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

As the global Covid-19 pandemic continues and many countries enter a state of lockdown, the need for community solidarity and mutual support has never been greater. But this support requires quality, fact-checked and evidence based news and information.

With this in mind, the Public Media Alliance has compiled an extensive and growing resources featuring recommended tools, advice and sources for journalists and the public alike. The resources can be found via the link below or in the ‘Tools’ section of our website.

The resource will be frequently updated to reflect the changing needs and evolving situation. If you have any recommendations, please let us know.

We also want to hear about your local public media coverage! Email us!

As the coronavirus pandemic worsens, public media are rapidly adapting to best cover the crisis on a local level while also providing for educational needs and vulnerable groups as isolation policies are introduced.

We want to hear from our members about what you are doing to best cover the crisis on a local level. Email us using the link below.

Coronavirus: Resources & best practices

Essential resources for sourcing and reporting news about the coronavirus pandemic

What we're listening to...

COVID-19 Frontline Workers Part VII: A journalist shares her story

SABC News: Tens of thousands of essential workers are on the frontline of the global war against COVID-19. Many are in the unenviable position of fighting the pandemic, at the risk of their own lives and those of their families. SABC News captures their voices in this weekly feature, COVID-19 Frontline Workers. This week, Digital News producer Lebo Tshangela speaks to SABC News Television Journalist, Nozintombi Miya about her experience with coronavirus during the nationwide lockdown

What we're watching...

BBC Asian Network shares an important message about coronavirus for the BAME community

Global Headlines

Click on the tab menu below to reveal the latest regional stories.

BOTSWANA: Censorship, the unexpected side-effect of Covid-19 (Comment)

Mail & Guardian: The glitter of Botswana’s “shining example of democracy” is fading as the country of 2.3-million people slowly slides towards authoritarianism. The trend began under former president Ian Khama, who silenced critical media and cowed citizens into apathy. His term in office ended in April 2018.

CAMEROON: Newspapers Publishers Equip Media Houses

Via All Africa: As the Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc around the world, affecting thousands, journalists in Cameroon, just like health personnel, are the most exposed.

EGYPT: ‘Brutal campaign’, says press group as Egypt arrests journalist

Al Jazeera: Local journalist at a major newspaper arrested on ‘terror’ charges, a move sharply condemned by press advocacy groups.

KENYA: New media voices are telling Kenya’s COVID-19 stories – from the ground up (Opinion)

The Conversation: In the last two months, a wide range of COVID-19 news stories have provided multiple perspectives on the scale and impact of the pandemic in the Kenyan context.

KENYA: Union mobilises journalists for support to colleagues affected by the COVID-19 crisis

IFJ: Journalists in Kenya are mobilising resources to support their colleagues who have been affected by the crisis of Covid-19. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) welcomes this act of solidarity launched by its affiliate, the Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ), and urges the authorities to support the media sector.

LIBERIA: Liberian authorities continue threatening the media

Via IFEX: A conflict between Liberian authorities and media is intensifying, with ministers threatening enforcement of regulations and journalists standing their ground.

MALAWI: Civil Society Organisations Take Legal Action Against Public Broadcaster MBC

Via Broadcast Media Africa: Malawi’s Civil society organisations (CSOs) are reportedly demanding immediate suspension of the provision of broadcasting services by the nation’s public broadcaster Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) for allegedly beaming on its TV foul language against the State Vice President Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima in its evening prime news bulletin on Monday.

MALAWI: Macra’s tone far from condemning MBC’s Chilima insults: Reverend Gunya says Malawi TV unethical

Nyasa Times: The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has said public broadcaster Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) has  been summoned to a hearing in a period of seven days to hear its side on the controversy of airing obscene content to disparage the country’s estranged Vice-President Saulos Chilima.

NIGERIA: Journalist Sentenced, Another Detained as Repression over COVID-19 Reporting Rages on

MFWA: In a rather bizarre incident, a Magistrate Court in Utako, Abuja, on April 28, 2020, sentenced Emma Bricks Oko, publisher of the online magazine brickswrite.com.ng, to three hours’ Community Service and N5000 (about US12) fine for filming police brutality.

REPUBLIC OF CONGO: State TV urged to reinstate news anchor sidelined after coronavirus interview

RSF: Like the Republic of Congo’s media regulator, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on state TV broadcaster Télé Congo to reinstate Rocil Otouna, who was discreetly sidelined as news anchor after putting some difficult questions about the coronavirus crisis to the justice minister in an interview two weeks ago.

SOUTH AFRICA: Local content grabs the audiences – but funding is a problem

The Media Online: Local TV productions have performed very well over the past year, fulfilling language requirements as well as entertaining and inspiring often exhausted audiences.

SOUTH AFRICA: SA’s astounding record TV ratings surge continues as viewers seek out local shows and news

Channel 24: With the country still in a state of lockdown, South Africa’s record TV ratings surge in March continued in April. On the SABC’s TV channels the locally-produced weekday primetime dramas Uzalo, Generations and Skeem Saam on SABC1, Rhythm City on e.tv, and the top shows on MultiChoice’s DStv satellite pay-TV service during April all shattered their own records to reach their highest viewership for episodes ever.

UGANDA: Women journalists in Uganda carry ‘double burden’ with online attacks and harassment 

Global Voices: In Uganda, female journalists who embrace digital tools to report, share views and access information face attacks and harassment for investigating and publishing sensitive political content.

ZIMBABWE: Daily Threat – Journos Bear Brunt of Covering the COVID-19 Story (Opinion)

Via All Africa: Beware the ides of March is now a cliché – but not as such in the Zimbabwean context where journalists are bearing the brunt in an attempt to tell the Zimbabwean story on how it is, like the rest of the world, grappling with the Covid-19 crisis.

REGIONAL: BBC Africa Rolls Out ‘The Breakdown’ For Weekly COVID-19 Coverage Across The Continent

Via Broadcast Media Africa: BBC Africa has rolled out The Breakdown as a weekly COVID-19 TV special which will provide a summary about the spread of the deadly coronavirus, targeted specifically for African viewers. The broadcaster will also continue to air the Africa Coronavirus Minute that is done twice every day.

REGIONAL: Media and COVID-19 in West Africa: MFWA Launches Webinar Series (Opportunity)

MFWA: As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a heavy toll on lives, livelihoods and economies in West Africa, so is the impact on the media industry in the region.

BANGLADESH: Bangladeshi journalists, cartoonist, arrested for Covid-19 coverage

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Bangladeshi authorities to immediately release well-known figures held in connection with their coverage of the coronavirus crisis and to drop all charges against them. At least 12 journalists and bloggers have been charged under the draconian 2018 Digital Security Act since the start of May.

CHINA, HONG KONG & US: Pompeo Tells China Not to Interfere With U.S. Media in Hong Kong

Bloomberg: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned China against interfering with the work of U.S. journalists in Hong Kong, and said actions impinging on freedoms there could damage diplomatic relations.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong public broadcaster RTHK asks gov’t to delay eviction

Hong Kong Free Press : Hong Kong’s public service broadcaster has asked the government to delay its deadline to vacate a department building to next year, citing short notice.

HONG KONG: Police attack and detain journalists as protests resume

IFJ: Over the last weekend, protests in Mong Kok returned alongside the erosion of Hong Kong’s free press as police harassed journalists. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) urge authorities to end the harassment of journalists and provide them with a safe platform to report on protests.

HONG KONG: RTHK warned over ‘gratuitous attack’ on police

RTHK: The Communications Authority (CA) on Tuesday issued Radio Television Hong Kong with its second warning in as many months, this time over a satirical programme it said had “denigrated” and “insulted” the police force, and which was not “factually accurate”.

INDIA: India increasing abuse of laws to harass journalists

IPI: The International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists for press freedom, today expressed grave concern over the misuse of the law by authorities in India to intimidate journalists and curtail press freedom.

INDIA & THAILAND: Televising lessons to save a school year (Paywall)

The Straits Times: It is a matter of some irony that almost a century after it was invented, and seven decades after it became a broadcasting tool, television is finding fresh form as a medium of education to mitigate the pandemic-related lockdowns in two key Asian nations…

MALAYSIA: Good journalism is bad news for backdoor gov’t (Opinion)

Malaysiakini: It did not take long for Perikatan Nasional (PN) to unmask its agenda to wield RTM and Bernama as the state apparatus to push the government’s version of issues and events.

MYANMAR: Planned layoffs and salary cuts at the Myanmar Times

IFJ: The English-language newspaper, Myanmar Times announced plans to lay off 70 employees, including 30 journalists. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) expresses concern over the job insecurity and inadequate information given to staff at the Myanmar Times.

PAKISTAN: Protests against Mir Sahkil-ur-Rehman’s arrest enters 63rd day

Geo News: Geo, Jang and The News employees along with representatives of civil society and political workers continued their countrywide protest on Thursday against the illegal arrest of Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and pledged that the protest will continue till Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman wasn’t released.

PAKISTAN: Twitter down across Pakistan, Twitterati says ‘govt throttling service’

The Free Press Journal: For unspecified reasons, micro-blogging site Twitter has stopped working in Pakistan. However, the users are able to access their social media account using the Virtual Private Network (VPN).

PHILIPPINES: Filipinos urge lawmakers to act on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal

Rappler: Filipinos join MovePH’s online campaign to tag their representatives on social media, in a bid to move forward deliberations on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal

PHILIPPINES: Red-tagging of female journalist

IFJ: Photographs of Rowena “Weng” Carranza-Paraan at the first all-women media safety training in the Philippines have been maliciously twisted in a red-tagging. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) condemn the harassment and the blatant disregard of a journalists’ right to be safe at workplace.

SOUTH KOREA: Korea’s only children’s news is out! (Korean)

KBS: KBS’s long-established children’s program ‘TV Kindergarten’, which started in 1982 and is 38 years old this year, will showcase a new corner for Family Month in May…This time, we will challenge the news with <Children’s News Tutu>, covering and broadcasting with the eyes of children.

TAIWAN: Reforms needed for press freedom (Opinion)

Taipei Times: As President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) enters her second term, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in an open letter reiterates its call for reforms to guarantee editorial independence and tackle conflicts of interest in the media as the only sustainable way to protect democracy against disinformation.

REGIONAL: Dealing With Fake News Amid The Pandemic

The ASEAN Post: Dealing with fake news is a balancing act. On the one hand, fake news can be a serious problem as seen currently amid the COVID-19 pandemic where harmful misinformation about the virus has been spreading like wildfire. On the other hand, there’s the question of limiting the freedom of the press and hampering its ability to play watchdog.

AUSTRALIA: Coping with COVID-19: The ABC’s Sally Riley (Interview)

If.com.au: ABC head of scripted production Sally Riley sheds light on her latest commissions, explains how the broadcaster is coping with the drama production shutdown and gives an update on her development slate.

AUSTRALIA: Government plans to circumvent protections on journalists’ data

IFJ: The proposed International Productions Order law will allow Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) to access the telecommunications data of journalists without a warrant. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) warn of the dangers of the proposed law to press freedom in Australia.

AUSTRALIA: More than 150 Australian newsrooms shut since January 2019 as Covid-19 deepens media crisis

The Guardian: As BuzzFeed News shutters its Australian operation, data shows 157 newsrooms have closed temporarily or for good since early 2019

AUSTRALIA: New spy Bill threatens press freedom (Statement)

MEAA: The government’s proposed International Production Orders law will further erode press freedom in Australia because it ignores the need for a warrant to access journalists’ telecommunication data.

AUSTRALIA: Please Explain podcast: media takes a hit (Listen) 

Sydney Morning Herald: From network paycuts to the mass culling of regional newspaper titles and national magazines, the financial strain on Australia’s media industries is palpable. In today’s episode, media and telecommunications reporter Zoe Samios joins national editor Tory Maguire to talk through the impact of COVID-19 on our media companies.

NEW ZEALAND: Media on the block vulnerable to vultures?

RNZ: NZME’s bold bid to buy its biggest rival for $1 foundered yesterday in the High Court. But Stuff – New Zealand’s biggest publisher of news – is still on the block along with the nation’s most popular magazines. What’s to stop offshore buyers snapping them up on the cheap in a bid to turn a quick buck?

NEW ZEALAND: No relief for under-pressure commercial media in Budget

RNZ: Spending on broadcasting and public media has been boosted by $25m over four years in Budget 2020, but there was nothing in it to ease the plight of commercial news media companies.      

NEW ZEALAND: NZ On Air welcomes budget boost on behalf of vital public media services

NZ On Air: Vital public media platforms have been thrown a timely lifeline by today’s Budget 2020 announcement of a funding boost. NZ On Air is delighted to learn it will receive $6.25m more each year over the next four years to increase the operational funding it provides to the likes of community access radio, Pacific radio, student radio, disability media (captioning and audio description services) and others.

NEW ZEALAND: NZME’s battle over Stuff – is it the end of the road? (Listen)

RNZ: It’s been announced that NZME has been declined an interim injunction by the High Court that would have allowed it to have an exclusive negotiation period with Nine over buying rival media outlet Stuff.

NEW ZEALAND: NZ’s Pacific Media Network appoints new CEO

RNZ: The Pacific Media Network (PMN) has appointed a new Chief Executive Officer, Don Mann. Don Mann is of Tongan and Māori descent and has familial ties to Vava’u, Tonga and affiliated to Ngāti Ruapani and Ngāti Kahungunu.

NEW ZEALAND: RIP our jobs – and an essential public service (Opinion – watch)

Stuff: There is an important rule in journalism: never become the story. We broke that rule last week, taking our cartoonish devotion to competing to extreme levels with a bitter battle over the future of Stuff. Journalists are notoriously rubbish at business. The golden heyday of newspapers is long in our past. The industry is also horribly bad at promoting its worth.

ALBANIA:  Albanian Authorities to Shut Down TV Channel for Alleged Violation of Social Distancing Orders

Exit: Albania’s National Health Inspectorate (IShSh) has demanded the shutdown of Ora Radio and Television’s (Ora RTV) due to their alleged violation of government instructions allowing only one guest in TV shows.

AUSTRIA: Corona shooting stop: ORF runs out of programs at the end of the year, says broadcaster Wrabetz (German)

Der Standaard: “Government forces film producers to play Russian Roulette”: Filmmakers demand default liability for Corona case – Ministry of Health checks hygienic measures for filming

BELARUS: Journalists under pressure in Belarus as Lukashenko runs for presidency

DW: The start of the presidential elections campaign in Belarus was marked by a harsh crackdown on journalists and bloggers. Analysts and human rights activists believe that the authorities will go on with repressions.

BELGIUM: Coronavirus: independent radios sound the alarm: their survival is threatened (French)

RTBF: The health crisis of the new coronavirus threatens the survival of independent radios, alarmed Thursday the Federation RadioZ, which brings together thirty independent radios in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. Loss of advertising revenue, subsidies that may be reduced to frenzy … Some radio stations fear for their sustainability.

BELGIUM: The Wallonia-Brussels Federation adopts a support plan for the media and journalists (French)

RTBF: The Government of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation adopted a plan to assist the media and journalists. Its objectives are to come directly to the aid of journalists impacted by the coronavirus crisis and to maintain a pluralistic and quality press, a crucial issue in democracy especially in this period conducive to the dissemination of fake news.

BULGARIA: Independent Bulgarian TV Station Accuses PM Of ‘Spreading False Rumors’ About Its Relationship With Exiled Oligarch

RFE/RL: An independent Bulgarian television station has accused Prime Minister Boyko Borisov of “spreading false rumors” after he insinuated it was working at the behest of an exiled oligarch.

FRANCE: Avia law is threat to online speech 

Article 19: Freedom of expression organisation ARTICLE 19 has warned that France’s “Avia” Law, passed today, will threaten freedom of speech in France. 

FRANCE: France 24 breaks audience records on its digital media (French – Listen)

France Info: With 240 million videos viewed since the start of the year, the French version of the international news channel has seen its notoriety grow considerably since the Covid-19 crisis.

FRANCE: France passes disputed law on online hate speech 

DW: Under a new law in France, Facebook, Twitter and similar online platforms will need to remove illegal content quickly or face large fines. Some critics say the law puts private companies in charge of policing speech. 

FRANCE: Presstalis, main press distributor in France, in receivership, 500 jobs threatened (French)

France Info: Burdened with debts, Presstalis, the main press distributor in France, avoids closure but sees its subsidiaries in liquidated regions, with more than 500 employees in the hot seat. The commercial court of Paris placed, Friday May 15, the company in receivership, with an observation period of two months.

FRANCE: TV remains France’s most common screen

Advanced Television: France’s TV regulator the Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel (CSA) and its partners within the Observatory of audiovisual equipment for households in mainland France have revealed its latest findings for television and radio, two media which it says are of major importance during the health crisis.

GERMANY: Angela Merkel says press freedom vital in time of coronavirus

DW: Angela Merkel has condemned recent attacks on media workers in Berlin, saying that press freedom is crucial for democracy. She said the coronavirus pandemic had shown the importance of “well researched information.”

GERMANY: Companies can be exempted (German)

Deutschlandfunk: [ARD & ZDF] have decided that there will be a corona discount for companies on the broadcasting fee – under certain conditions. But the hoteliers do not agree with the conditions.

GERMANY: Press offices: records for inquiries and coverage (German)

MDR360: The pandemic is driving the demand for confirmed facts, reliable expert assessments and reliable information. This can be seen not only from the ratings and clicks of large news offers. Press offices also receive significantly more inquiries from the media, the population and, moreover, from their own organization.

GERMANY: Wrangling over the radio fee (German)

Deutschlandfunk: Saxony plays a special role in the debate as to whether the broadcasting fee should be increased. The state chancellery there coordinates the media policy of the Union-led countries. However, the Saxon state government is now facing headwinds from its own parliamentary group due to the planned increase in contributions.

HUNGARY: COVID-19 intensifies challenge for independent media in Hungary

IPI: Watchdog media under huge strain from government information control, smear campaigns, and drastic financial situation. 

MONTENEGRO: Riedel MediorNet, Artist, and Bolero Provide Comprehensive Signal Transport and Comms Backbone for Montenegro Public Broadcaster RTCG

Broadcasting & Cable: Riedel Communications today announced that Radio and Television of Montenegro (RTCG) has adopted the company’s state-of-the-art networking and communications technologies for its studio upgrade.

NORWAY: Government presents Coronavirus aid package for media

IFJ: The Norwegian government presented on May 12 a proposal for a media aid package to address the financial situation of the country’s media during the coronavirus crisis. The Norwegian Union of Journalists (NJ) welcomed the package but warned that the initial amount of 300 million NOK (27 million euros) will not be enough to save the whole industry and maintain the media plurality in the country.

POLAND: Polish hit song on grieving ‘censored’, sparking protests

BBC News: Polish public radio has been accused of censoring an anti-government song that topped the charts and was then removed from the station’s website.

SLOVENIA: EFJ condemns discrediting of journalists by Slovenian PM

EFJ: The Slovenian Prime Minister, Janez Janša, published on 11 May, in the government’s official website, a story about his so-called “war with the media”. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its Slovenian affiliates, the Slovenian Association of Journalists (DNS) and the Union of Slovenian Journalists (SNS), in condemning this despicable attempt to discredit journalists.

SWEDEN: Union welcomes new support package for the media industry

IFJ: The Swedish government announced on May 8 an expanded aid package for the media to cope with the financial losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Swedish Union of Journalists, Journalistförbundet, welcomed these substantial support measures for the media sector and workers.

UK: BBC Four presenters rally to save channel amid closure rumours

The Guardian: BBC Four presenters are rallying to save the arts and culture channel which is rumoured to be facing closure as the corporation looks to cut costs and invest in younger audiences.

UK: BBC shortlists four candidates to replace Tony Hall

The Guardian: Hopefuls for position of director general, which include at least two BBC insiders, to be interviewed in early June.

UK: Coronavirus crisis ‘may have staved off threats to BBC licence fee’

The Guardian: The coronavirus crisis may have saved the BBC licence fee, the chairman of ITV has said, while the editor of the BBC’s Today programme on Radio 4 said the broadcaster’s coverage had restored its role at the heart of the nation.

UK: Media Giant BBC Credits Digital Identity Strategy as One Key to Success During Pandemic

Security Boulevard: As COVID-19 continues to affect our world, the importance of keeping citizens informed is even more critical now than ever. Media giants like the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) have found themselves serving as a central player in helping millions of people stay connected and safe with new programming and services aimed at educating, entertaining, and keeping everyone calm – from small children to aging adults. 

UK: UK broadcasters unite to introduce guidance for safe TV production

Rapid TV News: ITV, BBC, Sky, Channel 4, Channel 5 owner ViacomCBS, STV, ITN, the Association for Commercial Broadcasters and On-Demand Services (COBA) and producers’ trade body Pact have joined forces to introduce new industry wide guidelines for producing television safely in the weeks and months ahead.

UKRAINE: Democracy Talks: the role of Public Broadcaster in a time of crisis

COE: Patrick Penninckx, head of the Council of Europe Information Society Department, together with the Ambassador of Sweden to Ukraine, Tobias Thyberg, will make an opening speech at the web-conference “Democracy Talks: The role of Public Broadcaster in time of crisis” on 14 May (15.00-16.30). The conference is aimed to discuss how to ensure effective operations of Ukrainian public broadcaster UA:PBC in a time of COVID-19 crisis. 

BOLIVIA: Bolivian decree broadens criminal sanctions for disinformation on COVID-19

CPJ: On May 7, Bolivian Interim President Jeanine Añez Chávez signed Supreme Decree 4231, which criminalizes the dissemination of “any kind of information, whether written, printed, artistic, or by any other process that puts at risk, affects public health, or generates uncertainty among the population,” and imposes jail terms of one to 10 years for convictions, according to news reports and the text of the decree. 

BRAZIL: Reporting COVID-19’s effects on Indigenous peoples in Brazil

IJnet: While COVID-19 cases soar and political instability intensifies in Brazil, Indigenous peoples are blatantly threatened by Jair Bolsonaro’s government. Inspired by the country’s military dictatorship (1964-1985), his administration has halted land demarcations, curbed the rights of Indigenous peoples and forced their assimilation.

COLOMBIA: Natalia Archila, a journalist from San Gil, denounced former councilor Juan Carlos Sánchez for sexual violence (Spanish)

FLIP: FLIP supports journalist Natalia Archila in her complaint for sexual assault against Juan Carlos Sánchez, former councilor of San Gil, Santander.

ECUADOR: Reporting from the eye of Ecuador’s misinformation storm

ICIJ: Stories by investigative journalist Arturo Torres and his team at Código Vidrio have inspired a national campaign against misinformation in Ecuador.

EL SALVADOR: Public institutions restrict information to journalists in the eastern zone (Spanish)

APES: Journalists from various media outlets in the eastern zone have denounced that some public institutions deny them information or interviews with officials. This situation arose before the National Emergency by COVID-19 and continues in these days of emergency, when citizens need to be duly informed. 

JAMAICA: RJRGLEANER Group Cuts Salaries, Lays Off 93 Workers Amid COVID Impact

The Gleaner: The RJRGLEANER Communications Group has laid off 93 workers and implemented salary cuts for others amid the economic impact of the coronavirus in Jamaica.

MEXICO: Mexican newspaper Reforma receives bomb threat over López Obrador coverage

CPJ: On May 14, at about 8:40 a.m., an unidentified man called the Reforma newspaper and threatened to blow up its Mexico City offices unless it stopped its critical coverage of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, according to a report published on Reforma’s website, and a video posted by the newspaper, which includes the recorded audio of the call.

PERU: “Fake news often appeals to emotion. Therein lies its success ” (Spanish – Opinion)

Publimetro Peru: María Mendoza, journalist and researcher shares her impressions on the phenomenon of fake news and conspiracy theories, which spread with a speed similar to that of COVID-19 through social networks.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: ‘A journalist of convenience’ says Judge

Trinidad Express: This was how former government minister Devant Maharaj was described by a High Court judge as the court shot down his claim for judicial review against Communications Minister Donna Cox. Maharaj took the minister and the Office of the Attorney General to court recently after the minister failed to have him included amongst media personnel who took part in the Ministry of Health’s daily Covid-19 press conferences

URUGUAY: Legislation proposed by new Uruguayan president criminalizes insulting police

CPJ: On April 23, newly elected Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou and legislators from his National Party introduced an “urgency law” to the country’s parliament. 

REGIONAL: RTVE distribution grows in America (Spanish)

RTVE: RTVE has increased in recent weeks the penetration of its international channels in different countries of America. 

GENERAL: Apply for the Roche Prize for Journalism in Health 2020 (Opportunity)

APES: Until May 31, 2020 you can register your work to choose the Roche Prize for Journalism in Health, which in its eighth edition has three competition categories: Sound Journalism, Digital Journalism and Daily Coverage, the latter will be awarded for the first time in this award. 

GENERAL: Still time to join journalists from 160 countries: Register for a free online course on coverage of the pandemic (Opportunity)

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: More than 8,300 people have enrolled so far in the massive open online course (MOOC) from the Knight Center that focuses on how journalists can effectively cover the COVID-19 pandemic. 

IRAN: Iranian journalist Hassan Fathi begins 1.5 year jail term over BBC interview

CPJ: On May 6, Hassan Fathi, a freelance columnist and former editor of the Iranian daily Ettelaat, began an 18-month prison term in Tehran’s Evin Prison after his appeal in a 2018 criminal case for speaking with the BBC Persian service was denied, according to a report by the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), a U.S.-based outlet that covers news in Iran.

IRAN: Press-rights group urges Iran to release journalist jailed for BBC interview

Arab News: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Thursday called on Iran to release a journalist serving an 18-month sentence in a notorious Tehran prison for giving an interview to the BBC.

ISRAEL: Israel extends closure of Palestine TV office in East Jerusalem

IPI: Israel should remove all restrictions on Palestine TV and allow its office to reopen in East Jerusalem, the International Press Institute (IPI) said today. On May 11, the Israeli government renewed the closure of the office of Palestine TV, a channel run by the state owned Palestine Public Broadcasting Authority and stopped its crew from operating in East Jerusalem for another six months.  

JORDAN: Jordan gov’t to resume weekly press conferences with limited media presence, Adaileh says

Zawya: Media outlets that cannot be represented at a conference due to the attendance schedule, can submit questions via email. 

TURKEY: Turkey charges 7 journalists over coverage of intelligence agent’s death

CPJ: On May 8, an Istanbul court charged seven journalists with violating the country’s intelligence laws in their coverage of a Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT) operative who was killed in Libya, and set a trial date for June 24, according to news reports.

TURKEY: Where government critics watch Fox News (German – Listen)

Deutschlandfunk: In the United States, Fox is considered an arch-conservative and President Trump’s favorite. The situation is different in Turkey. The edition there is one of the last critical media voices. President Erdogan has therefore started attacking the most popular moderator in the country.

YEMEN: International outcry over Yemeni journalists facing death penalty

Al Jazeera: More than 150 human rights and press freedom groups have appealed to the United Nations to help overturn the death penalty to four journalists in Yemen. The Specialised Criminal Court in the Houthi rebel-controlled capital Sanaa sentenced the four to death on April 11 on charges of spying after they spent nearly five years in prison.

REGIONAL: Middle East countries unite to assault free press

The Jerusalem Post: Attacks on media outlets, expulsions and arrests of journalists, attacks on media offices and threats to media have become an almost weekly occurrence. 

CANADA: CBC/Radio-Canada programming updates – May 15

CBC/Radio-Canada: To help Canadians through the current COVID-19 situation, CBC/Radio-Canada is delivering special access to content across all of its platforms, including trusted news and information to stay informed, educational resources for kids and parents, and a wide variety of programming to keep Canadians entertained when they need a break.

CANADA: Digital Originals: Micro innovation grants (Opportunity)

Canada Council for the Arts: Countless artistic activities have been cancelled or delayed due to COVID-19, but countless creations have also reached an impressive online audience. The Canada Council and CBC/Radio-Canada’s Digital Originals initiative supports and amplifies this new, strong, and innovative online relationship between audiences and artists from Canada.

CANADA: How to pay for the future of journalism (Opinion) 

Financial Post: Canadian media organizations face difficult challenges in an age of virtually unlimited internet competition, a dramatic shift toward digital advertising and an unprecedented global economic and health crisis. Ottawa has thus far declined to “take on” Google and Facebook by requiring them to fund local media. That may spark criticism in some quarters but claims that government-mandated payments from internet companies will solve the sector’s ills are unconvincing.

CANADA: Quebec newsroom launches co-op to fend off bankruptcy

IJnet: As COVID-19 has brought newsrooms worldwide to their knees, one French Canadian outlet is flourishing — less than a year after going bankrupt. 

CANADA: Windsor CBEF station celebrates 50 years (French)

Radio-Canada: At the forefront of linguistic and identity struggles, the Radio-Canada station has for 50 years been a reflection of the vitality and resilience of the region’s Francophone community.

US: Anti-Lockdown Protesters Get in Reporters’ (Masked) Faces

The New York Times: Journalists covering the pandemic have faced the wrath of people who are against social-distancing restrictions. For some reporters, the up-close wrath of anti-lockdown protesters has become a hazard of the job.

US: APM, MPR initiate staff reductions by offering voluntary buyouts, furloughs (Paywall)

Current: More than two dozen staffers at American Public Media and Minnesota Public Radio have accepted voluntary buyouts and furloughs as the organization responds to a budget shortfall brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

US: It’s time to uproot American newspapers from hedge funds and replant them in more hospitable ground

Poynter Institute: The first financial impact of COVID-19 on local news is clear: As businesses have closed, they’ve stopped advertising, prompting news organizations to lay off, furlough or cut the pay of journalists — right when the public is turning to local news more than ever. But there is a likely secondary effect that will make things even worse: further consolidation of the newspaper industry…

US: Journalists face harassment while covering coronavirus

US Press Freedom Tracker: For journalists serving their communities during the pandemic, field reporting raises new health concerns as individuals protest stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines vary by region.

US: PBS Celebrates Pride Month with PRIDELAND, a Short-Form Digital Series and New One-Hour Special with Host and Actor Dyllón Burnside, Exploring LGBTQ+ Identity in the U.S. South

PBS: PBS is celebrating LGTBQ+ Pride Month with the launch of PRIDELAND, a new one-hour special and short-form digital series following host and actor Dyllón Burnside (from FX’s “Pose”) on a journey across the South.

US: PMJA’s Editor Corps initiative gets CPB support (Paywall)

Current: An initiative to provide public media newsrooms with editing support during the pandemic received a CPB grant Thursday. Public Media Journalists Association developed its Editor Corps in April to connect experienced public media editors with stations for free on an hourly basis. CPB will provide $20,000 towards the effort, according to a CPB press release.

US: Public Media Editor Corps Gets $20K Boost From CPB

CPB: The Public Media Journalists Association’s (PMJA) Editor Corps, which launched last month to provide pop-up editors to public media newsrooms facing challenges in covering the COVID-19 pandemic, has received a $20,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

US: The media industry’s preexisting conditions (Opinion)

Columbia Journalism Review: IN MARCH AND APRIL—as the economic crisis linked to the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, started to hammer the media industry—news organizations made cuts. Some of these involved layoffs; others, including furloughs and salary reductions, were billed as temporary, storm-weathering measures. At the time, such claims attracted skepticism.  Whichever way you slice it, it’s clear that the coronavirus didn’t start the industry garbage fire as much as it threw accelerant on it.

US: The rise of the American news desert (Opinion)

Vox: Predominantly white rural areas supported Trump. They also often lack robust local media.

US: Viewers flock to public TV for news, food shows during lockdown (Paywall)

Current: The lockdown resulted in large viewing increases for television news programming, which media researchers quoted as high as 19% for broadcast and 73% for cable…

150 attacks on media freedom reported in 50 days

Index on Censorship: In the days since Index started tracking incidents where journalists and broadcasters have been attacked or stopped from doing their jobs, we have reported on more than 150 incidents

Dragomir and Rodríguez-Castro on Media Management for the Transmedia Scene

CMDS @ CEU: Information Visualization in the Era of Innovative Journalism, a new book by Routledge, co-edited by our Fellow, Marta Rodríguez-Castro, synthesizes how recent technological innovations have impacted the development, practice and consumption of contemporary journalism.

Facebook reports spike in takedowns of hate speech, terrorism

swissinfo.ch: Facebook Inc on Tuesday reported a sharp increase in the number of posts it removed for promoting violence and hate speech across its apps, which it attributed to technology improvements for automatically identifying text and images.

Information Saves Lives Rapid Response Fund Now Accepting Applications (Opportunity)

Internews: The Internews Information Saves Lives Rapid Response Fund aims to help small, local news organizations survive in the face of COVID-19. The Fund was seeded with $100,000 in unrestricted funding from Internews, to directly support media outlets, organizations and individuals reporting on COVID-19 for underserved communities around the world. 

Initial surge in news use around coronavirus in the UK has been followed by significant increase in news avoidance

RISJ: In this Reuters Institute’s factsheet we examine people’s news avoidance during the coronavirus pandemic in the UK based on a survey fielded from 7 to 13 May 2020.

Journalism’s ‘Extinction Event?’ ICFJ and Tow Center Launch Global COVID-19 Survey to Aid the Recovery

ICFJ: We aim to find out what is needed to keep  journalism viable:  What does the field require in both short-term and long-term support and training? How are journalists responding creatively to the challenges of reporting during the time of coronavirus? What can be done to help protect journalists and defend media freedom during the pandemic? 

Key Quotes: Media Sustainability During the COVID-19 Pandemic

ICFJ: The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) is connecting journalists with health experts and newsroom leaders through a webinar series on COVID-19. The series is part of our ICFJ Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum — a project with our International Journalists’ Network (IJNet). 

“Permission to be human”: TV Journalists Crying on Camera Is Understandable

Nieman Reports: As coronavirus stories unfold, pain and sorrow are everywhere.

Telling Real News from Propaganda: A Reader’s Guide to Chinese Media

GIJN: On February 18, the US State Department designated five Chinese media outlets — Xinhua, CGTN, China Radio, China Daily, and People’s Daily — as operatives of the state, meaning they will be subject to the same rules as foreign missions. While a senior State Department official said the designation won’t place any restrictions on individual Chinese journalists, the move is nonetheless significant in that it reinforces the idea that all Chinese media outlets operate under the auspices of its home government. 

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Header image: Broadcast tower. Credit: pbkwee/Creative Commons