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.

GAMBIA: Commitment, perseverance, and ingenuity: Changing The Gambia’s climate of impunity

IFEX: To counter impunity under the Yahya Jammeh regime, the Media Foundation for West Africa, together with their local partner the Gambia Press Union, undertook a determined and focused campaign to seek justice for journalists who, for over 20 years, had been subjected to harassment, intimidation, censorship, torture, cruel and degrading punishment, enforced disappearances, and murder.

GHANA: Media’s Role in Fighting Corruption in Ghana: A 10-Point Recommendation by Key Stakeholders

MFWA: Despite Ghana’s good governance and democratic credentials, corruption has remained endemic in the country’s public service and society.

KENYA: Media Council Reveals That Radio Still Has The Largest Audience In Kenya

Broadcast Media Africa: The Media Council of Kenya has congratulated Kenyan radio journalists for overcoming all obstacles to make sure that Kenyans stay informed through the broadcasting medium.

LIBERIA: Voter Turnout Increased Through Debates, Media Coverage in Liberia

Internews: Voters also changed their minds based on increased access to candidates and policy information in country’s first-ever nationwide debates, organized by Internews and Liberian media partners.

MOZAMBIQUE: Mozambique Accused of Gagging Media in Insurgent Region

All Africa: Human Rights Watch has expressed serious concerns about a wave of arbitrary arrests, including the involvement of the military in interrogations that take place in the absence of lawyers in the country’s north.

SOUTH AFRICA: 400 nominations for new SABC board

City Press: There are over 400 nominations to consider as Parliament says it will fast-track the appointment of new SABC board members ahead of the elections.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC board vacancies to be filled in March

SABC: The Portfolio Committee on Communications has allocated three weeks to complete the process of filling vacancies at the board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa’s Department Of Communications Plans To Fast-Track Digital Migration

Broadcast Media Africa: South Africa’s Department of Communications (DOC) has yet again promised to speed up the rollout of the digital migration project.

ZIMBABWE: Zimbabwe Drifts Towards Online Darkness

Coda Story: Ordinary Zimbabweans face a new era of repression from surveillance systems created in China and Japan

AZERBAIJAN: Surveillance and Internet Disruption in Baku

Coda Story: The authorities in Azerbaijan don’t need to shut down the internet or social media. They can achieve control by disruption alone

CAMBODIA: Fresh News and the Future of the Fourth Estate in Cambodia

Coda Story: In the Cambodian government’s ongoing war on the media, a website called Fresh News has become one of the country’s most useful sources of political misinformation and propaganda

CHINA: China’s Xinhua introduces world’s first female AI news anchor

Broadband TV News: China’s Xinhua News Agency will debut their female-gendered AI news anchor in March, called Xin Xiaomeng.

CHINA: China’s TV Confessions

Al Jazeera: Activists accuse Chinese state media of human rights violations, for televising confessions they allege were forced.

CHINA: Economic woes hurt Chinese journalists as much as censorship does

The Economist: But the profession continues to attract young hopefuls.

INDIA: DD, AIR can’t operate the way they have operated in the past

Financial Express: India’s public broadcaster Prasar Bharati which operates Doordarshan and All India Radio has been struggling to stay relevant to the young audience in the country.

INDIA: DD, All India Radio plan digital drive to woo young audiences

Financial Express: Prasar Bharati will have a completely new look in the next five years that will be able to connect with the youth, says its CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati.

MALAYSIA: Malaysian minister’s aide apologises for criticising RTM

The Straits Times: The Malaysian Transport Minister’s press secretary has apologised for saying “heads must roll” after national broadcaster RTM failed to air the minister’s Chinese New Year speech.

MALAYSIA: Recommendations for media council to be presented to gov’t in two months (Paywall)

Malaysiakini: Recommendations for the Malaysian Media Council are expected to be presented to the government in the next two months, said veteran journalist A Kadir Jasin.

NEPAL: Everything you need to know about the Nepal government’s new IT bill

The Kathmandu Post: In an attempt to regulate the cyberspace, the K P Sharma Oli administration is trying to give itself enormous new powers to curb online content.

PAKISTAN: Fawad insists on one regulatory authority for all media

DAWN: Informa­tion Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Monday said that there was a need to have a centralised regulatory authority for all types of media, including print, electronic and digital.

PHILIPPINES: ‘Safety in numbers’: Philippine fact-checkers team up to debunk election misinformation

Poynter: Eleven news organizations and three universities, including Rappler and fact-checking site Vera Files, are involved in the initiative, which will publish fact checks during the election campaign.

SOUTH KOREA: KBS World channel enters India with Prasar Bharati’s Free Dish

Indian Television: Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), the national public broadcaster of South Korea has signed an agreement with its counterpart Prasar Bharati to enter the Indian market with KBS World TV channel.

TAIWAN: As China tightens its grip on Hong Kong, Taiwan emerges as Asia’s hub for foreign media

HKFP: When German broadcaster Deutsche Welle announced it was opening its Greater China bureau in Taipei, it was met with considerable enthusiasm by journalists and China watchers.

REGIONAL: Censorship and silence: south-east Asia suffers under press crackdown

The Guardian: Regional trend sees criminal law repeatedly weaponised to target journalists and muzzle free and fair reporting.

AUSTRALIA: Craig McMurtrie appointed ABC Editorial Director

ABC: Craig McMurtrie, one of the ABC’s most experienced journalists and senior news executives, has been appointed as Editorial Director of the ABC.

AUSTRALIA: Prime Minister describes Ita Buttrose as ‘extraordinary’ amid speculation she could be new ABC chair

ABC: Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described publishing identity Ita Buttrose as an “extraordinary Australian” amid speculation she will be chosen as the new chair of the ABC.

AUSTRALIA: Up to 100 journalists accused of breaking Pell suppression order face possible jail terms

The Guardian: Prosecutors send letters to publishers, editors and reporters at News Corp, the ABC and others

SAMOA: Samoa asked to drop criminal charges against blogger ‘King Faipopo’

Via IFEX: Government in Samoa should not waste taxpayers money on arresting and prosecuting a public critic, says PFF, the Pacific Freedom Forum.

VANUATU: Chinese news translations published in Vanuatu paper

RNZ: Vanuatu’s newspaper the Daily Post has just introduced Chinese translations of local stories to its pages.

GENERAL: Digital media offers new opportunities to Pacific storytellers (Audio)

RNZ: No Six is a multi-platform digital media brand curating, developing and connecting a new generation of young content creators to global audiences.

AUSTRIA: Austria’s far-right launches new attack on public broadcaster


CROATIA: MPs Debate Situation on HRT Public Broadcaster

Total Croatia News: Thursday’s parliamentary debate on the appointment of Antonija Petrušić to the supervisory board of the HRT public broadcaster turned into a debate on the HRT and lawsuits against journalists, with the opposition requesting quality public broadcasting and supporting 30 civil society organisations in their boycott of the HRT and a protest to protect journalism announced for March 2.

CROATIA: SDP Joins Boycott of Croatian Radio Television

Total Croatia News: The Social Democratic Party (SDP) has joined the two-week boycott of the Croatian Radio Television public broadcaster, launched by NGOs in a show of support for journalists and media outlets that have been sued by the public broadcaster, the SDP said in a press release Sunday.

CZECH REPUBLIC: How to build a disinformation business

Coda Story: Meet the man behind one of the Czech Republic’s most influential fake-media sites.

FRANCE: The collaborative cultural offer of public broadcasters, #CulturePrime, unfolds on new distribution channels (French)

Radio France: Culture Prime offers a selection of original digital video content produced by each of the public broadcasters involved.

FRANCE: Top French media companies team up for unified login system

Digiday UK: Media companies eager to deepen relationships with their audiences are teaming up and turning to unified login systems so users can access multiple media sites through a single email address.

IRELAND: ‘This will be tricky’: Diplomacy at RTÉ after public urged broadcaster to boycott Eurovison 2019

The Journal: Last June, Israeli media queried why Ireland had yet to confirm its participation in Eurovision 2019.

ISLE OF MAN: Paul Speller’s political preview: Broadcasting regulations in the spotlight in the House of Keys today

IOM Today: A law that could change the way broadcasters and communications providers are regulated returns to the House of Keys today – three months after its last appearance.

ITALY: European 8K first for Rai

Broadband TV News: Italy’s Rai has become the first broadcaster in Europe to publicly demonstrate 8K technology.

POLAND: Soros boosts anti-PiS media ahead of crucial Polish polls

Deutsche Welle: As Poland’s media become increasingly politicized, publisher Agora and a Soros-backed fund have teamed up to buy the second-largest radio station. With elections looming, the anti-PiS coalition is preparing to fight.

ROMANIA: Romania starts DTT implementation

Broadband Tv News: Romania’s National Radiocommunications Society (Radiocom) has signed a contract for the provision of broadcasting equipment for the implementation of the national network on the first DTT multiplex (1), on which public TV channels will be broadcast.

SLOVAKIA: ‘They killed Jano’ (Opinion)

Politico: A year after Ján Kuciak’s murder, the price for investigating organized crime is still far too high.

SPAIN: Forta warns that financing of Spanish public autonomous media has dropped by 47% in seven years (Spanish)

20 Minutos: The Federation of Autonomous Radio and Television Organizations (Forta) reported on Thursday that funding in Spanish public regional media has dropped by 47 percent in seven years, from 2011 to 2018, but noted that “they have been able to adapt to restrictive economic environment without losing quality “.

UK: BBC invites UK public to control its Brexit coverage

The Irish Examiner: The BBC will allow its Brexit coverage to be controlled by the British public in order to reflect how the country “really feels” about leaving the European Union.

UK: BBC launches dedicated channel for Scotland

Broadband Tv News: The BBc calls it “a channel for modern Scotland, it features a mix of documentary, popular factual & entertainment, comedy, drama, news & current affairs and sport.”

UK: ‘Breaking into news’ competition aims to address lack of diversity in UK broadcast journalism

Journalism.co.uk: 2018 winner Hadeel Elshak who saw her piece on the Grenfell tower tragedy air onto ITV News explains the importance of boosting representation of minorities on our TV screens

UK: Ofcom plans for TV licences in event of “no-deal Brexit”

Broadband TV News: Ofcom has given details of the draft broadcast licences it intends to issue if the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement in place.

UK: UK independent news producer buys Belgian broadcaster ahead of Brexit

Journalism.co.uk: British DMA Media Group acquired Headline NFP that provides broadcasting services to clients such as BBC News, France Télévisions, and Al Jazeera

UKRAINE: Ukrainian investigative journalists report being followed, monitored


GENERAL: New report shows rising harassment and threats against journalists in Council of Europe states

SEENPM: Press freedom in Europe is more fragile now than at any time since the end of the Cold War. That is the alarming conclusion of a report launched by the 12 partner organizations of the Council of Europe Platform to promote the protection of Journalism and safety of journalists.

REGIONAL: Public service media in the Western Balkans – Ensuring complaint mechanisms and audience engagement

EFJ: The workshop brings together the program directors and editors-in-chief from the six PSM to discuss, examine and assess the role of complaint mechanisms  with European experts in the field.

GENERAL: The European Media Literacy Toolkit for Newsrooms – Round 2 (Publication)

EFJ: The Vienna-based Forum Journalism and Media (fjum) and the Global Editors Network have today published the second White Paper (PDF) following the Vienna Unconference on Media Literacy organised on 23 January 2019.

BRAZIL & COLOMBIA: Journalists in Brazil and Colombia find an ally in podcasts to take a deeper look at the profession

Knight Center

CUBA: Critical news websites blocked during Cuba referendum vote

CPJ: Several critical news sites were blocked in the country yesterday, as Cuba held a national referendum on proposed changes to its constitution, news sites reported.

ECUADOR: Ecuador President Reiterates Commitment To Press Freedom

The Gleaner: Ecuador President Lenín Moreno on Wednesday signed the Chapultepec Declaration in the presence of a delegation from the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) and special guests.

MEXICO: AMLO wants inclusive public media, not just a channel for the morning news: Sosa Plata

El Economista: Gabriel Sosa Plata, director of Radio Educación, trusts the words of López Obrador, who says he what will use public media to promote freedom, inclusion and diversity and open to promote proposals that aim to solve social issues.

PARAGUAY: Tackling Impunity in Paraguay: Resistance, Persistence, and the Power of a Network (Video)


VENEZUELA: IAPA condemns numerous attacks on journalists and censorship of media in Venezuela

IAPA: Attacks on journalists, restrictions to their work, acts of censorship of contents and Internet blockages.

SAUDI ARABIA: Freedom of expression ranks low in Saudi Arabia

Deutsche Welle: Recent events are a stark reminder that freedom of expression is under siege in Saudi Arabia, one of the worst jailers of journalists. DW’s Rainer Sollich looks at the country’s poor free speech record.

TURKEY: A return to dark days for journalists in Turkey

Deutsche Welle: Turkey holds an unenviable record: The world’s worst jailer of journalists after a crackdown following the failed 2016 coup. However, intimidation, self-censorship and outright censorship is a perennial problem.

GENERAL: Amnesty report on Middle East rights highlights Khashoggi case

Aljazeera: An Amnesty report looking at the state of human rights in the Middle East says the lack of international justice only emboldens authorities to crack down on their citizens and freedom of speech.

CANADA: Ambition for young audiences at Radio-Canada (French)

Radio-Canada: Radio-Canada is proud to return to a long tradition by affirming that young audiences occupy a central place in its priorities for the future. Young people’s content has long been a spearhead of Radio-Canada’s privileged relationship with its audience. It is important that he become so again.

CANADA: Gender Gap Tracker shows inequality in quoting male and female experts

Journalism.co.uk: The tool aims to raise awareness around lack of female representation cited as experts in English-speaking Canadian media and urges other initiatives to follow suit.

US: Fear and humour increasingly driving TV news

RNZ: When news editors realised that crime and violence-based reports rated well, entertainment overtook public interest as the primary driver of much television news, says Professor David Altheide.

US: How one NPR host is changing the way we hear the news

Vox: For Lulu Garcia-Navarro, improving gender and racial diversity on the radio sometimes involves “retraining” the audience.

US: Next CPB funding request will grow by $50million, Butler tells APTS Summit (Paywall)


US: Poll: How does the public think journalism happens?

CJR: For decades, we’ve known that Americans don’t trust the press. What we haven’t known is how people view the makings of journalism, from the use of fact checkers and anonymous sources to the question of whether money skews journalistic decision-making. This new national poll for CJR answers those questions, and points to how big the trust gap remains.

US: The state of women in U.S. media in 2019: Still f’ing abysmal — especially at Reuters and the AP

NiemanLab: “The media is in a state of great disruption, but despite all the change, one thing remains the same: fewer women report the news than men.”

Does Shortwave Have a Future?

Radio World: It plays an important role and can still go a long way.

Freeland, Hunt to announce Canadian-British press freedom summit this summer

CBC News: Report says the number of journalists killed in retaliation for their work nearly doubled in 2018.

GIJN’s Data Journalism Top 10: Earth’s Resources, “Good Data,” Who Owns Berlin


Google says it’s fighting misinformation, but how hard?


‘Hard to back out’: Publishers grow frustrated by the lack of revenue from Apple News

Digiday UK: Last year, Apple News brimmed with promise for publishers, offering an engaged, high-quality audience that seemed to do nothing but grow. Ad revenue wasn’t great, but at the start of 2018, most publishers assumed that would come around.

Journalism Under Pressure

Nieman Reports: Coverage is often exceptional, even as newsrooms and revenues shrink

Local TV is still the most trusted source of news. So how do you collaborate with a station?

NiemanLab: “The idea that you would collaborate with your competitor when you’re fighting for ratings is anathema to broadcasters.” But it may be a key part of how local news remains sustainable.

“Philanthropy desperately needs to be more agile”: Molly de Aguiar on grantmaking with local and national media

NiemanLab: “The right approach is almost always giving up the illusion of control funders think they have and trusting that people closest to the work know what’s best.”

The interview Fox refused to air revives issue of media ownership

CBC News: Video the U.S. network didn’t intend viewers to see is a hot property on the web.

The Media Is Not the Enemy (Opinion)

The New York Times: Earlier this week, a colleague, David D. Kirkpatrick, was detained by the Egyptian authorities for several hours then forced onto a flight back to London.

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

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

All headlines are sourced from their original story.

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

Header image: suriya silsaksom/ iStock

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