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.

GAMBIA: New GRTS Head Commits To Editorial Independence

Jellofnews: Incoming managing director of the Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS), Ebrima Sillah, has pledged to protect the editorial independence of the national broadcaster.

GHANA: Revoke licenses of media houses paying staff ‘peanuts’ – MFKI to NMC

GhanaWeb: The Movement for the Kingdom Image (MFKI) is calling on the National Media Commission (NMC) to revoke licenses of media owners who pay their staff below average to save the crippling image of journalism in the country.

IVORY COAST: Six journalists arrested and imprisoned! (French)

IFJ: According to the IFJ affiliated National Union of Journalists of Cote d’Ivoire (UNJCI), the six journalists were summoned on Sunday 12 February 2017 by the National Gendarmerie Research Brigade and arrested and imprisoned at the gendarmerie Of the Agban camp in Abidjan, the capital.

LESOTHO: Government closes two radio stations ahead of Global World Radio Day celebrations

MISA: Three days ahead of the commemoration of the World Radio Day on 13 February 2017, the government of Lesotho has cut the broadcasting signals of two local radio stations, Ts’enolo FM (104.6MHZ) and People’s Choice FM (95.6 MHZ) on Thursday, 9 February 2017.

MALAWI: Japan gives MBC K465m

Malawi 24: The Japanese government has provided a grant of 465 million Kwacha to Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) for the improvement of television broadcasting equipment.

MALAWI: Malawi president signs right to information law

AfricaNews: Malawians are now empowered by law to seek information from elected officials and public entities. This comes after President Peter Mutharika signed into law the Access to Information (ATI) bill.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC Committee to Consider Responses to Interim Report

Via All Africa: Parliament’s ad hoc committee looking into the fitness of the SABC board will on Tuesday start discussing the responses to its interim report.

TANZANIA: Tanzania: Nape – Read … Read … and Read!

Via All Africa: Media practitioners have been advised to read and understand the country’s laws and regulations better – and refrain from listening and believing everything they are told by outsiders.

TUNISIA: Tunisian media freedom rated highest in Arab world

BBC Monitoring: Six years after the revolution that overthrew President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the media environment in Tunisia has become fairly settled.

TUNISIA: Tunisia path toward a more diverse & tolerant media environment: An interview with Article 19’s Salouga Ghazounai Oueslati


WEST AFRICA: Press Freedom under Siege in West Africa: 30 Media Workers Arrested in 38 Days

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA): Press freedom has come under severe attack in West Africa as security agencies, particularly the police, appear to be on rampage against journalists and media workers.`

GENERAL: Komla Dumor Award 2017: Seeking a future star of African journalism

BBC News: The BBC is seeking a future star of African journalism for the BBC World News Komla Dumor Award, now in its third year.

GENERAL: Fake news: How can African media deal with the problem?

BBC News: At a time when fact-based reporting is increasingly being undermined by fake news, the BBC’s Dickens Olewe looks at the lessons for the media in Africa.

HONG KONG: Long Zhenyang: The resignation that shook Hong Kong media

BBC News: Until a few weeks ago, Long Zhenyang held one of the top media jobs in south China.

INDIA: Analogue signals to end next month

ABU: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has stated that the deadline will not be extended for the switching off of analogue signals in digital addressable system (DAS) Phase III.

INDONESIA: West Papua media access still fettered – PFF

Radio New Zealand: The Pacific Freedom Forum says Indonesia is yet to deliver on its promise of full and free access for journalists to West Papua just months out from Jakarta hosting World Press Freedom day.

JAPAN: NHK takes rare step in decision to air Netflix drama “Hibana’

The Asahi Shimbun: “It is unusual for the public broadcaster to air a drama series previously streamed online”.

MYANMAR: Myanmar media outlets enter new era

The Nation: Burgeoning press walks fine line due to state censorship.

PHILIPPINES: Philippines plans to completely switch to digital TV broadcasting by 2023

MIS Asia: The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on 14 February 2017 launched the Philippines’ Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting (DTTB) Migration Plan. The plan aims to fully shift from an analog to a digital broadcasting system in the next four to six years.

SOUTH KOREA: Three Major Broadcasters to Launch UHD Services in May

KBS World Radio: South Korea’s three major broadcasters, KBS, MBC and SBS, will start ultra high-definition terrestrial broadcasting for the capital region on May 31st, three months behind the original schedule.

SRI LANKA: Army personnel arrested for abducting journalist in Sri Lanka

IFJ: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the Free Media Movement (FMM), Sri Lanka, in lauding the Sri Lanka Police for arresting an army officer and two soldiers over the 2008 abduction of and assault on a prominent journalist.

TAIWAN: Legislature to broadcast sessions live from Friday

Taipei Times: The official broadcasts are to be aired on public channels 123 and 124 and are governed by the Public Television Service Foundation.

THAILAND: Thai media organisations rally to oppose information bill

PMA: Media groups in Thailand protest against media bill that would lead to state control of the press and restrict freedom of expression.

AUSTRALIA: Fact Check: RMIT and ABC News partner to relaunch award-winning service

ABC Online: The ABC’s Fact Check Unit is back in business — with ABC News and RMIT University partnering to relaunch the award-winning news service.

AUSTRALIA: The Best of PSM | The Boat, SBS

PMA: Every two weeks we highlight some of the best content public service media (PSM) organisations have to offer. This week we look at SBS’s first interactive graphic novel.

FIJI: Watching our Words: Perceptions of Self-Censorship and Media Freedom in Fiji (Research)

Reuters Institute: Ricardo Morris, a journalist and Thomson Reuters fellow from Fiji, has studied the perceptions and practice of self-censorship among journalists from his country in the years following the coup in December 2006. He focused particularly on the period after the 2014 general election that returned Fiji to democratic rule.

NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand deserves better than fake news and clickbait, and we’re doing something about it

The Spinoff: Marianne Elliott of ActionStation explains why they’re launching a People’s Commission into Public Broadcasting and Media.

NEW ZEALAND: The People’s Commission on Public Broadcasting and Media

ActionStation & Coalition for Better Broadcasting: Recently launched crowdfunded and people-powered investigation to make New Zealand’s public broadcasting and media work better for New Zealanders.

SAMOA: Samoa establishes Media Council

Radio New Zealand: Samoa’s first Media Council has been established after more than a decade.

GEORGIA: Rustavi 2 supporters rally in Tbilisi for ‘freedom of speech’

OC Media: On 19 February, thousands of people gathered in front of the parliament building in Tbilisi to demonstrate their support for opposition TV station Rustavi 2.

ITALY:  After threats and lawsuits, the appeal to President Mattarella: “Freedom of the press is at risk”. Minister Orlando summons the FNSI.  (Italian)

FNSI: Presented at the FNSI a letter to the head of the state with which the journalists’ union calls for decisive action to protect threatened journalists and against  reckless libel actions. Topics that will be also addressed in a meeting with the Minister of Justice. “Ready to take it to the streets to defend the freedom of the press.”

MALTA: Malta anger over plans for web crackdown

EU Observer: A draft bill which aims to regulate online news in Malta has worried opposition politicians and added a motive for several thousands of Maltese to take to the streets on Sunday.

NETHERLANDS: New salary ceiling for public tv presenters, healthcare staff

Dutch News: Presenters on Dutch public broadcasting channels are to face the same salary restrictions as other public sector workers and earn no more than €181,000 a year, ministers have decided.

POLAND: Polish Government Undermines Rule of Law

RSF: The European Commission should pursue enforcement action against the government of Poland under the Article 7 of the EU treaty, as the government continues to undermine the rule of law and media freedom.

SERBIA: Serbia: the hard fight for information

Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso: Even though there is a good institutional and legislative framework defending the right to access information of public interest, some crucial issues are still unresolved.

SPAIN: More TV-3, more public media, more culture (Spanish)

El Periodico: The Catalan public media system needs an urgent restructure due to the evident symptoms of rickets.

SPAIN:  RTVE: The impartiality of public media (Spain)

EL PAÍS: Public radio and television must be a faithful reflection of society and not an instrument of propaganda

SPAIN: RTVE unveiled the news of the signing of signatures in Congress to censor it, according to the Council of News (Spanish)

Eldiario.es: This Thursday, RTVE workers delivered more than 2,000 signatures in Congress to demand reform to ensure the independence of the public network.

UK: BBC rolls out personalisation for connected TVs

Digital TV Europe: The BBC is rolling out new iPlayer personalisation features for connected TV viewers, in a bid to make it easier to move from device to device.

UK: Chairman of new BBC Board is formally appointed

Gov.UK: Sir David Clementi confirmed as the new BBC Board Chairman

GENERAL: 3GPP embraces broadcast requirements for 4G and 5G mobile

Digital TV Europe: The next major update of the 3GPP mobile broadband standard will include features to enable public service broadcasters to deliver their content to 4G – and ultimately 5G – devices.

GENERAL: Broadcasters & disability organisation draw up common recommendation on future EU rules for audiovisual access services

EBU: The EBU, the European Disability Forum (EDF), and the Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT) have made a common proposal to improve the accessibility of audiovisual media services for persons with disabilities.

GENERAL: CPJ calls for OSCE to swiftly fill press freedom representative vacancy

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ): The CPJ has joined seven other press freedom organizations in calling on the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to swiftly appoint a new representative on Freedom of the Media.

BRAZIL: Senate approves measure to restructure Brazil’s public broadcaster

PMA: Concern as provisional measure, approved by the Senate last week, increases state control over the country’s public broadcaster.

BRAZIL: How the mechanism of fake news works in Brazil (Portuguese)

Folha de S. Paulo: Report shows how the factory of sensationalists titles and untruths that spread through social media work.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Colleagues fear whitewash in murder of Dominican journalists on Facebook Live

The Guardian: Luis Manuel Medina, a newsreader at the FM103 radio station in the Dominican Republic, was reading the 10.30 bulletin when the shooting started.

ECUADOR: What future for free speech in Ecuador after presidential election?

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) hopes Ecuador’s next leader will quickly end the many media freedom violations that have occurred under outgoing President Rafael Correa.

VENEZUELA: CPJ calls on Venezuela to stop obstructing the foreign press

CPJ: Two Brazilian journalists investigating a continent-wide corruption ring were detained over the weekend in Venezuela, according to press reports. Separately, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced at a rally that he wanted CNN out of the country and accused the network of spreading “fake news,” other outlets reported.

VENEZUELA: Venezuela kicks CNN en Español out of the country three days after President Maduro said he wanted it to leave

Knight Center: Journalism in the Americas: Venezuela’s National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) has ordered the suspension of CNN en Español and has kicked the network out of the country. Additionally, Andrés Eloy Méndez González, director general of the entity, said on Feb. 16 that the network will also be blocked on the internet.

GENERAL: In the era of short Tweets, Latin American media launch innovative digital projects for long-form journalism

Knight Center: Journalism in the Americas

IRAN: How BBC Persian is using Instagram and Telegram to get around Iranian censorship

Nieman Lab: “This is a social circumvention strategy rather than a social media strategy.”

JORDAN: In Jordan, One ‘Fixer’ Helps Foreign Journalists, And Refugees

VPR: Ihab Mhutaseb is what’s known as a “fixer”: someone who helps foreign journalists cover stories.

JORDAN: More work needed to push women to senior positions in media, sector insiders say

The Jordan Times: Despite their success in the field of media, women in Jordan still represent a “tiny” proportion of decision makers and leaders in the sector, experts agreed on Saturday.

PALESTINE: Palestinians Target Need for Media Reform

The Media Line: A new policy paper examining the legal, legislative, technological and political needs of Palestinian media was presented to journalists in Ramallah on Tuesday.

CANADA: Radio-Canada fuels technological innovation by hosting its first-ever hackathon


CANADA: The people (and donors) have spoken: TVO will continue free over-the-air broadcasting

Ottawa Citizen: TVO has reversed a controversial decision to eliminate free over-the-air broadcasting in many parts of the province, including Ottawa.

US: In Trump Era, Censorship May Start in the Newsroom

The New York Times: This is how the muzzling starts: not with a boot on your neck, but with the fear of one that runs so deep that you muzzle yourself.

US: PBS-commissioned survey finds 73 percent of voters oppose eliminating federal funding for public TV

Current: Though the electorate is divided, both Republicans and Democrats polled in a new survey said they support federal funding for public television.

US: NPR has created a team devoted to covering President Trump’s conflicts of interest

Poynter: How have news organizations covered Donald Trump’s potential conflicts of interest? Very creatively, so far.

US: Popular Domestic Programs Face Ax Under First Trump Budget

The New York Times: The White House budget office has drafted a hit list of programs that President Trump could eliminate to trim domestic spending, including longstanding conservative targets like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Legal Services Corporation, AmeriCorps and the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities.

US: TV broadcasters get another shot at leveraging channels into cash

Current: The FCC’s incentive auction may not have resulted in the jackpot payday that some television broadcasters hoped for, but public broadcasters could still benefit financially through channel-sharing deals.

US: What you need to know about NCPR and federal funding

NCPR: With a new administration in Washington, there’s been a lot of buzz about the possibility of public radio and television stations losing their federal funding.

Get applying for the 2017 Data Journalism Awards

Data Driven Journalism: Made an impressive graph? Discovered a cool story in open data? Data journalism teams from around the world are invited to apply for the 2017 edition of the Data Journalism Awards (DJA).

Panama Papers investigation wins George Polk Award

ICIJ: The Panama Papers investigation has been honored with a George Polk Award for financial journalism, the Polk awards’ sponsor, Long Island University, has announced.

Radio – last bulwark of media freedom and independence

Asia-Pacific Report: Reflection on the role of radio around the world.

Unpacking the black box of digitalization: will “sustainability thinking” empower citizens in a data-driven world?

LSE Media Policy Project: Data and the algorithms that organise it are core to many services in the digitalised world. THis article explores the the ethics of data science and how to increase sustainability, following a workshop on the topic held at LSE last month.

New models for new media

The Economist: Is there life for technology firms beyond Wall Street?

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

All headlines are sourced from their original story.

If you have any suggestions for our weekly round-ups, please email PMA at editor@publicmediaalliance.org.

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