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.

CHAD: Day of shutdown for Chadian media outlets in protest against violations of media freedom

Via IFEX: Radio stations were silent and newspapers were missing from newsstands in response to a call by the Union of Chad Journalists (UJT) and other journalists’ associations for a “Daywithout Press” to denounce the attacks on journalists and media by Chad’s political police, called the National Security Agency (ANS), and the regular police.

GAMBIA: West African Court Rules Against Gambia Speech Laws

All Africa: A court of the Economic Community of West African States has found that Gambia’s laws criminalizing speech and its treatment of four journalists during their arrest are a violation of human rights.

GHANA: Government must review language representation on media

Ghana News Agency

KENYA: One Country, Two Leaders and Four Censored TV Channels: Kenya’s Political Crisis Takes a Toll on Human Rights

Global Voices: Elections annulled. Media gagged. A citizen deported. These phrases are easy to find in today’s headlines in Kenya.

LIBERIA: Decriminalise Libel – MFWA Urges New Liberian President


MOROCCO: Morocco detains, summons media workers after publisher held

News24: Moroccan police on Saturday detained a journalist and summoned for questioning two employees from an independent media group, a day after its outspoken publisher was detained, his newspaper said.

NIGERIA: How Journalists in Nigeria are Enhancing Climate and Migration Reporting

ICFJ: A cadre of newly trained journalists from across Nigeria have reached millions of readers and listeners with stories on climate and migration issues affecting their communities, as part of a program to bolster coverage of these critical topics in a part of the world deeply influenced by them.

SIERRA LEONE: The Media and Sierra Leone Elections- The Critical Issues

MFWA: From a relatively peaceful start to electioneering campaigns for the March 7, 2018 general elections, the political atmosphere in Sierra Leone is now deteriorating by the day.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC tunes in with minister

IOL: Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has said progress was being made to amend the Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) for the SABC.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC’s Virtual Academy to assist learners in five critical subjects

BizCommunity: SABC Education recently unveiled its SABC Education Virtual Academy (SEVA), which is aimed at equipping learners with additional resources in five critical learning areas.

SOUTH SUDAN: New UN Report Cites Violations of Rights to Freedom of Opinion and Expression in South Sudan

Via All Africa: Undue restrictions on freedom of expression are having a “chilling effect” and “further shrinking the space for debate and dissent” in war-torn South Sudan, a new United Nations human rights report has revealed.

TUNISIA: Tunisian Security Forces Target Journalists Covering Anti-Austerity Protests

Global Voices: The Tunisian government’s overzealous security response to recent anti-austerity protests has put press freedom in jeopardy.

UGANDA: Parliament defends move to establish own TV, radio station

The Daily Monitor: The Parliament Director for Communication and Public Affairs Chris Obore has defended the move by parliament to establish its own Radio and Television Station.

ZIMBABWE: Omnibus cyber bill muddies fundamental rights

MISA Zimbabwe: The proposed merging of the three cyber bills into one bill as recently announced by the responsible minister could result in the muddying and undermining of other fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.

AFGHANISTAN: Afghan Women Hounded Out of the Media

IWPR: Campaign of intimidation has had devastating effect in Afghan country’s east.

BANGLADESH: “Scrap Draconian Elements of Digital Security Act”

HRW: Cabinet Approves New Law That is Overly Broad and Ripe for Abuse.

CAMBODIA: Government Crackdown: Cambodia’s Media on Edge (report)

IFJ: Over the past year, freedom of expression and independent media in Cambodia has endured ongoing persecution by the country’s government, and radio stations, independent newspapers and international non-government organizations have been forced to close under the guise of not paying taxes or being unregistered.

CHINA: China cracks down on social media pushback against Xi Jinping

CBC News: Chinese President Xi Jinping is now set to rule his country for life, and not everyone is thrilled.

CHINA: China’s media is struggling to overcome its racial stereotypes of Africa


HONG KONG: Easing controls on Hong Kong media is welcome start for all parties (Opinion)

SCMP: As the government has sensibly decided to leave online outlets alone, it is only fair that the traditional industry should be liberalised.

HONG KONG: Proposed changes to media ownership rules may have ‘little impact’ on mainland investment trend, Hong Kong lawmaker says

HKFP: A pro-democracy lawmaker says that the Hong Kong government’s new proposal to relax broadcast media ownership regulations may have little impact on current trends of investment from China.

INDIA: Doordarshan should create quality content, improve revenue generation

India Today: Public broadcaster Doordarshan should create quality content and improve its revenue generation through advertisement, Union Minister Smriti Irani said.

INDIA: TRAI – India submits recommendations on Digital Radio Broadcasting

ABU: The Telecom Regulatory Authority India (TRAI) has submitted its recommendations on Digital Radio Broadcasting in India.

INDONESIA: Indonesia Passes Law to Stop Criticism of Politicians

VoA: While many Indonesians watch for possible changes in the nation’s criminal code, Indonesia’s House of Representatives has quietly passed changes to another law.

JAPAN: 2018 marked by a polarization of trust (Commentary)

The Japan Times: The trust index in Japan hovers at a lowly 37 percent, meaning that just 1 in 3 Japanese have trust in society’s four main institutions — government, media, business and nongovernmental organizations — to do the right thing.

MYANMAR: HRC must address deteriorating environment for free expression

Article 19: At the UN Human Rights Council’s 37th Session, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee will present her annual report to the Council, the first since she was denied access to the country in December 2017.

MYANMAR: Myanmar’s first community radio goes on air

Asia Radio Today: Khayae FM will broadcast programmes on agriculture, livestock breeding, health, education, entertainment and the daily news in Htantabin Township.

NEPAL: Attempts to censor media draw flak

The Kathmandu Post: Various organisations working in the field of human rights, freedom of expression and law have expressed serious concerns over Chief Justice Gopal Prasad Parajuli’s order to Press Council Nepal to probe news reports published by Kantipur daily.

PAKISTAN: Free media and corruption (Editorial)

The Daily Times: Berlin-based anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International has ranked Pakistan 117 out of 180 countries in its annual Corruption Perception Index.

PAKISTAN: Pak media faces undeclared gag: CPJ

The News: An undeclared gag on media is in place in Pakistan as journalists are prone to employ self-censorship while reporting on sensitive subjects.

PHILIPPINES: Crackdown on media, NGOs linked to low global corruption index scores

Rappler: Transparency International says, ‘Given current crackdowns on both civil society and the media worldwide, we need to do more to protect those who speak up’.

SOUTH KOREA: Producer Yang Seung-dong Picked as Final Candidate for KBS Chief

KBS: The board said on Monday that among three shortlisted candidates, Yang scored the highest points from the combined assessment reflecting both the board’s and public views.

GENERAL: DBS 2018 to Feature Special Masterclasses and Workshops Sessions

ABU: Four specialised masterclasses and six workshops on widely discussed topics within the broadcast industry will be part of the showcase during ABU Digital Broadcasting Symposium this year.

AUSTRALIA: A public broadcaster that bows to political pressure isn’t doing its job (Opinion)

Mumbrella: By pulling Emma Alberici’s analysis of the Turnbull government’s tax cuts, the ABC revealed a little too much about the crisis of confidence it’s currently suffering through, writes Johan Lidberg in this crossposting from The Conversation.

AUSTRALIA: ABC launches ABC KIDS listen

ABC: The ABC is excited to announce the launch of ABC KIDS listen, a dedicated kids digital radio station and app for preschoolers and their families.

AUSTRALIA: ABC Managing Director opening statement to Senate, Environment and Communications Legislation Committee

ABC: Statement by ABC Managing Director Michelle Guthrie to the Senate, Environment and Communications Legislation Committee.

AUSTRALIA: The role of public libraries changing to meet digital world’s requirements

ABC News: Libraries are moving away from being quiet, dark places full of dusty books as they struggle to keep pace in a digital world.

NEW ZEALAND: Commission could report directly to Parliament on RNZ, public media funding

Stuff: The Government has proposed a new approach to funding state-owned media organisations as it frets about the financial health of the fourth estate.

SAMOA: Concerns in the Samoas over state of emergency communications

RNZ: Concerns are being raised in the two Samoas about the state of emergency communications and the lack of updates during Cyclone Gita.

TONGA: Tonga’s TBC needs govt help to recover from Gita

RNZ: Tonga’s state broadcaster says it could be a month before the station is back to full operations and it needs government assistance in order to do so.

REGIONAL: Pacific Islands News Association condemns media attacks in Papua New Guinea and Fiji

PINA via IFEX: Incidences of unprovoked attacks, intimidation, threats, verbal abuse and arrest of media workers in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific are on the rise.

AUSTRIA: ORF: Battle cry from the Vice-Chancellor

ECPMF: Austria is in discussion about the “fake news” demonisations from Vice-Chancellor Strache against the ORF moderator, Armin Wolf. More than a personal feud is behind this: the independence of the public broadcaster is at stake.

BALKANS: Amnesty Highlights Continued Rights Failings In Balkans

Balkan Insight: New report by Amnesty International records human rights violations in all Balkan countries, and points to a lack of progress in prosecuting war crimes suspects.

BELGIUM: Belgium Public and Privates Team up in Radioplayer Project

Radio World: Three major media groups to join Radioplayer Worldwide.

FINLAND: Diversity in Finnish media (Listen)

Yle: The third episode of the All Points North podcast features writer and political pundit Maryan Abdulkarim, who explores the thorny issue of diversity in the Finnish media after a media monitoring project suggested there is room for improvement on that score.

FRANCE: French watchdog outlines plans for 4K UHD TV DTT platform

Digital TV Europe: French media regulator the CSA has outlined plans to develop a new digital-terrestrial multiplex that will facilitate the launch of 4K UHD TV channels and other new services.

GEORGIA: Georgian public broadcaster secures amends to broadcasting law

EBU: The Georgian Parliament has approved amendments to the Law on Broadcasting, overturning presidential objections that had put the proposal in jeopardy.

GEORGIA & AZERBAIJAN: Jailed journalist’s appeals rejected as Georgians demand inquiry into his capture

ECPMF: A court hearing has rejected requests from defence lawyers representing Afgan Mukhtarli, the investigative reporter serving a six-year jail term in Azerbaijan.

GERMANY: Germany’s ‘Bild’ falls for hoax, unleashes debate on fake news

DW: German satirical magazine “Titanic” managed to trick German tabloid​ “Bild” into publishing what it considered to be a major political scandal. Now, the hoax has given away to a larger debate on media ethics.

HUNGARY: Orban’s media manipulation exposed

Aljazeera: A look at Orban’s media strategy: Tightly-controlled state media, private outlets owned by government-friendly tycoons.

IRELAND: Forbes warns RTE losses ‘not sustainable’

Independent.ie: RTE director general Dee Forbes has said the broadcaster again expects to make a loss in the current year and described the organisation’s successive deficits as unsustainable.

ISLE OF MAN: Announcement soon on recouping money from the BBC for ‘free’ licence fees for the over-75s

IOM Today: Chief Minister Howard Quayle is set to make an announcement in the next few days on the outcome of talks to recoup the cost of ’free’ TV licences for the over-75s.

NETHERLANDS: Dutch Council for Culture wants levy for content providers such as Netflix, Amazon, Google

Telecompaper: The Dutch Council for Culture wants international streaming video platforms such as Netflix and Amazon to have at least 15 percent of their content aimed at Dutch subscribers, from Dutch-language productions.

SERBIA: Concerted efforts needed to address the legacy of the past, protect media freedoms and ensure inclusive education

Council of Europe: Declaration by Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muižnieks, following a four-day follow-up visit to the country.

SLOVAKIA: Slovakian investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and partner shot dead

EFJ: Kuciak’s reporting focused mainly on allegations of tax evasion and fraud involving high-ranking officials and tycoons. Police commander Tibor Gaspar said this morning that the murder was “most likely related to the investigative work of the journalist”.

SPAIN: Amnesty International accuses Spain of restricting freedom of speech

El País: In its annual report on the state of human rights in countries across the world, Amnesty International has criticized Spain for making excessive terrorism allegations against people expressing a difference of opinion on social media.

SPAIN: The president of RTVE, on his replacement: «I’m going to waste more time than Methuselah» (Spanish)

ABC: The president of RTVE, José Antonio Sánchez , ironized on Tuesday before the parliamentary committee of the public body in the Senate on the inability of political groups to agree on his replacement.

SPAIN: José Antonio Sánchez: “The news programs of TVE have been leaders for 16 months and the only ones that maintain sustained growth” (Spanish)

RTVE: In his opinion, this data “is the certificate of credibility that gives us the best and the most impartial of the meters: the audience”.

SPAIN: TV3 and Catalunya Radio, object of desire of the independentist parties (Spanish)

PrNoticias: The lack of agreement for the formation of the new Government in Catalonia is becoming an endless dance of chairs and rumors. The negotiations between the independence parties for the distribution of the main organs and portfolios are still at full capacity. Among the many pending deals, it is especially important who will become the new president of the Corporació Catalana de Mitjans Audiovisuals (CCMA).

SWITZERLAND: NoBillag – a threat to Europe’s public broadcasting?

ECPMF: In Switzerland, friendships are being threatened by divisive debate surrounding the so-called ‘No Billag’ referendum.

SWITZERLAND: Support wanes for abolition of public broadcast fee

Swissinfo.ch: A proposal to scrap the mandatory licence fee for services of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) has lost more ground, according to a major opinion poll.

UK: BBC launches review of obstacles to women’s progress

The Guardian: Corporation will look at flexible working and returning to work after having children, as it aims for women in half of senior roles.

UK: ‘Community radio breaks down barriers between faith, gender and sexuality’

The Guardian: The government’s plan to roll out small-scale digital licences could price out vital volunteer-run stations from reaching a wider audience.

UK: One million have used BBC voice app, plans children’s services

Broadband TV News: The BBC’s Amazon skill was introduced on Christmas Day to help consumers access the BBC’s live radio stations and broadcast content.

UK: With in-article chat bots, BBC is experimenting with new ways to introduce readers to complex topics

Nieman Lab: “For us, this is a way to let people read and ask questions at their own pace, instead of having them read through long screens of text. Often people aren’t engaged in stories because they haven’t had the right context.”

GENERAL: Measuring the reach of “fake news” and online disinformation in Europe

ECPMF: This fact sheet by RISJ provides top level usage statistics for the most popular sites that independent fact-checkers and other observers have identified as publishers of false news and online disinformation in two European countries: France and Italy

GENERAL: MEPs call for power to tackle ‘vexatious lawsuits’ targeting journalists

The Guardian: Proposed directive would allow journalists to request the expedient dismissal of lawsuits designed to intimidate them.

GENERAL: Public service broadcasting and its contribution to democracy (German)

Deutschlandfunk Kultur: In Switzerland it will soon be decided whether the country will continue to have public service broadcasting. The fee-financed systems are also under attack in other countries. What role do public broadcasters play in democracy?

GENERAL: Trust in traditional media increases across Europe

EBU: While trust in media as a whole may be at an all-time low, a new study by the EBU has shown the public’s trust in traditional media (broadcast and the written press) is actually on the rise.

ARGENTINA: Fact-checking around the world: Inside Argentina’s Chequeado

IJNET: This is the first installment of our series, “Fact-Checking Around the World,” which highlights organizations fighting against misinformation worldwide.

BARBADOS: Disaster Reporting Symposium (Event)

ACM: More than 40 journalists and representatives of regional and international organisations (including PMA) will meet in Barbados on March 2 and 3 when the Association of Caribbean MediaWorkers (ACM) hosts a Disaster Reporting Symposium in the face of last year’s devastating hurricane season.

BRAZIL: Brazilians left waiting for DTT

Rapid TV News: Over 70% of Brazilian households are ready for digital TV, but just over half are actually getting the DTT signal.

BRAZIL: How a local newsroom in Brazil learned to track its impact

IJNET: Less than a year after closing its daily print edition to go all-digital, Brazil’s Gazeta do Povo has made major strides in its efforts to track the impact of its journalism on a societal level.

CARIBBEAN: Caribbean spectrum management could lower costs for broadband services, says the CTU

Capacity Media: The Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) says that once properly managed, licensing the use of spectrum could generate millions of dollars for Caribbean Governments.

ECUADOR: Ecuador internet penetration climbs to 58.3% in 2017

Telecompaper: Ecuador ended 2017 with a total internet penetration of 58.3 percent, according to the latest data from telecommunications ministry Mintel.

ECUADOR: The reform of the Communication Law will be Michelena’s priority at Secom (Spanish)

El Comercio: Andrés Michelena took office this Wednesday, February 21, 2018, as the new national secretary of Communication (Secom). The official assured that, immediately, he will begin a work for the construction of a project of reforms to the Law of Communication (LOC).

HONDURAS: Press advocates warn that social networks and Honduran digital media could be censored if cybersecurity law is approved

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: The Honduran National Congress is discussing the approval of a law that aims to regulate activity and content on the internet, and would obligate website administrators to do the same.

JAMAICA: MAJ Expected To Present More Concerns About Data Protection Bill

The Gleaner: The Media Association Jamaica Limited (MAJ) is decrying the foreseen negative effects under the Data Protection Act related to the gathering and production of journalistic content.

JAMAICA: PAJ Wants Media Exempted From Data Protection Act

The Gleaner: The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) wants the media to be exempted from the provisions of the Data Protection Act.

GENERAL: Graphic artists from Latin America use comic journalism to communicate society’s problems

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas

LEBANON: Lebanon media under fire ahead of elections

Gulfnews: A string of court cases and judicial investigations against Lebanese media figures is testing the country’s reputation as a forum for ideas in a region blanketed by censorship and threats to the press.

SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi Arabia to invest US$64BN in entertainment

Rapid TV News: Saudi Arabia is to invest US$64 billion in its entertainment sector over the next ten years, as part of a programme of reforms backed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

TURKEY: Europe must not abandon the Altans and Turkey’s other jailed journalists

Index on Censorship: Two of Turkey’s most prominent writers, brothers Ahmet and Mehmet Altan, were sentenced to life in prison on Friday 16 February 2018.

TURKEY: In Turkey, draft bill would give new censorship powers to state regulator

CPJ: The Parliamentary Planning and Budget Commission yesterday passed article 73 of the bill, which would require online broadcasters, including YouTube and Netflix Turkey, to be licensed and regulated by the federal TV and radio watchdog RTÜK

CANADA: Public broadcaster music library closing, CD’s to be digitised, destroyed

Radio Canada International: Canada’s public broadcaster CBC (English) and Radio-Canada (French) is going through massive changes.

US: APTS’ Butler says pubcasting has ‘strong case to make for higher appropriation’

Current: Now that Congress has approved raising spending caps for the next two fiscal years, CPB’s annual appropriations request of $445 million may have a better chance of rising as well for the first time in nine years.

US: Fueled by anger, female employees confront NPR Board with questions left unanswered by harassment investigation

Current: Female NPR staffers told board members Thursday that they are angry and their loyalty is being tested as the company reckons with the outcome of an investigation into sexual harassment within its workforce.

US: Internet users attempt to delegitimize journalists and media outlets by sharing false information in midst of Florida shooting

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is concerned by the recent trend of Internet users spreading false information by impersonating journalists and news outlets on social media. The events occurred after a high school shooting in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 people last week.

US: What strategies work best for increasing trust in local newsrooms? Trusting News has some ideas

Nieman Lab: “It’s not so much about gaming Facebook’s algorithm or working with the Facebook changes as much as it is taking advantage of Facebook as a truly social platform.”

Can we keep media literacy from becoming a partisan concept like fact checking?

Nieman Lab

Corruption perceptions index 2017 shows high corruption burden in more than two-thirds of countries (Report)

Transparency International: Analysis of results from Transparency International finds crackdowns on NGOs and media are associated with higher levels of corruption.

‘Election coverage in the digital age’: Sign up now for Knight Center’s next free online course in Spanish (Training)

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: More than 350 million voters in the region will elect new presidents this year and that means big coverage plans and long hours for newsrooms across the Americas.

How buying bots threatens the freedom to inform

RSF: More and more is being revealed about firms that sell fake followers and fake accounts on social networks that can be used, inter alia, to harass journalists or discredit their reporting by disseminating fake content.

In the era of fake news, where have all the fact-checkers gone?

Columbia Journalism Review

Open societies and robust institutions – talking points on how we can fight disinformation (Opinion)


Radio Needs to “Solve for Greater Challenges”

Radio World: Paul Brenner says broadcasters need to reinvent the interface for consuming radio and its content.

When a President Wages War on a Press at Work

RISJ: Journalism has experienced a profound change, Marty Baron, editor-in-chief of the Washington Post, told an audience at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism last week. Reporting has become less influential as audiences appear to prefer showmanship to evidence and some choose to believe false claims over facts, he said.

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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.

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Header Image: SRG-SSR building in Zurich. Credit: Roland zh/Creative Commons.