Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays

As we approach the end of 2020, we’re reminded of the extraordinary work of public service media employees worldwide in providing quality news as well as much needed entertainment and educational resources throughout this unprecedented year.

While the pandemic is far from over, public media have been central to the fight against disinformation and ensuring that citizens have access to sources of critical and accurate information.

In our last PSM Weekly of 2020, the PMA Team want to wish all of our members, readers and supporters a happy and healthy festive season. Next week we will look back at 2020 with a roundup of the challenges faced by public media as well as the stories that remind us why independent PSM and public interest media remain vital to underpinning informed democracy.

We 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 watching...

Telling the whole story: The constructive journalism challenge (Watch)

Deutsche Welle: With the media increasingly accused of a negativity bias, more journalists are turning to constructive journalism. The final GMF digital session of 2020 discussed the possibilities and challenges of this approach.

What we're listening to...

Our podcast: how 2020 changed journalism

RISJ: In this episode of our ‘Future of Journalism’ podcast, we look at how journalism has been affected by the year’s world-changing events

Global Headlines

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

CAMEROON: ‘Being a journalist marks me with a bull’s eye’

Deutsche Welle: What if you are a striving woman journalist in a country like Cameroon where patriarchy is the norm? Mimi Mefo knows what it’s like.

ETHIOPIA: For Ethiopia’s Diaspora, Seeking News Amid Communication Blackout is a Challenge

VOA: When violence erupted in Ethiopia’s Tigray region between the federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) last month, those living in the global diaspora scrambled for information.

GHANA: Press Freedom Violations During 2020 Elections in Ghana Must Be Redressed–MFWA


LESOTHO: COVID-19 Media Relief Fund launched in Lesotho

SABC News: The Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) in Lesotho has launched a COVID-19 Media Relief Fund for media practitioners in distress.

LIBERIA: RSF urges Liberian authorities to investigate threats against journalists

RSF: A dozen cases of bullying and death threats against journalists have been recorded in Liberia since October. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the authorities to actively investigate these infringements of freedom of the press.

MALI: Rising concerns over press freedom as the state of emergency was restored in Mali

Africa News: The Media in Mali on Sunday expressed concern over the threats on press freedom as the state of emergency was restored.

NIGER: Elections 2020 in Niger: Partisanship, Censorship and Fear of Press Freedom Violations

MFWA: About 7.4 million voters in Niger are expected to cast their ballots on Sunday 27th December in a highly contentious presidential and legislative elections.

NIGERIA: Experts Call for Improved Media Freedom in Nigeria

Via All Africa: “Press freedom is essential to any democracy. If there is no press freedom, democracy can’t work.”

SOUTH AFRICA: South African government owes R57 million in SABC TV licence fees

Channel 24

SOUTH AFRICA: South Africans Petition Govt Against Proposed Netflix Licence Fees

Technext: Many South Africans are jumping on an online petition initiated by the country’s main opposition party, Democratic Alliance (DA) in protest against the government’s plans to mandate streaming services such as Netflix and DStv’s Showmax to collect TV licence payments.

TANZANIA: Tanzania ‘using Twitter’s copyright policy to silence activists’

BBC News: Twitter’s policy that deals with the infringement of copyright is increasingly being used to maliciously target accounts run by Tanzanian human rights activists in order to silence them, internet rights campaigners allege.

THE GAMBIA: On press freedom! (Editorial)

The Point: Annually, hundreds of journalists around the world continue to face threats and even imprisonment for not giving in to government censorship.

UGANDA: COVID-19 regulations used to curb online rights

IFEX: In the run up to elections, Ugandan authorities are honing in on regulations meant to curb COVID-19 and using them to restrict online digital rights.

UGANDA: CPJ Safety Advisory: Covering Uganda’s elections

CPJ: On January 14, 2021, incumbent Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni will seek a sixth term, amid challenges from opposition candidates Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, and Patrick Oboi Amuriat, according to multiple news reports. During the general election campaign, security personnel have arrested both candidates and violently dispersed political rallies and protests, according to those reports.

UGANDA: Order to remove opposition channels on Youtube must be challenged

Article 19: ARTICLE 19 East Africa, together with 27 other organisations, have published an open letter urging Alphabet Inc. to challenge the Ugandan government’s request seeking for the removal of 14 opposition Youtube channels. 

REGIONAL: Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda rank top for rapid digital growth, demand

The East African: Kenya ranked top within the region in digital growth and demand, according to the latest Digital Intelligence Index payments firm Mastercard and the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

CHINA: RSF urges for immediate release of Bloomberg journalist and former New York Times photographer

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges for the immediate release of Bloomberg news assistant and former New York Times photographer, two Chinese nationals, recently placed in detention in Beijing.

CHINA: China worst offender in record-breaking year for jailing of journalists

The Guardian: Number of journalists imprisoned globally for their work hits new record in 2020.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong court rejects journalist association’s legal challenge against police ‘ill-treatment’ of press at protests

HKFP: A Hong Kong court has rejected a legal challenge put forward by the Hong Kong Journalists’ Association (HKJA)  against the police over the “ill treatment” of journalists during last year’s anti-extradition bill protests.

INDIA: India Plummets 17 Spots on Human Freedom Index, Ranked 111th Out of 162 Nations

The Wire: India was ranked 111th out of 162 countries in the Human Freedom Index 2020 report released by the Cato Institute, plummeting 17 spots from its position in the last index.

INDIA: Journalists in India face attacks, legal action, and threats

CPJ: In September and October 2020, lists circulating online allegedly identifying journalists as “anti-Hindu” or as “Indian agents” named dozens of local members of the press, police opened investigations into at least two reporters and one media executive, and authorities attacked at least one journalist during the course of his reporting, according to news reports and journalists who spoke with CPJ.

INDIA: Prasar Bharati CEO elected vice president of Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union

Outlook India: Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati was on Wednesday elected as the vice president of Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, one of the largest broadcasting associations in the world, a Ministry of Information and Broadcasting ministry statement said.

JAPAN: Is Japan Immune From China’s Media Influence Operations?

The Diplomat: China’s efforts to shape political debates and thinking in other countries are multiplying rapidly. Efforts to build what the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) calls “discourse power” have spurred media influence operations across the Asia-Pacific region. 

JAPAN:  NHK President on the SDGs campaign ‘Mirai e 17 Action (For the Future – 17 Actions)’ (Comment – Press Release)

NHK: I would like to explain about a new public media campaign on the SDGs ‘Mirai e 17 Action (For the Future – 17 Actions)’ and its first project ‘Chikyu no Mirai (The Future of the Earth)’.

MYANMAR: YouTube faces complaints of lax approach on overseas election misinformation

Reuters: After facing heavy criticism for not doing enough to stem misinformation ahead of the U.S. presidential election, YouTube announced last week it would remove videos that alleged fraud had changed the outcome of the contest.

PAKISTAN: Silencing journalism (Editorial)

The News International: “Pakistan and its neighbours, India and Afghanistan, figure amongst the top 10 countries seen by the IFJ as being the most dangerous for journalists.”

PAKISTAN: Social media curbs shrink free speech space

Deutsche Welle: New rules introduced by the Pakistani government to control social media use have triggered concerns among global tech firms and rights activists.

PHILIPPINES: Philippine journalist Maria Ressa says new libel case “ludicrous”


SOUTH KOREA: KBS Chief Calls for Global Media Cooperation in Overcoming COVID-19 Crisis 

KBS: The head of the Korean Broadcasting System(KBS) called for global cooperation in overcoming challenges the media is facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

SRI LANKA: Government clarifies no move to register social media users

MENAFN: Government insists there is no move to register social media users in Sri Lanka.

UZBEKISTAN: Uzbek parliament moves to criminalize ‘dissemination of false information’

CPJ: Uzbek authorities should halt attempts to criminalize sharing allegedly false information and ensure that journalists can operate freely without fear of reprisal, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

AUSTRALIA: ABC launches the Australia Talks Data Explorer

ABC: The results of Australia’s largest ever national survey are now available to all Australians to explore with the launch of the ABC’s Australia Talks Data Explorer.

AUSTRALIA: Coalition to overhaul laws on whistleblowing and public interest journalism 

The Guardian: Government’s response to intelligence inquiry and Moss review includes changing search warrant rules in wake of raids on ABC and Annika Smethurst.

AUSTRALIA: China’s Communist Party accused of influencing Australia’s Chinese-language media

ABC News: Australia’s media has faced “persistent efforts” by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to influence and censor content, according to a new report from an Australian think tank.

AUSTRALIA: Educating Nick Tabakoff in The Australian on the 50:50 Project

ABC: It’s a shame to see Nick Tabakoff in today’s The Australian misrepresenting the global 50:50 Project and the ABC’s efforts to help it succeed locally. 

AUSTRALIA: Google rejects plan to make it pay for news in Australia despite law being watered down

The Guardian: Tech giant says proposed code requiring payments to publishers ‘still falls far short’ of being workable and wants it further weakened.

AUSTRALIA: Government agrees to recommendations to strengthen press freedom but union says more changes needed 

ABC: Search warrants against journalists and whistleblowers will have to be signed off by senior judges, under changes the Federal Government argues will strengthen press freedom in Australia.

FIJI: Relief effort swings into action in cyclone-hit Fiji

RNZ: Authorities in Fiji have distributed 10,000 food packs to people affected by Cyclone Yasa, as the aid effort in the country’s north gets underway.

NEW ZEALAND: 2020 hindsight – media in the year of Covid-19 (Listen)

RNZ: It was the worst of times for the media industry but in spite of that, many people produced the work of their lives to give us crucial news-you-could-use in a crisis – as well as sorely needed entertainment. 

ALBANIA: Albania: Police attack and arrest journalists covering protests 

EFJ: Four journalists were arrested on 11 and 12 December while covering protests against the murder of Klodian Rasha in Tirana. 

AUSTRIA: Government advertising spending at record high (German)

Der Standard: The government applied for and its measures in 2020 as expensive as never before. The advertisements are also intended to support corona-crisis media. But the common practice of indirect press funding is controversial.

BELGIUM: Flemish government announces new culture channel Podium 19 (Dutch)

De Morgen: At a press conference of the Flemish government, Prime Minister Jan Jambon (N-VA), who is also responsible for culture, had good news in store for that sector. In addition to an updated arts decree, which will grant longer work subsidies, there will also be a brand new culture channel. Podium 19 will be available for free from 21 January via VRT NU, Proximus and Telenet.

BELGIUM: VRT: Media that really matters (Press Release)

VRT: The Flemish Government and VRT reach an accord on the new Management Agreement.

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: Suing to Silence: Lawsuits Used to Censor Bosnian Journalists

Balkan Insight: Public officials are behind the overwhelming majority of defamation cases brought against Bosnian journalists, dragging them through expensive and often lengthy court proceedings that make many think twice about the stories they choose to write.

FINLAND: Pikku Kakkonen’s Media World develops children’s media skills – Yle and Särkänniemi sign letter of intent to build the first media world (Press release – Finnish)

Yle: Yle is developing an experiential environment for children aged 3–13, the purpose of which is to strengthen children’s media literacy. Pikku Kakkonen’s concept of the Media World is currently being refined together with organizations and researchers focused on media education, culture and child protection.

FRANCE: “Global security” law: the Council of Europe urges the Senate to amend the text (French)

Le Monde: Article 24 of the proposed law “undermines freedom of expression” as it stands, believes the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights.

FRANCE: Radio France signs new agreements with independent music labels (French)

France24: Radio France announced Thursday the signing of a new music agreement with the Civil Society of Phonogram Producers in France (SPPF), which represents more than 2,000 independent producers, to “better expose and enhance” the creations broadcast on its channels and on Internet.

GERMANY: 2020: ZDF with information and entertainment from the most watched TV channels (Press release – German) 

ZDF: With a market share of 13.7 percent (as of December 13, 2020), ZDF is at the top of all TV channels in Germany for the ninth time. The ZDFmediathek is also growing significantly: with an average of 4.57 million visits per day, usage increased by around 50 percent compared to the previous year. Corona has changed media use and media behavior: In addition to great interest in reliable information, many people also wanted distraction and entertainment. 

GERMANY: Politicians want to decide how they are reported (German)

Deutschlandfunk: Saxony-Anhalt blocks a higher broadcast fee. This has an impact on democracy, comments Bettina Schmieding. Politics, especially in East Germany, hold the broadcasters at too high a cost. But read between the lines: Besides, you do not report as we would like.

ITALY: Who Funds Journalism in Italy?

CMDS@CEU: Advertising is the most important source of income in the Italian news media market, where television is still the most popular platform, dominated by two historical players.

LUXEMBOURG: Draft bill approved: Radio 100,7 to become ‘public service media’ 

RTL Today: The draft law seeks to strengthen Luxembourg’s public service radio by modernising its governance and establishing sustainable financing. 

MALTA: Threats to the independence of the public inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia must stop

Article 19: Today marks 38 months since Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated in Malta, yet barriers to justice remain. The undersigned organisations condemn the continued threats made by the Maltese Government against the independent public inquiry into the circumstances of the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, and its three board members. 

MONTENEGRO: Montenegrin Govt Urged to Commit to Press Freedom Reforms 

Balkan Insight: A group of media organisations has called on the new government in Podgorica to carry out the reforms needed to rebuild and maintain true media freedom in the country.

NETHERLANDS: Will the NPO become the lifeline for the cultural sector? (Opinion – Dutch) 

De Volkskrant: Let Hilversum help the cultural sector through the winter, is the current idea. And who knows, it might spark a new discussion about the value of culture at the NPO.

POLAND: Poland: Media pluralism greatly endangered by oil firm’s Polska Press takeover 

EFJ: A long-awaited drive by Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party to bring independent media to heel has started with the planned purchase by Orlen, a state-controlled petro chemical giant, of Polska Press, owned by Germany’s Passauer capital group which has dominated regional newspapers and magazines for over a quarter of a century.

SLOVENIA: Slovenia’s national press agency at risk after funding slashed 

Deutsche Welle: The right-wing government of Prime Minister Janez Jansa has cut funding for Slovenia’s public press agency, claiming the service hasn’t accounted for its spending. Rights groups have decried the threat to press freedom.

SPAIN:  Appearance of Rosa María Mateo in the Senate (Spanish)

RTVE: The sole provisional administrator of RTVE, Rosa María Mateo, said this Friday in the Senate, in her parliamentary appearance in December, that her main concern during the time that the Corporation has directed has been ” the defense of a true radio and television public service”. [Mateo also announced the launch of a new digital platform in 2021].

SPAIN: Congress restarts the public renewal tender in RTVE (Spanish)

La Vanguardia: The Board of Congress has decided to restart the process of renewal of the RTVE Council, pending since 2018, while it has decided to examine in January the 93 professionals who presented themselves to the 2018 public tender. Among them, the groups will propose names to the Plenary Congress to elect the six members that correspond to it.

SPAIN: Spain’s public broadcaster looks for a future-proof model (Opinion) 

IPI: Pandemic underscores need for “depoliticization” and new governance structures.

UK: BBC Studios is to launch a new global streaming service 

Broadband TV News: BBC Select will make its debut in the United States and Canada early next year. The service will launch on Amazon Prime Video and the Apple TV app.

UK: Government mulls Ofcom regulation for Netflix and other streamers 

Digital TV Europe: Tensions between the UK government and Netflix appear to be approaching an all time high, with a culture minister suggesting that the streamer could be brought under Ofcom regulation.

UK: The BBC now has a brilliant opportunity to change how we represent disability (Opinion)

iNews: The broadcaster must not be deflected from its duty of representing the most vulnerable in society.

UK: More than 1bn plays on BBC Sounds in 2020 and That Peter Crouch Podcast most popular of year

BBC: Podcast listening continues to climb and is up 21 percent. 

UK: The threats to tear down the BBC have not gone away. Watch this space  (Opinion)

The Guardian: Amid the information chaos of Covid, the national broadcaster is more vital than ever.

ARGENTINA: First meeting of the Gender and Public Media Commission (Spanish) At the opening of the meeting, Andrea Mallimaci, general director of Press and Communication highlighted the role of the public media in the construction of a deep institutional and cultural transformation that incorporates the perspective of gender and diversity . 

ARGENTINA: Santa Cruz approved a new law on public media and the opposition denounces it saying it violates freedom of expression (Spanish)

La Nacion: The Legislature of Santa Cruz yesterday approved a new organization for the province’s public media that includes the creation of a Public Media Observatory.

BRAZIL: In Brazil, a push for pluralism

Nieman Lab: The political and public health crises Brazilians faced in 2020 have made journalism stronger. Public agents’ erratic and irresponsible management of efforts against the spread of the coronavirus helped the press claim its role as a key player in defense of people’s lives.

JAMAICA: Surviving Facebook And Google

The Gleaner: In our neck of the woods, last week’s antitrust lawsuits in America to break up Facebook have, understandably, grabbed people’s attention. Little noted, however, was a development in Australia affecting Facebook, Google, and other social media behemoths that is worth the notice of Jamaica’s and other Caribbean governments.

MEXICO: Mexico world’s deadliest country for journalists, new report finds 

The Guardian: Mexico was the deadliest country in the world for the media in 2020, accounting for almost a third of journalists killed this year, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, which investigates attacks against the press globally.

NICARAGUA: Two years after the assault and occupation of Confidencial (Spanish – Opinion) 

Confidencial: Two years ago, at midnight on December 13, 2018, the Police at the service of Daniel Ortega’s regime assaulted and looted the editorial offices of CONFIDENCIAL and Esta Semana, without a court order . A day later, the outrage continued with the permanent occupation of our newsroom by armed elements of the Police, who have been there for 24 months.

PANAMA: Police are condemned for beating journalists, second case in two months (Spanish) 

La Estrella: In less than two months, two journalists have been attacked by agents of the National Police of Panama because of their work.

REGIONAL: 11 laws and bills against disinformation in Latin America carry fines, prison and censorship

Knight Center: As in the rest of the world, in Latin America, disinformation and fake news on the Internet spread rapidly and cause social damage, impacting public policies and electoral processes, among other harm. As a result, several governments and legislators on the continent have proposed and approved laws to curb them, including the imposition of prison sentences.

REGIONAL: Organizations from Mercosur region ask for end to judicial harassment of journalists

Knight Center: “Organizations that defend journalism in the Mercosur region released a joint note calling for an end to judicial harassment of journalists investigating corruption. 

IRAQ: Reporter’s Notebook: Navigating Threats in Iraqi Kurdistan

VOA News: Crouching behind the smoke of a burning tire left by anti-government protesters, I tried to shoot a photo of the approaching security forces. As they moved closer, one member of the security forces spotted the camera in my hand, pointed a baton at me and shouted, “Move that camera or I will cut your throat!” In many parts of the world, threatening to cut the throat of a journalist might sound like dark humor, but where I report, it is a dark reality.

IRAQ: Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns a wave of press freedom violations in northern Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Region, where at least 10 journalists have been arrested while covering peaceful protests during the past week…

LEBANON: Supporters of Lebanese president attack Al-Jadeed TV office in Beirut

CPJ: Lebanese authorities should do their utmost to identify and hold to account those responsible for the attack on the Beirut office of independent broadcaster Al-Jadeed TV, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

QATAR: Dozens of Al Jazeera journalists targeted in phone hacking

AIB: Dozens of journalists working for Al Jazeera are reported to have been targeted by spyware that appears to have been deployed by the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

TURKEY: In Turkey, All-Women’s News Network Fights for Survival (Watch)

VOA News: In Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, a news network staffed entirely by women is taking the lead in reporting on women and human rights. But the groundbreaking JIN News agency is increasingly targeted in what the government claims is its battle against terrorism. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul.

TURKEY: Instructions from the presidential palace (German)

Deutschlandfunk: Fifteen years ago, Turkey was still in the solid midfield on the press freedom ranking. Today the government dictates how newsrooms should write. 

TURKEY: Let Turkey’s journalists report freely 

Euobserver: Last month, the International Press Institute (IPI) published Turkey’s Journalists on the Ropes, the latest report on the dramatic press freedom situation in Turkey. The report, which summarises the outcome of a press freedom mission carried out by 11 international groups in October, paints a depressing picture of the environment for journalism in the country.

TURKEY: To finally solve the Hrant Dink murder, Turkey must ‘face itself’

CPJ: After nearly 14 years and multiple court cases, the 2007 murder of Hrant Dink, a Turkish journalist of Armenian origin, remains largely unsolved even as the extended main trial appears to be set to draw to a close.

YEMEN: Report: Daesh, Yemen’s Houthis top list of detainees of journalists

MEMO: Yemen Houthis have topped the list of groups who kidnap journalists and use them as bargaining chips, coming only second to Daesh, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said in a new report.

REGIONAL: Middle East and North African countries amongst highest jailers of journalists in 2020 (Watch) 

Middle East Eye: A number of countries in the Middle East and North Africa were among the world’s highest jailers of journalists in 2020, according to reports released this week.

CANADA: Canada steps up for journalism

Nieman Lab: “Canada has shown leadership in securing a future for journalism — but there is more that can be done.”

CANADA: CBC/Radio-Canada and Canada Council for the Arts unveil showcase of “Digital Originals” projects

CBC/Radio-Canada: CBC/Radio-Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts today unveiled a diverse selection of digital projects created by Canadians artists, the result of funding from the Digital Originals initiative, announced in April.

CANADA: New NCM-CAJ membership amplifies multicultural voices in Canadian media

Newswire: New Canadian Media (NCM), the premier non-profit news portal that showcases journalism from a distinctly immigrant perspective, has partnered with the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) to offer a joint membership program to help amplify multicultural voices in Canadian journalism. 

CANADA: Synergies event aims to bring more diverse voices to French radio

CBC/Radio-Canada: Radio-Canada held its third Synergies event on December 2, this time organized by the Community Inclusion and Radio teams in conjunction with Concertation Montréal‘s Groupe de Trente – a group of thirty inspiring leaders from diverse backgrounds. 

US: A Record Number Of Journalists Were Arrested In 2020, Most Covering Racial Unrest

Forbes: A record number of journalists were arrested this year in the United States, according to a report released Monday by the Freedom of the Press Foundation, which found a “staggering” increase in detentions and assaults—a vast majority of which occurred during national unrest following the death of George Floyd. 

US: It’s time for Indigenous issues to get long-overdue mainstream coverage

Poynter: If 2020 leaves us with any lesson, it’s that the narrative cannot be driven from a white male perspective. Every single journalist, each of our sources and the members of our audience embody numerous traits…

US: Press freedoms in peril: Report details unprecedented attacks in 2020 on journalists in America

Milwaukee Independent: A new report draws a “devastating” picture of press freedoms in the United States, finding that 2020 has seen a 1200% increase in the number of journalists arrested compared to 2019.

US: The commercial era for local journalism is over (Opinion)

Nieman Lab: Amid the wreckage of our local news media, this coming year will witness the early shoots of a new post-commercial journalism. Driving this transformation will be two trajectories of structural reform — one salvaging what’s left of existing newsrooms, the other expanding public infrastructures to provide access to news and information for all Americans.

US: The truth in Black and white: An apology from The Kansas City Star

The Kansas City Star: Today we are telling the story of a powerful local business that has done wrong. For 140 years, it has been one of the most influential forces in shaping Kansas City and the region. And yet for much of its early history — through sins of both commission and omission — it disenfranchised, ignored and scorned generations of Black Kansas Citians. 

US: There are flickers of hope for local journalism. So far, it’s not nearly enough. (Paywall) 

The Washington Post: “Increasingly under the control of corporate chains backed by private equity firms, far too many American newsrooms are hemorrhaging staff. Fifty-five news outlets have closed for good since the pandemic began — and that’s on top of more than 2,000 newspapers that have folded since 2004. Thousands of local journalists have been fired or furloughed.”

US: USAGM Proposes Cutting Federal Funding to OTF 

VOA News: The U.S. Agency for Global Media has proposed blocking federal funding to the Open Technology Fund, an independent nonprofit that uses the money to award grants to projects aimed at improving internet freedom.

US: Washington Post to add more than 150 jobs next year, bringing newsroom to record size

The Hill: The Washington Post plans to add more than 150 jobs to its newsroom next year, bringing its total staff to a record high of more than 1,000, the newspaper confirmed to The Hill on Thursday. 

Freedom: another casualty of Covid-19 pandemic

France24: Measures imposed by governments to fight the Covid-19 pandemic have squeezed civil liberties worldwide, with authoritarian regimes seeking to exploit the restrictions as a way to shore up their sometimes shaky control on fast-changing societies, rights groups say.

How freelance journalists adapted to make it through 2020

Poynter: Professional pivots, new projects, less travel, fresh opportunities: Five freelancers share how they managed the ups and downs of a chaotic year.

How gendered disinformation adapts to the context of Covid-19

EFJ: The EU DisinfoLab published their report tracking misogynistic disinformation during Covid-19 on 4 December, in solidarity with the #16DaysofActivism2020 against gender-based violence.

Innovation and a sharper focus: how local news is weathering the coronavirus storm

Reuters Institute: Newspapers have seen record audiences, rising orders for home delivery and readers who buy subscriptions for the elderly, finds Rachael Jolley.

Just let journalists do our jobs (Opinion)

CNN: Why 2020 will be a decisive year for journalism. 

Liz Corbin: ‘24 Hours for the Future of Journalism’ Speech (Watch)

EBU: Liz Corbin, EBU Head of News, delivers a keynote address to ‘24 Hours for the Future of Journalism’, a Constructive Journalism Institute conference.

Media literacy: here is our new toolkit for teachers and students (Resource)

EFJ: The Austrian and German Press Councils release today their Media Literacy Toolkit for teachers and students which consist of six case studies and roleplay exercises identified by European Press Councils from Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Finland and Germany.

Record number of journalists jailed worldwide

CPJ: The number of journalists jailed globally because of their work hit a new high in 2020 as governments cracked down on coverage of COVID-19 or tried to suppress reporting on political unrest. Authoritarians again took cover in anti-press rhetoric from the United States.

Substack – the platform that boomed under Covid-19 (Listen)

RNZ: US news media took a beating from Covid-19 in 2020. Kiwi journalist and entrepreneur Hamish McKenzie runs a publishing platform-Substack – that boomed in 2020, giving journalists important audiences and income. But that success has also given him editorial conundrums to confront.

The Pandemic Is Not Good For Freedom And Democracy. But There Are Exceptions

NPR: The pandemic has had a chilling effect on freedom around the globe, according to a new report from Freedom House, a nonpartisan group that advocates for democracy and whose founders include Eleanor Roosevelt and Wendell Willkie.

Should journalists use social media to voice their opinions? Twitter outrage can reflect poorly on a publication that strives for impartiality. At the same time, journalists rightly want to use the platform for its designed purpose: sharing views and discussing opinions.

PSM Weekly is available via email. You can subscribe by signing up to our mailing list at the bottom of the page or email

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

Header Image: Professional camera filming a video podcast from home. Credit: mixetto/iStock