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

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

BOTSWANA: Botswana’s INK Centre to launch mobile and video first news platform

Jamlab via Medium: INK24 to translate and breakdown centre’s long-form stories into digestible chunks that could be understood by grassroots communities

CAMEROON: Increasing pressure for Cameroonian journalist’s release

RSF: RSF took part in an unprecedented press conference at the French national assembly today to demand the immediate release of Cameroonian journalist Amadou Vamoulké, the former head of state-owned Cameroon Radio & Television (CRTV), who has been held arbitrarily in Yaoundé for more than 30 months.

EGYPT: Sisi bans officials from talking to ‘misleading BBC’ (Paywall)

The Times: An Egyptian media watchdog has ordered a boycott of the BBC for its “politicised and misleading” coverage of political dissent.

ETHIOPIA: A road-map for meaningful media reform in Ethiopia

CIMA: The rapid political opening in Ethiopia over the past year has seen an uptick in journalistic freedom and a sincere effort on the part of the government to foster a robust, independent, and diverse media sphere. To continue this progress, reforms efforts must work to undo the legacies of authoritarianism.

SOUTH AFRICA: Meet the SABC’s 8 newest board members – if Ramaphosa approves

Fin24: The eight candidates who cracked the nod in Parliament to join the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s board are just one step away from having their membership made official.

SOUTH AFRICA: National Assembly approves names for SABC Board

SABC News: The National Assembly has approved the Communications Committee report which recommends eight names of candidates to serve on the SABC Board. The committee brought its report to the House for final approval.

SUDAN: Journalists Protest in Khartoum Over Crackdown of Press Freedoms

VOA: Dozens of journalists marched in Khartoum on Monday to demand an end to a crackdown on press freedom amidst the most sustained challenge to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir since he took power in a 1989 coup.

ZAMBIA: Zambia suspends independent TV broadcaster for 30 days

IPS:  Zambia’s minister of information and broadcasting should grant an appeal requested by the privately owned Prime TV broadcaster and allow the station back on air after the country’s media regulator suspended its license for 30 days for alleged unprofessionalism, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

GENERAL: Governments Increasingly Penalising Critical Journalism in Africa


BANGLADESH: Bangladesh blocks access to Al Jazeera news website

Aljazeera: The Bangladesh government blocked Al Jazeera’s English website hours after it published the results of an investigation.

CHINA: China’s Media Interference Is Going Global, Report Says

TIME: China is actively attempting to influence the global media to deter criticism and spread propaganda, according to a new report.

CHINA: ‘A new world order’: China’s press freedom crackdown poses a threat to int’l democracies, says media watchdog

Hong Kong Free Press: China’s crackdown on press freedom poses a direct threat to democracies worldwide, press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said in a report released on Monday.

INDIA: Disinformation is everywhere in India

The Hindu: It is not only social media that is responsible for it, but also news media and some politicians

INDIA: India Digital News Report

RISJ: New report highlights rise in mobile media use across India, the low level of trust in many news media, concerns about expressing political views and the spread of disinformation.

INDIA: Prasar Bharati survey to gauge demand for sporting events coverage soon

Indian Television: The pubcaster may ink deal with BCCI for home cricket rights on radio

INDONESIA: Fake news spikes in Indonesia ahead of elections

The Guardian: Dozens of posts containing disinformation spread, with fears people may not trust results of a legitimate election.

MYANMAR: Myanmar Supreme Court to hear appeal of jailed Reuters reporters

CPJ: The Supreme Court of Myanmar will hear an appeal by the lawyers of jailed Reuters news agency reporters Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone on March 26, according to a statement from Reuters seen by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

NEPAL: Nepal and the Lurch Toward Digital Authoritarianism

The Diplomat: Nepal risks falling prey to digital authoritarianism.

NORTH KOREA: Propaganda, but with graphics: North Korea’s news bulletins get a makeover

The Guardian: Drab studio backdrops are out and slick new graphics are in as KCTV goes hi-tech.

SOUTH KOREA: South Korea: RSF condemns ruling party’s bashing of journalists

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party for bashing journalists who are critical of President Moon Jae-in’s policies.

THAILAND: ‘Gagged’ Thai media fights for a voice as elections loom

Aljazeera: Restrictive laws have hobbled Thai media since General Prayuth Chan-ocha took control of the government in 2014.

AUSTRALIA: Australia’s big media companies would face breakup under Greens’ ‘blow torch’ policy

The Guardian: Sarah Hanson-Young says party would put ‘public interest journalism and the public good’ ahead of profits

AUSTRALIA: Trauma of news journalism in focus after The Age found responsible for reporter’s PTSD


AUSTRALIA: New Zealand shootings prompt new laws making it illegal to leave violent video on social media platforms

ABC: New laws that would make it illegal for social media companies to leave videos filmed by terrorists on their sites are being drafted by the Federal Government, after the Christchurch shootings threw the debate about social media regulation into the spotlight.

FIJI: Call for tolerance in Fiji amid rise in online hate speech

RNZ: Religious groups, charities and politicians in Fiji are calling for peace and tolerance amid a rise in online hate speech after the Christchurch terrorist attack.

NEW ZEALAND: How Christchurch’s assault has made a mark on our media

RNZ: The attack in Christchurch has forced our news media to rethink the way they work, whose voices they amplify – and why.

NEW ZEALAND: To name or not to name: the evidence


SAMOA: Samoa PM calls parliament media filming ban ‘stupid’

RNZ: Talamua Media reported a press release, from the Office of the Clerk, informed media all video and still cameras are prohibited inside the new Maota Fono during parliament sessions. The new arrangement comes after the new parliament building was opened last week.

CROATIA: As Croatia approaches the EU Council presidency semester in January 2020, Zagreb registers a negative record: it is the only European country where public TV sues its own employees


FRANCE: “France Ô is already being executed” denounces MP Pau-Langevin (French)

Le Figaro: The PS Paris MP George Pau-Langevin today estimated that France O, chain dedicated to the Overseas Territories that  has to disappear from the DTT in 2020, was already being “executed”, while the parliamentary mission charged to think about its future has not yet started.

FRANCE: This fact-checker tripled its audience by listening to its readers and covering the Yellow Vest protests

Poynter: Caught in the middle of the Yellow Vest protests in France, CheckNews found a way to separate fact from fiction by analyzing text, photos and videos sent by its readers.

IRELAND: Why the ‘fake news’ stakes are even higher in Ireland


ITALY: Female journalists quit in protest at Vatican ‘climate of distrust’

The Guardian: Editorial board says Vatican tried to discredit them after they denounced abuse of nuns

MONTENEGRO & SERBIA: EU warns Serbia and Montenegro are backsliding on rule of law as media freedom violations continue

ECPMF: EPs have warned the so-called ’frontrunners’ for EU accession in the Western Balkans – Serbia and Montenegro – that the rule of law must be respected if they are ever to achieve membership of the European Union.

POLAND: TVP targets Lithuania

Broadband TV News: The Polish public broadcaster TVP has signed an agreement with Poland’s foreign ministry to launch a TV channel aimed at ethnic Poles in Lithuania.

SLOVAKIA: CPJ calls on Slovakia not to adopt press law amendment

CPJ: Slovak lawmakers should not pass an amendment to the country’s press law that would expand its right of reply mandate to include politicians and public officials, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today [25 March].

SPAIN: Podemos want to prohibit banks from financing the media (Spanish)

RTVE: They also want to reform the laws so that banks cannot finance electoral campaigns.

SPAIN: PolitiFact partners with Noticias Telemundo to bring fact-checking in Spanish for 2020 election

PolitiFact: The two organizations also will collaborate to translate PolitiFact fact-checks into Spanish for use both online and on TV, including Noticias Telemundo and the broader NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises.

SPAIN: Spanish police shut down large-scale pirate streaming operation

Digital TV Europe: Spain’s National Police has claimed success in what has been described as the largest investigation to-date into a global illegal IPTV streaming business.

SWEDEN: SVT turns to remote production for winter sports coverage

Broadcast Now: EVS live production technology used during coverage of skiing championships

UK: Attenborough to front climate-change film as BBC moves from teach to preach

The Guardian: Film forms part of Our Planet Matters, a season that launches on Sunday and will highlight environmental damage.

UK: BBC chair criticises ‘red tape’ restrictions on iPlayer windowing

Digital TV Europe: The restrictions on the viewing window for content available on the BBC iPlayer form a major barrier to the pubcaster meeting its remit of delivering a universal service as audiences turn to digital platforms.

UK: The BBC and the future of news (Speech)

BBC: Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC gives the Lord Speaker Lecture on Wednesday 20 March 2019.

UK: The end of open: BBC blocks its podcasts on Google


UKRAINE: Is Ukraine’s presidential election threatened by fake news?

Deutsche Welle: Ukrainians are set to elect a new president on March 31. Russian-language fake news has consumed the country’s media landscape. Some fear that this flood of false reports could influence the outcome of the vote.

UKRAINE: Ukraine: Journalists urge presidential candidates to guarantee freedom of speech


GENERAL: Factually: A new fact-checking project in Europe

American Press Institute: A big development in fact-checking this week came in Europe, where 19 news organizations are collaborating on a project called FactCheckEU. They’ll fact-check politicians’ rhetoric and misinformation ahead of the May parliamentary elections.

GENERAL: Polarisation and the news media in Europe (Report)

Reuters Institute: Many people are concerned that the news media is exacerbating a polarisation of people’s attitudes across Europe. This report reviews and summarises the recent available literature connecting polarisation and the news media.

BRAZIL: Bolsonaro is making Brazilian journalists’ jobs more difficult

CPJ: First as a candidate and now in his first months as president, Jair Bolsonaro has made his disdain for the media crystal clear. Ministers, supporters, and his family members have followed his lead by no longer offering interviews, attacking and blocking critical reporters on social media, and calling them out as “fake news.”

BRAZIL: Don’t LAI to me: a newsletter to navigate Brazil’s access to information law

IJNet: Don’t LAI to Me is a newsletter service to educate other journalists. Toledo and his team curate, organize and disseminate examples to provide insight on how professionals in the newsroom can use public information.

COLOMBIA: Juan Ramón Samper hired as manager of RTVC (Spanish)

Kyenyke: With the arrival of the new manager, the Government seeks to strengthen the RTVC Public Media System as a brand and continue its multi-platform expansion.

GENERAL: Quality journalism is the antibiotic for “fake news” (Spanish)

La Voz: The first day of the Ibero-American Journalism Seminar addressed the problem of false news. In the digital age, the challenge is the same: to tell what matters and what is in the public interest.

IRAQ: In Iraqi Kurdistan, journalists are victim of political tension

CPJ: Journalists in Iraqi Kurdistan are under pressure from authorities in the autonomous northern Iraq region, with news outlets shuttered and critical reporters arrested.

TURKEY: Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 17, 2019


CANADA: Canada’s new journalism subsidies will pick winners and hurt startups (Opinion)

NiemanLab: “The program assumes any subject that doesn’t fit its narrow criteria isn’t worthy of support. It speaks to a fundamental misunderstanding of all the important roles that journalism fills in our lives.”

CANADA: Research from Canada suggests journalists’ creed can withstand government support

NiemanLab: Social psychologists have demonstrated a significant link between people’s behavior, their values, and the norms of their milieu, and that they feel rewarded when they act consistently with their beliefs.

US: Alarm over leaked US database targeting journalists and immigration activists

The Guardian: Secret database listed 59 advocates and journalists tied to the migrant caravan, according to leaked documents.

US: A new Spanish-language site in North Carolina focuses on serving Latinx community

Local News Lab: Enlace Latino NC launches email newsletter to inform audience members, build community, and increase readers’ civic involvement.

US: Minnesota’s community radio stations find unique niche for covering arts and culture (Paywall)

Current: Community radio stations in Minnesota have strengthened their arts and culture coverage through a unique state program that provides about $1.5 million annually to subsidize their programming.

US: PBS Statement on Administration’s Proposed Elimination of Federal Funding for Public Media

PBS: Responding to the Administration’s proposal to eliminate federal funding for public media, PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger issued the following statement.

US: ‘Slam and shame the media’: Mueller report sparks backlash against press

The Guardian: Attacks on coverage of Trump-Russia inquiry launch into overdrive as Trump and allies say public was misled.

US: With vast records of police misconduct now public, California news outlets are collaborating instead of competing

NiemanLab: “All Californians have the right to this information. By pooling resources, we can expedite the public’s right to access misconduct and deadly use-of-force materials.”

Apple News Plus is a fine way to read magazines, but a disappointment to anyone wishing for a real boost for the news business

NiemanLab: Few entities have the potential to help improve news production and consumption more than Apple. This falls short of hopes.

Christchurch attacks: the media’s rush to be first causes its own kind of harm

The Guardian: Facebook’s AI may have failed the victims – but humans didn’t do much better

Covering elections: Journalist safety kit

CPJ: CPJ’s Emergencies Response Team (ERT) has compiled a Safety Kit with information for editors, reporters, and photojournalists on how to prepare for elections and how to mitigate digital, physical and psychological risk.

Global media back call for UN to adopt convention on safety of journalists

SEENPM: Representatives from governments in every continent joined the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), journalists unions, editors groups, public broadcasters and media organisations in a united call for the United Nations to take action to tackle impunity by adopting a Convention on the safety and protection of journalists.

Google Introduces New Tools to Help Journalists Fight Fake News

Fortune: On Wednesday, the company unveiled a tool that helps news organizations tag stories that debunk misinformation so that Google News can more easily feature it.

Interactive tools to visualize change, secrets to finding contact information online and a quiz to solve journalism’s vexing issues


Public-powered journalism boosts media trust and newsrooms’ revenue streams

Journalism.co.uk: Media organisations must put audiences before advertisers: “news needs to change to be better, more relevant and more representative”

The New Humanitarian (no longer an acronymed UN agency) wants to move humanitarian crisis journalism beyond its wonky, depressing roots

NiemanLab: “It’s one thing to have been an internal information center for an international NGO. It’s another thing to become a full newsroom, and an independent newsroom at that — it’s not a switch you turn on and off.”

The global rise of Internet sovereignty

Coda Story: China and Russia want the global internet to look more like theirs. Some argue they are beginning to succeed

The stakes of the Mueller report for the media (Opinion)

CJR: Bear with me as I go full meta. Here in the offices of Columbia Journalism Review, we’ve been struggling to figure out how to cover the rumored imminent appearance of the Mueller report.

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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: Radio tower in San Francisco. Credits: Orin Zebest/Creative Commons