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.

ALGERIA: During the baccalaureate, Algeria shut down the internet for two hours a day [French]

LeMonde.Afrique: After a massive fraud in 2016, the authorities want to prevent a leak of topics on social media networks.  

BOTSWANA: No plans to reform state media into public media

Mmegi Online: The Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration Nonofo Molefhi has informed the Parliament that the government did not intend to wrestle state media from government control.

EGYPT: Egypt’s proposed media law spooks journalists

Al-Monitor: Egyptian journalists are speaking out against a vast press and media bill, warning it grants wide powers to the government and places potentially heavy restrictions on journalists.

ETHIOPIA: Ethiopia allows access to over 260 blocked websites

CPJ: Allowing Ethiopians to access these news outlets is a positive sign that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is committed to delivering his promise to end Ethiopia’s censorship of the independent press,” said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal.

GAMBIA: Gambian police beat journalist returned from exile

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Gambian authorities to identify and punish the police officers who attacked radio station manager Pa Modou Bojang while he was covering deadly clashes between police and protesters in Faraba Banta, a village 50 km south of the capital, Banjul, on 18 June.

LIBERIA: Liberian government suspends media operating licences

IFEX: The Government of Liberia has with immediate effect suspended operating licenses and authorizations issued media operators between January 1-June 18, 2018.

MALI: Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT): 40 billion CFA francs for its installation [FRENCH]

MaliActu.net : For a turnaround time of 14 months and a total cost of 40 billion CFA francs, the Government of Mali has settled, with the group THOMSON / CAMUSAT, the contract for the project of Digital Terrestrial Television project in Mali (TNT).

MAURITANIA: In Mauritania, an endless sentence for the “apostate” blogger [French]

Le Monde Afrique: The Mauritanian blogger sentenced to death in 2014 for apostasy should be free from his movements since his sentence was reduced in November 2017 to two years in prison by the Nouadhibou Court of Appeal. Except that Mohamed Ould Cheikh Mkheitir has not appeared in public since the verdict.

NAMIBIA: Govt’s Bid to Suppress News Article Fails in Namibian Court

All Africa: A High Court judge has dismissed an attempt by the government and Namibia’s Central Intelligence Service to prevent a weekly newspaper from publishing an article about the alleged misuse of government properties by former members of the spy service.

NIGERIA: Good journalism matters, Nigeria president says at IPI Congress

IPI: IPI Chair calls for release of Nigerian journalist Jones Abiri as Congress opens in Abuja

SUDAN: Journalists Decry New Act to Curtail Press

Via All Africa: The Network of Journalists for Human Rights (JAHR) has harshly criticised the draft Act approved by the Sudanese Cabinet on Thursday, which provides for the suspension of journalists from writing and the expansion of powers of the Press and Publications Council.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC announces chairpersons for inquiries into editorial interference, sexual harassment

The Citizen: Dr Joe Thloloe will chair the inquiry relating to editorial interference in the newsroom and Barbara Watson will chair the sexual harassment inquiry.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC appoints new Group CEO and CFO

Fin24: The South African Broadcasting Corporation has appointed Madoda Mxakwe as its new Group Chief Executive Officer and Yolande van Biljon as the new Chief Financial Officer.

UGANDA: Ugandan president, officials verbally attack and threaten media

CPJ: On June 11, while attending the funeral of ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) legislator Ibrahim Abiriga, Museveni and NRM Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba publicly called for the need to censor radio and social media, according to a report by NTV Uganda.

ZIMBABWE: PesaCheck Partners with Zimbabweans to Monitor Coverage of Historic Presidential Election

ICFJ: Zimbabweans go to the polls at the end of July for a historic vote – the first since Robert Mugabe was ousted after 37 years in power. As they do, getting accurate and timely information will undoubtedly be a challenge.

REGIONAL: How They Did It: Inside #WestAfricaLeaks’ Exposé of the Offshore Economy

GIJN: As the recently launched investigative center for the West African region, CENOZO — the Cell Norbert Zongo for Investigative Journalism in West Africa — aims not just to support investigative journalism but to contribute to the coverage of important local issues, tackling bad governance, corruption, human rights violations, organized crime and terrorism.

CHINA: China Blocks HBO Website After John Oliver Jokes about Xi Jinping

New York Times: The HBO website has been inaccessible to mainland Chinese internet users since Saturday, according to GreatFire.org, an internet censorship watchdog.

CHINA: Meet the activists fighting the Great Chinese Firewall

AlJazeera: These are the people fighting online censorship in China

CHINA: What happens when China’s state-run media embraces AI?

CJR: Bringing AI to newsrooms can improve accuracy, enhance data analysis, and increase efficiency. According to a video released by Xinhua in January, the AI newsroom will do everything “from finding leads to news gathering, editing, distribution, and, finally, feedback analysis.”

INDIA: Reporter almost killed in knife attack in northeastern India

RSF: Suman Debnath, 30, a journalist with various local media outlets who is known for his bold investigative reporting, was nearly killed when he went to a meeting at a petroleum depot in Dharmanagar, a town in the north of the state, late at night on 18 June.

INDIA: Media bodies demand strict action against BJP leader

Press Trust of India via Business Standard: Several media bodies, including the Press Club of India, today sought strict action against senior BJP leader Choudhary Lal Singh over his “threatening and intimidating” remarks directed at Kashmiri journalists.

JAPAN: Struggling to stay on top of fake social media posts in a disaster

The Japan Times: Shortly after the Kansai region was rattled by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake on June 18, photos of the damage started popping up on social media.

MALAYSIA: Changing Times for Malaysia’s Long-Muzzled Media? (Watch)

VOA: The surprising upset in Malaysia’s May elections not only ushered in a new governing coalition, but it might also mean major changes for the media, which were largely under the previous government’s control.

MYANMAR: Suu Kyi Blames International ‘Hate Narratives’ for Deepening Myanmar Conflict

TheWire: In Facebook and Twitter posts since August, Suu Kyi’s government has shown support for non-Muslims displaced by the violence and blamed the international community for distributing “fake news” about alleged rights abuses.

PAKISTAN: PFUJ urges CJP, PM to look into media coercion

Dawn: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has expressed concern over attempts to gag the print and electronic media through physical intimidation, citing disruption to the distribution of Dawn newspaper and blocking of some news channels on cable network.

PHILIPPINES: Philippines: Two Media Workers Shot Dead

Eurasia Review: Unidentified gunmen shot dead two media workers in separate incidents in the Philippines over the weekend, including one who might have been targeted by sympathizers of the Islamic State (IS), police investigators and a journalists’ union said Monday.

REGIONAL: Press Freedom is Under Attack Across Southeast Asia. Meet the Journalists Fighting Back

TIME: Southeast Asia may never have been a paragon of the free press, but the democratic strides it made in the late ’80s and ’90s are rapidly unraveling. Targeted financial inquiries have forced newspapers of record to close or compromise their independence. Journalists have been discredited by sophisticated social media campaigns.

AUSTRALIA: ABC contributes as much to the economy as it costs the taxpayer: Michelle Guthrie

The Conversation: ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie has hit back against critics with a Deloitte Access Economics assessment that the public broadcaster contributed more than A$1 billion to the Australian economy in the last financial year.

AUSTRALIA: Malcolm Turnbull on the ABC: ‘Some presenters are biased to the left’

The Guardian: Prime minister ramps up attack on public broadcaster but vows it will never be privatised.

AUSTRALIA & CHINA: China takes up Australia’s former radio space in Pacific

RNZ: China has taken over many of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s former shortwave radio frequencies into the Pacific.

FIJI: FBC increases its services under PSB contract

FBC: The Fiji Broadcasting Corporation is increasing its services under its Public Service Broadcasting contract, by airing more educational, religious, cultural and health programs.

VANUATU: Under fire Vanuatu public broadcaster seeks more funding

RNZ: Vanuatu’s prime minister says the country’s public broadcaster needs an additional 4.5 million US dollars in order to meet the government’s 100 day plan for full coverage of the country.

VANUATU: Vanuatu plans cyber crimes law to target Facebook’s ‘false claims’

Asia Pacific Report: Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, the Minister responsible for Telecommunications, has informed Parliament that a cyber crime bill currently being developed will address the increasing issues and concerns regarding social media, especially Facebook.

REGIONAL: Our Telekom Ramps up Connectivity across Solomon Islands with SES Networks

BusinessWire: Surging demand for reliable mobile services and always-on high broadband connectivity across the archipelago’s outer islands sees Our Telekom tap into SES’ comprehensive GEO and fibre-like MEO solutions

BELGIUM: Campaign to save Belgian VRT DVB-T broadcasts

Broadband TV News: A group Belgian viewers has launched a petition to save the digital terrestrial DVB-T broadcasts of Flemish pubcaster VRT, that are due to terminate in December.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Czech TV tightens its belt

Broadband TV News: The Czech public broadcaster Ceska Televize (CT) managed to save CZK86 million (€3.33 million) last year, when it embarked on what could yet prove to be a costly transition to the DVB-T2/HEVC standard.

FINLAND: Pro-Kremlin activists on trial in Finland for harassing reporter

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) hails the trial of two pro-Kremlin activists in Helsinki on charges of harassing and defaming Jessikka Aro, an investigative reporter who has been researching the activities of Kremlin trolls and their attempts to manipulate Finnish public opinion since 2014.

GERMANY: German broadcaster ARD says ProSieben-Discovery streaming plan “interesting”

Reuters: Public broadcaster ARD said it would consider an invitation to join a German TV streaming platform being set up by ProSiebenSat.1 Media and Discovery Inc, although it was too early to say it would do so.

IRELAND: RTÉ warns Government of ‘serious financial position’

The Irish Times: Broadcaster posts €6.4m deficit for 2017and cites licence, Brexit and ad revenue woes

IRELAND: RTÉ Wins Radio Broadcaster of the Year

Adworld: RTÉ has once again won Broadcaster of the Year award at the 2018 New York Festivals International Radio Awards. Selected from finalists spanning 32 countries, this is fifth time RTÉ has won this radio award in recent years.

ITALY: Italian minister threatens to remove “Gomorra” author’s police protection

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled by Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini’s threat to remove journalist and writer Roberto Saviano’s police escort after Saviano, who has been getting police protection since 2006 because of mafia death threats, criticized the new Italian coalition government’s migration policies.

MALTA: Daphne Caruana Galizia’s son on the grave situation of female activists and journalists in Malta

ECPMF: Daphne Caruana Galizia’s son Andrew gave an oral statement at the UN Human Rights Council on the situation of violence against women journalists in Malta, in particular about the case of his mother.

MONTENEGRO: Montenegro: public service is (not) at the service of citizens

OBC Transeuropa: The recent removal of the general director of the public broadcaster Andrijana Kadija has brought back to the surface the issue of public service, the inadequacy of existing legislation, the limits to freedom, and the total interference from power.

NORWAY: Conecta Fiction: ‘Skam’ Initiates International Rollout

Variety: With remakes already launched in the U.S., France, Germany and Italy since early 2018, the international roll out of “Skam” (Shame) may be far from over.

RUSSIA: Extortionate fine for airing drug legalization interview a pressive act of censorship

Amnesty International: The judicial proceedings were instigated by the Russian media regulator, Roskomnadzor, after the broadcast of an interview in March 2018 with one of the leaders of the Libertarian Party, Mikhail Svetov, in which he discussed the legalization of cannabis.

SPAIN: Congress could hold up to four plenary sessions for the RTVE reform (Spanish)

La Vanguardia: The Congress of Deputies could be obliged this July to hold up to four plenary sessions to complete the rapid renewal of the RTVE Council to apply the decree approved by the Government last Friday.

SWITZERLAND: New rules mooted for radio, TV and online media

Swissinfo: The Swiss government has presented proposals aimed at promoting public service online media as part of a larger reform of the broadcasting law.

SWITZERLAND: The SSR reduces its participation in SwissMediaCast for private broadcasters. [FRENCH]

SRG SSR: As announced, SSR has sold a large part of its SwissMediaCast (SMC) shares to private broadcasters. This offers the opportunity for more of them to have a stake in SMC.

UK: BBC must ‘change faster’ to compete with global players, says Purnell

TBI Vision: The BBC needs to “change faster” in order to reach more young people and compete against powerful online video and audio providers like Netflix and Spotify, according to James Purnell.

UK: How BBC Stories experiments with audio to reach younger audiences

Digiday: The BBC has a long history with speech radio and podcasts, with BBC Stories, its 18-month-old digital documentary division, it’s testing ways to use audio to reach younger, underserved audiences.

UK: ITV Completes The Roll-Out of Six HD Regional News Centres Using Axon Cerebrum Control

Broadcasting & Cable: UTV Belfast is the latest News Centre to benefit from a streamlined production workflow based on Cerebrum Control and Monitoring

UK: Data sharing is caring: BBC boosts local news output through its Shared Data Unit

Journalism.co.uk: The broadcaster brings together over 700 regional media outlets and helps them use data to tell local democracy stories

UK: Ofcom approves BBC Scotland TV channel heralding 140 new jobs

BBC: Media regulator Ofcom has given final approval to BBC plans for a dedicated Scotland TV channel which will lead to the creation of 140 new jobs.

UKRAINE: In debt for transmission services, Ukraine’s public TV broadcaster goes off air

Kyiv Post: Ukraine’s only public terrestrial television channel, UA: Pershyi, was taken off the air on June 18 because of unpaid debts, its management said in statement.

GENERAL: European parliament committee approves controversial copyright reform

Digital TV Europe: The European Parliament’s legal affairs committee this week approved controversial plans for copyright reform that have attracted substantial criticism from media industry groups.

ARGENTINA: Announced the dismissal of more than 350 employees of the Télam agency (Spanish)

La Nacion: The government made official today that it will lay off more than 350 employees of Télam, the official news agency. This represents more than 40% of the staff.

CUBA: Cuban journalists report increase in detentions and other abuses of power by authorities

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: Independent Cuban journalists are calling for support from international governments and organizations as they report a rise in detentions and attacks.

COLOMBIA: Governments confirm that bodies found in Colombian jungle belong to abducted Ecuadoran journalists

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: The Colombian and Ecuadoran governments confirmed that three bodies found in Tumaco, Colombia belong to the El Comercio reporting team that was abducted on March 26 while reporting in the border region.

GUATEMALA: After Volcano Eruption in Guatemala, Re-creating a Truck Covered in Ash

The New York Times: How 727 photos taken in 29 minutes became an immersive 3D experience.

MEXICO: Covering the Mexican elections

INSI: Mexico’s presidential race has been described as the bloodiest in recent history with 114 candidates, politicians or office holders killed since nationwide campaigning stated in September 2017, according to the security consulting group Etellekt.The following advisory contains highlights from a recent INSI members’ webinar on covering the elections.

MEXICO: Mexican journalist and U.S. photographer based in Caracas honored with IWMF Courage in Journalism Award

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: Rosario Mosso Castro, investigative reporter and editor-in-chief of Mexican magazine ZETA, and U.S. photojournalist Meridith Kohut, who documents the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, are recipients of the 2018 Courage in Journalism Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF)

GENERAL: Digital native journalism sites in Latin America bet on regional journalism

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: With the digital technological revolution of recent years and the crisis of the conventional business model of the newspaper industry –which until the beginning of this century was largely based on advertising revenues– many of the major newspapers have prioritized national and international coverage, leaving little left over for the regions.

ISRAEL: PM retreats from split of public broadcaster amid Eurovision cancellation fears

The Times of Israel: Netanyahu makes decision to amend law dividing Kan into separate entities after AG warns it could harm chance of hosting song contest.

ISRAEL: Israel wants to turn filming of its crimes into a crime [Opinion]

MiddleEastEye: Bill criminalizing the filming of Israeli security forces underscores the state’s chilling suppression of Palestinian rights

ISRAEL: Will filming Israeli soldiers soon be punishable by 10 years in prison?

RSF: Under the bill, which the Knesset began considering yesterday, doing any of these things “in order to harm the morale of Israel’s soldiers or its inhabitants” would be punishable by five years in prison, or ten years if it was done with intent to “harm the security of the state.”

TURKEY: An open letter for the attention of the future President of the Republic of Turkey

EFJ: Seventeen international freedom of expression and professional organisations have sent a joint letter with their demands for how to protect and strengthen media freedom and independent journalism in Turkey to all candidates in the upcoming presidential elections.

TURKEY: Turkish investigative journalist Öztürk arrested by Istanbul court over links to Gülen movement

SCF: An İstanbul court on Wednesday arrested Ece Sevim Öztürk, a journalist known for her investigative reporting on the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016 in Turkey, the Hürriyet daily reported.

REGIONAL: Courage in Journalism Award given to jailed Kurdish journalist Zehra Doğan

SCF: The Washington-based International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) gave one of this year’s Courage in Journalism Awards to Kurdish journalist and painter Zehra Doğan, who has been in jail since June 2017.

GENERAL: UN Human Rights Council hears call to end persecution of BBC Persian journalists

IFJ: Journalists working at BBC Persian have been subjected to years of harassment and threats, and family members have been detained and banned from travelling. Women journalists have been subjected to a particularly abusive campaign of harassment.

CANADA: 13% of Canadians still pirate content (Paywall)

Media in Canada: The latest report from the Media Technology Monitor analyzes data from 4,000 Canadians, revealing how Netflix and smart speakers are gaining traction nationwide.

CANADA: CBC News Network to reduce live programming for the summer, repeat newscasts

CBC News: CBC has also announced the cancellation of the TV show On The Money due to budget constraints.

CANADA: Ombudsman: Annual Report

CBC/Radio-Canada: CBC’s Office of the Ombudsman for English services releases its annual report.

US: Biases Make People Vulnerable to Misinformation Spread by Social Media

The Conversation via Scientific American: Researchers have developed tools to study the cognitive, societal and algorithmic biases that help fake news spread

US: How front pages around the world showed the separation of immigrant children in the U.S.

Poynter: Here’s how publications around the U.S. and world presented the issue on their Wednesday front pages, from the Newseum.

US: How we know journalism is good for democracy

Local News Lab: Today, even as access to information expands globally, communities across the United States face growing gaps in their access to meaningful local news and information about their neighborhoods.

US: PBS & stations working on first ‘skinny bundle’ OTT agreement (Paywall)

Current: PBS is strategizing with stations on how to package national and local content into an over-the-top “skinny bundle”, potentially creating an entirely new channel for the younger viewers who are willing to pay for live streaming services.

US: PBS updated editorial standards address inclusivity, social media use (Paywall)

Current: Revamped editorial standards for PBS emphasize inclusive content and fine-tune guidelines for the network’s social media messaging.

US: Times under fire for agreeing to White House terms on Miller interview

CRJ: Michael Barbaro, the host of the newspaper’s podcast, The Daily, said at the beginning of the broadcast Tuesday that he would be talking with a reporter about the recent story on Trump’s border policies, but wouldn’t be using audio of the interview with Miller, because the White House objected. Immediately, the questions started flying…

Addressing Local News Poverty: A Bottom-Up Approach Pioneered by Social Entrepreneurs

CIMA:In a new report “The Bottom-Up Media Revolution,” published by the University of Michigan, Michael Gordon and I argue that even as polarization, corporate consolidation, and eroding trust between communities and the media threaten to damage democracy, there are inspiring innovators hard at work repairing it.

Apple Plans to Stream Children’s Shows from Sesame Workshop

The New York Times: In its first foray into children’s programming, Apple announced on Wednesday that it has ordered two shows — one live-action, the other animated — from Sesame Workshop, the maker of “Sesame Street.” In addition, Apple has put a Sesame Workshop series centered on puppets into development.

How the media created “shark hysteria” (Audio)

RNZ: An Australian state inquiry last year heard evidence that media coverage contributed to a high fear of sharks in the public, compared to the actual risk. And now a study by researchers at Charles Sturt University has confirmed shark hysteria seems to have been created by the media. Author and associate professor, Peter Simmons, explains.

Journalist’s resources for reporting on immigration


Journalists share tips for launching a successful freelance career

IJNet: More than 100 people logged into our Slack community for a recent IJNet Live chat about all things freelancing. International freelancers Mridu Khullar Relph, Jacob Kushner, Olivia Crellin and Farahnaz Mohammed answered questions about designing a website, finding freelance opportunities, negotiating rates, developing pitches, collaborating with fellow freelancers and more.

Male journalists ignore female peers on Twitter, study shows

The Guardian: Men’s domination of online political debate leaves women struggling to be heard.

Pleas to release Al Jazeera’s Mahmoud Hussein at IPI congress

Aljazeera: The International Press Institute celebrates the hard work and resilience of journalists while condemning state and non-state actors targeting members of the media, including Egypt’s imprisonment of Mahmoud Hussein.

Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2018


Refugee crisis: the immediate and lasting impacts of powerful images

EJN: Recent images and footage of migrant children housed in wire cages near the United States’ southern border have fuelled global outrage. But apart from driving policy in the short term, do confronting images create change in public perception and willingness to act in relation to refugee issues?

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Header image: Cameraman shooting crowd. Credits: iStock/denizbayram