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

Click on the drop-down menus below to reveal the latest regional stories.

GAMBIA: Press Union’s Sec General Optimistic About The Future Of Gambian Media

Jellofnews: The Secretary General of the Gambia’s Press Union (GPU), SaikouJammeh, has expressed optimism about the future of Gambian media as the new political dispensation is taking shape. 

GHANA: GBC boss fired

Ghana Web: The Director General of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), Dr Akuffo Annoff-Ntow, has been asked to proceed on leave with immediate effect.

MAURITANIA: Mauritania private newspapers on sale after month’s absence

The Citizen: Privately-owned newspapers went back on sale in Mauritania on Wednesday for the first time in more than a month, after a paper shortage forced them off the shelves and prompted complaints from the national press union.

MOROCCO: Morocco’s go-it-alone news outlets feel government squeeze

Middle East Eye: New press code imposes tough entry levels for independent internet journalists, in move seen as curb on criticism.

SIERRA LEONE: New journalists’ network aims for stronger coverage of health sector

CNBC Africa: Around 150 journalists in Sierra Leone are taking part in a new initiative to strengthen coverage of health issues in the local and national media, with the official launch of the Health Accountability Network of Journalists (HANoJ).

SOUTH SUDAN: South Sudanese Regulator Accuses Media of Bias

Via All Africa: South Sudanese media regulator has warned journalists against what it termed as an “assassination of the country and its government”.

SUDAN: RSF condemns arrests of 15 journalists in Sudan

RSF: At least 13 journalists were arrested by the NISS on 16 January while covering demonstrations called by the Communist Party in Khartoum against the price hikes, according to RSF sources. Most were freed the same day after being held for several hours.


Eyewitness News: The SABC says it breached its own editorial policies and takes full responsibility for accepting R149,000 from the Social Development Department.

SOUTH AFRICA: The board still has to consult me on SABC appointments – Minister Kubayi-Ngubane

News 24: Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has flatly denied interfering in the appointment of key executives at the SABC, but insists that the board of the public broadcaster has to “consult” her for “quality control”.

ZIMBABWE: ‘Urgently align media laws to constitution’

Zimbabwe Independent: The Zimbabwe chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) has urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa to speedily align the country’s media laws and policies with the constitution.

GENERAL: Sub-Saharan Africa set for world’s fastest TV growth but low incomes hamper digital switch

Telecompaper: Between 2016 and 2021, Sub-Saharan Africa will be the world’s fastest-growing TV market, according to a regional report by IABM published by CommsMEA.

AFGHANISTAN: Deadly weekend in Afghanistan, journalists safety under attack

IFJ: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Afghan Independent Journalists’ Association (AIJA) raise serious concerns about the deteriorating safety situation in Afghanistan after three separate attacks across the country. The IFJ demands swift action from Afghan authorities to punish the perpetrators and ensure safety for journalists in the country.

CAMBODIA: Cambodia PM berates media at correspondents’ dinner

Reuters: Cambodia’s long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen berated journalists on Sunday at a dinner his government hosted for correspondents and accused some of spreading fabricated stories.

CAMBODIA: Crackdown Crushes Media, Opposition

HRW: Hun Sen Escalates Repression Ahead of 2018 Elections.

CHINA: Chinese hip hop culture and rap scene target of government crackdown

ABC News: China’s broadcast regulator has issued new standards specifically warning entertainment programs not to feature guests who promote hip hop culture, in its latest effort to purify the country’s cultural output.

INDIA: 65 per cent of population to be covered under FM network

ABU: About 52% of country’s population is being covered by FM transmitters of radio and soon the coverage would extend up to 65%.

INDIA: Doordarshan to phase out 14 analog transmitters in Kerala

Mathrumbhumi: The Prasar Bharati will shut down the traditional analog terrestrial TV transmitters of Doordarshan across the country to replace it with digital technology. As part of the decision, 272 Low Power Transmitters (LPT) including 14 LPT in Kerala will be closed down soon.

INDIA: Eleven Journalists Killed, 46 Attacked, 27 Cases of Police Action: Report on Press Freedom 2017

The Wire (India): From Gauri Lankesh’s murder to defamation suits, attacks on the media have become commonplace.

INDONESIA: Threat to Indonesian press (Editorial)

Jakarta Post: Gone is the New Order regime that was characterized by, among other things, the government’s control, if not suppression, of the press. But press freedom in the country remains a tricky, slippery issue despite the return of democracy nearly 20 years ago.

JAPAN: Japan’s NHK will not cut fees amid ire over broadcaster’s funding

Nikkei Asian Review: Public TV station struggles to define its role in the age of the internet

JAPAN: Japan’s public broadcaster sends false alarm about North Korean missile

CBC: Japanese public broadcaster NHK issued a false alarm about a North Korean missile launch on Tuesday, just days after a similar gaffe caused panic in Hawaii, but the broadcaster managed to correct the error within minutes.

JAPAN: NHK approves new 3-year corporate plan

NHK World: NHK has adopted a new 3-year corporate plan that includes providing high-quality services during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

MALAYSIA: Sexual harassment of journalists a long-ignored issue, say Malaysia, Indonesia media advocacy groups

The Straits Times: Sexual harassment of journalists has been kept under wraps for such a long time that it is treated like a non-issue, according to press freedom advocates in Malaysia and Indonesia.

MYANMAR: Reuters Journalists Covering Rohingya Conflict in Myanmar Detained for ‘Illegally Acquiring Information’

Global Voices: Two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, are being accused of violating Myanmar’s Official Secrets Act for allegedly possessing military files about the Rohingya conflict.

NEPAL: Calling for press freedom (Oped)

The Kathmandu Post: Nepal is still a long way from complete press freedom, and all stakeholders need to speak against violations.

PAKISTAN: Interior ministry shuts down Radio Mashaal following ISI report

Dawn: The Interior Ministry on Friday ordered to close down operations of Radio Mashaal, a Pashto language broadcaster linked to the US-funded Radio Free Europe, on recommendations of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

PHILIPPINES: Philippine news site Rappler head Maria Ressa meets investigators over ‘suspicious’ complaint

ABC News: The head of a Philippine news site ordered closed for ownership violations has met state investigators to answer what she called a “suspicious” complaint about a five-year-old story, as domestic fears grow of an impending crackdown on media.

PHILIPPINES: With the order to shut Rappler, the Philippine government puts its new weapon against the media on full display.

The Splice Newsroom: The government is now attacking corporate structures.

AUSTRALIA: Journalists ‘at risk of jail time’ under new foreign interference laws

ABC News: Australia’s largest media organisations have warned the Federal Government its foreign interference laws could undermine freedom of the press and see journalists thrown in jail.

NEW ZEALAND: Outspoken: Te Reo in Broadcasting (Audio)

RNZ: Discussion about the evolution of te reo Māori in the media with Chief Executive of Pango productions and former Māori Television head of sport Bailey Mackey; The Spinoff’s Ātea editor, former Mana and Rip It Up magazine editor Leonie Hayden and mother-of-five, producer and award-winning journalist Annabelle Lee.

BELGIUM: VRT Preserves Its Audio Heritage

Radio World: The project involves the digitization and archiving of approximately 38,000 records.

CROATIA: Saša Leković: media freedom in Croatia is deteriorating

OBC Transeuropa: For the second time in two years, Croatia was visited by a delegation of associations for the protection of media freedom – a negative record for a EU member. [OBC] talked about it with the president of the Association of Croatian journalists.

ESTONIA: Minister expects ERR to submit plan to strengthen Russian-language channel

Baltic Review

FINLAND: How News Now Finland is plugging the gap in English language news about the country

Journalism.co.uk: As established media cuts back on English services, a small, self-funded site steps up with election day looming.

FRANCE: France vs. fake news offers test case for democratic dilemma

Chicago Tribune: Can a democratic country outlaw fake news?

FRANCE: INFOGRAPHY – The French for more reliable media (French)

La Croix: The 31st Barometer of French confidence in the media, directed by Kantar Sofres for “The Cross”, reflects a very strong expectation of reliability of information and media education to counter the “fake news”.

GEORGIA: NGOs Call on Parliament Not to Override Presidential Veto on Broadcasting Bill

Georgia Today: 37 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) operating in Georgia have called on the parliament not to override President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s veto on the amendments to the broadcasting law.

HUNGARY: A “samizdat” movement brings independent news to the people

Index on Censorship: In Hungary’s rural areas, access to news critical of those in power is a rare thing. Now a small group has set out to challenge the information monopoly of the government by distributing an independent weekly.

ITALY: Italians can now report fake news to the police. Here’s why that’s problematic.

Poynter: In an effort to address fake news ahead of this year’s elections, the Italian government has created an online portal where people can report hoaxes.

MALTA: EFJ and Partner Organisations Urge Close International Scrutiny over Daphne Caruana Galizia’s Murder

EFJ: The undersigned organisations, partners of the Council of Europe Platform for the Promotion of Journalism and the Protection of Journalists, are deeply concerned over the lack of progress in the investigation into the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

MOLDOVA & RUSSIA: Russia slams Moldovan TV law

Broadband TV News: The Russian Duma (parliament) has produced a draft declaration accusing Moldova of discriminating against Russian media.

MONTENEGRO: Media freedom in Montenegro: a survey of publications

SEENPM: The media sector in Montenegro is characterised by strong political polarisation. The few examples of non-aligned investigative journalism are subject to both direct and indirect pressure by the financial and political powers in the form of legal actions and, in the worst cases, of physical attacks to reporters and their property.

NETHERLANDS: Dutch NPO Start TV Everywhere app invades privacy

Broadband TV News: The TV Everywhere app NPO Start from the Dutch public broadcasters invades privacy. Consumer groups are now demanding rapid action from the broadcaster.

NORWAY: Norway’s new government mulls public media funding regime overhaul

Telecompaper: The new Norwegian government is considering merging all state support for media under the same regime as the NRK broadcasting licence fee.

POLAND: Polish regulator rescinds fine against broadcaster TVN

IPI: ‘Disproportionate’ regulatory action risks media self-censorship, IPI warns.

RUSSIA: Russia slams Moldovan TV law

Broadband TV  News: The Russian Duma (parliament) has produced a draft declaration accusing Moldova of discriminating against Russian media.

SERBIA: Fact-finding mission on media freedom and journalists’ rights

EFJ: This morning, 18 January 2018, the joint Fact-Finding Mission to Serbia on media freedom and journalists’ rights commences by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) in cooperation with the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) and the International Press Institute (IPI) as well as the EFJ affiliates in Serbia: the Journalists’ Association of Serbia (UNS), the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS), and the Journalists’ Union of Serbia (SINOS).

SERBIA: Indicators on the level of media freedom and journalists’ safety in Serbia 2017 (Report)


SLOVAKIA: Press freedom is bleeding across our borders (Opinion)

The Slovak Spectator: Critical media are always the first targets of populists and press freedom enemies.

SLOVENIA: What will be the fate of public broadcasters? (Slovenian)


SPAIN: TVE: the future of public service at stake

Teledetodos: On Tuesday Jan 23 a meeting of the working group of Congress resumed debate on the future election of the Board of Directors and President of RTVE. Two political groups, Citizens and States, have requested to be continued with the process of drafting the regulations to allow the election of a president of the Spanish Public TV Radio public tender.

SPAIN: Spain’s PDLI to monitor harassment of female journalists on social media

IPI: Group responds to recent online attacks against female journalists in Spain

SWITZERLAND: For Swiss journalists, ideals and practice do not meet

Journalism Research News: Do journalists produce journalism that matches their ideals and their self-reported work practices? Patric Raemy and Daniel Beck, both of University of Fribourg, with Lea Hellmueller, of University of Houston, investigated the question by comparing journalists’ role conceptions and their actual output.

SWITZERLAND: Poll shows Swiss willing to keep paying for public TV, radio

Washington Post: A new poll suggests the Swiss are willing to continue paying fees for public broadcasting before a referendum being closely watched across Europe.

SWITZERLAND: Swiss licence fee vote: the demands and potential consequences

SwissInfo: On March 4, the Swiss will vote on getting rid of the compulsory radio and television licence fee. If they say yes, Switzerland will become the first country in Europe to abolish the bulk of its public-service broadcasting. What are the arguments and what is at stake?

UNITED KINGDOM: A review into BBC R&D activity

BBC: In the BBC’s recent Charter agreement with the UK Government, we agreed with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to undertake and publish a review of our Research & Development (R&D) activity.

UNITED KINGDOM: Just one in four Britons trust news on social media, finds survey

The Guardian: Reputation damaged by fake news scandals, the spread of extremist propaganda and child safety issues

UNITED KINGDOM: UK regulator rules against Murdoch takeover of Sky

The Financial Times: Watchdog says deal would concentrate too much power in mogul’s hands, but opens door to Disney.

GENERAL: Europe tries to fight hate, harassment, and fake news without killing free speech

CJR: A toxic combination of misinformation, hate speech, and online harassment is pushing several European countries to take action against social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. But some believe their actions—however well-intentioned—run the risk of stifling free speech and putting dangerous restrictions on freedom of the press.

GENERAL: Social media companies accelerate hate speech removals in self-regulation push

Deutsche Welle: Social media firms and the European Commission have been pushing for self-regulation in the fight against hate speech. Their latest results show that it seems to be working.

BRAZIL: Laws are not effective remedy for fake news (Portuguese)

Epoca: WhatsApp groups are a big medium of information and their contents can not be traced.

COLOMBIA: An investment in journalism works to return peace to Colombia

CJR: Two years ago, as peace negotiations began to show promise of ending Colombia’s 50-year civil war, international organizations leapt in to fortify the precarious process and help repair a fractured society. Alongside money for education, infrastructure, judicial action, and landmine removal, the contributions included funding for journalism.

COLOMBIA: Colombian Inspector General will intervene in case before Supreme Court to protect journalists’ sources

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: Following widespread concern from journalists and press advocates after the Colombian Supreme Court ruled a media company must reveal communication with its sources, the country’s Inspector General said it would intervene in the case.

PUERTO RICO: Radio Casa Pueblo Goes Solar

Radio World: Community radio station Radio Casa Pueblo, located in Adjuntas, Puerto Rico, says it is now operating entirely with renewable energy.

TURKEY: DW opens news bureau in Istanbul

Deutsche Welle: Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster, is continuing to expand its global network of correspondents after opening a new office in Istanbul with further bureaus planned for Asia and Latin America.

TURKEY: European Union pressuring Turkey to release jailed journalists

EFJ: The European Union and Turkey will see no progress in their relations as long as Turkey holds journalists in prison, the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said on Friday (12/01/2018) at a news conference in Bulgaria.

TURKEY: Fight against impunity in Turkey depends on political vagaries


YEMEN: YJS report depicts grim situation of press freedom in 2017

IFJ: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has today denounced the 300 violations against journalists, media workers, media houses and websites reported in Yemen during 2017 by its affiliate, the Yemeni Journalists’ Syndicate (YJS).

CANADA: Call for applications: CJF-CBC Indigenous Journalism Fellowships

Canadian Journalism Foundation: To promote Indigenous voices and issues in the media, The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF), together with CBC News, is now accepting applications to its CJF-CBC Indigenous Journalism Fellowships program.

CANADA: CBC president job posting re-opened to search for candidates living abroad

iPolitics: The independent committee leading the selection process for the new president and CEO of Canada’s public broadcaster has asked the federal government to re-open the posting for the job to look for qualified Canadians living abroad and to align the process with new rules on government job postings.

US: April Ryan says the press is ‘under attack’ (Video)

CNN: Ryan describes receiving death threats and says “there has been a war on the press by the White House.”

US: Assessing Trump’s press freedom record, one year on

CJR: Just under a year ago, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. How should we assess his press freedom record so far?

US: Climate for press freedom worsens in Missouri, surrounding states

CPJ: Journalists tell international delegation of hostility, restricted access.

US: CPB Announces $500,000 in Education Innovation Planning Grants for Public Media Stations

CPB: To help spur innovation in public media education content and services, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) will offer $500,000 in grants to help up to 50 public media stations explore innovative education programs or initiatives.

US: PBS president says network has tightened harassment policies, is eyeing new late-night fare

Current: Charlie Rose and Tavis Smiley, tarred by allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior, are gone from their late-night perches on PBS. But the ramifications of their removals late last year continue to ripple through public broadcasting.

US: Pubcasters ask FCC for relief on ATSC broadcast rule

Current: Public broadcasting executives are urging the FCC to exempt noncommercial TV from a regulation that requires stations that transmit video in ATSC 3.0 to broadcast the same fare in ATSC 1.0, on grounds that many stations may be unable to comply.

After Logan Paul ‘suicide video’ YouTube denies it should be regulated

BBC News: YouTube has denied its content should be regulated in a way similar to traditional broadcasters.

As technology develops, so must journalists’ codes of ethics

The Guardian: AI is sure to bring many benefits but concerns over its ability to make decisions mean human journalists’ input remains vital

Facebook will now ask users to rank news organizations they trust

The Washington Post: Facebook unveiled major changes Friday to the News Feed of its 2 billion users, announcing it will rank news organizations by credibility based on user feedback and diminish its role as an arbiter of the news people see.

Five Tools to Rebuild Trust in Media (Opinion)

Nieman Lab: Helping readers slow down, ask questions, and find reasoned opposing views may foster civil discourse online.

Google suspends fact-checking feature over quality concerns

Poynter: Google is suspending a search feature that displayed fact checks associated to publishers after receiving criticism from conservative news outlets.

More risk, less pay: Why the gender gap matters more for foreign reporters

CJR: When Carrie Gracie resigned from her post as the BBC’s China Editor last week in protest over the company’s failure to close its gender pay gap, her exit sparked a global conversation about how far the media industry has, or hasn’t, come, particularly with regard to foreign correspondents.

Slapp: Shadowy legal actions are being used to silence the media

Index on Censorship: Journalists who dare to investigate powerful people or companies are facing increasingly expensive legal threats to stop them publishing.

Spotify Has New Plan to Take on Radio and Reinvent Podcasts

Bloomberg: Spotify, the world’s largest paid music service, will begin offering news and political coverage to lure listeners away from radio and podcasts from rival Apple Inc.

State Censorship: The Other Travel Ban

GIJN: Governments have arsenals of weapons to censor information. The worst are well-known: detention, torture, extra-judicial killing, surveillance. Though governments also have access to less forceful but still insidious tools, such as website blocking and internet filtering, these aim to cut off the flow of information and advocacy at the source.

This tool makes editing podcasts just as easy as editing text
Poynter: Podcasts have a low barrier to entry. With a little audio editing knowledge and some free software, almost anyone can make one. But a new tool eliminates that barrier entirely by opening up podcast editing to anyone who knows how to edit text.

We looked at the state of democracy around the world, and the results are grim

Freedom House: Democracy’s adversaries are on the march worldwide, exporting authoritarian misrule and spreading instability across national borders. But as free societies face their most serious global challenge since the end of the Cold War, the United States is abdicating its traditional leadership role, exacerbating the crisis.

What ‘Engagement Reporting’ Is and Why It Matters

MediaShift: What if readers, not just sources, were an active part of the news reporting process? A new group of journalists is exploring that possibility in an effort to deepen their reporting and build community relationships.

Why Facebook’s news feed changes are bad news for democracy

The Guardian: News organisations say they have seen a steady drop off in Facebook referred traffic

World Report 2018 (report)

HRW: Annual review of human rights around the globe.

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

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

All headlines are sourced from their original story.

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

Header image: Cameraman shooting crowd. Credit: iStock/denizbayram