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

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ALGERIA: Algeria: new wave of censorship for online media (French)

IPI: Access to several online media was blocked on December 2 in Algeria, a situation that has already occurred several times this year. 

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Democratic Republic of Congo: Arrest for criticizing the president is an affront to the freedom of expression

Article 19: Article 19 is concerned about the crackdown on freedom of expression in the Democratic Republic of Congo in recent months, with at least 40 cases of journalists arrested during the year, activists and citizens intimidated, beaten, arrested and or prosecuted.

ETHIOPIA: DW fact check: Tigray conflict is also a battle for the truth

DW: The situation in Ethiopia’s Tigray region remains opaque making it difficult to separate fact from fiction — not least due to a media blackout. DW takes a look at some of the claims.

GHANA: Gatekeeping Role Of Media During Elections (Commentary)

GBC Ghana: News commentary rallies Ghanaian journalists to be at their professional best with a few days to the 2020 elections.

GHANA: Media and 2020 Elections: NCA Should Not Usurp Powers, Functions of NMC – MFWA

MFWA: On Sunday December 6, 2020, the National Communication Authority (NCA) issued a statement captioned: “Directives to TV and Radio Station.” The statement cautions broadcast frequency authorisation holders about the terms of their authorisation and threatens that, “a breach of the law, once established, will compel the NCA to revoke or suspend the licence or authorisation of the radio or TV station on grounds of national security or public interest.”

NAMIBIA: NBC, employees lock horns over bonuses

The Namibian: NAMIBIA BROADCASTING CORPORATION (NBC) employees are threatening to go on strike if the company does not release their two-year back pay money.

NIGERIA: Alleged N2.5bn Fraud: Appeal Court rules against suspended NBC boss, Kawu, others

Premium Times: The appellate court said the accused have to explain why N2.5 billion was paid to a private company under the digital switch-over project.

SOUTH AFRICA: Ndabeni-Abrahams in talks with stakeholders for new SABC funding model

SABC News: Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams says she is in consultations with her counterparts in other departments to seek ways of resolving the current problems at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

SOUTH AFRICA: Right2Know protests outside SABC offices in Durban

SABC News: Members of the non-profit organisation,  Right2Know, have protested outside the SABC’s offices in Durban, saying the retrenchment and restructuring process undermines the public’s right to information.

ZIMBABWE: Perm Sec: ‘ZBC funding to address operational challenges’

ZBC News: Government has been commended for granting budgetary support to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) for the first time in decades, paving way for the imminent transformation of the parastatal in providing improved content to its viewers.

ZIMBABWE: Zimbabwe: Press freedom under attack

IFJ: The charges against journalist Hopewell Chin’ono exposed the increasing harassment of media workers by the Zimbabwean government during the Covid-19 pandemic. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliated the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) remind the government of its obligation to respect Constitutional rights, including press freedom.

GENERAL: SABA Ready For Partnerships To Help Realise Regional Radio And TV Initiatives

Broadcast Media Africa: Mr Cecil J. Nguvauva, the Secretary-General of the Southern African Broadcasting Association (SABA) has announced that his organisation will stand ready to partner and collaborate with global partners that can help it bring to fruition the pan-regional SADC Radio and TV platforms that they are currently busy with.

GENERAL: Women’s Voices ‘Locked Out’ in Covid-19 Reporting

Via All Africa: Due to the political nature of the crisis,  the marginalization of women in decision-making roles in the countries analyzed “locks in” the suppression of women’s voices, the report said.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong police arrest pro-democracy activists in widening crackdown

Deutsche Welle: Hong Kong police have arrested eight activists, including three ex-lawmakers, over their role in a July pro-democracy protest. This comes as China condemns US sanctions over Beijing’s actions in the territory.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Media Magnate Jimmy Lai Behind Bars Over ‘Fraud’ Charge

Radio Free Asia: A court in Hong Kong on Thursday denied bail to pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai after charging him with “fraud,” in a decision that will see Lai remain behind bars until his next court appearance on April 16.

INDIA: Digital and Online Platforms Now Under I&B Ministry: What Does This Mean? (Watch)

The Wire: The move, which essentially allows a form of regulation and censorship for both OTT platforms and online news portals, is being received with apprehension.

INDIA: Sonowal against reassigning Dibrugarh’s All India Radio, Doordarshan Kendra as only relay centres

Dev Discourse: For preserving and sustaining the language, culture and heritage of the state, the present status of AIR and DDK, Dibrugarh should be retained and they should be allowed to transmit their own locally-produced programmes, Sonowal added.

INDONESIA: Completed Paper Selection, 45 Heads of RRI Going Forward (Indonesian)

RRI: As many as 45 candidates for the RRI Public Broadcasting Institution Supervisory Board (LPP) for the period 2021-2026 passed the paper writing test.

JAPAN: EDITORIAL: NHK needs to clean up its act before thinking about surcharges (Opinion)

The Asahi Shimbun: A panel of experts, appointed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, has proposed that Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) be allowed to slap a surcharge on subscription fees collected from households that own a TV set but refuse to subscribe to the public broadcaster.

JAPAN: Google discusses partnerships with Japanese media

NHK: Google has started negotiating with Japanese media companies to sign them up as partners in its new program called Google News Showcase.

PAKISTAN: DRM Pleased With Progress in Pakistan

Radio World: Digital Radio Mondiale expressed satisfaction with its progress in Pakistan. Pakistan Broadcasting Corp. requested that the government include a policy mandating that all new cars in Pakistan have DRM receivers, a policy already supported by the Ministry of Broadcasting.

PAKISTAN: PEMRA issues notice to TV channels for rebroadcasting Ishaq Dar’s BBC interview

Geo News: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority on Thursday announced that it had issued notices to channels for airing former finance minister Ishaq Dar’s interview.

PHILIPPINES: #HoldTheLine Coalition calls for new cyber libel charge to be dropped and pressure ceased against Maria Ressa

RSF: The #HoldTheLine Coalition condemns new legal threats against Rappler founder and CEO Maria Ressa and calls for a second, trumped-up criminal cyber libel charge to be dropped.

PHILIPPINES: ‘Media owners must provide safe space for women journos subjected to sexual harassment’ 

Bulatlat: A recently published research on the Philippine news industry called on media owners to provide an enabling environment for women journalists who are often silenced as they fall victims of sexual harassment.

SOUTH KOREA: ETRI/KBS Trial Demonstrates Viability of 8K OTA Delivery Via ATSC 3.0

TV Technology: ETRI’s Dr. Sung-IK Park discusses recent tests of 8K ATSC 3.0 MIMO transmission

SOUTH KOREA: KBS conducts special program ‘Zipcock’ over Corona 19 (Korean)

KBS: Positioning metropolitan distances of 2.5 in line with the upward stage 3 weeks ‘ jipkok ‘ special editions conducted. Corona Zipcock Era , 3 weeks of movies and high-quality documentaries released every night.

SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka: BBC closed Sinhala radio broadcast

IFJ: The BBC has closed the Sinhala Radio service broadcast due to financial crisis, effective from November 30. The International Federation of Journalists and its Sri Lankan affiliates the Free Media Movement (FMM) and the Federation of Media Employees Trade Union (FMETU) express concern at the closure of BBC’s Sinhala broadcast and urge the media organisation to reconsider its decision.

THAILAND: Thai PBS joins hands with more than 10 networks to keep an eye on “Local Election Policy 2020” (Thai – Press release)

Thai PBS: Thai PBS joins forces with academic networks, more than 10 civil society and private sector networks join to “raise the voice of the people beyond local elections” while keeping an eye on the policy. 

UZBEKISTAN: Uzbek Journalists Push Back Against Media Regulator

VOA News: In Uzbekistan, the fight for greater press freedom is at a turning point as journalists push back against warnings from the government media regulator that coverage of issues, including the pandemic and energy shortages, is in violation of legal norms.

REGIONAL: IPI launches cross-border cooperation in South Asia on Safety of Journalists

IPI: Five publications join hands to document attacks on journalists.

GENERAL: 15% Discount on Radiodays Asia conference tickets (Event)

Asia Radio Today: As a partner of Radiodays Asia’s 2021 virtual conference, AsiaRadiotoday can offer you a special discount. The event, will take place on 24-26 March next year, will be virtual due to the Corona Virus health crisis, so you can take part from anywhere.

AUSTRALIA: A change in the weather: new demand for TV presenters to include climate in forecasts

The Guardian: The ABC’s Graham Creed says new climate change research could ‘fill a big gap’ in public understanding.

AUSTRALIA: ABC can keep Google and Facebook payments for news, Coalition says 

The Guardian: The ABC can keep all the revenue it makes from Google and Facebook under the historic news media laws to be introduced to parliament on Wednesday, the communications minister has said.

AUSTRALIA: Australia’s longest running radio show celebrates 75 Years

ABC Australia: The program launched on 3 December 1945 – just months after the end of the Second World War – with these words:  “Hello everyone, this is Dick Sneddon of The Country Hour, with a program for the farm families of Australia.” And so began an Australian rural tradition that has been covering the people and events that have shaped rural Australia for the past 75 years.

AUSTRALIA: Google and Facebook set for showdown with Australian publishers over news media bargaining code 

ABC News: New laws forcing tech giants Google and Facebook to pay news organisations for access to their journalism will be introduced to Parliament on Wednesday, in what the Treasurer’s describing as a “world first”.

AUSTRALIA: SBS launches a podcast for new English speakers – SBS News in Easy English (Press release)

SBS: SBS has launched a daily news bulletin for new English speakers – SBS News in Easy English. The first episode is now available on the SBS Radio app and all popular podcast platforms.

NEW ZEALAND: Another media reframe needed to include disabled perspectives (Opinion)

RNZ: On Monday, as Stuff began the process of apologising to Māori for 163 years of coverage involving racism, stigma and harmful stereotypes, I flicked between the outlet’s in-depth features and my Twitter feed.

NEW ZEALAND: Support for journalism and current affairs keeps New Zealanders informed

NZ On Air: The final NZ On Air funding round of 2020 has confirmed support for a number of returning specialist current affairs shows and important investigative journalism initiatives.

NEW ZEALAND: Three RNZ podcasts among Apple top-10 new Kiwi shows

RNZ: Three RNZ podcast series, including White Silence which explores the Erebus disaster, have been named in Apple’s top 10 new shows of 2020 for New Zealand.

NEW ZEALAND: Videos released to mark World Disability Day (Listen)

RNZ: Yesterday was World Disability Day and RNZ and Attitude Pictures released a series of first person videos to mark the occasion. The video blog series explores the day to life of living with disabilities. 

REGIONAL: CIVICUS criticises Pacific countries over use of covid to curb freedoms

Asia Pacific Report: Australian authorities’ heavy-handedness and the use of the covid-19 pandemic to curb civic and media freedoms are major concerns in the latest report, People Power Under Attack 2020, released by the international non-profit organisation CIVICUS.

BELARUS: Belarus Escalates Crackdown on Independent Journalism 

HRW: On December 3, a court in Minsk stripped TUT.BY of its media license over allegedly spreading “false information.” TUT.BY is one of the most popular online outlets in Belarus, reporting on a broad range of social and political issues, including police abuse against peaceful protesters. 

BELARUS: Human Rights Council Interactive Dialogue on Belarus: Joint Statement on Media Freedom in Belarus (Statement) 

Gov.uk: The UK’s Permanent Representative in Geneva, Julian Braithwaite, delivered this statement on media freedom in Belarus on behalf of 42 states.

DENMARK: After the closure of the flow channel: ‘Ultra Nyt’ has caught up with viewers on stream in less than a year (Press release – Danish)

DR: At the turn of the year, DR Ultra’s flow channel closed , and Ultra has since undergone a major digital transformation, so the viewing now only takes place online. One of Ultra’s faithful programs is ‘Ultra Nyt’, which is DR ‘s news program for children, which daily serves news from around the world at child height to the 9 to 14-year-olds.

DENMARK: Danish government increased support for the media sector 

EFJ: The Danish government agreed on 6 December with the majority of the parliament to stop financial cuts of 122 million euros in support of public service media over the next four years. In addition, the government proposed to increase support for the media sector by providing an additional annual budget of 20 millions euros. The minister of Culture stressed: media are important for our democracy.

FINLAND: Yle is perceived as even more important and reliable, more and more people use Yle’s various services extensively (Press release – Finnish)

Yle: Finns consider Yle more important in society than before. According to Finns, Yle has been more successful in its public service mission than before.

FRANCE: “France has a reputation to lose”: the foreign press is worried about a “drift towards repression” (French)

Le Monde: After the beating of a black music producer in Paris by the police, some international media draw a parallel with the death of George Floyd in the United States.

FRANCE: RADIO FRANCE becomes official radio for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games (French)

Radio France: Signature of an agreement with Discovery, home of the Olympics in Europe, which allows Radio France to obtain the status of official radio of the Olympic Games of Paris 2024 and also of Beijing 2022. *

FRANCE: RFI report on Beirut wins 2020 French public media prize for radio journalism

RFI: The 2020 French public media prize for radio journalism has been awarded to RFI’s Nicolas Falez and Nicolas Benita for their report from the Lebanese capital, titled “Beirut: Hope in short supply”. 

GERMANY: Bavarian broadcasters complain about migration to the BR (German) 

Deutschlandfunk: Are the private local radio stations in Bavaria a kind of involuntary training academy for Bavarian radio? The BR rejects this allegation. The criticism that public broadcasters are not training enough young journalists is not new – and also affects other federal states.

GERMANY: Haseloff stops increasing the license fee (German)

Süddeutsche Zeitung: After months of discussion, a decision has been made: Saxony-Anhalt is preventing the radio fee from increasing by 86 cents a month. The state government confirms this in a message . Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU) had withdrawn the draft law on the corresponding state treaty before the decisive vote in the state parliament. According to the Mitteldeutscher Zeitung, he is said to have previously announced the decision in the cabinet meeting.

GERMANY: Interview with Ulrich Wilhelm, Director General of Bayerischer Rundfunk (Interview)

EBU: Ulrich Wilhelm, Director General of Germany’s Bayerischer Rundfunk, talks to Vanessa O’Connor, EBU Member Relations for Germanophone Members.

GERMANY: ZDF regrets the decision in Saxony-Anhalt (Press release – German)

Presse Portal: After the decision of the Prime Minister of Saxony-Anhalt not to bring the Interstate Broadcasting Treaty to a vote, ZDF will take legal action. Director Dr. Thomas Bellut: “As of today it is clear that there can be no more approval in Saxony-Anhalt. Unfortunately, there is no other option than to appeal to the Federal Constitutional Court. I would have liked a different solution and I strongly promoted it. But that In this process, public service broadcasting has evidently become the plaything of politics in a federal state. This is exactly what the KEF process, which is organized outside the state, is intended to prevent in order to ensure the independence of public service broadcasting. “

HUNGARY: Hungarian Media Expansion in Balkans Raises Worries but Lacks Impact 

Balkan Insight: As the European Commission responds to questions about Hungarian media acquisitions in Slovenia and North Macedonia, BIRN reveals that even though media companies linked with Orban’s Fidesz party have seen revenues rise in the region, they are generating less engagement than local competitors.

IRELAND: New campaign to combat fake news targeted at young people in Ireland

The Irish Times: #KeepItReal advocates for an Irish social media council to tackle disinformation

MALTA: Media freedom is the true cornerstone of democracy (Opinion) 

Times of Malta: P­erhaps none other country, than Malta, is more fitting to reflect on, when it comes to media freedom. It slipped an eye-watering 34 places in three years in World Press Freedom Index.

POLAND: Poland’s PKN Orlen to buy media company Polska Press 

Reuters: State-controlled Polish refiner PKN Orlen is buying regional newspaper publisher Polska Press from its German owner, bringing more of the local media back into Polish hands.

POLAND: Polish media deal revives fears over press freedom (Paywall)

The Financial Times: Sale of German-owned newspaper group follows calls for ‘repolonisation’ by ruling party.

SLOVENIA: Jansa’s Media War is a Dead End for Slovenia (Opinion)

Balkan Insight: The Slovene PM’s savage battles with the liberal media fire up his supporters – but are based on delusions that are poisoning society and pushing Slovenia towards the periphery of Europe.

SLOVENIA: MFRR partners raise serious concerns over suspension of funding to Slovenian Press Agency

IPI: Concerns move is part of wider campaign against public service media

SPAIN: RTVE reinforces its commitment to equality (Press release – Spanish) 

RTVE: RTVE works every day to give visibility to the role of women in different areas and is now taking a new step to reinforce this commitment with the approval of the  new RTVE Equality Guide.

SWEDEN: Welcome to #srfrukost: Voices that must not be silenced – about hatred and threats against journalists (Event – Swedish)

Sveriges Radio: Welcome to a digital, live #srfrukost on December 9, which addresses questions about journalists’ work situation and how hatred and threats in the long run affect democracy and free speech. As the breakfast is carried out without an audience on site, the event will be broadcast live on Sveriges Radio’s website and via Sveriges Radio’s Facebook page. 

UK: Chief Content Officer, Charlotte Moore announces a major restructure of BBC television to deliver more value to audiences across all platforms (Press release)

BBC Media Centre: The BBC has announced a re-organisation of the television division that will bring a new approach to commissioning designed to reflect changing audience behaviour, fuel the growth of BBC iPlayer and strengthen its content portfolio.

UK: Co-commissioning drives TV drama to £2.6bn

Televisual: Increases in both co-commissions between traditional broadcasters and SVoDs, and in sole commissions, drove investment in British TV drama to a record £2.6 billion last year, according to a new report commissioned by COBA (the Association for Commercial Broadcasters and On-Demand Services).

UK: Ofcom proposes radical shakeup of UK broadcasting 

The Guardian: Streaming services, such as Netflix and Now TV, could be encouraged to provide public service programming as they become increasingly dominant players in the digital era, the UK’s television regulator has said.

UKRAINE: Since the beginning of the year, 74 cases of physical aggression against journalists have been registered (Ukrainian) 

NSJU: 25 incidents of physical aggression against Ukrainian journalists occurred in the three months of autumn 2020. In the last four years, this is the largest number of incidents recorded in the fall – the least attacks on journalists in 2019 (16 incidents during September-November), in 2017 – 21 incidents, 2018 – 23. The main reason for the increase in aggression at the end of this year is a tense campaign local elections and conflicting behavior of violators of government-imposed quarantine restrictions.

REGIONAL: EFJ welcomes EU Media Action Plan and urges to include support for freelancers

EFJ: On 3 December, the European Commission adopted the communication Europe’s Media in the Digital Decade: An Action Plan to Support Recovery and Transformation. The Action Plan focuses on three areas of activity in the media and audiovisual sector and 10 concrete actions, to help the media sector recover from the crisis by facilitating and broadening access to financial support, by encouraging investments for the  digital transformation all on the basis that the media and news sector are not only economical but public goods central for Europe’s democracies.

REGIONAL: Journalists across EU face wave of attacks covering anti-lockdown protests

IPI: Increase in attacks and intimidation the latest by-product of COVID-19 on press freedom.

GENERAL: Corona’s orchestra of panic: How the press’ fear-mongering is distorting information

EJO: As Europe grapples with a second wave and looks forward to a promising vaccine, Stephan Russ Mohl reflects on how the media has reported on COVID-19 and offers pointers on what they could have done better.

ARGENTINA: New law: Rethink public media (Spanish) 

Tiempo Sur: Last week the provincial government sent to the Chamber of Deputies the project for the Integral System of Public Media and Content of Santa Cruz . It creates such a system, which would be made up of the Media and Audiovisual Content Agency, the Santacruceños Public Media Advisory Council and the Provincial Media Observatory . What was sent by the Executive passed to the committees and should be studied there prior to the approval of the site.

BRAZIL: Police summon two TV Globo journalists for alleged breach of a gag order

Knight Centre: “The Civil Police of Rio de Janeiro summoned the anchors William Bonner and Renata Vasconcellos, from TV Globo’s (newscast) “Jornal Nacional,” to testify for the alleged crime of disobedience of the judicial decision in relation to publications involving the investigation of ‘rachadinhas’ (an illegal scheme in which employees of representatives’ offices shared their salaries with their bosses) in Flávio Bolsonaro’s office in the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro.  

COLOMBIA: Colombian TV station employees flee country amid threats from FARC militants

CPJ: Colombian authorities should thoroughly investigate death threats received by Caracol TV employees and ensure they can work freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

COLOMBIA: Sale of magazine Semana and subsequent wave of resignations may affect the plurality of journalism in Colombia

Knight Center: When you talk about Colombian magazine Semana you’re not only talking about one of the most recognized media outlets in the country, but also one of the most prestigious. Its history, since it was re-founded in 1982 by Felipe López, has been characterized by major journalistic investigations that have gone beyond scandals causing concrete actions by authorities, and by prestigious columnists who have had strong impact on public opinion and spoken directly to the country’s leaders.

ECUADOR: Extraordinary General Meeting is held with Public Media EP, the only shareholder of media seized in liquidation (Spanish) 

El Universo: On Wednesday, November 25, the liquidator of the seized media in liquidation, Cristina Reyna , called an Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders to the representatives of four of these media: Cablevisión , Radio Bolívar , Radio La Prensa and Editorial Uminasa , to discuss specific points . The sole shareholder is Medios Públicos EP , represented by its manager, Édison Toro.

GUATEMALA: Guatemalan journalist Jovanna García attacked while covering anti-government protest

CPJ: On November 28, a man participating in an anti-government demonstration in Guatemala City hit Jovanna García, a journalist with the online outlet Ruda, with an iron pole in her clavicle and shoulder and called her an “infiltrated feminist,” according to a report by IM-Defensoras, a regional human rights group, and Ruda editor-in-chief Quimy de León, who spoke with CPJ via phone. 

MEXICO: ‘The Cartel Project’ investigates crimes against reporters in Mexico

CPJ: Forbidden Stories—a network of journalists whose mission is to continue the work of reporters who are threatened, censored, or killed—yesterday published a new investigation into the murder of Mexican journalist Regina Martínez. The report, part of five-part series about the killings of reporters in Mexico, lays bare serious flaws in the investigation in a context of violence and political corruption.

URUGUAY: AMARC Uruguay rejected the threats of new government authorities about the closure of community radio stations (Spanish) 

Observacom: The Uruguay chapter of the World Association of Community Radio Stations (AMARC-Uruguay) rejected the threats from the National Director of Telecommunications, Dr. Guzmán Acosta y Lara, regarding the imminent closure of community radio stations in the country.

VENEZUELA: Chavismo skips its own laws and the public media propaganda cup (Spanish) 

La Informacion: From PSUV militants to Maduro – they appear on television channels with their political slogans and their achievements in a cataract of publicity in favor of the Government that goes against national legislation.

VENEZUELA: Venezuelan journalist Jamel Louka shot, injured in attack

CPJ: On December 2 in the town of Altagracia de Orituco in central Guárico state, armed assailants shot Louka, a reporter and photographer with the privately owned Diario La Antena and a contributor to independent news website El Pitazo, in his left arm as he was fleeing what he described as a botched kidnapping attempt outside his home, according to news reports and Louka, who spoke with CPJ via messaging app. 

REGIONAL: Editor’s Pick: 2020’s Best Investigative Stories from Latin America

GIJN: Journalists in Latin America have a lot to teach us. In the pursuit of truth, they sometimes face threats from governments, criminal organizations, and multinational companies due to their stories. Nevertheless, these reporters and editors keep quality journalism in the region thriving, and producing investigations that hold those in power to account.

REGIONAL: Latin American media support the education of schoolchildren and advises teachers with programs and content

Knight Center: Media literacy is not new in itself, yet it has become more relevant than ever in the current era of disinformation that has flourished with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the relationship between digital media and schools is, in a way, something new. 

IRAN: Iran top court upholds dissident journalist’s death sentence

Al Jazeera: Iran’s Supreme Court has upheld a death sentence against dissident journalist Ruhollah Zam for fuelling anti-government unrest in 2017 on social media, a judiciary spokesman said.

IRAN: Iran: People with disabilities endangered by lack of information

Article 19: To mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, ARTICLE 19 calls on the Iranian authorities to review and amend the country’s legislation to ensure that the rights of people with disabilities to freedom of expression and access to information are fully guaranteed in line with international law and on an equal basis with others. 

IRAQ: Activists fear Iraqi cybercrime law could limit press freedoms

Al-Monitor: The Iraqi cybercrime bill makes a reappearance amid widespread objections by civilians and activists who label it as repressive of freedoms and rights guaranteed in the Iraqi Constitution.

IRAQ: Iraqi Kurdish Government Raids and Suspends Broadcaster

VOA: A prominent Iraqi Kurdistan television network that has been covering anti-government protests that are taking place across the autonomous region was taken off the air Monday.  

ISRAEL: More than 300 journalists from across the world to attend virtual 4th Jewish Media Summit

EJP: More than 300 journalists writing for Jewish media all over the world will join on Tuesday the 4th Jewish Media Summit which this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be held in a virtual digital platform.

LEBANON: Hezbollah to sue media outlets claiming it is responsible for Beirut port explosion

MEMO: Lebanon’s Hezbollah announced on Friday that it is suing those who accuse it of being responsible for the massive explosion in the Port of Beirut four months ago, news agencies reported.

TURKEY: #HRD2020: Let Turkey’s Journalists Report Freely

IPI: As the world marks Human Rights Day on December 10, the International Press Institute (IPI) is running a new campaign calling on Turkey and the international community to protect press freedom and let journalists report freely. Newspaper ads in Turkey and Europe this week will highlight the importance of press freedom as a human right.

TURKEY: New report shows extent of Turkey’s oppression of free press

Arab News: An exhaustive new report published by the joint international press freedom mission to Turkey that took place in October reveals the extent of the country’s crackdown on media freedom in the country and calls for coordinated action from the international community to address the challenge.

TURKEY: Turkish journalist Ayşegül Doğan sentenced to 6 years, 3 months in prison

CPJ:  Turkish authorities should not contest journalist Ayşegül Doğan’s appeal, and should cease filing terrorism charges against members of the press, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

YEMEN: Journalists recall torture in Houthi prisons

Arab News: Four journalists who were captured by Houthis, said the militia group subjected them to a catalogue of torture, state news agency Saba reported.

CANADA: Canada’s public broadcaster announces new cuts to Radio Canada International

Radio Canada International: Officials at CBC/Radio-Canada announced a fresh round of cuts at Radio Canada International (RCI) on Thursday as part of a “major transformation” of the beleaguered international service of Canada’s public broadcaster.

CANADA: How can we make our audio content accessible to people with hearing disabilities? (Statement)

CBC/Radio-Canada: CBC/Radio-Canada has made a clear commitment to increasing representation of diverse groups, Indigenous people, and persons with disabilities on our teams. That commitment also extends to producing more inclusive content so that all Canadians can see themselves reflected. 

CANADA: Some facts about CBC/Radio-Canada’s revenue

CBC/Radio-Canada: A recent Postmedia News article, carried by Sun newspapers across the country, claims that “CBC’s television ad sales have taken a freefall collapse” (sic), citing the Blacklock’s Reporter website. This is the latest example of something we are seeing more and more of — a few online outlets together amplifying the same inaccurate criticism of the public broadcaster, and CBC TV in particular. Again, in this case, the distorted Blacklock’s story is repeated by The Post Millennial, True North, and the Sun chain. We were not contacted for comment.

US: Can unions make newsrooms inclusive?

CJR: THE MEDIA’S DIVERSITY EFFORTS have been underway for decades, but very little has changed, and diversity rhetoric often becomes dehumanizing. 

US: In 2020, disinformation broke the US

Buzzfeed News: Disinformation and its fallout have defined 2020, the year of the infodemic. Month after month, self-serving social media companies have let corrosive manipulators out for dollars, votes, and clicks vie for attention, no matter the damage.

US: In PBS’ 50th year, Paula Kerger sets course to ‘speak to the moment of what is happening now’ (Paywall)

Current: PBS had big plans to mark its 50th anniversary this fall, but 2020 turned out to be a year to focus on the present, not the past.

US: It’s a problem that most of the people paid to cover and criticize journalism are white

Nieman Lab: U.S. newsrooms are very white. So are the critics and the journalists that cover them. The Objective was founded, this year, for a specific reason: To provide reporting, first-person commentary, and reported essays on how journalism has misrepresented or excluded specific communities in coverage, as well as how newsrooms have treated staff from those communities.

US: Listen Up, Audio Finds Hard-To-Reach Audiences: NPR’s Smith (Watch)

Beet.TV: COVID-19 lockdowns may have reduced the number of commuters listening to radio in their cars. But the future nevertheless looks bright for anyone involved in audio programming. In this video interview with Beet.TV, Michael Smith, NPR Chief Marketing Officer, says the public broadcaster’s podcast listenership is skyrocketing, with digital audio set to diversify still further.

US: Public Media for All campaign gives participants ‘something to aspire to’ (Paywall)

Current: A coalition led by people of color in public media has gained pledges from nearly two dozen stations and national organizations in the industry to commit to changes within their workplaces focused on diversity, equity and inclusion.

US: Ron Mizutani named CEO of PBS Hawai’i

Current: Mizutani, who is leaving his job at a nonprofit, is a former television newsman.

US: USAGM Told to Investigate Allegations of Wrongdoing at Agency

VOA: A federal office set up to protect whistleblowers has ordered the federal agency that oversees Voice of America and other independent news networks to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by its own top officials.

US: Why Biden’s president is the time for a funding boost for pubmedia (Paywall)

Current: In the media tour for his new book, A Promised Land, former president Barack Obama has hit on the theme of how much the information environment in the U.S. has changed in recent years, leading — in his view — to increased political polarization.


EBU: The EBU has a new Executive Board – made up of representatives of public service media from throughout Europe.

How the pandemic made newsrooms more creative

Journalism.co.uk: They say necessity is the mother of invention. From diversifying revenue to finding new tech solutions, some organisations managed to turn the crisis into an opportunity

In 2021, it’s time to refocus on health and science misinformation

Nieman Lab: Since 2016, the “field of misinformation” has been disproportionately focused on political disinformation, with emphases on both Facebook and Twitter. Globally, the larger threat has been health and science misinformation on a range of platforms.

Journalists Need Emergency Visas to Escape Persecution, Lawyers Say 

VOA News: Journalists who face persecution and violence should be granted emergency visas to help them find temporary safe havens, according to a prominent group of lawyers in Britain and Canada appointed to safeguard media freedom.

Misogyny and Misinformation: An analysis of gendered disinformation tactics during the COVID-19 pandemic 

EU DisinfoLab: False information during the COVID-19 pandemic and parallel infodemic has revealed itself to be persistent, resilient, strategic, and adaptive. Over these many months, certain topics have resurfaced under the guise of current events. At EU DisinfoLab, we have been tracking how misogynistic narratives have been retrieved and adapted to fit within the mis- and disinformation landscape around COVID-19 – an event which has had a disproportionately negative impact on women’s rights. This report adopts a disinformation methodological lens to look at examples of gendered disinformation – specifically disinformation that relies on negative depictions of women – circulating during the pandemic.

Substack isn’t a new model for journalism — it’s a very old one

Nieman Lab: If Substack’s pricing precludes widespread distribution of its news and commentary, its value as a public service won’t be fully realized.

Treading the line between public interest news and campaigning journalism

Journalism.co.uk:  Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins and Amelia Gentleman, the journalist behind the Windrush scandal, explore the challenges of investigating the truth and advocating for change.

What we think we know and what we want to know: perspectives on trust in news in a changing world (Report)

RISJ: Trust in news has eroded worldwide. According to the Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report 2020, fewer than four in ten people (38%) across 40 markets say they typically trust most news (Newman et al. 2020). While trust has fallen by double digit margins in recent years in many places, including Brazil and the United Kingdom (Fletcher 2020), in other countries more stable overall trends conceal stark and growing partisan divides (see, for example, Jurkowitz et al. 2020).

Women’s Voices Missing From News, Study Finds

VOA News: A new study into the representation of women in media says news organizations should do more to include female perspectives.   

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