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

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What we're watching...

Global Information War: “We Can all be Online Peacekeepers”

United Nations: In her message for World Press Freedom Day 2022, the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, Melissa Fleming, brings to light how the proliferation of disinformation compromises the safety of journalists and severely hampers their work, as it undermines trust and distorts the public debate. The United Nations is working to ensure that the digital public square is inclusive and safe and that our digital commons are managed as a global public good.

What we're listening to...

The Global Task Force – What impact have public media organisations have on media freedom?

In the final episode in our miniseries on media freedom, we look at the Global Task Force for Public Media – a grouping of eight leaders of public service media organisations – and examine what role it can play in fighting for media freedom and journalist safety. It comes just after the head of SVT, Hanna Stjärne – a GTF member – was listed as an intended target by a convicted murderer and neo-Nazi. 

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CAMEROON: Media: journalist Sismondi Barlev takes the CNC to court (French)

Actu Cameroun: Journalist Sismondi Barlev Bidjocka accuses the National Communication Council of blocking the resumption of activities of his radio station Ris Fm.

CAMEROON & SWITZERLAND: Cameroonian security guards fined for manhandling Swiss journalist

Swissinfo: The Geneva Police Court on Friday found six members of Cameroonian President Paul Biya’s security service guilty of manhandling a Swiss journalist of public broadcaster RTS in June 2019.

COTE D’IVOIRE: Yamoussoukro: the Senate adopts bills amending the laws on the legal regimes of the Press and Audiovisual Communication. (French)

Abidjan: The Minister of Communication and the Digital Economy, Government Spokesman, Mr. Amadou Coulibaly was on December 12, 2022 facing the senators of the Commission for Research, Science, Technology and the Environment for the examination of bills amending respectively Law No. 2017-867 of December 27, 2017 on the legal regime of the Press and Law No. 2017-868 of December 27, 2017 on the legal regime of Audiovisual Communication.

DRC & RWANDA: Kinshasa accuses Rwanda of using journalists in ‘campaign of lies’ in eastern DRC

News24: The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) claims Rwanda is working on a propaganda and disinformation project using journalists under the protection of the M23 rebels.

GHANA: Government to introduce reward systems for Whistleblowers

Business Ghana: Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, says he is seeking to boost the Whistleblowers Act, 2006 (Act 720) by introducing a reward system for whistleblowers.

GHANA: Pay GBC’s legacy debt Parliament urges Government

GBC: Parliament has urged the Minister of Finance Ken Ofori Atta, to support the State Broadcaster, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, to pay what the Committee has described as a legacy debt to the tune of GH¢ 51,598,085 as the House acknowledged the precarious financial circumstances of the Information Ministry and its other agencies under it.

NIGERIA: Media houses should obey rules during political campaigns, says NBC DG

The Guardian Nigeria: Ahead of 2023 general elections, Director General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Malam Balarabe Ilelah, has cautioned media houses against disseminating inciting or misleading information.

SUDAN: Sudanese women journalists faced underexposed economic violence during first lockdown

Dabanga: Economic violence and sexual violence faced by women journalists during the first Covid-19 period did not receive sufficient attention, journalists warned at a workshop on International Human Rights Day in Khartoum.

TANZANIA: Media, communications laws to merge

Daily News: THE government has firmly stated its stance to reform the media sector through legal framework, including merging the Media Services Act of 2016 and the Electronic and Postal Communications Act of 2010.

REGIONAL: Africa’s Media Freedom in Spotlight as Leaders Gathered in Washington 

VOA: As the U.S. welcomed African leaders to Washington for a summit this week, the media freedom record of several of those countries was brought into focus.

REGIONAL: Digital TV Special: Seventeen years after the initial deadline Sub-Saharan Africa has still not completed the Digital Switch Over in Broadcasting

Balancing Act: The International Telecommunication Union set a 17 June 2015 deadline for most Sub-Saharan African countries to make the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting. Russell Southwood, who has tracked the progress of the switch over for over a decade and a half, looks at where things are now and why so little progress has been made.

AFGHANISTAN: Audiences Crave More, Says Journalist After Taliban Blocks VOA Radio

VOA: For many journalists, the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan in 2021 signaled a return to censorship and repression.

CHINA: China Wants Your Attention, Please (5 December)

Foreign Policy: Over the past decade, Beijing has invested heavily in trying to upgrade its major state media outlets such as China Global Television Network (CGTN), Xinhua News Agency, and China Radio International (CRI), and to make them seem more professional. 

HONG KONG: Free Hong Kong’s Fiercest Defender

Project Syndicate: The ongoing persecution of Hong Kong media tycoon and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai is the most striking example of the authorities’ unprecedented campaign against press freedom. For democracy to prevail, people like Lai, who could spend the rest of his life behind bars, must not be forgotten.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong: Media Tycoon Trial a Travesty

Human Rights Watch: Jimmy Lai, 6 Journalists Face Life Sentences on Baseless Charges.

INDIA: Anurag Thakur backs norms for TV channels to broadcast public service content

The Hindustan Times: Information & Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur on Monday defended new government guidelines asking television channels to broadcast at least 30 minutes of public service content in a day.

INDIA: India’s NDTV takeover by tycoon Adani raises concerns over press freedom (Watch)

France 24: This week, Gautam Adani, the world’s third richest man and Asia’s richest man, acquired the Indian news channel New Delhi Television, better known as NDTV. Adani, who is close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is now the main shareholder of the television channel, which is considered the last bastion of the free press in the country. 

KYRGYZSTAN: No good news for media freedom in Kyrgyzstan as government arrests journalists, activists, and bloggers

Global Voices: Sex tapes, surveillance, and blackmail in silencing journalists.

MALAYSIA: RTM targets 120 million views next year (12 December)

New Straits Times: Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) is targeting 120 million views next year, an increase of 30 per cent compared with this year as efforts are being made to improve programmes and content on the platform.

MYANMAR: Myanmar’s jailing of journalists enters harsh new phase (13 December)

CPJ: Myanmar’s military regime has doubled down on its repression of journalists as it tightens it grip on the country following its democracy-crushing coup on February 1, 2021.

PAKISTAN: IHC suspends terrorism case proceedings against Info Secy, Chairperson PTV

The Nation: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday suspended terrorism case proceedings against Information Secretary and Chairperson PTV Shahera Shahid, Additional Information Secretary and MD PTV Sohail Ali Khan and Director News Mirza Rashid Baig.

PHILIPPINES: Rappler contributor Frank Cimatu convicted of cyber libel in the Philippines

CPJ: Philippine authorities should not contest the appeal of journalist Frank Cimatu, and should stop filing spurious cyber libel charges against members of the press, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Wednesday.

SOUTH KOREA: Yoon’s website expanded amid spat with reporters (11 December)

The Korea Herald: The presidential office expanded the press section of its official website Sunday, the latest move by President Yoon Suk-yeol to directly address the public amid a spat over penalizing a major broadcaster for delivering “malicious” and “fake” news.

AUSTRALIA: ABC elected to the Administrative Council of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union

ABC: The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) has elected the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to its Administrative Council, the Union’s peak decision-making body.

AUSTRALIA: Correcting James Morrow in The Daily Telegraph (Statement)

ABC: The article by James Morrow published today in The Daily Telegraph is wrong in its suggestion that the ABC’s proposed restructure will diminish the importance of our regional news operations.

AUSTRALIA: Defamation reforms: Australian media may not be liable for Facebook comments in future (13 December)

The Guardian: Australian media companies may avoid liability for defamatory third-party comments on their social media posts if reforms supported by the nation’s attorneys general become law.

AUSTRALIA: Is It Up To Community Radio to Save Australian Music?

Vice: The Australian music scene is undernourished and underdeveloped. That might seem like a big statement to make, but compared to the US and UK markets, the discovery of new music on a national scale has become increasingly difficult.

AUSTRALIA: SBS Learn English celebrates first birthday (Press release) 

SBS: SBS Learn English is celebrating its first anniversary producing bespoke Australian English content to help newly arrived migrants gain confidence to use English in everyday life scenarios.

NEW ZEALAND: Morgan Godfery: Tweaks required, but NZ needs strong public broadcaster (Opinion)

Stuff: In the 1990s chat forum geeks would often write about how the internet would soon harness and unleash humanity’s intellectual and creative potential.

NEW ZEALAND: Spark NZ Quits Sports Streaming, Ending Four Years of Disruption (Paywall)

Bloomberg: New Zealand telecommunications company Spark will give up streaming sports content when it shuts its Spark Sports unit in July next year.

AUSTRIA: Mission Mikl-Leitner: How Robert Ziegler leads ORF Lower Austria (German)

Der Standard: Internal documents, chats and e-mails depict the moral image of a broadcasting service that is closely intertwined with state politics and financed by GIS fees. 

AUSTRIA: ORF Lower Austria as a “faithful companion” of state politics from Proell to Mikl-Leitner (German)

Der Standard: The history of ORF Lower Austria is a story of a close relationship between public, GIS fee-financed broadcasting and ÖVP state politics, not just since DER STANDARD, SPIEGEL and the “Presse” published documents, chats and emails from Robert Ziegler as editor-in-chief on Friday evening.

BELGIUM & NETHERLANDS: Belgian and Dutch public broadcasters team up

Red Tech: Belgium’s Flemish public broadcaster VRT and the Dutch NPO have announced an “intensive collaboration.”

FINLAND: Yle’s Administrative Council: audio content on the Internet is an essential part of the public service

Yle: Yle’s Administrative Council announced on 13 December the decision of the public value test on the Yle audio content offered on the Internet.

FRANCE: Like the BBC, France Télévisions plans to go all-digital (French)

Le Figaro: The president of the French public audiovisual group mentioned the idea during a board of directors.

FRANCE: Sibyle Veil reappointed as head of Radio France for another five years (French)

Europe1: The boss of Radio France, Sibyle Veil, has been reappointed at the head of the public group for the next five years. 

FRANCE & GERMANY: France Televisions and RTL Deutschland join anti-piracy coalition ACE

Digital TV Europe: ACE (the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment), which describes itself as ‘the world’s leading anti-piracy coalition’ has added 11 new members to its membership, with France Televisions, RTL Deutschland and OSN among high-profile additions. In total, ACE’s latest expansion brings the total number of member companies to 52.

FRANCE & RUSSIA: French TV regulator urges Eutelsat to stop broadcasting three Russian channels

Euractiv: French broadcasting authority Arcom on Wednesday (14 December) urged satellite company Eutelsat to stop carrying three Russian TV channels, whose coverage of the war in Ukraine included “repeated incitement to hatred and violence and numerous shortcomings in honesty of information.”

GERMANY: ARD continues to expand cooperation in programming, infrastructure and administration (Press release – German) 

ARD: In the future, the state broadcasting corporations of the ARD not only want to create synergies in administration, production and technology, but also pool their strengths even more in the programming.

IRELAND: 25 radio and TV projects secure €5 million for climate change and climate action programming (Press release) 

Gov.ie: Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin has today (19 December) together with Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan, welcomed the announcement by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) of the award of €5 million to 25 radio and TV projects under the Broadcasting Fund Sound and Vision Scheme.

IRELAND: RTÉ pay gap: Men earn 13pc more than women at national broadcaster

The Independent (Ireland): Men earn 13pc more than women at RTÉ, according to the national broadcaster’s first report under new gender pay gap legislation.

KOSOVO: TV Crew Attacked Near Serbs’ Barricade in Tense North Kosovo

Balkan Insight: A Kosovo TV crew was targeted by masked assailants throwing stones near one of several barricades set up by Serbs in northern Kosovo amid continuing tensions which also saw four shops attacked.

MALTA: Government interference in public broadcasting ‘threat to democracy’ – Casa

Times of Malta: Government interference in public broadcasting poses a threat to democracy, MEP David Casa said on Thursday.

MOLDOVA: Moldova Suspends TV Licenses on Misinformation Charges

VOA: The broadcast licenses of six Moldovan television stations have been suspended. Moldova’s Commission for Exceptional Situations said the suspensions were issued because the TV stations were spreading misinformation and were attempting to manipulate public opinion.

NETHERLANDS: NPO FunX organizes Good Vibes Dinner for young people who have fled to the Netherlands (Press release – Dutch)

NPO: NPO FunX is organizing a Good Vibes Dinner on Thursday 22 December for young people who have fled to the Netherlands. 

NETHERLANDS: ‘NPO Radio 1 Listens to you’ goes into the country (Press release – Dutch)

NPO: Which themes and subjects do the Netherlands consider important? Which stories should get more attention on NPO Radio 1? Under the name NPO Radio 1 Listens to you, the station travels through all provinces in the first two weeks of January to hear from listeners and non-listeners.

POLAND: Polish broadcasters and operators make “Lex Pilot” appeal

Broadband TV News: Leading stakeholders in the Polish media and telecom industry say they strongly oppose further amendments to the country’s Broadcast Law.

POLAND: Polish opposition submit bill to abolish state TV’s “propaganda” news channel

Notes from Poland: Poland’s largest opposition party, the centrist Civic Platform (PO) has submitted a bill that would abolish the public broadcaster news channel, TVP Info, which PO says has become a “propaganda” outlet for the national-conservative ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party. 

POLAND: Polish Television launches Alfa TVP

Digital TV Europe: Poland’s public broadcaster TVP is launching a local-language channel for teenagers called Alfa TVP, which is claims is the first service of its kind. 

RUSSIA: How Putin’s propaganda machine works

The Guardian: If you’re worried about your screen time, spare a thought for Francis Scarr. Every morning, he settles down in front of his laptop at Broadcasting House and puts on one of Russia-1, Channel One, and NTV, the leading state-controlled TV stations in Russia.

SERBIA: Radio Television of Serbia adds AoIP to new OB van

TVB Europe: Radio Television of Serbia (Radio Televizija Srbije, Radio Beograd, RTS), Serbia’s public broadcaster, has added a new ONB van to its fleet, complete with Audio-over-IP technology from Lawo.

SPAIN: RTVE pays €350m for Cellnex renewal 

Advanced Television: Spanish public broadcaster RTVE has awarded Retevision (Cellnex) the distribution of its audiovisual signals (including DTT) for the next five years, starting in 2023, for a total of €350 million.

SWEDEN: Free speech day spring 2023 (Press release – Swedish)

SVT: Interest in the Free Speech Day digital lesson has grown since its inception and is now up to over 7,000 participating schoolchildren per round. In the spring, a new round starts and the current dates are presented here.

SWITZERLAND: Henriette Engbersen takes over the public value division of SRG (Italian) 

SRG SSR: Henriette Engbersen, a former SRF correspondent from the United Kingdom and Ireland and current partner of a Zurich consulting firm, returns to SRG to take over the management of the Public Value sector from February 2023.

SWITZERLAND: Rhône FM: the Swiss way of making regional radio

RedTech: Rhône FM has been a rhythm in the lives of the people of Valais in southwest Switzerland since 1984.

UK: Former BBC director-general backs ‘reformed licence fee’ to fund corporation

Evening Standard: Former BBC director-general Lord Hall of Birkenhead has backed a “reformed licence fee” or progressive household levy as the way to fund the corporation in future.

UKRAINE: ECPMF’s Voices of Ukraine programme offers financial and technical support to Ukrainian journalists working in war zones (Opportunity)

ECPMF: Since 24 February 2022, Ukrainian journalists have been at constant risk, continuing their work in unsafe conditions. 

REGIONAL: European Journalism Now: Prague Conference Wrap-up

IPI: The International Press Institute (IPI), together with our Czech National Committee and Endowment Fund for Independent Journalism (NFNZ), held a joint two-day European Journalism Now conference in Prague on December 1–2, focusing on how to evaluate quality journalism, media capture in Central and Eastern Europe, and the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA).

BRAZIL: As Bolsonaro emulates Trump, Brazilian journalists struggle to cover his supporters

Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism: Researchers and editors discuss how the news media should report on a movement whose goal is to replicate the assault on the US Capitol.

COLOMBIA: Sergio Barbosa is the strongest candidate to be manager of RTVC (13 December – Spanish)

Semana: The renowned journalist Sergio Barbosa is on point and is the strongest candidate for the management of RTVC. His extensive experience in the media proves it.

COLOMBIA: Simona Sánchez: “Feminist journalists are uncomfortable in the media” (12 December – Spanish)

El País: The presenter reflects on her departure from Radionica, after asking for explanations about the allegations of sexual harassment by several women against four station workers, including its director.

HAITI: ‘No one will protect us’: how Haiti has become deadly for journalists (12 December)

The Guardian: Since its president was assassinated in July 2021, the island nation has spiralled into violence with journalists in the firing line.

JAMAICA: Merger of 1834 Investments and Radio Jamaica now finalised (1 December)

The Gleaner: The Order of the Supreme Court sanctioning the Scheme of Arrangement, to amalgamate Radio Jamaica Limited with 1834 Investments Limited, has now been filed with the Companies Office of Jamaica.

MEXICO: 2022 has been the deadliest year on record for Mexican journalists

PBS: The deadliest year in at least three decades for Mexican journalists and media workers is nearing a close, with 15 slayings — a perilous situation underlined by a brazen near-miss attack this week on one of the country’s most prominent journalists.

PERU: IAPA condemns attacks on journalists and media in Peru

IAPA: The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) condemned attacks against journalists and media outlets in Peru that cover social demonstrations in the context of the volatile political situation in the country. The institution urged the authorities to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the violence.

REGIONAL: More threats to press freedom across the Americas

Nieman Lab: “Being a journalist is becoming a heroic profession in the Americas, and neither governments nor society is acting to protect the watchdogs of democracy.”

REGIONAL: The most important stories of 2022, according to the LatAm Journalism Review team

LatAm Journalism Review: In 2022, LatAm Journalism Review (LJR) published more than 250 feature stories, articles and interviews on press freedom and innovation in journalism in Latin America and the Caribbean.

IRAN: In an Iran roiled by protests, journalists face a war of attrition (13 December)

CPJ: In mid-September, an enterprising young Iranian reporter named Niloofar Hamedi went to Tehran’s Kasra Hospital to report on a woman arrested by the county’s morality police for not properly wearing her hijab.

IRAN & UK: UK Vows To Protect Iran International Journalists From Threats

Iran International: Amid repeated threats by the Islamic Republic against Iran International’s reporters, the UK has vowed to step up protection of London-based journalists.

ISRAEL: Netanyahu’s Plan to Destroy Public Broadcasting (Opinion)

Haaretz: In light of the flood of decrees threatened by the impending government – a convicted terror supporter as national security minister, an override clause, a finance minister economically guided by the Bible, and the fear of a regime change to overthrow the fragile liberal democracy, transferring control of the Palestinians and the settlers in the territories to the settlers – it might look petty to stop and focus on the right’s intent to eliminate the public broadcasting channel. 

SAUDI ARABIA: Escalating use of anti-terrorism and cybercrime laws to stifle free expression

Via IFEX: Following US President Biden’s visit, Saudi authorities increased their widespread use of draconian laws to target and retaliate against human rights defenders and dissenting voices.

TURKEY: Number of Journalists Jailed in Turkey Doubles, Report Finds

VOA: The number of journalists jailed in Turkey more than doubled in the past year, as experts warn that the government is increasing pressure on free expression.

CANADA: A Look Back on 2022 (Blog)


CANADA: Canada’s Media Regulator CRTC Names New CEO

Variety: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has named Vicky Eatrides its new chairperson and CEO. The lawyer officially takes over the five-year gig on Jan. 5, replacing outgoing lead Ian Scott after his five-year term.

CANADA: CRTC overstepped in response to use of N-word on Radio-Canada program, attorney general says

CBC News: The office of the attorney general of Canada has concluded that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) overstepped its authority when it imposed requirements on CBC/Radio-Canada in response to the repeated use of the N-word on-air.

CANADA: Senators amend online streaming bill to ban CBC sponsored content

National Post: The public broadcaster’s use of sponsored content has drawn opposition from advocacy groups, media unions and the CBC’s own journalists.

US: At a fork in his career path, GBH’s Jon Abbott reflects on how pubmedia can evolve and innovate (Paywall)

Current: Jon Abbott departs from Boston’s GBH Tuesday, ending his 15-year run of leading public media’s largest institution into the multichannel, multiplatform world of digital media. 

US: For stations, changes at Twitter raise questions about platform’s value (Paywall)

Current: Some public media stations and journalists are reconsidering their use of Twitter amid changes implemented by new CEO Elon Musk, including shake-ups in how the social media platform moderates content and verifies users.

US: How public radio stations can serve deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences (Paywall)

Current: Two public radio stations looking to improve the accessibility of their broadcasts for the deaf and hard of hearing have found new ways to provide live captioning of their programming. 

US: The year journalism and capitalism finally divorce

Nieman Lab: 2023 is the year that journalism and capitalism finally break up. Their relationship has always been fraught, but now it’s turned toxic — culminating in a messy dissolution as the retreating market hollows out newsrooms, leaving millions of Americans bereft of local news.

US: We asked people why they left public media, and here’s what they told us (Paywall)

Current: If you want to know why people are leaving public media, all you have to do is ask. That’s what we did after the departures of several NPR hosts in late 2021 and early this year made headlines. 

22 findings from the Reuters Institute’s research in 2022 still relevant in 2023

Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism: From news avoidance to audience trust and newsroom diversity, our researchers have covered key issues in the past 12 months.

Analog TV needs to wake up if it is to survive in a digital era where streamers like Netflix dominate

Independent.ie: The BBC has announced that it is planning to pull the plug on traditional television and radio broadcasts. Its future is as an online service, according to director general Tim Davie in a speech to the UK’s Royal Television Society. But this evolution will take time. The Beeb won’t be fully digital for at least a decade.

DG8 Summit 2022: International public media reaffirm commitment to independent information

Deutsche Welle: The DG8 summit, held in Paris on December 15-16, confirmed the importance of guaranteeing access to reliable information, combatting disinformation and ensuring the security of editorial teams.

Forensic tools open new front for using phone data to prosecute journalists


Number of journalists in prison globally reaches record high: RSF

The Diplomat: According to Reporters Without Borders, 2022 saw a record number of media workers detained globally.

Steve McCaskill | Five things we learned about broadcasting in 2022

Sports Pro Technology: SportsPro’s technology editor Steve McCaskill uses the final edition of his OTT Newsletter in 2022 to take a look back at some of the biggest stories and trends of the past 12 months.

Twitter reinstates banned journalists’ accounts

BBC News: Billionaire businessman Elon Musk says several journalists he suspended from his social media company, Twitter, will have their accounts reinstated.

Twitter’s decision to suspend journalists’ accounts threatens press freedom 

Amnesty International: Responding to Twitter’s decision to suspend the accounts of more than a dozen journalists from CNN, the New York Times, The Washington Post, and other outlets, as the company owner Elon Musk accused the reporters of sharing personal information about him, Alia Al Ghussain, Amnesty International’s Campaigner for Amnesty Tech, said… 

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