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

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ANGOLA: Angola’s Rafael Marques named 70th IPI Press Freedom Hero

IPI: Anti-corruption journalist has braved decades of government harassment.

BURUNDI: Harassment of Burundi’s media intensifies for referendum

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the intimidation and arrests of journalists and the broadcast bans that have reinforced the climate of fear for Burundi’s media, increased the constraints on reporting and prevented proper coverage of the campaign for tomorrow’s referendum on a controversial constitutional amendment.

GAMBIA: Major Boost for Digital Rights in The Gambia

MFWA: The enjoyment of digital rights has received a major boost in The Gambia with a ruling by the country’s Supreme Court declaring as unconstitutional the law on False Publication on the Internet, among other repressive pieces of legislation, namely defamation and aspects of Sedition.

GHANA: 25 Years of Press Freedom in Ghana: Time for Media Sector Reforms


KENYA: Kenya’s president signs cybercrimes law opposed by media rights groups

Reuters: Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta signed a new law on Wednesday that outlaws the abuse of people on social media but which critics say could be exploited to repress civil liberties.

KENYA: We have come so far to fall back on free media (Editorial)

The Standard: President Uhuru Kenyatta has assented to a punitive law that would, by all likelihood, roll back gains made in the nurture of democracy and freedom of expression.

KENYA, TANZANIA & UGANDA: Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in ‘anti-fake news campaign

BBC News: A new law in Kenya is the latest in East Africa to punish the spreading of “false information” and impose a lengthy jail term on offenders.

RWANDA: 55 years on, how far has RBA come?

The New Times: Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) will today celebrate 55 years in service. For the public broadcaster, the day will be an opportunity to reflect and re-commit to better serve the people, its leaders say.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC in search of 3 new board members

EWN: The call for applications come in the wake of two resignations, including the former deputy chairperson Febe Potgieter-Gqubule.

ZIMBABWE: ZBC rapped for ‘skewed coverage’

The Herald: Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Mr George Charamba has castigated the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) for failing to unify the country because of its apparent failure to decentralise coverage to all the administrative districts in the country.

GENERAL: The Story Of Investigative Journalism In Africa

EJO: “African journalists are well aware of the power of their trade. When officials try to pay them off with stuffed brown envelopes, when police officers harass them, when thugs intimidate them – all these things happen because the media still has the inherent ability to disrupt the status quo and challenge vested interests.”

GENERAL: Why economic questions are key to Africa’s media freedom debate

The Conversation: Press freedom is often thought of in relation to political pressure. There is more than enough evidence that threats, intimidation and imprisonment of journalists remain a serious cause for concern in Africa. But two recent gatherings on the continent encourage the thinking around press freedom in even broader terms.

AFGHANISTAN: Who persecutes journalists in Afghanistan?

RSF: After journalists were endangered by this week’s heavy fighting between the Taliban and Afghan army in Farah, capital of the western province of Farah, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates its concern about the decline in the security situation for journalists and media outlets throughout Afghanistan and lists the country’s press freedom predators.

ARMENIA: Amos Chapple: reporting the Armenian revolution (Audio)

RNZ: Recent weeks have seen hundreds of thousands take to the streets of Armenia in what’s being described as a velvet revolution. NZ photojournalist Amos Chapple has been covering the protests and was the first journalist to report soldiers had joined the protests which precipitated the resignation of prime minister Serzh Sargsyan.

CAMBODIA: Former Phnom Penh Post journalist describes state of press freedom in Cambodia as ‘dire’

Press Gazette: The acquisition of the Phnom Penh Post by a Malaysian businessman made the newsroom “apprehensive” and “concerned” according to one of the paper’s former journalists, Erin Handley.

CHINA: RSF decries Chinese police violence against journalists

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Chinese authorities to put a stop to police violence against the press after two attacks against Hong Kong reporters working in mainland China in the past week.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong journalists attacked in Beijing

CPJ: Just days after journalists were attacked in Sichuan covering the earthquake memorial, several Hong Kong journalists were manhandled and harassed by non-uniformed police in Beijing on May 16.

HONG KONG: JUST IN: TVB axes 30-year-old English-language current affairs show The Pearl Report

HKFP: Local television station TVB has axed its long-standing English-language current affairs programme The Pearl Report, first broadcast in 1988.

INDIA: In India, the fake news problem isn’t Facebook, it’s WhatsApp

CJR: “While many messages were ordinary campaign missives, some were intended to inflame sectarian tensions and others were downright false, with no way to trace where they originated.”

INDIA: India ranks first in Internet shutdown, UNESCO shows concerns

Entrackr: According to a UNESCO report, India tops the list when it comes to Internet shutdown, an intentional disruption of the Internet service to control communication or online content or slowing down the access to the general public.

INDONESIA & REGIONAL: War on ‘fake news’ raises real fears for free speech

Nikkei Asian review: With nothing more than a WhatsApp message, Indonesia’s government in early May made its position on “fake news” clear: zero tolerance.

JAPAN: Japan sexual harassment survey reveals 150 allegations by women in media

The Guardian: Dozens of women working for Japanese newspapers and TV networks have been sexually harassed – many repeatedly – with government officials, police officers and MPs cited as the perpetrators in about a third of the cases, according to a new survey.

KAZAKHSTAN: CPJ joins calls for Kazakhstan to revise false news law and drop charges against critical media

CPJ: CPJ has documented how authorities used these repressive laws to raid the newsrooms of Forbes Kazakhstan and Ratel, confiscate equipment, detain and question journalists, and block news websites and Facebook pages. The action against Forbes Kazakhstan and Ratel came after the outlets reported in 2016 allegations of corruption against a former government minister.

MALAYSIA: Malaysia’s Anti-Fake News Act will be repealed as soon as possible: Minister

Channel News Asia: Malaysia’s controversial Anti-Fake News Act will be repealed, the country’s new Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said on Monday (May 21).

NEPAL: Nepali media barred from covering Indian PM’s visit

IFJ: Nepali media were barred from covering some events during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Mustang and Kathmandu on May 12.

PAKISTAN: IHC issues notices to TV channels over Ramazan programmes

Dawn: The Islamabad High Court issued notices to eight television channels on Monday for violating its order regarding Ramazan programmes.

PAKISTAN: Pakistan authorities block distribution of oldest newspaper

RSF: Distribution of the English-language daily Dawn, Pakistan’s oldest newspaper, is being disrupted in much of the country since it published an interview with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

PAKISTAN: Pemra warns TV channels to telecast Azaan five times a day

Dawn: The Pakis­tan Electronic Media Regul­atory Authority (Pemra) has issued the final warning to 45 TV channels to telecast Azaan five times a day.

PHILIPPINES: Majority of Manila homes now receive digital TV

Rapid TV News: Just about more than half of Metro Manila’s homes are now watching digital television in a shift from analogue services, according to two recent polls in the Philippines.

SOUTH KOREA: The creepy podcast that helped overthrow a government

Asia Radio Today: A satirical podcast was one of the few South Korean media to investigate the activities of corrupt former presidents Lee and Park, and contributed significantly to the overthrow of both governments.

TAIWAN: World Health Organization Shuns Taiwan and Its Journalists (Statement)

Freedom House: Statement in response to the World Health Organization denying Taiwanese news outlets access to its annual decision-making assembly, apparently to comply with demands by China.

THAILAND: Bangkok Post editor sacked after critical coverage of Thai junta

The Financial Times

VIETNAM: Vietnam set to tighten clamps on Facebook and Google, threatening dissidents

Reuters: A struggle over internet laws in Vietnam is pitting a government keen on maintaining tight control against U.S. technology companies trying to fight off onerous new rules – with the country’s online dissidents among the biggest losers.

GENERAL: How they did it: Investigating the Trafficking of Girls from Nepal to the Gulf


AUSTRALIA: Only the support of the people can save the ABC now (Opinion)

The Guardian: Commercial media organisations are baying for the ABC’s blood, and the government is more than happy to help.

FIJI: FBC budgeted for loss to cover 2010 to 2015 rejuvenation

FBC: The Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Chief Executive Officer, Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, today clarified that the loses made by the company between 2010 and 2015 were budgeted for and was sustainable.

NEW ZEALAND: Budget 2018: Questions remain over new broadcasting spending

RNZ: The government has allocated an additional $15 million in the Budget for public broadcasting, but it is not clear where the new investment will go or when the public will see the benefits.

NEW ZEALAND: Government’s $38m public broadcasting boost still on the table

RNZ: The government still expects to deliver the entire $38 million boost in funding for public broadcasting promised by Labour prior to the election, the Broadcasting Minister says.

NEW ZEALAND: Matt Nippert: Putting NZ journalism in the global loop

RNZ: The reporter who won the big prize at last week’s Voyager Media Awards says the biggest stories in the world these days are often cracked by reporters working across borders. He wants to put New Zealand investigative journalism into the international frame. But how would that work?

NEW ZEALAND: RNZ enters content partnership with Pacific Media Centre

Asia Pacific Report: RNZ has announced a formal content sharing partnership with the Auckland-based Pacific Media Centre – Te Amokura. The arrangement will allow content from rnz.co.nz, The Wireless, and respective RNZ YouTube channels to be published by the Pacific Media Centre.

NEW ZEALAND: RNZ Welcomes Investment in Public Media (Press Release)

RNZ: RNZ welcomes the injection of $15m to the public media sector in Budget 2018, says chief executive Paul Thompson.

SAMOA: Tributes flow for Samoa broadcasting pioneer

RNZ: Tributes are being shared widely on social media this week for one of Samoa’s first FM radio broadcasters.

AUSTRIA: ORS taps Insys for enhanced SimpliTV OTT service

Digital TV Europe: ORS will use the InsysPLAY platform to provide simpliTV viewers with an enhanced user experience and expanded selection of content across a broader range of consumer devices, according to Insys.

BELARUS: Belarus journalists fined nearly 50 times already this year

RSF: Most have been imposed on journalists working for Belsat TV, an exile TV station based in neighbouring Poland.

BELGIUM: Belgian pubcaster VRT terminates DTT broadcasts

Broadband TV News: Belgian Dutch language public broadcaster VRT is pulling the plug out off its DVB-T broadcasts on December 1, citing “changing media consumption usage.’

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: Fact-checking around the world: Inside Bosnia-Herzegovina’s fact-checkers


BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: Journalists banned from Turkish president’s election rally

Mapping Media Freedom: Reporters from different media outlets were banned from covering a pre-election rally held by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, regional broadcaster N1 reported.

CZECH REPUBLIC: DVB-T2 milestone for Czech Republic

Broadband TV News: Ceske Radiokomunikace (CRa) has completed the deployment of its national DVB-T2 transmitter network.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Senators receive petition on protection of public service media

The Prague Monitor: The Czech Senate representatives received a petition on Thursday with over 16,000 signatures calling for the protection of public service media and appealing on politicians to stand up for their independent position.

GERMANY: Royal wedding: German broadcaster ZDF accused of racism in its coverage

Deutsche Welle: ZDF commentators consistently described Meghan Markle and her guests as “exotic” and were fascinated by her black hair. The public broadcaster has been roundly condemned by news outlets and people on social media.

GERMANY: Top court deliberates whether compulsory broadcaster fees are legal

The Local.de: Expats far and wide have a big beef with the required broadcasting contribution of €17.50 per month. This may all come to an end as the German Constitutional Court decides on whether the fees are constitutional.

GREECE: Human rights court to probe ERT closure

Broadband TV News: The case of the Greek government’s decision to close the public broadcaster ERT nearly five years ago is now before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg.

ICELAND: Iceland’s Public Broadcasting Gets DDOS’d Again

The Reykjavik Grapevine: Iceland’s public broadcasting service, RÚV, fell prey to another DDOS attack last night (15 May), taking their site offline for two hours. A programming director at RÚV told reporters that they take the attack very seriously.

IRELAND: Risks to RTÉ public service content

Irish Examiner: RTÉ could be forced to reduce its public service content and viewers could face more repeats on their TV sets unless the broadcaster gets either increased public funding or achieves greater efficiencies, according to the latest independent review of public service broadcasting.

ISLE OF MAN: Treasury and Manx Radio divided over funding

Manx Radio: The Treasury Minister says his department and Manx Radio are divided over the future funding of the station.

ISLE OF MAN: Treasury clash with Manx Radio directors over funding demands

IOM Today: A clash between Treasury and Manx Radio directors over funding for the station was revealed during a hearing of the Tynwald committee investigating public service broadcasting.

ITALY: News Media and Political Attitudes in Italy

Pew Research Centre: The findings come from a Pew Research Center survey about news media and politics across eight Western European countries conducted from Oct. 30 to Dec. 20, 2017.

ITALY: The Mafia Reporter With a Police Escort (and the 200 Journalists Like Him)

NYT: For many of his days over the past four years, Paolo Borrometi has lived in isolation, though he is barely ever alone.

MACEDONIA: Media freedom is top priority, says government of Republic of Macedonia


NORWAY: 1700 journalists on strike at Norwegian public broadcaster NRK

EFJ: The 1700 journalist members of the Norwegian Union of Journalists (NJ) at the Norwegian Public Service Broadcasting NRK went on strike today, after negotiations and mediation did not lead to a new collective agreement.

RUSSIA: Why Did Russia Just Attack Its Own Internet?

Coda Story: The Kremlin’s attempt to suppress the popular Telegram messaging service has backfired badly

SLOVAKIA: Media Watchdogs Fear a Chill in Slovakia

IPS:  International media watchdogs, EU politicians, journalists and publishers have condemned Slovak police investigating the murder of a local journalist after one of his colleagues claimed she was interrogated for eight hours before being forced to hand over her telephone – potentially putting sources at risk.

SPAIN: Spanish broadcasters launching LOVEStv, confirm OTT TV plan

Digital TV Europe: Spanish public broadcaster RTVE and commercial broadcasters Mediaset España have confirmed that they have teamed up to launch a new joint interactive platform based on HbbTV, with plans for a new OTT TV service to follow.

SPAIN: The European Parliament will request in writing explanations to the Government about the manipulation and censorship in RTVE (Spanish)

VerTele: The Petitions Committee has listened to the denunciation of the News Council of TVE that has shown before the European chamber several examples of manipulation and censorship to denounce the lack of independence and plurality that workers suffer in the organisation. After the debate, the Commission has agreed to request explanations by letter to the Government showing its “concern” for the cases reported.

SWEDEN: Swedes value media most in Europe, but populists an exception

The Local: Swedes are the most likely to place a high importance in the news media, according to a new study of major European countries.

UK: Channel 4’s Alex Mahon Wants Rules on Pubcaster Content on Digital Platforms

Variety: New Channel 4 boss Alex Mahon wants new rules for pubcaster content on digital platforms and plans to take the fight to government and regulators. Six months into her role as chief executive of Britain’s edgiest public service broadcaster (PSB), she set out her vision for Channel 4 at an event in London on Wednesday.

UK: YouView data reveals changing UK TV usage habits

Digital TV Europe: UK hybrid digital-terrestrial and IPTV platform YouView has unveiled the findings of analysis of viewer behaviour that reveals some surprises about the changing ways in which viewers are interacting with services.

REGIONAL: Southern European countries more fragmented in news sources, but for nearly all countries, top main source is public, not private

Pew Research Center: People from southern European countries more fragmented in their main news source; for nearly all countries, public news organizations sit at the top.

GENERAL: Juncker backs creation of UN Special Representative for Safety of Journalists

RSF: At a joint press conference yesterday with UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker expressed support for the creation of the position of a UN Special Representative for the Safety of Journalists.

GENERAL: Media freedom in Europe: CODE RED

ECPMF: Declaration of the participants in the conference “Media Freedom and Pluralism: How to reboot an essential EU pillar”.

GENERAL: Public broadcasting: Licence fees in Europe compared

Euronews: In Britain, those over 75 do not have to pay for it. In Switzerland, most of the population voted against its abolition in a referendum. But what about other countries?

ARGENTINA: Argentina launches OTT platform with linear TV and VOD

NexTV News: Argentina’s Federal System of Public Media and Content launched Contar, a new free access OTT platform that integrates live streaming of channels such as TV Pública, Paka Paka, DeporTV and Encuentro, as well as VOD content.

BRAZIL: Brazilian fact-checking agencies are targets of virtual attacks after partnering with Facebook against false news

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: Two Brazilian fact-checking agencies and their collaborators have been targeted by virtual attacks due to a newly launched partnership with Facebook against the spread of false news.

JAMAICA: RSF concerned over proposed Data Protection Act’s potentially “chilling effect” on press freedom

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges the Joint Select Committee for Jamaican Parliament to amend the proposed Data Protection Act, as its current version could have a chilling effect when applied to journalists that would far outweigh its benefits.

PALESTINE: RSF asks ICC to investigate Israeli sniper fire on Palestinian journalists

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) today formally asked the International Criminal Court to investigate what it regards as war crimes by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) against Palestinian journalists covering protests in Gaza since 30 March.

TURKEY: Most of Turkish media associated with ruling AKP ahead of critical elections

SCF: “The media landscape comprises numerous broadcast and print outlets, most of which are considered to be associated with the ruling political party,” said The Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) in a report it published on Monday.

TURKEY: Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 14, 2018


GENERAL: How the media covered death in Gaza and the Jerusalem ceremony

Aljazeera: The Palestine-Israel conflict is a media story that serves as a prism reflecting regional interests and ideologies.

GENERAL: IJNet Arabic launches fifth Mentoring Center for media startups in the MENA region

IJNet: Digital entrepreneurs with exciting media startups in the MENA region are invited to apply for IJNet Arabic’s fifth annual Mentoring Center for MENA media entrepreneurs.

CANADA: CBC Edmonton series on Pure North earns Michener Award nomination

CBC: ‘Journalism matters and investigative journalism matters now more than ever’

CANADA: French info in the Far North

CBC/Radio-Canada: The French-speaking communities in the North now have a brand new platform to call their own!

US: Journalism initiative aims to re-energise local coverage around country (Subscription)


US: NYT uses new interactive design to report on sexual consent on campuses

Journalism.co.uk: The publisher uses conversational snippets that develop into a full narrative as audiences continue to read.

US: PBS ‘planting flag firmly’ on kindergarten readiness for all children

Current: PBS is turning its educational focus to America’s youngest learners as it rolls out several initiatives and deepens its collaborations with stations to help kids prepare for school.

US: You Call That Breaking News? (Opinion)

NPR Ombudsman: NPR, like other news organizations, is in a fight for the attention of audiences. That means getting aggressive about putting NPR journalism where readers (and listeners) are. Increasingly, that’s on their phones.

US: What is innovation in local TV news? Andrew Heyward’s new mission is to find out

NiemanLab: “It’s a great question because I don’t think we’re suddenly going to come up with some great gimmick and Millennials are going to flock to their TV to watch traditional newscasts.”

4 questions to ask yourself to make your stories more gender-sensitive

IJNET: The road towards gender equality is paved with better journalism — a journalism able to represent and treat women of all backgrounds as equal, and one that includes them in the news with respect and integrity.

Awards 2018 Open for Entries

Rory Peck Trust: The Rory Peck Awards are uniquely dedicated to the work of freelance cameramen and camerawomen in news and current affairs worldwide, attracting entries from  many of the world’s most talented video journalists, filmmakers and news camera operators.

Censorship gone viral: The cross-fertilisation of repression

Index on Censorship: Censorship has cross-fertilised and gone viral infecting both democracies and their authoritarian counterparts.

Covering LGBTQ issues brings risk of threats and retaliation for journalists and their sources

CPJ: To mark the annual International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, CPJ spoke with journalists and news outlets based in Argentina, Iran, Indonesia, the U.S., Uganda, and Russia, about the challenges they face reporting on LGBTQ issues.

DW and BBC to host “Global Inequalities Hackathon” at Global Media Forum

DW Innovtion: DW Research and Cooperation Projects is teaming up with BBC News Labs to organize a hackathon in the scope of DW’s upcoming annual Global Media Forum (GMF).

In defence of the public editor

EJN: In the wake of ESPN and others dumping their internal ombudsmen, Chris Elliott argues that ombudsmen can play a vital role in building trust with audiences and therefore securing the future of journalism. There existence is a sign of strength, not weakness.

News stories in Europe are predominantly by and about men. Even photograph sizes are unequal.

NiemanLab: Across 11 countries studied, 41 percent of bylines were male, 23 percent female.

Resources for people interested in podcasting

IJNET: For the past few years, podcasts have grown increasingly more popular among audiences

Revealed: Storyful uses tool to monitor what reporters watch

The Guardian: News Corp subsidiary’s news verification plugin also used to monitor users’ social media browsing

The Coming Splinternet: How the GDPR Could Threaten Journalism

Nieman: The General Data Protection Regulation could have unintended—and unpleasant—consequences for news outlets.

Understanding AI: are the media the solution or the problem?

RNZ: Face recognition in our supermarkets, algorithms pinpointing our varsity dropouts and robots taking our jobs: artificial intelligence is on the rise in our news. But are the media also to blame for public ignorance and anxiety?

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