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

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ALGERIA: Leading news website TSA partially blocked in Algeria

RSF: The TSA website has been inaccessible via Algérie Télécom, the country’s state-owned traditional Internet Service Provider, and via Mobilis, the state-owned mobile Internet provider, since 5 October.

BURUNDI: Licences rescinded in new threat to media freedom in Burundi

RSF: The decision by Burundi’s National Council for Communication (CNC) to strip four broadcast media outlets of their licences and to suspend a radio station for three months will have disastrous consequences for the country’s already fragile media pluralism and for the safety of its journalists, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says.

GAMBIA: ‘Government Promises to Do Away With Draconian Laws Hindering Freedom of Journalists’ Pap Saine

via All Africa: Mr. Pap Saine, a veteran journalist and country representative of Global Journalist Association, reporter for RFS and a co-publisher of the Point Newspaper, said the Government of the Gambia promised to do away with the draconian laws hindering the freedom of journalists in the Gambia.

GHANA: Urgent Call on the Advancement of Citizens’ Access to Information in Ghana

Ifex: 29 NGOs call on the government of Ghana to ensure its citizens’ right of access to information.

KENYA: #MemberInterview: Kenya’s press navigates tense presidential election

IPI: Political parties ‘determined to sway coverage’, leading editor says.

NAMIBIA: NBC offers free airtime for parties

The Namibian: NAMIBIA Broadcasting Corporation director general Stanley Similo yesterday said the NBC will offer free airtime to all political parties during their respective elective congresses.

NIGERIA: Special Report: How a Nigerian law is suppressing citizens’ freedom on the Internet

Premium Times

NIGERIA: UNICEF’s social media platform to engage communities reaches two million Nigerian responders

UNICEF: U-Report, UNICEF’s unique social media platform to engage with communities on issues that affect them, surpassed two million registered responders in Nigeria today.

SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa to regulate YouTube, Netflix

Advanced Television: Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo says there will be a draft White Paper issued shortly for public consultation.

SOUTH AFRICA: Union threatens strike at SABC to raise concerns over state of broadcaster

Eyewitness News: The Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (Bemawu)’s Hannes du Buisson says they are speaking to members to weigh up their options.

SOUTH AFRICA: Zuma appoints new SABC board

Mail & Guardian: President Jacob Zuma has appointed the members of a new board for the SABC.

UGANDA: Besigye Wants Damages for Breach of UBC Contract

via All Africa: Former FDC party presidential candidate Dr. Kiiza Besigye has finally testified against the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) for refusing to run his 2011 presidential campaign adverts.

ZIMBABWE: World in Progress: Zimbabwe independent online TVs (Audio)

Deutsche Welle: Tough media laws in Zimbabwe make critical reporting hard, and the pro-Mugabe state broadcaster ZBC dominates the news. But people can now access several independent online TV stations. Yet ahead of the 2018 elections, there’s fear that a crackdown will soon hit the online stations.

GENERAL: Facebook fears, parliamentary brawls & SDGs: September in Africa

Ifex: September saw protests and internet disruptions in Togo and Cameroon, an initiative to increase gender diversity in Nigeria’s tech and media community, and an access to information report that could help countries work towards UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goals.

CAMBODIA: Reporters in Cambodia charged with “inciting crime” for covering election

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Cambodian authorities to withdraw spurious charges against two former journalists with the Cambodia Daily, a recently closed independent newspaper, and to quickly return to the path of democracy and respect for media freedom.

CHINA: Framing of nationally and locally sensitive issues in China (Research)

Journalism Research News: Sensitivity of news is expected to influence news framing significantly, write Xianwen Kuang and Rining Wei, both of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. The authors choose two sensitive political issues with different geographic relevance and explore the frame use of three party and three non party newspapers in China.

CHINA: Your news about China depends on intrepid journalists whose names you’ll probably never know


CHINA: Growing number of media workers joining Communist Party

IFJ: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) expresses concerns about the increasing number of Communist Party of China members who are employed by media organisations.

INDIA: Doordarshan plans dual programming feed for DD Sports

Live Mint: While DD Sports will air sporting events on terrestrial network and DD Free Dish, a separate feed with different programming will be aired on the channel carried by cable and private DTH platforms.

INDIA: How one Indian newsroom is using Google tools to improve digital storytelling

IJNET: Easy-to-use digital tools, like Google Fusion Tables and Google MyMaps, can help journalists add data and visualizations to their reporting, breaking down complex topics in the news without losing any of an issue’s nuance.

INDIA: TDSAT asks Prasar Bharati to consider interim arrangement on Freedish slots

Television Post: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate (TDSAT) has asked Prasar Bharati to consider allowing existing channels whose contracts have expired to continue on its free direct to home (DTH) platform Freedish on pro-rata basis till the time it comes up with a new policy decision or conduct e-auction of vacant slots.

INDONESIA: Indonesia considers ban on “destructive” LGBT-related TV content

Reuters: Days after a long-running Indonesian television comedy aired last month, its producers got a letter from the broadcast commission warning that a male character in the show was “dressed and behaving like a woman” and could violate broadcasting standards.

JAPAN: NHK promises “world’s first” 8K channel

Advanced Television: Executives from Japanese public broadcaster NHK told delegates at the MIPCOM UHD event in Cannes on October 16th that it was making a variety of programming in 8K ‘Super Hi-Vision’ as well as increasing its investment in 4K content.

KYRGYZSTAN: Kyrgyzstan: where democracy is putting down roots

The Guardian: In a region where presidents tend only to leave office when they die, the country is a strange and refreshing anomaly.

KYRGYZSTAN: OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media calls on Kyrgyz authorities to protect journalists

OSCE: OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir today condemned an assault on Sunday on three journalists in Osh, Kyrgyzstan on the premises of a polling station.

NEPAL: Free press for development

The Kathmandu Post: Nepal is now supposed to be functioning under a democratic, multi-party state system. However, this is yet to be realised in practice. Recurrent threats to press freedom have weakened democratic norms and values.

NEPAL: ‘News media spending a lot of time covering politics’

The Himalayan: Journalism trainer Deborah Potter said big media houses in Kathmandu were spending a lot of time in covering politics and people who make news, which do not relate to the general public.

SOUTH KOREA: Korean public broadcast journalists strike

IFJ: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Journalists’ Association of Korea (JAK) in supporting the efforts of over 3,000 journalists at South Korea’s public broadcasters who have been in an ongoing strike since Monday, September 4.

SOUTH KOREA: World’s first ATSC 3.0 broadcast network in South Korea

Rohde & Schwarz: Broadcasters Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) and Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) have launched the world’s first terrestrial ATSC 3.0 broadcast network in South Korea for free UHDTV broadcasts.

AUSTRALIA: Coalition demands ABC publish list of staff earning more than $200,000

The Guardian: Communications minister Mitch Fifield says details should be made public by the end of November

AUSTRALIA: Digital grab ok ‘as ABC not after ad funds’

News Media Works: ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie has hit back at criticism by media groups, defending the public broadcaster’s commercial digital expansion by saying it is not after advertising revenue.

NEW ZEALAND: Fairfax, NZME take merger bid to High Court (Audio)

RNZ: New Zealand’s biggest publishers of news go to court today to try to overturn the competition watchdog’s refusal to allow them to merge.

TONGA: Govt annihilates spirit of public broadcasting

Matangi Tonga: With Tonga only weeks away from a snap General Election, the Tonga government is taking full control of the Tonga Broadcasting Commission (TBC), in a move that has annihilated its right to function as an honest Public Broadcaster.

TONGA: Media watchdog adds voice to Tonga dispute

RNZ: Tonga’s government needs to stop using so-called losses as an excuse to gag Tonga’s public broadcaster, a regional media watchdog says.

TONGA: Tonga broadcasting chair defends moving journalists

RNZ: The chair of the Tonga Broadcasting Commission says the state broadcaster was in danger of shutting down so needed to be restructured.

ALBANIA: Albanian Union of Journalists denounces ban of journalist’s entry in the Butrinti Park

via Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso: The Union is protesting against the order of the Minister of Culture Mirela Kumbaro who has prohibited the entry in the Butrinti UNESCO-protected Archaelogical Park to journalists who wants to investigate the ongoing illegal works of construction.

BULGARIA: Bulgaria is at the bottom of media literacy in Europe

via Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso: According to Open Society Institute – Sofia survey, Bulgaria is at the bottom of media literacy in Europe. The index, produced by  Open Society Institute, is based on five key criteria: media freedom, education, trust in society, and the use of information and communication technologies.

BULGARIA: Bulgarian journalists to protest state pressure

Balkan Insight: Journalists are staging protests in defense of their right to work freely after days of tensions between ruling parties’ politicians and the media.

CROATIA: CJA condemns judge Maja Šupe as she verbally attacked journalists

Safe Journalists: During continuation of re–trial for Tomislav Horvatincic at Šibenik County Court, who has been accused of causing accident at sea with fatal consequence for Salpietro married couple six years ago, judge Maja Šupe verbally attacked journalists again.

CYPRUS: Cyprus journalists make peace glossary

ECPMF: Journalists in Cyprus have launched a ground-breaking programme to help break an information impasse that has been in place since Turkish military action in the north led to the division of the country in 1974.

FRANCE: Savings plan puts France Télévisions under tension (French)

Le Monde: The unions call for a strike on Tuesday against the 50 million euros of budget cuts required by the state.

ITALY: How and where do Italians get the news? A research from University of Urbino (Italian)

Rai News: Research has shown that Italians seek information primarily on TV, and in particular in national news editions (88%), and secondly on the Internet (77%). Radio is used by 14% and is living a new youth, while newspapers are still falling. The information that passes through social networks, especially through the circle of friends and acquaintances, reaches one third of Italians.

ITALY: RAI makes new roles official and announces a growth of 0,5% in shares (Italian)

Pubblicità Italia

MALTA: Leading Maltese political journalist killed by car bomb

Politico: Daphne Caruana Galizia, a leading Maltese journalist who had reported extensively on government corruption, was killed in a car bombing Monday.

POLAND: Poland revises law on interview authorisation

IPI: Positive development stands in contrast to country’s broader press freedom climate.

PORTUGAL: Options for Portuguese DTT expansion

Advanced Television: Portugal’s Entidade Reguladora para a Comunicação Social (ERC) [Regulatory Entity for the Media] has submitted a study to the National Assembly outlying the different options for the further expansion of DTT.

ROMANIA: Moves to Change Romanian News Agency Alarm Critics

Balkan Insight: Media freedom experts in the country say plans to change the operations of Agerpres, giving parliament more control, pose a threat to its independence.

RUSSIA: BBC Russian launches a major news programme on TV Rain

BBC: The BBC’s offer on the Russian media scene has received a major boost with the launch, at 19.00 Moscow Time (16.00 GMT) today, of the 30-minute Monday to Friday global news programme broadcast on the BBC’s partner station, TV Rain (Dozhd).

SERBIA: Two-fold risk for Serbia’s women journalists as attackers target their work and gender

CPJ: Women journalists in Serbia say they face threats of sexual violence and online abuse over their critical reporting.

SPAIN: Connected devices beat TV viewing in Spain

Rapid TV News: Although smartphones have been the most popular devices in Spain for several years, now computers have also exceeded the number of TV sets in Spanish homes.

SPAIN: RSF publishes an updated report on “Respect for media in Catalonia”

RSF: Given the latest developments in Catalonia after the October 1 unilateral referendum and the growing escalation of tension between the separatist Catalan government and the national executive, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has issued an english version of its report on the oppressive climate for media freedom in this northeastern region of Spain, where journalists are complaining of unprecedented harassment by the authorities and on social networks.

SPAIN: Spanish Broadcaster Covered Wine Harvest Instead of Breakaway Vote

Bloomberg: As Spanish police clashed with Catalonians voting in a renegade referendum that threatened five centuries of nationhood, the country’s public television network was airing a documentary on French wine harvesting and years-old reruns of shows about living abroad.

SWEDEN: Sweden moves towards scrapping its TV licence

The Local: The TV licence in Sweden could soon be scrapped — and replaced with a new tax.

SWITZERLAND: The legal difficulties of online expression in Switzerland

Swissinfo.ch: Drawing the line between freedom of expression and discrimination was difficult enough in the pre-Internet era. Social media and instant communication have made it a nuanced minefield, as a case in Switzerland shows.

GENERAL: Europe media coalition launches new guide for covering migrants and minorities

IPI: RESPECT WORDS project promotes quality journalism as critical tool against hate speech.

GENERAL: Licence fee: the changing picture across Europe

EBU: The updated Licence Fee 2017 report published by the EBU’s Media Intelligence Service (MIS) illustrates the constant flux of this method of public service media (PSM) funding across Europe.

GENERAL: Oxygen for Information

Brussels Express: The Italian NGO  ” Ossigeno per l’informazione”  (Oxygen for Information),  which aims at defending the right to free expression of  journalists who have been threatened because of their work has proposed to create  “hotspots” in all European countries where legal experts  and associations in charge of the integrity of the press ascertain the validity of their claims and alert the authorities of the country on press freedom attacks.

GENERAL: Press at risk as EU-based companies export surveillance software to hostile regimes


BOLIVIA: Bolivian lawmakers exclude journalists from legislative article penalizing poor professional practice

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: After meeting with media associations and journalists in Bolivia, the leaders of the country’s legislature decided to exclude press professionals from controversial Article 200 of the new Penal Code, which sanctions bad professional practice.

ECUADOR: Ecuador’s Moreno opens new era in relations with media

CPJ: Less than a month after taking office, Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno engineered a ceasefire in the decade-long battle between the government and the nation’s independent news media by inviting a group of radio, TV, and newspaper editors to the Carondelet presidential palace in Quito.

JAMAICA: How workshops and mentoring are fostering investigative journalism in Jamaica

Ijnet: Located less than two hours south of Florida and within a stone’s throw of Cuba, Jamaica has often been overshadowed by its headline-grabbing neighbors. Yet, while it has been branded as a place with no problems, the island has a deeply partisan political culture, a public sector known to be corrupt (with a recent series in the newspaper running a monthlong commentary on the matter) and a host of societal problems that go largely unnoticed.

PERU: Peruvian journalism site seeks to reach new audiences with print editions of its most prominent investigative reports

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: At a time when most journalism is moving from print to digital, Peruvian investigative journalism site Ojo Público is doing the opposite. At least partly.

PUERTO RICO: Broadcasters, nonprofits send help to Puerto Rico

Current: Public broadcasters plan to send equipment and engineers to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico this week as they work with broadcasters on the island to get stations back on the air. Meanwhile, nonprofits and foundations are organizing to combat government corruption amid the disaster.

PUERTO RICO: Covering an unfolding crisis in Puerto Rico

CJR: Three weeks after Hurricane Maria made landfall on the US territory, plunging 3.4 million Americans into crisis, reporting on Puerto Rico’s dire straits depicts an island in desperate need of more help.

PUERTO RICO: Emergency radio kit from Southeast Alaska sent to help Puerto Rico broadcaster

Alaska Public Media: The emergency broadcasting kit has everything an engineer needs to set up a small radio station in less than a half-hour.

VENEZUELA: The MUD denounced that public media follow a campaign in favour of the Government (Spanish)

El Universal: The head of the National Campaign Command of the Democratic Unity Bureau (MUD) for the regional elections, Gerardo Blyde, denounced that since dawn this Sunday all the radios of the National System of Public Media, especially National Radio of Venezuela (RNV), are in electoral campaign, which is prohibited according to the Organic Law of Electoral Processes.

GENERAL: Global news tech survey shows journalists not keeping pace with digital revolution, but some bright spots in Latin America

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: Global news tech survey shows journalists not keeping pace with digital revolution, but some bright spots in Latin America

IRAN: Tightening the Net: A New Cabinet and New Attempts at Control

Article 19: President Hassan Rouhani’s appointment of hardliners to cabinet positions since his recent re-election is a worrying confirmation that promises to improve freedoms online will go unfulfilled.

ISRAEL: Israel Public Broadcaster Back in Netanyahu Government’s Crosshairs

Haaretz: Citing budgetary needs, Interior Minister Arye Dery suggests closing down Kan, whose Channel 11 has run several critical stories on him in recent months

OMAN: Omani Supreme Court shuts down independent “Azamn” newspaper indefinitely

via Ifex: Azamn is regarded as an independent newspaper characterised by its anti-corruption reporting since its establishment in 2007. It has been closed since August 2016 when it published an article that led to two of its editors and a journalist being jailed.

TURKEY: Court Conviction of Reporter Criminalizes Journalism (Press Release)

Freedom House

TURKEY: Minister of Justice: 889 Journalist’s Yellow Press Card Canceled in 2016 (Turkish)


TURKEY: Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of October 15, 2017

CPJ: Local journalists attacked multiple times while reporting.

CANADA: A day dedicated to innovation at Radio-Canada (French)

Radio-Canada: Some of the biggest names associated with innovation are at CBC Friday to discuss technological advances and their future or current influence on our lives. An opportunity for the Crown Corporation to highlight its ongoing digital shift.

CANADA: Canada passes law to protect whistleblowers and journalists’ confidential sources

Vice News: The government passed a new press shield law on Wednesday evening, which will protect journalists—and their anonymous sources — from search warrants and police surveillance.

 US: Going full Doomsday: Reporters must convey the perils of climate change without paralyzing their audience

CJR: According to the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, Americans fall into six groups when it comes to climate change: alarmed, concerned, cautious, disengaged, doubtful, and dismissive.

US: Lessons from covering climate change in America

CJR: Climate change eludes easy coverage. The impact of global warming looks different in every community; so do the human factors that raise the Earth’s temperature.

US: NPR ‘streamlines’ news leadership, its stations elect board reps, and more comings and goings

Current: NPR News has reorganized its management structure.

US: President threatens to revoke licenses of media networks

RSF: The most notable incidents regarding threats to press freedom in the US during the week of October 9 – October 15.

US: Press freedom organizations condemn US withdrawal from UNESCO

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF), ARTICLE 19 and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemn the decision by the US government to end its membership of the UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), effective December 31, 2018.

US: With its new reporting network, ProPublica wants to fund investigative reporters around the U.S.

Nieman Lab: The ProPublica Local Reporting Network will fund reporters who already live in the communities they are writing about.

A crisis of relevance

CJR: Even if the media’s financial and technological problems were fixed, does the news still matter?

Analysis of 141 hours of cable news reveals how mass killers are really portrayed

Quartz: Are there ingrained racial biases that surface when TV news outlets report these tragedies? Is this double standard persistent, or merely anecdotal? Keen to answer these questions, Quartz reviewed the language used to describe the killers of 27 mass shootings in the US, beginning with the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012.

Ethics and Good Governance Take Centre Stage in Media Development

EJN: In the face of a growing global information crisis and collapsing public confidence in journalism one of the world’s leading media development agencies this week adopted a ground-breaking strategy to put ethics and good governance at the heart of its multi-million global programme.

Making media literacy great again

CJR: A basic understanding of where news comes from is back on the syllabus as students navigate an increasingly bewildering media environment.

Media Feast, News Famine: Ten Global Advertising Trends That Threaten Independent Journalism

CIMA: When global media brands and digital social media platforms enter markets, especially markets with little indigenous media capacity, they can greatly expand the amount of news and entertainment for citizens. The entire market for media expands—but not without a cost. National and local news is increasingly a casualty of globalized media markets.

Media’s focus on technology tends to be short-term, shows survey

Journalism.co.uk: The Future Today Institute looked at news organisations’ attitudes and actions towards the impact of technology on media in the near and distant future

Navigating hate speech and freedom of expression

via Ifex: Clashes between white supremacists and anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia in mid-August highlighted the blurry lines between freedom of speech and hate speech in the public sphere. But how does the media industry differentiate between the two, as the rise of social media makes expressing oneself online easier than ever – but harder and harder to control?

Not a revolution (yet): Data journalism hasn’t changed that much in 4 years, a new paper finds

Nieman Lab: “Our findings challenge the widespread notion that [data-driven journalism] ‘revolutionizes’ journalism.”

Plenty of fact-checking is taking place, but finding it is another issue

Poynter: With all of the false and misleading claims in last year’s U.S. elections, there was no shortage of facts or fact-checking — even at the state and local level. But finding those facts was often more of a challenge than it should have been.

Radio survived the tape, CD, and iPod. In the age of Spotify, it’s more popular than ever.


Robust protection of journalistic sources remains a basic condition for press freedom

Strasbourg Observers: In the judgment in the case Becker v. Norway the ECtHR showed once more its concern about the importance of the protection of journalistic sources for press freedom and investigative journalism in particular.

Standards boost for mobile TV

Advanced Television: Mobile telephony standards body 3GPP has added features to its Release 14 designed to enable mobile networks to deliver television services in new and improved ways.

These two studies found that correcting misperceptions works. But it’s not magic

Poynter: According to two recent studies, giving people corrective information about economic and political issues helps change their inaccurate views — in spite of partisan beliefs. This research joins other recent publications to find that people are not impossible to fact-check.

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