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 resource featuring recommended tools, advice and sources for journalists and the public alike. The resource 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 by emailing editor@publicmediaalliance.org

Coronavirus: Resources & best practices

Essential resources for sourcing and reporting news about the coronavirus pandemic

What we're listening to...

Podcast: Coronavirus, China’s press, and the disappearance of Chen Quishi

CJR | The Kicker: In China, journalists are conditioned to keep their online activity apolitical. But the coronavirus outbreak took censors by surprise. In the panic, editors were temporarily emboldened. Han Zhang, who is on the editorial staff at the New Yorker, sat down with Kyle Pope, editor and publisher of CJR, to discuss the flow of outbreak information in the Chinese media, how many coronavirus fatalities may go unreported, and her last interview with citizen journalist Chen Quishi, before he disappeared.

What we're watching...

Megaphone: Amplifying voices from Lebanon’s uprising

Al Jazeera: From a nondescript residential block in downtown Beirut, Jean Kassir and his journalistic collective – Megaphone – are producing some of the most dynamic journalism of Lebanon’s five-month uprising. In a media landscape dominated by partisan journalism, Megaphone has become a trusted source for its critical take on the news and slick content that has outmatched its more established rivals.

Global Headlines

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

EGYPT: Egypt withdraws British reporter’s press credentials for questioning official coronavirus figures

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) accuses the Egyptian authorities of reacting disproportionately and abusing their powers by withdrawing a Guardian reporter’s press credentials and issuing a warning to a New York Times reporter for questioning the official figures for coronavirus cases in Egypt.

ETHIOPIA: Millions of Ethiopians Can’t Get COVID-19 News

HRW: Refusal to Restore Communications Threatens Public Health

GHANA: NMC Praises Media for Coverage of COVID-19

Via All Africa: The National Media Commission (NMC) has praised the media for showing solidarity towards the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) through its reportage. It has however asked practitioners to maintain balance in their news items by relying on official sources for accurate information on the pandemic so as not to downplay its gravity.

GUINEA: 42 Protesters Killed, Over Two Hundred Arrested in Nine Months : The Sad State of Human Rights in Guinea

MFWA: Over the past nine months (June 2019 – March 2020), about 42 people have been killed, over one hundred arrested and hundreds more injured in a crackdown by security forces in Guinea in blatant violation of all the tenets of democracy and human rights.

GUINEA: Ten People Reported Killed, Journalists Abused, Internet Disrupted as Guinea Holds Controversial Polls

MFWA: About ten people are reported killed, several arrested, including one journalist and the internet was disrupted as Guinean authorities went ahead with legislative elections and a referendum on removing terms limits, amidst fierce protests by the main opposition parties.

KENYA: Media Council Urges Suspension Of Crowded News Conferences To Contain Coronavirus

Capital FM: The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) Thursday urged the national government to provide live feeds for coronavirus updates to avoid crowding of journalists in news conferences.

LIBERIA: Liberian journalists harassed, arrested by security forces

CPJ: Since February 13, 2020, Liberian security forces have harassed, assaulted, or detained at least four journalists during the course of their work, according to the journalists, who spoke with CPJ, and a petition from the Press Union of Liberia, an independent media workers’ advocacy group.

NIGERIA: Coronavirus Infodemic: a golden chance for the Nigerian media (Opinion)

The Guardian (Nigeria): The world is under two simultaneous sieges: the first is the coronavirus epidemic which has continued to rise and wreak havoc…The second siege is that of information epidemic.

SOUTH AFRICA: Journalists should be allowed to do their jobs – Sanef on lockdown


SOUTH AFRICA: Landmark ruling for science journalists

Ground Up: A landmark ruling by the appeal committee of the Press Council has clarified the obligations of science journalists in South Africa, with immediate implications for coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic.

SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa enacts regulations criminalizing ‘disinformation’ on coronavirus outbreak

CPJ: The Committee to Protect Journalists expressed concern over newly passed regulations in South Africa that criminalize disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic and could potentially prompt other countries to adopt more repressive rules and censorship against the press.

TANZANIA: Tanzania tackles COVID-19 with strict measures to slow the spread

Global Voices: Creating awareness and providing realistic solutions remains a tremendous challenge.

ZIMBABWE: Outrage as Zimbabwe’s military declares social media a ‘dangerous threat’

Global Voices: Is the country “now hurtling toward being a military state”?

REGIONAL: Media Coverage of COVID-19: Stick to Facts, Avoid Sensationalism

MFWA: The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has taken note of the rising spate of COVID-19 cases in West Africa and urges the media in the region not to escalate fear and panic by refraining from spreading misinformation.

GENERAL: Fake news obstructs Africa’s coronavirus response

Deutsche Welle: Fear mongering and homemade remedies: Fake news is getting in the way as Africa responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. DW correspondents around the continent asked experts to debunk a few of the damaging coronavirus myths.

GENERAL: How to vet information during a pandemic

Africa Check: Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, has the world firmly in its grip. In all the uncertainty, how can you tell fact from fiction? Our guide gives three tips.

BANGLADESH: Bangladesh Journalist’s Disappearance Casts Poor Light on Press Freedom

The Wire: Shafiqul Islam Kajol, a leading Bangladeshi photojournalist and newspaper editor, went missing on March 10, a day after defamation charges were filed against him by an influential ruling party lawmaker.

CAMBODIA: COVID-19 Clampdown on Free Speech

HRW: Cambodian authorities should stop arresting people for expressing concerns about COVID-19’s impact in Cambodia and claiming they are spreading so-called “fake news,” Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch has documented the arrests of 17 people since late January 2020 for sharing information about the coronavirus in Cambodia. 

CHINA: “If the Chinese press were free, the coronavirus might not be a pandemic” argues RSF (Opinion)

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) shows that, without the control and censorship imposed by the authorities, the Chinese media would have informed the public much earlier of the severity of the coronavirus epidemic, sparing thousands of lives and perhaps avoiding the current pandemic.

CHINA & US: Increasingly powerful, Xi’s China believes it no longer needs Washington – or its foreign reporters (Opinion)

The Guardian: The ruling party and its leaders have long wanted to avoid the scrutiny of the foreign press. The expulsions show Beijing is confident in its growing might

CHINA & US: US journalist press passes revoked for “ideological bias”

IFJ: China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on March 18 that all US journalist working in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post will have their press passes revoked. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) together with its affiliates, the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) and Associação de Imprensa em Português e Inglês de Macau (AIPIM) are deeply disappointed by this decision which will deal a blow to media reporting in the region and harm the public’s right to know at a critical juncture.

HONG KONG: How to save Hong Kong’s public service broadcaster, RTHK (Opinion)

HKFP: Critics of Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) have focussed on content they disagree with, particularly on what they perceive to be an anti-government bias.

INDIA: Coronavirus: India Tells Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, Other Social Media Firms to Curb Misinformation

NDTV: Experts have already flagged that there is a deluge of fake information on Facebook and WhatsApp as India fights this global health pandemic.

INDIA: Kashmir unable to access COVID-19 information online

IFJ: More than eight million people living in Kashmir are unable to access reliable health information about COVID- 19 as the seven month long internet shutdown continues. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) urge the Indian government to remove all communication restrictions on Kashmir.

JAPAN: Coronavirus: Japan’s NHK Devises High-Tech Responses to Life Under Lockdown

Variety: Japanese public broadcaster NHK has devised a range of programming and technological responses to the coronavirus outbreak which has disrupted normal life and forced millions of people to live and work from home.

JAPAN: NHK “Everyone’s Graduation Ceremony” (Paywall – Japanese)

 Asahi Shimbun: “I would like to give the children a graduation ceremony.” An emergency special program, in which the person in charge wrote the plan overnight, will be broadcast live on NHK on the night of the 24th. It is a program for children whose graduation ceremony could not be completed due to school closure due to measures against the new coronavirus, or the scale of the ceremony was reduced.

JAPAN: NHK Makes Decisive Responses to the Coronavirus Pandemic (Press Release – PDF)

NHK: In the midst of public anxiety about the coronavirus pandemic, the Japanese public broadcaster NHK is using every possible platform to push forward in its mission to help people stay calm and informed.

MYANMAR: Lack of COVID-19 Info Under Myanmar’s Internet Ban Could Doom Rakhine Refugees: NGO

Radio Free Asia: Myanmar’s government must lift its ban on internet service in war-ravaged Rakhine state to permit tens of thousands of displaced civilians to access information about the coronavirus, a civil society group demanded this week, warning of mass deaths if crowded refugee camps become infected.

PAKISTAN: Arrest of Jang-Geo Editor-in-Chief: Journalists continue countrywide protest

The News: The workers of the Geo, Jang and The News Thursday continued their countrywide protest against the arrest of Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and closure of Geo news at some places and shifting of its number from the original position on the cable.

PAKISTAN: Female Journalists Facing Various Problems Due To Deficiency Of Required Facilities At Workplaces

Urdu Point: Female journalists were facing various problems in fulfillment of their professional duties due to deficiency of required facilities at their workplaces.

PHILIPPINES: Call for media organisations to support workers during global pandemic

IFJ: Media companies are reportedly implementing a ‘no work, no pay’ policy for casual and contract employees during the COVID-19 crisis. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) supports pleas from its affiliate, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), to put employees first.

SINGAPORE: Singapore introduced tough laws against fake news. Coronavirus has put them to the test (Paywall)

Washington Post: At their sprawling Asia headquarters last month, Facebook executives considered the latest order from Singapore’s authorities: Disable local access to a page that the city-state’s government said contained false statements about its response to the coronavirus outbreak.

SINGAPORE: Coronavirus Furthers Chinese-Style Internet Censorship in Singapore

The News Lens: Government censorship of the internet in China is by now hardly shocking or even newsworthy. But under President Xi Jinping, the system colloquially known as the “Great Firewall of China” has become more sophisticated through the deployment of more human censors and algorithms that better track anti-government content. 

SOUTH KOREA: KBS COVID–19 Integrated Newsroom: Quality Emergency Broadcasting Service at this time of national need (Press Release)

KBS: KBS remains committed to continue to utilize its maximum resources for the COVID–19 Integrated Newsroom.

TAIWAN: Why China’s COVID-19 Disinformation Campaign Isn’t Working in Taiwan (Opinion)

The Diplomat: Taiwan’s resiliency highlights the importance of its participation in global efforts to fight coronavirus misinformation.

THAILAND: Thailand imposes state of emergency to control coronavirus

ABC News (US): Thailand’s government is imposing a one-month state of emergency allowing it to impose stricter measures to control the coronavirus that has infected hundreds of people in the Southeast Asian country. 

TIMOR-LESTE: How a copy boy became Timor-Leste’s lone ranger foreign correspondent

Asia Pacific Report: With the rapid spread of the dreaded Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic across the Pacific and Asia many people naturally seek online assurance and news they can trust. Through all this turmoil one Timor-based foreign correspondent, Antonio Sampaio, continues to play an outstanding role in providing timely and accurate information reporting for the Portuguese newsagency Lusa.

GENERAL: Coronavirus and surveillance tech: how far will gov’ts go and will they stay when they get there?

HKFP: Since the coronavirus outbreak became a fast-spreading pandemic, governments from across the globe have implemented new policies to help slow the spread of the virus. In addition to closing borders to non-citizens, many governments have also mobilised digital surveillance technologies to track and contain visitors and citizens alike.

AUSTRALIA: ABC forced to delay five-year plan and job cuts announcement

The Sydney Morning Herald: The ABC has been forced to delay the release of its five-year blueprint – including job cuts – to prioritise its response to the coronavirus pandemic. The national broadcaster was due to announce its long-term plan at the end of this month. A three-year funding freeze that took effect last July, stripping $84 million from ABC’s budget, will result in an estimated 200 redundancies.

AUSTRALIA: Australia Shutdown (Watch) 

ABC Media Watch: Fake news, conspiracy theories, calls to stay calm. How can the media help contain the deadly spread?

AUSTRALIA: Daily Mail fuels coronavirus lockdown panic as ABC presenters star live from their living rooms (Opinion)

The Guardian: Health minister forced to intervene after false report Australia was heading into an Italian-style lockdown. Plus: social distancing hits TV screens. 

AUSTRALIA: Government must flood the media with its coronavirus message (Editorial)

The Sydney Morning Herald: Australia’s greatest weapon in defeating the AIDS virus in the 1980s was the advertising campaign called “The Grim Reaper” which warned people about the need to practise safe sex. It was fearless and graphic and it worked.

AUSTRALIA: Mildura’s Sunraysia Daily and other regional papers close as coronavirus wipes out more than a century of tradition

ABC News: Rural newspapers, which have been at the heart of their communities for well over a century, are falling victim to the crippling effects of coronavirus.

AUSTRALIA: SBS Sydney newsroom shuts after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

SBS News: The SBS Sydney newsroom was closed on Tuesday after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. The employee was last in the office on Friday and is now at home and in good spirits. An SBS spokesperson said as a result of social distancing measures, the person had minimal contact with other employees in the office.

FIJI: FBC takes stringent measures against COVID-19 (Watch & listen)

FBC News: The Fijian Broadcasting Corporation is taking stringent measures in its fight against COVID-19. This comes as its senior western journalist, Filipe Naikaso, is in voluntary self-isolation.

FIJI: Kawale denied bail for misinformation

FBC News: Spreading false information in a crisis situation will not be taken lightly warned the Suva Magistrate this afternoon. The Magistrate’s comment came during his ruling to refuse the bail of 41-year-old man who is charged for allegedly spreading fake news.

NEW ZEALAND: Amateur epidemiologists crash Covid-19 coverage (Listen)

RNZ: Timely, accurate media reporting could be life-saving during the COVID-19 crisis. So why is so much coverage still being given to people with no scientific or medical expertise?

NEW ZEALAND: Media strive to adapt to ‘the new normal’

RNZ: The media are playing an important role conveying essential information during the COVID -19 crisis, even as their people work at a distance from each other and the economic upheaval clouds the future for some. But a surge of contradictory comments also risks confusing people at a critical time.

NEW ZEALAND: Midweek Mediawatch: gearing up for the new normal (Listen) 

RNZ: Mediawatch’s weekly catch up With Karyn Hay on Lately. This week he talks to Karyn about the ethical dilemmas reporting the spread of COVID-19; coping with the sports void and Jurgen Klopp – the COVID cop. 

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Police Minister stresses on responsible information sharing

Loop: Papua New Guineans, and especially the media, have been asked to be responsible when it comes to disseminating information. Police Minister Bryan Kramer made this call during the announcement of a strategic joint task force team to monitor the coronavirus pandemic.

REGIONAL: PMC Southern Cross: Black Brother dies, PM in Fiji, coronavirus and living with a stroke (Listen)

Pacific Media Centre: Southern Cross is back for this year, and Pacific Media Centre director Professor David Robie and Pacific Media Watch contributing editor Sri Krishnamurthi discuss the death of a Black Brother musician-activist campaigning for West Papua freedom; PM Jacinda Ardern’s visit to Fiji; and coronavirus coverage in the NZ media. 

ARMENIA: Armenia takes hard line against media reporting on COVID-19

Eurasianet: Journalism organizations in the country complain that the police are going too far in their efforts to censor non-official news about the outbreak.

BELGIUM: No audience, fewer guests: news programs adapt to the epidemic (French)

RTBF: A real anthill. This is what we could compare RTBF in normal times. Every day, in addition to its staff, the various RTBF sites welcome many program guests. The recording of these programs is also sometimes done in the presence of the public. Or rather was done.

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: Bosnia’s Republika Srpska Imposes Fines for Coronavirus ‘Fake News’

Balkan Insight: Bosnia’s Serb-dominated Republika Srpska entity will introduce penalties for spreading panic and publishing false news about the coronavirus outbreak in the media and on social networks.

BULGARIA: Bulgarian Investigative Journalist Attacked by Masked Men

Balkan Insight: The Bulgarian Interior Ministry suggested on Wednesday that the attack on investigative journalist and editor Slavi Angelov on Sofia’s central Dondukov Boulevard could be related to his work.

CROATIA: Journalists and Media Not Included in Government Measures

Total Croatia News: The Croatian Journalists’ Association (HND) and Journalists’ Union (SNH) on Wednesday released a joint press release saying that they regret that the government’s measures to ease the consequences of the crisis in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic do not include reporters and the media.

FINLAND: Reliable coronavirus news interest Finns – High news content to record highs (Finnish – Press Release)

Yle: Finns’ information hunger in exceptional circumstances is particularly evident in the consumption of Yle News content. It is the task of High Public Service to guarantee reliable information to all Finns in all circumstances.

FRANCE: EVENING TRIBUTE TO CAREGIVERS – Tuesday March 24 at 9:00 p.m. (French – Press Release)

France TV: In the current context of an unprecedented health crisis, France Télévisions is mobilizing on a daily basis to support the French and give priority to this major news.

FRANCE: How France’s Broadcasters Are Serving Audiences in Lockdown as Ad Revenues Falter

Variety: As France surpasses one full week in lockdown mode, TV audiences have jumped by 30% on French public broadcaster France Televisions. However, while production on newscasts and select talk shows continues despite restrictions on contact, one question begins to emerge — is there enough to go around?

FRANCE: The Media Lab from France Televisionsraises awareness about the containment via Tiktok (French – Press Release)

France TV: To support the health measures put in place by the government to deal with the coronavirus, the MédiaLab of information designed for the TikTok community a short animation of 57 “to explain in a simple and educational way the value of confinement.

GERMANY: ARD offers music publishers emergency aid (German)

ARD: Losses due to canceled concerts by the orchestras are mitigated. 

GERMANY: ARD’s regional TV channels to drop SD satellite distribution in 2021

Broadband TV News: The regional affiliates of German public broadcaster ARD will terminate the satellite distribution of their TV channels in SD resolution on Astra (19.2° East) in January 2021.

GERMANY: New educational opportunities for children in the corona crisis (German)

Deutschlandfunk: Media and educational institutions continue to strengthen their educational programs due to the closure of schools and daycare centers. From school television with a pen in hand to a children’s podcast on the sofa, everything is possible.

GERMANY: What ARD, ZDF, DLF and others offer in terms of education for children in the corona crisis (German)

Deutschlandfunk: Media and educational institutions continue to strengthen their educational programs due to the closure of schools and daycare centers. From school television with a pen in hand to a children’s podcast on the sofa, everything is possible.

GIBRALTAR: GBC changes schedule to best keep community informed on Covid-19 developments (Watch)

GBC News: As Gibraltar’s public service broadcaster, GBC is re-modelling its schedule to best keep the local community informed on Covid19 through all its platforms.

HUNGARY: Hungary seeks power to jail journalists for ‘false’ COVID-19 coverage

IPI: New draft legislation in Hungary threatening journalists and others accused of spreading “false information” with jail is a step toward total information control and the further suppression of press freedom in the country, the International Press Institute (IPI) warned.

HUNGARY: Hungary’s Orban Uses Pandemic to Seize Unlimited Power

Human Rights Watch: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has seized the COVID-19 pandemic to undermine fundamental principles of democracy and rule of law in a way that is hard to reconcile as necessary for public health.

ITALY: Rai launches classic sports channel to fill content hole

Sport Business: Italian public-service broadcaster Rai has moved to counter the current gap in content left by the cancellation or postponement of a myriad of sporting events in the coming months by launching a dedicated archive-content channel, Raisport Classic.

NETHERLANDS: Broadcasters hit hard by cancelled ad campaigns, including Albert Heijn Hamsteren

NL Times: Broadcasters in the Netherlands are suddenly struggling under a hoard of canceled advertising campaigns. Many sectors have stopped advertising due to the coronavirus, resulting in TV channels losing out on millions of euros. The virus is also affecting the recording of new programs, NOS reports.

NORTH MACEDONIA: UNESCO welcomes press councils’ call for professional reporting on COVID-19 in South East Europe (Call out) 

UNESCO: On 27 February 2020, The Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia (CMEM) took the lead in releasing a press alert calling on media in North Macedonia to be careful in their selection of sources of information. 

POLAND: Coronavirus: Poland misses public health challenges (Paywall – French)

Le Soir: Poland is at war, not just against the coronavirus. For years, a domestic cold war has been brewing between the anti-democratic and anti-European power exercised by the PiS (Law and Justice) party and civil society, which demands respect for the constitution, the independence of the courts, freedom of the media and of all minorities.

RUSSIA: Is Russia running a coronavirus disinformation campaign?

Deutsche Welle: Is Russia using the coronavirus pandemic as a chance to incite unrest in the West by spreading fake news and misinformation? EU observers of Russian media say that’s what it looks like.

SPAIN: Lies and truths of the coronavirus (Webinar – Spanish)

Teledetodos: The coronavirus pandemic has brought about an epidemic that, unfortunately, we have already observed in major events (electoral processes, natural catastrophes …): that of disinformation.

SPAIN: RTVE launches a news channel on YouTube (Spanish) 

RTVE: RTVE  expands its informative offer with a  new official news channel on YouTube ( RTVE News https://www.youtube.com/rtvenoticias ). The objective is to increase and concentrate the activity of the  RTVE news programs (La 1, La 2, Canal 24 Horas, Teledeporte, RNE and Noticias Digitales) on that platform.

SPAIN: The editorial offices of El Telecino and TVE are divided into two groups: checkpoints at the headquarters and journalists on the street (Spanish)

El Confidencial: The media continues to implement measures to prevent the coronavirus from spreading at a time of great informational interest. Some journalists have started working from home but in the case of television news editors, who do not have the option of teleworking, other protocols are being applied. 

SPAIN: Viewers endorse new RTVE public service programs (Spanish) 

RTVE: This past Monday, viewers supported the new public service programs launched by RTVE to face quarantine at home:  ‘Aprendemos en casa’, an initiative of the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training to facilitate education, and ‘Muévete en casa’ are spaces that encourages all citizens to take care of their physical form from their homes.

SWEDEN: SVT as the children’s friend in times of crisis (Swedish – blog)

SVT: In Sweden our elementary schools are still kept open, so far a closure is stated not to be relevant. At the same time, schools are being pressured by rising sick leave, with more and more students and teachers already staying at home. Then we take responsibility for SVT towards one of our important target groups – the children.

SWEDEN: Swedish Radio’s corona coverage – news, in-depth & company in a difficult time (Swedish – Press Release)

Sveriges Radio

SWITZERLAND: Public information and support, the SRG sets priorities during this crisis (French – Press Release) 

SRG SSR: After having decided to adapt their programs for children and young people and developed service and support programs, the SSR business units will prioritize their resources, as much to guarantee complete and solid information to the population as to ensure their program production capacities and protect their teams.

U.K: Government gives ‘key worker’ status to all journalists reporting on coronavirus pandemic to the public

Press Gazette: The Government has classed all journalists who are reporting on the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic as “key workers”, meaning they can access childcare and education provision while schools are shut.

U.K: Netflix can’t match us on kids’ TV, says BBC children’s director (Opinion)

The Guardian: The outgoing BBC children’s director has said YouTube and Netflix could not provide the same distinctive British children’s programmes as those funded by the licence fee, as the corporation responds to the coronavirus outbreak by bringing forward the launch of a child-friendly version of iPlayer.

U.K: New BBC explainer feature helps news readers understand complex topics

Journalism.co.uk: From the climate emergency to the coronavirus, BBC News’ innovation team created a new way to help journalists avoid repeating background information in every article.

U.K: The coronavirus story is unfathomably large. We must get the reporting right

The Guardian: Our coverage of the biggest event of our lives is a defining challenge for the news media.

GENERAL: Netflix to slash traffic across Europe to relieve virus strain on internet providers 

Reuters: Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) said it will cut traffic by 25% on networks across Europe in a relief measure for internet service providers (ISPs) experiencing a surge in usage due to government “shelter in place” orders aimed at slowing the coronavirus outbreak.

GENERAL: Public Service Media provide support to audiences in times of crisis (Report)

EBU: As the COVID-19 outbreak has escalated throughout Europe, public service media organizations (PSM) have not only kept audiences informed, educated and entertained, they have offered vital support as this unprecedented crisis deepens. A new report from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) shows how public service broadcasters have responded to the challenges of the pandemic by rapidly modifying their programming.

GENERAL: What European producers and broadcasters are learning from the Nordic model

Screen Daily: It was only a few years ago that European producers and broadcasters worried about how they could survive and thrive at a time of rapid growth by global and deep-pocketed streamers such as Netflix and Amazon Studios. 

ARGENTINA: Argentina’s media and civil society unite against COVID-19 (Spanish) 

FOPEA: Faced with the global advance of the pandemic and its impact on our country, FOPEA participates in the #SomosResponsables campaign promoted by the Association of Argentine Journalistic Entities (ADEPA),  which expresses the need for the commitment of the entire society to slow down the advance of the coronavirus COVID-19. 

ARGENTINA: Find here all the information published by FOPEA on the coverage of COVID-19 (Spanish) 

FOPEA: In this space of the FOPEA site we collect the information that we share with our partners in the forum and also the recommendations and articles that we publish on social networks. We hope that you can find here the links, data and useful references for daily work in the context of the crisis caused by COVID-19. We will update the contents daily so that the material is a source of consultation for FOPEA members and the journalistic community in general.

BAHAMAS: Media Will Be Free To Carry Out Its Work

The Tribune: Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday stressed the emergency orders he put in place last week allows for the free movement of the media. He released a statement after a police officer denied a local media company access to the streets of New Providence on Saturday during curfew hours.

BRAZIL: Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro says coronavirus crisis is a media trick

The Guardian: Far-right president has resisted strong measures to stop spread of what he calls a ‘little flu’. 

BRAZIL: Coronavirus: FENAJ gathers information on actions and guidelines from the Journalists’ Unions across the country (Portuguese) 

FENAJ: The Unions of Professional Journalists in different parts of the country are notifying communication companies and gathering information with specific guidelines for workers, based on specialized and official disclosures about the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) since the confirmation of the first case in Brazil.

COLOMBIA: Advice to journalists and the media – Together we protect ourselves from COVID-19 (Spanish) 

FLIP: The following are some recommendations that FLIP has prepared in order to promote the care of reporters and all the media personnel who work in the coverage of the emergency by COVID-19 and, in general , who continue to work in the information field, regardless of the subject they are covering, and who have exceptions in the mandatory preventive isolation measures and curfews.

EL SALVADOR: How to report without generating panic or hysteria? (Spanish) 

APES: The Association of Journalists of El Salvador (APES) shares some recommendations on how to carry out ethical and responsible journalistic coverage, which does not feed disinformation or hysteria and collective panic and which is based on the article “13 tips from an edition of The Washington Post. 

GUYANA: Coronavirus: Guyanese pleading with health authorities for daily updates

Guyana Newsroom: Guyanese have taken to social media to vent their frustration about what they say is the lack of timely information from the Ministry of Public Health on the deadly new Coronavirus. 

HONDURAS: Honduran government declares state of emergency, suspends right to free expression

CPJ: On March 16, the office of President Juan Orlando Hernández published a decree instituting a state of emergency for seven days due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which imposes a curfew and revokes several articles of the Honduran constitution, including Article 72, which protects the right to free expression without censorship.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Attacking the press in T&T (Opinion)

Trinidad Express: Trinidad and Tobago’s Constitution, at Section 4(k), is the only one among the Commonwealth Caribbean countries in which “freedom of the press” is explicitly “recognised and declared” and posited as a fundamental right that has always “existed and shall continue to exist”.

VENEZUELA: Venezuelan journalist arrested by special forces following coronavirus coverage

CPJ: Darvinson Rojas, a freelance journalist who publishes his reporting to his social media accounts, including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, was detained yesterday around 9:00 p.m. at his home in Caracas by agents of the Special Action Forces of the national police (FAES). 

REGIONAL: Coronavirus pandemic creates rare union between competing newspapers in Latin America

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: The worldwide crisis of the new coronavirus pandemic is spreading a rare wave of collaboration between competing media outlets in Latin America. During the week, publications from at least six Latin American countries published identical covers with headlines related to fighting the coronavirus. 

GENERAL: Latin American newsrooms adapt operations as new coronavirus spreads across the continent

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas

IRAN: Amid coronavirus pandemic, Iran covers up crucial information and threatens journalists

CPJ: As of March 20, Iran’s Health Ministry reported more than 1,400 deaths and nearly 20,000 cases of coronavirus, according to The Associated Press. However, on March 12, The Washington Post published satellite images of a mass grave near Qom, the epicenter of Iran’s outbreak, indicating that the death toll is likely much higher than the state is publicly admitting.

IRAN: Iranian journalists hounded for disputing official coronavirus figures

RSF: In almost all parts of the country, journalists and citizen-journalists have been summoned for questioning by ministry of intelligence officials or Revolutionary Guards after reporting information that contradicted official statements about the COVID-19 epidemic, and some have been charged with “spreading rumours.”

ISRAEL: TV Host Fired by Public Broadcaster After Online Protest Against Government

Haaretz: Lucy Aharish, an Arab Israeli journalist, started co-hosting cultural show a week before she was fired. Kan public broadcaster says termination was not over demonstration

TURKEY: MEPs call on Turkey to end the public advertising ban on Evrensel (Letter)

IPI: In a letter addressed to Rıdvan Duran, the general director of the Public Advertising Agency (BİK), the authority in Turkey responsible for the distribution of state advertising, ten members of the European Parliament called for the immediate end to the public advertising ban that has been imposed on the independent newspaper Evrensel since September 2019.

CANADA: Canada’s Banff World Media Festival 2020 Canceled Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Deadline: The Banff World Media Festival is the latest international TV event canceled due to the Coronavirus outbreak. 

CANADA: CBC temporarily replaces local evening TV news amid coronavirus pandemic

CBC News: ‘We are temporarily pooling our resources into one core news offering,’ says CBC’s Susan Marjetti.

CANADA: Ensuring essential information for Canadians during this crisis

CBC/Radio-Canada: As news about COVID-19 in Canada changes by the minute, CBC/Radio-Canada has taken steps to ensure it continues to provide essential news and information to all Canadians. Like all organizations during this crisis, we are responding to the demands on our people and systems in order to guarantee our ability to operate without interruption in the weeks ahead. This has meant some difficult decisions. 

U.S: How public service media is rising to the coronavirus crisis 

Current: Current aims to give voice to stations’ experiences and experiments during this public health crisis. We want to know about your uniquely local efforts to serve your viewers, listeners and readers so we can share your ideas and initiatives.

U.S: Local News Outlets Dealt a Crippling Blow by This Biggest of Stories (Paywall)

The New York Times: Layoffs. Canceled print editions. Weekly papers and small dailies across the country face peril as the coronavirus cuts off ads and live events.

U.S: NPR’s ‘Coronavirus Daily’ Podcast Follows How The Pandemic Affects Our Daily Lives (Press Release)

NPR: From March 18th, the public can hear NPR’s latest, most vital reporting, features, and interviews about the coronavirus pandemic in one place. Coronavirus Daily, a new 10-minute podcast hosted by Kelly McEvers of Embedded, will cover all the ways COVID-19 is affecting our daily lives – from public health and personal finances to the global economy, politics, society and culture.

U.S: NPR’s Wow in the World Podcast Goes Daily for Kids and Families (Press Release)

NPR: From March 23, NPR’s kid-friendly podcast, Wow in the World, will be adding a daily game show. Curious kids and their parents can expect to hear all new full-length episodes of Wow in the World every Monday and a brand new interactive, science-based game show, Two Whats and a Wow!, every Tuesday through Friday.

U.S: Tech tools and guidelines to help public media staff work from home 

Current: To protect employees from the spread of COVID-19, many public media outlets are quickly becoming “distributed” organizations — with staff working remotely from home or other places outside of the office.

U.S: Trump reverts to media-bashing and blame-casting in latest press conference

The Guardian: As reporters questioned the federal response to the outbreak, he complained, ‘We were very prepared. The media has not treated it fairly’

U.S: What’s Become of the Arctic

CJR: Alaska is heating up twice as fast as the rest of the country. Will journalists find a way to tell the whole story?

Arts, Culture – Trying to Keep the Lights on amid Covid-19

IPS: With the spread of the Covid-19 disease, the arts and culture sectors have seen a flood of cancellations and postponements, affecting artists around the world and putting the global 2,000-billion-dollar creative industry at risk.

As Coronavirus Surveillance Escalates, Personal Privacy Plummets (Paywall)

The New York Times: Tracking entire populations to combat the pandemic now could open the doors to more invasive forms of government snooping later.

Coronavirus: A glossary of terms

RNZ: The virus causing death, disruption and disconnection across the world has added several new terms to the public lexicon which have spread into common use even more quickly. To aid those who are out of the loop, cut down on misinformation and generally get everyone reading from the same songsheet (but certainly not all in the same room), here’s a glossary of terms related to the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Coronavirus: Tech companies should use Manila Principles to manage misinformation

Article 19: ARTICLE 19 has urged tech companies to be more transparent about content moderation practices  and improve their appeal processes, as they enact plans to remove misinformation about coronavirus. The call comes on the fifth anniversary of the publication of the Manila Principles, a set of standards for censorship and takedown laws. 

How media worldwide are covering the coronavirus crisis

EJO: The crisis triggered by the coronavirus is presenting the world with unprecedented challenges. While borders are closing and ever more governments move towards declaring a state of national emergency, the European Journalism Observatory seeks to shed light on the media response to the crisis worldwide, both in countries that enjoy press freedom as well as states where media freedom is restricted.

Instagram steps up effort to curb COVID-19 disinformation

RFI: Instagram said Tuesday it was ramping up efforts to promote reliable content about the coronavirus pandemic and stop the spread of misinformation on the image-centric social network.

Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020


Uncharted waters: media freedom under COVID-19

IPI: Global press freedom is entering uncharted waters. As governments around the world scramble to stop the spread of the COVID-19 and protect the health of their citizens, states of emergency are being announced and extensive restrictions put in place. Wide-ranging limits on freedoms are being implemented on a scale not seen in peacetime.

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