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

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BURUNDI: ‘Horrific times’ for critical press

Deutsche Welle: One year ago in Burundi, journalist Jean Bigirimana disappeared without a trace. The government is playing down the case, but critics say freedom of the press is in dire straits in the crisis-torn East African country.

CAMEROON: Radio Journalist Wins Top Press Freedom Award

Via All Africa: Ahmed Abba, the journalist from Cameroon serving a 10-year prison sentence arising from his coverage of Boko Haram extremists, has won a top press freedom award.

ERITREA: Once forced to create propaganda for their government, Eritrean artists are defecting to seek new lives in Australia

SBS: Said Abdella is one of many Eritrean artists who’ve been sent to Australia by the Eritrean government with the objective of disseminating their propaganda. Now he has defected.

GAMBIA: AG Special Adviser Warns Media Against Hate Speech

Via All Africa: Hussein Thomasi, Special Adviser to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice has warned media practitioners against using hate speech that has the tendency to undermine the peace and reconciliation process.

GHANA: Who Owns the Media in Ghana?

MFWA: This research project titled: “Media Ownership Monitor” is the first of its kind in West Africa and it seeks to map the current status of media ownership in Ghana, the legal framework that regulates media ownership and its overarching implication on media pluralism.

KENYA: Most Kenyans have seen fake news, according to a new report

Poynter: Almost nine out of ten Kenyan voters believe they have seen fake news about the upcoming election, according to a new report.

KENYA: WhatsApp and Facebook are driving Kenya’s fake news cycle

Quartz: Social media networks like Facebook and WhatsApp are being used to spread fake news stories in Kenya—less than three weeks before the country holds a tightly-contested general election.

LIBERIA: Liberian Leader Recommits to Vibrant, Free Press

Via All Africa: The Liberia leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has reaffirmed government’s commitment to upholding and promoting a vibrant and free press in Liberia.

MOROCCO: Morocco obstructs coverage of Rif protests

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has registered many media freedom violations since the start of a wave of protests in Morocco’s northern Rif region and accuses the authorities of deliberately obstructing the Moroccan and foreign reporters who have been trying to cover the unrest.

NIGERIA: Nigeria Govt. Might Change Broadcasting Law To ‘Punish’ Advertisers Not Supporting Local

Broadcast Media Africa: In a dramatic move to drive advertisers and sponsors to support local media properties in Nigeria, the country’s Government is considering a change of the broadcasting code – the set of laws and regulations governing the industry – to ensure the country’s leading brands support local content and marketing properties.

NIGERIA: Nigeria Plans Establishment of Council to Regulate Social Media Use in Country

Premium Times: The National Council on Information (NCI) has recommended the “setting up of a Council to regulate the use of social media in Nigeria”.

NIGERIA: TSTV And ABS Global To Promote A New Satellite Broadcasting Service For Africa

Broadcast Media Africa: ABS Global – a Europe-based technology company – has joined venture with a Nigeria’s outfit – Telecom Satellite TV (TSTV) –  to set up a new Direct-To-Home (DTH) satellite TV service to compliment the digital transition currently taking place across the Africa.

SOUTH AFRICA: Durban FilmMart awards 2017

Screen Africa: The Durban FilmMart, the industry development programme of the eThekwini Municipality’s Durban Film Office and Durban International Film Festival (Centre for Creative Arts, UKZN) ended on a high note with an awards ceremony at the Tsogo Maharani Hotel in Durban, South Africa on Monday, 17 July.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC: Acting CEO Aguma resigns from public broadcaster, disciplinary charges withdrawn

Daily Maverick: Chairperson of the disciplinary hearings into Aguma’s conduct, Taki Madima announced the resignation during the fifth day of his disciplinary hearings in Sandton, north of Johannesburg, on Wednesday.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC appoints acting CEO and COO

IOL: The SABC has appointed Nomsa Philiso as acting SABC CEO to replace James Aguma who resigned last week.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC Ready to Take Editorial Policy Review Nationwide

Via All Africa: The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) says it is ready to undertake the process to review its 2004 editorial policies.

SOUTH SUDAN: South Sudan authorities block access to at least four media websites

CPJ: South Sudanese authorities should immediately unblock the websites of at least four media outlets, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

SOUTH SUDAN: South Sudan detains director of public broadcaster for more than a week

CPJ: South Sudanese authorities should immediately release Adil Faris Mayat, the director of the country’s public broadcaster, South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation, the Committee to Protect Journalist said today.

AFGHANISTAN: Journalists in Afghanistan’s Northeast strategize on media’s role in advancing peace

ReliefWeb: In the northeast region of Afghanistan, the UN is working on an initiative to leverage the power of local radio and television to build support among communities for reducing conflict, fighting corruption and advancing peace.

AZERBAIJAN: Azerbaijani president awards journalists flats in Baku

OC Media: Ilham Aliyev, the President of Azerbaijan, has awarded a number of journalists with flats, in an official opening ceremony of a large 17-floor building, constructed on his personal decree.

BANGLADESH: Editors want section 57 fully repealed

The Daily Star: The Editors’ Council yesterday demanded the government fully repeal section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act and refrain from taking any initiative to re-introduce similar provisions in any new law.

CAMBODIA: Code for reporting on women

The Phnom Penh Post: The Ministry of Information and Ministry of Women’s Affairs are expected to implement a code of conduct today for media outlets reporting on violence against women – an effort to rein in journalistic practices that experts say harm and often demean victims.

CAMBODIA: In Cambodian media ‘if it bleeds, it leads’

The Phnom Penh Post: On any given day, local news outlets offer readers a dizzying – and potentially disturbing – array of photographs and articles documenting violence around the country in graphic detail. Often, the reporting ignores ethical guidelines, subjecting readers to gratuitous imagery and violating the privacy of the subjects.

CHINA: China’s official news style guide really wants you to know that Taiwan and Hong Kong are part of China

Quartz: China’s state news agency Xinhua has published a major update to its style guide, with a huge emphasis on Beijing’s sovereignty over Taiwan and Hong Kong.

CHINA: Chinese state media’s tribute to Xi is forceful rebuke of free press

Asia Times: This summer’s big propaganda push is about more than the 19th Party Congress.

INDIA: DD plans to replace logo, invites entries

LiveMint: Doordarshan is planning to change its iconic logo and create something youthful in a bid to tap the ‘children of liberalization’.

INDIA: Prasar Bharati Board favours separate DD News Hindi & English channels

Indian Television: The Prasar Bharati Board is inclined towards bifurcation of the Doordarshan News channel into two – one for Hindi and another for English.

INDIA: Social media weaning away time spent on newspapers,TV

The Hindu: Social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and others are rapidly changing the reading and viewing habits of an increasing number of people, mostly youngsters, according to Assocham.

INDIA: TRAI to begin consultation on mobile apps seeking user data

The Hindu: TRAI chief declined to specify whether the consultation would result in norms or regulations.

INDIA: World in Progress: Media Divide in India (Listen)

DW: In India, many are concerned because lots of media companies there are vested in the hands of a select few. Critics say they fail to question authority and offer critical perspectives. And thus, they fail to do what they actually should be be doing in a democracy, as Murali Krishnan reports from New Delhi.

MALAYSIA: Malaysia’s public broadcaster RTM to stop airing Despacito

Channel NewsAsia: Malaysia’s public broadcaster Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) will cease broadcasting the global hit song Despacito through all its radio and television stations immediately, Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak said on Wednesday (Jul 19).

PAKISTAN: Journalists harassed, detained by Pakistan’s investigation agency

IFJ: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the harassment and detention of two reporters by the state agency in Islamabad, Pakistan on July 21.

PAKISTAN: Judgment reserved on petition against talk shows on sub judice matters

The News: The Lahore High Court on Monday reserved its judgment on the maintainability of a petition seeking direction to restrain private TV channels from talk shows on sub judice matters including the Panama case.

PAKISTAN: UNDP, CPNE to intensively build media skills on reporting climate change in Pakistan

Pakistan Observer: A seminar was held in Karachi to intensively build media skills on reporting on climate change finance in Pakistan. In the seminar, a CPNE and UNDP handbook, Climate Smart Reporting: A Handbook for Journalists & Communication Professionals, was launched.

PHILIPPINES: Facebook rules the Internet in the Philippines. Rappler walks the line between partnership and criticism

NiemanLab: “It’s still an empowering platform. I will not take that away from them. But people who deal with the algorithms have to work hand in hand with people who have responsibilities in the public space.”

SOUTH KOREA: BBC Earth block lands in South Korea

TBI Vision: BBC Worldwide has inked a deal that sees a BBC Earth branded block in South Korea.

SOUTH KOREA: Yong Jin Kim: Nonprofit Investigative Journalism Is the Answer

Media Power Monitor: Around the turn of the millennium, Yong Jin Kim organized and led the first investigative unit in Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), the country’s public media broadcaster and the biggest media group in South Korea. In 2013, frustrated by the constant need to fight the muzzles put on investigative journalism in mainstream news media, Mr Kim co-founded the Korea Center for Investigative Journalism (KCIJ), an independent outfit specializing in investigative reporting.

VIETNAM: Vietnam: Media must have full access to meetings of the National Assembly

IFEX: ARTICLE 19 condemns the announcement that reporters in Vietnam will be barred from the majority of meetings of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee. The decision runs counter to international human rights standards on the right to information, and should be immediately reversed to restore transparency in Vietnam’s parliamentary process.

AUSTRALIA: ABC reveals top salary brackets but won’t break down individual remuneration

9 News: The ABC has revealed it spends more than $430 million on wages however has refused to break down the pay rate of its high-profile presenters.

AUSTRALIA: An unholy row

ABC Media Watch: The ABC is accused of waging war against Christians, with a report on domestic violence now under scrutiny.

AUSTRALIA: Australian commercial television networks want to scrap children’s content quota

Stuff.co.nz: The bosses of Australia’s commercial free-to-air television networks have pleaded for an end to their obligation to make children’s content, with one claiming they are “spending millions to make programs that are watched by thousands”.

AUSTRALIA: Increasing surveillance ‘deeply concerning’, says MEAA

Pacific Media Centre: Australia’s Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance has voiced several concerns surrounding the government’s recent and alleged encroaches on press freedom.

AUSTRALIA: SBS driving up prices, says Nine

The Australian: SBS is stifling commercial television competitors by driving up the cost of international programming, according to the chief executive of Nine Entertainment. Hugh Marks also called on SBS to return to its public service roots, stop chasing commercial ratings, and provide more public service programs.

NEW ZEALAND: Former TVNZ broadcaster Marcus Lush says network salaries would ‘horrify’

Stuff.nz: The public would be “horrified” if TVNZ released the salaries of its top earners, a former broadcaster with the network says.

NEW ZEALAND: Social media and broadcasting standards

Scoop Culture: New Zealanders want broadcasters to ask permission before using their social media content.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Free speech under attack during vote, Media Council warns

ABC News: Free speech is being silenced during Papua New Guinea’s national elections according to the country’s Media Council.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Journalists kept at bay during Papua New Guinea elections

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the many media freedom violations during the general elections held in Papua New Guinea from 24 June to 8 July, including a gag order on a well-known blogger as a result of a complaint by the head of the electoral commission.

SOLOMON ISLANDS: Media association appoints new president

Pacific Media Centre: The Media Association of the Solomon Islands has elected a new president. Deli Oso, former press secretary to Prime Minister Manaseh Sogavare, has replaced Leni Dalavera of national broadcaster SIBC in the role.

TONGA: Review of Tongan Broadcasting head’s sacking is dismissed

RNZ: A Supreme Court application for the judicial review of the sacking of the General Manager of Tonga’s state broadcaster was dismissed.

BALKANS: True stability needs media freedom

SEENPM: Abuse of public funds and tabloids used as means for stifling “dissent” undermine democracy and ultimately stability in the Western Balkans. The speech by Dragan Janjić at the Civil Society Forum held in Trieste on July 11, 2017.

CROATIA: Croatia plans switch to DVB-T2 in 2019

Advanced Television: Croatia is planning to switch free-to-air terrestrial TV broadcasting from the DVB-T to the DVB-T2 standard in 2019.

GEORGIA: Head of News at Georgian Public Broadcaster resigns

OC Media: Giorgi Putkaradze, the head of news at the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) resigned on 18 July months after a controversial shift in the channel’s administration.

GERMANY: ZDF calls for political solution of cable dispute

Broadband TV News: German public broadcaster ZDF has called for the prime ministers of the federal states to resolve the dispute regarding the question whether the public broadcasters have to pay cable carriage fees through a regulation in the national broadcast law.

IRELAND: Political backlash grows after 24 hours of radio silence over gender pay

Independent: RTÉ is facing a major political backlash on foot of revelations that newscaster Sharon Ní Bheoláin is earning up to €80,000 less than her co-anchor Bryan Dobson.

IRELAND: RTÉ lost €20m last year covering ‘onerous’ events like the Olympics

FORA: The public broadcaster said it was a ‘challenging’ financial period.

ITALY: Seeing 1970s Italy Through Its Subversive Public Broadcasting Network

Hyperallergic: Francesco Vezzoli has delved into the archival material of Radiotelevisione Italiana, shaping a narrative of the culture, politics, and entertainment of the period.

NETHERLANDS: 42% of Dutch homes have a connected TV

Broadband TV News: According to the Media Standard Survey (MSS) conducted by Kantar TNS, 42% of Dutch households have their TV set connected to the internet, with a further 15% using a dongle or media centre.

POLAND: PIS uses media control to bring Poland to heel

Emerging Europe: As Freedom House documented in a report published in June 2017, the media has been a special target for PiS since it won elections in October 2015.

POLAND: Poland’s controversial judicial reforms and the media

IPI: Experts worry that press freedom might be next in line after move against courts’ independence.

RUSSIA: Russian parliament certifies free Internet’s death

RSF: Russia’s parliamentarians have given final approval to two laws intended to ban software that bypasses online censorship and tighten government control of search engines and messaging services.

SPAIN: Podemos in Andalusia manages to make the parties sit to unlock the renewal of the direction of RTVA (Spanish)

Digital Sevilla: The meeting proposed by Podemos to try to unblock the renewal of the board of administration of the RTVA, Radio Televisión de Andalucía, has been held although no schedule has been set for further progress.

SPAIN: Rejection of the sub-contracting of information on public TV (Spanish)

Periodistas: The Federation of Trade Unions of Journalists (FeSP) of Spain considers that the subcontracting of information programs of public radio and television infringes the constitutional rights of citizens to information, and notes as especially serious the situation of public media that depends on the government in the Canary Islands, Extremadura and Aragon.

UK: BBC Head: We Must Reinvent Broadcasting for a New Generation

Lightreading: Younger viewers are consuming video differently from previous generations, according to Tony Hall, the director-general of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) .

UK: BBC pay: Male presenters could face wage cut

BBC News: The BBC’s most highly paid male presenters could be asked to accept lower wages as the corporation tries to close the gender pay gap.

UK: BBC reveals top stars’ pay

Advanced Television: In tandem with publishing its Annual Report for 2016/17, the BBC has disclosed the amounts paid to staff and talent over £150,000 (€170,000) from the licence fee in the last financial year.

UK: Director general says he hopes BBC can close gender pay gap before 2020

The Guardian: BBC must be at forefront of change on equal pay, says Tony Hall in reply to letter from more than 40 of its high-profile female stars.

UK: Nervous response to BBC VR study

Broadband TV News: BBC research into the virtual reality has found initially dim expectations turned into excitement about the medium.

ARGENTINA: Campaign: rules for public media (Spanish)

La Nacion: In order to avoid repeating the information imbalances that had led to kirchnerism in public TV and Radio Nacional during the 2015 elections, the Federal System of Media and Public Contents announced yesterday a protocol with the principles to cover the impending PASO and the October elections.

BRAZIL: Brazil’s First Indigenous Online Radio Station Promotes Native Languages and Communities

The Wire: Rádio Yandê combines a strong sense of community with digital media to bring Brazil’s indigenous cultures and languages to the forefront.

COSTA RICA: Costa Rica cuts budget for DTT switchover

Rapid TV News: Costa Rica may be forced to delay the analogue switch-off as the Ministry of Science and Technology has been affected by a major budget cut.

ECUADOR: Andrés Michelena stresses commitment for public media to be self-sustaining and credible (Spanish)

El Universo: Making public media the most credible and self-sustaining source of news in the country are some of the objectives of the authorities of the Public Enterprise of Public Media of Ecuador.

ECUADOR: Lenín Moreno has authority for appointments in public media, admits PAIS Alliance (Spanish)

El Universo: Last night the leaders of  the PAIS Alliance met in the Presidency, in Quito, and at the end of this session, the Secretary of the Senescyt, Augusto Barrera, indicated that the project was strengthened and the meeting clarified concerns. He maintained that the president of the Republic has the power to make appointments in the public media.

JAMAICA: Broad Spectrum Boost For Jamaican Cultural Experience

The Gleaner: “It is important for the children across Jamaica to learn about their culture, and if they cannot come to Kingston to learn about their history and that of their country, the information should be taken to them”.

MEXICO: Journalists and organizations launch initiative to build an agenda to confront press violence in Mexico

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: It’s this almost routine violence against journalists that has made Mexico one of the deadliest places in the world to be a journalist. But, it has also led to historic collaboration among journalists in that country who are sick at the idea of more colleagues dying.

GENERAL: Latin American digital media sites grow and become profitable but suffer attacks, according to SembraMedia

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: Digital media sites are growing and many are becoming profitable — transforming, in every sense, the way journalism is made and consumed in Latin America. This was one of the most important findings of the study “Inflection Point,” that analyzed 100 digital media ventures from four Latin American countries.

GENERAL: New report reveals independent digital media sector in Latin America growing but under attack

PR Newswire: 45% have suffered violence or threats because of their reporting, and 20% admit self-censorship as a result.

BAHRAIN: How the Assault on Independent Media in Bahrain Silenced a Trusted Regional Watchdog

Global Voices: Last month in Bahrain, one of the Gulf region’s few truly independent media outlets, Al Wasat, closed its doors.

IRAQ: As war on IS continues, Iraqi Kurdish journalists face suppression

AlMonitor: Despite the bright picture of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Region seen by outsiders, it is in a crisis of free expression. While Western leaders often praise its stability, relative prosperity and democratic institutions, the region — soon to hold a referendum on independence — is not a friendly place for independent-minded media workers and local journalists.

SYRIA: Syria and climate change: did the media get it right?

Climate and Migration Coalition: In 2015 the media exploded with stories about the link between climate change and the violence in Syria. But did they get it right?

TURKEY: Turkish activists decry attack on press freedom as journalists stand trial

The Guardian: Charges include claims that Cumhuriyet journalists helped the separatist Kurdistan Workers party and Gülen movement.

WEST BANK: World in Progress: Less press freedom in the West Bank (Listen)

Deutsche Welle: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas recently approved a new cyber crime law. There are concerns over the ways it could interfere with the working conditions of journalists. Authorities are just required to cite general security concerns as the only reason to legally prosecute journalists. Local journalists fear an increasing erosion of press freedom in the West Bank.

CANADA: Creative groups pressure Ottawa to overturn CRTC decision that would cost industry $900m in funding

Financial Post: Nineteen groups hope Ottawa will overturn a CRTC decision to lower the amount some broadcasters must spend on dramas, comedies, award shows, children’s programs and documentaries.

CANADA: Online video ad spend predicted to grow 58% in three years: report

Media in Canada: Canadian digital video viewership isn’t increasing as quickly as the ad spend is — but time spent watching is set to rise more rapidly.

US: Congress Ignores Trump’s Call to Cut Funding for NPR, PBS, NEA, NEH

PoliZette: The GOP-led Congress appears to be completely ignoring President Donald Trump’s budget request to eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, three of the most reviled government programs among conservatives.

US: House appropriators defy Trump on funding public broadcasting

Bloomberg BNA: Big Bird can rest easy under a House spending bill that preserves funding for public broadcasting, despite the White House’s recommendation to kill it in a budget blueprint earlier this year.

US: NBC News invents the script for a twice-daily Snapchat news show

NiemanLab: NBC News is launching morning and evening news programs that will be broadcast exclusively on Snapchat Discover, starting on Wednesday.

US: NPR.org To More Clearly Label Opinion Pieces

NPR: NPR is changing the way it labels opinion content online next week. Readers of npr.org will be well served by this move, which will more clearly distinguish news content from pieces that express personal opinions or take sides on an issue.

US: Ten lessons from West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s near-death experience (Opinion)


Chat app Telegram, not much loved by the Russian government, still attracts a loyal readership for news

NiemanLab: Meduza, Snob, TV Rain, BBC Russian, and RT weigh in on their publishing and promotion strategies on the platform, which survived a recent tussle with the country’s communications regulator.

Cyber security: what broadcasters need to know. And what they should do

IBC: The range of threats faced by broadcasters are more varied than ever before, but there are steps that can be taken to mitigate the risks, writes Spencer Stephens.

Google introduces the feed, a personalized stream of news on iOS and Android

The Verge: Google today is rolling out its take on the news feed, a personalized stream of articles, videos, and other content.

If you want your newsroom to evolve, you must, too. ‘A great leader never rusts.’

Poynter: This is part of a series of Q and As with leaders at news organizations.

Journalism is a public service. Why don’t we fund it like one?

CJR: Local news is in dire straits. In a quest for profit, publishers have gutted newsrooms and hollowed out coverage of local communities. As the industry struggles to build the business model of the future, it’s missing an opportunity to embrace a funding mechanism that can enshrine journalism as a public service: the special service district.

News organizations are using Nextdoor to connect with readers block-by-block

Poynter: Yes, that Nextdoor, the private social network where your neighbors complain about street sweepers and ask for landscaping recommendations.

This tool is helping newsrooms collaborate on fact checking and verification projects

NiemanLab: Check, created by Meedan, has been used around the world, in projects such as Electionland in the U.S. and CrossCheck in France.

What Traditional TV Documentarians Need to Know About VR

NiemanReports: I thought VR and 360 video were mostly about different cameras. I quickly learned I was wrong. VR is a totally different way of thinking, producing, and storytelling

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Image: ABC South Brisbane. Credits: Ash Kyd/Creative Commons