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...

Tony Hall’s Exit Interview

The Media Show, BBC: The outgoing BBC Director-General on the crises and successes of his time in charge.

What we're watching...

RIPE@Dialogue webinar series (Upcoming event)

IAPMR & Nordicom: The International Association of Public Media Researchers (IAPMR) together with Nordicom – the centre for Nordic media research – have organised three webinars under the theme ‘PSM and Universalism’. The first webinar begins on 9 September entitled: ‘What are the foundations of universalism and how do they translate to today’s contexts?’ featuring Barbara Thomaß and Peter Goodwin.

Sign up to the webinar series here.

Global Headlines

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

ETHIOPIA: Journalists Say They Were Barred from Traveling to Cover Ethiopian Regional Election

VOA News: Simon Marks, a freelance journalist who often reports for VOA, was stripped of his passport and cellphone at Ethiopia’s Bole International airport Monday while traveling to cover elections in the Tigray region. Marks is one of at least four journalists who were barred from boarding the flight in Addis Ababa. 

GHANA: Election 2020: 12 political parties ballot to appear on GBC programmes (Watch)

GBC: Twelve Political Parties have taken part in a ballot organised by the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), to depict the order they will appear on the Corporation’s programmes towards the December 7 elections.

GUINEA: Guinea’s President Takes Control of Media Regulator as New Law Takes Effect

MFWA: President Alpha Conde has appointed by decree Boubabacar Yacine Diallo as the new head of the Haute autorite de la Communication (HAC) a move that has been described as an attempt to control the media in Guinea.

MOZAMBIQUE: Mozambique Reels from Repeated Attacks on Press Freedom

IPS: While Mozambique was recently rattled by an arson attack on a local media organisation, experts say that it’s only a part of a worrying pattern of continuous attacks on the media in the country.

NAMIBIA: Namibia: Similo’s Leadership At Namibia Broadcasting Corporation Renewed For Five More Years

Broadcast Media Africa: The Board of the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation has renewed, for another five -year tenure, the services of its incumbent Director-General, Mr Stanley Benjamin Similo.

NAMIBIA: NBC denies claims of press secretary’s undue influence

The Namibian: The management of the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation says it has a “cordial” working relationship with presidential press secretary Alfredo Hengari – contrary to a recent complaint by Namibian journalists expressing dissatisfaction with Hengari’s conduct.

NIGERIA: Letter from Africa: Why journalists in Nigeria feel under attack

BBC News: In our series of letters from African journalists, Mannir Dan Ali, former editor-in-chief of Nigeria’s Daily Trust newspaper, looks at difficulties Nigerian journalists face for simply doing their job.

SOMALIA: Two journalists arrested after being lured with interview invitation | Reporters without borders

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled that the authorities in Garowe, the capital of northeastern Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region, arrested two journalists after first luring them with the promise of an interview about a controversial murder case. 

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC pushing ahead with job cuts despite resistance from labour unions, parliament

SABC News: The South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) retrenchment process is likely to take longer than expected.

SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa: SABC Says It Can’t Compete With Showmax And Netflix, Blames Govt. Regulations

Broadcast Media Africa: The South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has voiced its frustration about its inability to compete with streaming majors such as Netflix and Showmax that operate in South Africa.

TANZANIA: Tanzania: Freedoms Threatened Ahead of Elections

HRW: Tanzania authorities have stepped up repression of opposition parties, nongovernmental organizations, and the media ahead of the country’s general elections on October 28, 2020, Human Rights Watch said today.

UGANDA: Why Uganda’s ban on open-air campaigns could tilt the 2021 poll in Museveni’s favour

The Conversation: Uganda is going to conduct its first digital and mass media campaigns ahead of its 2021 general elections. This comes as the country contemplates holding a “scientific election” wherein social distancing guidelines will be observed.

ZIMBABWE: New Private Television Stations Should Reflect Diversity In Ownership

MISA: The shortlisting of applicants for interviews for private television stations by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) is a welcome development that should end the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s (ZBC) monopoly of the television sector.


MFWA: The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) is calling for submissions for the 2020 edition of the West Africa Media Excellence Conference and Awards (WAMECA).

BANGLADESH: Media gag on govt employees

The Daily Star: The public administration ministry has asked all secretaries to give necessary instructions to their subordinates so that no public servant writes or talks to the media without prior approval of the authorities concerned.

CHINA & AUSTRALIA: Australian journalists flee China over ‘disturbing’ pressure

Deutsche Welle: Two Australian journalists fled China on Monday night after Chinese authorities sought to interview them, according to the Australian government and their employers. They were the last two accredited Australian journalists in China, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

HONG KONG: ‘Even with handcuffs, I feel at peace’: Pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai says Apple Daily won’t change, but no more protest activism 

HKFP: Pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai says he is prepared to sacrifice anything for Hong Kong and his embattled newspaper Apple Daily will keep speaking out under the Beijing-imposed national security law, but it will steer clear of protest activism.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong caught in Chinese practices of visa weaponisation against the press

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) denounces the extension of the Chinese practice of weaponising journalist visas to Hong Kong and condemns the denial of a work visa requested by independent media Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP).

HONG KONG: Two months on from Hong Kong’s national security clampdown – the developments so far

HKFP: A year ago, at this time, everyone was speculating about how Beijing would react to the massive demonstrations. They began small and peaceful, in April and May, and then erupted into the largest street protests Hong Kong had ever seen. By August the protests had turned destructive and violent, pitting protesters and police against each other on the frontlines, where city streets had become urban battlegrounds.

INDIA: DD Fresh Dish adds three new channels

Indian Television: The state broadcaster run free-to-air DTH platform DD Free Dish has added three new channels. These include ANB News, Aryan TV National and News India 24×7. These channels won the bid during the 47th e-auctions that was held on 26 August. They are allotted slots for the period between 1 September 2020 to 31 March 2021.

INDIA: PM Modi praises role of media in fighting COVID-19 pandemic

All India Radio: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lauded the role of the media in fighting with the COVID pandemic. Mr. Modi said that the media has served people in an unprecedented way by spreading awareness on the COVID pandemic and by analysing government works and pointing out their shortcomings.

JAMMU & KASHMIR: One year without internet in Jammu and Kashmir

IFEX: A year has passed since Indian authorities revoked the special autonomy status of Jammu and Kashmir and communication networks were restricted in the region.

MALAYSIA: Malaysia: IFJ report highlights the impacts of Covid-19 on press freedom

IFJ: The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated challenges faced by media workers and journalists in Malaysia, according to a new report released today by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). The IFJ report documents a disturbing deterioration in press freedom since Malaysia’s snap change of government in March 2020 and calls for urgent reforms to protect the country’s fragile media industry.

PAKISTAN: Female PTV journalist shot dead in Balochistan

Al Jazeera: Police launch hunt for killer of Shaheena Shaheen, a PTV talk show host and editor, with her husband being a suspect.

PAKISTAN: Jang-Geo workers demand early release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman

The News International: The journalist community and civil society members on Thursday continued their protest against the arrest of Jang/Geo Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and demanded his immediate release.

PAKISTAN: UN expresses concern over attacks on journalists, rights activists in Pakistan

Dawn: The United Nations human rights office on Tuesday voiced concern over growing instances of threats of violence against journalists and human rights activists in Pakistan, calling upon the government to take “immediate, concrete steps” to ensure their protection.

PHILIPPINES: Philippine Network That Clashed With Duterte Ends Local Coverage (Paywall)

The New York Times: ABS-CBN lost its broadcast license, but a dozen regional operations kept covering local news through cable and the internet. On Friday, that stopped.

SOUTH KOREA: High-quality programs of public broadcasters around the world carefully selected by KBS 

KBS: KBS is launching the “World’s Public Broadcasting Value+”, which conveys various public values ​​in celebration of Viewers’ Week. Through high-quality programs produced by public broadcasting companies around the world such as BBC, PBS, NHK, RTÉ, etc., various values ​​essential to our society such as democracy, human rights, community, cultural diversity, environment, and safety are introduced, and public prosperity in the flood of media platforms. 

REGIONAL: APAC region to add 200 million SVOD subs 

Digital TV Europe: The Asia Pacific region will exceed 460 million SVOD subscribers by 2025. According to Digital TV Research, the region will have 467 million SVOD subscriptions by the mid-point of the decade, up from 267 million in 2019.

AUSTRALIA: ABC in fresh pay dispute as union lodges Fair Work action

Sydney Morning Herald: A disagreement over ABC redundancy entitlements – which could disadvantage women employees the most, according to staff and unions – has prompted the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance to lodge a dispute with the Fair Work Commission.

AUSTRALIA: ABC wins coveted Good Design Award for Kids app (Press Release) 

ABC News: The ABC has today won a coveted award at one of the oldest and most prestigious competitions for design excellence in Australia. The ABC Kids app won a Good Design Award in the Digital Apps and Software category.

AUSTRALIA: How much should Facebook have to pay for news? We have a suggestion how to calculate it (Opinion) 

Mumbrella: The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s draft news media bargaining code has raised an interesting question: how to put a dollar value on news content? Under the code, Google and Facebook would be forced to pay for Australian news published on their sites to help fund public interest journalism.

AUSTRALIA: National newswire AAP turns to crowdfunding after finding itself in early financial strife 

The Guardian: A month after Australian Associated Press 2.0 was launched as a not-for-profit company the 85-year-old newswire is under financial pressure and appealing to the public for monetary contributions.

AUSTRALIA: Penny Wong says press freedom is a core Australian value (Watch)

ABC News: The ABC and the Australian Financial Review rushed their correspondents out of China after police demanded interviews with both journalists, resulting in an extraordinary diplomatic standoff.

AUSTRALIA: SBS appoints Director of News and Current Affairs

SBS: SBS has appointed Mandi Wicks as its next Director of News and Current Affairs. Currently SBS’s Director of Audio and Language Content, she will take on the new role from late September 2020.

AUSTRALIA & CHINA: When Chinese State Security police knocked on ABC journalist Bill Birtles’ door, he realised he was no longer safe in China 

ABC News: After seven Chinese State Security police officers arrived at my door at midnight, I realised the concerns about my safety were real. What happened next was unprecedented, writes Bill Birtles.

NEW ZEALAND: Challenging times for local media as global digital offerings lure audiences

NZ On Air: 2020 looks to be the year traditional media audiences are overtaken by digital media audiences, according to NZ On Air’s Where Are The Audiences? 2020 research, released today.

NEW ZEALAND: The watchdog role of our journalists (Opinion)

Newsroom: Scrutiny of any government’s actions is an important part of the media’s job but Robyn Paterson argues that the aggressive stance of some local journalists during Covid-19 crisis is leading to a public backlash.

SAMOA: Samoa switches off analogue TV broadcasts

RNZ: Samoa has today turned off all analogue television broadcasting, marking the completion of its switch to digital TV transmission.

BELARUS: Belarus: Fresh arrests of journalists after latest protests

IPI: The mass detention and deportation journalists in Belarus on the back of widespread internet access restrictions are leading to one of the worst media freedom crackdowns anywhere in Europe in recent decades, the International Press Institute (IPI) said today.

BELARUS: Belarusian Journalists Sentenced to 3-Day Jail Terms Amid Crackdown on Post-Election Protests 

VOA News: Six Belarusian journalists detained earlier this week while covering an anti-government protest in Minsk were sentenced to three days in jail, as authorities continued their crackdown on dissent and media freedom following a disputed election that gave President Alexander Lukashenko a sixth-straight term.

BELGIUM: RTBF rebrands La Deux, Pure as Tipik (Paywall)

Telecompaper: Belgian public broadcaster RTBF has rebranded its TV channel La Deux and radio station Pure as Tipik. The brand and look will be used across TV, radio and the web to target young adults in Generation Y.  

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: How Fake News Spreads: Mainstream Media Republish Suspect Sites’ Stories 

Balkan Insight: Public broadcaster Radio Television Republika Srpska has republished stories from the anonymously-run InfoSrpska website at least 91 times over the past two years – spreading information that fact-checkers have labelled biased, false or misleading. 

BULGARIA: EFJ/IFJ condemn police violence against journalists and protestors

EFJ: Several journalists were injured during clashes between police and demonstrators on 2 September in Sofia, Bulgaria.

DENMARK: DR focuses on wild nature in the autumn (Danish)

DR: It will be both possible to see and participate when DR and a number of partners focus on biodiversity and the wild nature in Denmark in the autumn as part of DR’s major nature investment in 2020.

ESTONIA: Estonian media cos submit complaint to European Commission re public broadcaster ERR

The Baltic Times: The Estonian Association of Media Enterprises on Monday submitted a complaint to the European Commission with regard to what it deems unhealthy competition in the form of the state-funded public broadcaster ERR.

FINLAND: Yle Mix produces reliable and understandable news journalism for children

Yle: Yle’s new children’s service Yle Mix has started. Yle Mix produces videos for Yle Areena and YouTube twice a week, always on Wednesdays and Fridays. News content is also produced for the social media service TikTok. Yle Mix is primarily directed at children of primary school age. 

FRANCE: Our Public Media (Public consultation – French)

France Télévisions: The public media are yours. So what could be more normal than imagining their future with you!

GERMANY: Cooperation between Deutschlandradio and ZDF: “Literary Quartet” as an audio podcast (Press Release – German)

Deutschlandradio: ZDF and Deutschlandradio will work together even more closely in the future. To this end, the media libraries are better networked and appropriate audio and video content is alternately linked and integrated into the offer. 

HUNGARY: EU Must Act To Support Media Pluralism In Hungary (Statement)

GFMD: The Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) has joined a group of sixteen press freedom, freedom of expression, media development, and journalism organisations to call on EU Competition Commissioner Margarethe Vestager to act on complaints that the Hungarian government has violated EU state aid rules to undermine media pluralism.

HUNGARY: RFE/RL Relaunches Operations In Hungary Amid Drop In Media Freedom 

RFE/RL: The Hungarian Service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, closed after the Cold War ended, relaunched on September 8 in response to the country’s steep decline in media freedom.

HUNGARY: The decline and fall of Hungary’s leading news brand

EJO: Index.hu has been a commanding presence among Hungarian online media outlets for more than two decades. 

LATVIA: Government supports public media exit from ad market

LSM: At a meeting on Wednesday, September 2, the Cabinet of Ministers supported the request of the National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) to provide EUR 8.3 million in the state budget of 2021 for the exit of public media from the advertising market. This was announced by Finance Minister Jānis Reirs (New Unity) after the government meeting.

MALTA: €30 million investment in public broadcasting over five years

Malta Independent: €30 million allocated from public funds will be invested in the Public Broadcasting Services over the next five years, the Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister Carmelo Abela who is responsible for public broadcasting, said.

MALTA: New Public Broadcasting Services board appointed

Times of Malta: Media expert and University professor Carmen Sammut has been appointed chairperson of the new Public Broadcasting Services board, the government announced on Wednesday. 

MONTENEGRO: MFRR partners raise concerns about smear campaign directed at journalists in Montenegro (Statement)

ECPMF: Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners and press and media freedom organisations are deeply concerned by the smear and intimidation campaign undertaken against three journalists in Montenegro. 

NETHERLANDS: Cabinet is making an extra 19 million euros available to the NPO (Dutch)

NU.nl: Dutch Public Broadcasting will receive an additional 19 million euros from the government on a one-off basis, as compensation for the extra costs incurred as a result of the corona crisis. According to Minister Arie Slob (Media), independent, reliable and accessible media is now ‘crucial’.

NETHERLANDS: NPO is sailing a sharp and flexible course, also next season (Press Release – Dutch)

NPO: The NPO is sharper and more flexible than ever and that will also be the course for the coming season. “The corona crisis has shown that there is no time for us, the NPO, to stand still and sit back,” said chairman of the board Shula Rijxman today in her speech at the start of the new TV season.

NORTH MACEDONIA: North Macedonia’s Media Awaits Reforms Under New Govt

Balkan Insight: The platform of North Macedonia’s new government, led once more by Zoran Zaev, again emphasises media reforms and the fight against fake news – but omits some important former promises.

SLOVAKIA: Suspected mastermind in the murder of Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak acquitted

EFJ: The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), a Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partner, today backs call for the fight for justice for Slovak investigative journalist, Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová to continue, after the Specialized Criminal Court in Pezinok returned a not-guilty verdict for alleged mastermind of their murder, Marian Kočner. 

SLOVENIA: New Administration, Old Agenda: Press Freedom Strained Again in Slovenia Under Veteran PM Janša

IPI: Few countries in Europe have experienced such a swift downturn in press and media freedom after a new government came to power than in Slovenia under veteran Prime Minister Janez Janša.

SPAIN: RTVE launches the ‘We do it for you’ campaign (Spanish)

RTVE: RTVE anticipates the broadcast of the audience’s favorite programs . Starting this Monday, September 7, the primetime programming will begin at 10:10 p.m., at the end of TD-2 and El Tiempo. In this way, RTVE, as a public service, takes the initiative on television in Spain to facilitate conciliation and normalize schedules with the rest of the countries of the European Union and the world.

SWEDEN: Nordicom coordinates a forum for media literacy research

Nordicom: Nordicom will establish a new forum to identify and coordinate researchers in MIL – media and information literacy. The venture is part of the national MIL Sweden Network launched by the Swedish Media Council upon the commission of the Government in Sweden.

UK: Council of Europe issues media freedom alert over UK government blacklisting of investigative journalists

The Independent: The UK government has been formally warned for threatening press freedom after it blacklisted a group of investigative journalists and denied them access to information. The Council of Europe issued the Level 2 “media freedom alert” after Ministry of Defence press officers refused to deal with Declassified UK, a website focusing on foreign and defence policy stories.

UK: BBC Lost a Battle Over British Songs, and the War Is Far From Over (Paywall)

The New York Times: Boris Johnson came into office aiming to defund the BBC and let in rivals. The coronavirus has delayed that, but the broadcaster again finds itself a punching bag for Conservatives.

UK: New BBC boss Tim Davie rules out subscription-based licence fee

Digital TV Europe: New BBC chief Tim Davie has explicitly rejected a subscription model to finance the BBC. Davie also used his introductory speech as director general to say that his former employer BBC Studios (BBCS) will play a vital role in the broadcaster’s future as it looks to compete with deep-pocketed global streamers and pointed to the potential of more OTT services being launched. 

UK: Tim Davie’s introductory speech as BBC Director-General (Speech)

BBC: Speech by Tim Davie, Director-General of the BBC in Cardiff on Thursday 3 September 2020.

UKRAINE: Ukrainian media group harassed by broadcasting authority

RSF: Ukraine’s National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting has revoked the licence of Priamyi FM, an opposition radio station, and continues to pressure its sister broadcaster, Priamyi TV. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the harassment of this privately-owned media group for nearly a year and calls for Priamyi FM’s licence to be restored.

REGIONAL: Public Service Media in Western Balkans to receive 1.5 million in new project 

EBU: The European Commission has approved a two-year extension of the Technical Assistance to Public Service Media in the Western Balkans project, granting up to EUR 1.5 million. The project will be implemented by a Consortium of partners including the EBU, EFJ, IFJ, ERNO, BIRN and ORF.

ARGENTINA: Public media explores its digital power (Spanish) 

Letra P: Public TV and national radio are committed to content for young people, more federal production and new platforms. New challenges, old limitations? 

BRAZIL: Abril does not report layoffs and pays fine to dismissed journalists (Portuguese) 

FENAJ: Twenty-one journalists dismissed from Editora Abril, between the beginning of February and April 6, 2020, received compensation in the amount of R $ 2,650.51, as a fine for the company’s failure to report the dismissals to labor unions, as determined in agreement closed at the end of 2019.

BRAZIL: Brazil press unions condemn ban on disseminating data on case against Bolsonaro’s son

Republica: Several press organizations in Brazil repudiated the decision of a judge to prohibit the Globo television network from disseminating documents of the process for alleged corruption against Senator Flávio Bolsonaro, eldest son of President Jair Bolsonaro, considering that it is under summary secrecy.

COLOMBIA: Four months after the secret folders (Spanish) 

Diario La Libertad: Four months have passed since the complaints about profiling of journalists detailed in the investigation “Secret folders” of Revista Semana. The Foundation for Press Freedom has followed up on the announcements and commitments of the authorities regarding this case and, with concern, shares this balance.

ECUADOR: Public Media says it seeks a legal outlet for payment of liquidations of seized media workers (Spanish) 

El Comerico: The company PublicosEC reported through his Twitter account that it is working on a legal solution for the payment of the debt to workers of seized media. In the statement issued this Thursday, September 3, 2020, it is detailed that the payment of debts to media workers that -currently are in liquidation- must comply “strictly with the legal system .” 

EL SALVADOR: InSight Crime’s Héctor Silva Avalos subject of alleged investigation, presidential tweets

CPJ: Salvadoran authorities should make public any details about an alleged criminal investigation into InSight Crime journalist Héctor Silva Ávalos and stop using official social media channels to criticize and harass independent journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

MEXICO: President rules out censorship; points to those who negotiated with their freedom (Spanish) 

Quadratin:  “There will be no censorship,” stressed the President of the Republic, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, about the media, however, he reiterated his reproach to those who “negotiated with their freedom of the press ”.

TRINIDAD: Judge: Outcome of Express raid could affect all media

Newsday: JUSTICE Frank Seepersad on Thursday gave the Media Association (MATT) permission to join as an interested party and make submissions in the matter of the police raid on the Express newspaper’s offices.

VENEZUELA: The government of Venezuela pardons 110 opposition deputies, journalists and social actors (Spanish)

Euronews: The Government of Venezuela, pardoned this Monday, by presidential decree, opposition deputies imprisoned or exiled, as well as others whose immunity had been violated, and journalists and social actors detained or accused of various crimes, explained the Minister of Communications, Jorge Rodriguea, in a press conference. 

REGIONAL: Caribbean broadcasters call for suspension of fees

Turks & Caicos Weekly News: Members of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) are appealing to media policymakers and regulators across the region for two forms of relief during the Covid-19 pandemic.

REGIONAL: In Latin America, religious misinformation on Covid-19 spreads with the help of the Christian press

Nieman Lab: Christian outlets work in tandem with religious leaders, retweeting and sharing one another’s content to maintain a media ecosystem editorially independent from the secular press.

GENERAL: COVID-19: Presidents, the Press, and the Pandemic (Opinion) 

IPS: The presidents of the Americas, beyond their ideological differences, seem to agree in questioning the role of journalists and the media in the coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, human rights organizations remind us of the fundamental role of information, especially in times of crisis and uncertainty like the one we are experiencing in this 2020.

IRAN: Iran cracks down on journalists again in response to UN report

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the latest crackdown on the media in Iran, in which at least five journalists have been targeted just weeks after the UN published a damning report on 21 July by special rapporteur Javaid Rehman on the appalling situation of human rights, including the freedom to inform, in this country.

IRAN: Iranian journalist Nada Sabouri begins 3.5-year jail term in 2014 protest case

CPJ: On August 7, Sabouri, a freelance sports reporter, began a 3.5-year jail term at Tehran’s Evin prison, five years after she was originally sentenced, according to a report by the Human Rights Activists News Agency, a U.S.-based outlet that covers news in Iran, and news reports citing the journalist’s lawyer, Ali Mojtahedzadeh.

IRAQ: Baghdad court issues arrest warrant for owner of Iraqi broadcaster Dijlah TV

CPJ: Baghdad’s Rusafa Investigative Court yesterday issued an arrest warrant for Karbouli for allegedly insulting Shia Muslims in Iraq by broadcasting music on Dijlah TV’s affiliated channel Dijlah Tarab during Ashura, a day of mourning, according to news reports and copies of the arrest warrant and the complaint filed against Karbouli, which CPJ reviewed. The warrant said Karbouli’s place of residence is unknown. 

IRAQ: Rattled by Protests, Iraqi Kurdish Leaders Punish Journalists

VOA: Around 3 a.m., Ahmed Zakhoy was trying to go to bed after an exhausting day covering anti-government protests in Zakho on August 19 for Nalia Radio and Television (NRT), a regional network in Iraqi Kurdistan. That’s when Iraqi Kurdish security showed up.

LEBANON: TV network files lawsuit against Lebanon presidency

Arab News: The TV channel MTV Lebanon has taken legal action against the Lebanese presidency after being banned from entering the parliament building to cover talks on the formation of a new government.

SAUDI ARABIA: Khashoggi killers get 20 years in prison

Deutsche Welle: Saudi Arabia sentenced five people to 20 years in prison over the murder of dissident reporter Jamal Khashoggi. Another suspect received a 10-year jail term, while two others were ordered to serve seven years in prison.

SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi court sentences 2 journalists to prison following 2017 arrests

CPJ: A Saudi specialized criminal court yesterday sentenced journalists Ahmed al-Suwian and Fahd al-Sunaidi to three and three and a half years in prison, respectively, following their arrests in 2017, according to news reports and Josh Cooper, deputy director at Al-Qst, a London-based human rights organization, who communicated with CPJ via email. 

TURKEY/GREECE: Greek website publishes passport of Turkish journalist visiting frontline island

Middle East Eye: A Greek nationalist website has targeted two Turkish journalists who arrived on the Greek island of Kastellorizo on Wednesday by revealing their passport information and residential addresses, accusing them of working on behalf of Turkish intelligence.

YEMEN: Council of Europe issues press freedom alert after UK blacklists site over Yemen coverage

Middle East Eye: Censorship concerns are mounting in Britain after the Council of Europe issued a level-two press freedom alert over a UK Ministry of Defence decision to blacklist Declassified UK, a military and foreign policy news website.

YEMEN: Rights group: 61 media, human rights defenders killed in Yemen 

Middle East Monitor: SAM for Rights and Liberties said yesterday that it had documented the murder of 61 media and human rights activists in Yemen from 2014 to 2019. SAM said in its “A dangerous career” report that it has documented more than 1,586 violations against human rights defenders, civil society organisations, media outlets, newspaper reporters, social media activists and agencies during the five-year period.

CANADA: Is there a way to save Toronto’s only Black-owned radio station G98.7FM?

CBC/Radio-Canada: Next week, Toronto’s only Black-owned commercial radio station may be sold. G98.7FM (also known as CKFG-FM) is set to be awarded to the highest bidder after being placed in a court-ordered receivership. It sounds like a modern day auction block — and it feels like déjà vu.

CANADA: Mackay: We need a public hearing about the role of CBC

Ottawa Citizen: Forget about six feet apart during physical distancing — the CBC and CRTC, the federal broadcast regulator — are kilometres apart over how and when the public broadcaster should have its licences renewed.

CANADA: OMNI Television Debuts National Daily Newscasts in Arabic and Filipino, Today

Global Newswire: Twenty-five new editorial, digital, and video-journalist positions were created to support the new newscasts, with OMNI News: Arabic Edition and OMNI News: Filipino Edition being produced in-house at OMNI’s studios in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Edmonton.

CANADA: Rewriting journalism: How to support emerging Indigenous reporters

TVO: TVO.org speaks with Megan Fowler of Journalists for Human Rights about what institutions can do to create environments where Indigenous journalists can thrive. 

CANADA/UK: Freedom of media concerns in Belarus: UK-Canada joint statement

GOV.UK: Delivered by Ambassador Neil Bush at the OSCE Permanent Council on 3 September 2020:  Mr. Chairperson. I make this statement also on behalf of Canada. Canada and the United Kingdom are extremely concerned by the treatment of journalists and independent media amidst the ongoing situation in Belarus.

US: CapRadio, North State Public Radio move forward with collaboration (Paywall)

Current: The licensee of North State Public Radio in Chico, Calif., approved a management agreement Thursday with CapRadio in Sacramento. Chico State Enterprises’ Board of Directors approved the agreement after the conclusion of an 18-month study of a possible arrangement, Chico State University announced Friday. The two stations announced the study in July 2019.

US: CNN public editor: The only question in news is ‘Will it rate?’ (Opinion) 

CJR: The largest obstacle to reliable news and information is this: hardly any programming decision is made without considering how it will “rate” (i.e., how it will appeal to the largest audience possible). No one is immune, not US senators, not presidential candidates. Election coverage. Will it rate? Pandemic. Will it rate? Civil rights crisis. Will it rate? It’s the only metric that matters. 

US: Facebook has been terrible about removing vaccine misinformation. Will it do better with election misinformation?

Nieman Lab: The nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate and global agency Restless Development trained young volunteers to identify, record, and report vaccine misinformation on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. Of the 912 posts flagged and reported by volunteer [between July 21 and August 26], fewer than 1 in 20 posts containing misinformation were dealt with (4.9%).”

US: Fact-checkers offer additional suggestions for how to improve Facebook ahead of the 2020 presidential election

Poynter Institute: Facebook announced new actions to combat misinformation ahead of the election. Here are more ideas from fact-checkers.

US: Journalists Aren’t the Enemy of the People. But We’re Not Your Friends (Opinion – Paywall)

The New York Times: President Trump will try to put the media on the ballot, and reporters face the increasing temptation to posture for those most eager to oust him.

US: Two Ohio stations study ‘growth and expansion’ with CPB funds

Current: WKSU in Kent, Ohio, and ideastream in Cleveland are looking into a possible partnership with help from a $100,000 CPB grant to study “opportunities for growth and expansion,” the stations announced Monday.

US: Want Diverse Newsrooms? Unions Push for Pay Equity As a Path Forward

Nieman Lab: As an uprising against racism and discrimination swept across the nation’s newsrooms in recent months, one of the issues raised at many of the organizations in upheaval was pay equity.

US: ‘Without evidence’ Is A New Catchphrase At NPR (Opinion)

NPR: It prompts a deeper question about whose statements are fact-checked.

Abducted Journalist Prageeth Eknelygoda, Tops September Ranking Of One Free Press Coalition’s “10 Most Urgent” Press Freedom Cases

Forbes: Sri Lankan journalist Prageeth Eknelygoda, who was abducted outside of his home, tops the September ranking of the One Free Press Coalition’s “10 Most Urgent” list of press freedom cases. 

Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards Fellowship 2021 (Opportunity)

Index on Censorship: Nominations for the Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards Fellowship are open. Now in their 21st year, the Awards honour some of the world’s most remarkable free expression heroes.

Journalists under threat: September’s 10 most urgent cases

DW: Every month, the One Free Press Coalition draws attention to unresolved cases of crimes against journalists. This month, the list includes the cases of Prageeth Eknelygoda, Azory Gwanda and Daysi Lizeth Mina Huamán.

The long tail of the journalism crisis

CJR: Since the onset of the pandemic, the demolition of the newsroom’s already trembling business model has become a familiar story for the journalism industry. 

The value of diversity in the newsroom

Journalism.co.uk: Filling news desks with the right mixture of reporters can deepen coverage, avoid costly mistakes and show your teams that you are ready to break the status quo.

Who’s reporting local news? And how are they building the media models we need to sustain journalism?

IPI: IPI, with the support of Craig Newmark Philanthropies, is mapping and sharing globally how quality local media outlets are creating sustainable models of trusted journalism and countering misinformation in their communities.

Words Hurt: Ethical Reporting on Race – panel discussion, Sept 10

EJN: Join the Ethical Journalism Network on Thursday September 10 (1900 BST), for our online panel: Words Hurt: Ethical Reporting on Race. 

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