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

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ALGERIA: Is freedom of expression under question in Algeria? (French)

IFJ: Layla Lefèvre-Haddad, a Belgian-Algerian journalist working for BBC Arabic and Al Hiwar TV, spoke a few days ago on her Facebook page , addressing Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika directly to criticize his 19 years of power. She subsequently received physical and moral threats requiring special security measures in her home town of Brussels.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Opposition media still closed six months before presidential election in DRC

RSF: Based in Lubumbashi, the capital of Katanga province, the four radio and TV stations are all still silent. One has been off the air since its closure by the authorities in 2014 and the other three since early 2016.

IVORY COAST: Ivory Coast’s Orange suspends the deployment of its fibre optics following acts of sabotage [French]

Abidjan: During these “two days, we had 12 fiber chambers that were visited and sabotaged, then the cut cables” and fiber equipment carried away, causing “unavailability” of services (fixed Internet, voice over IP, messaging) for several hundred customers (including 80 business customers), he said.

GHANA: RTI Law Will Consolidate Ghana’s Democracy

Via All Africa: The Chairman of the Right to Information Coalition, Mr Seth Abloso has called on Ghanaians to rally around the campaign to get the Right to Information Bill passed in order to consolidate Ghana’s democracy.

MALAWI: Parliament Fights Malawi Media As Opposition Seeks to Give MBC K1

Via All Africa: Parliament on Wednesday turned into a boxing arena and the punching bag as the government and opposition legislators battled over media professionalism and ethics as well perceived poor parliamentary coverage.

SOMALIA: Prominent Rights Groups Call on Somaliland President to Intervene in Deteriorating Freedom of Expression Situation

AFEX: Fifteen leading human rights organisations that seek to promote freedom of expression rights in Africa have called on the President to Somaliland, a self-declared state in Somalia to put an end to the recent crackdown on press freedom rights in the country.

SUDAN: Another drive to gag the press by Sudan’s NISS

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns another offensive against critical journalists and media outlets by Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), which in the past week has seized entire issues of three privately-owned dailies and interrogated two journalists for covering sensitive issues.

TANZANIA: Tanzania’s first data news platform sets off a ripple effect in digital storytelling

IJNet: In 2017, Tanzania’s leading daily newspaper, Mwananchi, launched the country’s first online data-driven news platform — a move that has inspired enthusiasm for data journalism and digital storytelling throughout Tanzania’s media community.

TANZANIA: Tanzania forces forums, blogs, and streaming websites to comply with draconian regulations

CPJ: The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) issued a directive that went into effect yesterday ordering unregistered websites to comply with the country’s Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations or cease publication.

UGANDA: Ugandan President insults and threatens media in televised address

RSF: Uganda’s President for the past 32 years, Museveni referred to certain media outlets as “evil” and “stupid” in his address to government officials and members of parliament that was broadcast live.

ZAMBIA: Civil society, govt clash over cyber security Bills

IT Web Africa: Civil society organisations in Zambia, including the Zambia Centre for Social Development (ZCSD), Bloggers of Zambia and Media Institute of Southern Africa, have demanded that government halt the process of enacting three cyber security Bills.

ZIMBABWE: Media in Zimbabwe ‘is failing to play its role effectively’

News24: Award winning Zimbabwean journalist, Hopewell Chin’ono, has criticised the state of the media in the southern African country ahead of crunching election on July 30.

ZIMBABWE: Project Exile: Zimbabwean broadcaster grapples with post-Mugabe era (Interview)

Index on Censorship: “The question is now, under the change of government, would I be welcome? I’m still being outspoken about what I think.”

REGIONAL: The Internet trails in Algeria, but it is not much better in Morocco and Tunisia (French)

Afrik.com: Algeria ranked 134th out of 135 countries in terms of fixed Internet speed, reveals a new report from the Speed Test website released last May. Mauritius, Ivory Coast and Morocco are the only African countries in the world top 100.

GENERAL: Africa radio Obtains a Frequency in Abidjan (French)

Afrik.com: The radio aims to cover in the coming years the main capitals of French-speaking Africa with a unique program focused on cultural Pan-Africanism.

CAMBODIA: Cambodia: ‘Sweeping restrictions’ in new media rules threaten press freedom

Asian Correspondent: NEW rules for media introduced by the Cambodian government in the lead up to next month’s election could impose sweeping restrictions that prevent journalists reporting on controversial issues, UN rights monitors warned on Friday.

HONG KONG: Reuters Inst. study flags impact of Chinese money on independence of Hong Kong media

HKFP: Hong Kong’s media has continued to come under the influence of Chinese investors, according to a Reuters Institute study.

INDIA: Shujaat Bukhari killing: Jammu and Kashmir Police release CCTV footage of suspected attackers

Scroll.In: The Jammu and Kashmir Police late on Thursday released the CCTV footage of three bike-borne men suspected to have shot dead Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari earlier in the evening. The police sought the public’s help in identifying the men, who had their faces covered.

INDIA: The Numbers Prove Kashmir Is a Highly Unsafe Place for Journalists

TheWire:Since 1990, 19 journalists have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir, including Shujaat Bukhari.

JAPAN: Post-quake social media rife with fake news

NHK: Osaka prefectural officials are urging people to keep calm and refrain from sharing unsubstantiated information on social media after Monday’s earthquake.

MALAYSIA: Hopes for New Era of Malaysian Free Speech Are High, but Pending

The New York Times: Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad came to office with a campaign agenda to roll back restrictions on free speech — though in his previous stints as Malaysia’s leader, he was not known for tolerance.

MALAYSIA: Promise of a change

IFEX: The fall of a 61-year old regime at the ballot box offers a chance for real reforms for media and free expression in Malaysia.

MYANNMAR: Activists In Myanmar Say Facebook Needs To Do More To Quell Hate Speech

NPR: Facebook has apologized in recent months for becoming a tool of foreign interference in elections, disinformation and hate speech in some of the world’s most mature democracies. But critics are concerned that there’s potential for even greater chaos elsewhere, especially in places where Facebook is the dominant social media platform.

NEPAL: Nepal’s minister allegedly shuts down TV talk show after critical questions

IFJ: State-owned Nepal Television shut down a long-running talk show on June 12, allegedly on the direction of Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Baskota after the host asked him critical questions regarding his property declaration.

NEPAL: ‘NTV to be converted into PSB soon’

Setopati: Newly-appointed executive chairman of Nepal Television (NTV) Dr Mahendra Bista has said that Nepal Television would be converted into a public service broadcasting institution soon.

PAKISTAN: IPI condemns intimidation of news organisations

Dawn: The International Press Institute (IPI) has expressed concern over recent “coercive measures” to curtail press freedom in Pakistan.

TAIWAN: Taiwanese lawmakers propose criminalizing spread of fake news

CRJ: The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Taiwan’s parliament, known as the Legislative Yuan, to reject a proposed amendment that would make spreading fake news punishable by imprisonment or a fine.

VIETNAM: RSF calls for repeal of Vietnam’s new cybersecurity law

RSF: Articles 8 and 15 criminalize “denying the revolution’s achievements,” “offending national heroes” and “providing misleading information liable to cause confusion among the population” – vague formulations that could be applied to almost anyone posting information online that displeases the authorities.

AUSTRALIA: Australians don’t want ABC used as a ‘punching bag’, Michelle Guthrie says

The Guardian: The managing director has strongly defended the ABC and warned against hobbling it to create a ‘market failure organisation’

AUSTRALIA: Concerns for future of ABC after Liberal federal council votes to sell off public broadcaster

News.com.au: The Turnbull Government is distancing itself from a push to sell the ABC after the Liberal federal council voted in favour of privatising the public broadcaster.

AUSTRALIA: Pollies go in to bat for ABC to continue broadcasting cricket on the wireless

ABC: In a rare show of bipartisanship, politicians from both sides of the ideological divide are going in to bat for the ABC to continue its 80-year unbeaten partnership with cricket’s governing body.

AUSTRALIA: Value, Investment and Return: Why the ABC and public broadcasting is vital to the community (Speech)

ABC: ABC Managing Director, Michelle Guthrie, delivers speech to the Melbourne Press Club in light of recent budget cuts and attacks from coalition politicians.

NAURU: New Nauru contempt law ‘disturbing’

RNZ: A new contempt of court law on Nauru is a “really disturbing development”, a former resident magistrate to the country says.

NEW ZEALAND: A win for media and the public which came at a cost

RNZ: The police apology to Nicky Hager has helped clarify – at last – important principles of journalistic privilege and protection for sources. But it’s the third time in recent years that state agencies have coughed up unknown amounts for botched and futile investigations of journalists.

NEW ZEALAND: Media warned about sourcing stories from Social Media

RNZ: The Broadcasting Standards Authority has just put out some guidelines for broadcasters on using images, videos and other content sourced from social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

NEW ZEALAND: RNZ recognised at top US awards

RNZ: RNZ has been recognised with six awards – including two golds – at the prestigious New York Festival Radio Awards.

VANUATU: Vanuatu preparing for cyber crime law, says PM

RNZ: The Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Charlot Salwai who is also responsible for Telecommunications has confirmed that preparations are underway for Vanuatu to have its own Cyber Crime Law.

GENERAL: Pacific news journalists grapple with challenges of social media, harsh laws

Asia Pacific Report: The advent of social media, its impact on journalism and the transforming political situations that are evidently changing the way the media operates in the Pacific were at the heart of the discussions at last month’s 5th Pacific Media Summit organised by the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) in Nuku’alofa, Tonga.

ALBANIA: OSCE media freedom representative says proposed amendments to Albania’s Law on Audio-Visual Media could negatively affect public broadcaster RTSH

OSCE: The amendments were drafted by the owners and directors of four local and two national television stations in Albania. One of their key demands is that the private broadcasters should be allocated part of the TV licence fee that is currently funding the public service broadcaster, RTSH.

BELARUS: Legislative amendments further restrict media in Belarus, says OSCE media freedom representative

OSCE: OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir today expressed concern following the adoption of legislative amendments in Belarus which further restrict media activities in the country. The amendments affect the work of national mass media, internet resources, and foreign media outlets.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Tax bill to impact budgets of public broadcasters

Czech Radio: A government VAT bill will lead to Czech Television and Czech Radio losing a significant chunk of their annual budgets. However, the Ministry of Finance says the amendment will end a discrepancy between Czech law and European Union legislation.

FINLAND: Reuters-Oxford study finds Finns most trusting of mainstream media outlets

Yle: Most people in Finland have high trust in the country’s traditional news media outlets, according to the Digital News Report 2018 survey.

FRANCE: French media plan to meet with government over Google-GDPR concerns

Digiday: Tensions between Google and France’s media and advertising industries are heating up following Google’s last-minute changes to its General Data Protection Regulation policy, which caused havoc in the European ad market in the immediate aftermath of the law’s arrival.

FRANCE: Public broadcaster France Televisions and privately owned M6 and TF1 groups will create an equally-owned OTT joint venture called Salto.

The Hollywood Reporter: In an effort to fight off SVODs such as Amazon and Netflix, France’s three major television groups are joining forces to create a joint OTT platform in the hopes it retains viewers.

GREECE: Greece firms up on TV broadcast licences

Advanced Television: Greece’s National Council for Radio & Television (NCRT) has granted 5 permanent national transmission licences for the nation. A 6th licence will be awarded to TV Greece once terms for the broadcaster have been agreed.

ITALY: The XV Congress of Usigrai beings in Bologna. Di Trapani: “We need a law to free the RAI from the political parties” (Italian)

Articolo21: “Today, more than ever, the theme of the autonomy and independence of the Rai as a public service are key. To the government of change we say it very clearly: there is only one change that awaits public service media: that of a law that finally frees Rai from the control of parties and governments”. This is the message launched by the secretary of Usigrai, Vittorio Di Trapani at the opening of the XV Congress of the union, taking place in Bologna.

KOSOVO: Kosovo adopts advanced draft law on whistleblowers

ECPMF: The Government of Kosovo approved advanced legislation to enhance the protection of whistleblowers on June 12, 2018. The draft law has yet to be passed by the parliament.

MONTENEGRO: New Personnel Shift at Montenegro Public Broadcaster Deemed Politically Motivated

SEENPM: Acting Director General of Radio-Television of Montenegro (RTCG), Bozidar Sundic, initiated a procedure for the dismissal of Vladan Micunovic from the position of director of the Television of Montenegro.

POLAND: Polish broadcasters spring DTT surprise

Broadband TV News: Poland’s three leading broadcasters Telewizja Polska (TVP), TVN and Telewizja Polsat have signed a letter of intent “to build a real alternative in the area of digital terrestrial television broadcasting”.

SPAIN: RTVE belongs to everyone (Spanish – Opinion)

El País: The parties’ blockade is a disregard to the public institution

SPAIN: The Government will unblock RTVE with a decree if there is no agreement (Spanish)

El País: The decision has been taken: the Government of Pedro Sanchez will not allow RTVE to remain in limbo this Friday 22, when the mandate of José Antonio Sánchez falls. Until the last moment, a pact is being sought with the PP and the other groups to choose a successor, but if the situation remains blocked on the 22nd, the government already has legal alternatives on the table, including a decree law that prevents the blockade in the Congress.

SPAIN: The PSOE will not be able to control RTVE after the departure of the president on Friday (Spanish)

El Economista: José Antonio Sánchez will leave the RTVE presidency next Friday, June 22. However, the resignation of the journalist will not open the door to a wave of changes in the Corporation since the appointment of his replacement is paralyzed in the Congress of Deputies and is not expected at least until September.

SWEDEN: Online takes increased share of all-time high Swedish TV market

Rapid TV News: Research from Mediavision has found that the Swedish TV market reached new record levels during 2017 with online being the market’s key growth driver, attributable for nearly a quarter of the commercial TV market’s turnover.

SWITZERLAND: Trust rising in news ecosystem, Reuters finds

Swissinfo: Long-term media trends remain stable, but trust and a willingness to pay for content is slightly up in Switzerland this year, according to the Reuters Digital News Report.

UK: BBC and Channel 4 urge action over PSB prominence

Digital TV Europe: The heads of the BBC and Channel 4 have come together to call for new legislation that will protect the prominence of UK public service output in today’s changing and increasingly digital media landscape.

UK: Ofcom research reveals lack of diversity in UK radio

Journalism.co.uk: Women, ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities are under-represented in the UK-based radio industry, according to broadcast watchdog Ofcom.

UK: Radio industry needs to reflect UK’s diversity – media regulator

The Guardian: Ofcom boss Sharon White says broadcasters must act to attract wider range of talent.

UK: The Blue Planet effect

IBT: Blue Planet II showed us the damage plastics are doing to our oceans. Hugh’s War on Waste highlighted waste from coffee cups that could not be recycled, vegetables grown by farmers but rejected by supermarkets and excess packaging from suppliers like Amazon. But how could TV do better? How can it help us as consumers to understand the environmental impact of decisions we take? How can it raise awareness of climate change?

SERBIA :Missing Serbian reporter found alive, RSF calls for investigation

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for a thorough and independent investigation into the disappearance of Serbian investigative reporter Stefan Cvetkovic, who was found alive and well today after going missing near the town of Bela Crkva two nights ago.

GENERAL: Official Calls for More Press Freedom in EU, Less Graft in Malta

OCCRP: The European Commissioner for Justice harshly criticized the lack of press freedom throughout Europe as well as Malta’s track record of corruption and money laundering in her speech on Thursday in Malta

BRAZIL: Judiciary and Congress confront ‘fake news’ in Brazil, but critics fear negative effects for freedom of expression

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: In Brazil, concern about the problem has moved public authorities, and within four months of the election, the Superior Electoral Court (TSE, for its acronym in Portuguese) has made its first decision regarding the fight against fraudulent news in the electoral context.

COLOMBIA: Ahead of Colombia’s elections, this women-driven initiative fact-checks information on WhatsApp

IJNET: In an election more polarized than the first, and at a time when unverified data and fake news are widespread, finding trustworthy information to make a decision can be a challenge for voters.

GUYANA: ICT development must harmonize with Guyana’s culture – Former Advisor to Hillary Clinton

Kaieteur news: Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes recently disclosed that Guyana plans to establish a digital roadmap by engaging Estonia, which is considered ‘one of the most advanced digital societies in the world’.

MEXICO: What it’s like to fact-check a Mexican presidential debate

Poynter: It all unfolded at a co-working space in the Condesa neighborhood on Tuesday night, where more than 60 journalists, open government advocates and academics gathered to fact-check the final presidential debate ahead of the Mexican election.

NICARAGUA: State radio station set on fire amid protests against Nicaraguan government

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: The attack adds to similar attacks against media outlets in the country that have occurred since April 19, when protests against proposed social security reforms, and later the government of President Daniel Ortega, began.

PERU: Peruvian Congress approves controversial law that prohibits State from buying official advertising in private media

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: The Peruvian Congress ratified Law 2133, which prohibits official advertising in private media outlets, during the night of June 14. Advocates say it will curb public spending, but critics say it is a form of indirect censorship against media.

IRAQ: Covering corruption exposes journalists to arrest in Iraq

RSF: In theory Iraqi law protects the right of journalists to seek information and sources. But in practice, as JFO has often reported, local officials act with impunity when they use judicial pressure and sometimes death threats to pressure journalists who investigate corruption.

ISRAEL: Israel seeks to outlaw filming of soldiers in action

Deutsche Welle: The bill is a response to a video showing a detained Palestinian man being shot by an Israeli soldier. Critics says the aim is to curb army accountability, and vow to continue monitoring in the occupied territories.

PALESTINE: IFJ condemns attacks against media workers as PJS calls for journalists’ boycott

IFJ: Security personnel in military attire and other individuals assaulted reporters and photographers covering a rally about events in Gaza and broke or seized equipment.

SYRIA: Syrian reporter freed after six months as armed group’s hostage

RSF: Hay’at Tahrir al Sham, a radical islamist militant group, released the Syrian citizen-journalist Hossam Mahmoud last week after six months in captivity, but still holds his colleague Amjad al Maleh.

TURKEY: Turkey’s İYİ Party gives ‘Kim Jong-un press freedom award’ to public broadcaster TRT

Stockholm Center for Freedom: In a move to protest the state-run Turkish Radio and Television (TRT), which has been criticized for acting as the mouthpiece of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, the İYİ Party has given the station a “press freedom award” in the name of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

TURKEY: Turkey political parties commit to restoring press freedom

IPI: Regional chairs, parliamentary candidates and official representatives of five major political parties in Turkey committed to reversing their country’s dramatic downward slide in press freedom during meetings with the International Press Institute (IPI) last week.

TURKEY: Turkish pro-gov’t media outlets the least trusted by people

Stockholm Center for Freedom: Turkish pro-government media outlets, like the Sabah daily, aHaber TV and public broadcaster TRT have the lowest trust among people, while media outlets that take a more critical line, such as FOX, Cumhuriyet and Sözcü are more trusted, according to Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2018 published on Thursday.

CANADA: The state has no business in Quebec newsrooms (Opinion)

The Montreal Gazette: La Presse’s quest for non-profit status caused politicians to “meddle shamelessly” not only in its business model, but its editorial line.

CANADA: Who are our Visible Women?

CBC/Radio-Canada: Employee Resource Groups are groups of employees who join together voluntarily on the basis of shared life experiences or socio-demographic characteristics. CBC/Radio-Canada has seven ERGs, including Visible Women..

CANADA: Unifor alarmed by layoffs at TFO, Ontario’s French Public Broadcaster

CISION: Canada’s largest media union is alarmed to see Ontario’s only French public broadcaster, Télévision française de l’Ontario (TFO), cut programs and lay off 37 workers, including 11 Unifor members.

US: Doxxing, assault, death threats: the new dangers facing US journalists covering extremism

The Guardian: As violent street protests between the far right and anti-fascists become standard fare, rightwingers see the press as a threat – and aren’t shy to act on it

US: Elon Musk, a new threat to the American press?

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is disturbed by the declared desire of US billionaire businessman Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX , director of Tesla Motors and inventor of the Hyperloop, to set up an online truth-rating system for media stories and thereby undermine trust in the media, which has already been weakened since Donald Trump became US president.

US: Losing a point of reference: Press freedom in the US (Opinion)

Index: “What do we do next? We are losing our point of reference. The loss of the United States and the United Kingdom as democratic beacons for the rights of journalists and the freedom of information is a bad omen for the rest of the world.”

US: New history of public broadcasting to include expanded coverage of podcasts, digital media

Current: The newest iteration of the official history will expand the first two editions to cover public media’s founding figures, institutions, programs and mission statements, and will additionally contribute new sections on policy, regional and affiliate stations, podcasting and the rise of digital media.

After years of growth, the use of social media for news is falling across the world

NiemanLab: These are some of the findings from a big new report out Thursday from Oxford’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. The Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report for 2018 surveyed more than 74,000 people in 37 countries about their digital news consumption.

CPJ announces 2018 International Press Freedom Award winners

CPJ: The Committee to Protect Journalists will honor journalists from Sudan, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Vietnam with its 2018 International Press Freedom Awards. The journalists have faced legal action, physical attacks, threats, and arrests in retaliation for their work. CPJ is also honoring Philippine journalist Maria Ressa, founder and chief executive officer of the news website Rappler, with the Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award.

Facebook’s New Political Algorithms Increase Tension With Publishers

The New York Times: News publishers have long had a fraught relationship with Facebook. But tensions have become more public in recent weeks, with news organizations openly criticizing the tech giant for new policies that they say are harmful to journalism.

Facebook news use declining, WhatsApp growing – study

Rappler: The Reuters Institute report, which covers 37 countries in five continents, says that the use of social media for news fell by 6 percentage points in the United States compared to last year

Fears mount over WhatsApp’s role in spreading fake news

The Guardian: App blamed for circulating false information in India, Brazil, Kenya and now the UK

How to end misogyny in the news industry: An open letter to the international journalism community

Nieman Lab: “We are done pandering to the egos of change-resistant influential men in the hope that our gentle lead will eventually encourage them to join us on a meander toward gender equality in the news business.”

Refugee routes blocked for reporters as well

RSF:Threats, intimidation, arrest, prosecution, denial of permits, rejection of interview requests, seizure of equipment and deportation – such are the methods used by governments to obstruct media coverage of refugees

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Kingston, Jamaica | 13 August 2018