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

As the global Covid-19 pandemic continues and many countries enter a state of lockdown, the need for community solidarity and mutual support has never been greater. But this support requires quality, fact-checked and evidence based news and information.

With this in mind, the Public Media Alliance has compiled an extensive and growing resources featuring recommended tools, advice and sources for journalists and the public alike. The resources can be found via the link below or in the ‘Tools’ section of our website.

The resource will be frequently updated to reflect the changing needs and evolving situation. If you have any recommendations, please let us know.

We also want to hear about your local public media coverage! Email us!

As the coronavirus pandemic worsens, public media are rapidly adapting to best cover the crisis on a local level while also providing for educational needs and vulnerable groups as isolation policies are introduced.

We want to hear from our members about what you are doing to best cover the crisis on a local level. Email us using the link below.

Coronavirus: Resources & best practices

Essential resources for sourcing and reporting news about the coronavirus pandemic

What we're listening to...

Sibyle Veil: “The crisis has cost Radio France up to 20 million euros” (French)

France Info: The president of the public radio group takes stock of the last three months and talks about the future of her savings plan.

What we're watching...

Journalist Maria Ressa on an ‘ominous’ global pattern of threats against news media

PBS: On June 15th, a court in the Philippines convicted one of the country’s most prominent journalists, Maria Ressa, of cyberlibel. Advocates for press freedom quickly called the trial unfair, arguing it is part of a larger crackdown by Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte on his political opponents and media critical of him. Nick Schifrin talks to Ressa about an “ominous” global trend toward reporters.


Global Headlines

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

ALGERIA: RSF condemns flagrant erosion of press freedom in Algeria

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Algerian authorities to end their increasingly blatant use of the judicial system to persecute journalists, gag the media and throttle freedom of the press.

DJIBOUTI: One journalist in hiding, 2 others detained over protest coverage in Djibouti

CPJ: Authorities in Djibouti should stop harassing journalists working with the La Voix de Djibouti broadcaster, and ensure that the press can cover matters of public interest without intimidation, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

EGYPT: Egypt arrests prominent journalist after Al Jazeera interview

Al Monitor: Egypt has arrested a prominent journalist who gave an interview to Qatari TV channel Al Jazeera, his family said in a statement. Mohamed Monir, 65, was taken from his apartment in Sheikh Zayed by secret police early Monday, according to his family. 

GHANA: Election 2020: 150 Ghanaian Journalists to be Trained in Media Literacy and Election Reporting

MFWA: The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) and the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) are organising a Media Literacy, Election Reporting and Safety of Journalists Workshop ahead of Ghana’s general elections on December 7, 2020.

MALAWI: Malawi Police Develops Guidelines To Ensure Safety Of Journalists

MISA Malawi: MISA Malawi would like to inform its membership that the Malawi Police Service (MPS) has come up with security guidelines to ensure safety of journalists covering the ongoing campaign trail.

MOROCCO: Morocco witnesses new blows to press freedom under Covid-19 securitisation

Middle East Monitor: Morocco seems to have been successful in preventing a major outbreak three months after announcing the first two Covid-19 infections. The success of the lockdown has been described as without match in Africa. Although the swift measures taken were commonly perceived as effective, their use to basically shrink the space for dissent and freedom of speech is equally noteworthy.

NAMIBIA: NBC axes six over alleged fraud

The Namibian: The Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) on Friday gave six employees the boot for allegedly forging academic records to get a salary advance.

NIGERIA: Mixed Reactions Trail Amendment of Broadcasting Code

This Day: Some stakeholders have reacted to the recently amended National Broadcasting Commission Code by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC). They also called on NBC to rather seek policies that would incentivise and not punish local content creation and technology service delivery in the broadcast industry.

SOMALIA: Somali partners provide aid to journalists in need

Free Press Unlimited: Ranked 163 out of 180 in the Press Freedom Index, Somalia is already an extremely dangerous country for journalists. The COVID-19 exacerbates that situation, making it even more difficult for journalists to continue bringing reliable information to the public, at a time when it’s most needed. Our local partners are making every effort to provide aid to journalists in need.

SOUTH AFRICA: EFF condemns SABC retrenchment plans

SABC News: Reaction continues pouring in to the SABC’s intention to begin a retrenchment process. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is the latest political party to air its views on the matter. It has condemned the decision, saying it will only lead to the demise of the public broadcaster. The SABC has issued employees with a Section 189 notice with the possibility of cutting 600 permanent jobs and 1 200 freelance posts The organisation cited a dire financial situation as the main reason.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC to appear before parliament amid possible retrenchments

SABC News: The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) will be called to a virtual briefing with Parliament’s Communications and Digital Technologies Committee next week Wednesday. This is according to Committee Chairperson Boyce Maneli who says their next meeting was only scheduled in July.

UGANDA: How virtual campaigns will be conducted

Daily Monitor: The Electoral Commission (EC) has revealed that only presidential candidates will be given free and equal airtime on the state owned media outlets as provided for in the Presidential Elections Act 2005.

GENERAL: Local Radio Stations in Africa: Sustainability or Pragmatic Viability? (Report)

CIMA: Despite the explosion of digital news outlets globally, millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa continue to rely on radio as the most accessible independent news source. However, radio stations across the continent are facing unprecedented threats to their sustainability due to weak media markets, limited advertising revenue and intense competition.

AFGHANISTAN: Proposed Changes to Media Law ‘Dangerous’: Watchdogs

Tolo News: The new amendments have been approved by the cabinet and the draft is set to be sent to the parliament for ratification.

BANGLADESH: Bangladeshi authorities investigate 5 journalists, detain 2 under Digital Security Act for COVID-19 reporting

CPJ: The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on authorities in Bangladesh to immediately and unconditionally release political cartoonist Kabir Kishore and writer and commentator Mushtaq Ahmed and to stop using the Digital Security Act to silence critical reporting on the coronavirus pandemic.

BANGLADESH: It’s a curb on free speech

The Daily Star: In the wake of the arrests of two university teachers and two students, prominent voices against the Digital Security Act (DSA) decried the law as a curb on free speech.

CHINA & HONG KONG: Scrap National Security Law to Save Hong Kong Freedoms

HRW: 86 Groups Call for Protection of Human Rights, Civil Liberties

HONG KONG: Curtain falls on Hong Kong’s oldest satirical TV show

HKFP: Hong Kong’s oldest political satire show aired its final episode Friday evening, against a backdrop of pro-democracy unrest and fears that an incoming anti-subversion law will help Beijing trammel local freedoms.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s public broadcaster faces rising pressure to self-censor (Paywall)

The Financial Times: RTHK reporters told to tone down coverage ahead of imposition of Beijing security law.

HONG KONG: Journalists overwhelmingly oppose China’s National Security Law

IFJ: The Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) survey on the enactment of Hong Kong’s National Security Law found 98% of journalists disagree with the National People’s Congress (NPC) plan to enact the law.  

INDIA: 55 Indian Journalists Arrested, Booked, Threatened For Reporting on COVID-19: Report

The Wire: The report said that as many as 22 FIRs were filed against various journalists while the lockdown was in progress.

INDIA: India’s proud newspapers buckling under pandemic losses

Bangkok Post: Indian newspapers, which just a few months ago had defied the global trend by gaining circulation, are now buckling under the weight of coronavirus losses that have killed some off and critically wounded other big names.

INDIA: Law enforcement targets journalists during the pandemic

IFJ: Since the Indian government imposed Covid-19 restrictions on March 25, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has recorded 17 legal cases brought against journalists in India. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the National Union of Journalists (India) (NUJI) express concern over the increase in violations and urge the government to respect freedom of expression.

INDIA: Press Freedom Organisations Condemn Police Case Against Scroll Journalist

NDTV: Journalists and media watchdog organisations have rallied around an editor of the news website Scroll after the Uttar Pradesh Police filed a First Information Report or FIR against her.

JAPAN: Japan’s NHK to retrain staff after criticism of cartoon about black Americans

Reuters: Japan’s public broadcaster NHK said on Wednesday it would train staff on human rights, after a cartoon it broadcast last week to explain race relations in the United States was criticized for depicting stereotypes of African-Americans.

MONGOLIA: Upcoming election raises concerns for press freedom

IFJ: Mongolia’s upcoming legislative council election on June 24 will test the country’s new misinformation laws passed earlier this year limiting freedom of expression. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) urges the government to prioritise the free flow of information during the election and enact reforms to protect media institutions.

MALAYSIA: Don’t abuse contempt proceedings to silence media freedom: Judge

Malaysiakini: Judicial power must not be abused via invocation of contempt proceedings against critics and the press as independent media helps safeguard accountability, transparency and good governance of the law in a democracy, said a Court of Appeal judge.

MALAYSIA: Malaysian media outlet faces contempt of court charge over reader comments

The Jakarta Post: Malaysian media outlet Malaysiakini and its editor-in-chief Steven Gan are facing a contempt of court charge over comments left by readers on one of its articles.

MYANMAR: Civil society marks 1-year of world’s longest internet shutdown

Free Expression Myanmar: Today, 21 June, is the first anniversary of the shutdown of all mobile internet access in Myanmar’s Rakhine and Chin States. This is the longest internet shutdown in the world. Approximately 1.4 million people in eight townships in those States are suffering from the ongoing violation of their economic, social, cultural, developmental, political, and civil rights.

PAKISTAN: Arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman: Jang-Geo workers protests enter 103rd day

The News International: The participants of countrywide protest of workers and journalists of Geo and Jang Group on Monday vowed to resist all the odds and will stand firm with Jang/Geo Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and to continue their protest till his release as he has been illegal custody without any charge since last 103 days.

PAKISTAN: Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s bail plea hearing postponed till July 7

Geo News: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday postponed the bail hearing of Jang/Geo Media Group owner Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s (MSR) till July 7. A two-member bench of the LHC comprising Justice Shahbaz Rizvi and Justice Sardar Ahmad Nadeem were presiding over the hearing. 

PHILIPPINES: ABS-CBN head of news describes losses to journalists, Philippine public amid station closure

CPJ: Regina Reyes says she had a “journalist’s premonition” that something bad would happen the day before Philippine authorities ordered her ABS-CBN news station to cease and desist operations on May 5.

PHILIPPINES: Journalist Maria Ressa on an ‘ominous’ global pattern of threats against news media

PBS: On June 15th, a court in the Philippines convicted one of the country’s most prominent journalists, Maria Ressa, of cyberlibel. Advocates for press freedom quickly called the trial unfair, arguing it is part of a larger crackdown by Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte on his political opponents and media critical of him. Nick Schifrin talks to Ressa about an “ominous” global trend toward reporters.

PHILIPPINES: LIST: Groups worldwide decry ‘new weapon’ vs press freedom after cyber libel verdict

Rappler: If there’s anything the outpouring of support for Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and former Rappler researcher-writer Reynaldo Santos Jr. proves, it’s that the world won’t stand idly by as the cybercrime law is put to the test in the Philippines. Outraged by what many call a “tragedy for Philippine democracy,” groups all over the world slammed the guilty verdict against Ressa and Santos and decried its implications on press freedom for years to come.

TIMOR-LESTE: Will Timor-Leste be the region’s latest press freedom casualty?

Lowy Intitute: A new law under the guise of “dignity” would only diminish democracy and transparency in the country.

TIMOR-LESTE: Timor-Leste plans to restore criminal defamation law amid concerns about its free speech impact

Global Voices: Media and civil society leaders in Timor-Leste have expressed concern about the possible reintroduction of a criminal defamation law in the country.

AUSTRALIA: ABC board elects to take 10% pay cut amid coronavirus economic slump

The Guardian: Exclusive: Board’s move before unveiling five-year strategic plan comes as broadcaster faces federal government pressure to freeze wages.

AUSTRALIA: ABC launches audio description service for blind or vision-impaired audiences

ABC Australia: The popular ABC children’s series Bluey  is set to open up for its young fans who are blind or vision-impaired with the launch of the ABC’s audio description service this week. Bluey  is one of more than a dozen ABC programs that will be audio described on the ABC’s Main Channel, ABC ME, ABC Comedy, ABC Kids and ABC News.  The ABC, as well as SBS, will broadcast around 14 hours of audio described content each week.

AUSTRALIA: ABC reimburses $12m to nearly 2,000 staff underpaid over seven years

The Guardian: The ABC has paid back $12m to almost 2,000 casual staff who were underpaid over six years and will also make a contrition payment of $600,000 to settle the damaging scandal.

AUSTRALIA: How an East Gippsland farmer, cut off during Black Summer bushfires, got a message broadcast on ABC Radio to let his mum know he was alive (Listen)

ABC Backstory: After days of high-pressure emergency broadcasting at the height of the bushfires sweeping through East Gippsland last summer, this was a moment that brought ABC Gippsland presenter Mim Cook to tears.

AUSTRALIA: SBS launches audio description, giving more Australians access to enjoy the full story (Press Release)

SBS: SBS is making its programming more accessible for audiences with the full launch of audio description (AD) across a range of SBS and SBS VICELAND content on TV.

AUSTRALIA: Trusted news brands revealed in Reuters Institute study 

radioinfo: ABC TV and Radio are the most used news brands in Australia, according to this year’s annual Reuters Institute digital news report.

NEW ZEALAND: Māori media rejig creates confusion, meets resistance (Listen)

RNZ:  A long-awaited report on the future of Māori media proposes a ‘one-stop-shop’ for Māori news based at Māori Television. 

NEW ZEALAND: The journalists who helped save New Zealand’s health response

RNZ: When TVNZ’s 1 News aired Kristin Hall’s story about failings in several of Auckland’s quarantine facilities on 11 June, it seemed out-of-step with the national mood.

SAMOA: Samoa parliament says media are not banned

RNZ: Samoa’s Parliament has answered criticism it received for a lack of media facilities saying it recognises the importance of fair and factual reporting of its proceedings.

REGIONAL: A Thousand Cuts wins best global feature at NZ’s Doc Edge festival

Asia Pacific Report: A Thousand Cuts, Ramona Diaz’s documentary on democracy and press freedom in the Philippines, has won the top prize at the 2020 Doc Edge Festival in New Zealand.

REGIONAL: EJN teams up with PMC’s Pacific Media Watch on new climate project

Asia Pacific Report: In an innovative new development, Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) will partner with the Pacific Media Centre on a “climate and covid” project to help improve and enhance the quality of environmental and reporting in the Pacific region.

BELARUS:  Belarus: BAJ and media groups demand end to persecution of journalists (Statement)

IFEX: Over just two days, June 19 and 20, at least 14 journalists were arrested in Belarus while performing their professional duties. 

BELGIUM: Coronavirus and media: Newspaper subscription sales up sharply during containment (French)

RTBF: Sales of subscriptions to the daily press increased sharply in Belgium during the containment, between March and May, in particular on digital. The sales situation for single issues is more complicated. Many outlets have closed for several weeks.

BELGIUM: New VRT CEO faces savings and stiff competition

The Brussels Times: The Flemish government has chosen Frederik Delaplace to be the new CEO of the public broadcaster VRT. Delaplace is currently CEO of Mediafin, which publishes the twin financial dailies De Tijd and L’Echo. Mediafin is a small company, with only 260 employees, but packs a big punch thanks to the reputation of its main properties.

BULGARIA: ‘They will leave me jobless.’ Why declining press freedom in Bulgaria should worry us all

The Calvert Journal: Press freedom in Bulgaria has nosedived over the last 10 years. Is its decline a warning of challenges to come across Europe as a whole?

CROATIA: Croatian Gov. In Secret Meeting Urged Media To Fall In Line Ahead of Coronavirus Response

Total Croatia News: The Croatian government in a secretive mid-March meeting reportedly tried to guide journalists’ coverage of the coronavirus outbreak and the measures meant to fight it. Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and nearly every minister allegedly nudged news organizations towards a narrative of a competent government helming the COVID-19 response. The press obliged.

CZECH REPUBLIC:  Financial boost for Czech TV

Broadband TV News: The Czech public broadcaster Ceska Televize (CT) made a saving of CZK205 million (€7.68 million) last year.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Strong support for Czech licence fees

Broadband TV News: Over 80% of Czechs are in favour of the country’s public broadcasting to continue being funded by receiver licence fees. Quoting the findings of research undertaken by the Median and STEM/MARK agencies, Ceska Televize (CT) adds that the current level of fees is considered appropriate or too low by 84% of people in the case of Czech Radio (CRo) and 81% in the case of CT.

FINLAND: Gov’t aims to limit Yle web publications 

Yle: The government has proposed that the state-owned Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle) should generally only be allowed to publish text material to support video or audio broadcasts or releases. The proposal was sent out for comment by various bodies and the public on Tuesday. The plan stems back to a complaint filed by the Finnish Media Federation (Finnmedia) with the European Commission three years ago.

FINLAND: Yle merges divisions in restructure

C21 Media: Finnish public broadcaster YLE is merging its international acquisitions and domestic commissioning departments as part of a reorganisation of the group.

FRANCE: France TV appoints ex-Netflix, Canal+ exec to head programming

TBI Vision: France Télévisions has appointed the former head of documentaries for Netflix in EMEA as programming director at the French public broadcaster.

FRANCE: France Televisions Affirms Commitment to Animation, Children & Family

Variety: France Televisions has confirmed its commitment to animation spanning all ages with the Paris-based public broadcaster announcing a raft of series and putting a call out for more animated education and edutainment content.

FRANCE: Sibyle Veil: “The crisis has cost Radio France up to 20 million euros” (French – Listen)

France TV Info: The president of the public radio group takes stock of the last three months and talks about the future of her savings plan.

GERMANY: German Public Broadcaster ZDF Releases Dozens of Videos Under CC Licenses

Creative Commons: In theory, publishing publicly funded television content under open licenses should be a no-brainer. As with publicly funded research, open licenses improve distribution, allow for remix creativity, and unlock access to popular free knowledge platforms such as Wikipedia.

GERMANY, AUSTRIA & SWITZERLAND: ORF, SRF and ZDF stand together in the corona crisis (German – Press Release)

ZDF: The public television stations from Austria, German-speaking Switzerland and Germany – ORF, SRF and ZDF – agreed on joint program projects for 2021 at their annual co-production conference, which took place in virtual form for the first time this year.

HUNGARY: Hungary’s two pandemics: COVID-19 and attacks on media freedom

ECPMF: A legal opinion commissioned by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) finds that the Hungarian Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic fails to live up to domestic or European legal standards and entrenches the country’s attacks on independent media outlets, journalists and media workers.

HUNGARY: Hungary’s largest news site warns independence at risk

EuObserver: Hungary’s largest news site has sent out an emergency alert that its independence is at risk because of “external pressure”. Index.hu on Sunday (21 June) moved its “independence barometer”, which it set up in 2018 after an ownership change, to “in danger” from “independent”.

NORTH MACEDONIA: North Macedonia operators threaten TV black-out over new media law (Paywall)

Telecompaper: North Macedonia operators plan to interrupt TV channel distribution from 21 June, for all channels apart from the public broadcaster, as a sign of protest against the “unconstitutional obligations” implemented with the Law on Audiovisual Media Services. In a statement, the operators claim they are faced with retroactive obligations for re-registration of all foreign channels. The only exception will be channels from public broadcaster MRT. 

NORTH MACEDONIA: Switched off: North Macedonia’s Media Reforms Fade Away

Balkan Insight: Three years into a new government led by the Social Democrats, the national broadcaster, Macedonian Radio and Television, MRT, is still not reformed, professionalised or independent.

RUSSIA: Russian journalists investigated, fined over COVID-19 reporting

CPJ: Russian authorities should stop harassing journalists reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic and allow them to work freely and safely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. 

SPAIN: RTVE, second option in the ranking of media that generate more confidence (Spanish)

RTVE: According to the Digital News Report, 56% of the respondents trust daily the information offered by RTVE.

SWEDEN: The publishers in a joint article: “Why is media prevented from reviewing the corona pandemic?” (Swedish)

Sveriges Radio: A number of municipalities, regions and authorities around Sweden have prevented the media from accessing public and public documents on the corona pandemic. It shows a survey of the principle of publicity that the Publishers have done. Now, JO or JK must investigate the cases and the upcoming Corona Commission will provide answers to why public administration disregards our constitutions.

SWITZERLAND: How Switzerland kept in touch during Covid-19

Swissinfo: Researchers from the University of Zurich share how the coronavirus led them to redirect their research in order to better understand people’s communication habits during the pandemic, and what they found. (…) Public broadcaster SRF was the most frequently cited source of pandemic information, with 89% of respondents turning to this source at least some of the time.

SWITZERLAND: Kaltura Chosen For SRG SSR Cloud TV Service

IBC360: Video cloud specialist Kaltura has revealed that Swiss national public broadcaster SRG SSR has selected the Kaltura TV Platform as the basis on which to build its new multi-language cloud TV service, named Play Suisse.

SWITZERLAND: SRG postpones transition to HEVC/H.265 on satellite

Broadband TV News: The Corona crisis has put a damper on Swiss public broadcaster SRG’s plan to move its satellite channels to the new HEVC/H.265 compression standard in 2021.

UK: BBC commits £100m to increasing diversity on TV

BBC News: The BBC is to increase diversity by investing £100m of its TV budget over a three year period to produce “diverse and inclusive content”. Director general Tony Hall has described the move, which will apply from April 2021, as “a big leap”.

UK: BBC Scotland announces plans to cut 60 jobs

BBC News: About 60 jobs are to go at BBC Scotland as part of efforts to meet savings targets. The corporation has announced it needs to reduce spending by £6.2m by the end of next March.

UK: BBC thinks again on end of free TV licences for over-75s (Paywall)

The Times

UK: How the BBC’s Shared Data Unit teaches journalists to find the news ‘hiding in plain sight’

The Drum: The BBC’s Shared Data Unit won ‘Editorial Innovation of the Year’ at The Drum Online Media Awards 2020. Here, the team behind it reveals the challenges faced and strategies used to deliver this successful project.

UK: Stars urge BBC to protect regional current affairs programmes

BBC News: Dozens of broadcasters from Stephen Fry to Sir Lenny Henry have signed a letter asking the BBC not to cut its English regional current affairs programmes.

REGIONAL: As lockdowns lift, spike in attacks on journalists covering protests in Europe

IPI: Latest MFRR briefing provides update of press freedom violations documented in Europe since mid-May

REGIONAL: Covid-19-impact on access to information in CoE countries

EFJ: The Centre for Law and Democracy has released an executive summary of the report on the Right to Information during Health Emergencies in English, French and Spanish. Below is a summary of (potential) changes to access to information and right to information law in Council of Europe Member States.

GENERAL: EBU Members Rise To The Challenge Of Covid-19 Content Crisis

EBU: Twenty-five public service media organizations from the EBU Member community have responded to an urgent TV content appeal by providing over 200 TV programmes, amounting to 1,300 hours of content, for use by all public service broadcasters.

ARGENTINA: Study without the Internet: the quarantined school deepens inequality in Argentina (Spanish)

El País: On paper, public radio and television replace digital education in large regions without internet access. 

ARUBA: Covid-19 crisis used as pretext to obstruct reporting in Dutch Antilles

RSF: A journalist in Aruba working for the Dutch public broadcasting service is being prosecuted for violating the curfew that was declared on the island to contain the pandemic, although she was just doing her job.

BARBADOS: Nation photographer attacked and killed

Barbados Nation: A Nation photographer who was responding to a report that a man was killed at Bishop’s Court Hill, St Michael, was attacked and killed on June 22. 

BOLIVIA: Protesters assault Bolivian journalists from Unitel TV and El Deber

CPJ: Bolivian authorities’ investigation into attacks on journalists from Unitel TV and El Deber should be thorough and transparent, and those responsible should be held to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

BRAZIL: Fake news bill treats all Brazillian netizens as potential criminals (Paywall)

The Brazillian Report: A highly consequential vote is set to take place in the Brazillian senate on Thursday, yet it has strangely flown under the radar of the domestic press. 

BRAZIL: Jair Bolsonaro accused me of spreading ‘fake news’. I know why he targeted me (Opinion)

The Guardian: Bolsonaro does not like being challenged by women, especially black women. That’s especially true if we look into allegations against the president.

GUYANA: Press freedom gains must be preserved (Opinion) 

Stabroek News: Over the past five years the media has seen significant gains in press freedom. This freedom has allowed for many to share their perspective without fear of retaliation. This is essential to fostering a constructive debate on key topics affecting our nation. Thus allowing decision makers to have a more complete perspective which helps in better decision making from which we all benefit as a nation.

HONDURAS: RSF alerts on emergency laws that “dynamite press freedom” (Spanish)

ConexiHon: In the current context of a COVID-19 health emergency, governments are using it to create laws that restrict journalistic work, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) warned this week. In the case of Central America, Reporters Without Borders mentioned El Salvador and Honduras, where measures were adopted to limit freedom of expression and restrictions on the movements of journalists.

JAMAICA: Webinars for Caribbean journalists on responsible COVID-19 reporting (Opportunity)

Jamaica Observer:  The Pan American Health Organization and the Caribbean Development Bank have partnered with the Caribbean Broadcasting Union to host a series of digital seminars for regional journalists and communicators focused on responsible reporting of COVID-19.

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: Of Covid and other media challenges (Opportunity) 

TRINIDAD GUARDIAN: An event hosted by the European Union—Latin America and Caribbean (EU-LAC) Foundation and included journalists, academics and press freedom folks from Spain, Latin America and my one representative from the Caribbean.

IRAN: Why is the Iranian regime wary of Instagram?

DW: Iranian authorities are reportedly mulling a ban on Instagram, a popular social media platform in the Islamic country. DW analyzes why the hardline Shiite regime continues to feel threatened by the power of the internet.

IRAQ: Interview: Journalists, Critics Threatened & Harassed in Iraq

HRW: New Government Provides Some Hope as Authorities Crack Down on Activists. 

IRAQ: Iraqi Kurdistan attorney general calls for closure of NRT broadcaster

CPJ: Authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan should allow the NRT broadcaster to cover the news freely and without official harassment, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

LEBANON: Lebanon: Coronavirus and the media

EJO: For a brief period after the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic, Lebanon’s highly partisan legacy media temporarily set aside their usual politicised approach and instead focused on the common goal of raising public awareness of the seriousness of the health emergency.

PALESTINE: MEE journalist Shatha Hammad wins One World Media New Voice Award

Middle East Eye: Shatha Hammad, a freelance journalist working from the occupied West Bank with Middle East Eye, has won the prestigious One World Media New Voice Award. “Shatha Hammad’s work is both ground-breaking and rich with detail. The jury recognised her ability to illuminate political and social issues through the lens of individuals,” the One World jury said in a statement on Thursday.

SYRIA: ‘Journalism is Still my World’ Says Syrian Who Found Refuge in Spain

VOA: Rajaai Bourhan is trying to make a life for himself in Spain. Two years ago, he and several other journalists were trapped in southern Syria, as forces loyal to President Bashar Assad moved to take the region. They had a choice: Stay and risk arrest or death or leave in search of safety.

TURKEY: Turkish courts reopen to backlog of press freedom cases

Al Monitor: The resumption of court hearings in Turkey has press freedom advocates anxious, amid fears of a second COVID-19 wave and ongoing pressure on the media covering the pandemic.

TURKEY: Rights groups protest Turkish ban on radio station ‘Özgürüz’ and ongoing harassment of Can Dündar (Statement)

IFEX: PEN International and 38 civil society organisations deplore the decision by a Turkish court to ban access to Germany-based online radio station Özgürüz (‘We Are Free’), which is headed by Can Dündar. We call on the Turkish authorities to reverse the decision, to stop the harassment of Dündar and to reform the country’s laws and judicial practice so that internet freedom can be guaranteed.

YEMEN: UN calls on Houthis to drop death sentences against journalists

Middle East Monitor: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his concern about the death sentences issued against journalists by a Houthi court in Sanaa. “I am horrified that these individuals were tortured and deprived of their basic human rights,” said Antonio Guterres, stressing that the UN does not accept the death penalty in any circumstances.

CANADA: Canada’s Public Broadcaster Announces Recipients Of The CBC Creative Relief Fund, Awarding $2.2 Million In Funding

CBC/Radio-Canada: Canada’s public broadcaster announced that 119 original Canadian projects have been selected to receive immediate support through THE CBC CREATIVE RELIEF FUND, exceeding the initial commitment with $2.2 million in development and production funding confirmed across three programming streams. 

CANADA: CBC renewal: CRTC announces new hearing date, renews licences for another year (Paywall) 


CANADA: Journalists of colour react to CBC host resigning over lack of Indigenous, Black representation

CBC News: Canada’s media institutions have been under the microscope in the past few weeks for their part in perpetuating systemic racism, and the CBC has been no exception. Last week, after making on-air remarks about the under-representation of Indigenous and Black voices at the public broadcaster, Christine Genier, host of CBC’s Yukon Morning radio show in Whitehorse, resigned.

CANADA: These journalism grads wanted Canadian media to do a better job on Black stories. So here’s what they did

CBC News: Incoming journalism students can now thank these four graduates for the newest addition to the school’s curriculum: “Reporting on race: The Black community in the media.” This week, the chair of the school’s journalism program, Janice Neil, announced Ryerson would act on the petition by creating a course specifically aimed at reporting on Black Canadians to launch this fall.

US: Covering police violence protests in the US

CPJ: Reporters have been attacked and arrested while covering protests following the death of George Floyd. Follow coverage with the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a partnership between CPJ and Freedom of the Press Foundation.

US: Journalists ‘Should Not Be Targeted’ by Police During Protests

VOA: Portland’s mayor and police chief say they will review police tactics after hearing accounts of officers threatening and roughing up journalists covering demonstrations against police brutality. “Members of the media, not just in Portland but around the country, should not be targeted, hurt, or arrested while reporting on demonstrations,” Mayor Ted Wheeler and Chief Chuck Lovell wrote in an open letter to the press. 

US: Nonprofit newsrooms are increasingly dedicating themselves to local news 

Nieman Lab: News organizations that have turned to the nonprofit model have often focused on national or investigative news but this year’s INN Index, released Tuesday, shows that a growing portion of nonprofit newsrooms are dedicated to local matters.

US: PBS budget for FY21 keeps station dues level (Paywall)

Current: PBS’ board approved a fiscal year 2021 budget Thursday that keeps station dues level and reduces spending on content and marketing. The budget projects station dues revenue at $201.7 million.

US: ProPublica Seeks Public Broadcasting Partners for Its Local Reporting Network (Opportunity)

ProPublica: Reporters from public radio and public television stations will spend a year working on deep-dive projects with financial support and guidance from ProPublica.

US: Stations step up reporter safety after unexpected conflicts at protests (Paywall)

Current: Public media stations are working to improve safety guidelines and procedures after journalists found themselves unprepared for covering the recent protests against police violence.

US: Survey: Americans trust the BBC more than New York Times, Wall Street Journal, ABC or CBS

Press Gazette: BBC News is more trusted in the United States than the country’s largest national news brands, a survey published today suggests.

US: The ‘Absurd’ New Reality of Reporting From the U.S. (Opinion)

The Atlantic: Being a Washington correspondent is among the most prestigious postings available to international journalists—a reward that is typically reserved for an outlet’s most senior or highest-profile journalist. Still, the role has never been considered a particularly risky one. No longer.

US: The Ninth Annual PBS Short Film Festival Celebrates Independent Filmmakers and Showcases Diverse Storytelling 

PBS: On June 18, PBS announced its Webby Award-nominated PBS Short Film Festival will return for a ninth year from July 13-24 to all PBS and station digital platforms, including PBS.org, YouTube and Facebook. The festival features 25 short-form independent films presented in five categories: culture, environment, family, humanity and race. 

US: Trump’s New Foreign Broadcasting CEO Fires News Chiefs, Raising Fears Of Meddling

NPR: President Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Agency for Global Media, Michael Pack, showed up to work Wednesday for the first time after being approved by the U.S. Senate two weeks earlier. His words to staff were affirming. His actions were anything but.

US: US sees over 400 attacks on press freedom in under a month — but why?

Deutsche Welle: Police have targeted journalists on live TV during the George Floyd protests. Courtney Radsch of the Committee to Protect Journalists talks about what’s behind this development and what it could mean for the world.

US: Voice of America top directors resign amid Trump clash

Deutsche Welle: The top two directors at Voice of America have resigned as President Donald Trump’s appointee takes charge of the organization overseeing VOA, sparking fears about the independence of the government-funded media outlet.

US: WBUR lays off 29 staff in major reorganization (Paywall)

Current: WBUR in Boston is the latest public radio station to undergo major organizational changes and job cuts triggered by financial challenges from the pandemic. 

French-language public media join forces for an exceptional music festival (French)

Les Médias Francophones Publics: France 2 and France Bleu , in association with the RTS , RTBF , Radio-Canada and TV5MONDE , are offering this Friday evening an extraordinary evening live from the Accor Arena in Paris, which for the occasion will be able to receive 2,000 spectators. 

Join our session “The blame game: What is the media’s responsibility in the corona crisis?” (Event)

Deutsche Welle: The Global Media Forum 2020 invites you to this virtual session on June 24. We will discuss journalism’s responsibility in times of the corona pandemic. It will begin at 15.00 (UTC +2).

Journalist Maria Ressa on an ‘ominous’ global pattern of threats against news media (Watch)

PBS: On June 15th, a court in the Philippines convicted one of the country’s most prominent journalists, Maria Ressa, of cyberlibel. Advocates for press freedom quickly called the trial unfair, arguing it is part of a larger crackdown by Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte on his political opponents and media critical of him. Nick Schifrin talks to Ressa about an “ominous” global trend toward reporters.

Letter to UN: Free, independent and pluralistic media essential to counter COVID-19 “infodemic”

Via IFEX: Press freedom and media development organizations stress the UN’s Verified campaign could be strengthened by acknowledging that free and independent journalism, citizen reporting and open public discourse are indispensable to decreasing the impact of false and misleading information about COVID-19.

New fund for public interest journalism gives £60k to 20 struggling UK newsrooms

Journalism.co.uk: As UK newsrooms continue to suffer the knockdown effect of the coronavirus pandemic, the Public Interest News Foundation has published the list of the first twenty grants from its covid-19 emergency fund.

Publishers Try Sending News by Text

Wall Street Journal: BuzzFeed and other publishers covering the coronavirus pandemic are testing texting to provide a more immediate, engaging and interactive experience. Their projects follow others that tried to gauge the reader appeal and business value of texting news over the years.

Refugee Journalists Bring Access to Stories that Would Otherwise Be Missed

Nieman Reports: “Diversity is not about political correctness, it’s about the quality of media”

UNESCO reiterates duty to protect safety of journalists covering demonstrations

UNESCO: Concerned by the growing numbers of reports on acts of violence against journalists during demonstrations, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay has reiterated the principle whereby “freedom of expression is a vitally important component of democracy, and journalists’ reporting on events is essential to press freedom and to the right to information.”

What journalists can learn from their mistakes during the pandemic (Opinion)

EJN: Getting COVID-19 coverage right required a diverse newsroom and journalists with data skills and expertise, argues Dorothy Byrne

Why Engagement is Necessary: Interviews with Practitioners and Thinkers on Engaged Journalism

NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute: In the age of information overload, the strength of news media around the world are being tested: whether they can play their role of gathering and verifying what is important and necessary out of the tsunami of entangled, complicated and often unreliable information, making them digestible and providing context.

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Header Image: Set of NBC Good Morning Namibia. Image: PMA