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What we're listening to...

Climate collaboration—three hundred outlets, one billion viewers

CJR: There is a climate angle to every beat, no matter how small the newsroom; collaboration pays; and climate coverage is no more political than failure to cover the climate crisis. On this week’s episode, Kyle Pope, editor and publisher of CJR, speaks with Mark Hertsgaard, the environmental correspondent for The Nation, on what they’ve learned so far from their Covering Climate Now initiative with The Guardian.

What we're watching...

Document, mobilise, amplify: The media activists in Rio’s favelas 

Al Jazeera: Community-based media collectives are pushing an alternative, re-humanising narrative about Rio de Janeiro’s favelas.

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Global Headlines

BOTSWANA, MALAWI & MOZAMBIQUE: With elections looming in Botswana and Mozambique, SADC watchdog must grow some teeth (Opinion)

Daily Maverick: The Southern African Development Community (SADC) — charged with promoting election integrity, strengthening democracy and advancing human rights — is failing. The latest evidence comes from Malawi. The next tests will come in Mozambique and Botswana where elections are due to be held in October 2019.

CAMEROON: Assault on media freedom in Cameroon needs to stop

Via IFEX: The Cameroonian government is urged to take measures against the ongoing attacks against journalists and activists in Cameroon by AFEX and its member in Cameroon, ADISI-Cameroon.

EGYPT: Egypt warns foreign media amid protests

IPI: The International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists for press freedom, today expressed grave concern over efforts by the Egyptian government to hinder the free flow of news and information in the wake of recent protests against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s rule.

ERITREA: Rights Groups Urge Release of Journalists in Eritrea, Years After Disappearances

VOA News: 

GHANA: MFWA, RTI Coalition to Convene Public Forum on Ghana’s RTI Law

MFWA: As part of efforts to ensure effective implementation of the newly passed Right To Information (RTI) Law in Ghana, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in collaboration with the Right To Information Coalition, will on Wednesday, September 25, 2019, at 9:00 am at the Swiss Spirit Alisa Hotel convene a public forum on the theme: Implementation of RTI Law: How will Ghana’s be different?

NAMIBIA: Budget cuts threaten to ‘gag’ state media

The Namibian: THE future of state media institutions hangs in the balance, lest government throws them a lifeline in terms of a budgetary boost.

SOMALIA: Puntland government imposes restrictive surveillance measures on media

IFJ: Authorities in Puntland, an autonomous region of Somalia, announced on 22 September that all the independent media houses and journalists operating in the region will have to register in “order to monitor their daily journalistic work”.

SOUTH AFRICA: Hlaudi makes a counter-claim, telling SABC it owes him R16m

News 24: Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng has responded to a civil claim lodged by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to recover R21m from him by telling the public broadcaster it owes him R16m, according to the Sunday Times. 

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC proposes an increase in TV licence fees (Watch)

SABC News: The SABC says it has submitted a request to the Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams for a 5% increase to the television licence fee.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC to investigate leaks from within (Watch)

SABC News: The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) says it will investigate leaks emanating from the institution.

TANZANIA: African Human Rights Body Issues Appeal for Jailed Tanzania Journalist

IPI: The International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and journalists for press freedom, has welcomed the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) intervention in the case of jailed Tanzanian journalist Erick Kabendera.

TUNISIA: 13 attacks on journalists during the day of the vote (French)

L’economiste: Attacks on journalists have become increasingly frequent in Tunisia since the start of the election campaign. 

GENERAL: “Investment In Digital Media Infrastructure Delivers Universal Access!” – Arthur Asiimwe, Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA)

Broadcast Media Africa: Arthur Asiimwe, the Director-General of Rwanda Broadcasting Agency, says that in order for Africa’s broadcasters to provide universal access, the first thing they need to do is invest in the necessary digital infrastructure.

AFGHANISTAN: “No just and lasting peace in Afghanistan without guarantees for press freedom”

RSF: Guaranteeing press freedom is essential for a just and lasting peace in Afghanistan, two press freedom organizations – Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Federation of Associations and Media in Afghanistan ­– said at a press conference in Kabul today.

CHINA: China to ban journalists who fail Communist Party loyalty test

RSF: By the end of the year, Chinese journalists will have to pass a loyalty exam towards the Party and President Xi Jinping in order to earn or renew their press credentials.

CHINA & UK: Ofcom investigates CGTN over coverage of Hong Kong protests

The Guardian: The Chinese state-backed news channel CGTN is under investigation by the British media regulator over claims its coverage of protests in Hong Kong breached broadcasting rules.

HONG KONG: HKJA condemns doxxing of journalists as an example of increasing attack on press freedom in Hong Kong

HKJA: Selected members of the Hong Kong press covering the Hong Kong protests since June 2019, have had their private personal data posted online. This data has included photos, dates of birth, social media account details, residential addresses and contact information

HONG KONG: Stronger coordination needed to counter global disinformation on Hong Kong

IFJ: There is now clear evidence that hundreds of thousands of social media accounts are being used to spread disinformation about Hong Kong’s ongoing political crisis with a view to manipulating public debate.

INDIA: Modi’s Digital India Comes Crashing Down in Kashmir’s Longest Ever Internet Gag

The Wire: On September 12, Jammu and Kashmir government spokesperson Rohit Kansal justified the ongoing internet blackout by saying that there are fears that Pakistan might misuse the internet in Kashmir to foment trouble. He was confronted with a question by a journalist: “Pakistan will be there always. When has government ceded its authority to Pakistan over the issue?”

INDONESIA: Journalists attacked covering the protest

IFJ: Journalists covering the demonstration in front of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in Jakarta, on Friday, September 13, were harassed, blocked and had their equipment damaged. 

PAKISTAN: Cabinet approves plan to form ‘media courts’

DAWN: The government on Tuesday approved a plan to form ‘‘media courts’’ for the first time in the country, apparently to seek speedy disposal of media-related cases within a particular time limit of 90 days.

PHILIPPINES: Leading tabloid’s office targeted in arson attack

IFJ: The offices of Abante Tonite, a leading Philippines tabloid were stormed by four men and set alight in an arson attack on Monday, September 9 in Parañaque City, Metro Manila. 

SINGAPORE: Media Literacy Council reviewing material after photos of book saying satire is ‘fake news’ go viral

The Straits Times: The Media Literacy Council’s portrayal of satire as “fake news” is back in the spotlight. Photos of the council’s booklet which describes satire as a form of “fake news” have gone viral online.

SOUTH KOREA: Grey-haired news consumers turn to YouTube

The Korea Times: In the past few years, there has been a significant change in Koreans’ news consumption patterns ― people in their 50s and older are increasingly turning to YouTube.

AUSTRALIA: ABC books Bankstown boot camp to reconnect with burbs (Paywall)

The Sydney Morning Herald: The ABC is planning an overhaul of its news coverage to attract outer suburban and regional city Australians and increase its audience amid a slowdown in traditional television viewership.

AUSTRALIA: ABC’s Peter Lewis and SBS’ Peeyush Gupta to retain board roles (Paywall)

The Sydney Morning Herald: ABC director Peter Lewis and SBS director Peeyush Gupta will keep their roles for another five years after a federal government decision to reappoint the public broadcasters’ board members.

AUSTRALIA: Media polarisation dangerous for democracy and for science: Sinodinos

The Conversation: Arthur Sinodinos, former minister and Australia’s ambassador-designate to Washington, has warned that the media is becoming a polarised “battleground”, which is dangerous for democracy and science.

FIJI: Pacific journos converge in Suva to discuss ‘critical issues’

Asia Pacific Report: Twelve leading journalists from 11 Pacific Island countries will converge in Suva, Fiji, this Friday to discuss critical issues affecting the region including climate change and natural disaster relief and recovery and regional security.

NEW ZEALAND: Is the Chinese NZ Herald Under Chinese State Control? (Listen)

RNZ: Laura Walters is a senior political reporter for the Newsroom website – Chinese media experts say the Chinese NZ Herald’s permits and structure means it must adhere to the censorship regime of the Chinese Communist Party, in what Foreign Minister Winston Peters says is a flagrant breach of media freedom.

NEW ZEALAND: Public funded election broadcasting should be turned on head (Opinion)

SCOOP Parliament: The allocation of money for publicly funded broadcasting for election campaigns should be turned on it’s head according to Massey University professor of communication design Claire Robinson.

VANUATU: Radio Vanuatu Capital Development Work Begins

Daily Post: With the support of the Government of Vanuatu, the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation (VBTC) has begun work this month on a VT942 million (US$8.1m) infrastructure upgrade to improve radio and free-to-air television service throughout Vanuatu.

AZERBAIJAN: Although diabetic, leading Azerbaijani journalist on hunger strike in prison

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is extremely concerned about Afgan Mukhtarli, an imprisoned Azerbaijani journalist who has begun a hunger strike despite being diabetic. RSF holds the Azerbaijani authorities responsible for his fate and calls on the international community to press for his immediate release.

BELARUS: In a country that keeps its media under a dome, Belarus’s independent journalists face mounting fines

Index on Censorship: On the surface, Belarus is one of the quieter places for journalists – one rarely hears about gruesome violations, physical assaults or murders of media workers in this post-Soviet country. But a lack of horror stories does not mean there is a liberal policy towards the media.

BULGARIA: Grave threat to public media independence in Bulgaria

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled by the political pressure that led to a programme host on Bulgaria’s state-owned national radio broadcaster BNR being suspended, and then to the radio station itself being taken off the air for more than five hours on 13 September.

FINLAND: Ylen’s Troll Factory Awarded for International Journalism Content – Also Attracted by Wikipedia Founder (Finnish)

Yle Uutiset: The fake news game was awarded in the Media Literacy category at the Global Youth & News Media competition.

FRANCE: Matthieu Pigasse and Xavier Niel sign the right of approval claimed by the editorial offices (French)

Le Monde: The independence pole, which represents the employees, will now be able to refuse the entry of a new controlling shareholder.

GERMANY: Warning strikes on ARD stations (German)

Der Tagesspiegel: The management and trade unions in various ARD institutions come closer to the wage dispute

IRELAND: Expect more passions to be provoked by the hovering axe at RTÉ

The Irish Times: How long can the Government distance itself from the broadcaster’s woes?

MALTA: Family of murdered Maltese journalist raise concerns over public inquiry

The Guardian: Daphne Caruana Galizia’s family request meeting with Maltese PM over concerns about impartiality of panel

SLOVAKIA: Right of reply changes send wrong message on press freedom

The Slovak Spectator: How can a government that spends time looking for new ways to harass the press be trusted to secure accountability for the state’s failure to protect journalists?

SLOVAKIA: The smear campaign against Slovakia’s journalists by ex-Police Chief Gašpar’s needs to stop

RSF: The Slovak police are currently investigating the role of former Police President of Slovakia Tibor Gašpar on suspicion of unlawfully gathering information on journalists, including Ján Kuciak, who was murdered with his fiancée in February 2018. 

SPAIN: More than half of RTVE workers reject the appointment of Enric Hernández as Chief Information Officer 

Público: 65% of Spanish Radio and Television (RTVE) workers have rejected through a referendum the appointment of  Enric Hernández , former director of El Periódico de Catalunya , as the new head of Information and News , as reported by the RTVE Information Board  through a statement. 

SPAIN: Spain has experienced an unprecedented decline in press freedom, says PDLI

ECMPF: Hooded demonstrators have attacked TV journalists covering the Catalonia national day demonstrations which attracted more than 500,000 people in support of independence for the autonomous region.

UK: BBC ‘ignoring its audience’ over iPlayer app removal

The Guardian: Broadcaster criticised as replacement app restricted to newer operating systems

UK: BFI’s Young Audiences Content Fund: a fund indeed for a nation in need (Opportunity)

TBI Vision: The UK children’s industry is already feeling the benefit of a new $70m fund but what are the longer repercussions both domestically and internationally? Ann-Marie Corvin reports

UK: Ofcom chief urges online media levy to fund public broadcasting (Paywall)

Financial Times: Sharon White convinced platforms need to meet their side of ‘social contract’

UK: Is British TV in a mid-life crisis? (Paywall – Opinion)

Broadcast: Uncomfortable questions are being asked about the future of public service broadcasting. They deserve a proper hearing, says Jonathan Thompson

REGIONAL: A new issue is out: Media Trends in the Nordic Countries 2-2019

Nordicom: The Nordics are high performers in digitisation in European and global comparisons. As for media use, there is a continuous shift to digital consumption, but age gaps are increasing. These are some of the themes covered in this newsletter, all with a focus on the Nordic countries.

GENERAL: Disconnected from the news (Paywall – Spanish)

El País: From British BBC to Italian RAI, European public televisions have encountered a recurring problem: young people do not connect with their traditional news programs.

ARGENTINA: ADEPA highlighted the level of press freedom achieved and criticized the Santoro case (Spanish) 

La Nacion: At the 57th assembly of the Association of Argentine Journalistic Entities (ADEPA), the Press Freedom Commission released its annual report on freedom of expression in Argentina on Friday condemned the prosecution of journalist Daniel Santoro.

BOLIVIA: Bolivia’s forest fires expose risks for environmental reporters

CPJ:  According to official estimates, fires in Bolivia have caused nearly as much destruction as those in neighboring Brazil, have posed enormous challenges for Bolivia’s news media. 

BRAZIL: Document, mobilise, amplify: The media activists in Rio’s favelas (Watch)

Al Jazeera: Community-based media collectives are pushing an alternative, re-humanising narrative about Rio de Janeiro’s favelas.

COLOMBIA: Ray Guevara highlights freedom of expression importance

Al Momento: Judge Milton Ray Guevara, president of the Dominican Constitutional Court (TCRD) said that freedom of expression and information far exceeds its meaning as a fundamental right, since it has an extraordinary institutional significance within the framework of the social and democratic State of straight.

HAITI: Associated Press photojournalist in Haiti is wounded after legislator fires gun outside Senate

Knight Center: Haitian photojournalist Dieu Nalio Chery was hit in the face by a bullet after a senator shot his gun in the country’s Senate yard on Sept. 23. 

JAMAICA: PAJ Joins Calls For Repeal Of Law Forbidding Photography In Court

Jamaica Gleaner: The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) has joined the Media Association of Jamaica in its call for the repeal of section 33 of the Criminal Justice (Administration) Act, which prohibits photographing or sketching prisoners in court, or in the precincts of the court. The fine associated with the offence has increased from $20 to one million dollars and the possible imprisonment in default of payment from one month to a year.

MEXICO: Project Miroslava reveals web of organized crime and political corruption behind journalist’s murder

Deutsche Welle: Project Miroslava reveals new background on a murdered Mexican journalist’s investigations into corruption and organized crime — and sends the message that even if a journalist is killed, these stories will not die. 

MEXICO: RSF campaigns on impunity for violence against journalists in Mexico

RSF: Six months after formally asking the International Criminal Court to investigate crimes of violence against journalists in Mexico, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reminds the Mexican authorities of the urgent need for an emergency plan for the judicial system to address this grave problem.

MEXICO: Why Doesn’t the Mexican Government Protect Journalists? (Opinion)

The Globe Post: Journalist Kris Kodrich asks why the Mexican government is failing to protect journalists. 

PUERTO RICO: How Leaked Chats and Dogged Reporting Shook Up Puerto Rico’s Government

GIJN: When reporters for Puerto Rico’s Centro de Periodismo Investigativo — its Center for Investigative Journalism — first published hundreds of pages of a leaked Telegram chat involving high-ranking officials, they had no idea this would lead to massive street protests and end in the governor’s resignation.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: PM Rowley’s Misplaced Outburst (Editorial – Opinion) 

Trinidad Express Newspaper: The Prime Minister’s intemperate and uninformed statement on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is yet another unforced error that holds him, his office and the country to ridicule.

REGIONAL: Chicas Poderosas promotes collaborative journalism to highlight underrepresented social issues in Latin American media

Knight Center: A collaborative journalism marathon that involved about 100 people in Argentina highlights social issues such as the situation of incarcerated trans residents, the migration of Venezuelan children and the importance of midwifery work in Argentina.

IRAN: UN focus on harassment of BBC journalists is welcome

BBC: In a report presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva today (19 September 2019), UN assistant secretary-general Andrew Gilmour has highlighted the plight of BBC Persian journalists, who face ongoing harassment and persecution by the Iranian authorities.

IRAQ: Iraqi journalists blacklist politicians who attack them

Al Monitor: Some Iraqi journalists are attempting to limit repeated attacks against them in peaceful and legal ways in a bid to provide a safer environment for the free press in Iraq.

SAUDIA ARABIA: Saudis look back on the dawn of broadcasting on Saudi National Day

ZAWYA: Saudis generally were keen to embrace the new mass medium and learn what was going on in the world

TURKEY: CPJ joins call to UN rights council for end to press crackdown in Turkey (Statement)

CPJ: The Committee to Protect Journalists joined 12 other press freedom and freedom of expression organizations calling on the member states of the U.N. Human Rights Council to urge Turkey to end its repressive policies against independent reporting and free speech.

TURKEY: Don’t read too much into Turkey’s gag order reversal, warn free press advocates

Al Monitor: Turkey’s Constitutional Court has ruled unanimously that a reporting ban slapped on the work of a parliamentary commission set up to investigate corruption charges leveled against four former ministers in a quashed 2013 probe violated free expression and press freedom.

CANADA: Canadian broadcaster launches fake-news chat bot

BBC: Canada’s CBC public broadcaster has responded to concerns about fake news in the current parliamentary election campaign by launching a chat bot to assess the veracity of reports.

CANADA: ‘Missing voices and missing perspectives’: Trudeau blackface scandal renews calls for newsroom diversity

CBC/Radio Canada: After the first brownface image of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau became public, all the reporters peppering him with questions aboard the Liberals’ campaign plane were white. Many journalists of colour say that lack of diversity has a negative impact on the way stories like these are covered. 

US: Leadership to change at Northern California Public Media (Paywall)

Current: Nancy Dobbs, the leader of Northern California Public Media is retiring after 38 years with the joint licensee she co-founded. She will retire in December. Content Manager Darren LaShelle will rise to fill the role.

US: Less Local News Means Less Democracy (Opinion) 

Nieman Lab: State government reporter and bureau chief of the Miami Herald Mary Ellen Klas, talks about how the decline of local news leads to a breakdown of democracy. 

US: Research project seeks ‘replicable models’ for public media newsroom mergers

Current: Public Media Venture Group is partnering with the Google News Initiative to study the viability and challenges of mergers that combine public media newsrooms and digital news outlets.

US: The Growing Threat to Journalism Around the World (Opinion)

The New York Times: Publisher of The New York Times A. G. Sulzberger is the publisher of The New York Times speaks about the growing threat to journalism from around the world, particularly in the United states. 

US: The New York Times suspends their Spanish site 

The New York Times: The New York Times has announced that it is shutting down NYT en Español, its Spanish-language site it launched in 2016

US: What does it take to change a newsroom’s racial narrative? Minnesota Public Radio built a coalition to try 

Nieman Lab: Minnesota Public Radio – where 15 percent of employees are people of color, did its own survey earlier this year. Respondents said the Minnesota media portrays indigenous people and people of color poorly, and that number jumped to 49 percent when surveying non-white media professionals. 

5G – the future for radio?

Asia Radio Today: If there’s one thing being talked about a lot over the last year or so, it’s 5G. It’s a new technology for mobile broadband.

Barb: we’re ready to measure Netflix

Broadcast: Ratings body just needs programme assets to begin monitoring SVoD’s shows

IBC 2019 – Industry leaders reassert commitment to radio’s digital future

Asia Radio Today: IBC 2019 saw experts from across the radio industry come together at WorldDAB’s session on radio’s migration to digital.

Is big tech’s move to fund local news a cynical ploy?

The Guardian: Google and Facebook have stepped in to boost local journalism in the UK and US as they face political pressure

Netflix to spend $500m on British-made TV shows and films

The Guardian: Streaming service reveals 2019 budget for more than 50 projects as it battles new rivals

Newspapers that never arrive – obstructing print media distribution

RSF: As print media publishers and distributors from all over the world gather today in Berlin for the annual Distripress congress, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is releasing its latest report, entitled “Newspapers that never arrive,” which sheds light on how governments, state institutions, powerful oligarchs and corporations obstruct print media distribution.

Nonprofit news outlets aren’t relying as heavily on foundations — but journalism philanthropy continues to grow

Nieman Lab: “Nonprofit news organizations have much in common even if their scope or mission differs. Their journalistic missions are shaped largely by the gaps they are trying to fill — investigative at the state, national and global level; more general news at the local level.”

Reasserting the rights and duties of journalists with the IFJ’s new Global Charter of Ethics

Equal Times: With the omnipresence of digital media, social media and news blogs, citizens have never had as much access to information. At the same time, however, those same citizens have never been so critical of the media and journalists, with the level of contempt reaching proportions seldom seen.

Users (and their bias) are key to fighting fake news on Facebook – AI isn’t smart enough yet

The Conversation: The information we encounter online everyday can be misleading, incomplete or fabricated. Being exposed to “fake news” on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter can influence our thoughts and decisions. We’ve already seen misinformation interfere with elections in the United States.

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