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

Public media is in peril and facing many challenges. Social media platforms are presenting an existential crisis to public service media. Governments are trying to extend their control and influence on the editorial output of the broadcasters. Funding systems for many are up in the air. Journalists are facing threats, attacks and harassment, both online and in-person. But it’s also an exciting time for public service media – digital platforms provide new opportunities to reach audiences, technology means public broadcasters can be innovative in how they provide a public service.

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DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Prosecutor requests 15-month sentence for jailed DRC journalist Blaise Mabala

CPJ: Ahead of a court decision expected on Saturday in the prosecution of radio journalist Blaise Mabala, the Committee to Protect Journalist is alarmed that prosecutors in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have asked that he be sentenced to 15 months in prison and urges authorities to stop criminalizing the work of the press.

GHANA: Stakeholders urged to collaborate against mis/disinformation ahead of Ghana’s elections 2024 (9 April)

MFWA: A one-day forum on mis/disinformation and propaganda narratives in Ghana closed with a call on stakeholders to collaborate towards ensuring that the phenomena do not dominate the political campaigns before, during and after Ghana’s general elections in December 2024.

KENYA: Kenya Aims To Achieve 100,000 KM Optical Fibre Rollout In Two Years 

Broadcast Media Africa: Kenya believes that an ambitious goal of deploying 100,000 kilometres of optical fibre to underserved areas in five years can now be accomplished within the next two.

KENYA: Regulator shuts down 58 TV stations, six courier companies

The Star: The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) can shut down a TV station for several reasons, typically related to regulatory violations or breaches of broadcasting standards. The media landscape in Kenya has become increasingly competitive with the emergence of numerous online news platforms and digital channels.

MALAWI: Malawi football fans assault TV reporter Yasin Limu

CPJ: The Committee to Protect Journalists on Wednesday called on Malawian authorities to credibly investigate the assault on TV reporter Yasin Limu by Mighty Mukuru Wanderers Football Club supporters and urged the sport’s governing bodies to take concrete steps to deter future attacks against journalists.

NIGERIA: IPC condemns harassment of Executive Director by SSS 

ICIR: The International Press Centre (IPC) has condemned the harassment of its Executive Director Lanre Arogundade by officials of the State Security Service (SSS).

NIGERIA: Nigeria’s cybercrime reforms leave journalists at risk (Opinion)

Al Jazeera: Amendments to the Cybercrimes Act are an improvement but remaining provisions can still be used to target journalists.

SOMALIA: IPI condemns freezing of SJS bank accounts

IPI: Authorities must cease harassment of press freedom defenders.

SOUTH AFRICA: Journalism in SA needs financial support, policy reform (Opinion)

IOL: The recent shutdown of the Daily Maverick has forced citizens to put their thinking caps on. The value of journalism and its contribution to any healthy democracy has been scrutinised amid an unstable political economy fraught with corruption and has failed municipal services in many provinces.

SOUTH AFRICA: SA media companies turn to access to information law to hold tech giants to account (Opinion)

Daily Maverick: It’s a game-changer in that SA’s access to information laws apply not only to public bodies but also to private bodies if the requester establishes a need to have the information — such as on the basis of the right to media freedom or a right to protect the media company’s copyright.

SOUTH AFRICA: The battle over TikTok: What lies ahead for South African creators?

Biz Community: Amidst mounting privacy concerns and a preexisting ban on music usage, TikTok finds itself under scrutiny. What implications does this hold for the beloved app, developed by tech giant ByteDance, and what impact will it have on South African content creators?

TOGO: AfrikElles: Togolese media outlet putting African women at the center of its editorial line

Global Voices: African women are often overlooked in this continent’s media publications despite their significant contributions towards the societies’ development. In Togo, since 2021, French-language media outlet, AfrikElles, has reported on the role of women and their everyday lives, thus making them the primary focus of its editorial line.

TOGO: arrest, ill-treatment and expulsion of French journalist Thomas Dietrich (French) 

IFJ: While covering Togolese political and social news, French journalist Thomas Dietrich was brutally arrested, humiliated and severely mistreated in Lomé on Monday April 15.

TUNISIA: Tunisian journalist sentenced to 6 months in prison for insulting an official

Africanews: A Tunisian judge has sentenced a journalist and political commentator to six months in prison, in the latest attack on members of the media who criticize the government.

ZAMBIA: Zambian police detain 2 journalists, make them delete interviews with opposition

CPJ: Mwiimba and Phiri, who work with the privately owned Millennium TV and KBN TV respectively, told CPJ that they were filming an altercation between police officers and two opposition party leaders on their phones when about three other officers grabbed Phiri, and forced him into an armored police vehicle.

REGIONAL: Advancing Journalism Education in Africa: Insights from UNESCO Initiative

UNESCO: Over 735 journalism students, 556 journalists and 123 journalism educators have already benefited from projects launched in 10 journalism schools in Africa as part of a UNESCO initiative to strengthen the resilience of journalism training on the continent.

REGIONAL: China’s Strategy to Shape Africa’s Media Space

Africa Center for Strategic Studies: China’s ruling party is leveraging its funding of African media outlets, content sharing, and training of African journalists to advance Chinese narratives, policies, and norms on the continent.

AFGHANISTAN: AFJC Condemns Taliban’s Suspension of TV Stations, Calls for Immediate Reversal 

Afghanistan Journalists Center: The Taliban has suspended the operations of two private TV stations in Kabul, citing their failure to adhere to “national and Islamic values.” 

AFGHANISTAN: Journalist jailed as Taliban continue media crackdown 

VOA: Free-press advocates are calling on de facto Taliban authorities in Afghanistan to release a local reporter jailed on unspecified charges.

AFGHANISTAN: The Azadi Briefing: Taliban Deals Another Blow To Afghan Media

RFE/RL: As part of its widening crackdown on the media, the Taliban’s hard-line government has shut down two television stations.

AZERBAIJAN: In Azerbaijan, independent media face growing repression of press freedom

IJNet: Since November, more than 10 journalists in Azerbaijan from the online publications, AbzasMedia and Toplum TV, have been detained on charges of currency smuggling.

BANGLADESH: Threats, attacks on journalists must stop

The Daily Star: Yet another journalist has become a victim of violence and intimidation, reinforcing the fact that the authorities are still failing to ensure a safe environment for them to perform their duties.

CHINA: Apple pulls social media giant Meta’s WhatsApp and Threads services from China App Store amid country’s tightened internet regulation

South China Morning Post: Apple has removed two of Meta Platforms’ popular apps, messaging service WhatsApp and social network Threads, from its mainland China App Store as part of the US technology giant’s efforts to comply with the country’s tightened internet regulations.

CHINA: RSF calls for pressure on China to restore full freedom to Covid-19 journalist Zhang Zhan after four years of imprisonment

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges the international community to step up the pressure on Beijing to restore full freedom of journalist Zhang Zhan, detained since 2020 for covering the Covid-19 epidemic in China, and whose four-year prison sentence is due to be served next month.

HONG KONG & CHINA: Press freedom is not fully protected in Hong Kong: RSF debunks China’s claims in 10 points

RSF: During a press briefing following the deportation out of Hong Kong of a representative of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a Chinese government spokesperson claimed that press freedom is “fully protected” in the territory. RSF sets the record straight with ten facts demonstrating the grim reality of Hong Kong’s press freedom downfall.

INDIA: Critics of India’s Modi migrate online as mainstream media stays deferential

Reuters: There’s scarcely any critical evaluation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on India’s mainstream television channels and most newspapers as the world’s most populous nation heads toward a general election that begins on Friday.

INDIA: Murdoch partner helps Asia’s richest man build a media empire

The Times of India: Viacom18’s Uday Shankar leads efforts to merge with Disney India, targeting 600 million viewers. The company aims to dominate the Indian media industry with a focus on streaming and digital integration, challenging global tech giants. 

INDIA: Social media platform X withholds some political posts in India after election commission order

Reuters: Social media platform X said on Tuesday it withheld some posts in India containing political speech from elected politicians, political parties, and candidates for office after the country’s election commission ordered their takedown.

JAPAN: How to deal with influence operations in the era of generative AI

The Japan Times: 2024 will be a year when we watch over elections in many countries while paying attention to the progress in artificial intelligence (AI), from emulating conversation through natural language generation to creating realistic-looking videos.

KAZAKHSTAN: Kazakhstan Debates Foreign Media Accreditation

Times of Central Asia: Following their second reading, the Majilis (lower chamber of parliament) of the Republic of Kazakhstan has adopted the bills “On Mass Media” and “On Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Field of Mass Media,” sending them to the Senate for consideration.

MALAYSIA: Media watchdog warns of eroding trust in judiciary after media barred from covering Najib’s court proceedings over pardon

Malay Mail: The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) has today urged the High Court to reconsider the decision to block the media from covering former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s court case on his pardon.

MYANMAR: Reporting in the shadows in Myanmar: The case of the Democratic Voice of Burma

IJnet: On the morning of February 1, 2021, Myanmar’s military, known as the Tatmadaw, staged a coup d’etat against the democratically elected government to reclaim power in the country. Myanmar has since become the world’s second biggest jailer of journalists – behind only China – locking up more than 150 media workers and killing five journalists.  

PAKISTAN: Pakistan says it blocked social media platform X over ‘national security’

Al Jazeera: Pakistan blocked access to social media platform X around the time of elections in February, the interior ministry said, citing national security concerns.

SOUTH KOREA: KBS-Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism signed business agreement… “We will take the lead in improving the language culture of all people” (Korean – Press release)

KBS: KBS-Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism signed business agreement…“We will take the lead in improving the language culture of the entire nation”

SRI LANKA: Tamil newspaper editor questioned by Jaffna police over editorial

Tamil Guardian: Acting on a complaint lodged by the Governor of the Northern Province P.S.M. Charles, the editor-in-chief of the Valampuri Tamil newspaper was interrogated for several hours by Jaffna police over an article that appeared on March 18th. 

THAILAND & JAPAN: Thai PBS opens its doors to welcome NHK executives, Japan. exchange knowledge Towards being a sustainable public media (Thai – Press release)

Thai PBS: On April 17, 2024, executives from Thai PBS welcomed an executive team from NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) for a knowledge exchange opportunity.

VIETNAM: Writer jailed in Vietnam to be recognized with international award

VOA: A Vietnamese writer and journalist serving a nine-year prison sentence for her work has been recognized with an international literary award.

AUSTRALIA: ‘A lot of stories that will now go untold’: outback NSW newspaper closes after almost 130 years

The Guardian: Broken Hill’s only newspaper has closed after almost 130 years of operation in a major blow to the outback NSW community.

AUSTRALIA: ABC local radio just hit rock bottom. What’s next? (Paywall)

Sydney Morning Herald: The national broadcaster peaked during bushfires and COVID-19 and it has been downhill for a long time.

AUSTRALIA: ABC number 1 in digital live streaming in GfK survey 2 (Press release)

ABC: ABC remains the number one digital live streaming network in GfK survey 2 with a share of 27.2% share of live streaming.

AUSTRALIA: ‘Arrogant Billionaire’: Elon Musk Feuds With Australian PM Over Content Takedown Orders

TIME: The owner of X and self-proclaimed champion of free speech has refused to comply with an Australian order to remove videos of violence from his platform, a move that has solicited the ire of the Prime Minister.

AUSTRALIA: SBS marks Earth Day with Australian TV milestone as The Cook Up with Adam Liaw becomes first show to measure its carbon footprint (Press release)

SBS: Following its industry-first sustainability announcement that SBS plans to reach net zero emissions by 2045, SBS has become the first to measure the carbon footprint of a television program’s production through Sustainable Screens Australia.

AUSTRALIA: The disinformation hurricane surrounding the Bondi stabbing marks the end of Twitter as a breaking news destination (Opinion)

The Guardian: Bad-faith scapegoating around the attacker’s identity shows Australian media needs to shake its addiction to Elon Musk’s rapidly toxifying platform.

AUSTRALIA & INDIA: Reporting in India ‘too difficult’ under Modi, says departing Australian journalist

The Guardian: The south-Asia correspondent for Australia’s national broadcaster, Avani Dias, has been forced out of India after her reporting fell foul of the Indian government, in a sign of the increasing pressure on journalists in the country under Narendra Modi.

FIJI: Media banned from SODELPA AGM

Fiji Times: The media has not been allowed to attend the SODELPA annual general meeting at the civic centre in Suva. SODELPA general secretary Viliame Takayawa has advised the media that questions could be raised with them after the meeting.

NEW ZEALAND: Aziz Al Sa’afin: Lessons from Australia leave little hope for NZ media

1 News: The digital news experience across the Tasman paints a challenging picture for the future of New Zealand media, writes Australia correspondent Aziz Al Sa’afin.

NEW ZEALAND: NZ Life and Leisure magazine shuts down

Stuff: Lifestyle Magazine Group has ceased publication on New Zealand Life and Leisure magazine, citing “adverse economic conditions”.

NEW ZEALAND: The tough questions behind the media’s declining trust

RNZ: As another report shows another decline in New Zealanders’ trust in the news, two editors sat down with Mediawatch to discuss the findings and what could be done to turn things around.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Papua New Guinea’s ‘mojo’ training opens up career pathways for regional journalists

ABC: Journalists from Papua New Guinea’s National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) have discovered the benefits of mobile journalism (mojo) kits in helping to tell the region’s most important stories.  

SOLOMON ISLANDS: Australia donates new genset for SIBC

SIBC: The Australian government donated a new standby generator to the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) today.

ARMENIA: Press freedom and freedom of expression under threat 

EFJ: The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliate in Armenia, the Union of Journalists of Armenia (UJA), in denouncing the authorities’ misuse of anti-hooliganism legislation to suppress press freedom and freedom of expression.

AUSTRIA: Armin Wolf on salary, compensation and interview conduct: ORF anchor at the first ORF get-together (German) 

Der Standard: ORF Salzburg’s new format is intended to promote conversation. The “ZiB 2” hands-on presenter became a Tyrolean again and offered insights that you don’t get on television

BELARUS: Belarus jails blogger Aliaksandr Ignatsiuk for 6 years on defamation, extortion charges 

CPJ: Belarusian authorities must immediately release journalist Aliaksandr Ignatsiuk, who was sentenced to six years imprisonment, and ensure that no members of the press are jailed for their work.

BELARUS & POLAND: Ex-Employee Of Banned Belsat TV Jailed On Extremism Charge

RFE/RL: Several journalists from Belsat, as well as individuals who gave interviews to the news agency, have been imprisoned on extremism charges after it was banned in Belarus. 

BELGIUM: From digitally illiterate to digital fan: digital inclusion for young and old (Dutch – Press release) 

VRT: To familiarize Flemish people with the digital world, VRT is presenting various initiatives and programs that examine the opportunities and challenges of new technologies. 

CZECH REPUBLIC: Media start-up Okraj.cz develop its own code of conduct for AI 

EFJ: Thanks to funding and mentorship from the Local Media for Democracy (LM4D) project, the media startup developed its own code of conduct for AI to generate illustrations for their articles, but within reason.

DENMARK: DR: Great interest in new archive service (Swedish – 12 April)

Nordvision: In the first weeks after “Gensyn” was launched on DRTV, more than half a million visitors have stopped by the new archive service – and they spend the next two hours per day on the content.

DENMARK: Open letter to Meta: “Stop the misleading of the Danes” (Swedish)

Nordvision: Together with TV 2 and the digital media BT, DR has written an open letter to the Facebook and Instagram owner Meta, in which the company is asked to deal with the problem of fake ads and articles.

FINLAND: Yle’s finances remained balanced in 2023 (Press release) 

YLE: The general increase in costs continued to impact Yle’s operations.

FRANCE: Are the media becoming more and more partisan? (Listen – French) 

RFI: This Thursday, April 18, 2024 marks the 120th anniversary of the daily newspaper l’Humanité founded by Jean Jaurès. A newspaper linked to the French Communist Party of which it has long been the official organ. Since then, the media landscape has profoundly evolved and so has its role in public opinion.

FRANCE: Can the media and popular neighborhoods understand each other? (French) 

Le Monde: Why this feeling of incomprehension between neighborhood residents and the media? How can we highlight positive words and initiatives from the suburbs? How to overcome stereotypes?

FRANCE: France opens judicial investigation into journalist’s death in Ukraine 

VOA: A judicial investigation will be opened in France to probe the death of a French-Irish journalist at the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the French National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor’s Office announced Wednesday.

FRANCE: Journalists’ union calls for the opening of a parliamentary inquiry into Euronews takeover

IFJ: A direct link between entities close to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and company Alpac Capital, a Portuguese investment fund, which acquired the Euronews TV channel in 2022 has been revealed in a major investigation.

FRANCE: RADIO FRANCE / Rain of records for Radio France – Médiamétrie EAR Jan/March 2024 (French – Press release) 

Radio France: France Inter, the undisputed 1st radio station in France, beats its own historic record for the Jan/March 2023 wave by surpassing the 7M daily listener mark for the second time in its history.

GEORGIA: Exiled Journalist Warns Georgia’s ‘Foreign Agents’ Law Is ‘First Step On Road To Repression’ (Interview) 

RFE/RL: Kotrikadze spoke with RFE/RL’s Georgian Service about years of fear and official retribution brought on by Russia’s “foreign agent” law, especially in light of progress last week by the ruling Georgian Dream party to introduce similar legislation despite fierce public opposition and street protests.

GEORGIA: Georgia split over draft law targeting press freedom inspired by Moscow

Le Monde: The controversial ‘foreign influence’ bill passed its first reading on Wednesday. It aims to silence journalists and civil society and jeopardizes the European aspirations of this former Soviet republic.

GEORGIA: Press freedom erosion amid reintroduced ‘Foreign agent law’ (Event) 

EFJ: On April 25, 2024, the Media Freedom Rapid Response will host a webinar addressing the recent decline in press freedom in Georgia. This decline has been exacerbated by the reintroduction of a Russia-style foreign agent law earlier this month.

GERMANY: Cologne Forum for Criticism of Journalism Media in polarized times: How can understanding and understanding be achieved? (German – Event) 

Deutschlandradio: What role can media take on in polarized times? And how is understanding and understanding possible? These are the topics of the eighth “Cologne Forum for Journalism Criticism”.

GERMANY: Feindbild Journalist 8: Fear of self-censorship (Study) 

European Centre for Press and Media Freedom: Last year the number of physical attacks on journalists increased again compared to 2022. After 56 cases in 2022, 69 cases of physical attacks on journalists were verified by ECPMF in 2023. 

GERMANY: Journalists’ organisations call for a day of action at public broadcasters 

EFJ: On 16 April 2024, the German journalists’ organisations DJV and dju in ver.di are calling on permanent and freelance journalists from all public broadcasters and Deutsche Welle to hold a joint day of action. Under the motto “Fairness sparks”, the employees are sending out a clear signal in favour of fair and appropriate collective agreements in the public broadcasting sector.

HUNGARY: Far-right politicians are having a party while banning journalists

European Correspondent: The organisation said: “CPAC is a no woke zone. We look forward to welcoming you to future events when and if your organisation becomes significantly less woke.” Keeping journalists out is reprehensible and bad for European democracy.

HUNGARY: New Media Incubator: Growing a small media outlet when less is sometimes more 

IPI: Mecseki Müzli is a weekly editorial local newsletter covering public life in the town of Pécs, Hungary, with the core mission to create a healthy news diet for engaged citizens by curating, analyzing and explaining the most important local news.

ICELAND: International conference in collaboration with RÚV and EBU (Press release – Icelandic)

RÚV: The conference focused on the importance of diversity, equality and inclusion in the activities of public service media (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion).

ITALY: Earth Day reflections: Italy’s climate reporting dilemma 

IPI: As our planet grapples with the devastating effects of climate change, the indispensable role of environmental journalism becomes increasingly apparent. Yet, the right to cover environmental issues remains under siege, not least in Italy.

ITALY: Italy’s public broadcaster RAI censors writer Antonio Scurati (Paywall) 

Le Monde: The author, known for his novels about Benito Mussolini, was supposed to read a text denouncing the right-wing government’s lack of anti-fascist commitment at Italy’s liberation commemoration. The public broadcasting group canceled his talk.

ITALY: Meloni ‘turning Italian broadcaster into megaphone for far right’

The Guardian: Investigation urged into alleged bid to turn Rai into propaganda channel for ruling parties before elections.

ITALY: Par condicio , green light for the amendment on the government ‘s institutional interventions (Italian) 

Il Giornale: The majority amendment also passes in the Rai Supervision Commission on government information, with only the center-right vote: anger from the Democratic Party and 5 Star

ITALY: Petition against attacks on Domani newspaper, and for media freedom 

IFJ: Three reporters at the Italian newspaper Domani – Giovanni Tizian, Nello Trocchia, Stefano Vergine – are facing up to 9 years in prison. 

ITALY: Rai breaks even in 2023 (Report) 

Advanced Television: Italian public broadcaster Rai achieved a balanced net profit for 2023, according to financial statements approved by its Board of Directors.

ITALY: “Rai hostage of the parties”, the Cdr proclaim the state of agitation: a package of five days of strike has been entrusted to Usigrai (Italian) 

La Repubblica: The unions of the various newspapers on Viale Mazzini contest “the desire to transform the public service into the megaphone of the parties”

MALTA: EP urges suspension of Malta’s Broadcasting Authority directive censoring Metsola

Newsbook: The European Parliament Office in Malta has called for the immediate suspension of a directive issued by the Broadcasting Authority, which effectively censors reports about European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.

MALTA: Press freedom threatened (Opinion)

Times of Malta: A government’s move to regulate the media is bad news for democracy, and consequently for the voice of the people.

NETHERLANDS: Dutch alliance strengthens regional and local public broadcasters

Redtech: Dutch public broadcast groups Regionale Publieke Omroep (regional public broadcasters) and Nederlandse Lokale Publieke Omroepen (Dutch local public broadcasters) have signed an alliance to strengthen journalistic collaboration.

PORTUGAL: Journalists developed a WhatsApp chatbot with local communities in Algarve 

EFJ: A group of journalists decided to improve their working conditions by developing their own online newspaper Sul Informação in the Algarve region. Through funding from the Local Media for Democracy (LM4D) project, Sul Informação developed an audience engagement tool called “Do You Have News for Us?” to create a direct communication channel between the public and the newsroom. 

PORTUGAL: New Media Incubator: How Portuguese local media ALMADENSE uncovered revenue opportunities through a newsletter 

IPI: ALMADENSE is a Portuguese local newspaper, born four years ago to help fill the information gap in the city of Almada – a place with some 180,000 inhabitants, very near the capital Lisbon, that was considered a news desert (a locality with no local news coverage).

RUSSIA: Court In Tatarstan Reinstates Fine For Activist Who Supported RFE/RL Journalist 

RFE/RL: A court in Kazan, the capital of Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan, has reinstated a fine against sociologist Iskander Yasaveyev for holding a poster demanding the release of RFE/RL journalist Alsu Kurmasheva, who has been held in Russian custody since October 18.

RUSSIA: Russia blocks press freedom group’s website  

VOA: Russian authorities have blocked access to the Reporters Without Borders website in a move that the press freedom group condemned on Monday.

RUSSIA: Russian Journalist’s Home Searched Over Case Against Colleague In Exile

RFE/RL: Police in St. Petersburg on April 18 searched the home of journalist Ksenia Klochkova as part of an investigation of her former colleague, Andrei Zakharov. Klochkova was told that she is a witness in the case against Zakharov, who is accused of failing to comply with the requirements of a “foreign agent,” a status he received in 2021, after which he fled Russia.

SERBIA: 25th Anniversary of Deadly NATO Bombing of Serbian State TV Marked

Balkan Insight: A memorial service was held for 16 media workers at state broadcaster Radio-Television Serbia who were killed when NATO bombed the station’s Belgrade headquarters during its air campaign against Yugoslavia in April 1999.

SERBIA: Council of Europe issues warnings over death threats for four journalists in Serbia

Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation: The Council of Europe has issued warnings prompted by threats made against Serbian journalists Dinko Gruhonjić, Ana Lalić Hegediš, Vanja Đurić and Željko Veljković.

SERBIA: Escalating threats and attacks against journalists in Novi Sad

OBC Transeuropa: OBCT shares media freedom partner organisations’ concerns on the escalation of threats and violence suffered by journalists in Novi Sad, northern Serbia, and urges competent authorities to promptly investigate these cases.

SWITZERLAND: SRG ombudsmen note flood of complaints about Middle East conflict

Werbewoche: The war in the Middle East has led to a flood of complaints about programs and online contributions from Swiss Radio and Television SRF. Within two months, 80 complaints had been submitted, the ombudsmen of SRG Deutschschweiz announced on Friday.

UK: A window into young children’s online worlds (Press release) 

Ofcom: Infant school children are increasingly online and given more digital independence by parents, according to Ofcom’s annual study of children’s relationship with the media and online worlds.

UK: BBC to invest in AI to help transform its education services

The Guardian: Hopes investment to make Bitesize more personalised and interactive will attract future licence-fee payers

UK: How London Became a ‘Hot Spot’ for Threats Against Iranian Journalists (Paywall)

The New York Times: Iranian reporters and broadcasters in Britain have suffered physical attacks, threats and surveillance, a report by Reporters Without Borders said, weeks after a newscaster was stabbed in London.

UK: Liliane Landor to leave the BBC

BBC: Liliane Landor, Senior Controller of BBC News International Services and BBC World Service Director, has decided to leave the BBC later this year.

UK: New research on how UK adults navigate an increasingly online world (Report) 

Ofcom: The way people use, think and feel about different types of media is constantly changing. In our latest media literacy research, we take a deep dive into how people across the UK are navigating an increasingly online world.

UK: Presenter Martine Croxall sues BBC for age and sex discrimination

The Guardian: Case comes after insiders warned of a potential ageism row last year following merger of BBC News and World News channels.

UK: RSF Urges UK To Bolster Protection For Iranian Journalists 

Iran International: In its report, the press freedom watchdog documented a rise of transnational threats faced by Iranian journalists working and living in the UK.

UK: Women Press Freedom Condemns Deepfake Attacks on Cathy Newman as Part of a Growing Trend Against Journalists 

Women Press Freedom: Newman uncovered her own AI-generated “deepfake” pornography during investigation into online abuse of women through manipulated images

UKRAINE: Delivering news during the war: reflections on EBU’s visit to Ukraine 

Journalism.co.uk: Director of news Liz Corbin spent five days with Ukrainian broadcaster Suspilne last month to better understand how the war is affecting their daily operations in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Lviv.

UKRAINE & RUSSIA: Russian air strike took out TV tower in Ukraine’s Kharkiv, Zelenskiy says

Reuters: A Russian missile strike that broke in half a 240-metre (787-foot) television tower in Kharkiv on Monday is part of a deliberate effort by Moscow to make Ukraine’s second largest city uninhabitable, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said.

UKRAINE & RUSSIA: Whereabouts of Ukrainian journalists held by Russia are unknown 

VOA: The whereabouts of two Ukrainian journalists held by Russia have been unknown for several months, a press freedom group said Wednesday. Heorhiy Levchenko and Anatasiya Glukhovska were detained in August 2023 by officers with the Russian Federal Security Service, but their arrests were not made public until October 2023 when Russian state media reported on the jailings.

REGIONAL: Why we are launching the Democracy Playbook

Unbiased News: Accurate, context-rich reporting on the movements fighting for free press, the climate, independent judiciary, workers’ rights and more can inspire and show what tactics and strategies work. And they can show that reporting can be truthful and pro-democracy.

ARGENTINA: A festival denounces the closure of Telám by the Milei government in Argentina (Spanish)

Tercera: Hundreds of people participated this Saturday in a festival in defense of Argentine public media, especially the Télam news agency, whose closure was announced by President Javier Milei on March 1.

ARGENTINA: While Milei defunds and closes public media, Quintela values ​​the role of local media (Spanish)

El Destape: Since his arrival to the presidency, Javier Milei fired press workers, closed and defunded media outlets. These measures affected each Argentine province differently.

BARBADOS: Crafting the Future of CBC with Strategic Partnerships

Barbados Today: As we delve into the nuanced discussions surrounding the privatisation of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), a pivotal aspect emerges that could define its trajectory: the formation of strategic investment partnerships.

BRAZIL: Judicial Harassment Against Journalists Worsens in Brazil (Portuguese)

Piauí: According to a survey by Abraji, of the 654 cases in progress in court, 434 are less than five years old.

COLOMBIA: Hollman Morris assumes management of RTVC Public Media System (Spanish)

RTVC: Hollman Morris has been linked to RTVC since May 2023, serving as deputy television manager and consolidating his experience in public media management, with a focus on the promotion of culture, peace and democratic values. He will now be in charge of leading the Colombian Public Media System from his Management.

COLOMBIA: Investigating crime and corruption, the journalist was executed in Colombia

Pamfleti: A Colombian journalist who mainly investigated corruption cases was killed on Sunday in a northeastern Colombian city on the border with Venezuela.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: President of the Dominican Republic presented a draft to modify legislation on freedom of expression (Spanish)

Observacom: The initiative was prepared by an independent commission and will be presented to the National Congress next week.

ECUADOR: “Towards Media and Information Literacy in Ecuador”

UNESCO: An initiative by multiple stakeholders to advance citizen competencies and informed decision-making.

EL SALVADOR: El Salvador’s Media Battle: Vamos Party Sues for Defamation

LatinAmerican Post: In El Salvador, the Vamos party has filed a lawsuit against Diario El Salvador, accusing the state-run newspaper of falsely linking them to gangs, highlighting a broader issue of press freedom and political accountability in the region.

EL SALVADOR: The multiple faces of violence against journalists in El Salvador (Spanish)

Derecho Digitales: Persecutions, silencing, physical attacks, and digital violence. These are some of the threats to which people who work to inform the population in El Salvador are exposed, where censorship and violations of the right to access information are commonplace.

HAITI: Haiti’s journalists appeal for help amid increasing threats, country’s unraveling

Yahoo!: Some of Haiti’s best known media personalities and journalists appealed for help Tuesday amid ongoing attacks by armed gangs that have shut down the international airport, paralyzed the capital and increasingly poses risks for those trying to cover the news.

NICARAGUA: Radio Maria forced to close its bank accounts in Nicaragua

Rome Reports: Nicaragua’s Radio Maria has had some of its bank accounts blocked. In a live broadcast, the station’s directors announced its closure, claiming that it was done in an “unjustified” manner.

PARAGUAY: Judicial Censorship Threatens Journalism in Paraguay

LatinAmerican Post: In Paraguay, the alarming rise of judicial criminalization against journalists poses a severe threat to press freedom, as reporters face increasing legal challenges and threats for simply performing their duties.

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: No, PM, media not your business (Editorial)

Newsday: The Prime Minister’s brushing aside of concerns about the Government’s attitude to the media – which is reflective of his administration’s approach to transparency and accountability more generally – reveals not only his misapprehension of the role of the Fourth Estate, but also his own role as a democratically-elected leader.

URUGUAY: How We Used Open Data To Report on Coastal Consequences of Climate Change in Uruguay

Pulitzer Center: From Drought to Floods: The Impact on Work in the Coastal Zones of Uruguay, From East to West is the most ambitious work we have done at Amenaza Roboto, a science and technology journalism website based in Montevideo, Uruguay.

IRAN: Iran arrests Kurdish editor-in-chief, Iranian cartoonist, sues several newspapers 

CPJ: Iranian authorities must immediately release Kurdish-Iranian journalist Rasoul Galehban and drop any charges against him, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Monday.

IRAN: Iranian Journalist Arrested After Recounting Assault By Morality Police

RFE/RL: Iranian journalist Dina Ghalibaf was arrested after she published a personal narrative about her previous detention by Iran’s morality police for not adhering to the mandatory hijab law.

IRAN & ISRAEL: Israel Tied With Iran Among Top Jailers of Journalists in 2023, Report Finds 

Truthout: A recent report from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) found that Israel tied with Iran as one of the world’s leaders in jailing journalists for 2023.

IRAN & UK: “Watch out because we’re coming for you”: An RSF report on unprecedented transnational repression of Iranian journalists in the UK

RSF: Three weeks after an Iranian journalist was stabbed on a London street by unknown assailants, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is releasing a report on the rise of transnational threats against Iranian journalists working in the United Kingdom.

ISRAEL: The Israeli Censorship Regime Is Growing. That Needs to Stop. (Opinion – Paywall) 

The New York Times: Though international media workers rushed to Israel (it has granted accreditation to at least 2,800 correspondents since the war started), none have been allowed into Gaza except on a handful of tightly controlled tours led by the Israeli military.

ISRAEL & GAZA: Attacks, arrests, threats, censorship: The high risks of reporting the Israel-Gaza war

CPJ: Since the Israel-Gaza war began on October 7, journalists and media across the region have faced a hostile environment that has made reporting on the war exceptionally challenging.

ISRAEL & GAZA: Threats and Attacks against Women Journalists Covering the Conflict 

Women Press Freedom: During the ongoing Israel/Palestine conflict, the fundamental principles of press freedom have come under dire threat. As the conflict unfolds, women journalists are facing grave dangers, including physical assaults, threats, and even the loss of their lives. 

PALESTINE: Launch of Palestinian Media Sector Coordination Group 

IFJ: The PMSCG aims to lead the rehabilitation and improvement of the media sector and to launch a process of rebuilding a more resilient media in Palestine.

PALESTINE: Palestinian intelligence arrests journalist Khalil Dweeb in Bethlehem 

CPJ: Two Palestinian General Intelligence Service agents arrested Dweeb, a freelance camera operator who contributes to the Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera, on Tuesday after he was summoned to a police station to pick up his cell phone, according to news reports and the journalist’s lawyer, Mohannad Karajah, who spoke to CPJ.

CANADA: A season of linguistic pride: Indigenous languages take centre stage in APTN’s spring programming (Press release) 

APTN: APTN is proud to announce its spring lineup, which promises to inspire, educate and ignite conversations across the nation. Through groundbreaking newscasts and language revitalization initiatives, APTN continues to uplift Indigenous voices on-screen. 

CANADA: Canada’s 1st public broadcaster needs $3M before October to stay on the air 

CBC: CKUA, the country’s first public broadcaster, has relied significantly on crowdfunding for years. But no money was allotted for it in the federal and provincial budgets in 2024 — and the station needs to raise $3 million by Sept. 30, or its reserves will be drained.

CANADA: CBC/Radio-Canada welcomes the one-year investment in public broadcasting announced in Budget 2024 (Press release) 

CBC/Radio-Canada: The Federal Budget tabled today in the House of Commons includes $42 million this year for CBC/Radio-Canada. This is a welcome investment in public service media at a critical time. It will help the Corporation manage its financial challenges in a more stable manner.

CANADA: Could co-op news help save Canada’s media? 

Canadian Dimension: Media co-ops and employee-owned media have been growing around the world in recent years. […] As news media in Canada continue to crumble, going the co-op route makes increasing sense for their displaced workers.

CANADA: Federal budget boosts funding for CBC/Radio-Canada, executives say significant job cuts no longer needed

CBC: Public broadcaster was facing hundreds of layoffs amid projected budget shortfall

CANADA: How CBC News safeguards its independence (Editor’s blog) 

CBC: As a public news outlet, CBC can only define its journalism through a set of rigorous principles that ensures the audience (i.e., all of Canada) knows what to expect: reporting based on accuracy, fairness, balance, impartiality and integrity.

CANADA: News Media Canada Welcomes Budget 2024’s Support for Local Journalism Initiative 

Business Wire: Canada’s news publishers today welcomed Budget 2024’s support for the Local Journalism Initiative (LJI). The programme places more than 400 reporters at nearly 300 media outlets in 1400 communities across Canada.

CANADA: TVO over-the-air TV service outage affecting Chatham (Press release) 

TVO: TVO customers who use over-the-air (OTA) TV services in the Chatham area may experience intermittent disruptions in service from Monday April 22 to Friday April 27, 2024.

CANADA & GAZA: Canadian journalist detained during Israel-Gaza war protest 

CPJ: Craig, a reporter with the Montreal news program Local 514, was covering a pro-Palestinian sit-in on private property at a Scotiabank branch on Monday when she was detained by local police and told that she was being arrested and charged with “mischief,” the journalist told CPJ. 

US: 404 Media and the hopes of worker-owned journalism 

Columbia Journalism Review: The worker-owned model is having a moment in journalism—in sharp contrast to the profit-first agenda of many news outlets’ private-equity owners. 

US: Americans’ New TV Habit: Subscribe. Watch. Cancel. Repeat. (Paywall)

The New York Times: Many more people are jumping from one streaming subscription to another, a behavior that could have big implications for the entertainment industry.

US: As Press Reports Some Juror Details, Polarized Reactions Take Over (Paywall)

The New York Times: Journalists covering the trial face a tricky balancing act: inform the public while keeping its participants out of harm’s way.

US: Editor who criticized NPR resigns after being suspended

VOA: A National Public Radio editor who wrote an essay criticizing his employer for promoting liberal views resigned on Wednesday, attacking NPR’s new chief executive on the way out.

US: In FCC comment, NPR voices concern over costs of multilingual emergency alerts (Paywall) 

Current: The FCC has proposed creating a process for prescripted alerts in 13 additional languages to be distributed by TV and radio stations, cable providers and other services, according to a February Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

US: Legal Fight Over Trump Media’s Ownership Adds to Its Woes (Paywall)

The New York Times: Two ex-contestants on “The Apprentice” sold the former president on the idea of a social media platform. Now, the company and the pair are wrangling over their stake.

US: New Group Joins the Political Fight Over Disinformation Online (Paywall)

The New York Times: The group intends to fight what its leader, Nina Jankowicz, and others have described as a coordinated campaign by conservatives and their allies to undermine researchers who study disinformation.

US: New York Lawmakers Pass $90 Million in Tax Credits for Local News Outlets 

The Wrap: The plan aims to support independent news organizations with three years of funding.

US: NPR needs a serious critique not a politically charged parting shot (Opinion) 

The Guardian: How Uri Berliner went about his complaint made it clear he was not interested in constructive criticism, but a viral moment

US: N.Y. Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney proposes bill to defund NPR (Paywall) 

Current: Tenney’s proposal follows recent criticism of the network spurred by former editor Uri Berliner’s essay for The Free Press.

US: Owner donates commercial radio station to California’s KCLU (Paywall) 

Current: The donation of KSYV will help KCLU extend its broadcast to audiences that are difficult to reach due to challenging terrain.

US: Press Forward’s first open call for funding focuses on historic inequalities (Opportunity)

Poynter: On Monday, Press Forward announced that the topic of its first open call for funding will come with general operating support of $100,000 each for more than 100 newsrooms over two years.

US: Q&A: Mandy Hofmockel on the story of the journalism jobs market (Interview)  

Columbia Journalism Review

US: Surveillance expansion threatens press freedom – and everyone else’s

Freedom of the Press Foundation: The Senate today voted to advance a bill that would allow intelligence agencies to order everyone from dentists to plumbers to surveil their patients and customers’ communications. A final Senate vote on the bill is expected in the coming days.

US: The ‘fake news’-ification of local news—and what to do about it (Analysis) 

Columbia Journalism Review: Local news is a darling of the moment in the journalism world. Thinkers and funders have trained their attention on (variously) “saving,” “rebuilding,” and “reinvigorating” journalism that serves communities outside of major cities and the national spotlight. For good reason. 

US: The US website making ad-funded journalism about the environment work 

Press Gazette: The Cool Down is the fastest-growing top 50 news website in the US.

US: TikTok raises free speech concerns on bill passed by US House that may ban app  

VOA: TikTok on Sunday raised free speech concerns about a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives that would ban the popular social media app in the U.S. if its Chinese owner ByteDance did not sell its stake within a year.

US: Topography of a news ecosystem: A first-of-its-kind study diagnoses the local news crisis in a single state 

Poynter: Media scholars at the University of Maryland documented the spread of local news dead spots — and unexpected vibrant areas — in that state.

US: USAGM names Freedom House president as new VOA director

VOA: The U.S. Agency for Global Media on Friday named Michael Abramowitz as the new permanent director of Voice of America.

US: U.S. Report Highlights Worsening Human Rights Abuses In Russia, Iran, Afghanistan (Report) 


US: Will Congress succeed in banning TikTok? (Analysis) 

Columbia Journalism Review: The House quickly did vote, 352–65, to pass the sale-or-ban law. But then the fast-moving effort seemed to stop hurtling and get stuck in quicksand. What happened?

Best Practices for Election Coverage Using YouTube

GIJN: In a year when almost half of the world’s population is expected to go to the polls in national and local elections, the 25th International Symposium on Online Journalism (ISOJ) featured a workshop that offered suggestions on how journalists and media outlets can use YouTube in their election coverage.

Climate change means new industries, and new scandals, for reporters to learn to cover 

Columbia Journalism Review

Defining “impact” can make journalism better 

The GroundTruth Project: Clicks and views can show the reach of a story, but how can we consistently tell if, and how, we are effecting change in the community?

Five dos and don’ts for responding to accusations of bias (Paywall) 

Current: If you work in public media, you’re going to hear complaints about political bias in news coverage. Station leaders share tips for managing those conversations.

International Journalism Festival 2024: what we learnt in Perugia about the future of news

Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism: Here are a few highlights from the festival on social media, news avoidance, covering the war in Gaza, investigative journalism and the rise of AI.

IPI and Report for the World announce innovation and revenue roadmap 

IPI: The roadmap is a practical resource for independent media leaders to future-proof their business

Journalism Trust Initiative: when the media (including RFI) promote transparency (French – Listen) 

RFI: The Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI) is a certification tool initiated by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) to assess transparency and compliance with standards of ethics and professional conduct of news media. France Médias Monde, parent company of RFI, France 24 and MCD, is one of the certified media.

Leveraging AI to boost efficiency and innovation in the news

IJNet: The rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) has generated excitement and fear alike within the news industry, prompting many to ponder what lies in store for journalism’s future.

Low pay and few contracts make freelance journalism a bleak prospect in 2024

The Conversation: Respondents to a survey confirmed they would hesitate to encourage anyone to become a freelancer given the limited prospects currently offered in the profession.

Seven things journalists can do to counter news avoidance

Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism: Research shows that both continuous and selective news avoidance are on the rise. Across 46 countries, more than a third (36%) say they sometimes or often avoid the news, because they find it depressing, irrelevant, or hard to understand. 

Tips for news outlets working with whistleblowers 


What’s wrong with the robots? An Oxford researcher explains how we can better illustrate AI news stories

Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism: AI is hard to depict unless you go for photos of screens showing open chatbot tabs or the logos of various AI companies. So the abstract robot visuals look like a safe option. However, in an information environment that already struggles to discuss AI accurately, they may not be the best choice.

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