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.

CAMEROON: Cameroonian journalists face ban on political reporting

IJNet: Journalists in the central African country of Cameroon are in a quandary about how to fight a government ban on political reporting in the run-up to the March 25 senatorial elections.

DRC: DRC intelligence agents shut down TV channel in Bukavu

RSF: RTVGL has been off the air since 2 March, when around ten members of the National Intelligence Agency (ANR) raided its headquarters and disconnected its broadcast signal.

EGYPT: Journalists discredited, censored and jailed under Egypt’s Sisi

RSF: Four years after Sisi got himself elected president with 96.9% of the vote, he is about to be reelected at the head of a country that is now muzzled, a country in which the media are the new enemy.

ETHIOPIA: Ethiopia re-arrests recently freed politicians, journalists

AP News: Ethiopian security forces have re-arrested a number of recently freed politicians and journalists as they gathered for a social event outside the capital, Addis Ababa, with family and friends, a lawyer said Monday.

GAMBIA: Broadcasters Association of the Gambia Launched

Via All Africa: The main objective of the association is to promote and protect the interest of private and independent broadcasters as well as to advocate for orderly and dynamic development of the broadcasting sector.

KENYA: How a Kenyan reality TV show about journalism became a social media phenomenon

EJC via Medium: Groundbreaking approach to media literacy that entertains as it informs.

KENYA: When Reporting the News Causes Trauma

Internews: Targeted and harassed by officials and opposition groups, journalists in Kenya decry lack of psycho-social support services in newsrooms.

LIBERIA: Press Union of Liberia: Tolerance of Media Volatile Under George Weah Government

Front Page Africa: President George Weah’s outburst against BBC Liberia correspondent Jonathan Paye-Layleh, accusing him of undercutting his (President Weah’s) struggle for human rights in Liberia undermines his promise to protect freedom of the press and expression.

NIGERIA: BBC opens new bureau in Lagos, Nigeria

Screen Africa: The BBC has officially opened its new bureau in Lagos, home to three new services in Igbo, Pidgin, and Yoruba. The bureau boasts a new state-of-the-art TV studio and two radio studios and can house up to 200 people.

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.

SOUTH AFRICA: Labour unions threaten SABC with legal action over ‘changes’ at news division

The Citizen: The union also demands that findings of an investigation into ‘corruption at News Editing’ be made public.

SOUTH AFRICA: New SABC Board Warned Not to Go Down Same Path As Former Structure

Via All Africa: The SABC board has been warned not to follow the same route as the previous board when it appeared before the Portfolio Committee on Communications on Tuesday.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC top brass to meet disgruntled unions over planned changes

News24: The SABC’s acting CEO Nomsa Philiso is planning to meet unions to discuss proposed changes at the public broadcaster that have upset many staff members, SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said on Friday.

ZAMBIA: Zambia’s govt vows to address digital migration scandal

IT Web Africa: Mounting pressure related to corruption allegations over Zambia’s digital migration project has forced the government to source a new public signal distributor.

CHINA: Censorship, surveillance, and harassment: China cracks down on critics

CPJ: Censorship is not new in China, but in recent months the country has increased its grip, regulating tools such as virtual private networks (VPNs) that can bypass the country’s infamous firewall, issuing lists “of “approved” news outlets, and disbarring lawyers who represent jailed journalists.

CHINA: China merges state radio and television networks to create ‘Voice of China’

Asia Radio Today: China is merging three of its state-run national networks – China National Radio, China Radio International and China Central Television (CCTV), to form one mega broadcaster to be named ‘Voice of China’.

CHINA: Forbidden feeds: Government controls on social media in China

PEN American Center via Ifex: From the leading US free expression organization, the 90+-page original research report demonstrates how the government’s grip on social media constricts free expression in China, and how the scope and severity of censorship has expanded under President Xi Jinping.

INDIA: AIR might give CWG a miss due to feud between I&B Ministry and Prasar Bharti: Report

Scroll.in: The public radio broadcaster has already paid Rs 1.6 crore for the broadcasting rights and booth bookings at the Gold Coast Games.

INDIA: How Prasar Bharati’s data-free online TV offering may spoil OTT players rural India plan

Entrackr: India’s public broadcaster Prasar Bharati, which runs All India Radio and Doordarshan (DD), is working on a data-free technology to offer online content to rural smartphone users.

INDIA: Journalist groups demand scrapping of new central press accreditation committee

The New Indian Express: Several journalists organisations on Thursday protested the reconstitution of the Central Press Accreditation Committee (CPAC), saying the nominees of the representative organisations have not been included.

INDIA: This Indian startup wants to free — and find stories in — public data that’s messy and inaccessible

NiemanLab: What is the state of philanthropy in India? Why are girls dropping out from certain schools at higher rates? How India Lives looks for the answers to these types of questions other organizations have, in publicly available data.

INDONESIA: Democracy takes a step back in Indonesia

Asia Times: Newly enacted law bans public criticism of politicians after media helped to expose country’s most egregious ever parliamentary scandal.

JAPAN: High court finds cellphone TV owners obliged to pay NHK fees

The Mainichi: The Tokyo High Court on Monday overturned a lower court ruling and said the owner of a cellphone with a mobile television function is obliged to pay a subscription fee to Japan’s public broadcaster NHK.

JAPAN: Japan’s Abe seeks to remove ‘balance’ requirements in broadcast news

Reuters: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to repeal a Japanese law requiring broadcasters to show impartiality, a step critics fear will lead to sensational reporting and polarize views, just as a similar move has been blamed for doing in the United States.

KAZAKHSTAN: Internet censorship in Kazakhstan: more pervasive than you may think

Freedom House: As Internet penetration grows in the country, so do the government’s attempts to monitor, control and repress dissenting voices.

MALAYSIA: Human rights groups say ‘fake news’ law may stifle whistleblowing

The Star (Malaysia): A coalition of human rights groups has called on the Government to drop a proposed law to tackle fake news, saying it will stop people from speaking out on wrongs in the country.

MALAYSIA: Malaysia proposes jail for up to 10 years, fines for ‘fake news’

Reuters: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government tabled a bill in parliament on Monday outlawing “fake news”, with hefty fines and up to 10 years in jail, raising more concern about media freedom in the wake of a multi-billion dollar graft scandal.

MALDIVES: Journalists arrested in continuing crackdown in the Maldives

IFJ: The Maldives Police arrested three journalists of opposition-aligned Raajje TV on March 16 and charged two of them with criminal offences for allegedly uploading videos on social media which were critical of the government.

PAKISTAN: Joint oral statement to HRC37 on UPR adoption

Article 19: ARTICLE 19, IFEX, and PPF observe that the adoption of the outcome of Pakistan’s Universal Period Review comes at a time when the right to freedom of expression is under sustained and growing pressure in the country.

PAKISTAN: Pakistani news channel hires country’s first transgender anchor

ABC News: A Pakistani news channel has hired the country’s first transgender TV newsreader.

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s anti-fake news bill must not tighten gag on dissent

RSF: Doubting the sincerity of an invitation to address a parliamentary select committee that is supposedly helping Singapore’s government to draft a bill to combat “deliberate online falsehoods,” Reporters Without Borders (RSF) will instead submit its recommendations when it has seen a draft.

NEW ZEALAND: RNZ shock also rocks government

RNZ: The effects of Carol Hirschfeld’s resignation from RNZ over an off-the-books meeting with the broadcasting minister go beyond the broadcaster itself. It comes as the minister was putting in place a system to fund broadcasting at arms’ length from politicians, says Mediawatch.

NEW ZEALAND: Visual Trumpery – the good and bad of data journalism

RNZ: Good data journalism makes lots of important information easily understandable and it clarifies complicated issues for us. But visiting expert Alberto Cairo warns we must also beware of visualisations that look convincing but skew the truth – and he reveals the statistical benchmark for heavy metal.​

GENERAL: Asia-Pacific media must ‘empower people’ on climate action, says PMC

Asia-Pacific Report: News media need to empower people over climate change and to encourage them to take action in their communities and press governments to do more, says a New Zealand environmental journalist and advocate.

GENERAL: Pacific women journalists get ABC training

The Fiji Times: As athletes prepare to travel to Australia ahead of next month’s Commonwealth Games, five women from the Asia Pacific region are already in Newcastle, New South Wales, preparing for the same event.

BELARUS: Belarus pubcaster to start HD transition

Broadband TV News: The Belarusian public broadcaster Belteleradiocompany (BT) will begin switching its TV channels to HD from March 29 to March 30.

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: State Help to the Media – Precise Criteria Necessary

SEENPM: Without monitoring of media financing from public budgets, it is difficult to make conclusions regarding the legitimacy of these procedures and final effects in the context of communication required by citizens and the general public.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Thousands Sign Appeal In Support Of Czech Television

Czech Radio: More than 10,000 people have signed an appeal initiated by leading Czech film-makers in support of Czech Television in reaction to President Miloš Zeman’s inauguration address attacking the public broadcaster and other media.

FRANCE: France Télévisions putting SVOD plan ‘on hold’ as it seeks partners

Digital Tv Europe: France Télévisions has put its plan to launch a subscription video-on-demand service on hold as it tries to strike an agreement with TF1, M6 and Orange to launch a French version of Hulu that would incorporate both free and paid-for content, according to a report by financial daily Les Echos.

FRANCE: Presidency of Radio France: six candidates for an armchair (France)

Capital: Six candidates for an armchair: the CSA unveiled Wednesday the list of five men and women vying to succeed Mathieu Gallet at the head of Radio France, in full reform of the audiovisual, after his dismissal because of a conviction for favoritism.

GERMANY: Anti-Semitism in Germany: Are immigrants unfairly portrayed in the media?

Deutsche Welle: Jewish groups warn against anti-Semitism among Germany’s Muslim migrants while others say it’s racist to overstate the problem. DW’s Jefferson Chase explored the issue at a special open media day in Berlin.

ITALY: How Corruption Coverage Harms Italy’s Society

EJO: Among democratic countries, Italy is notorious for its high level of corruption. Yet, Italy’s media system also has certain structural features that may distort journalistic coverage of corruption.

MALTA: Open letter to diplomats in Malta regarding the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder

Index on Censorship: Eight international freedom of expression organisations have signed an open letter urging diplomats in Malta to make their presence felt concerning the investigation of the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder.

POLAND: Attack on freedom of the press (Watch)

Deutsche Welle: The Polish government is firing journalists critical of the state and tightening laws governing media. Private newspapers and broadcasters are also feeling the heat.

SERBIA: BBC News Serbian digital service goes live

BBC: The BBC News Serbian (BBC News na srprskom) digital service is now live with the launch of its website, bbc.com/serbian – as well as its Twitter and Facebook feeds.

SLOVAKIA: Slovakia stands up for press freedom after Ján Kuciak murder (Video)

IPI: Murders of journalists in Slovakia and Malta spark serious questions about the safety of investigative journalists in Europe.

SPAIN: RTVE, Atresmedia, Mediaset team for HbbTV platform

Rapid TV News: Spain’s three largest broadcasters are developing a shared HbbTV platform, which will be available to all DTT, free-to-air (FTA) operators.

UK: Local reporting ventures offer hope for journalism’s future

The Guardian: Initiatives from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the BBC harness the power of digital

REGIONAL: Scandinavian SVOD soaring

Rapid TV News: Research from Kagan has revealed that the Nordic market for subscription-based online video services has grown considerably over the last few years in both subscriptions and revenues.

GENERAL: EBU DG Noel Curran highlights PSM commitment to protecting children online at WSIS 2018

EBU: EBU DG Noel Curran has told delegates at the World Summit on the Information Society Forum (WSIS) in Geneva that there is “no one better placed to protect minors online, and on air, than public service media (PSM)”.

GENERAL: Europe’s Public Service Media: Between Responsibility and Accountability

EJO: Every European country has public service media, but there are huge variations in their reach, resources and impact.

GENERAL: Public broadcasters feel tension between their public service mandate and their reliance on platforms like Facebook

NiemanLab: Public broadcasters across Europe feel some tensions between their public service mandate and the necessity of distributing stories on and for dominant platforms like Facebook to reach new and wider audiences.

ARGENTINA: Argentine newspapers closed or abandoned by owners are recuperated by workers’ cooperatives

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas

BRAZIL: Journalists from Brazilian public media protest against restriction of coverage of Marielle Franco’s murder

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: Journalists and radio broadcasters at Empresa Brasileira de Comunicação (Brazil Communication Company, or EBC), a federal public agency, protested on March 20 against direction given by company managers to reduce coverage of the murders of Marielle Franco, a city councilor for Rio de Janeiro, and her driver Anderson Gomes, both killed in a March 14 shooting.

COLOMBIA: Colombian campaign that rewrites headlines seeks to change sexist journalistic habits

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: The fight for gender equality must also be in the media. Machismo has become impregnated in such a way in journalistic daily life that often those stories or headlines written and designed not only to inform but to “attract” the reader, forget the gender perspective they should have.

ECUADOR: Ecuador’s hangover

CJR: The rhetoric may have changed under the Moreno government, Ecuadoran journalists note. But the hard work of legal reform has only just begun.

ECUADOR: Ecuadoran government not financing Venezuelan international news channel Telesur

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: Ecuadoran Secretary of Communication Andrés Michelena confirmed that new President Lenin Moreno’s government is not contributing economically to multi-state owned cable news channel Telesur, newspaper La Hora reported.

JAMAICA: Jamaican legislators called on to safeguard news media in data protection bill

IAPA via Ifex: Legislation in Jamaica aimed at protecting personal data should safeguard media from having to reveal confidential news sources and other proprietary information, the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) said today.

MEXICO: Media power in Mexico and the Telebancada: RSF and Cencos present Media Ownership Monitor Mexico

RSF: Mexico’s booming media industry is controlled by some of the richest businessmen on earth. While the sector grows at a rate three times that of the overall economy, an alarming concentration of media ownership goes hand in hand with the well-known lack of safety for Mexico’s journalists, many of whom cannot even make a living from their precarious salaries, increasing their vulnerability to pressures of all kinds.

BAHRAIN: Bahrain threatens to target critical social media users

Aljazeera: Interior minister says government will draft new legislation to fight accounts spreading ‘malicious rumours’.

SYRIA: Syrian organisation documents death of 55 media professionals in Eastern Ghouta in past 7 years

IFEX: As this week marks the seventh anniversary of the Syrian revolution, the Syrian Center for Journalistic Freedoms of the Syrian Journalists Association (SJA) has published a special report entitled “Media professionals in besieged Eastern Ghouta are under bombardment after 7 years of the Syrian revolution”.

TURKEY: Doğan media group sale completes government control of Turkish media

RSF: Doğan was the only remaining media group not to have been brought under the Turkish government’s control and its sale to Demirören marks the end of an era.

TURKEY: Turkey Gives Its Aggressive TV Censor Control Over the Web

Bloomberg: Turkey’s parliament approved a new law on Wednesday that allows its radio and TV watchdog to vet Internet broadcasts, granting the government the ability to intervene against content by producers including Netflix Inc.

CANADA: Quebec Superior Court orders journalist to reveal her sources

RSF: The judge claimed that when public interest in the outcome of a trial outweighs that of journalistic source protection, it is permissible to force a reporter to testify.

CANADA: Radio-Canada’s 2018 Hackathon Serving Journalists (French)

Radio-Canada: A tool to guide the choice of journalists’ topics came out the winner of the CBC’s 2018 Hackathon, a programming marathon that was held this weekend in Montreal.

US: In Milwaukee, a station’s music education program shows power of community partnerships


US: In their haste to curb bad speech, regulators could endanger all speech

CJR: In the process of trying to combat sex trafficking, Congress could wind up endangering free speech.

US: New PBS editorial standards will emphasis inclusiveness, ‘Core values’

Current: PBS is undertaking a revamp of its editorial standards and policies and will seek further input from station representatives at its Annual Meeting in May.

US: On-air, online, and on demand: The changing face of public radio membership

Membership Puzzle: How have public media organizations built and sustained strong giving relationships with their listeners? What are the day-to-day best practices as well as the philosophical roots of their membership model? And how is the idea of membership – and the ways in which public broadcasters solicit it – evolving as more listeners migrate to on-demand and online listening?

Attacks on women journalists on the rise, online and off – UNESCO

UN News: Over the past 15 years there has been “a marked increase” in cyber harassment, making the safety of women journalists a major issue for reportage in today’s digital era, participants highlighted Thursday at a United Nations event.

Can “Extreme Transparency” Fight Fake News and Create More Trust With Readers?

NiemanReports: From posting raw footage to explaining reporting methods, more journalists are showing their work

Explainer: Why you should care about Cambridge Analytica

RNZ: Facebook’s shares has lost billions of dollars in value after something to do with data used by Cambridge Analytica. Confused? Here’s what it means, and what could come next.

Facebook’s about-face and what it means for the future of news (Listen)

ABC RN: Earlier this year, Facebook decided to de-prioritise the sharing of serious news content on its platform. It was a response to the accusation that the social media network had inadvertently helped to spread fake news.

How effective are earthquake early warning systems?

BBC News: Earthquake early warning detection is more effective for minor quakes than major ones. This is according to a new study from the United States Geological Survey.

How Public Service News uses Social Media (Research)

RISJ: Public service media organisations across Europe are investing in dedicated social media teams who strategically use platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, to deliver news to younger and hard-to-reach audiences.

New Report Highlights Gender Inequality In Humanitarian Media

Humanitarian News Research Network: New research from the Humanitarian Advisory Group (HAG) asks how often women speak within news stories about humanitarian issues – with depressingly predictable results.

New report highlights what’s missing from the research on fake news

IJNet: Do liberals and conservatives react differently to disinformation? How many political conversations are actually happening online? Does disinformation provided by a bot have different effects on us than disinformation provided by a real person? What is being online actually, you know, doing to us?

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: Cameraman shooting crowd. Credits: iStock/denizbayram