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.

CENTRAL AFRICA: BBC starts Pidgin digital service for West Africa audiences

BBC News: A new language service for digital platforms in English-based Pidgin for West and Central Africa has been launched by the BBC World Service.

GAMBIA: Draft regulatory guidelines on media ownership (Analysis)

Article 19:  The Guidelines are being introduced as part of a broader reform of the broadcasting sector in the country. They are to guide the process of allocating licences to radio and television stations on a provisional basis.

GAMBIA: Govt/GPU Launch Media Reform Package

Via All Africa: The Gambia Press Union (GPU) and the Ministry of Communication and Infrastructure, on Thursday 17 August 2017, held a day long public forum at Ocean Bay Hotel to launch a strategic framework for media reform.

EGYPT: Egypt blocking German govt-backed website

MEMO: The Egyptian authorities have blocked a website run by German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle, according to a Cairo-based rights NGO.

EGYPT: RSF website blocked in Egypt

RSF: Access to the Reporters Without Borders website, which carries information about media freedom violations worldwide in several languages including Arabic, was blocked within Egypt on 14 August.

KENYA: How Kenya became the latest victim of ‘fake news’ (Opinion)

Aljazeera: Disinformation and “fake news” were employed to influence young Kenyans’ vote during the elections.

KENYA: Journalists assaulted and harassed during election

IFJ:  A number of journalists were assaulted, harassed, intimidated and prevented from reporting during the election campaign.

KENYA: Kenyan journalists harassed, detained reporting on election violence

CPJ: In the week following Kenya’s national election, CPJ spoke with 10 journalists who said they were assaulted or harassed in the course of their reporting.

KENYA: Media accused of not playing watchdog role

The Standard: Hours after the results of the presidential elections were announced, when the police were on their brutalisation spree, a certain group of Kenyans started complaining about local media.

NIGERIA: China woos Nigerian media

Vanguard: Vice Minister of Information of the People’s Republic of China, Guo Weimin, has said his country was set to collaborate with the Nigeria media in its bid to further deepen cooperation between the two countries.

NIGERIA: Police Assault Journalists, Delete their Video Recordings

MFWA: A reporter with Silverbird TV in Nigeria, Uyi Amadin, together with his camera man, was on August 8, 2017, brutalised by police officers during a protest rally in the capital, Abuja.

SENEGAL: President’s Cartoon; Senegalese Journalist Freed from Six weeks’ Detention

MFWA: A Senegalese journalist was released on August 11, 2017 after spending over a month in detention for sharing a cartoon of President Macky Sall on whatsApp.

SOMALIA: Somaliland says Somalia attempts to interfere with its telecoms sector

Telecompaper: The semi-autonomous region of Somaliland is claiming that neighbouring Somalia is trying to assert authority over its telecoms sector through a new law.

SOUTHERN AFRICA: China-Africa to scale up cooperation

New Era: A Chinese diplomat has reiterated Sino-Africa cooperation will be upgraded so that this historic friendship accelerates Africa’s industrialisation and agricultural modernisation with funding of US$60 billion from China.`

ZIMBABWE: ZBC starts broadcasting news bulletins on Facebook Live

TechZim: Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) is trialing the broadcasting of its content on Facebook Live.

GENERAL: African Internet speeds and volumes increase but the bar just keeps getting higher

Balancing Act: Recent data shows African Internet speeds that would have been unthinkable ten years ago. But with the arrival of video content, the bar for the speeds required just keeps slipping beyond reach.

AZERBAIJAN: Azerbaijan news agency’s office raided

CPJ: Azerbaijani authorities should stop harassing Turan, the country’s only independent news agency, and should allow it to work without fear of reprisal, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

BANGLADESH: Bangladeshi Journalist’s Case Casts Spotlight on Controversial Law

VoA: When Bangladeshi journalist Abdul Latif Morol was arrested two weeks ago, his case made headlines because of the absurdity of the circumstances.

CHINA: Cambridge University Press faces boycott over China censorship

The Guardian: Academics pressure publisher as Beijing mouthpiece says western institutions can leave if they don’t like ‘the Chinese way’.

CHINA: China’s propaganda machine in overdrive

Aljazeera: Aljazeera explores Beijing’s control and censorship mechanisms before the Communist Party’s 19th Congress.

CHINA: Prove crime before punishment, Chinese authorities urged

IFJ: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) calls upon the Chinese authorities to present credible evidence that certain websites have violated laws as alleged.

HONG KONG: The crowdfunded news agency risking all for Hong Kong scoops

BBC News: When journalists working for Hong Kong’s fledgling Factwire news agency hit the streets of Mong Kok last week, they were looking for evidence to support a shocking story of abduction and torture.

INDIA: Despite massive digital penetration, TV and print still drive revenue in India

The Drum: Despite massive digital penetration, print, press and TV have been the mainstay for marketers in India for many years. It is mainly because of the mass reach they offer and the tried and tested effectiveness.

INDIA & CHINA: Stoking the flames: Loaded media coverage aggravates China, India Standoff

CIMA: Rather than offering objective analysis that could help clarify the stakes, nationalist “chest-thumping” has slanted media coverage by both state and private media outlets in the region.

MYANMAR: Aung San Suu Kyi’s free press dilemma (Commentary)

Reuters: Aung San Suu Kyi is treating the press in Myanmar poorly, and that may impede her efforts to democratize the conflict-wrought country.

MYANMAR: Myanmar retains tough clause in communications law despite calls for repeal

Reuters: Myanmar’s parliament on Friday made minor changes to a controversial telecommunications law, amendments rights monitors say will do little to address concern the law is used to curb criticism of the authorities and reporting of corruption.

NORTH KOREA: BBC braces for backlash over North Korea service

The Guardian: Director of BBC World Service says tensions over North Korea’s nuclear tests vindicate the launch of a targeted service.

PAKISTAN: In Pakistan, press safety hubs provide support and training for journalists at risk

CPJ: CPJ explores a network of “safety hubs” for journalists who face attacks and threats in Pakistan.

PHILIPPINES: Duterte’s ace against ABS-CBN, the Philippines’ biggest network

Rappler: President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to block ABS-CBN’s franchise is a threat to press freedom, experts tell Rappler.

THAILAND: Journalists rap government’s ‘media interference’

Bangkok Post: Journalists have criticised the government for media interference after the director-general of the Public Relations Department asked TV stations to cover each minister during the mobile cabinet meeting in Nakhon Ratchasima early next week.

THAILAND: Thai activist gets prison for posting BBC story about king

ABC News (US): A court in Thailand on Tuesday sentenced a student activist to 2 1/2 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to the charge of lese majeste — or insulting the monarchy — for sharing a BBC article about the country’s new king on Facebook.

AUSTRALIA: ABC chairman Justin Milne defends broadcaster’s role in Australian media landscape

ABC: The chairman of the ABC has defended the public broadcaster’s role in the Australian media industry.

AUSTRALIA: Australia’s screen future is online: time to support our new content creators (Opinion)

The Conversation AU

AUSTRALIA: Media reform battles on

ABC MediaWatch: One Nation targets the ABC in a deal on media reform.

AUSTRALIA: Senate slams ABC cut to shortwave radio

SBS: Senators have slammed the ABC’s decision to cut the transmission of shortwave radio, accusing the public broadcaster of ignoring the bush.

NEW ZEALAND: Broadcasters warned over mining social media

RNZ: Many New Zealanders willingly share things on social media but reckon broadcasters should have their permission to run with it, the Broadcasting Standards Authority has found. Is that realistic now that so much is shared online so widely by so many?

NEW ZEALAND: RNZ Breaks New Ground With ‘Election17’

RNZ: Radio New Zealand has been delivering election results to New Zealanders for decades – the first broadcast media organisation to do so. Next month RNZ’s coverage moves to a whole new level; on seven media platforms including, for the first time, television.

NEW ZEALAND: RNZ undeterred by Indonesian protest over Papua coverage

RNZ: New Zealand’s public broadcaster says a protest in Indonesia won’t deter it from covering West Papua.

NEW ZEALAND & TONGA: RNZI hits back at Tongan media bias claims

Asia Pacific Report: Radio New Zealand International’s presenter of Dateline Pacific, Don Wiseman, has suggested Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva’s son read the New Zealand broadcaster’s website more carefully before accusing it of media bias.

SAMOA: Editor says Samoa PM’s comments insulting

RNZ: The editor of a newspaper in Samoa says comments by the prime minister that local journalists are lazy are insulting.

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: Partial Solutions for Saving Broadcasting Service in Bosnia and Herzegovina

SEENPM: Representatives of the power company Elektroprivreda BiH and two Sarajevo-based public broadcasting services, the national BHRT and the entity RTV FBiH, signed a business contract on the collection of TV license fee together with electricity bills.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Fighting Fake News, Disinformation and Hate in the Czech Media

EJO: Freedom to publish on the internet and the expansion of social networks have brought unprecedented communication possibilities to the Czech Republic, as well as an influx of fake news, hoaxes, and disinformation.

GERMANY: DVB-T2 migration gives big boost to German set-top sales

Digital TV Europe: Germany’s migration from the DVB-T digital-terrestrial TV standard to the more modern DVB-T2 format provided a bonanza for set-top box sales in the first half of this year, according to the latest figures.

IRELAND: Broadcaster won’t release gender pay gap data

Independent: RTÉ has refused to release details of its gender pay gap because it could be “injurious” and “would not serve the public interest”.

ITALY: Italian TV licence fee payers surge to 22 million

Telecompaper: The decision to add the Italian TV licence to household electricity and gas bills has seen the number of payers rising 34 percent year on year from 16.5 million in 2015 to 22.2 million in 2016, according to the country’s revenue agency.

KOSOVO: Attack on journalist widely condemned

OBC Transeuropa: Condemnations have poured in today (Thursday, Aug. 17) after an attack on a prominent Kosovar journalist.

MACEDONIA: The MRT reform must be supported with more funding

Safe Journalists:Two key issues are important to explain the demand for more funding for the public service compared with current – investment in people and in technology. Although at first glance it looks contrary, MRT faces staff problems and problems with lack of technology even though in the last decade were made certain investments.

NETHERLANDS: KPN to prepare for DVB-T2 switchover

Broadband TV News: Dutch incumbent telecom operator KPN is preparing to switch its DTT network, called Digitenne, over to the DVB-T2/HEVC(H.265) standard.

NORWAY: In Norway, four newsrooms are working together to produce and share fact-checks

Journalism.co.uk: Faktisk is a collaborative fact-checking project between VG, Dagbladet, NRK and TV 2.

POLAND: Financial blow for TVP

Broadband TV News: The Polish public broadcaster TVP has plunged deeper into the red, posting a net loss of PLN176.75 million (€41.41 million) in 2016.

POLAND: Polish govt draws up law on paying public media fees along with taxes

Telecompaper: According to the Polish Deputy Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Jaroslaw Sellin, the TV and radio licence fees will be paid along with income taxes and the agricultural social insurance fund, reported Telko.in. The ministry will introduce a draft new act in autumn.

ROMANIA: Romanian Broadcast Watchdog Mulls Permit for Russian TV

Balkan Insight: Romania’s Audiovisual Council is considering whether a Moldovan television station that rebroadcasts Russian programs can operate in Romania, amid fears that it will spread pro-Kremlin propaganda.

SERBIA: Serbian media group files 150 lawsuits, claiming ‘repression’

ECPMF: The move came in reaction to an alleged smear campaign in pro-government media targeting Adria’s flagship tabloid Kurir and the group’s owner, Aleksandar Radic.

SWEDEN: New book addresses 250 years of freedom of expression in Sweden (Book)

Nordicom: Last year Sweden’s Freedom of the Press Act, the first legislation of its kind in the world, celebrated 250 years. The newly released book, ‘The Legacy of Peter Forsskål. 250 Years of Freedom of Expression’, sheds light on the history of free speech based on Peter Forsskål and his 21 theses on civil liberty.

SWEDEN: ‘Swedish police should prioritize crimes against freedom of speech’

The Local: The Local speaks to Sweden’s Culture and Democracy Minister Alice Bah Kuhnke about the government’s plan to crack down on threats and hate against politicians, journalists and artists.

UK: BBC iPlayer gets 236m programme requests in July

Digital TV Europe: The BBC iPlayer received 236 million requests for TV content in July, with viewing on mobiles, tablets and connected TVs all up year on year.

UK: BBC World Service kicks off its biggest expansion in more than 70 years, readying 12 new languages

Nieman Lab: “It wasn’t only about launching the new teams itself…The way we are launching new services impacts in a very big editorial way how we’re running existing ones.”

UK: NUJ demands IPSO inquiry on press racism

NUJ: The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has called on the press watchdog, IPSO, to carry out an immediate investigation into the prevalence of Islamophobia, racism and hatred espoused in the British press.

GENERAL: How Europe Is Fighting Back Against Fake News

The Hollywood Reporter: From new fact-checking software to fining Facebook and shaming Twitter, Europeans hope to prevent a tide of disinformation from influencing national elections and spreading hate.

BRAZIL: Chicas Poderosas organizes a series of workshops on design thinking to encourage media innovation in Brazil

Knight Centre for Journalism in the Americas: International organization Chicas Poderosas is furthering its mission of joining women journalists and technology in today’s newsrooms with a series of design thinking workshops that will launch Aug. 22 in Rio de Janeiro.

BRAZIL: Brazilian Journalism Research issue on gender (CFP)

Journalism Research News: The journal Brazilian Journalism Studies is calling for papers for its issue on “journalism and gender”.

BRAZIL: Multistakeholder internet governance under attack in Brazil

CIMA: Once a shining example of the power of socioeconomic inclusion and the effectiveness of strengthening civic participation, the political upheaval in Brazil over the past two years has destabilized democratic gains once thought to be well established.

CARIBBEAN: Five Caribbean states work on new law for joint regulator

Capacity Media: Five Caribbean states are to enact a new telecommunications law to replace existing regulations that date back to 2000.

COLOMBIA: Colombia deploys €8MN, EU-funded project to boost DTT

Rapid TV News: Colombia’s Autoridad Nacional de Televisión (ANTV) and the European Union have kicked off an €8 million agreement to boost DTT deployment across the country.

HONDURAS: Lawyers back Honduran journalists against law that could violate freedom of expression

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: The Honduran Bar Association joined dozens of journalists who protested the morning of Aug. 16 outside the Supreme Court in Tegucigalpa to demand the repeal of Article 335-B of the Honduran Penal Code, which they consider to be contrary to freedom of expression.

JAMAICA: Press association urges Gov’t to improve access to information law

Jamaica Observer: President of the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) Dionne Jackson Miller is urging the Government to heed the many calls for the amendments to the Access to Information (ATI) Act to be brought to Parliament, something she says has been promised by successive administrations.

MEXICO: Mexico awards licences to 32 new DTT channels

Telecompaper: Mexico’s Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) has announced that a total of 13 companies were awarded licences for 32 channels in the company’s latest DTT frequency tender.

PERU: Using radio to confront climate change in Peru

Aljazeera: Radio hosts use indigenous language radio broadcasts in Peruvian Amazon to raise awareness and rally isolated villages.

GENERAL: Free services fail to halt march of OTT and SVOD in Latin America

Rapid TV News: A perceived preference for free services and the ever-present threat of piracy in Latin America may be somewhat exaggerated according to research from Digital TV Research which shows burgeoning over-the-top (OTT) and subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) markets.

GENERAL: Latin American media outlets create partnerships with universities to produce journalistic content

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas

GENERAL: Women take the lead in Latin America’s digital media startup landscape

IJNET: Women are taking a leadership role in the development of digital journalism in Latin America, according to a new study of 100 startups.

IRAN: Iran judiciary freezes assets of BBC Persian staff

BBC News: The BBC has called on the Iranian authorities to reverse a new order that appears to effectively freeze the assets of its staff in Iran.

ISRAEL: Journalists fear for safety as Netanyahu ups war on media

Al Monitor: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attacks on the media are creating a climate that threatens journalists’ lives.

QATAR: Press Freedom Gets Short Shrift in the Standoff over Al-Jazeera

Freedom House: None of the governments involved in the Qatar crisis are genuinely interested in independent media.

YEMEN: How the Saudis are making it almost impossible to report on their war in Yemen

The New Statesman: The conflict is not getting anything like the media attention it deserves.

YEMEN: “Nobody is listening to us”

Index: Yemeni journalist Abdulaziz Muhammad al-Sabri details the dangers of reporting in his country.

CANADA: Canada funds citizen journalism program to promote peace in Middle East and North Africa

Radio Canada International: The federal government is contributing over $168,000 for an innovative program to promote peace by training Israeli, Palestinian and other Middle Eastern and North African young leaders to tell their own stories.

CANADA: “OK, I need to do something about this”: The Uncharted Journalism Fund is funding stories that wouldn’t be told otherwise

Nieman Lab: What if you got so fed up with the problems of funding journalism that you just got a bunch of people together and decided to fund it yourself?

US: CNN is ditching its Snapchat Discover magazine in favor of a daily Snapchat news show

Recode: CNN hopes millennials want to get their news on Snapchat.

US: Diversity in newsrooms has been bad for decades and it probably won’t get better: study

CJR: A new study says some of the biggest newsrooms in the country are still failing to fulfill a nearly 50-year-old pledge to increase the employment of people of color in top masthead positions, despite repeated reviews and greater coverage of the issue.

US: Music station leaders discuss challenges in expanding digital presence

Current: A session at the Public Radio Program Directors Conference had spent 45 minutes reviewing challenges music stations face from digital competitors when an audience member asked: Should public radio build its own Spotify?

US: New Mexico PBS: ‘A neighborhood expression of care’

UNM Newsroom: New Mexico PBS (KNME), located in Albuquerque, NM, is one of the most prolific stations in the Southwest, one of the most watched and one of the most successful in per capita fundraising in the country. Dually-owned and licensed by The University of New Mexico and Albuquerque Public Schools (APS), this station serves the New Mexico community through its broadcast of programs tailored to the community it serves.

US: Nonprofit news sites win grants for collaborative projects

Current: Winners of grants from the Center for Cooperative Media are pursuing a smorgasbord of topics through collaborative reporting projects.

US: RSF condemns the violent assaults on journalists covering Charlottesville protests

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the violent assaults and harassment of journalists covering the “Unite the Right” protest and counter-protests in Virginia this weekend, where at least four media professionals were punched in the face, sprayed with urine and hit with a stick.

18 data sources for investigative journalists
Journalism.co.uk: Looking for data on who owns a company, government spending or political influence? Use these resources to get started.

Code for tolerance: How tech companies can respond to hate but respect human rights


Cyberattacks are getting worse – are you protected?

IJNET: In the last year, we’ve seen an exponential rise in both the frequency and intensity of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) and other cyberattacks aimed at silencing journalists and digital news sites.

How can I protect my camera in extreme weather conditions?

BBC Academy: Filming in extreme weather conditions can be exciting for you but hazardous for your camera. Here’s what to look out for when faced with extreme heat, cold, moisture or dust. Discover what can happen to your camera – and how to prevent problems.

How journalists can detect electronic surveillance


How to create video news that rocks in social media (Paper)

Reuters Institute for the study of journalism: Since late 2015, video has gained prominence and enriched its features on all major social media platforms. With half of online users considering social media a major source for news discovery, newsrooms are struggling to find a successful formula to adapt their content to the new format-trend.

In the Service of Power: Media Capture & the Threat to Democracy (Publication)

CIMA: The threats to independent journalism no longer come only from direct forms of state control. Where advocates of a vibrant public sphere once mobilized against the suppression and censorship of news, they now must also contend with the more complex challenge of media capture…

Journalists discuss mistakes that helped them improve their craft

IJNET: IJNet asked experienced journalists from different fields about the mistakes that helped them become better. Here are their responses.

News or opinion? Online, it’s hard to tell

Poynter: News organizations aren’t doing enough to help readers understand the difference between news, analysis and opinion. We at the Duke Reporters’ Lab reached that conclusion after conducting a new study that found only 40 percent of large news organizations provide labels about article types — and nearly all of those only label opinion columns.

Why mobile will dominate news media by 2020

Journalism.co.uk: Glen Mulcahy, head of innovation, RTÉ Tech, explains how advances in technology will change both the way journalists work and audiences consume content.

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Header image: Radio tower in San Francisco. Image: Orin Zebest/Creative Commons