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

Click on the drop-down menus below to reveal the latest regional stories.

BOTSWANA: The recording and publishing industry in Botswana

Music in Africa: Botswana’s music industry employs an estimated 30 000 people directly and indirectly. This is a fairly big number considering that the country has a population of only 2 million people.

DRC: At least 15 journalists arrested during DRC demonstrations

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the arrests of at least 15 journalists in various cities in the Democratic Republic of Congo yesterday while covering demonstrations to demand the publication of an election calendar.

EQUATORIAL GUINEA: Newspaper seized over story about harassment of journalists

RSF: The authorities gave orders on 1 August to withdraw all copies of the latest issue of the pro-government weekly Ebano from sale and then burn the entire issue because of an article about government harassment of the media and journalists in Equatorial Guinea.

KENYA: As Kenya’s Vote Nears, Fear That ‘Fake News’ May Fuel Real Bloodshed

The New York Times: Fake news. Odd plot twists. Tit-for-tat accusations. One candidate calling another “crooked.”Those political phenomena, familiar to voters in the United States and Europe, have surfaced in Kenya ahead of a tightly contested presidential election on Tuesday. But in a country with a history of election violence, the addition of such toxic behavior has further fanned fears about whether the country can pull off a credible and peaceful vote.

KENYA: How fake news could shape Kenya’s elections

ALjazeera: A look at fake news, inaccurate polls and misleading ads in the run-up to Kenya’s vote. Plus, Omar Khadr and the media.

KENYA: Social media a concern on eve of Kenyan election

Deutsche Welle: Kenyans go to the polls on August 8 and both the opposition and the ruling government are trying to woo voters online. But could social media also be used to incite violence?

LIBERIA: Major Boost for Free Expression as President Sirleaf Submits Anti-Criminal Libel Bill to Parliament

MFWA: In a major act of statesmanship before leaving power at the end of the year, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia on July 20, 2017, submitted to Parliament a bill to decriminalise press offenses, particularly, libel.

MAURITANIA: Freedom of Assembly under Siege

MFWA: MFWA has observed with concern the Mauritanian authorities’ recent crackdown on dissent, particularly against opponents of the constitutional amendments which is the subject of a referendum scheduled for August 5, 2017.

MOZAMBIQUE: Misa Warns of ‘Attempts to Silence Press’

Via All Africa: The Mozambican chapter of the regional press freedom association MISA (Media Institute of Southern Africa) was warned of “attempts to silence the press and civil society organisations” over the past two months.

NIGERIA: BBC Media Action On Nigerian Media

AIT: Broadcast media organizations in Nigeria are being encouraged to promote and focus more on issues of good governance and public participation thorough their programmes.

SOMALIA: Somali editor says efforts to make media law less restrictive don’t go far enough (Q&A)

CPJ: On July 13, Somalia’s Cabinet approved proposed changes to the country’s national media law as part of a review to overhaul the regulatory framework under which journalists currently work. But Somali journalists and local media rights groups have criticized the government for not doing enough to provide journalists with a less restrictive environment.

SOUTH AFRICA: Interim SABC board to sue licence fee collection agency

The Citizen: The SABC interim board will be suing licence fee collection agency LornaVision following a court ruling that its contract with the public broadcaster was irregularly awarded.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC still considering TV licences for smartphone, PC owners

The Citizen: The public broadcaster plans to increase revenue as regular TV licence returns plummet.

SWAZILAND: No Chance of Open Broadcasts

Via All Africa: A call by the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) for the Swazi Government to open up television and radio to critical voices will certainly fall on deaf ears.

UGANDA:  UBC Workers Go 2 Months Without Pay

Via All Africa: Workers at Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) have not been paid for two months over what the national broadcaster managers says is a “cash flow problem”.

ZAMBIA: It’s now business unusual, minister tells public media workers

Zambia Daily Mail: Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Kampamba Mulenga has urged employees working in public media institutions to adopt a positive attitude towards ensuring that their institutions change for the better.

ZIMBABWE: MISA Zimbabwe challenges Info Minister on partiality of state broadcaster

The Zimbabwean: Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services Christopher Mushowe’s recent remarks relating to the impartiality of the state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) can only be described as deceptive.

AFGHANISTAN: Inside Zan TV: Afghanistan’s first all-female station

The Guardian: The channel employs 50 women to create its daily mix of news, politics and lifestyle shows. In a country still recovering from Taliban rule, Zan’s team are transforming attitudes – and ratings are soaring.

CHINA: China’s Few Investigative Journalists Face Increasing Challenges

NPR: In China, a country where all media are nominally owned by the state, the government invests vast amounts of money and labor into controlling information.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong top ‘mobile-first’ market in news consumption – Reuters study

Hong Kong Free Press: Hong Kong is the “most mobile” market when it comes to news consumption, a Reuters Institute study has shown, with a 36 percentage point difference between those using smartphones and computers as their main news source.

INDIA: I&B ministry asks other ministries, govt departments to effectively use public broadcasters

liveMint: I&B ministry writes to central govt ministries, PSUs and govt departments to effectively use its media units, including public broadcaster Prasar Bharati and the Press Information Bureau, to inform the people.

INDIA: Prasar Bharati gets Rs20 crore to distribute free DTH set-top boxes in tribal, remote areas

liveMint: Information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry allocates Rs20 crore to Prasar Bharati to distribute 30,000 DTH set-top boxes free of charge in tribal, remote and border areas

JAPAN: How can NHK ensure burden of TV reception fees shared evenly?

The Japan Times: How can NHK ensure the financial burden of television reception fees paid by citizens is fair? There needs to be an in-depth debate about the role of the nation’s public broadcaster.

KYRGYZSTAN: Officials Shackle Journalists with Giant Libel Damages

EurasiaNet: In order to silence critics of Kyrgyzstan’s president, prosecutors earlier this year took a punitive approach by filing financially crippling libel suits on his behalf.

MYANMAR: Myanmar’s Suu Kyi turns to state media amid fears for newly gained freedoms

Reuters: Aung San Suu Kyi has turned to state-run media inherited from the former junta in an overhaul of her PR approach, after warnings her agenda is being swamped by crises and amid fears among rights groups of eroding free speech.

PAKISTAN: Pakistan’s pluralist digital space is under threat as the government goes after dissidents

Scroll.in: Since May, an official crackdown has led to the arrest of hundreds of activists, politicians and critics under a new cyber crime law.

SOUTH KOREA: Korean Broadcasters Launch U.S. Streaming Service

ABU: The Korean broadcasters KBS, MBC and SBS have launched the video streaming platform Kocowa for U.S. audiences.

SOUTH KOREA: President urges freedom, independence of state media

The Korea Herald: President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday called for efforts to ensure the independence, as well as freedom, of state-owned and state-run broadcasters.

VIETNAM: Vietnam : Why is the Party cracking down harder on bloggers?

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is alarmed by a sudden increase in the persecution of dissidents by Vietnam’s authoritarian one-party state. Seven bloggers and citizen-journalists have been arrested in recent weeks and two have been given long jail terms.

AUSTRALIA: Media heads call for crackdown on ABC and SBS

NewsMediaWorks: Australian commercial media created a united front this week to push for federal government action to level the playing field between them and the taxpayer-funded ABC and SBS, which offer free news content in competition to the subscription-based digital model publishers have been forced to adopt.

AUSTRALIA: News Corp’s Handmaid’s fail is SBS’s gain as boss hits back at ‘bunch of sooks’ (Opinion)

The Guardian: Michael Ebeid accuses News Corp of ‘rank hypocrisy’ following commercial media’s jealous outburst.

FIJI: Media Industry Development Authority Chair Hits Out At Prasad

Fiji Sun: Media Industry Development Authority chairperson Ashwin Raj has described as hypocrisy National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad’s selective championing of media freedom.

AUSTRIA: Online harassment of journalists in Austria

IPI: IPI study highlights need for support structures inside newsrooms.

AUSTRIA: ORF staff showcase their contribution to society

EBU: Staff at Austrian Member ORF have been reflecting on their own work and how it creates public value in a new report for the broadcaster.

BOSNIA: Bosnian public broadcaster secures sustainable funding

PMA: New model allows BHRT to source independent funding via electricity bills in a deal reached with the Electric Company (Elektroprivreda – JP EP).

GERMANY: German media ‘distort’ refugee crime rates, study finds

Deutsche Welle: Despite increasing violence against refugees in Germany, the media focus is on migrant criminality, a new study says. The refugee crisis has dominated headlines since the summer of 2015.

GERMANY: With an eye on the duopoly, German broadcasters create a unified consumer login

Digiday UK: Broadcasters have become the latest media companies in Germany to challenge the market dominance of tech giants Google, Facebook and Amazon.

HUNGARY:  Orbán allies acquire regional press monopoly

RSF: RSF deplores the purchase of Hungary’s last five independent regional newspapers by oligarchs allied with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Their acquisition in the past few days is the latest attack on pluralism in a country where the government keeps extending its control over the media.

IRELAND: RTÉ maintains reductions of over 30% on top 10 presenter earnings

RTÉ: The fees cover earnings for 2015, and as in previous years, are published two years in arrears. The latest earning figures for 2015 demonstrate a reduction of 34% as compared to fees earned in 2008.

NETHERLANDS & UK: Brexit: Global broadcasters with bases in UK look to Amsterdam as EU divorce talks stall

The Independent: ‘No one running a business of any scale can wait to the end of negotiations before deciding what to do,’ said Adam Minns, executive director of the Commercial Broadcasters Association.

POLAND: Poland eyes 15% media ownership cap

Broadband TV News: Poland is set to introduce a 15% foreign ownership limit on media companies in a move that could have far-reaching consequences for TVN, the national commercial broadcaster backed by Scripps Networks Interactive.

South Eastern Europe: Reporting Crisis in South East Europe: Case Studies in Six SEE Countries (Report Series)

SEENPM: The general weakness of the media sector in South East Europe manifests itself to the full during socio-political crises.

SPAIN: Movistar, BBC expand Spanish content partnership

Rapid TV News: Spain’s Movistar+ and the BBC have extended their content agreement for two more years, including exclusive BBC Earth premieres.

SPAIN: The new Audiovisual Law of Andalusia seeks to prevent the privatization or externalization of public media (Spanish)  

Radio Ruta: Although it includes measures to strengthen these means and punish illegal broadcasters, it leaves doubts on incentives or licensing.

SPAIN & UK: Broadcasters in Spain and UK facing advertising uncertainty

Digital TV Europe: Weak advertising growth in Spain and the UK could have an adverse impact on commercial broadcasters Mediaset España and ITV respectively, according to analysts at Berenberg.

WESTERN BALKANS: Call for Proposals “Protecting Media Freedom and Freedom of Expression in the Western Balkans”


UK: BBC experiments with voice recognition for iPlayer

TVB Europe: The BBC has joined forces with Microsoft to build an experimental version of iPlayer that uses AI to allow users to log in using their voiceprint.

UK: Box Set Britain: UK’s TV and online habits revealed

Ofcom: The UK has become a nation of binge viewers, Ofcom research reveals, with eight in ten adults now watching multiple episodes of their favourite shows in a single sitting.

UK: UK government to review S4C funding

C21 Media: The UK government has announced a review into the way Welsh-language pubcaster S4C is funded, while confirming the BBC will provide it with an extra £350,000 (US$456,000) in 2017/18.

UKRAINE: Ukraine’s Imperiled Press Freedom

Project Syndicate

GENERAL: Arrest of media professionals quadruples

Mapping Media Freedom: Journalists continue to face unprecedented pressure in Europe as reports submitted to Index on Censorship’s Mapping Media Freedom platform in the first quarter of 2017 demonstrate.

ARGENTINA: The Federal System of Media and Public Content launches an interactive portal for the primary elections (Spanish)

El Diario: The Federal System of Media and Public Content launched an interactive multimedia platform of public services made with the contribution of the digital equipment of National Radio, Public Television Argentina and the national news agency Télam.

COLOMBIA: Colombia’s public broadcaster appoints new head

RapidTVNews: Colombia’s public broadcaster the Sistema de Medios Públicos RTVC is to be headed by industry executive José Jorge Dangond.

COSTA RICA: Nonprofit combines data and investigative journalism with community interaction to report on northwest Costa Rica

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: The Costa Rican newspaper La Voz de Guanacaste, founded in 2002 as La Voz de Nosara, began as a printed newsletter featuring local stories from the northwestern Costa Rican province of Guanacaste. Today, it is the only non-profit Costa Rican newspaper with digital and print versions published in English and Spanish, and almost 42,000 followers on social networks.

GUYANA: Broadcast law amendment ‘caps’ airtime for govt programmes, not “party propaganda”- Nagamootoo

Demerara Waves: Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo Thursday night defended government’s decision to amend the Broadcasting Act, compelling private radio and television stations to set aside 60 minutes every day for “public service” programmes, saying the law would now put a “cap” on airtime.

GUYANA: Press Association to seek legal advice on proposed amendments to Broadcasting Act

Kaieteur News: The Guyana Press Association (GPA) will be seeking legal advice on proposed amendments to the Broadcasting Act.

MEXICO: Impunity continues to threaten journalism in Mexico

IPI: Reporter killed on anniversary of high-profile slaying as dozens of cases remain unsolved.

IRAQ: Lack of press independence in Iraqi Kurdistan undermines public dialogue

CIMA: Throughout Iraqi Kurdistan, journalists currently face violence for reporting on sensitive issues, such as endemic corruption, leaving many reporters with a difficult choice to either flee the country or seek patronage and protection from specific political parties.

IRAN: Rouhani urged to keep media freedom pledges during second term

RSF: As Hassan Rouhani prepares to be sworn on 5 August for a second term as the Islamic Republic of Iran’s president, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges him to finally keep his promises to the Iranian people and to carry out a series of measures that would increase media freedom and promote the rule of law.

ISRAEL: In Israel, as anywhere, objectivity, balance, multiple voices are critical to credible journalism

The Australian: Former Middle East correspondent for The Australian John Lyons is right that objectivity doesn’t come easy when reporting from Israel.

ISRAEL: Israeli government moves to impose ban on al-Jazeera news network

The Guardian: Reporters have press cards revoked and cable and satellite broadcasters asked to block transmission of Qatar-based network.

GENERAL: MENA round-up: Freedom of assembly and freedom of the press hit hardest in July

Ifex: This July, protesters in Israel and Morocco were met with violence and journalists were subjected to harassment and denial of access, Lebanon banned protests, and 150 organisations met in Doha to discuss threats to freedom of expression in general, and the case of Al Jazeera in particular.

CANADA: The National names 4 new hosts following retirement of Peter Mansbridge

CBC: CBC’s flagship news show will relaunch in November

CANADA: Summer TV ratings slumping in Canada – but not as bad as in the U.S.

National Post: Canadians are still watching “America’s Got Talent” and “Game of Thrones” this summer — but overall, viewership is down.

US: NPR’s ‘Rough Translation’ Premieres August 14

NPR: A narrative journalism podcast that brings perspective-shifting stories from around the world.

US: Out-of-home viewing contributes to significant ratings lift

Rapid TV News: TV viewing that takes place in a bar, gym, airport or office, can be just as important to networks and advertisers as at-home watchers, according to data released by industry analyst Nielsen.

US: RSF joins coalition to launch new website tracking press freedom violations in United States

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) joins more than 20 press freedom organizations announcing the launch today of the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a new nonpartisan website dedicated to documenting press freedom abuses across the United States.

US: Sessions deputy: justice department is ‘after leakers, not journalists’

The Guardian: One of the top officials at the US justice department said on Sunday that the agency’s heightened focus on policing leaks of classified information is not intended to put journalists in legal jeopardy.

US: State of the news media: Public broadcasting factsheet

Pew Research Center: The latest fact sheet on public broadcasting in the US, released with Pew’s annual report.

US: These are the most — and the least — trusted news sources in the U.S.

Market Watch

US: Threatened With Federal Defunding, Public Airwaves Gain Audience

Courthouse News Service: If not for threats to its federal funding, public broadcasting would have been having a great year as the Pew Foundation reported Monday that millions more people tuning in fueled increasing revenue at radio and TV stations.

3 guidelines for writing breaking-news leads

Poynter: In an age in which technology gives us the ability to publish anytime, anywhere, on any platform, it can be tricky to choose the best lead–especially when the news is breaking. Here are some guidelines to make sure your story is the one your audience chooses.

App aims to help journalists translate speech into any language

IJNET: A British company called Speechmatics is working to build more accurate technology to turn spoken words into text across a wide range of different languages.

Data empowers journalism independence in Trump’s era

CJR: The challenge for journalists is to thoroughly and selectively grasp the power of technology while upholding the profession’s core journalistic mission.

Facebook is paying its fact-checking partners now (and giving them a lot more work to do)

NiemanLab: Plus: Surrounding fake news with real news, fake news games, and Kenya faces an election.

Games might be a good tool for fighting fake news. Here’s what three developers have learned

Nieman Lab: “What I found to be really great about the game is how terrible at it I am and how terrible people are at it.”

Hispanic and African American News Media Fact Sheet

Pew Research Centre: News media made by and for the two largest racial/ethnic minority groups in the United States – blacks and Hispanics – have been a consistent part of the American news landscape. Explore the patterns and longitudinal data about Hispanic- and black-oriented news outlets below.

Music and Public Sector Radio

Music Business Journal: Broadcasting, especially radio, is a premier medium for the communication of music in society.

Public editors are disappearing in U.S. newsrooms. But abroad, they’re more important than ever

Poynter: The New York Times isn’t the only major U.S. news organization to get rid of its public editor in recent years. With trust in the media sinking ever lower, several other outlets have pruned or decided not to hire a reader representative. But abroad, it’s a different story — public editors and ombudsmen are more important than ever.

The future of journalism: it depends on you

The Island’s Sounder

The media today: Fake news goes global

CJR: As votes near in Kenya and Germany, concerns over fake news have taken center stage.

VR investment ramps up

Rapid TV News: Virtual reality (VR) gained investor confidence this week, with major funding developments.

What Are Users Thinking When They Dismiss Notifications?

Medium: Lessons learned from testing further actions and personalization in web notifications for the UK snap election.

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Header image: John Georgiou/Creative Commons