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

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BURKINA FASO: Simple radio message saved thousands of children, studies say

CNN: A mass radio campaign in Burkina Faso encouraging parents to seek prompt treatment for sick children has saved thousands of lives, according to a new study.

DRC: Two Congolese journalists go into hiding after releasing documentary

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) holds the authorities responsible for the safety of two journalists who had to flee their homes in Bukavu, the capital of the province of Sud-Kivu in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, after making a documentary about hundreds of villagers evicted from land in a nearby locality known as Mbobero that is claimed by President Joseph Kabila.

EGYPT: Egypt’s activists fear social media law is anti-social

Al-Monitor: Social media activists in Egypt are worried that a new law that puts them under state monitoring is targeting freedom of expression and will strangle the opposition’s voice.

GUINEA-BISSAU: No news in Guinea-Bissa as public media workers join strike

Vanguard: Public radio and television in Guinea-Bissau went quiet on Tuesday as state media workers joined an ongoing civil servants’ strike.

KENYA: Don’t muzzle media, journalists tell State

Daily Nation: Information Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru on Tuesday defended the creation of a government advertising agency, noting it was a noble idea meant to assist media houses, not to stifle them.

MOROCCO: Journalist Convicted on Dubious Charge

IFEX: A Moroccan court has sentenced a prominent journalist to three years in prison on a dubious charge of failing to report a security threat. Authorities have repeatedly prosecuted Hamid El Mahdaoui, known for criticizing the Moroccan government, including charges that violated his right to peaceful speech.

NAMIBIA: Namibian government will never reverse constitutional provision of press freedom – President Geingob (Watch)


NIGERIA:Nigerian Broadcasting Commission closes Ekiti state radio and TV

CPJ:On July 14, police acting on the order of the NBC evacuated the state government-owned radio and television broadcaster and locked its doors.

SOUTH AFRICA: CEO must not be involved in SABC news decisions, says DA

Business Day: The DA proposals are due to be presented before the SABC inquiry into political interference in the broadcaster’s newsroom by the party’s MP responsible for the communications portfolio‚ Phumzile van Damme‚ and national spokesperson Solly Malatsi.

SOUTH AFRICA: In South Africa, community radio stations — lifelines for local news in rural areas — can get a boost with Volume

NiemanLab: “You can’t bridge mainstream to community media when the community doesn’t have the ability to present their reporting.”

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC starts next round of consultations into editorial policy review

IOL: The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has begun its second round of public consultations into the review of its 2004 editorial policy.

SUDAN: Sudan blocks world media from covering Sisi visit

Middle East Monitor: Sudanese authorities have banned the international media from covering the visit of Egypt’s president to Sudan set to start on Thursday, Anadolu reports. Egyptian President Abdul Fatah al-Sisi is due to arrive for a two-day visit to Khartoum today to meet his Sudanese counterpart Omer al-Bashir.

UGANDA: Uganda’s government is doubling down on its controversial social media tax

Quartz: After a brief review period, Ugandan regulators have decided to double down on both the decision to charge citizens a daily levy for access to social media, and the controversial reasoning behind it: to stop gossip.

ZIMBABWE: Pressure on media grows as poll date nears in Zimbabwe

IPI: Attacks on journalists multiply ahead of milestone general election.

ZIMBABWE: Zim media remain polarised, unbalanced

Nehanda Radio: Despite the ethical and legal obligation to be impartial in their coverage of electoral processes, the media in Zimbabwe remain polarised and unbalanced in their electoral coverage and reportage, media practitioners’ contend.

GENERAL: How diaspora influenced 2017’s elections in Africa: report

Al Jazeera: Study highlights how Twitter debate was shaped by voices from outside the continent when polls were contested.

GENERAL: How social media bots became an influential force in Africa’s elections

Quartz: Automated bots are increasingly muddying election cycles in Africa, disrupting conversations, distorting facts, and bringing into focus the changing dynamics of politics in the continent.

 GENERAL: BBC launches weekly news programme to give young people in Africa a voice

Journalism.co.uk: What’s New? will provide teenagers across the continent with the news and current affairs that matter to them using the latest in VR technology.

AFGHANISTAN: Afghan Cleric’s ‘Fatwa’ Against Media Makes Life Even More Dangerous For Journalists

RadioFree Europe: A cleric in the western city of Herat recently declared jihad, or holy war, against the country’s besieged media. The move has led to condemnation by religious authorities and the country’s independent media, which have come under increasing attack and pressure from militants, ex-warlords, and sometimes even the government itself.

AFGHANISTAN: Long-running Afghan radio drama helps fight polio

Asia Radio Today: A creation of former BBC journalist John Butt, the long-running radio drama ‘Da Pulay Poray’ (Across the Border), which broadcasts in Pashto language to millions in the Afghan south and east, is helping fight polio in the country.

AZERBAIJAN: Respect for press freedom must condition relations with Azerbaijan

RSF: The government continues to harass the remaining independent journalists although it has complete control over the media landscape.

CAMBODIA: Cambodia media stifled ahead of elections

IPI: Independent media faces crackdown as ruling party steers toward victory

HONG KONG: Media reports evidence in crackdown on pro-independence group

IFJ: Hong Kong’s security bureau proposed on July 17 to prohibit the operations of the Hong Kong Nationalist Party, using evidence from several media reports.

INDIA: Cable Operators In Srinagar Asked To Block Pakistani, Saudi Channels

NDTV: In an order issued by the additional district magistrate, Srinagar, cable operators were directed to immediately stop telecasting or transmitting such channels.

INDIA: Mob-lynching cases: Govt asks WhatsApp for solutions beyond

The Times of India

INDONESIA: ‘I felt disgusted’: inside Indonesia’s fake Twitter account factories

The Guardian: ‘Buzzer teams’ are a growing part of politics, helping to churn up religious and racial divides

JAPAN: BBC News launches new streaming service on Yahoo!JAPAN

Japan Today: The BBC on Wednesday announced the launch of a new live news streaming service on Japan’s biggest website, Yahoo! JAPAN. The deal marks the first time the BBC has delivered a bespoke news streaming service for online news audiences.

MALDIVES: Maldives election monitoring open to foreign media

Maldives Independent: Foreign press wanting to report on the Maldives presidential election can apply to do so, the Elections Commission said, but it is unclear if they will have to undergo background checks.

MYANMAR: Myanmar police focused interrogation on Rohingya story – Reuters journalist

Reuters: A Reuters reporter on trial in Myanmar said the police questioning after he and a colleague were arrested in December centred on their reporting of a massacre of Rohingya Muslims, not on secret state documents they are accused of obtaining.

NEPAL: Journalists face increased attacks and threats in Nepal

IFJ: In recent days, journalists faced attacks and threats in Nepal while covering the demonstrations.

PAKISTAN: Media and journalists under threat as Pakistan’s election looms

IFJ: Pakistan’s media and journalists are facing unprecedented pressure and intimidation ahead of the General Election 2018 scheduled for July 25.

PAKISTAN: Silence from judiciary over media attacks increases self-censorship, Pakistan’s journalists say

CPJ: In recent months the judiciary, which has a history of siding with Pakistan’s powerful military, has remained largely silent amid attempts to censor or silence the press.

PHILIPPINES: Another radio broadcaster shot dead in Philippines

Asia Radio Today: Joey Llana, a Philippine radio presenter was shot dead on Friday by unidentified assailants in Barangay Peñafrancia, Daraga town.

SRI LANKA: Social Media – the News Testing Ground for Sri Lanka’s Freedom

Inter Press Service: Journalists and media activists have cautioned against Sri Lanka’s newfound press freedom as the country heads to the polls in 2020.

VIETNAM: Vietnam suspends site of state-owned newspaper for “untrue” content

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns Vietnam’s ban of a news website for posting “untrue” information. RSF regards the measure as a flagrant press freedom violation and is alarmed to see that, after persecuting independent media outlets, the authorities are now targeting those that usually toe the party line.

REGIONAL: WhatsApp will drastically limit forwarding across the globe to stop the spread of fake news, following violence in India and Myanmar

Recode: The social messaging service has been blamed for its role in spreading dangerous and inaccurate information.

GENERAL:  Hybrid, a collection of targeted news sites in Asia, embraces growing slowly and knowing its audience

Neiman lab: The sites in the portfolio of the modest media company Hybrid have been exacting about matching specific audiences to relevant news and information, and relevant advertisers to those relevant readers. “We had a vision for a young, upwardly mobile audience, who we’d really try to inform with independent and hopefully compelling content.”

AUSTRALIA: ‘Lack of a level playing field’: Media companies submit to ABC and SBS inquiry

Mumbrella: Yesterday afternoon, a number of submissions into the competitive neutrality inquiry into Australia’s national broadcasters were published. Mumbrella’s Zoe Samios and Paul Wallbank unpack some of the lengthy entries and look at the recommendations proposed.

AUSTRALIA: Oz voice in the Asia–Pacific (part 3): foreign policy and media revolutions

Australian Strategic Policy Institute: Canberra has to rediscover the value of independent media as a foreign policy instrument.

AUSTRALIA: SBS boss Michael Ebeid resigns after seven years

The Guardian: Departing managing director says the station is ‘the strongest it has been in over 40 years’ and ‘more relevant than ever’.

FIJI: Fiji govt’s approach to media made job difficult says Hank Arts

RNZ: The outgoing general manager and publisher of the Fiji Times says his job has been made difficult by the government’s draconian approach to the media.

NEW ZEALAND: Media in the spotlight, both here and abroad (Listen)


NEW ZEALAND:  Wrightson: ‘Twin pillar’ funding model holds up (Opinion)

Newsroom.pro: The Government’s recent public media funding announcement has been called into question by some, including Newsroom columnist Bryce Edwards. In a response to Edwards, NZ On Air chief executive Jane Wrightson argues the “twin pillar” approach with her organisation and RNZ makes more sense than has been suggested.

SAMOA: Samoa Govt moving ahead with digital TV

RNZ: Samoa is to have a television channel dedicated to broadcasting parliamentary proceedings and publicising government reforms and initiatives.

REGIONAL: Bid to unite Asia-Pacific press councils takes off in Timor-Leste

Asia Pacific Report

BELGIUM: Radio 2 Limburg Goes on Air, in the Air

Radio World: On Wednesday, April 18, Belgian public broadcaster VRT’s regional channel Radio 2 Limburg aired its morning drive show, “Start je dag” (“Kick off your day”), from the basket of a hot-air balloon soaring at an altitude of 100 to 300 meters (300–900+ feet) over the Limburg province.

BULGARIA: New RSF report on obstacles to investigative journalism in Bulgaria

RSF: At a time when Bulgaria’s parliament has supported controversial legal amendments that force media to reveal the sources of their income adding pressure on media that rely on foreign donations to maintain their editorial independence, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is publishing a new report that sheds light on the obstacles and pressure to which investigative journalism is subjected in Bulgaria.

FRANCE: France seeks €190 million of public broadcasting cuts

The Local.fr: The French government said on Thursday that it would demand 190 million euros of spending cuts at its public broadcasting operations by 2022 as part of President Emmanuel Macron’s pledge to improve state finances.

FRANCE: France Télévisions to axe two DTT channels

Broadband TV News: French public. broadcaster France Télévisions is forced to drop two DTT channels, France 4 and France Ô, in order to meet budget cuts.

FRANCE: French SVOD project Salto ‘will work’, says Ernotte

Digital TV Europe: Salto, France’s planned joint Netflix rival to be created by public broadcaster France Télévisions and commercial broadcasters TF1 and M6, “will work” and needs to involve a pay strategy for archive content, according to France Télévisions director-general Delphine Ernotte.

FRANCE: Public media: “This is the global media of proximity that we want to build” (French – Opinion)

Le Parisien: In an opinion column on the Parisien – Today in France, the presidents of Radio France and France Télévisions outline their future collaboration.

FRANCE: The public media reform in six key points (French)

La Croix: In a document of around twenty pages, produced after “many hearings” with professionals, associations, parliamentarians, staff representatives, the commission made several recommendations to implement the reform, aiming to amplify “the transformation into digital broadcasting” within an economy framework.

FRANCE: The proposed law against the manipulation of information violates international standards (French)

Article 19: Thursday, July 26, 2018, the Senate will debate the bill no. 623 against “the manipulation of information”. Despite the warnings of ARTICLE 19, Reporters Without Borders and journalists’ unions and the media, parliamentarians seem determined to adopt a vague text whose need is far from proven and which poses serious dangers for freedom of expression.

GERMANY: German ZDF and ARD public broadcasting household levy ruled constitutional

Deutsche Welle: Germany’s top court has ruled a monthly fee levied on every household to fund public broadcasters is constitutional. The fee brings in €8 billion a year and has had its critics, and its supporters.

GERMANY: Media and migrants: How journalists help fuel populism momentum

Deutsche Welle: Polls say that migrants aren’t what Germans are most concerned about. So why do the media and politicians push the topic so much?

ITALY: Italy: Series of threats against the press

IFJ: The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) have raised their concerns over the repetitive attacks and acts of intimidation against journalists in Italy in the last few weeks.

MALTA: Who Ordered The Car Bomb That Killed Maltese Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia?

NPR: Daphne Caruana Galizia was an investigative reporter, a towering, intense mother of three, digging up dirt on the most powerful figures in Malta, the European Union’s smallest member state. Three men were arrested, accused of planting the car bomb and detonating it. But there’s no word on who ordered the assassination.

ROMANIA: Can Crowdfunding Save Romania’s Independent Media?

GIJN: In recent years, many Romanian journalists left their outlets because of the changes in the media landscape and an increasing lack of credibility due to political meddling.

SPAIN: The Government chooses Rosa María Mateo to direct RTVE (Spanish)

BroadbandTV News: The government has proposed journalist Rosa María Mateo as the head of RTVE, according to management. Her candidacy must now obtain the majority of support from Congress to ratify her appointment.

SPAIN: The BOE publishes the call for tenders to elect RTVE’s directors (Spanish)

RTVE: The public tender for the election of the new Board of Directors and president of RTVE  starts tomorrow, July 21: candidates who want to apply may do so from then until Monday, July 30.

SPAIN: The parties have until this Tuesday to present their experts for RTVE (Spanish)

VerTele!: The political groups must present before Tuesday at 8 pm who are their candidates to form the Committee of Experts to renew the RTVE Council, which will be voted “predictably” next Friday.

SWEDEN: Sweden’s Telia expands media business with $1 bln deal for Bonnier Broadcasting

Reuters: The Bonnier deal is however politically sensitive for the Swedish government, which faces elections due in September. It is Telia’s biggest shareholder with a 37 percent stake, although it is not on the board, and already controls Sweden’s other big traditional broadcaster, public service television network SVT.

UK: Cliff Richard wins £210,000 in damages over BBC privacy case

The Guardian: Singer sued BBC for invasion of privacy over its coverage of child sexual abuse claims.

UK: Media Nations 2018 (Report)

Ofcom: New report that reviews key trends in the television and audiovisual sector as well as the radio and audio sector.

UK: Netflix and Amazon become more popular than pay-TV services

The Guardian: Subscriber numbers for streaming services rise as young people shy away from traditional broadcasting.

UKRAINE: RUJ’s president banned from entering the country

IFJThe Security Service of Ukraine has banned Russian Union of Journalists’ president Vladimir Solovyov from entering Ukrainian territory for a three-year period. The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) condemned the decision, which represents a threat to the right of freedom of expression.

BARBADOS: Whither Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation?

Barbados Today: The jury is still out on what state-owned entities the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) administration will shed or share ownership of in the next phase of its economic recovery plan.

COLOMBIA: IAPA condemns threats to Colombian journalists

IFEX: The Inter-American Press Association condemned threats to journalists in Colombia and urged the authorities there to identify in their investigations those responsible for the harassment and rigorously apply the law.

COLOMBIA: Colombian journalists receive series of threats over 72 hours

CPJ: Colombian authorities should immediately investigate a series of threats against journalists and news outlets in recent days, ensure the journalists’ safety, and bring those responsible to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

CUBA: Another Gag Law? What is coming for the free press in Cuba (Spanish)

ICLEP: The request of the director of the Provincial Radio in Villa Clara to establish a “legal base” that makes it possible to sanction collaborating “colleagues” of what he defined as “hostile media” is a sign of what is coming for independent journalism in Cuba.

JAMAICA: PAJ calls for balance concerning lawyers granting interviews

RJR News: The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) says it views with concern the current controversy around whether lawyers should give interviews and talk to the media during criminal trials in particular.

NICARAGUA: Covering Nicaragua’s crisis getting more dangerous

RSF: With physical violence, arbitrary arrest and confiscation, theft or destruction of equipment, reporters trying to cover the anti-government protests have often been directly targeted by soldiers and riot police.

NICARAGUA: IFEX-ALC condemns repression in Nicaragua

IFEX: The organisations of IFEX-ALC that defend freedom of expression and press freedom in 15 countries across Latin American and the Caribbean, and that are members of IFEX condemn the threats, attacks, harassment and censorship against media outlets and journalists in Nicaragua, as well as the brutal repression against those who express their discontent with the government of President Daniel Ortega.

PERU:Peru’s IDL-Reporteros Stands Up to Prosecutors

GIJN: Peruvian investigative journalism site IDL-Reporteros received three requests this month from judicial and legislative authorities to reveal its journalistic sources after publishing a report revealing alleged acts of corruption in the Peruvian judicial system.

GENERAL: Latin America’s new media are growing up

The Economist: Traditional news media are being shaken up by digital media. Without the need to buy or rent printing presses, digital publishers can start with “sweat equity alone”, says Janine Warner of SembraMedia, an NGO that helps Latin American journalists become entrepreneurs.

JORDAN: Jordanian news channel Al Mamlaka takes to the air

Rapid TV News: Jordan’s first 24-hour news channel Al Mamlaka (The Kingdom) has gone on air, with broadcast infrastructure supplied by Qvest Media and Independent Media Station (IMS).

SYRIA:Starting Up in Syria: Investigative Journalism in One of the World’s Most Dangerous Countries

GIJN: Reporters without Borders’ 2018 World Press Index put the country at 177 out of 180, with more than 200 journalists killed since the start of the country’s civil war in 2011. But that didn’t stop three Syrian reporters from launching Syrian Investigative Reporting for Accountability Journalism (SIRAJ) in 2016, the first investigative journalism organization in the country.

TURKEY: Dangers of covering corruption in Erdoğan’s Turkey

RSF: Several investigative journalists are to appear in court this week in Turkey in connection with their Paradise Papers coverage but, despite a massive purge, a handful of independent media continue to put their survival at risk by doing investigative reporting on corruption.

TURKEY: End of state of emergency must be end of crack down on journalists, President Erdoğan!

ECPMF: On Wednesday night, 18 July 2018, Turkey’s two-year-long state of emergency comes to an end. But there is no relief. There is just ongoing oppression, says ECPMF’s Managing Director Lutz Kinkel.

TURKEY: Turkish court sentences journalist to jail under anti-terror law – paper

Reuters: A Turkish court sentenced a journalist from the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper to more than two years in jail on Thursday on charges of making people potential targets for militant groups through her reporting, the paper said.

TURKEY: Int’l community should publicize legal status of jailed Turkish journalists, Altan says

SCF: Mehmet Altan, a journalist and economist who had been jailed after a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 for almost two years, has told English PEN that the international community should examine the legal status of every incarcerated journalist in the country and publicize as a show support for them.

REGIONAL: The Independent partners with Saudi firm to launch Middle East news websites

Middle East Eye: UK-based news website The Independent is partnering with a Saudi media firm to launch websites in Arabic, Urdu, Turkish and Persian. Still, the new outlets will adhere to the editorial standards of The Independent, according to the British website.

CANADA: NPR, Politico latest U.S. news outlets expanding northward, shaking up Canadian media environment

Hill Times: Politico and National Public Radio’s announcements in the last month that they’re expanding northward are just the latest in an uptick in American media outlets pouring more resources into Canada and hoping for more Canadian revenue in return. Hill reporters worry about effect on Canadian outlet’s revenues.

CANADA: Interest in news is still strong (Study) (Subscription)

Media in Canada: Although interest in news remains high, many Canadians still “don’t see the point” of paying for online news.

US: U.S.-Funded Broadcaster Directed Ads to Americans

New York Times: A broadcasting organization backed by the federal government has used Facebook to target ads at United States citizens, in potential violation of longstanding laws meant to protect Americans from domestic propaganda.

US: The demise of local newspapers is hurting city finances

Quartz: Professors at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Illinois at Chicago have found a direct financial impact (pdf): local newspaper closures have led to a deterioration in the public finances of the cities where they were based. Without local reporters poking around, local governments aren’t monitored as closely. What results is higher government wages, more government employees, and higher taxes.

US: Distinguishing Between Factual and Opinion Statements in the News

Pew Research Center: Political awareness, digital savviness and trust in the media all play large roles in the ability to distinguish between factual and opinion news statements. The findings from the survey, conducted between Feb. 22 and March 8, 2018, reveal that even this basic task presents a challenge.

US: The Pace of Non-profit Media Growth Is Picking Up

The Wire: Some 6,568 foundations gave non-profit media outlets a total of $1.8 billion distributed between 2010 and 2015, according to a recent study.

A Short Guide to the History of ‘Fake News’ and Disinformation: A New ICFJ Learning Module

ICFJ: The emerging ‘information arms race’ is a big story. But it is important to understand the historical context when examining and reporting on contemporary manifestations of the 21st century phenomenon of ‘information disorder.’

As emerging economies bring their citizens online, global trust in internet media is changing

The Conversation: Digital technology was dreamed of as the ultimate connector and leveler, the ideal destroyer of borders and boundaries.

Constructive journalism: A cure for reader disengagement?

Journalism.co.uk: Constructive journalism is experiencing a rise in engagement from both the public and the press, driven by a need for solutions to consumer news fatigue or outright rejection.

Covering global sporting events through a non-sports lens

IJNet: To wrap-up World Cup coverage, IJNet collected tips for finding alternative narratives at international sporting events.

How to write stories on development that people actually want to read

EJC via Medium: Seven European media outlets share their experiences, tricks and insights

Infographic: Progress on the right to information around the world

Article 19: Target 16.10 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) calls on all states to adopt legislation or policies guaranteeing the right to information, which is essential not only for the achievement of Goal 16, but is an enabler to achieving other SDGs.

Information Disorder: the essential glossary

Journalists Resource: Claire Wardle, a research fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, has created a glossary to help everyone understand certain words and phrases and how terms that may seem quite similar actually have very different meanings.

Is Facebook facing up to its misinformation mission?

RNZ: The world’s biggest social media network has always insisted it’s a platform for news you can use, but not a publisher with editorial responsibilities. Under pressure over fake news, Facebook is now hooking up with the news media in new ways.

State Aid For Journalism: A Highly Contested Terrain

EJO: Can a government help to structure, regulate, and financially support journalism and hence foot the bill for journalists to carry out their watchdog function, without undue government control or intervention in the editorial process?

State-Sponsored Trolling: How Governments are Deploying Disinformation as part of Broader Digital Harassment Campaigns

IPI: In the report, state-sponsored trolling is defined as online hate and harassment campaigns that are being used to intimidate and silence government critics, such as journalists. The report emphasized the need to reveal the involvement of states so as to reduce the attacks’ harmful effects on democratic institutions.

The global slump in press freedom

The Economist: Illiberal regimes are clamping down on independent media across the world.

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Header image: Radio tower in San Francisco. Credits: Orin Zebest/Creative Commons

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