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

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BOTSWANA: A tale of two (digital) newsrooms: The best of times, the worst of times

Thomson Reuters Foundation

CAMEROON: Cameroon’s internet shutdown cannot stifle dissent

CIMA: The Internet has been turned off for more than 80 days in parts of the West African country of Cameroon. And while this has garnered international condemnation, what most onlookers have not yet fully grasped is how the shutdown is related to long-simmering regional tensions within the country that recently boiled over.

DRC: Police colonel attacks three reporters in Goma

RSF: Policemen physically attacked three journalists while they were covering a peaceful demonstration in Goma, the capital of the eastern province of Nord-Kivu, on 12 April.

EAST AFRICA: Press freedom in East Africa is becoming even more elusive

The East Africa Monitor: Press freedom is an elusive concept in much of Africa and many other parts of the world. However, there’s this notion that journalists, bloggers and commentators in general are enjoying a progressively more open environment to express their views and report on the world around them.

ETHIOPIA: Government to Reform Media

Via All Africa: “The reform will make public and private media institutions to be frontages of divergent opinions”.

KENYA: KBC sinks deeper into debt

Standard: The national broadcaster sunk into a deeper financial abyss after it reported a Sh5.3Billion loss according to an Auditor General’s Report for the 2014-15 financial year.

NIGERIA: Nigerian firm secures US$30m set top box contract

IT Web Africa

RWANDA: Put national interests first, Kaboneka tells journalists

The New Times: Local Government minister Francis Kaboneka has called upon media practitioners to promote national values while going about their work…

SOUTH AFRICA: Hlaudi Motsoeneng has ‘no mandate’ to speak for SABC: DA

ENCA: The DA said on Tuesday that disciplinary proceedings against Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the beleaguered former chief operations officer of the SABC, were long overdue.

SOUTH AFRICA: The state of South African journalism: There’s good news and there’s bad news

The Conversation: Wits University’s Journalism and Media Studies Department have just published their latest State of the Newsroom report. The annual publication maps key developments in the South African media landscape…

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC Considers Possibility Of Reverting Its Local Content Policy

Broadcast Media Africa: Press reports in South Africa have indicated that the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) may be looking to abandon its ‘laudable’ 90% local content policy.

TUNISIA: Q&A: Amira Yahyaoui on press freedom and fake news

Aljazeera: Rights activist and blogger on censorship and the state of media six years after the revolution that shook the world.

REGIONAL: African mobile operators start entering into deals with major broadcasters over streaming and download services

Balancing Act: There’s now a steady trickle of download and streaming deals between key mobile operators and some of Africa’s most credible major broadcasters.

REGIONAL: How African governments use advertising as a weapon against media freedom

The Conversation: National governments remain the single largest source of revenue for news organisations in Africa. In Rwanda, for example, a staggering 85-90% of advertising revenue comes from the public sector.

CHINA: Chinese government espionage scheme puts media in danger

IFJ: On Monday [April 10], the Beijing-based National Security Bureau announced the anti-espionage scheme, ‘Report on Espionage’, in its latest attempt to influence and censor the free flow of information in China.

INDIA: DD-India to launch its Kid’s channel

ABU: Doordarshan, the public broadcaster in India, has revealed about future launch of a free-to-air (FTA) channel for kids.

INDIA: Govt plans to sell idle assets held by ailing Prasar Bharati

The Asian Age: With public broadcaster Prasar Bharati facing a constant financial crunch and depending on the Centre for its funding, the government is understood to be thinking about selling off parts of its land inventory located in  various parts of the country.

INDONESIA: Balance of rights and duties should ‘protect journalists’, says Wiranto

Pacific Media Centre: Indonesia’s Chief Security Minister Wiranto says it is important to maintain a “balance” between rights and duties to avoid violence against journalists on duty.

INDONESIA: Each regency to have broadband connection by 2019

The Jakarta Post: Communications and Information Minister Rudiantara has said the government is focusing on the construction of communications infrastructure and has set a target of each regency having internet access by 2019 and remote areas by 2021.

MALAYSIA: Legal Analysis: Communications and Multimedia Act

Article 19: Analysis of the Communications and Multimedia Act of Malaysia (the Act) assessing its compliance with international human rights standards, in particular the right to freedom of expression.

MALDIVES: Social media activist released

Maldives Independent: The high court has released prominent social media activist Thayyib Shaheem on the condition that he refrains from defaming the government.

NEPAL: Nepal reinforces digitisation process in important cities

ABU: The Ministry of Communications in Nepal is enforcing the compulsory digitisation of TV in major cities in Nepal. The analogue TV services will not be allowed in important regions of the country after April 28.

PAKISTAN: Crushing the intellect: Pakistan’s war on free speech

EJN: Pakistani authorities have won another battle against free speech. The latest blow is just another consequence of harsh measures taken by Pakistan’s government in the last five years against freedom of speech.

THAILAND: A disturbing media bill (Opinion)

The Bangkok Post: There is a proposed law currently working its inexorable way through the junta’s legal maze that needs to be killed.

UZBEKISTAN: BBC Set to Make a Return?

Eurasianet: Uzbekistan has said that it is considering restoring journalistic accreditation for the BBC, signaling a possible opening to greater international exposure.

AUSTRALIA: The ABC: what should go, what should stay, and what needs fixing (Opinion)

The Sydney Morning Herald: Let me rise in defence of public broadcasting, not an unqualified defence to be sure but resistance to the idea that public service broadcasting represents a luxury the country can ill afford.

AUSTRALIA: Despite Fears, ABC Shuts Down Shortwave Broadcasts

Radio World: The ABC has turned off its shortwave radio transmitters, leaving Australians in remote areas without easy access to lifeline radio.

AUSTRALIA: SBS-Australia now Broadcasting with Two Nationwide HD Channels  

ABU: SBS has become the first Australian free-to-air broadcaster to provide two nationwide HD channels to audiences, following the launch of SBS VICELAND in high definition (HD) early this month on channel 31.

FIJI: Opposition NFP calls for dismissal of media authority chief

Pacific Media Centre

NEW ZEALAND: One stop shop for the nation’s local news

Radio New Zealand: The business of publishing papers has never been tougher, but dozens of independently-owned ones still doggedly cover local news all over the country.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: PNG media ban during Turnbull visit ‘discriminatory’

Radio New Zealand: The ban on local media from covering press conferences held by Australia’s prime minister Malcolm Turnbull during his visit to Papua New Guinea has been described as ‘colonial remnants.’

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Television going digital in lead up to elections

Pacific Media Centre: Television in Papua New Guinea is going digital after a deal between EMTV and Click TV.

TONGA: Tonga PM unhappy about TBC contract renewal

Radio New Zealand: The head of the Tonga Broadcasting Commission has had her contract renewed, which has angered the Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva.

BELARUS: Journalists face trial for covering protests in Belarus

CPJ: A district court in the southwestern Belarusian city of Kobryn is scheduled to try Ales Levchuk and Milana Kharitonova, correspondents for the independent broadcaster Belsat TV, tomorrow, according to their employer.

BULGARIA: Bulgaria, “quasi-media” on the rise

Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso – Transeuropa: Media on government payroll and distrust by citizens make Bulgaria a symbol of deteriorating freedom of expression in Europe.

FINLAND: “Sipilägate” topples Finland from top of press freedom table

Yle: Finland has lost its spot at the top of the World Press Freedom Index after a five-year run. The NGO Reporters without Borders cited Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s alleged attempts to influence Yle coverage of his potential conflict of interest in a state-funded nickel mine as one reason for Finland’s tarnished image.

FRANCE: In France, Snapchat takes the lead in producing political content

Digiday: Snapchat Discover has become a tool for French voters seeking clarity and information on the fast-approaching national elections. Interestingly, Snapchat is taking a lead role in creating political content.

FRANCE: Petition demands reforms to media law after pre-election death threats

ECPMF: As French voters prepare to hit the polls, a petition is urging the next government to pass legal measures tackling the issue of press freedom. The campaign comes on the heels of politically-motivated death threats against journalists and magistrates.

GERMANY: Radio Bremen TV to launch HD service in 2019

Broadband TV News: Radio Bremen (RB), the regional affiliate of German public broadcaster ARD serving federal state Bremen, wants to offer its TV channel in HD quality from Q1 2019.

LATVIA: Latvians Trust Magazines More Than Newspapers

EJO: Newspapers in Latvia are struggling. They are increasingly mistrusted by readers, who accuse them of pushing the political views of their owners. Revenues are down as advertisers spend their money on the country’s growing digital media sector. But despite the gloomy outlook for traditional news in Latvia, one sector of the country’s print media appears to be thriving: magazines.

POLAND: Poland to increase funding for public broadcasters by tightening licencing

Radio Poland: Poland’s culture ministry wants more funding for public broadcasters through tightened laws on licensing fees in the second half of the year, Deputy Culture Minister Jarosław Sellin has said.

RUSSIA: Little hope for independent media in St. Petersburg (Blog)

IPI: IPI joins Helsingin Sanomat Foundation in holding panel on press freedom in Russia

SERBIA: Minister wants leadership of state broadcaster RTS sacked

B92: Minister of Labor, Social and Veteran Affairs Aleksandar Vulin has told TV Pink he will ask for the leadership of the public broadcaster RTS to be replaced.

SLOVAKIA: Fico and Danko interfere with public-service media

The Slovak Spectator: Statements by PM Robert Fico and Parliamentary Speaker Andrej Danko about the public-service broadcaster provoke press freedom concerns.

SLOVAKIA: IPI criticises Slovak PM’s remarks on public broadcaster

IPI: Robert Fico says he will instruct deputies to change RTVS’ leadership.

SPAIN: Media system in Spain: ten pending reforms (Spanish)


SWITZERLAND: Swiss democracy in stranglehold of digitalisation


UK: BBC and Google team for Earth

TBI Vision: Google will have a raft of BBC content on its relaunched Google Earth service.

UK: BBCWW launches £150m high-end drama fund

TBI Vision: The aim of The Drama Investment Partnership (DIP) is to back big-ticket returning series with named talent attached.

UK: The Local Journalism Crisis in the UK (Italian)

EJO: [With the number of local journalists in decline], the National Union of Journalists has launched the Local News Matters in order to raise awareness on the importance of local journalism for democracy.

UK: S4C needs extra funding to avoid ‘second-class’ service

BBC News: S4C has said it needs a major overhaul of its funding and its remit to avoid becoming a “second-class service”.

UK: UK consults on Channel 4 regional impact

Advanced Television: The UK government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is launching a consultation to seek views on how public service broadcaster Channel 4 can most effectively contribute to regional economic growth, stimulate regional creative industries, and better serve regional audiences to deliver a stronger economy and a fairer society.

UKRAINE: Alsania named as head of Ukraine’s new public broadcaster

Digital TV Europe: UA:PC was established at to bring together regional broadcasters, radio and culture into one single entity.

REGIONAL: Council of Europe report: Media coverage of the “refugee crisis”: A cross-European perspective


ARGENTINA: How Argentina’s La Nación became a data journalism powerhouse in Latin America

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas

ECUADOR: Journalist facing charges in Ecuador files for asylum in Peru

CPJ: Ecuadoran journalist Fernando Villavicencio, director of the news website Focus Ecuador and a critic of outgoing President Rafael Correa, today filed a petition for political asylum in Lima, Peru.

MEXICO: Crime reporter killed in Baja California Sur is fourth journalist killed in Mexico in the past two months

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: Maximino Rodríguez Palacios, also known as Max Rodríguez, is the fourth journalist killed in Mexico in less than two months.

VENEZUELA: Journalists covering Venezuela protests harassed, attacked, and news websites blocked

CPJ: Several reporters have been detained, injured, or had equipment seized while covering ongoing protests over a Supreme Court ruling to strip the opposition-led National Assembly of its lawmaking powers…

ISRAEL: Israel’s Labor Federation Vows Strike Next Week Over Broadcast Firings

Haaretz: The strike warning comes less than a month before the IBA is due to be replaced by Kan, the newly formed public broadcasting corporation

PALESTINE: Palestine gets free Arabsat satellite transmission

Advanced Television: The 40th meeting of Arabsat’s general assembly in Muscat, Oman, which wrapped on April 13th, agreed to exempt the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) from any fees or debts for using Arabsat’s satellites.

TURKEY: Concerns for freedom of expression deepen after referendum

Article 19: The outcome of the referendum is likely to jeopardise guarantees for human rights in Turkey, already under sustained attack.

TURKEY: Erdoğan: Yücel extradition denied indefinitely, while referendum for more power passes

ECPMF: The ECPMF demands the immediate release of Deniz Yücel, held in a Turkish jail since last February, and condemns President Erdoğan’s affirmation that the Die Welt correspondent will not be returned to Germany for as long as he is in power. Considering the impending change to the Turkish Constitution, that could be a long time.

CANADA: Canada’s analog broadcasting policy makes no sense in a digital world (Commentary)

The Globe and Mail

CANADA: CRTC to review CBC, digital media

Media in Canada: As part of its three-year plan, the commission will look to renew and monitor the pubcaster’s licence, as well as research the financial state of digital media.

CANADA: Non-profits, news media top list of most-trusted entities: survey

CTV News: Canadians hold high levels of trust in their institutions and authority figures, according to a new national survey.

CANADA: Treasury Board approval brings new Maison Radio-Canada closer to reality

CBC News: Approval was ‘critical step’ toward construction of new CBC / Radio-Canada headquarters in Montreal.

US: How defunding public radio will affect rural towns

Vice News: A lot of the reporting on Trump’s budget says he’ll try to do away with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the nonprofit entity that helps fund over 1,500 locally owned and operated public TV and radio stations around the country.

US: Joint Statement from APTS, CPB and PBS on FCC Broadcast Spectrum Incentive Auction and Repack

CPB:  Today [13 April] the FCC announced the results of the broadcast spectrum incentive auction and the channel reassignment schedule for individual television stations remaining on the air.

US: NPR Named 2017 Harris Poll EquiTrend News Service Brand Of The Year

NPR: NPR received the highest equity score among a subset of brands evaluated in the News Service Brand Category.

US: Protect My Public Media

Protect My Public Media is a collaboration of local public radio and television stations, national distributors, producers, viewers, listeners and others who support a strong public media in the United States.

7 steps to a successful digital public service (Italian)

EJO: What are the basic components of which the public service media need to successfully produce news in the digital environment?

Can investigative journalism survive clickbait and other challenges?

Aljazeera: Thoroughly researched reporting takes time, funding and risk, but often garners less online traffic than cute cat videos.

Consortium offers ‘lifeline’ for at-risk journalists

IJnet: Lifeline: The Embattled Civil Society Organization (CSO) Fund is a resource journalists can use to protect themselves.

IBC Innovation Awards (Submissions)

International Broadcasting Convention: The IBC Innovation Awards are unique in our industry. They reward the best applications of technology to achieve a real goal for the broadcaster or media company.

Is 2017 the year of virtual reality film-making?

BBC News: The Tribeca Film Festival, opening this week in New York, is promoting virtual reality (VR) as never before. And next month the Cannes Film Festival has announced it’s to show its first big VR attraction. So is 2017 the year virtual reality film-makers finally hit the big time?

Journalism faces a crisis worldwide – we might be entering a new dark age (Opinion)

The Guardian: Almost anyone can use the worldwide web to be a media outlet, so how will we differentiate between truth, myth and lies?

Looking at Practice to Find a Theory of Public Service Media (Presentation)

Center for Media, Data & Society

Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2017


Snapshots of 4 journalism co-operatives from around the world

Journalism.co.uk: How does the co-operative model apply to journalism, and in what cases could it be preferable to a more traditional funding model?

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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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Header image: Alan Levine/Creative Commons