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 resources featuring recommended tools, advice and sources for journalists and the public alike. The resources can be found via the link below or in the ‘Tools’ section of our website.

The resource will be frequently updated to reflect the changing needs and evolving situation. If you have any recommendations, please let us know.

We also want to hear about your local public media coverage! Email us!

As the coronavirus pandemic worsens, public media are rapidly adapting to best cover the crisis on a local level while also providing for educational needs and vulnerable groups as isolation policies are introduced.

We want to hear from our members about what you are doing to best cover the crisis on a local level. Email us using the link below.

Coronavirus: Resources & best practices

Essential resources for sourcing and reporting news about the coronavirus pandemic

What we're listening to...

Could a Belarus protest movement bring down Alexander Lukashenko?

Today in Focus | The Guardian: Since Sunday, thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Belarus to contest the claimed election victory of the president, Alexander Lukashenko, and met a violent police response. Hanna Liubakova, a Belarusian journalist, describes being on the ground, while the Guardian’s Andrew Roth looks at how Lukashenko has remained in power for 26 years.

What we're watching...

David Olusoga | James MacTaggart Lecture | Edinburgh TV Festival 2020

Edinburgh Television Festival: Broadcaster, historian and writer, David Olusoga, delivered the keynote address at this year’s virtual Edinburgh TV Festival. Here he reflects on his experiences of racism and marginalisation in the British TV industry.

Global Headlines

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

ALGERIA: Another Algeria journalist jailed in growing crackdown

Arab News: An Algerian journalist was sentenced Monday to two years in prison, his lawyer told AFP, in the latest trial of media and pro-democracy figures in the North African country.

MALAWI: MBC Commits to Change News Bulletin – Hope Chisanu, Maseya, Chinkhwende ‘Warehoused’

Via All Africa: Public broadcaster, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), highly considered as a mouthpiece for former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), has committed to changing the face of its bulletins, saying no news source is barred from featuring on its platforms.

MOZAMBIQUE: MISA Mozambique condemns the vile attack against the Mozambique Channel (Portuguese – Statement)

MISA: MISA Mozambique condemns, in the most vigorous terms, the barbarian and cowardly attack perpetrated against the premises of the newspaper Canal de Moçambique, on the night of last Sunday, August 23, 2020.

NAMIBIA: Media union on the cards

New Era: A soon-to-be launched union that will champion and promote the interests of media practitioners in the country has promised to restore trust in the local media, which they say has been waning in recent years.

NIGERIA: Lawmakers To Investigate NTA And StarTimes Joint Venture Deal, Suspect Fraud

Broadcast Media Africa: Lawmakers in the Nigerian Senate are alleging a level of fraud suspected to be in the hundreds of millions of US Dollars in the joint venture operation between the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and StarTimes – the Chinese PayTV company.

SOUTH AFRICA: Govt yet to respond to SABC’s plea for r1.5bn covid-19 funding

Eyewitness News: The public broadcaster has struggled to manage their crumbling finances with the pandemic, the final nail in the coffin.

SOUTH AFRICA: IPO Rejects CWU’s Call For Dissolution Of SABC Board

Eyewitness News: The union has been joined by Congress of South African Trade Unions, which is calling on the entire SABC board to step down after the public broadcaster requested yet another cash injection.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC refutes COSATU’s claims that it doesn’t have a strategy

SABC News: The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Board has labelled claims by trade union federation COSATU that it does not have a strategy as factually inaccurate. The union called on the Board to step down after the SABC asked Treasury for R1.5 billion in COVID-19 relief. 

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC vows Covid-19 relief funds will be used as intended (Paywall)

News 24

TANZANIA: Tanzania’s “Bulldozer” president is tightening his grip on international media ahead of elections

Quartz: With the presidential election coming on Oct. 25, Tanzania’s government has been clamping down and tightening its grip on media in the East African country. 

TANZANIA: Tanzania: RSF condemns latest government clampdown on the media

RSF: Reporters Without Borders deplores strict new media regulations imposed by the authorities in Tanzania, which will have profound implications for national and foreign news organizations just months before the October presidential election.

TANZANIA: Why shutdown media then expect it to legitimise government? (Opinion)

The East African

GENERAL: SADC leaders resolve to tighten social media controls

The East African: Southern African leaders have resolved to tighten restrictions on social media usage, especially during elections, ostensibly to curb the spread of fake news.

AFGHANISTAN & PAKISTAN: As America retreats from the long war, Afghan and Pakistani journalists come under attack


BANGLADESH: Public servants not allowed to speak to media without approval

The Dhaka Tribune: Govt alleges some employees were violating rules by publishing and broadcasting speeches, opinions, articles, letters on various topics.

HONG KONG: Joint statement: The decline of press freedom in Hong Kong

IFJ: We, the undersigned, are troubled by the decline in press freedom and democratic rights in Hong Kong and express our deep concern about the ramifications of the imposition of national security legislation by the Beijing authorities.

HONG KONG: Power to the people to keep Hong Kong press freedom alive (Opinion)


INDIA & US: Outlawing TikTok may not impede journalists, but U.S. and India bans could set a risky precedent


INDIA: SOPs for resuming shooting of films and TV serials

The Hindu: Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday announced the release of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for resuming shooting of films and TV programmes.

INDONESIA: Indonesia’s Harmful Restrictions on Foreign Journalists, Academics


INDONESIA: Indonesia: Media organisations targeted by digital attacks

IFJ: Media organisations in Indonesia have reported a spate of digital attacks directed at critical coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Indonesia are deeply concerned that the hacking attacks aim at restricting critical reporting and suppressing media freedom.

JAPAN: Multilingual EMERGENCY Updates (Press Release)

NHK World: NHK WORLD-JAPAN now has a portal page where they can see accurate and reliable emergency information in multiple languages.

JAPAN: NHK apologizes over tweets said to fan discrimination against Koreans

Japan Today: NHK’s Hiroshima broadcasting station has apologized over a series of Twitter posts it made in the name of wartime residents as part of a history project for young people following criticism that they fanned discrimination against Korean residents.

KASHMIR: Kashmir group calls India’s internet ban ‘digital apartheid’

Al Jazeera: A report by a Kashmir-based rights group calls India’s communications blackout as ‘collective punishment’.

NEPAL: Preliminary review of Public Service Broadcasting Bill

Lokaantar: The long-awaited issue of public broadcasting has now entered the Parliament. The debate and various initiatives on this subject which started in 2063 BS (2007) have now entered a new phase. The government has registered a bill in the parliament on July 29 to amend and consolidate the laws on public broadcasting to change the existing regulation system of Radio Nepal and Nepal Television. 

NORTH KOREA: North Korea propaganda: New faces but old messages (Watch)

BBC News: North Korea’s propaganda machine could never be accused of being ahead of the curve. But there are signs of change signalling a new, more modern approach.

PAKISTAN: Demo for Editor-in-Chief’s release staged

The News International: Senior journalists, civil society leaders, office-bearers of media unions and trade union of Jang group on Saturday accused the PTI government of undermining the media freedom through detaining Jang/Geo Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman under the NAB custody in a politically-motivated case for the last 161 days without finding any proof of their charges or making any progress in investigations.

PAKISTAN: Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s judicial remand extended till Sept 3

PPF: An accountability court Thursday extended judicial remand of Jang/Geo Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman till Sept 3.

PHILIPPINES: Killed and shuttered ABS-CBN gets no help from Supreme Court

Rappler: In a separate concurring opinion, Justice Leonen says had the issue not become moot the petition should have been granted as it impacts freedom of expression.

SOUTH KOREA: COVID-19 causes TV production stoppages

The Korea Herald: The South Korean entertainment industry could face a shutdown with the growing number of COVID-19 infections among TV cast and crew members.

SOUTH KOREA: Emergency broadcast simulation training for KBS1 radio coronavirus (Korean) 


AUSTRALIA: ABC defends Fact Check report, maintains Paul Fletcher’s budget claims are ‘misleading’

Mumbrella: The ABC has stood by a report from its fact checking unit that concluded Communications Minister Paul Fletcher is misleading in his assertions the broadcaster’s funding is increasing, rather than decreasing.

AUSTRALIA: ABC, News Corp and Nine among media players to reject AFP proposal for surrendering information

ABC News: Media companies have ripped apart a federal government proposal which would allow law enforcement agencies to request journalists hand over classified information without a search warrant.

AUSTRALIA: Media reporting on mental illness, violence and crime needs to change

The Conversation: The media is a key source of information about mental illness for the public, and research shows media coverage can influence public attitudes and perceptions of mental ill-health. 

AUSTRALIA: Why is Google taking aim at the Australian government with saturation advertising?

The Guardian: Google and Facebook are deeply opposed to the Australian government’s plans to force them to pay media companies for news content.

NEW ZEALAND: Media funding proposal never made it to Cabinet – Minister Faafoi

RNZ: Plans for a second tranche of support for struggling media companies have been scrapped because coalition partners failed to reach consensus.

NEW ZEALAND: RNZ Chair Welcomes New Board Appointees (Press Release)

RNZ: NZ Chairman, Dr. Jim Mather, has welcomed the appointment of former NZ On Air CEO, Jane Wrightson, as a Governor on the Board of Radio New Zealand and the involvement of Mihimaraea Parata Gardiner as an observer on the Board under the State Services Commission Future Directors programme.

TONGA: Pacific Freedom Forum red flags new Tonga media regulations

IFEX: The eight regulations were issued by Tonga’s Ministry of Communications in an infringement notice via the Ministry of Information and Communications. Media groups said the regulations undermine the Constitutional provision guaranteeing press freedom.

BELARUS: Belarusian photographer Tatsiana Tkachova quit her state-owned newspaper when it failed to cover violence against protesters

CPJ: As anti-government protests continue to engulf Belarus after the August 9, 2020 election, there’s a revolt brewing inside some state media outlets, where journalists are striking and quitting over what they see as their employers’ failure to accurately cover the protest movement and the government’s harsh response…

BELARUS: Detentions of journalists have started again in Belarus

EFJ: The Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) notes new cases of detentions of journalists in Belarus. 

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: BH Journalists: Censorship on BHRT is an attack on freedom of expression and opinion

Safe Journalists: The Steering Committee of BH Journalists Association and the Free Media Help Line send a public protest to the Editorial Board of BHRT for censoring the critical review of journalist Mirza Skenderagic on the film “Focus, Grandma” directed by Pjer Zalica, which opened this year’s Sarajevo Film Festival ( SFF).

DENMARK: DR in close collaboration with private producers on content for children (Danish)

DR: Today, more than 170 of the country’s private TV and game producers are gathered in DR. They offer programs and games for children, which can be experienced at DR. At the same time, a new major collaboration on school football with DBU as well as a new learning offer for the very young children is presented today.

FINLAND: Yle is Finland’s third highest valued brand and the most valued media brand in 2020 (Press Release)

Yle: Finnish people are showing increasing appreciation for Yle’s brand. Of all Finnish brands, Yle is the third most highly valued. The company has improved its position by two places since last year.

FRANCE: French watchdog consults on spectrum as France Ô heads for closure

Digital TV Europe: France’s ministry of culture has officially asked media regulator the CSA to withdraw the digital-terrestrial spectrum allocated to public overseas channel France Ô from September 1, when the service is set to close down.

GERMANY: ARD and ZDF reject criticism from media researchers of Corona reporting (German)

Deutschlandfunk: ARD and ZDF have rejected media researchers ‘criticism of the broadcasters’ corona reporting.

GERMANY: GMF 2020: Mainstream media sorely lacking diversity and inclusion

Deutsche Welle: News organizations are struggling to reflect an increasingly diverse society. How can they create more diversity to achieve faith in the quality of their media output?

IRELAND: RTÉ forecasts €36m deficit for 2020 due to fallout from Covid

The Irish Times: RTÉ told the Government that it was forecasting a deficit of €36 million for 2020, with Covid-19 significantly deepening the financial crisis at the organisation, according to a report in the Sunday Independent.

LITHUANIA: LRT Lituanica expands to Poland

Broadband TV News: The Lithuanian public TV channel LRT Lituanica is now available to ethnic Lithuanians living in the Suwalki region of north east Poland.

MALTA: Broadcasting Authority Stands by decision to censor journalists’ questions

Malta Independent: The Broadcasting Authority (BA) will not back down from its decision to censor the questions made by journalists during a live press conference on state television.

MOLDOVA: An Effective Press Requires Gender Equality

Freedom House: In Moldova, COVID-19 has exacerbated the challenges faced by women in the media.

POLAND: Independent media defend against populist government attacks

IJNet: Some of the tactics used by populist presidents include taking over independent media, troll campaigns to discredit journalists, legal harassment of publications, public trashing of specific journalists and orchestrated threats of violence, roundtable participants said at the International Symposium of Online Journalism, hosted (virtually) by the University of Texas, Austin. They went on to discuss how media are dealing with these threats.

SERBIA: Worsening Media Freedom Climate in Serbia as Journalist Threatened With Gun

Exit: Salahudin Fetic, Director and Editor-In-Chief of Sandzak Television in Serbia was attacked by local businessman Kemal Mehmedovic while in a restaurant.

SLOVAKIA: Slovak Women Journalists Take On Corruption, But Ignore Own Sexual Harassment

Balkan Insight: Sexual jokes, inappropriate comments, unwanted advances, online abuse: Slovak women reporters face it all, a new report says. But while they fight for other women, they are often afraid to stand up for themselves.

SPAIN: RTVE condemns the attacks on TVE professionals suffered in a demonstration in Madrid (Press Release – Spanish)

RTVE: The RTVE leadership regrets and condemns the attacks suffered by TVE professionals during the demonstration called “against anti-coronavirus measures”, in which some protesters charged journalists and photojournalists who covered that information for various media.

SWEDEN: Swedish public broadcasters ban TikTok on staff work phones

The Local: Sweden’s public television and radio broadcasters SVT and SR have banned staff from using Chinese video-sharing app TikTok on their work phones, citing security reasons.

UK: BBC ‘Does Not Reflect the Nation We Are Making Programs For,’ Says Broadcaster’s Director of Content

Variety: BBC director of content Charlotte Moore has said on- and off-screen diversity has “never been more important” to the public broadcaster, while admitting that the BBC “does not reflect the nation that we are making our programs for.”

UK: David Olusoga: racism in British TV has led to ‘lost generation’ of black talent

The Guardian: Lack of BAME people in executive and behind-camera roles down to being ignored or worn down by industry, says historian.

UK: Public interest news requires £10m-a-year to sustain innovation, a report finds

Journalism.co.uk: The Future News Fund calls on the UK Government to step up its support of high-quality, local news providers who were the hardest-hit by the pandemic.

UK: Tony Hall’s speech to the Edinburgh International Television Festival

BBC: Speech by Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC to the Edinburgh International Television Conference on Monday 24 August 2020.

UK: UK broadcasters outbid and forced to innovate amid shortage of shows

The Guardian: Streaming services such as Netflix take advantage of Covid production shutdown. 

UKRAINE: Investigative journalists face arson attacks and surveillance


REGIONAL: Rights Management: Pandemic Pushes Broadcasters To Monetise Archive Content (Paywall)

IBC 365: With a dramatic reduction in the amount of live content including sports, broadcasters and other content creators are seeking to monetise ‘back-catalogue’ material more effectively, writes David Davies.

BAHAMAS: Broadcasting Corporation Of The Bahamas Restructuring – Downsizing A Possibility

The Tribune: The Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas advised staff in a memo Monday that the corporation will be restructuring with the possibility of downsizing.

BRAZIL: Brazil’s Bolsonaro renews attacks on media

France24: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro lashed out again at journalists Monday, a day after threatening to punch a reporter who questioned him about corruption accusations involving the first lady.

COLOMBIA: “The pandemic once again showed the raison d’être of the public media” (Spanish)

Semana: This week it was learned that RTVC acquired the audiovisual files of the 7 o’clock newscast. Its director, Álvaro García, explained the importance of that purchase and how the institution has faced the crisis.

PERU: Pandemic’s toll among journalists in Peru is especially high 

The Washington Post

REGIONAL: Regional media entities seek gov’t support in light of COVID, dwindling revenue

Jamaica Observer: The Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) is appealing to policymakers and regulators across the region to suspend the collection of regulatory fees and licences for the next 12 months as a result of the impact the coronavirus (COVID-19) has had on “indigenous media in the region”.

REGIONAL: CBU Holds 51st Annual General Assembly Virtually – Calls For Broadcast License Fee Suspension (Press Release)

CBU: Broadcasters and other media practitioners from across the Caribbean this week reported significant challenges to their continued viable operations, brought on by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) which has been impacting them negatively for almost six months. 

IRAN: Iranian journalist Kayvan Samimi begins 3-year jail term over protest coverage

CPJ: Iranian authorities should release journalist Kayvan Samimi from prison immediately and cease arbitrarily jailing members of the press, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

IRAQ: As social unrest grows, Kurdish Iraq goes after media

France 24: Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq are cracking down on media outlets covering anti-government protests, journalists and rights defenders told AFP, shattering the region’s reputation as a liberal refuge.

IRAQ: Iraqi Kurdish authorities shutter NRT offices in Erbil and Duhok; 1 journalist still held

CPJ: Iraqi Kurdish authorities should cease harassing broadcaster NRT, release journalist Ahmed Zakhoy without charge, and allow the outlet to report freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

ISRAEL: Teachers, rabbis at odds over satirical Israeli TV show

Al-Monitor: Conservative activists are protesting the popular comedy show “The Jews are Coming,” though supporters say its irreverence is crucial to Israeli society.

KUWAIT: Kuwait parliament amends Media and Publications law

Zawya: Several amendments to the law on media and publications are aimed to safeguard, control and preserve these practices.

LEBANON: The initial distress of the Beirut explosion was enough – but the horrors that followed truly shocked me (Comment)

The Independent: As a journalist, I have covered numerous humanitarian stories and interviewed people in the most vulnerable communities, but never have I been so overwhelmed with emotions.

PALESTINE: “MADA” Center Launches a Campaign to Limit Self-Censorship in the Media

MADA Center: The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms “MADA” launched a campaign to limit self-censorship in the media that journalists and the mass media practice on themselves and it is being reflected on their work. This campaign is a part of the project “A Step Forward toward Enhancing Freedom of Expression in Palestine”, funded by the European Union.

TURKEY: Press freedom in Turkey — light at the end of the tunnel?

Deutsche Welle: The declining freedom of the press and expression in Turkey has been a topic of debate for many years. However, Istanbul-based press freedom lawyer Veysel Ok says there is still hope.

TURKEY: Social media law in Turkey: a new stage of penguinisation

ECPMF: There was always censorship and restrictions on the media in Turkey but on the night of May 31, 2013 something happened that exceeded this…

CANADA: Canadian Paralympic Committee and CBC/Radio-Canada to bring coverage of historic Paralympic moments with Super Series Rewind, a 10-episode digital series

Cision: Sports fans across Canada will be able to fill the Paralympic Games void this month as the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) launches its 10-episode Paralympic Super Series Rewind show today.

CANADA: Danish journalist covering Indigenous opposition to Trans Mountain pipeline denied entry to Canada

CBC News: Canada Border Services Agency says decisions on who can enter the country are made on a case-by-case basis

CANADA: Information on Radio-Canada: an essential service for a busy season (French)

Radio-Canada: “Last spring, we realized how much information on all platforms represents an essential service and I am very proud of the work accomplished by our teams in this demanding context. With the global social, health and economic crisis and the American electoral campaign in full swing, the news is not about to slow down. As a public broadcaster, Radio-Canada has a responsibility to properly inform all citizens, regardless of the platform they consult. This is the commitment we are making”. This is how Luce Julien, Director General of Information at Radio-Canada, defines the essence of the next season of Radio-Canada news.

US: Police Response to Press at Black Lives Matter Protests Tests First Amendment

VOA: During recent protests in Washington over the death of George Floyd in police custody, police in riot gear were videotaped striking a news crew as officers cleared media and protesters from Lafayette Square, an area near the White House.

US: ProPublica Selects Six Public Broadcasting Projects for Local Reporting Network

ProPublica: ProPublica announced the six reporters from public radio stations who have been selected to participate in its Local Reporting Network. 

US: Pubcasters Urge FCC to Update Rules to Foster Broadcast Internet

TV Technology: APTS, PBS say ATSC 3.0 capabilities will help advance networks’ educational obligations.

US: Public Media Journalists Association Receives Additional CPB Funding to Continue Editor Corps (Press Release)

CPB: $61,000 grant provides editing help to public media newsrooms. 

US: With a focus on civil rights, Yamiche Alcindor rises to the top as a White House correspondent (Paywall)

Current: Call them “Yamiche moments.” It’s a loose term to describe moments when colleagues say Yamiche Léone Alcindor excels as the White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour.

US: With classes resuming, stations build on spring efforts for ‘phase two’ of remote learning initiatives (Paywall)

Current: “We have had some time to reflect, to listen and to refine so that we can be right there, hand in hand with our education partners and our families,” said Robin Mencher, executive director of education at KQED.

DRM hosts virtual IBC event

Asia Radio Today: Under the overarching theme “DRM – Advanced Radio for All” the DRM Consortium has planned for a virtual meeting to look at the practical advances of DRM in various parts of the world and at the recent improvements to the DRM performance, equipment and receivers.

Humility and humanity are key to ethical reporting on the global refugee and migrant crisis (Comment)


In New Jersey, Tanzania, Peru, TV Lessons Replace Online Learning (Paywall)

The New York Times: Poor regions across the globe where internet access is scarce are turning to television to reach students under lockdown. That strategy could also help in wealthy countries.

Media and Information Literacy programs provide fact-checking skills

DW Akademie: Many fact-checkers train others in verification methods through Media and Information Literacy programs. These make use of fact-checkers’ expertise, enhance their public standing, and sometimes provide crucial funds.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist launches a stress management tool for newsrooms

Journalism.co.uk: Since the beginning of the pandemic, most journalists feel overwhelmed but just keep going. If that sounds like you, you may want to make a change before you burn out.

Some countries are using the pandemic as an excuse to crack down on journalism

Nieman Lab: The surfeit of misinformation online during the pandemic has prompted some governments to implement extraordinary measures in an attempt to establish control amid the chaos.

Red alert for green journalism – 10 environmental reporters killed in five years

Via Relief Web: To mark “Earth Overshoot Day,” which lands on 22 August this year, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is publishing alarming statistics about journalists who cover environmental stories. At least ten have been killed in the past five years, while more than 50 press freedom violations linked to environment journalism have been registered during the same period.

PSM Weekly is available via email. You can subscribe by signing up to our mailing list at the bottom of the page or email editor@publicmediaalliance.org.

All PSM Weekly stories are provided for interest and their relevance to public service media issues, they do not necessarily reflect the views of the Public Media Alliance.

All headlines are sourced from their original story.

If you have any suggestions for our weekly round-ups, please email PMA at editor@publicmediaalliance.org.

Header Image: Cameraman shooting crowd. Credit: iStock/denizbayram