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

Click on the drop-down menus below to reveal the latest regional stories.

GABON: RSF decries “disturbing erosion of press freedom” in Gabon

RSF: Gabon’s Media Owners Organization (OPAM) issued a statement condemning the HAC’s “mounting authoritarianism,” which has included arbitrary sanctions on three Gabonese newspapers and a French TV channel in less than six months.

MAURITIUS: RSF condemns harsh penalties for online content in Mauritius

RSF: Under the amendments adopted on 6 November, anyone in Mauritius sending a message via the Internet that causes or could cause something as harmless as “inconvenience” could end up being sentenced to up to ten years in prison.

SOUTH AFRICA: Hlaudi Motsoeneng loses final bid to appeal costs order

Citizen: Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng has lost yet another attempt to appeal the cost order that he should be held personally liable for the legal costs related to his 2016 broadcast ban of public violence at the public broadcaster, and the drama that ensued with the firing of eight journalists who defied the ban.

SOUTH AFRICA: Unions warn SABC: You retrench, we shut you down

Mail & Guardian: Unions are threatening to strike until the SABC addresses their concerns, including doing away with retrenchments.

TANZANIA: Media council sues Tanzania govt over press freedom

The East African: The Media Council of Tanzania and two civil society organisations have sued the government at the East African Court of Justice, accusing it of restricting media practice in the country.

TANZANIA: Who owns the Media in Tanzania?

RSF: Only a few media companies have a predominant market position and thus a potentially high influence on public opinion in Tanzania. Whereas the regulatory framework should in theory safeguard media pluralism and prevent media concentration, it shows considerable gaps in practice.

ZIMBABWE: Media Reforms Still Up in the Air

Via All Africa

GENERAL: AFEX Calls on African Governments to Promote Safety of Journalists, Combat Impunity


CAMBODIA: Journalists in Cambodia – persecution and hell

RSF: Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin spent more than nine months in prison just for being journalists in Cambodia. On the first anniversary of their arrest, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is releasing their video account of the hellish conditions they suffered in detention and the ordeal they continue to endure today.

CHINA: China’s online crackdown continues with Twitter, Weibo and Wechat shutdowns

IFJ: The Chinese Government’s online crackdown has continued with the shutdown of thousands of social media accounts.

CHINA: China’s Xi makes push into Pacific; scores ‘own goal’ with block on media

Reuters: President Xi Jinping made a push to expand China’s influence in the Pacific on Friday, holding a forum with leaders of eight small island countries in Papua New Guinea.

CHINA: China: two financial journalists sentenced to jail terms

RSF: Their sentencing comes after having revealed the existence of an investigation against Pan Gang the chairman of the dairy group Yili, from the region.

HONG KONG: ‘Death knell’ of press freedom in Hong Kong has been a long time coming


INDIA: Kashmiri journalists face multiple restrictions, attacks in October

CPJ: During this period, journalists attempted to cover urban local elections in the state, as well as events surrounding the killing of militant commander Manan Wani by the security forces.

NEPAL: Nepal government withholds Cabinet decisions from the media

IFJ: Nepal Government’s spokesperson and Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Baskota on November 11 told the media that ‘the decisions will be known in due time’ and didn’t read out the decisions breaking a long practice.

NORTH & SOUTH KOREA: Covering the Koreas

CJR: “Western media is focused on the security threat and the national-security problem,” Elise Hu, until recently the Seoul bureau chief for National Public Radio, says. “For Koreans, this is about a divided country. This is about brothers and sisters on the other side.”

PAKISTAN: Karachi Press Club: Shock as authorities raid ‘island of freedom’

BBC: Late at night on 8 November, more than a dozen plainclothes men carrying guns forced their way into the club – examining rooms and shooting videos and photos of the premises.

PAKISTAN: Pakistan No 1 in Facebook content censorship

The News International: Pakistan has emerged as No 1 country in the world when it comes to censoring content on the Facebook, a new official report by the social media giant revealed.

SRI LANKA: Press freedom and journalist safety under threat in Sri Lanka

IFJ: Sri Lanka’s government has transferred police inspector Nishantha Silva, who was investigating several major investigations into attacks on journalists during former president Mahinda Rajapaksha’s tenure out of the Criminal Investigation Department with immediate effect raising concerns about the future of his investigations.

TAIWAN: Press freedom reason for opening office in Taipei: Deutsche Welle

Focus Taiwan: Germany’s public international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) opened an office in Taipei last month — its first office in East Asia — because of the high level of press freedom in Taiwan, according to DW Chinese Service chief Philipp Bilsky.

TAJIKISTAN: Tajikistan turns to Chinese model of large-scale Internet censorship

RSF: The automatic reaction from the Tajik authorities to any difficulties is to block the flow of information online. Independent media, social networks, instant messaging services and censorship circumvention tools have all been largely inaccessible in Tajikistan since an increase in tension on 6 November.

THAILAND: Media must be ‘the voice of reason’

The Bangkok Post: The media can play an important role in providing a “voice of reason” to counter political bigotry and help voters make more informed decisions about which candidates to back in the general election next year.

AUSTRALIA: ABC journalists under fire after signing on to campaign to tear up industrial relations laws

The Sydney Morning Herald: ABC journalists have backed the union movement’s push for radical changes to Australia’s industrial relations system, dividing the broadcaster’s reporters and prompting outrage from ABC critics.

AUSTRALIA: ABC management say budget cuts have made the organisation ‘unsustainable’

The New Daily: The ABC’s recent management implosion has sparked debate over the future of the embattled public broadcaster, and now existing staff are once again warning the corporation’s budget is “unsustainable” and needs “remedial action”.

AUSTRALIA: Fairfax shareholders back Australian media merger

RNZ: Fairfax shareholders have overwhelmingly backed a takeover by Nine Entertainment, paving the way for both companies to merge by the end of this year.

AUSTRALIA: Former SBS Boss Michael Ebeid Urges ABC Board To Step Down

B&T Magazine: Speaking to Fairfax, Ebeid said it was high time the public broadcaster shook up its board, claiming the method both SBS and ABC currently use to pick board members and chairs was outdated.

AUSTRALIA: ‘Not responsible’ for rivals’ challenges: SBS boss defends public broadcasters against commercial TV

The Sydney Morning Herald: Special Broadcasting Service managing director James Taylor has defended the public broadcaster against criticism from free-to-air television networks, ahead of the outcome of a government report into whether the SBS and ABC put unfair pressure on commercial rivals.

AUSTRALIA: SBS and ABC stretch TV budgets to compete with Stan and Netflix

The Guardian: Broadcasters announce star-studded 2019 program, with new drama series, reality TV offerings and another blow for the Chaser team

AUSTRALIA: Social media trolling of female journalists is insidious, report shows

The Sydney Morning Herald: The survey of women in the media revealed that in-house journalists are most likely to experience this, with 41 per cent being trolled, while freelancers are most likely to be cyber-stalked, at 18 per cent.

AUSTRALIA: With Fairfax gone, the need for diversity in Australia’s media is greater than ever (Opinion)

The Guardian: If Australians think a plurality of news voices is important, they can do something about it.

FIJI: Fiji election media blackout to end on Saturday evening

RNZ: The extended media blackout restricting coverage of the election in Fiji will end on Saturday evening.

NEW ZEALAND: How the NZ media is being transformed by the online world, discussed by a panel of experts (Audio)

RNZ: Hear Dr Brett Nicholls, Leonie Hayden, Dr Anne Begg, Sam Stuchbury and Dr John Williams discussing the connection between media and advertising in a rapidly-changing world with Guyon Espiner.

NEW ZEALAND: Paper cuts: ‘You need the local journalist who picks up on that local issue’

RNZ: A proposal to slash local journalists has some Aucklanders worrying their communities will fall off the news radar – and their leaders will be unaccountable.

NEW ZEALAND: The boom, and meteoric growth, of podcasts in New Zealand


PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Non-Chinese accredited media blocked from APEC meetings

IFJ: During the APEC Summit that was held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea between November 12 to 18, 2018 accredited non-Chinese media were barred from covering several meetings.

BELARUS: Harassment of journalists breaks records in Belarus – nearly 100 fines so far this year

RSF: The methods used are classic. The authorities force independent media to base themselves outside the country and then refuse to give press accreditation to their correspondents, which means they have to work illegally. The rate at which fines are being issued is rising exponentially.

BULGARIA: Bulgaria industry group urged to refrain from discrediting journalists

IPI: IPI, ECPMF pen joint letter to construction chamber in response to comments about investigative site Bivol

FRANCE: France to ’embed’ regulators at Facebook to tackle online hate speech

EuroNews: The new pilot programme, which will see Facebook “host a delegation of French regulators” for six months in order to come up with a set of “concrete, tailored proposals to fight hate speech,” was announced by Macron at the opening ceremony of the annual Internet Governance Forum, held in Paris on Monday.

FRANCE: Minister of Culture Franck Riester says he has “a great ambition for public broadcasting” (French)

Franceinfo: While traveling to Besançon, Franck Riester said that the digital “changes a lot of things”, and that there will be the need to develop other types of “content” to “look for young people”.

GERMANY: German media ‘not falling for AfD anymore,’ says OBS study

DW: German reporters have learned to avoid being baited by the far-right populism of the AfD, a new OBS study says. Instead, the media is pursuing new investigations into the AfD.

MALTA: UN member states raise major concerns about the deterioration of freedom of expression in Malta

ECPMF: The coalition of five press freedom NGOs urges the Maltese Government to accept and implement UN’s UPR recommendations made in relation to strengthening freedom of expression and protecting journalists in Malta.

ROMANIA: Romania tries to use GDPR to force journalists to reveal sources

RSF: In a letter received from the Data Protection Authority on 9 November, the Romanian investigative news website RISE Project was told it could be fined up to 20 million euros if it failed to reveal the sources for the “personal data” in a series of Facebook articles and all other information related to these articles.

SLOVENIA: Supervisors urge dismissal of public broadcaster’s boss

STA: The supervisory board of public broadcaster RTV Slovenija has demanded that director general Igor Kadunc be dismissed.

SPAIN: Public television of proximity, a reference model for citizen information in Europe (Spanish)

Panorama Audiovisual: FORTA, the Television Academy, the Office of the European Parliament in Spain and the Representation of the European Commission in Spain analyzed the models, resources and financing of regional television in Europe.

SPAIN: The Valencian community is the one that allocates the smallest percentage to public television (Spanish)

eldiario.es: Communities with their own language, except Valencian, are the ones that spend the most on their public media from their budgets.

UK: BBC boss Tony Hall hits back at ‘disgraceful’ Twitter critics

BBC: The BBC’s director general has spoken out against the “disgraceful” attacks made on journalists on social media.

UK: Five ways the BBC will boost its audience engagement in 2019

Journalism.co.uk: Lord Tony Hall, director general, BBC, explains why he believes news organisations must stick together to defend the industry and help audiences to see their world reflected in the media

UK: Carrie Gracie says BBC is blocking pay gap campaigners

The Guardian: Broadcaster’s attitude to gender equality is like a dodgy car dealer’s, claims former China editor

UK: Sky urges Ofcom to look ‘beyond the rhetoric’ of PSBs in prominence decision

Digital TV Europe: Sky has urged Ofcom and the UK government to “look beyond the rhetoric” of the public service broadcasters (PSBs) before making changes to rules surrounding channel prominence.

UK: Why Facebook is investing £4.5m in local news

Behind Local News via Medium: The Community News Project is a £4.5 million (USD $6 million) fund designed to support local journalism in the UK. This investment will enable the NCTJ to oversee the recruitment of around 80 trainee ‘community journalists’ and place them at the heart of local newsrooms on a two-year scheme. The goal is to encourage more reporting from towns which have lost their local newspaper and beat reporters.

GENERAL: Demonising the media: Threats to journalists in Europe (Report)

Index on Censorship: Burned in effigy. Insulted. Menaced. Spat at. Discredited by their nation’s leaders. Assaulted. Sued. Homes strafed with automatic weapons. Rape threats. Death threats. Assassinations….This is the landscape faced by journalists throughout Europe over the past four years.

GENERAL: Google News may shut over EU plans to charge tax for links

The Guardian: Search engine is lobbying hard to stop proposed tax, aimed at compensating news publishers

BARBADOS: Journalists being stifled by outdated legislation

The Barbados Advocate: Investigative journalism continues to be hindered in this country due to its archaic libel and defamation laws.

BRAZIL: Bolsonaro, president-elect of Brazil, follows Trump’s playbook and worries press freedom organizations

Knight Center: Elected president on Oct. 28, Bolsonaro takes office on Jan. 1, 2019. He has followed the playbook of his North American colleague, keeping Brazilian and international organizations that defend freedom of expression and of the press on alert.

BRAZIL: Impunity in crimes against communicators in Brazil mainly reaches cities of country’s interior, says Article 19

Knight Center: “Especially where they are most exposed to the discretion of local authorities, as in small Brazilian cities and peripheries, the voices [of journalists] have been interrupted by commissioned, sometimes barbaric, crimes that expose a true democratic rupture in the country,” the report says.

JAMAICA: PAJ President Promises More Investigative Training For Journalists

The Gleaner: Admitting that not enough investigative stories are being produced by local journalists, president of the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ), George Davis, has pledged to create opportunities for media practitioners to expand investigative abilities.

MEXICO: Is Segob going to control public media? Experts fear it, deputies deny it (Spanish)

Animal Politico: In the midst of the discussion about the creation of a new Secretariat of Security and the status of state superdelegates, the Chamber of Deputies approved on Tuesday, November 13, a reform on the relationship between the Ministry of the Interior (Segob) and the public media, which specialists consider to be a risk of authoritarian control, although lopezobradorista legislators reject that interpretation.

NICARAGUA: Nicaragua Government Cracks Down on Independent Media

VOA: Since protests began against the government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s in April, there have been at least 420 violations against press freedoms in the country.

REGIONAL: Latin America and China deepen their media cooperation and promote multilateralism (Spanish)

El Cronista: In the Media Forum held in Buenos Aires, Chinese officials stressed the friendship with Argentina despite geographical distance, and  asked to deepen media cooperation and promote trade.

BAHRAIN: No Free Elections in Current Environment

HRW: The upcoming parliamentary elections in Bahrain, scheduled for November 24, 2018, are occurring in a repressive political environment that is not conducive to free elections, Human Rights Watch said today.

ISRAEL & PALESTINE: IFJ and EFJ demand answer after Israeli attack on leaders

EFJ: IFJ and EFJ leaders came under a tear gas attack today after Israeli soldiers fired on a peaceful assembly demanding the right to freedom of movement for Palestinian journalists, in Ramallah.

SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi Arabia’s war on journalism

Aljazeera: One month after Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, we examine Riyadh’s crackdown on journalism and dissent.

SAUDI ARABIA & TURKEY: Jamal Khashoggi case: All the latest updates

Aljazeera: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister says Turkey’s statements on journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder is not targeting MBS.

TURKEY: A post-media society

Open Democracy: Subversive street art and a metaphor-laden museum are filling the void left by the death of the free press in Turkey. A report from Istanbul.

TURKEY: Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of November 8, 2018


CANADA: Federal fall update expected to offer more support for struggling news industry

CBC: Government looking at new ways for Canadian newspapers to innovate and receive charitable status

CANADA: ‘My heart sank’: Canadian news leader reacts to journalist’s call for more diversity

CBC: HuffPost Canada editor in chief Andree Lau addresses lack of diversity in Canadian journalism

US: 25 newsrooms have attempted to bridge divisions — in person. Here’s what they’ve learned

NiemanLab: “Whenever you have an individual interaction, a lot of the bluster, a lot of the generalizations, a lot of the group identifications fall away,” one participant in Pennsylvania said.

US: CNN sues Trump over Jim Acosta’s credential suspension

CNN: CNN has filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration after the White House suspended the credentials of one of its senior journalists.

US: Judge orders Jim Acosta’s ‘hard pass’ be restored in CNN lawsuit against Trump

Poynter: A federal judge ordered that his “hard pass” press access be restored after the White House said he was disruptive during a press conference. Journalism organizations including rival networks joined in the case, calling it vital to press freedom.

US: ‘Nothing on this page is real’: How lies become truth in online America

The Washington Post: “No matter how racist, how bigoted, how offensive, how obviously fake we get, people keep coming back,” Blair once wrote, on his own personal Facebook page. “Where is the edge? Is there ever a point where people realize they’re being fed garbage and decide to return to reality?”

US: White House threatens to suspend CNN reporter’s pass again when order expires

The Guardian: Trump administration sent Jim Acosta a letter saying credentials are set to be pulled when 14-day order is over, CNN reported

Financial Times tool warns if articles quote too many men

The Guardian: Paper develops bot in attempt to force writers to look include more expert women in pieces

How The Wall Street Journal is preparing its journalists to detect deepfakes

NiemanLab: “We have seen this rapid rise in deep learning technology and the question is: Is that going to keep going, or is it plateauing? What’s going to happen next?”

How Vogue International engages Generation Z on Instagram

Journalism.co.uk: Hannah Ray, head of social strategy and storytelling, Vogue International, explains how the publisher attracts younger audiences by giving them space to tell their own stories

Journalists Quote Social Media Content Ever More Frequently

EJO: The days when social media only counted as a legitimate source if journalists had no other access to events like disasters or civil war have long since passed. Instead, they have become part of the fabric of modern journalism.

Tackling the Information Crisis (Report)

LSE – Commission on Truth, Trust and Technology

The Correspondent promises English-speaking audiences an ‘antidote’ to breaking news (Audio)

Journalism.co.uk: In this week’s podcast, Rob Wijnberg, founder, De Correspondent, talks about how their $2.5m crowdfunding campaign to launch an English language version aims to bring their audiences a true understanding of news, rather than reporting on the recent and immediate

Tips for covering poverty

IJNet: “Economic hardship is one of those spaces where oversimplified narratives about poverty serve political interests, industry practices and exclusive social interactions. This means that reporting out accurate and appropriately complex coverage is an uphill battle.”

Why covering the environment is one of the most dangerous beats in journalism

NiemanLab: “In both wealthy and developing countries, journalists covering these issues find themselves in the cross-hairs. Most survive, but many undergo severe trauma, with profound effects on their careers.”

Wikipedia’s co-founder wanted to let readers edit the news. What went wrong?

CJR: “In a sense, the Wikipedia founder’s vision of the future takes for granted that the revolution brought by the internet—the reality that anyone anywhere can report on events and contribute, something that used to be called “citizen journalism” in the early days of the web—is not something to be opposed or restricted, but embraced.”

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All PSM Weekly stories are provided for interest and their relevance to public service media issues, they do not necessarily reflect the views of the Public Media Alliance.

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Header image: TV cameras lined up, covering large public event. Credit: Microgen/istock