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...

France 24 breaks audience records on its digital media (French)

France Info: With 240 million videos viewed since the start of the year, the French version of the international news channel has seen its notoriety grow considerably since the Covid-19 crisis.

What we're watching...

A guide to statistics for journalists

RISJ: This Reuters Institute webinar is led by Denise Lievesley, Principal at Green Templeton College and former Director of Statistics at UNESCO. Here, she explores how journalists should best use statistics in their daily jobs.

Global Headlines

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

BENIN: Jail Sentence for Journalist Reduced After Petition

MFWA: Beninois journalist, Ignace Sossou, who has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for reproducing the words of the country’s prosecutor has had his time reduced to 12 months, with half of the term suspended.

BURUNDI: Independent press locked out of Burundi’s presidential election

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the blackout on independent news reporting that will inevitably sully the credibility of today’s presidential election in Burundi, where social media have been disconnected since polls opened this morning.

EGYPT: Egypt arrests 11 accused of ‘fabricating’ content for Al Jazeera

Middle East Eye: Ministry of Interior claims information for documentary on Egypt’s Sinai region was contrived in exchange for money. 

EGYPT: Egypt steps up crackdown on journalists as world celebrates press freedom

Al-Monitor: As the world celebrated World Press Freedom Day, journalists in Egypt were being subjected to an arrest campaign by Egyptian security forces, while the authorities banned the use of pseudonyms.

ETHIOPIA: Ethiopian police ignore court orders to free journalists held since March

CPJ: Ethiopian police should immediately and unconditionally free journalists Dessu Dulla and Wako Nole and media worker Ismael Abdulrzaq, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

LIBERIA: Two Ex-Press Union Leaders Red Flag Violations Against Journalists

Via All Africa: Two former leaders of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) have expressed alarm about the growing violation of freedom of speech and human rights in Liberia.

KENYA: Kenya Gets Its First Free-To-Air Children TV

Via Broadcast Media Africa: Akili Kids – a TV channel from Kenyan based Akili Network has debuted as the first dedicated kids-only free-to-air TV channel in the country. The promoters have described it as the children TV content network packed with “imaginative learning programmes to be trusted by parents and beneficial to the children.

MALAWI: MHRC accuses Macra of being lenient towards MBC, harsh on Malawi private media

Nyasa Times

MOZAMBIQUE: Mozambique government repeals decree setting absurd media fees 

MISA: MISA Mozambique welcomes the decision of the Council of Ministers to repeal decree no. 40/2018, which sets fees and fines due for licensing services, renewal, registration, advertising inserts by the print, radio and television media, including digital platforms, as well as accreditation and accreditation of journalists and national and foreigners correspondents, and autonomous collaborators, in Mozambique.

SENEGAL: Senegal TV uses soap to fight coronavirus

France 24: Senegal’s latest TV drama star is a fictional doctor who provides coronavirus advice — a far cry from characters in the West African country’s usual fare of infidelity-themed soap operas.

SIERRA LEONE: Media Fraternity Rejects Burdensome Conditions for Accreditation to Cover Parliament

MFWA: In what the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) considers as an attempt to impose a new licensing regime for journalists, the Parliament of Sierra Leone has introduced burdensome conditions for accreditation to cover the House.

SOUTH AFRICA: Analysis of COVID-19 Media Coverage (Research – PDF)

Media Monitoring Africa

SOUTH AFRICA: e.TV South Africa Probably First In Africa To Do National News Broadcast From-Home!

Broadcast Media Africa: As the eMedia Investments offices in Cape Town, South Africa became shuttered following the Covid-19 related death of a cameraman and resulting quarantining of most staff; it became necessary for the show to go on, elsewhere.

SOUTH AFRICA: MPs applaud SABC for COVID-19 coverage

SABC News: Members of Parliament have applauded the SABC for its role in the coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and for turning the company around.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC to ask government for budget review due to COVID-19

SABC News: The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) says it will ask government for a review of its budget for this financial year, due to an expected steep shortfall in revenue as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

TANZANIA: Media services act now put to ‘validity test’

Daily News: The Media Services Act, 2016 is put to another test on the validity of some provisions following a move by Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) and two other human rights bodies to seek the intervention of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) Appeals Division.

TUNISIA: Tunisian associations condemn latest Parliamentary move to control the Media, in violation of the law

IFEX: The signatory associations warn against the dangers of this initiative to amend the law. It constitutes a new episode in a long-running soap opera, intended to make the media landscape more chaotic, and subject to domination by certain parties and political and financial pressure groups.

ZAMBIA: ‘Leave the media alone’ (Comment)

Zambia Watchdog: Press freedom and freedom of expression under the PF 

REGIONAL: Guaranteeing the Safety of Journalists: West African Experts Share Perspectives (Watch)

MFWA: In times of crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the media, and in effect journalists, are a lifeline for citizens. They serve as critical avenues and channels for the provision of needed public health education and information that help people to stay healthy and safe. At the same time, they help hold governments accountable on how they respond to the crises and how they utilise resources meant for tackling the crises.

GENERAL: Regional governments intensify crackdowns on media during Covid-19 

MISA: As the continent commemorates Africa Day on 25 May 2020, it is worrying that the majority of Southern African countries, typical of fragile states, are taking advantage of the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus to tighten their grip on power.

AFGHANISTAN: Afghan journalists demand press freedom

The News International: Press freedom needs to be a key part of the Taliban peace deal if Afghanistan wants to avoid losing nearly 20 years of improvements for the media, journalists say.

BANGLADESH: Bangladesh using controversial law to ‘gag media, free speech’

Al Jazeera: At least 20 journalists in Bangladesh have been charged or arrested under the controversial Digital Security Act (DSA) in the past month, raising concerns about free speech in the South Asian nation.

CHINA & HONG KONG: Beijing’s “national security” measures threaten Hong Kong’s journalists

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) denounces Beijing’s decision to impose “national security” measures on Hong Kong that will endanger journalists and press freedom in the special administrative region, which is supposed to be autonomous until 2047.

CHINA, HONG KONG & UK: Chinese state TV broke Ofcom rules with biased Hong Kong coverage

The Guardian: CGTN could face fine in UK for failing to represent anti-Beijing viewpoints during protests.

HONG KONG: HK Public Broadcaster Suspends Satirical Show After Government Reprimand 

VOA: Hong Kong’s freedom of speech has suffered fresh setbacks after public broadcaster Radio Television Hong Kong was reprimanded by the government and forced to suspend a satirical show and apologize for allegedly insulting the police.  

INDIA: Backstory: When Storms and Pandemics Create Overlapping Human Disasters, What Should the Media Do? (Opinion)

The Wire: Here’s an equation that more or less sums up the latest news cycle for a significant section of the Indian media: CYCLONE AMPHAN + COVID 19 = PILLARS DISCOVERED IN RAM MANDIR SITE.

INDIA: Indian FM radio sector needs Rs 3 billion package to stay alive

Asia Radio Today: India’s cash-strapped private FM radio sector has sent and SOS to the government, seeking an immediate economic survival package to save the industry.

MALAYSIA: Journalists demand equal access to cover parliament

IFJ: Journalists from non-government owned media outlets were barred from covering Malaysia’s lower-house parliamentary proceedings May 18. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the National Union of Journalists Malaysia (NUJM) urge the parliament to give equal access to all journalists.

MYANMAR:  Myanmar news editor sentenced to 2 years in jail over COVID-19 report

CPJ: Myanmar authorities should immediately release jailed news editor Zaw Ye Htet and stop using vague and abusive laws against journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

NEPAL: Is Nepali media failing to abide by ethical journalistic standards in its quest for clicks and breaking news?

The Kathmandu Post: Media outlets, both old and new, must abide by fair and ethical reporting, along with verification of information, while reporting the news especially in the time of a pandemic, observers say.

PAKISTAN: ‘Protests will continue until MSR is released’: Demonstrations held on first day of Eid-ul-Fitr

The News: Journalists, civil society, and politicians on Sunday (24 May)— the first day of Eid-ul-Fitr — continued their protest against the illegal arrest of Jang Geo Media Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

PHILIPPINES: ABS-CBN employees petition House to grant network new franchise

Rappler: The petition, which got over a million signatures in just day, is launched days before the House hearing on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal bills

PHILIPPINES: Asia Pacific: Journalist unions speak out against ABS-CBN shutdown

IFJ: Journalist unions and representative organisations in the Asia Pacific are disturbed by the “cease and desist” order that forced Philippines broadcaster ABS-CBN broadcast to shut down in early May. 

PHILIPPINES: Critics go after ABS-CBN in House franchise hearing

ABS-CBN: Critics of ABS-CBN Corp on Tuesday called on Congress to reject its application for a new operating franchise, accusing the shuttered broadcast network of violating tax and labor laws.

PHILIPPINES: House to decide on new ABS-CBN franchise ‘by August’ – Cayetano

Rappler: The House committee on legislative franchises will resume its hearings on the ABS-CBN franchise bill on May 26. 

SOUTH KOREA: Long-running TV programs disappear into history on new media trend

The Korea Herald: In recent years, many famous TV shows that had lasted around 20 years at public TV stations like KBS and MBC have disappeared into history amid changes in the media landscape.

SOUTH KOREA: Unification ministry launches ‘fake news response’ section on official website 

YONHAP NEWS AGENCY: South Korea’s unification ministry has launched a new section on its website featuring “fake news” as part of efforts to prevent the spread of groundless rumors about North Korea and inter-Korean affairs.

VIETNAM: Vietnam arrests two leading members of independent journalists group

RSF: The two arrests were made two days apart. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) demands the immediate release of the two journalists arrested and calls on business partners from Hanoi, the EU and the United States in the lead, to press for an end to this new campaign of repression.

REGIONAL: How Central Asia’s Authoritarian Regimes Are Using Coronavirus to Their Advantage

The Wire: Censorship, repression and disinformation have characterised Central Asian responses to COVID-19.

AUSTRALIA: Australian media closures spark fears important local stories will not be told

ABC News: In the last 18 months more than 150 newsrooms around Australia have closed down…

AUSTRALIA: Australian TV networks in Pacific push amid China fears

The Sydney Morning Herald: Popular Australian shows like Neighbours, Masterchef and The Voice will be beamed into Pacific countries as part of a Morrison government push to counter the rapid rise of Chinese media in the region.

AUSTRALIA:  Journalists face trial over Cardinal Pell sex abuse case

Deutsche Welle: A Melbourne court banned media from reporting details of a historic sex abuse case involving Cardinal George Pell. Dozens of journalists now face charges for allegedly breaching that order.

AUSTRALIA: SBS weighs up whether to pause wage increases

The Sydney Morning Herald: SBS is considering whether to enforce a six month freeze on wage increases following a request from the Australian Public Service commissioner last month. 

AUSTRALIA: Union says government proposal for ABC wage freeze threatens broadcaster’s independence

The Guardian: Broadcaster’s managing director, David Anderson, tells staff he will take a 5% pay cut due to budgetary pressures.

AUSTRALIA: What happens behind the scenes producing the ABC Coronavirus Australia live news blog

ABC News: During a frantic shift curating rapidly unfolding news on the coronavirus crisis, sourcing information for inquiring readers and dishing up some occasional light relief with an amusing GIF, ABC News blogger Sophie Meixner came across a particularly curly question.

FIJI: FBC TV to benefit from Australia initiative

FBC News: The Fijian Broadcasting Corporation is part of television providers in the Pacific, which will have access to more Australian television content. This is through the PacificAus TV initiative delivered by Free TV Australia.

NEW ZEALAND: Lights! Camera! Action! NZ On Air productions return to set under new health and safety measures

NZ On Air: The local screen production sector is kicking back into action this week, with newly issued ScreenSafe guidelines ensuring the health and safety of all cast and crew.

NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand media group Stuff to be sold to chief executive Sinead Boucher for NZ$1

The Guardian: Boucher – who has plans for a staff ownership model – says the acquisition gives the company ‘a chance to do things differently’. 

NIUE: Fire-hit Niue broadcaster gets creative ahead of election

RNZ: Niue’s public broadcaster is racing to get back on air in time for the island’s election on Saturday. A fire at the BCN’s offices last week destroyed the TV studios and editing suite, and seriously damaged the radio studios.

REGIONAL: ‘Neighbours is irrelevant to most islanders’: Pacific experts criticise Australian TV initiative

The Guardian: Entertainment shows in the government’s $17m PacificAus TV program will not ‘deepen the connection’ with the Pacific region, critics say.

GENERAL: Australian watchdog says media could ‘boycott’ Google and Facebook to force them to pay for news

The Guardian: ACCC suggests that preventing digital giants from using news could be a way of ensuring they share ad revenue.

BELGIUM: How does VRT make fiction in corona times? (Dutch)

VRT: Due to the corona measures, many television productions have now come to a standstill, and it has now become clear that the corona situation will continue for a long time to come. As a public broadcaster, the VRT assumes its pioneering role and investigates how recordings for fiction and other programs can be safely restarted.

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: Bringing reliable information during COVID-19 is a joint effort in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Free Press Unlimited: Journalists in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been facing many challenges since the start of the pandemic. They have been prevented from attending press conferences, attacked by policemen and are facing huge financial losses. However, they are finding support from unexpected places, and continue to have a strong ally in the journalists’ association, BH Novinari.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Czech Republic: Coronavirus and the media

EJO: Czechs seeking reliable information about the pandemic have been turning to trusted news brands, with the result that the public broadcaster and other quality media outlets have enjoyed something of a “corona bump”.

FINLAND: Merja Ylä-Anttila: Yle is common to everyone and unique to everyone (Finnish)

Yle: Yle will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2026. The new strategy creates a bright outlook to take public service media strong and renewed into the next century.

FRANCE: Private radio stations request temporary suspension of advertising on Radio France (French – Paywall)

Le JDD: 180 private radio stations are requesting the temporary suspension of public service advertising. With the coronavirus crisis and the fall in advertising revenues, 38% of independent radio stations say they are threatened in the short term.

GERMANY: ARD creates new joint cultural offerings under the leadership of the MDR (German)

ARD: Cooperation agreed with ZDF and Deutschlandradio / ARD Chairman Buhrow: “Digital home for culture enthusiasts”

GERMANY: German media minister supports broadcasting fee increase despite Covid-19 crisis

Telecompaper: The German Minister of State for Culture and the Media, Monika Grutters, has defended a possible increase in the broadcasting fee, Heise Online reports. Grutter said that “political interventions are likely to damage the reputation of public service broadcasting”.

GERMANY: Together for more diversity (German)

ARD: This year, the ARD is also involved in the 8th Diversity Day on May 26, 2020, thus setting an example for diversity, participation, fairness and respect. The nationwide day of action was initiated by the Diversity Charter. 

GERMANY: Victory for press freedom in Germany: Global mass surveillance ruled unconstitutional

EFJ: Today (19 May), the German Federal Constitutional Court has declared the monitoring of worldwide Internet traffic by the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) to be unconstitutional. The ruling says that the BND is bound by the fundamental rights of the Basic Law when conducting telecommunications surveillance of foreigners in other countries, and it violates the fundamental right to privacy of telecommunications (Art. 10(1) of the Basic Law, Grundgesetz – GG) and the freedom of the press (Art. 5).

GREECE: Greek Media Criticised for COVID-19 Coverage (Paywall)

Balkan Insight: Questions are being asked of Greek media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and the government response.

IRELAND: RTÉ sought emergency funding from Government due to Covid-19

The Irish Times: State-owned broadcaster RTÉ sought emergency funding from the Government as a result of a decline in licence fee income due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the organisation forecasting a possible €118 million fall in revenues.

ITALY: Rai: Board of Directors approves draft financial statements

Rai: The Rai Board of Directors, chaired by Marcello Foa, examined and approved – unanimously – the draft financial statements as at 31 December 2019 illustrated by the Chief Executive Officer Fabrizio Salini. 

NORWAY: This year’s summer TV from NRK: The summer car minute by minute (Norwegian)

NRK: This summer, NRK will do as most Norwegians do: We travel on road holidays in our own country! Viewers are invited on a road trip that spans six weeks through summer Norway, minute by minute.

POLAND: Analysis: public media takes centre stage (Opinion)

Poland In: The row over the decision by the management of public radio station “Trojka” has led to a debate over public broadcasting and how it relates to political life. And it has made a song that was at the centre of the controversy one of the best known in Poland.

POLAND: Jacek Kurski to return to TVP

Broadband TV News: TVP’s former president Jacek Kurski is set to return to the Polish public broadcaster just over two months after his dismissal.

POLAND: Warsaw faces the music as Polish pop song ignites censorship row (Paywall)

Financial Times: Alleged suppression of track that obliquely criticises ruling party leader triggers debate over media freedom.

SLOVENIA: Public broadcaster praised for doing good job during epidemic

STA: The programme council of RTV Slovenija held its first session in the new line-up on Monday, dedicating most of the session to reviewing and assessing the public broadcaster’s work during the coronavirus epidemic. They praised all employees for the job done.

SPAIN: Notes and readings of the pandemic: the media (Spanish – Blog)

Teledetodos: Information saturation, infodemia, informational approaches, requests for help for exercising a public function…. We are living in critical days when the quantity and quality of the information we consume is decisive for our personal and collective response to the pandemic.

SPAIN: Rosa María Mateo defends the independence of RTVE in the Senate and asks that its provisionality be resolved (Spanish)

RTVE: The sole provisional administrator of RTVE, Rosa María Mateo, has defended this Tuesday during her appearance in the Senate forcefully, the information neutrality of the Corporation. ” RTVE is a public, but non-governmental, means of communication and enjoys total autonomy,” she  said after being asked about possible collaboration between RTVE and the government to discredit the opposition.

SPAIN: RTVE approves its de-escalation plan (Spanish)

RTVE: RTVE has published today its  de-escalation plan by means of which it starts the normalization process of normal production  after the exceptional measures adopted as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

SPAIN: RTVE condemns the attacks on TVE professionals suffered in some of the protests against confinement (Spanish)

RTVE: The RTVE management regrets and condemns the aggressions suffered by TVE professionals in the street casseroles of Madrid and Zaragoza. Some facts that add to other aggressions previously suffered against RTVE professionals, while they were doing their job: to report freely, a fundamental pillar of a democratic state.

SWEDEN: Corona pandemic – a spring for the experts (Swedish)

SVT: Shades, a new spring for experts and subjects that may take longer. The Corona pandemic holds great opportunities for journalism.

SWEDEN: #srfrukost May 28: When the crisis came – about how media handles the corona virus reporting (Swedish)

Sveriges Radio: Welcome to a digital, live broadcast #srfrukost that raises questions about how well the media reporting on the corona virus meets the citizens’ need for knowledge. 

SWITZERLAND: How the Swiss have navigated crisis (mis)communication during Covid-19

Swiss Info: From red and pink posters in public squares to ministers’ frequent appearances on the nightly news, officials in Switzerland have worked hard to gain control of communication about the pandemic. Has effective messaging helped flatten the curve?

UK: BBC director general candidate accused in phone-hacking case

The Guardian: The former senior newspaper executive Will Lewis, on the shortlist to be the next director general of the BBC, has been accused of playing a part in the concealment and destruction of vast amounts of emails relating to phone hacking by the publisher of the Sun and News of the World, according to high court documents made public on Wednesday.

UK: BBC Three could return as an on-air channel

BBC News: The BBC is considering the case for bringing back BBC Three as a regular TV channel, four years after it was taken off air and moved online.

UK: Lord Hall: People have turned to BBC ‘in their droves’ during pandemic (Watch)

BBC News: People have “turned to the BBC in their droves” in recent weeks, according to the BBC’s director general.

UK: Threats against journalists in Northern Ireland must stop

ECPMF: Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners, press freedom and freedom of expression organisations, journalists’ organisations, journalists and media workers condemn threats against journalists in Northern Ireland.

REGIONAL: EU data protection rules abused to censor media

EU Observer: Two years after its launch and the EU’s data protection rules have been used to muzzle journalists in Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia, according to new research.

REGIONAL: School TV is making a huge comeback during the corona crisis (Danish)

Nordvision: Nordic public service stations report a marked increase in interest and multiple viewership. At NRK, tuition broadcast on regular flow dimmed the use of the TV, which was otherwise collapsed because everyone logged on at the same time. And many young children do not have a computer.

GENERAL: The gender challenge: how media needs to get to all things being equal

EURACTIV: The lockdown brought about by COVID-19 has exacerbated issues such as the rise in domestic labour for women. That’s why gender equality needs our attention now more than ever. In the media sector, we must be bold in our efforts to close the gap.

BRAZIL: Public note: censorship in SBT is a serious violation of the right to communication (Portuguese)

FENAJ: Despite being a private group, SBT operates a television channel that is a public concession and, therefore, is subject to the fulfillment of very clear legal obligations. The information that the main SBT newscast, SBT Brasil, was banned in this Saturday’s edition (23 May), is extremely serious. 

COLOMBIA: 20 years of impunity for those responsible for the crimes of Jineth Bedoya Lima (Spanish)

FLIP: For 20 years, journalist Jineth Bedoya Lima has fought tirelessly to access justice in relation to the facts of kidnapping, torture and sexual violence of which she was a victim on May 25, 2000. The few advances are the result of her struggle as Victim and two decades are a sufficient period for the State to investigate, prosecute, and punish those responsible, however in this case impunity persists. 

ECUADOR: Executive proposes that only three public media remain after the purge (Spanish)

El Universo: From 2013 to 2019 the company Public Media received government contributions of about $ 184 million. In that period there was no year that generated a return.

ECUADOR: Workers protest the closure of public companies in Ecuador due to the crisis (Spanish)

CNN: Dozens of workers at seven public companies in Ecuador that will be liquidated by the government, due to the economic crisis deepened by the coronavirus, have come to protest daily since Wednesday… including workers at the country’s public broadcaster. 

EL SALVADOR: Government of El Salvador attacks institutionality and freedom of the press, according to the US (Spanish)

ESlavador.com: A State Department document sent to the United States Congress authorizes continued cooperation with El Salvador, but warns of dangerous conduct for the rule of law.

HAITI: ‘Never-Ending Battle’ for Press Rights in Haiti

VOA: Violent protests in which journalists were injured, attempts to intimidate or threaten reporters investigating wrongdoing, and the killing of a radio journalist have damaged Haiti’s press freedom credentials. Haiti experienced the single largest decline for press freedom in the Reporters Without Borders 2020 Press Freedom Index.

MEXICO: Mexican newspaper owner Jorge Armenta shot and killed in Sonora

CPJ: At about 2 p.m. on May 16, a group of unidentified men opened fire on journalist Jorge Miguel Armenta Ávalos and two police officers who accompanied him as bodyguards while they were leaving a restaurant in the town of Cajeme, in the northern Mexican state of Sonora, according to news reports. Armenta and one of the police officers died at the scene, and a second officer was rushed to a hospital and is in serious condition. 

VENEZUELA: Censorship scandal in Venezuela by Nicolás Maduro: 200 media closed since 2004 (Spanish)

Nuevo Dia: The departure of DirecTV from the country led by Nicolás Maduro again exposed the president’s censorship practices against journalism, which closed radios, television channels, newspapers, and news sites.

REGIONAL: Press Freedom Under Attack in Latin America, Experts Say (Watch)

VOA: Latin American leaders are trying to discredit journalists by accusing them of disseminating fake news or being elitist and out of touch, media rights experts say.

GENERAL: COVID-19 pandemic forces Latin American journalism professors to adapt curriculum and learning tools to teaching online

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: Latin America reported its first case of COVID-19 in late February, a timeframe that coincided with the start of the academic year. The global pandemic took universities by surprise, and journalism professors across the region were called to adapt to it. With the suspension of in-person classes, many journalism professors migrated their courses to online platforms since there was no short-term prospect of returning to the classrooms.

GENERAL: ‘Women, Power and Media:’ New online course on newsroom leadership offered by Knight Center and Chicas Poderosas. (Opportunity)

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: The Knight Center and Chicas Poderosas are teaming up for a free massive online course in Spanish on leadership for women in media and journalism. The six-week course, “Women, Power and Media: A Leadership Course for Journalists” (Mujer, Poder y Medios: un curso de liderazgo para periodistas), runs from June 22 to Aug. 2, 2020. Registration is open now!

IRAN: Coronavirus: Under lockdown, Iranians turn to Instagram for taboo-breaking content

Middle East Eye: For better or for worse, the social network has become an outlet for young Iranians to discuss sexuality out of the reach of the state’s moral restrictions

IRAN: Iran Jails Critical Journalist For ‘Spreading Propaganda’

Radio Liberty: Iranian journalist Nejat Bahrami has started serving a one-year prison sentence this week, in what the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called another step by authorities to “muzzle” the press. 

IRAQ: Iraqi journalists struggle against political pressure over protest movement

Middle East Eye: Journalist Ali Jawad had his wages docked after posting about anti-government demonstrations on social media. On 5 March the director of the Iraqi Media Network – which own Al-Iraqiya – issued a statement asking the finance department to cut off salaries for two journalists, Jawad and his colleague Ahmed Abdulhussein.

IRAQ: Media outlets demand action after protesters storm Baghdad studios

Arab News: Journalists in the Middle East have condemned an attack by supporters of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), who broke into the offices of the Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC) in Baghdad on Tuesday, causing “severe damage” to the bureau’s studios and other facilities.

SAUDI ARABIA: Jamal Khashoggi’s son says family have ‘pardoned’ his killers

Middle East Eye: The son of Jamal Khashoggi said early on Friday that the family of the slain Saudi journalist had “pardoned” his killers, opening the door for commuting the death sentence for suspects convicted of the murder.

TURKEY: IPI renews call on Turkey to release journalists amid pandemic

IPI: The International Press Institute (IPI) today reiterated its call on Turkish authorities to release journalists from prison who were excluded from the most recent parole law passed in April. The parole law enabled the immediate release of up to 90,000 inmates in order to relieve overcrowded prisons during the pandemic.

TURKEY: New banking regulations threaten press freedom in Turkey

Al-Monitor: Recent measures seeking to limit damaging information on the financial system pose new threats to press freedom in Turkey.

TURKEY: Regulators gradually imposing official line monopoly on Turkey’s media

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns an increase in harassment of independent media outlets and “recalcitrant” journalists in Turkey by the leading state entities responsible for media regulation and control, to the point that the government’s viewpoint could soon have a monopoly in the media.

REGIONAL: The right to information in the Arab World and the Middle East (French)

IFJ: On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the world’s leading professional organization, published a report on the legislation governing the right to information and cybercrime in the Arab world and the Middle East.

GENERAL: Staying ahead of the competition with an effective OTT strategy (Opinion)

BroadcastPro ME: Subscriptions to VOD services globally are expected to top 947m by 2024, leaving content owners and licensors considering the many paths to executing their OTT experiences. 

CANADA: Canada not immune to the virus of COVID-19 conspiracies (Opinion)

CBC News: Credible journalism, fact checks by reputable news organizations offer a ‘cure’ to the misinformation epidemic.

CANADA: Canadian Journalism Foundation announces Kathy English as new Board Chair

Via Cision: The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) is pleased to announce Kathy English, public editor of the Toronto Star, as its new Board of Directors chair, replacing David Walmsley, editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail, effective June 1, 2020.

CANADA: CBC/Radio-Canada programming updates – May 22

CBC/Radio-Canada: To help Canadians through the current COVID-19 situation, CBC/Radio-Canada is delivering special access to content across all of its platforms, including trusted news and information to stay informed, educational resources for kids and parents, and a wide variety of programming to keep Canadians entertained when they need a break.

US: Americans Who Rely Most on White House for COVID-19 News More Likely to Downplay the Pandemic

Pew Research Center: Among five groups of news consumers examined for this report, one group clearly stands out: Americans who rely most on President Donald Trump and the White House coronavirus task force for news about COVID-19. 

US: CPB Highlights COVID-19 Public Media Services to Local Communities

CPB: The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has launched a new website showcasing the extraordinary response of local public media stations during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic as they provided vital education, information content and services to America’s communities. 

US: How small public radio stations are handling the pandemic (Paywall)

Current: The coronavirus pandemic is putting even more pressure on small public radio newsrooms to produce timely coverage while facing new budgetary challenges. 

US: PBS Earns 18 Daytime Emmy® Nominations (Press Release)

PBS: On May 21, 2020, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) announced the nominees for the 47th Annual Daytime Emmy® Awards. PBS and PBS KIDS programs received 18 nominations and APT (American Public Television) earned 10 nominations, for a combined total of 28 nominations for public media. The awards honor programming distributed during the 2019 calendar year.

US: Stations expand pandemic coverage with boost from Facebook grants

Current: Zoom memberships. Expanded Spanish-language programming. Boom poles. Around 50 public media stations are making a wide variety of purchases and investments after receiving nearly $2 million in grants from Facebook to weather financial challenges caused by COVID-19.

US: ‘Unarmed Black Man’ Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means (Opinion)

NPR: When journalists write or broadcast these words — “unarmed black man”— what do you hear? It’s a phrase that has become pervasive in the American news media, including on NPR’s airwaves and in its digital news stories.

International public service media have played an essential role in the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic (Joint Statement)

CBC/Radio-Canada: Since the beginning of the global health crisis linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, our international public service media have recorded strong audience increases, illustrating the confidence of global audiences in the reliable and independent information they deliver on television, radio and digital media, in a large number of languages, on all continents. 

The Rise of Internet Throttling: A Hidden Threat to Media Development (Report)

CIMA: An increasing number of governments around the world are forcing internet service providers to slow their services during critical sociopolitical junctures—a practice known as throttling—infringing on citizens’ right to information and freedom of expression.

The pandemic and the information network

CJR: IN THE STORY of the novel coronavirus, there are two viruses: the virus as it really exists and the virus as we understand it. The former changes rarely. The latter is changing all the time.

Top editors alarmed by media cuts in EU and beyond

EU Observer: The pandemic slowdown is strangling quality journalism, but that suits some governments, leading European and international editors have said.

Where Trust In The Media’s COVID-19 Coverage Is Highest & Lowest Around The World [Infographic]

Forbes: COVID-19 has proven something of a mixed blessing for media outlets with some experiencing surging audience figures while others are struggling to stay afloat as advertising revenue evaporates.

“We shouldn’t address this communication emergency without also relying on communications research expertise” (Opinion)

Reuters Institute: Here are the opening remarks by Rasmus Nielsen at an ICA conference panel on COVID-19 and communication scholarship. 

With all norms up for debate, news production and consumption must keep up (Opinion)

Ethical Journalism Network

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: Students Experimenting With Video Software stock photo. Credit: TommL/iStock