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.

BURKINA FASO: Do mass media save lives? The evidence is in

SciDev.Net: For most people a doctor is probably the first port of call when it comes to information about how to keep in good health. Still, much guidance gets broadcast by the media, and in developing countries the radio remains a major source of public health advice.

BURUNDI: ‘Fake news’ fuelled civil war in Burundi. Now it’s being used again

The Guardian: Exiled journalists tell of how decades of balanced post-conflict reporting is being dismantled by President Nkurunziza.

CAMEROON: Journalists decry government pressure

AfricaNews: Members of Cameroon’s National Union of Journalists gathered at the Union’s headquarters on Tuesday in Douala, where they denounced pressures from authorities on the media, in the coverage of Anglophone minority issues in the country.

ETHIOPIA: Ethiopian journalist’s wife urges UK and US to call for his release

The Guardian: Bezawit Hailegiorgis says western powers could help free Anania Sorri, one of tens of thousands held in Ethiopia since last year.

GAMBIA: New head of Gambian broadcaster commits to independence

PMA: The new head of Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS) is committed to ensuring the editorial independence of the state broadcaster.

KENYA: Media told to promote responsible poll coverage

Standard Digital: Media regulators have issued guidelines for election coverage to ensure fair and peaceful process.

NIGERIA: N5bn debt: Pay up or lose operating licence, NBC warns broadcast stations

Vanguard: The National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, has issued a three-week ultimatum to all broadcasting stations in the country to pay all their outstanding licence fees or face sanctions.

SOUTH AFRICA: Committee to discuss SABC interim board appointments

News24: Parliament’s communications committee will on Tuesday discuss the appointment of an interim board for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC Inquiry Defers Muthambi’s Fate to Zuma, Ethics Committee

Via All Africa: The SABC inquiry agreed to defer the fate of Communications Minister Faith Muthambi for her role in alleged mismanagement at the SABC to Parliament’s ethics committee and President Jacob Zuma.

ZAMBIA & MALAWI: Zambian government to award 60% share in ZNBC to China’s TopStar

PMA: Zambia’s government refuses to back down on a decision to award 60% share in the national broadcaster, despite a public outcry and rebukes from the opposition.

CAMBODIA: Donald Trump’s media ban inspires Cambodian attack on press freedom

The Guardian: On Saturday, Cambodia’s council of ministers spokesman Phay Siphan vowed to “crush” media entities that endanger the “peace and security” of the kingdom, calling on all “foreign agents” to self-censor or be shut down.

CHINA: In China, sources face harassment, jail for speaking to foreign media


CHINA: CRI – China teams up with Philippines on Content and Training

ABU: The Philippines’ Presidential Communications Office (PCO) and China Radio International (CRI) have recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to hold training sessions and to share content.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong daily Sing Pao says its journalists and website are under attack

CPJ: The Committee to Protect Journalists has called on Hong Kong authorities to investigate the harassment of journalists at the daily Sing Pao.

INDIA: India’s biggest broadcaster revamps news studios

TV Tech Global: Indian state broadcaster Doordarshan (DD), one the largest TV networks in the world has upgraded its news studios.

INDIA: No extension for analogue TV signal in India

PMA: The deadline to switch over from analogue to digital signal TV in India will not be extended any further, says the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

INDONESIA: Opinion: No live broadcast, no violations of press freedom

The Jakarta Post: Feb. 21 saw the 11th hearing in the blasphemy trial of Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama. There were no TV cameras inside the courtroom during the session, let alone live broadcast, as decided by the panel of judges when the trial began on Dec. 13.

KYRGYZSTAN: A Haven for Reporters amid Love and Strife

Eurasia.net: In a rough neighborhood for journalists, Kyrgyzstan is a relative safe haven. Over the years, reporters from various parts of Central Asia have made their homes there — often for safety and professional growth, other times for more personal reasons.

PAKISTAN: Pakistan Launches Ethical Code for Journalists

Ethical Journalism Network (EJN): After Two Years of National Debate Pakistan Launches a Ground-Breaking Code for Journalists

PHILIPPINES: Journalism in Rodrigo Duterte’s Philippines

Al Jazeera: Rappler’s editor-at-large Marites Vitug discusses the current state of the news media in the country.

UZBEKISTAN: Newspaper editor freed after being held for 18 years

RSF: The onetime editor of what was Uzbekistan’s leading opposition newspaper, Bekjanov was one of the world’s longest imprisoned journalists.

VIETNAM: Oxfam report highlights gender bias in Vietnamese media

VN Express: A gap still exists between what journalists believe about equality and how they actually portray women.

AUSTRALIA: ABC boss Michelle Guthrie grilled in Senate Estimates over axing shortwave radio service

ABC: ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie has told a Senate Estimates hearing she is confident the organisation has not breached its charter by cancelling its shortwave radio service.

FIJI: ‘No State meddling in Fiji TV’

Fiji Times Online: Holdings Limited chief executive officer Nouzab Fareed has denied claims of Government’s interference in the daily affairs of the Fiji Television newsroom.

NEW ZEALAND: Journalists working harder, women disadvantaged, says new PJR research

Pacific Media Centre: New Zealand journalists are working longer hours, and feeling more pressure, both ethically and resource-wise, than they were only two years ago, a new research survey has found.

NEW ZEALAND: Chit-chat replaces reporting in prime time

Radio New Zealand: TV3 has adopted an Aussie format for its latest 7pm show. Can The Project deliver news you can use and views to amuse viewers?

BALKANS: Amnesty Report Raps Balkans Countries for Rights Abuses

Balkan Insight: Amnesty International’s new global report takes Balkan countries to task mainly for disrespecting the rights of minorities, migrants and journalists.

FINLAND: End of an era: Yle News in English airs final TV broadcast

Yle: For nearly 20 years Yle News has produced daily television news broadcasts but its last broadcast was on Sunday afternoon.

FINLAND: Yle orders external report on company’s journalism

Yle: Yleisradio has ordered an independent report into the company’s journalistic decision-making, following an extended scandal over possible self-censorship of stories about the Prime Minister, Juha Sipilä.

FRANCE: France Télévision approves its future video-on-demand subscription service (French)

NextInpact: The board of directors of France Télévisions says yes to its future video-on-demand platform, in preparation for the fall. In the meantime, the public group is preparing a revision of its current offer, on both the free and the fee-for-service.

GERMANY: The future of fake news?

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism: A misleading map of ‘refugee crime’ in Germany distorts reality in a slick and sophisticated way.

GERMANY: Report: Germany’s spy agency monitored journalists across the globe

Deutsche Welle: The German Intelligence Agency (BND) has spied on journalists from the BBC and ‘The New York Times,’ reported ‘Der Spiegel.’ Press rights watchdogs have criticized the latest revelations of foul play at the BND.

GERMANY: German writers, journalists call for Merkel to defend freedom of expression in Turkey

Deutsche Welle: Calls are growing for German Chancellor Angela Merkel to actively promote freedom of expression in Turkey. The pressure comes after German journalist Deniz Yücel was detained by Turkish authorities.

KOSOVO: Kosovo Authorities ‘Failing to Punish Journalists’ Attackers’

Balkan Insight: Representatives of journalists in Kosovo accused the authorities of failing to arrest and prosecute perpetrators of attacks on reporters, even when the victims were killed.

MONTENEGRO:  Investigative journalists’ lengthy legal proceedings

Mapping Media Freedom: Independent journalist Jovo Martinovic’s arrest with 13 other individuals during a joint Croatian and Montenegrin police operation on 22 October 2015 began an ongoing ordeal.

POLAND: Poland’s Beleaguered Press

EJO: Polish media remain under constant pressure from ongoing government reforms, aimed at bringing the press under tighter political control.

ROMANIA: TVR Completes Peer-to-Peer Review

EBU: The peer-to-peer review is designed to assess a broadcaster’s performance against the six core public service values: universality, independence, excellence, diversity, accountability and innovation.

SERBIA: Serbia: how the authorities block access to information

Osservatorio Balcani & Caucaso: Serbia has one of the best laws in the world to guarantee public access to information. The problem is, the state does not respect its own laws. And the situation may get worse in the future.

SPAIN: The new Valencian television will open with 55 million budget (Spanish)

Expansión: The Valencian Government has approved the budget for the implementation of the Corporació Valenciana de Mitjans de Comunicació (CVMC), which replaces the former Valencian Radio Television closed by the PP.

SWITZERLAND: Swiss broadcasting fees should not go, says government commission

Le News: Some who move to Switzerland might not be aware that they are almost certainly required to pay one of the world’s highest broadcasting licence fees.

UK: New BBC TV channel announced for Scotland

PMA: The Director General of the BBC, Tony Hall, has today announced a new channel and funding increase for BBC Scotland.

UKRAINE: Impunity continues amid lack of action over journalists beatings

IFJ: Journalists and media organisations in Ukraine have renewed calls for an end to impunity for crimes against journalists and action to protect the safety of media professionals.  

GENERAL: Journalists in jeopardy: Media workers silenced through violence and arrest in 2016

Mapping Media Freedom: In 2016, a total of 1,387 reports of threats, limitations and violations to press freedom were verified by Mapping Media Freedom’s network of correspondents, partners and other sources based in Europe.

BELIZE: Belize Government Looking At Legislation To Tackle Misuse Of Social Media

Jamaica Gleaner: The Belize government is moving to clamp down on the misuse of the social media and is establishing a taskforce to look at the issue of cyber laws, Solicitor General, Nigel Hawke has said.

BRAZIL: Press freedom violations increase in Brazil by 65% in 2016, says Abert report

The Knight Center: Journalism in the Americas blog: Although the number of murders of Brazilian journalists has dropped to only two cases in 2016, violations against the press have manifested in other ways

CUBA: Journalism, profession or trade?

Cuba Periodistas: Is journalism a profession? This is the question that participants were trying to answer at the International Postgraduate Course: Latin America and the Caribbean, political and media confrontation, which is being taught at the José Martí Institute of Journalism.

HONDURAS: Honduran Congress approves jail sentences for journalists who make justifications for terrorism

The Knight Center: Journalism in the Americas blog: Journalists who make justifications for hate or incite terrorism publicly or through media could receive punishments of between four and eight years in prison, according to a recent reform to the antiterrorism law approved  by the National Congress of Honduras.

GENERAL: In the era of short Tweets, Latin American media launch innovative digital projects for long-form journalism

The Knight Center: Journalism in the Americas blog

REGIONAL: CBU Caribbean Broadcasting Awards – Call for Entries


ISRAEL: The Israeli Press under Pressure

Nieman Foundation: How Israeli reporters are covering a combative administration and an increasingly polarized public.

JORDAN: Network launched to protect rights of journalists

AMMAN: A network of journalists advocating human rights was launched on Monday in a bid to defend human rights issues, including those related to media freedom.

JORDAN: Roundtable discussion held on media self-regulation

The Jordan Times: Senior members of the Jordanian media, government and civil society participated on Monday in a roundtable discussion on media self-regulation, according to a statement released by UNESCO.

SYRIA: Struggle over Aleppo’s story takes to the skies

Al Jazeera: How citizen journalists used drone technology to challenge the Assad regime’s narrative of Aleppo’s plight.

TURKEY: Freedom of the Press in Turkey: Far worse than you think

ECPMF: The report gives an overview on the situation of journalists in Turkey and in exile, shedding light on the developments following 2016 coup attempt.

CANADA: VICE’s Ben Makuch stands up for Canadian press freedom

NowToronto: “I’m prepared to take this as far as it needs to go,” says the national security reporter – even though he’s not optimistic about winning.

US: The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is on a White House hit list for elimination

Nieman Lab: That’s bad in ways you already know and in more ways you don’t.

US: Opinion: Forget Trump’s tweets and media bans. The real issue is his threat to the internet.

The Guardian: Deregulation could allow the president to undermine freedom of speech in a way that was beyond even Nixon.

US: Reporters barred from U.S. press secretary briefing

CPJ: The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the decision today to bar nine news outlets from an informal briefing known as “a gaggle” by President Donald Trump’s White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

US: Where is diversity in American newsrooms?

Al Jazeera: It is time for the US media to acknowledge the absence of people of colour among journalists.

Getting to the root of the “fake news” problem means fixing what’s broken about journalism itself

Nieman Lab: At MisinfoCon, stopping “fake news” wasn’t the only focus: Issues from news literacy to newsroom standards and reader empathy to ad revenue were all up for discussion.

How Mark Zuckerberg could really fix journalism

Columbia Journalism Review

How The Media Are Using Encryption Tools To Collect Anonymous Tips

NPR: There was a time when a whistleblower had to rely on the Postal Service, or a pay phone, or an underground parking garage to leak to the press. This is a different time.

UN Secretary General pledges to take action on journalist safety

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) urged UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to take steps to address the urgent issue of safety of journalists.

Whistleblowers endangered in digital age, says lawyers’ report

The Guardian: Study backed by Guardian says new laws and interception of communications make it harder for journalists to protect sources.

Opinion: Why I worry as much about some of the suggested solutions to ‘fake news’ as I do about the problem.

Stewart Pervis

Opinion: Trust in the media is sinking and it’s time to act: Neil Macdonald

CBC: When anyone can be a journalist, anything can be labelled news. That’s a problem.

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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: Broadcast tower. Credits: pbkwee/Creative Commons