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.

CAMEROON: In Cameroon, journalists are being jailed on charges of ‘fake news’

The Washington Post: In Cameroon, where English-speaking separatists are fighting the largely French-speaking government to establish a new nation, journalists covering the violence are increasingly finding themselves behind bars on a surprising charge: fake news.

EGYPT: Egypt is jailing more journalists on ‘false news’ charges than anywhere else in the world

Poynter: Three times more journalists were jailed this year on “false news” charges than in 2016 — and Egypt led the way.

ETHIOPIA: For the first time in decades, there are no Ethiopian journalists in prison

Quartz: Ethiopia has long had a reputation as one of the worst jailers of journalists in the world, at one point reportedly holding 18 reporters at one time in detention.

NIGERIA: MFWA, 15 Press Freedom Partners Petition President Buhari over Killing of Four Journalists in 2017

MFWA: The Media Foundation for West Africa and its 15 Press Freedom Partners across West Africa have petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari over the killings of four journalists in separate incidents that occurred in Nigeria in 2017.

SIERRA LEONE: Criminal Libel Law to be Scrapped – Sierra Leone President Assures

MFWA: There has been a major boost for the media in Sierra Leone with President Julius Maada Bio promising the imminent repeal of the criminal libel and sedition laws and the creation of a fund to support journalists.

SOUTH AFRICA: Hlaudi still clouding issues at the SABC

The Media Online: The SABC has been forced to defend hosting its controversial former chief operations officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, on Morning Live.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC News audiences show significant growth

SABC News: The SABC says the re-branding has re-established it as a trusted news content provider after large scale controversies around editorial interference.

REGIONAL: 30 Journalists Jailed in Sub-Saharan Africa, Eritrea Leading

Daily Nation: Eritrea has the highest number of jailed journalists in the sub-Saharan region, the latest report by the Committee to Protect Journalists shows.

GENERAL: African Media Poorly Represented at the United Nations Climate Change Negotiations


BANGLADESH: Crackdown as Elections Loom

HRW: Bangladesh security forces have been arresting and intimidating opposition figures and threatening freedom of expression in advance of national elections on December 30, 2018, Human Rights Watch said.

BANGLADESH: In fear of the state: Bangladeshi journalists self-censor as election approaches

Reuters: With less than a month to go to a general election, many journalists in Bangladesh say they are living in fear of ever-tightening media laws and engaging in self-censorship as a result.

CHINA: Google’s Dragonfly will intensify surveillance on journalists in China

CJR: Google developed a news app, a cloud service, and a censorship-compliant search engine code named Dragonfly for the Chinese market, which it deliberately hid from not only from its privacy and security teams but from almost all of its 88,000 employees.

INDIA: Inside WhatsApp’s battle against misinformation in India

Poynter: WhatsApp will intensify its purge of accounts that abuse its platform in India as political parties look to bypass the messaging app’s controls to galvanize potential voters ahead of a closely watched general election in May 2019.

MALAYSIA: Censorship board to snip LGBT elements, scenes from films, dramas

FMT News

MALAYSIA: Malaysia’s R.AGE builds a business from advocacy journalism


MYANMAR: In Aung San Suu Kyi’s Myanmar, free press hopes wither

Aljazeera: A year since the arrest of Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, media battle official distrust, repressive laws.

MYANMAR: One year into the arrest of two reuters journalists (Watch)


PAKISTAN: “Our Voice Matters” – How Journalists Fight For The Truth In Pakistan

EJO: In an interview with the European Journalism Observatory, Pakistani journalist Saddam Tufail Hashmi explains what makes journalists’ work and life difficult in Pakistan and why he and his colleagues decide to speak up despite the risks.

PAKISTAN: Over two thousand journalists jobless after newspapers shut in Pakistan

IFJ: Pakistan’s largest publication house, the Jang Group of Newspapers, shut down five newspapers in various cities rendering hundreds of journalists and media workers jobless on December 16, 2018.

PHILIPPINES: Fact-checking under pressure: How Vera Files has dealt with the Duterte regime


PHILIPPINES: In Philippines’ War on Media, Maria Ressa ‘Holds the Line’

The Wire: The veteran war correspondent and CEO of online news portal ‘Rappler’ is among Time’s ‘2018 Person of the Year’.

SINGAPORE: Singapore government threatens critics and independent media with defamation claims

Global Voices: Two separate defamation cases against a news site and blogger in Singapore have put the country’s severe restrictions on free speech back in the spotlight.

TAIWAN: Taiwan to raise fines for unfair reporting

Taiwan News: NCC emphasizes media self-discipline and fairness in reporting.

THAILAND: Thailand election date set and campaign ban lifted

BBC News: Thailand’s military government has said political parties are free to start campaigning ahead of a long-awaited election scheduled for 24 February.

THAILAND: Lifting political ban not enough, While curtailment of free expression remains

SEAPA: The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) strongly urges the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) in Thailand to lift the ban on free expression ahead of the national vote scheduled for 24 February 2019.

VIETNAM: Facebook accused of silencing critical Vietnamese bloggers

DW: Facebook is being used to silence bloggers critical of Vietnam’s government, according to Reporters Without Borders. The campaigners said there were 26 imprisoned media workers in the Southeast Asian nation.

AUSTRALIA:ABC and SBS cleared by government’s commercial neutrality review

Mumbrella: ABC and SBS are complying with their competitive neutrality requirements, but both should be more open about their commercial activities, a government review has found.

AUSTRALIA: Independent inquiry backs national broadcasters SBS and ABC

SBS: The inquiry suggested the broadcasters could be more transparent about their competitive activities.

NEW ZEALAND: Heart-breaking news and suppression frustration

RNZ: The news of Grace Millane’s murder prompted a flood of media coverage and comment this week. A lot of it was devoted to the news media’s frustration over not being able to name the accused man.

NEW ZEALAND: Tough times for training journalists

RNZ: The annual gathering of journalism educators was held this week at a school that’s just closed its journalism programme. It’s not the only one and the number of journalism trainees is slumping too. Is that just because the news business itself is shrinking or does journalism as a career have a PR problem too?

CROATIA: Media in Croatia, defeated by the economy

OBCT: What is the state of the Croatian media? And what could the government and the institutions do to improve the situation? We asked Hrvoje Zovko, the new president of the Association of Croatian Journalists (HND).

FRANCE: In France, School Lessons Ask: Which Twitter Post Should You Trust?

The New York Times: France is coordinating one of the world’s largest national media and internet literacy efforts to teach students, starting as early as in middle school, how to spot junk information online.

FRANCE: In the name of “transformation”, France Televisions is preparing a vast plan of voluntary departures (French)

Le Monde: Delphine Ernotte wants a greater “social and generational mix”. Unions fear a net loss of 1,000 jobs.

FRANCE & BELGIUM: Police, ‘yellow vest’ protesters both target journalists in France, Belgium

CPJ: Dozens of journalists covering anti-government protests in France and Belgium in November and December of 2018 suffered attacks by the demonstrators and the police, according to press and social media reports.

GERMANY: EU court confirms legality of German broadcast licence fees

Telecompaper: Germany’s system for collecting mandatory licence fees to finance its public service broadcasters, the GEZ, is in accordance with EU law, ruled the Court of Justice of the European Union.

GREECE: IFJ and EFJ condemn terrorist attack against Skai TV and Khatimerini newspaper

EFJ: A bomb blast today damaged a building in Athens housing the headquarters of Greece’s private radio and television network Skai and Greek daily newspaper Khatimerini, but there were no casualties.

HUNGARY: Hungary MPs attack Orbán’s ‘slave law’ during state TV protest

The Guardian: Opposition seeks changes from government, including independent judiciary.

HUNGARY: Hungary must pay damages for claiming defamation via hyperlink to YouTube

ECPMF: The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on 4thDecember 2018 backed a Hungarian news portal for hyperlinking a Youtube video which, according to the domestic courts, contained “defamatory” remarks about an anti-Roma political party.

HUNGARY: One Hungarian media monster to rule them all

IPI: Orbán unites government friendly media in new foundation

ISLE OF MAN: Isle of Man’s future of public service media report splits Tynwald

BBC News: Plans for a radical shake-up of public service broadcasting in the Isle of Man have been put on hold for a month.

NETHERLANDS: Can We Empower Young Refugees Through Digital Media Literacy Education?

EJO: A group of Netherlands-based media professors, in collaboration with Ithaka ISK, a Dutch “International Transition Classes” school, developed a program called “Media literacy through making media”. Their aim: to show refugees how to create their own online media content and thus empowering them to create their own stories and representations about themselves.

POLAND: Press freedom in Poland under pressure at year’s end

IPI: Legal pressure on independent media worrying sign ahead of 2019 election year

ROMANIA: Romania secures digital TV funding

Broadband TV News: The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced it is lending the Romanian public company Radiocom €9.78 million to partially finance the digitisation of the country’s terrestrial broadcasting infrastructure.

RUSSIA: New report on Russian disinformation, prepared for the Senate, shows the operation’s scale and sweep

The Washington Post: The report, a draft of which was obtained by The Washington Post, is the first to analyze the millions of posts provided by major technology firms to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

SERBIA: In eight months, 57 journalists attacked in Serbia, pressure on media growing

SEENPM: Media freedom, as one of the basic human rights and the foundation of every democratic and law respecting country, is imperilled in Serbia, hate speech and political abuse of media are spreading, while the number of attacks on journalists is on the rise, an analysis said, the Beta news agency reported.

SLOVAKIA: Slovaks trust the media information they receive

The Slovak Spectator: But they do not know who owns the media, as the recent Focus poll suggests.

SLOVENIA: Public broadcaster’s boss Kadunc stays on

STA: The programming council of public broadcaster RTV Slovenija did not go along with the supervisory board’s call to dismiss director general Igor Kadunc over what the supervisors claimed was a series of irregularities and violations of law.

SPAIN: Do more for less: more than 71% of journalists say their working conditions have worsened (Spanish)

InfoLibre: According to the Annual Report of the journalism profession 2018 of the APM, 61% of those engaged in journalism and 58% of those engaged in communication devote more than 40 hours a week to their work.

SPAIN: Spanish police search newsroom, seize journalists’ equipment in leaks investigation

CPJ: Europa Press said police presented a court order demanding the editor hand over any documentation concerning a large-scale corruption case on which the news agency recently reported using unnamed police sources.

UK: BBC Earth uses audience data for greenlighting its original series

Digiday: Over the last year, BBC Earth, the public service broadcaster’s natural history franchise, has been refining its YouTube channel, sticking to a more consistent schedule and using audience data to inform the creation of original digital series.

UK: BBC revamping BBC+ content discovery app

Digital TV Europe: The BBC has refreshed its experimental content discovery app,  BBC+, to take advantage of advanced data capabilities that the broadcaster’s technical team believe could deliver a superior personalised experience.

UK: BBC team shares insights behind viral, open-source investigation

IJNet: Series producer at BBC’s Africa Eye, Daniel Adamson, and open-source investigator Benjamin Strick, spoke to IJNet about how they were able to carry out the investigation.

UK: Broadcasters publish joint guidance note on Ofcom out-of-London definitions

ITV: The UK’s PSBs (BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5) have today (Friday 14th December) published a joint guidance note on the application of Ofcom’s out of London (OOL) definitions in order to give greater clarity to the independent production sector.

UK: Make climate crisis top editorial priority, XR campaign urges BBC

The Guardian: Extinction Rebellion group call on BBC to tell ‘full truth about ecological emergency’

UK: Ofcom requires BBC to run public interest test on iPlayer proposals

Broadband TV News: The BBC wants to extend the period in which a programme can be viewed, beyond the standard 28-days. This would put it in line with services such as Netflix that themselves sometimes carry BBC content. The regulator says the PIT is needed to properly assess their value and potential impact on other broadcasters.

UK: UK newsrooms seek social network help to curb online abuse

IPI: More coordination with Twitter, Facebook important to protect journalists, editors say

GENERAL: EU agreement on cross-border TV access

Broadband TV News: New rules will make it easier for European broadcasters to make their shows available to online audiences.

REGIONAL: Media Trends in the Nordic Countries: Media use and media economy

Nordicom: Young people’s news consumption in the digital media landscape; continuing differences between the generations in online use; and the economic development of the Nordic media industry – these are some of the themes in this new issue of Media Trends in the Nordic Countries.

BRAZIL: 10 things I learned from fact-checking Brazil’s toxic election (Opinion)

Poynter: It’s been two months since we had general elections in Brazil. Only now is the toxic dust of misinformation seemingly settling down, allowing us to look back at what happened and list 10 lessons from our experience that might be useful to fact-checkers elsewhere in the world.

BRAZIL: Brazilian organizations debate threats to press and launch protection network for communicators

Knight Center: A meeting held in São Paulo in early December brought together communicators, press freedom groups and State representatives to discuss the threats facing the press, the measures the State is taking to fight impunity in violence against media professionals and next steps for launching a protection network for communicators.

BRAZIL: CPJ calls on Brazil to end its use of criminal defamation to persecute journalists

CPJ: Brazilian authorities should cease prosecuting journalists for defamation and repeal the country’s outdated criminal defamation laws.

COLOMBIA: Bill puts at risk the public television of Colombia (Spanish)

El Desconcierto: Senators and opposition deputies withdrew from the room where the bill was being discussed in protest at the presence of lobbyists from private channels, for violating the constitution by not consulting the ethnic communities beforehand and the clear intention of legislating in favor of private companies and large monopolies.

CUBA: At Havana film festival, Cuban filmmakers fight censorship

Aljazeera: Pushing the boundaries despite strong censorship, thousands turn out to see this year’s offerings at the Havana international film festival.

MEXICO: Lado B, a regional Mexican media outlet that tells stories of the people while still keeping an eye on the powerful

Knight Center: Mexican site Lado B, of Puebla, was born seven years ago with the objective of telling stories of people who are not usually within the purview of conventional newspapers. However, it is also a site that continues to be critical of those in power.

NICARAGUA: Nicaragua police raid and ransack top journalist’s offices

The Guardian: Carlos Fernando Chamorro says Daniel Ortega’s ‘criminal dictatorship’ behind attack.

NICARAGUA: Nicaraguan journalists in crisis seek more resources and attention from the international press

Knight Center: Independent media in Nicaragua need technical resources, an international forum and greater visibility in the international press to guarantee the continuity of their work and to attract the attention of the world to the critical situation that journalists are experiencing in the country.

PERU: Nuqanchik: Peruvian news and the politics of language

Al Jazeera: Quechua is one of South America’s oldest languages and now some journalists are challenging its marginalisation.

VENEZUELA: El Nacional, described as Venezuela’s last independent newspaper, has ended its print run with the last edition published on Friday, December 14th.

Knight Center: Otero told ABC that Chavismo used various tactics to put an end to the paper. He included physical aggression from armed civilian groups called colectivos, the use of courts, taxation, smear campaigns and more.

PALESTINE: Journalists targeted by Israeli teargas grenades call for int’l protection

PNN: Chairman of the Palestinian Journalist Syndicate’s Cameramen Committee,  Iyad Hamad on Sunday called on international rights and press freedoms organizations to move quickly to stop the deliberate targeting by the Israeli occupation of journalists in the occupied Palestinian territories, whether in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip or occupied Jerusalem.

QATAR: After years of radio silence, Asian stations delight Qatar expats

Aljazeera: Listeners laud four new channels in Hindi and Malayalam after years of tuning in to UAE-based channels with bad signal.

TURKEY: When it comes to defending the press, President Erdogan is the world’s biggest hypocrite (Opinion)

The Washington Post: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has played up the despicable killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi to his own considerable advantage. From his relentless pursuit of Khashoggi’s murderers, you’d almost think he has genuine concern for freedom of the press. Don’t believe a word of it.

CANADA: 2018: A great year on our platforms!

CBC/Radio-Canada: So much has happened in 2018! You’ve no doubt seen all the new stuff on our digital platforms, but before we leave for the holiday break, we want to take a quick look at this past year’s highlights.

CANADA: Canada’s public broadcaster launches CBC Gem streaming service with more than 4000 hours of live and on-demand programming available for free


CANADA: Regulate social media, says Canadian parliamentary committee

IT World Canada: Social media platforms based in Canada should regulated by a law forcing them to delete “manifestly illegal content in a timely fashion” including hate speech harassment and disinformation, a parliamentary committee has recommended.

CANADA: How is social media affecting attitudes toward news? (Subscription)

Media in Canada: Respondents may be more interested in speed than balance, according to a recent study.

US: Jonathan Albright on the new Senate report, and the importance of Instagram to Russian disinformation

CJR: After laboring in secret for months, a new report commissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee names a culprit more useful on a user-for-user basis to Russian espionage services than Facebook or Twitter: Instagram.

US: Journalists fleeing threats at home trapped in ICE detention over US asylum seeker policy

CPJ: When Cuban police escorted Serafín Morán Santiago on to a plane to Guyana in 2016, they warned the journalist he could be jailed for 15 years if he tried to return. Authorities there had already detained and tortured him for his reporting. But when he was attacked in Guyana and then threatened in Mexico, Morán said he had no option but to seek asylum elsewhere.

US: New NPR tool provides richer data about podcast listening (Subscription)

Current: NPR announced the release Tuesday of a new system for tracking downloads and other data about podcast listening, with the aim of helping creators and advertisers better understand their audiences.

US: PBS Programs Honored with Prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Batons

PBS: On December 11, 2018, The Columbia Journalism School announced the winners for the 2019 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards. PBS programs received four duPont Batons, including FRONTLINE and THE VIETNAM WAR.

Across the Language Barrier

CJR: How journalists reach readers in translation.

Facebook’s privacy problems: a roundup

The Guardian: The social media giant’s troubles have led to lawsuits, House of Commons hearings and several apologies.

Joint communique from international public service broadcasters on threats to media freedom

BBC: Directors of the British Broadcasting Corporation, ABC (Australia), Deutsche Welle, France Médias Monde, NHK (Japan) and United States Agency for Global Media today said public service broadcasting faces ‘increasing threats’ and expressed concern about ‘troubling attacks‘ on journalists around the world.

Here’s what the AFP learned from expanding its fact-checking team to 13 countries in one year

Poynter: We’ve gone from just one fact-checker in France a year ago, when we signed on to the IFCN’s code of principles and started working as third party fact-checkers for Facebook, to more than 20 fact-checkers and editors worldwide, from Mexico to South Africa and from Colombia to India.

Hundreds of journalists jailed globally becomes the new normal

CPJ: For the third year in a row, 251 or more journalists are jailed around the world, suggesting the authoritarian approach to critical news coverage is more than a temporary spike.

OTT takings overtake cinema revs

Rapid TV News: A tipping point in the global entertainment industry is set to occur in 2019 with revenues from subscription over-the-top services exceeding cinema box office.

Predictions for journalism 2019

NiemanLab: Each year, we ask some of the smartest people in journalism and digital media what they think is coming in the next 12 months. Here’s what they had to say.

RSF’s 2018 round-up of deadly attacks and abuses against journalists – figures up in all categories

RSF: The RSF round-up figures have risen in all categories. Murders, imprisonment, hostage-taking and enforced disappearances have all increased. Journalists have never before been subjected to as much violence and abusive treatment as in 2018.

The 40 best digital stories of 2018 listed for you by Hackastory

Hackastroy: Hackastory selected the 40 best digital stories of 2018. We listed the interactives, graphics, longreads, newsgames and data visualizations that make our hearts beat faster. Let these articles and visualizations inspire you to continue innovating in journalism.

‘They don’t care’: Facebook factchecking in disarray as journalists push to cut ties

The Guardian: Journalists paid to help fix Facebook’s fake news problem say they have lost trust in the platform

The future of the deepfake — and what it means for fact-checkers

Poynter: Deepfakes seem to offer would-be creators of disinformation access to Hollywood-level movie magic without needing the massive resources or staff of a professional special effects team.

The state of climate change coverage: An analysis

CJR: After two striking reports on the compounding threats of climate change in just two months, is this call to action being echoed across the media landscape?

Time magazine names Jamal Khashoggi and persecuted journalists ‘person of the year’

The Guardian: The accolade honours the Saudi journalist and others, including those from the Capital Gazette, killed or imprisoned in 2018

Why are journalists increasingly targeted?

Aljazeera: Amid the heightening threats, dangers and name-calling, polls show the public’s trust in the news media has plummeted.

Yusuf Omar: mobiles get stories the media miss

RNZ: There are around three billion phones in the world that can shoot and send video. HashtagOurStories is a network of citizen journalists to capture stories most media miss with their phones.

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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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