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

As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues, 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 list of 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.

If you have any recommendations, please let us know.

What is...

Our weekly explainers for key public media terms, phrases and values.

Week 33: What does EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE look like?

Editorial independence – the ability for media organisations to disseminate news without undue influence from political, social, or economic interests – is under significant pressure globally. From pressures caused by external actors, such as governments and media regulators, to those from internal actors such as boards of directors and owners, many media outlets are finding it increasingly difficult to adhere to journalistic principles such as balance, objectivity, and fairness. For public service media (PSM), editorial independence lends to credibility, transparency, and accountability to the public that funds them. Stable funding to insulate PSM against financial threats; effective regulatory mechanisms; and publicly stated mandates and charters can all safeguard the editorial independence of public media. But above all, editorial independence can only be ensured – and play its part towards an effective and informed democracy – when there is strong commitment to its adherence from all actors involved, including lawmakers to journalists.

Browse our PSM Glossary

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 watching...

Afghan journalists doubt Taliban free press pledge

Reuters: The complaints made by some Afghan journalists in recent days are sowing doubt about assurances made by their new Taliban rulers that independent media would be allowed to function. 

What we're listening to...

Reporting on the ground in China

The Media Show, BBC: How hard is it to report on the ground in China? Journalists covering the recent floods found their presence was not always welcome. Major titles – including the New York Times – now have their China correspondents based outside the country. And Steve Vines, The Observer’s man in Hong Kong since the 1980s, said this week that it was no longer “safe” for him to be there. So what is the situation for journalists in China – and for those trying to cover the country from afar?

Sign up to our Global Call Out

Promote, support and advocate for public service media

Global Headlines

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

ERITREA: UN experts demand Eritrea release journalist jailed for 20 years

Al Jazeera: Rights experts fear Swedish-Eritrean journalist Dawit Isaak, detained in a September 2001 purge, may no longer be alive.

ETHIOPIA: Ethiopia to create local rival to Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp

Al Jazeera: The decision comes after the government accused Facebook of deleting accounts ‘disseminating the true reality about Ethiopia’.

GHANA & LIBERIA: LBS and GBC Conclude Professional Broadcast Partnership Agreement

Front Page Africa: The Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) and the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation(GBC) have formally signed a joint broadcast partnership agreement, setting out a strategic framework for technical and professional cooperation.

GUINEA: District officer storms radio station studio, assaults presenters during live programme

MFWA: The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) condemns the attack on journalists of Global FM while they were live on air, and demand appropriate sanctions against the perpetrator.

KENYA: Media Regulator Mulls Regulations Requiring Journalists With Political Ambitions to Resign

Via All Africa: The Media Council of Kenya Chief Executive Officer Omwoyo Thursday said the body is reviewing guidelines that will ensure media owners and journalists resign six months to the elections before vying for elections.

NIGERIA: Nigeria expects to lift Twitter ban by end of year, minister says

Reuters: Nigeria expects to lift its ban on Twitter (TWTR.N) before the end of the year, Information Minister Lai Mohammed told Reuters on Thursday, adding that the government was awaiting a response on three final requests made of the social media platform.

NIGERIA: Nigeria’s press freedom record worsened by journalist’s killing, Twitter ban

MFWA: The killing of Titus Badejo is the highlight of a series of press freedom violations recorded in Nigeria in the second quarter of 2021 (April-June), during which the authorities also announced a nationwide ban on Twitter in one of the most blatant violations of its people’s right to information.

RWANDA: Rwanda Media Code of Ethics to Be Revised – RMC

Via All Africa: Rwanda Media Commission (RMC) is set to revise the current journalists’ code of ethics, which has been valid since 2014, The New Times has learnt.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC to air Covid-19 messaging during prime-time shows

News24: To amplify messaging around Covid-19 and counter misinformation, CovidComms SA has partnered with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to air public service announcements during prime time shows.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC to launch its video streaming service by March 2022

News24: The South African public broadcaster plans to launch its own SABC video streaming service to the public, modelled after the BBC’s iPlayer, before the end of its current financial year.

UGANDA: Women media practitioners decry social media harassment

Daily Monitor: Female media practitioners have decried gender‑related threats, harassment and intimidation they experience while on social media platforms, including Facebook and WhatsApp.

ZAMBIA: Media and elections: lessons from Zambia

The Standard

AFGHANISTAN: A free press was trying to take root in Afghanistan. Now journalists are bracing for Taliban rule. (Paywall)

The Washington Post

AFGHANISTAN: Female Journalists Say Taliban Barred Them From State-Run Media

VOA: At least two female journalists working for a state-owned broadcaster in Afghanistan have said the Taliban are not allowing them to work.

AFGHANISTAN: Journalists unions mobilise to protect Afghan media workers

IFJ: As the Taliban now control the country, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliates have called on governments and the international community to provide immediate support and protection to Afghan media workers and their families who are under threat. Here is a non-exhaustive list of ongoing demands.

AFGHANISTAN & GERMANY: Relative of DW journalist killed by the Taliban

Deutsche Welle: Journalists and their families are in grave danger in Afghanistan. The Taliban have no compunction about carrying out targeted killings as the case of a DW journalist shows.

AFGHANISTAN & UK: Afghan journalists win right to come to Britain after media appeal

The Guardian: Foreign secretary agrees to visa waivers for group of 200 but British Council staff still in limbo.

BANGLADESH: Bangladesh’s ‘Fake News’ Law Is Used to Stifle Dissent (Opinion)

The Diplomat: Bangladesh’s crackdown on dissent tests the human rights commitment of all states.

CAMBODIA: Cambodia’s Misleading Excuse for Trampling Free Speech


CHINA: China’s propaganda firehose is going after the BBC

Wired: The alleged operation, which involves hundreds of websites and social media accounts, is pushing claims that the BBC is adding a “gloom filter” to its reports to make China look dull and lifeless.

HONG KONG: Taiwan is not a country’: Hong Kong regulator raps broadcaster RTHK for referring to ‘nation’ in election story

HKFP: A regulatory complaint has been upheld against embattled public broadcaster RTHK after it referred to Taiwan as a “nation” in a story about an election poll.

HONG KONG & SINGAPORE: Press freedom in Hong Kong and Singapore suffer under COVID

Taiwan News: Victims of the COVID-19 pandemic not only include infected individuals, but also the freedom of reporting in Asia, reports said Friday (Aug. 20).

JAPAN: Tokyo Paralympics to receive vastly less TV broadcast coverage than Olympics

The Mainichi

MALDIVES: MJA launches report on impunity for crimes against journalists

IFJ: The Maldives Journalists Association (MJA), the Maldives affiliate of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) launches its report entitled ‘Chasing Justice on impunity for crimes against journalists’ in Maldives on August 22.

MYANMAR: Military arrest two more journalists

Deutsche Welle: Two more reporters have fallen victim to Myanmar’s crackdown against independent journalism. Around 100 journalists have been arrested since the coup.

NEPAL: FNJ seeks action against cops involved in framing journalists

The Himalayan Times: Questions have been raised about the police administration in Rautahat after it was revealed that police had indeed hidden illegal drugs in the motorbike of two journalists, who were then arrested in Gaur, Rautahat, a few days ago.

PAKISTAN: Govt’s attempts to ‘muzzle media’ through ‘draconian’ PMDA rejected by stakeholders

Geo News: Key stakeholders of media and civil society have completely rejected the “draconian” government proposal to create a new authority to regulate the entire spectrum of the country’s media sector, as well as its attempt to “wrongly claim support for it”, a statement issued on Friday said.

PAKISTAN: The Pakistani media faces a new crackdown (Opinion – Paywall)

The Washington Post: A new law could mark the beginning of the end for Pakistan’s hard-won media freedoms.

SOUTH KOREA: ‘Fake news’ law revision draws concern from international journalists

The Korea Times: A number of international media organizations have shown concerns over the Korean liberal ruling party’s push to amend a law to impose punitive damages on media outlets and reporters for producing “fake news,” which they say may curtail freedom of expression. 

THAILAND: Covid news gurus deny censorship role

The Bangkok Post: The government is ramping up efforts to tackle fake news and disinformation by setting up a special media team with communications experts Seri Wongmontha and Kasemsan Veerakul serving as “executive editors”.

AUSTRALIA: ABC announces recipients of Pathways Strategy to support people with disability

ABC: The ABC and Bus Stop Films have announced the recipients of the inaugural Pathways Strategy to develop the careers of people with disability in the Australian screen industry.

AUSTRALIA: Correcting Sophie Elsworth in The Australian (Statement)

ABC: The Australian’s Sophie Elsworth is wrong to claim the ABC is “censoring” social media comments following Monday night’s Four Corners investigation of Fox News, “Fox and The Big Lie”.

AUSTRALIA: Inside the Olympic bubble: What it was like reporting on the Tokyo Games during the pandemic

ABC News: Finally, after 18 months of thinking yes, no, maybe; anxiety; excitement; vaccination and a couple of COVID tests and an overnight flight.

AUSTRALIA: ‘Taxpayers should know’: Senator calls for audit of ABC payment for ‘upskirting’ tweet

The Sydney Morning Herald: A federal Liberal Senator has asked the Auditor-General to examine the ABC’s decision to pay the defamation costs of star reporter Louise Milligan after she was sued by Federal Liberal MP Andrew Laming over a series of tweets alleging he had taken an “upskirting” photo of a woman.

BELARUS: Amidst escalating crackdown, international community must stand with the people of Belarus (Callout)

ECPMF: We, the undersigned organisations, firmly condemn the Belarusian government’s rapidly escalating crackdown on Belarusian civil society and its increasingly brazen abuses of the Belarusian people’s right to freedom of expression and information. 

BELARUS: Belarus blocks another independent news site, raids staff

AP News: Belarusian authorities on Wednesday blocked the website of the country’s leading independent news agency and detained some journalists after raiding their apartments as part of a sweeping crackdown on independent media and human rights activists.

CROATIA: Croatia: National collective agreement needed to ensure local media’s independence

EFJ: After the dismissal without prior notice of two journalists and one cameraman from the local station TV Šibenik, the Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA) and the Trade Union of Croatian Journalists (TUCJ) repeat their call for a national collective agreement to ensure local media’s independence and journalists’ labour rights, referring to their campaign “Local media for citizens, not sheriffs“. 

GERMANY: ARD considers using 5G broadcast for public emergency warnings – report (Paywall)

Telecompaper: German broadcaster ARD is considering using 5G broadcast to warn the public in cases of emergency, Golem.de reports citing an ARD internal paper to be presented in the coming week at a working group of the Federal Network Agency.

GERMANY: Higher broadcasting fees will be deducted from the accounts (Watch – German)

Süddeutsche Zeitung: After the increase in the broadcasting fee ordered by the Federal Constitutional Court, the collection of the higher amount will start in August.

GERMANY: Paralympics on TV: ARD and ZDF without Eurosport competition (German)

Süddeutsche Zeitung: ARD and ZDF have no competition at the Paralympics . In contrast to the Olympic Games, when Eurosport was allowed to show moving images, only the two public TV channels broadcast from Tokyo.

IRELAND: Public service media ‘so important to Ireland’ – Forbes

RTÉ: RTÉ’s Director General has said there needs to be a meaningful solution to the sustainability of public service broadcasting.

MALTA: Daphne Caruana Galizia: Businessman Yorgen Fenech charged with ordering journalist’s murder

Euronews: A Maltese businessman is to stand trial over accusations he ordered and paid for the killing of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

NETHERLANDS: Arson Attack Hits Home of Journalist in Netherlands

VOA News: Concern grows over violence against media in the Netherlands, as assailants throw Molotov cocktails into journalist’s home one month after murder of veteran crime reporter in Amsterdam.

POLAND: Polish media and opposition fight to save press freedom from state control

Open Democracy: More than 1,000 journalists in Poland have signed an open letter to oppose a controversial media bill in the largest ever initiative of the country’s journalistic community.

RUSSIA: Journalists demanding media freedom detained in Russia

The Hill: Journalists were arrested on Saturday in Russia while protesting for media freedom after the Russian government labeled a media outlet a “foreign agent.”

RUSSIA: Russian Journalists Meet a Crackdown With Dark Humor, and Subscribers (Paywall)

The New York Times: Meduza, a leading independent news site, fights back with jokes and a stunning donation campaign. But can it stand up to the Russian state?

SERBIA: Serbia ‘Misused’ Money Laundering Laws to Target Critics, Reuters Reports

Balkan Insight: News agency says Serbia was one of five countries that has used laws passed to counter money laundering and terrorism financing to get banks to hand over data on critical journalists, NGOs and lawyers.

SLOVENIA: Public broadcaster TV Slovenija director Natalija Gorščak dismissed (Paywall)

STA: The director general of public broadcaster RTV Slovenija Andrej Grah Whatmough has dismissed Natalija Gorščak, the director of TV programmes, after accusing her of violating bylaws and allowing ratings to plummet. Gorščak, who is on sick leave, said she had received the notice of dismissal via courier.

SWEDEN: Swedish Radio member of the Public Media Alliance

Swedish Radio: Swedish Radio has become a member of the organization Public Media Alliance and Swedish Radio’s CEO Cilla Benkö joins the Public Media Alliance’s board.

SWEDEN: Two new foreign podcasts from Swedish Radio (Press release – Swedish)

Swedish Radio: Starting in September, Sveriges Radios Ekoredaktion will offer two new foreign podcasts. “Understand the world” – the podcast with host Naila Saleem and “Understand the Middle East” under the direction of Johar Bendjelloul.

UK: Anti-vaccine protesters occupy ITV News and Channel 4 headquarters

The Guardian: Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow chased by conspiracy theorists during incident at ITN building in central London. 

UK: BBC inquiry dismisses Rupert Murdoch complaints about documentary series

The Guardian: Complaints unit backs makers of Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty, except over section on Tory ‘sleaze’ stories.

UK: Tokyo Paralympics: Channel 4 warns of privatisation risk to future coverage

BBC News: Channel 4 has said it would not be able to do “anything like” as much coverage of the Paralympics in the future if the broadcaster was privatised.

ARGENTINA: The public media and the ministry of women, genders and diversity ensure their cooperation (Spanish)

TotalMedios: The Minister of Women, Gender and Diversity, Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta and the president of Radio and Television Argentina, Rosario Lufrano, expanded the scope of the agreement to support programs and campaigns that seek greater equality.

BRAZIL: Bolsonaro Blocks Critics on Social Media

HRW: President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil is blocking social media followers who criticize him, violating their rights to free speech and access to information, and to participate in the conduct of public affairs, Human Rights Watch said today.

COLOMBIA: Colombia al Aire, the new public radio App that unites territories (Spanish)

Radio Nacional: Now, from anywhere in the country, they will be able to connect with all the national and decentralized programming of public radio.

CUBA: Cuba passes regulations criminalizing online content, further restricting internet access

CPJ: On August 17, the Cuban government enacted new regulations that criminalize the sharing of “false” and “offensive” information online, and grant authorities expanded powers to restrict online speech, according to the text of the regulations and press reports.

ECUADOR: EMCO assures that Public Communication Company does not have funds for compensation of seized media (Spanish)

El Universo: There are 200 workers awaiting legal compensation after the liquidation of several radio stations, Uminasa and Cablevisión. Stations of the Cross for workers began in 2019.

ECUADOR: They propose that the Law on Freedom of Expression and Communication be processed in different blocks (Spanish)

El Universo: The International Relations Commission that processes the project continues in the stage of socialization of the Executive’s proposal.

EL SALVADOR: El Salvador: Police are accused of 38 attacks on the press (Spanish)

VOA: In 2021 the National Civil Police attacked journalists more than any other body of the State. The public security institution has said that there are communicators who apologize for the crime, so they “are following up.”

MEXICO: Mexican radio journalist fatally shot in Veracruz state

Al Jazeera: At least a 141 journalists have been murdered in Mexico since 2000, according to monitoring group Article 19.

NICARAGUA: Ortega Condemns La Prensa, Justifies Blow to Press Freedom

Havana Times: On Friday night, August 13, President Daniel Ortega accused the newspaper La Prensa of “money laundering and hiding the evidence,” in the first statements he offered hours after the raid on the facilities of the oldest newspaper in Nicaragua, investigated for alleged money laundering and customs fraud.

VENEZUELA: They ask to fine Nicolás Maduro for using public media for his party’s propaganda (Spanish) 

Infobae: The Venezuelan civil association Súmate made the request to the National Electoral Council. He denounced that the dictator used public resources to make 16 broadcasts by state media in favor of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela.

REGIONAL: Caribbean media houses urge stronger effort to counter ‘unverified’ COVID-19 information

Jamaica Observer: The Barbados-based Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) has ended its annual general assembly calling for a strong effort to counter the current “unleashing of unverified information” about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic mainly through social media channels.

REGIONAL: More than a year after the pandemic hit, smaller newspapers in Latin America are still recovering

LatAm Journalism Review

IRAN: Double the Risk for Iranian Kurdish Journalists

VOA: The sentencing this month of two journalists in Iran’s Kurdish region underscores the pressures for the region’s media.

LEBANON: Media outlets suspend broadcasting amid Lebanon’s fuel crisis

Campaign ME: Radio Sawt El-Shaab, radio Al-Sharq and Future TV are amongst the affected media outlets, suspending their broadcasting, due to the fuel crisis in Lebanon.

TURKEY: Report: Turkey to establish regulatory body for social media

Bianet: The government plans to introduce prison sentences of one to five years for publishing and spreading fake news on social media, according to a report by pro-government daily Türkiye.

TURKEY: The Media In Turkey May Come Under More Restrictions

NPR: A presidential spokesman says media outlets that receive funding from abroad need to be reined in to protect the government from hostile foreign powers.

CANADA: Canadians will see less politics on Facebook during election

CBC News: Canadians will see less political content in their Facebook feeds than they did in past elections, and the social media giant will not hesitate to take down posts that promote misinformation about subjects such as the election or COVID-19, says the company’s head of public policy for Canada.

CANADA: How CBC is diving deeper when it comes to newsroom diversity (Blog)

CBC: From content tracking to staffing data, CBC’s news division is working on ways to best reflect Canada.

CANADA: What Fate Ahead for Bill C-10?

CIGI: How do Canada’s federal parties plan to address the bill’s concerns in the next Parliament?

CANADA & AFGHANISTAN: In support of Afghan journalists (Statement)

CBC/Radio-Canada: Along with multiple news organizations, CBC/Radio-Canada has participated in the joint statement below, orchestrated by the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ), to advocate for Afghan journalists and support staff.

US: 2 News Outlets + 1 Reporter = Shared Mission

Local News Initiative: The collaboration trend in local news is leading to a number of arrangements in which multiple news organizations work together on both the funding and editing for a single reporter.

US: 5 takeaways from the expansion of public radio’s climate change coverage (Paywall)

Current: Public radio newsrooms that have ramped up reporting on climate change are finding new ways to help their audiences understand the local impact of an urgent and complicated global news story.  

US: CPB gives $275,000 to 14 stations for COVID PSAs, community outreach (Paywall)

Current: CPB is awarding $275,000 to 14 stations in communities with high COVID-19 infection rates or low vaccination rates.

US: More Americans now say government should take steps to restrict false information online than in 2018

Pew Research Center: Amid rising concerns over misinformation online – including surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, especially vaccines – Americans are now a bit more open to the idea of the U.S. government taking steps to restrict false information online.

US: New tool allows NPR to track source diversity in real time

Poynter: After deciding to track demographics for all its sources in 2020, NPR built a tool to make the process part of reporters’ daily newsgathering.

US: US must plan evacuation of Afghan journalists, delay troop pull-out, RSF says (Callout)

RSF: Ahead of next week’s G7 summit on the situation in Afghanistan, announced by US President Joe Biden, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for a special plan for evacuating endangered Afghan journalists and human rights defenders that would mean postponing the completion of the US military withdrawal.

Covid 19 coronavirus: Vaccine ‘hesitancy’ media stories as impactful as misinformation

NZ Herald: Media articles highlighting some people’s hesitancy toward receiving the Covid-19 vaccine could be just as impactful in swaying us as outright misinformation, a new study finds.

Data journalism: five ideas for more effective industry–academic collaboration

Journalism.co.uk: Closer relationships between journalists and academics could bring about a more data-savvy news industry.

EBU offers new AI courses for developers and journalists (Opportunity)

EBU: The EBU Academy, in collaboration with EBU Technology & Innovation, is introducing two new courses that aim to give developers and media professionals the knowledge and hands-on experience they need to make use of AI technologies in media services offerings.

Is it actually false, or do you just disagree? Why Twitter’s user-driven experiment to tackle misinformation is complicated

The Conversation: We all have biases that impact what information we choose to accept and reject. But there are some ways we can train ourselves to become more discerning.

That’s why journalist associations criticize Apple (German)

Deutschlandfunk: Journalist associations fear a restriction of press freedom through an Apple update. The background is the company’s announcement that it wants to monitor iPhones and iPads locally in order to discover images of sexualized violence against children… 

Why good graphics are essential for reporting on climate change

Nieman Lab: Data visualization can help people grasp the challenges that lie ahead.

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: Empty television studio with camera. Credit: Grafissimo/iStock

Sign up to PSM Weekly

Receive our weekly round-up of public service media headlines and PMA news straight to your inbox.