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.

KENYA: MCK in bid to strengthen journalism training

The Daily Nation: The Media Council of Kenya will begin crackdown on colleges offering substandard journalism courses.

KENYA: State only shutdown TV stations for a day: Uhuru

The Daily Nation: January’s shutdown of local TV stations lasted at least a week, but President Uhuru Kenyatta has told the world that it was only for a day.

LIBERIA: Hostile environment puts journalists at risk

DW: A local reporter dead, a BBC correspondent fleeing the country and a six-figure lawsuit against a government-critical paper — journalists in Liberia fear an atmosphere of intimidation.

LIBERIA: Trying Times for Liberia’s Media as Journalist is Killed Amidst On-going Repression

MFWA: The media in Liberia which has come under a barrage of physical and verbal attacks in recent times, particularly from state actors, has been plunged into further distress by the killing of one of its members.

NAMIBIA: Media muzzling not in line with Govt’s press freedom promises – EFN

The Namibian

NIGER: Crackdown on Civil Society Continues: 26 Arrested in 21 Days

MFWA: The authorities in Niger have made another swoop on civil society activists, making further arrests in connection with recent anti-government demonstrations.

TANZANIA: Freedom of expression ‘deteriorating’ under Magufuli

DW: Tanzania’s new law regulating online content is continuing to generate protest. Critics say President Magufuli is deliberately targeting freedom of expression.

TUNISIA: Is freedom of expression at stake in Tunisia?

Al-Monitor: Tunisian authorities have been prosecuting a number of bloggers in recent months on charges of using social media websites to criticize the performance of the government and its ministers.

UGANDA: 350 Jobs Up for Grabs As Govt Restructures UBC

The Monitor: Some 176 jobs at Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) have been slashed and the remaining 349 tossed up for grabs as the long-awaited revamp of the public broadcaster starts.

BANGLADESH: Digital Security Act: Minister assures editors can propose amendments to standing committee

The Daily Star: The law minister today [19 April] assured editors of arranging a meeting with parliamentary standing committee on post, telecom and ICT to place their proposals regarding amendments to the Digital Security Act.

CHINA & PAKISTAN: China, Pakistan keen to expand cooperation in media

The News: Chinese Ambassador H.E Yao Jing on Wednesday has said that cooperation between China and Pakistan in the field of film, media, culture and heritage would bring both countries closure.

JAPAN: Japan’s Media: Facing Public Indifference More than Distrust (Opinion)

Nippon: The term “fake news” has gained global currency, and distrust in both the conventional media and online news sources is on the rise. But in Japan, unlike elsewhere, media organs generally avoid controversy and partisanship, making the major concern not public distrust but public indifference.

JAPAN: Me Too rises in Japan as sexually harassed journalists speak out

The Japan Times: The Me Too movement, which was initially slow to spread in Japan, is now quietly reaching boiling point.

MONGOLIA: Mongolian journalists learn disaster risk

Relief Web: Journalists from Mongolia have shown their commitment to reducing disaster risk through participating in a unique training course, highlighting reporters’ vital role in bolstering community resilience.

MYANMAR: R Vision, a digital news outlet by and for Rohingya people, aims to shed light on crisis

NiemanLab: R Vision is run entirely by an ethnic Rohingya staff of about 25 and uses local citizen journalists to get news out from areas where media is denied access.

PAKISTAN: Pakistani journalists denounce blatant censorship

RSF: Yesterday, after this exceptionally bad week for free speech in Pakistan, more than 50 journalists launched a petition condemning the latest cases of censorship. In particular, they criticized several media outlets for refusing to cover subjects that the military does not want addressed.

PAKISTAN: Shutdown of Pakistani TV network hints at army’s bid for control

The Guardian: Geo concedes to military pressure after going off air for two weeks and agrees to self-censor.

PHILIPPINES: Holding the line: an interview with Tanya Hamada on the state of independent media and democratic governance in the Philippines

CIMA: Independent media operate under increasing pressure from the government and in an information ecosystem polluted by disinformation.

PHILIPPINES: Journalists on fighting fake news: Be more discerning, take a stand

Rappler: Panelists at the #FactsMatterPH forum held in Laguna share their thoughts on how ordinary citizens can take part in preventing the spread of disinformation online.

TAIWAN: Taiwan fact-checking center announced to combat fake news

Focus Taiwan: A fact-checking center was announced in Taiwan on Thursday by two local non-profit organizations with the aim of combating the spread of fake news and providing the public with reliable information.

TAIWAN: Taiwan’s media freedom marred by pressure from advertisers and China: US State Department

Taiwan News: The U.S. Department of State released the latest Human Rights Reports Saturday (Taipei Time), in which Taiwan is recognized as a democracy with adequate press and media freedom, even though journalists sometimes face pressure to produce paid or pro-China contents.

AUSTRALIA: Google tells Australian regulator it is not contributing to ‘the death of journalism’

The Guardian: Tech company claims news readership has been increasing as Seven argues Google exploiting its lack of competition.

AUSTRALIA: SBS Radio introduces three 24-hour digital radio stations on digital television


FIJI: Fiji police case against journos seen as intimidatory

RNZ: The managing director of the Fiji magazine Islands Business believes a police case against him was designed purely to intimidate.

SOLOMON ISLANDS: Watchdog role of media highlighted in USP journalism talk

Asia Pacific Report: Local journalists in the Solomon Islands have been again reminded of their watchdog role by keeping the government accountable in the fight against corruption.

GENERAL: USP students raise Pacific climate change awareness using cellphones

Asia Pacific Report: Ten students from the University of the South Pacific have captured the effects of climate change on their smartphone devices.

ALBANIA: Albanian Media: many, not plural

OBC Transeuropa: A new study reveals the concentration of the media in Albania in the hands of a few owners – inevitably undermining pluralism in the market.

BELARUS: Belarus media law could get even more repressive

RSF: The authorities say the bill is “based on international experience” and aims to guarantee equality among journalists and to turn the Internet into a “protected” environment. But independent journalists, who have long complained about the existing media law’s repressive provisions, regard the bill as even more threatening, especially for online media.

BULGARIA: Bulgarian journalists say they self-censor while owners impose political policy

The Sofia Globe: There are persistent concerns about grave damage to media pluralism in Bulgaria caused by factors including corporate and political pressure, growing and non-transparent concentration of ownership and distribution as well as how the government shares out support for the media.

DENMARK: Trade secrets: the Danish union secured protection for journalists and whistleblowers

EFJ: The Danish Union of Journalists (DJ) welcomed the recently adopted law to protect companies from the disclosure of business secrets. An exception clause has been added to ensure that it is not a criminal offence to reveal a business secret that is in the public interest.

FINLAND: MTV’s Merja Ylä-Anttila named Yle CEO

Yle: Lauri Kivinen’s replacement as head of Yleisradio will be Merja Ylä-Anttila, currently editor-in-chief with the commercial broadcaster MTV.

FINLAND: Restrictions lifted on commercial radio station advertising

Yle: New regulations will simplify advertising for commercial radio stations, allowing more flexible placement of content. Previous rules had limited ads to just 20 percent of total air time.

FRANCE: At Agence France-Presse, the French state plays a heavy hand


FRANCE: France Télévisions looking to divest football competitions

Digital TV Europe: French public broadcaster France Télévisions wants to sell off the rights it holds to air top French football competitions ahead of the expiration of its current contract as it comes under renewed pressure to find cost savings, according to local press.

FRANCE: Scam gets involved in public broadcasting reform (French)

La Croix: The civil society of multimedia authors (Scam) has published, Monday, April 23, sixteen proposals for the reform of public broadcasting, scheduled for the end of 2018. Among them, the total suppression of advertising on the channels of France Televisions, while the TF1 group is asking for a third advertising break in its films.

GERMANY: Germany’s AfD: With The Media And Against The Media

EJO: The AfD frequently attempts to underline the existence of political “problems” and support its positions by referring to the news media, particularly when it comes to the issue of migration.

GERMANY: Populist AfD slammed in Bundestag debate on Deutsche Welle’s future

DW: At the request of the right-wing AfD, the German parliament discussed DW’s future. There was praise from all other parliamentary groups, and the amendments proposed by the AfD were met with fierce opposition.

HUNGARY: An election in Hungary sounds a death knell for the free press

CJR: Nearly two weeks ago, Hungary’s far-right governing party, Fidesz, won a crushing victory in national elections, further strengthening Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s tight grip on power. Orbán has gradually eroded Hungary’s independent press since he took office in 2010. His latest win is all but a death knell.

IRELAND: Can Facebook beat back the fake news in Ireland’s upcoming vote on abortion?

NiemanLab: Under the new ad transparency system, Irish users can see all ads an advertiser is running on Facebook at the same time, even if those ads are not in the user’s own news feed.

IRELAND: Cash-strapped RTÉ can no longer afford two orchestras, says report

The Irish Times: Broadcaster ‘should only fund National Concert Orchestra’

ITALY: Italy’s RAI Steps Up Digital Radio Investments

ABU: Italian public broadcaster Rai announced that it intends to accelerate its investments in digital radio broadcasting at a recent digital radio conference entitled “La radio digitale, finalmente” (“Digital Radio, Finally”) held at the broadcaster’s headquarters in Rome on April 13.

POLAND: Facing government pressure, this Polish news organization is zipping through its subscription goals and strengthening its local loyalty

NiemanLab: In a land fraught with tension over an increasingly authoritarian government that’s attacking press freedom — not to mention Russia next door — this news organization is zeroing in on subscriptions and bolstering its network of local outlets.

RUSSIA: RT faces seven new investigations in aftermath of Salisbury poisoning

The Guardian: Ofcom is examining instances where Kremlin-backed news channel potentially breached UK broadcast laws on impartiality

SERBIA: Serbian Public Broadcasters Need to Strengthen their Connection with Audience

SEENPM: Empowering the Program Council and self-regulation mechanisms could reshape public service broadcasters in Serbia, according to a new expert report.

SLOVENIA: Foreign Acquisitions Tighten at Slovenia’s Public Broadcaster

Film New Europe: Shrinking budgets and time slots are reducing foreign programming and documentaries on Slovenia’s public broadcaster RTVS.

SPAIN: Terrorism Laws Are Threatening Freedom of Expression in Spain

Freedom House: Vague bans on glorification of terrorism and insulting the monarchy have ensnared a growing number of artists and social media users.

SPAIN: RTVE journalists ask for broadcaster’s leadership to be renewed (Spanish)

InfoLibre: They affirm, in a statement written together with the Advisory Council and after the consecutive delays in Parliament, that “public media must belong to everybody and no government can consider it like its own”

SPAIN: Spanish journalists ask to create a registry with the websites and platforms that publish false information (Spanish)

ABC.es: A group of media professionals denounce the damage to the reputation and prestige of the profession caused by the flood of «fake news»: «The only medicine against it is the quality of journalism and headlines»

SWITZERLAND: Public broadcaster deemed key for Swiss cohesion

Swiss Info: Concern about the cohesion of multi-cultural Switzerland was the main reason for voters rejecting a proposal to do away with the mandatory public broadcasting licence fees last month.

UK: New BBC Scotland TV channel given ‘provisional’ approval by Ofcom

BBC: Broadcasting regulator Ofcom has given “provisional” approval to BBC plans for a new TV channel for Scotland.

UK: Serving all our audiences: the BBC in a digital age (Speech)

BBC: Speech by Sir David Clementi, Chairman of the BBC, at the VLV Spring Conference on Thursday 19 April 2018.

UK: BBC to ‘reinvent the iPlayer’ in a bid to remain relevant to 16-34 year-olds

The BBC will focus on reinventing the iPlayer this year and making it more of a destination for young people, according to BBC chairman David Clementi.

UKRAINE: Learning literacy: How to be Informed in the Age of Fake News

Internews: In a time of information warfare and heightened forms of propaganda online, media literacy has received an unexpected boost in Ukraine.

GENERAL: Editorial Autonomy at Risk in Europe

SEENPM: Problems regarding freedom of expression exist even within Europe where nowadays human rights are mostly guaranteed. Media market is heavily concentrated and editorial autonomy is at risk more or less everywhere, both because of commercial and political pressures.

GENERAL: Europe’s public broadcasters fight back on cash, bias

Reuters: Public broadcasters in Europe are fighting funding cuts promoted by populist politicians and commercial rivals as well as pressure from governments trying to use them for propaganda, the head of their association said on Friday.

GENERAL: How Public Service Media use Social Media

EJO: Public service media organisations across Europe are investing in dedicated social media teams who strategically use platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, to deliver news to younger and hard-to-reach audiences. While recognising the usefulness of social media, many also see a tension between their organisation’s public service values and the commercial objectives of social media companies.

GENERAL: Whistleblower protection: Commission sets new, EU-wide rules

European Commission: The European Commission is proposing a new law to strengthen whistleblower protection across the EU.

REGIONAL: “Fake News” and Disinformation in Eastern Europe

EJO: Eastern European countries are a particularly good playing field for disseminating disinformation using new information technologies. Especially the Baltic States and Ukraine continue to be the targets of permanent Russian disinformation attacks.

BRAZIL: Brazil’s ‘Let her do her job’ campaign demands respect for female sports reporters

CPJ: On March 25, not long before two of the biggest soccer matches of the season were about to kick off in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, a previously unknown group posted a video online that was of relevance to everyone involved in the game. The group had no name but they had a hashtag and its message was clear: #deixaelatrabalhar or “Let her do her job.”

HONDURAS: Media freedom in Honduras: “The noose is tightening”

Index: With political turmoil and protests following the 2017 re-election of president Juan Orlando Hernández, repression of information has become commonplace in Honduras.

NICARAGUA: CPJ Safety Advisory: Covering protests in Nicaragua

CPJ: At least nine journalists were injured while covering protests in Managua on April 19 and at least two had equipment stolen, according to reports. CPJ’s Emergencies Response Team has issued safety advisory for journalists planning to cover the ongoing protests.

NICARAGUA: In Nicaragua, TV channels blocked, journalists injured while covering pension protests

CPJ: At least nine journalists have been injured and at least five independent television channels have been blocked in Nicaragua, as escalating protests against pension reform since April 18 have left at least three people dead, according to news reports.

NICARAGUA: Nicaraguan journalists resign amid violence (Spanish)

Debate: Six Nicaraguan journalists have resigned their jobs amid the violent protests against the Government of Nicaragua that in the first five days left at least 27 dead, 428 injured, and more than 100 people arrested or disappeared.

PUERTO RICO: After Hurricane Maria, AM radio makes a comeback in Puerto Rico

CJR: Access to AM radio helped the residents of Puerto Rico stave off the isolating effects of Hurricane Maria.

GENERAL: To investigate corruption issues, Latin American journalists must reinforce their security on all fronts

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: Cybersecurity, legal shields and working in alliances are some of the fundamental factors to consider when conducting journalistic investigations on corruption issues in Latin America, according to speakers on the Corruption Coverage panel, held during the 11th Ibero-American Colloquium of Digital Journalism in Austin, Texas on April 15, 2018.

TURKEY: Turkish mainstream media’s bad habit keeps getting worse

Open Democracy: The Turkish public has been puzzled by fabricated news stories appearing every day in the mass media.

YEMEN: Three media workers killed in two attacks

IFJ: Media workers Mohammed Naser Al-Washali, Abdullah Al-Najjar and Abdullah Al Qadry were killed in two separate attacks in Yemen last week.

CANADA: CBC says it will carry on with destruction of broadcast archives once digitized

The Hamilton Spectator: A charitable group dedicated to preserving the country’s broadcasting heritage is calling on the CBC to stop destroying original television and radio broadcast materials as it moves to digitize the content.

CANADA: How can the media do a better job of covering sustainable development?

TVO: At a workshop in Toronto this week, reporters and editors will explore what great sustainability journalism could look like — and what the barriers to producing such journalism are in Canada.

US: At pubmedia summit, filmmakers cite promise of VR production for ‘seeding black voices’

Current: Creatives attending the first Black Public Media Story Summit April 6 said that after years of black filmmakers playing catch-up and trying to right Hollywood’s racial balance, the technology of virtual reality offers them a change to start fresh and stamp the emerging medium with black stories and sensibilities.

US: Collaboration among Pennsylvania pubmedia documents opioid crisis: ‘The worst is yet to come’

Current: For the state’s media outlets, finding meaningful ways to cover such a big story takes time, resources and talented journalists. That’s why several public television stations realized they could cover the crisis more effectively by joining their efforts.

US: Most Americans want tech companies to fight fake news, not the government

Poynter: Many Americans believe that online misinformation is a problem. But what should be done about it? According to a Pew Research Center survey released Thursday, the majority think the government’s involvement should be limited.

US: PBS Appoints Jeremy Gaines as Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications

PBS: PBS [has] announced that Jeremy Gaines has been named Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications.

US: Professor Henry Laurence Asks ‘Can Public Broadcasting Help Save Democracy?’ (Opinion)

Bowdoin: Can public broadcasters like NPR in the US, Japan’s NHK, and Britain’s BBC, help save democracy? Associate Professor of Government and Asian Studies Henry Laurence thinks they can.

A new manual for writers and journalists experiencing harassment online


Authoritarian Govts Tighten Grip on Press Freedom

IPS News

Facebook struggles to promote ‘meaningful interactions’ for local publishers, data shows

CJR: Interactions on some local publishers’ Facebook posts are down by as much as 56 percent compared to the two years prior, despite an algorithm change that Mark Zuckerberg says was deliberately designed to promote news from local sources on the platform.

Here are eleven amazing data journalism projects. Which one is your favourite?

GEN | Data Journalism Awards: Eleven projects have been shortlisted for the Data Journalism Awards 2018 “Public choice” award. They come from nine different countries and represent some of the best data-driven work from the past year.

How journalists can avoid being manipulated by trolls seeking to spread disinformation

IJNET: To fight the spread of disinformation through the media, journalists and their allies need to understand the tactics of the trolls who willfully promote those lies.

Journalists in developing countries are using drones and sensors to cover environmental crimes and pollution

Journalism.co.uk: Newsrooms in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and India are using these technologies, as well as satellite imagery, to provide visual coverage of the issues and collect data for investigations

PSBs are more vital than ever

Broadcast: In an era of fake news, they’re a crucial component of a healthy democracy, says Lord Puttnam

Reporting on Trafficking in Human Beings (Report)

EJN: Trafficking in human beings (THB) is a complex issue. At the heart of trafficking is the exploitation of one human being against their will by another, yet a large number of legal and social issues are linked with this process.

TruthBuzz: Fact-checking That Makes the Truth Go Viral

ICFJ: With the support of Craig Newmark Philanthropies, the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) is expanding its TruthBuzz initiative, designed to find new ways to help verified facts reach the widest possible audience.

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Header image: KTVU Tower. Credits: Tony Webster/Creative Commons