenín Moreno has dramatically diverged from that of his predecessor, Rafael Correa, who was severely critical of the Ecuadoran press and passed one of the most restrictive media laws in the region. Nonetheless, journalists say they will be wary until Moreno fulfills his promises to scale back the Communications Law and scrap the regulator that enforced it.

PERU: Journalists could face prosecution after exposing judicial corruption

IFEX: The notices sent by the Prosecutor’s Office instruct the media outlets to hand over their material and the requested information within a period not exceeding three days.

PERU: Peruvian journalist Gustavo Gorriti says he will not reveal his sources, ‘not in three, thirty or 300 days’

Knight Center: Peruvian investigative journalism site IDL-Reporteros received, for the third time this week, a request from judicial and legislative authorities to reveal its journalistic sources after publishing a report revealing alleged acts of corruption in the Peruvian judicial system.

IRAN: How to Fact-Check Politics in Countries with No Press Freedom

GIJN: The tactic of fact-checking a regime from outside its borders — executed by Rouhani Meter and Fact-Nameh, which both remain unblocked in Iran despite rating claims false and promises unachieved for President Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei — may be key for getting fact-checking off the ground in other repressive regimes around the world, where the format has either failed or never been introduced in the first place.

ISRAEL: Israel media tycoon admits complicity in Netanyahu corruption probe

Middle East Monitor: An Israeli media tycoon admitted yesterday that he provided favourable media coverage to the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, because he “didn’t want to annoy the PM.”

JORDAN & SYRIA: IPI urges Jordan to protect Syrian journalists caught in conflict

IPI: Several journalists trapped in southern Syria as government troops advance in

LEBANON: Lebanon charges journalists with defamation, false news

CPJ: Beirut’s Publication Court, headed by Judge Raffoul Bustani, on July 5, 2018, convicted and fined five Lebanese journalists for offenses including criminal defamation and spreading false news, according to news reports and the regional press freedom group Skeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom.

PALESTINE: 62 Attacks against Media Freedoms in Palestine during June

MADA: June witnessed 33 Palestinian violations, and 29 committed by the Israeli occupation forces, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It should be noted that rarely does the number of Palestinian violations exceeds the number Israeli violations

SYRIA: Emergency in southwest Syria: UN asked to protect dozens of journalists in danger

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is asking the United Nations and neighbouring countries to lose no time in guaranteeing the safety of several dozen journalists who have been exposed to extremely grave danger by the Syrian army’s advance on the demilitarized Quneitra region on the Israel border.

TURKEY: Assault on press to outlive Turkey’s state of emergency

IPI: New decree shuts Kurdish newspapers while previous emergency rules to remain law.

TURKEY: Turkey’s confiscation of media companies taken to international tribunal

SCF: The UK-related claim, worth more than $5 billion (£3.8bn), is aimed at overturning what are alleged to be politically motivated confiscations by the regime of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Both are being taken to the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington.

TURKEY: Assault on press to outlive Turkey’s state of emergency

IFEX: The state of emergency in Turkey, which has been extended seven times, is scheduled to be lifted on July 18, 2018, almost two years to the day after its initial implementation. International Press Institute (IPI) Turkey Advocacy Coordinator Caroline Stockford warned that the end of Turkey’s state of emergency would not necessarily translate to an improvement in the country’s dire press freedom situation.

YEMEN: Exile, torture and death: The perils of being a Yemeni journalist

Al-Jazeera: Yemeni journalists like Aglan have faced increasing threats on their lives since late 2014 when Houthi rebels seized the capital, Sanaa, and large swaths of the impoverished country. Almost immediately after ousting the government, the armed group launched a crackdown on dissent, ransacking the offices of Suhail TV, Yemen Shebab TV, and Yemen Al Youm.

CANADA: Public broadcasting, private boardrooms

J-Source: Inside the push to put workers on CBC’s board of directors.

CANADA:  In descriptions of migrants, the Canadian media has been happy to play judge and jury (Opinion)

The Star: The words we use to describe how people move around are important. Done poorly, the wrong words can disastrously exacerbate existing anti-migrant sentiments. A focus on illegality can end up overtaking more nuanced coverage of migrant issues.

CANADA: CBC/Radio-Canada takes action to attract top talent and develop diversified workforce

Cision: CBC/Radio-Canada believes it can serve Canadians best when it reflects the country.

US: AM/FM radio holds strong for American listeners

NiemanLab: Americans are still drawn to audio content, with high percentages tuning into some kind of radio station (there are only 26 all-news terrestrial radio stations left) and podcast listenership continuing to grow.

US: Major broadcast TV networks mentioned climate change just once during two weeks of heat-wave coverage

Media Matters for America: ABC, CBS, and NBC aired 127 segments on the recent heatwave and only one noted that climate change is a driver of extreme heat

US: PBS Expands Its Digital Content Reach This Summer with Fresh Offerings Across Multiple Platforms

PBS: On July 12, PBS announced a new slate of original programming and digital initiatives exclusively for its social media and online platforms. Created to increase engagement with digital natives, the new content includes a virtual reality app, multiple series from PBS Digital Studios, a digital original series hosted on pbs.org and the 25 short form films included in the PBS Online Film Festival.

US: Public Radio and the Sound of America

NiemanReports: Broadcasters are trying to shake off “public radio voice” and bring more variety to the airwaves

US: Russian Influence Campaign Sought To Exploit Americans’ Trust In Local News

NPR: The information operatives who worked out of the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg not only sought to pose as American social media users or spread false information from purported news sources, according to new details.

US: Seventh Annual PBS Online Film Festival Thinks Outside the Box Office with 25 Independent Short Films Amplifying Diverse Voices and Viewpoints

PBS: PBS announced that the Webby Award-nominated PBS Online Film Festival will return for a seventh year July 16-27 and will feature 25 short-form independent films from multiple public media partners and PBS member stations.

US: Tegna asks viewers: What do you want to know about the news?

Poynter: These are four of the dozens of viewer questions Tegna stations have answered since launching Verify, a fact-checking initiative driven by viewers’ questions about the news and their daily lives. More recently, stations have used the method to verify unconfirmed information live during breaking news.

US: With Big Bird on HBO, broadcasters want to cancel kids’ TV

TribLive: The agency voted 3-1 Thursday to consider letting broadcasters shift the shows onto little-watched secondary digital channels and asked about shedding the three-hour minimum altogether. Supporters say the changes acknowledge that children are increasingly shunning TV and turning to online and cable programming.

7 tips for securing funding from Google’s Digital News Initiative

Journalism.co.uk: Google’s Digital News Initiative (DNI) has supported 461 innovative projects since its launch three years ago and spent more than £83 million supporting media innovation.

54 newsrooms, 9 countries, and 9 core ideas: Here’s what two researchers found in a yearlong quest for journalism innovation

NiemanLab: “Our angle on the current state of journalism is this: The crisis of journalism and legacy news media is structural, and not just a matter of technological challenges or broken business models.”

Already more than four dozen journalists killed in 2018

IPI: As many as 49 journalists were killed around the world in the first six months of 2018, according to the International Press Institute (IPI)’s Death Watch.

Four major tech companies take new steps to combat fake news

Poynter: Over the course of one week, we saw notable announcements from four major tech platforms. Each seemed like a positive if small step forward — and each also raised questions that need to be answered.

Regulating social media content: Why AI alone cannot solve the problem

Article19: Over-broad restrictions on freedom of expression arising from regulation of speech online have to be challenged.  And the use of technological tools to deal with complex problems like fake news, hate speech and misinformation fall far short of the standards required to protect freedom of expression.

The Future of High-Quality Documentaries Reaching A World Audience


The promises and pitfalls of reporting within chat apps and other semi-open platforms: A journalist’s guide

NiemanLab: News organizations’ audiences are increasingly moving from public social media to closed or semi-closed platforms like WhatsApp, Discord, and Facebook Groups. But there are still opportunities for good reporting on the communities we cover.

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