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.

Global Task Force for public media

Following PMA’s Global Call Out for public media, a new, industry led initiative, the Global Task Force [GTF] has been established with the support of PMA. Public media now operates in a globalised media space and if it is to survive and thrive, public media must develop a co-ordinated global response mechanism to defend and advocate for its core values.

The Global Task Force is led by Catherine Tait, CEO and President of CBC/Radio-Canada. Last week, the GTF issued their first statement emphasising the essential role of public broadcasters during crises and emergencies as well as calling for the support and  defence of independent public media & journalism worldwide.

Coronavirus: Resources & best practices

Essential resources for sourcing and reporting news about the coronavirus pandemic

What we're listening to...

Starving The Watchdogs: Who Foots The Bill When Newspapers Disappear?

NPR: The value of local newspapers can hardly be overstated right now. We read our local papers to track the spread of COVID-19 in our states, and the availability of ICU beds at nearby hospitals. We read to get a sense of how nearby businesses are faring, and what nursing homes are doing to keep residents safe. More of us are reading more news all the time. But at the same time that readership is soaring, advertising revenue—which keeps newspapers financially afloat—is plummeting. As a result, a number of newspapers across the country are laying off workers, even shuttering.

Global Headlines

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

ALGERIA: Algeria rights groups say government cracking down on critics

Aljazeera: Prisoner rights group says dozens, including students and activists, were summoned by police amid coronavirus measures.

GAMBIA: Gambia Makes Progress in Press Freedom

Via All Africa: Mr. Assane Diagne, director of RSF West Africa Office in Dakar yesterday told The Point Newspaper that The Gambia has moved 5 places forward in the World Press Index which re-groups 180 countries in the world. The Gambia has moved from its 92th position of last year to 87th. 

NAMIBIA: Namibia remains continental press freedom leader

New Era: Namibia continues to be ranked the country with the freest media environment in Africa, according to the latest 2020 Press Freedom Index issued by Reporters Without Borders.

NIGERIA: Editors Condemn Harassment of Journalists By Ebonyi Govt

Via All Africa: The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has condemned the persistent harassment of journalists in Ebonyi State on the orders of the Governor of the state, Mr. David Umahi and other state authorities.

RWANDA:  Lockdown Arrests, Abuses Surge

HRW: End Media Crackdown, Mass Arbitrary Arrests

SOUTH AFRICA: How South Africa’s broadcasters are dealing with the coronavirus

My Broadband: The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown have necessitated drastic operational changes at South Africa’s major TV broadcasters.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC partners with Solidarity Fund

SABC News: The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has joined forces with the Solidarity Fund in an effort to give visibility to its objectives and activities. This comes as the country is dealing with the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

TANZANIA: Tanzania gets tough on media over COVID-19 coverage

The Observer: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has condemned what it termed as continued harassment of journalists for their coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. RSF says press freedom in Tanzania has declined steadily since 2016 when President John Pombe Magufuli came to power and has escalated further with the recent harassment of journalists and media houses.

UGANDA: Ugandan journalists ‘assaulted by security forces’ amid coronavirus lockdowns

Deutsche Welle: A media rights body says Ugandan security personnel have attacked several journalists covering coronavirus lockdown measures. Journalists in other parts of Africa are also facing similar predicaments.

ZAMBIA: Private media says covering Covid-19 briefing, screening risky

Zambian Watchdog: The Zambia Institute of Independent Media Alliance (ZIIMA) has taken a swipe at the ministry of information for showing no concern over the welfare of journalists during the Covid 19 pandemic.

ZIMBABWE: Media Recognised As Essential Service

VIa All Africa: Government has listed journalists among providers of essential services allowed to work during the lockdown to combat the spread of COVID-19.

REGIONAL: Covid-19 Sparks Wave of Massive Media Repression in West Africa

MFWA: Beyond the frightening human toll the COVID-19 is exacting across the world, the pandemic has also led to attacks, detention and judicial penalties against journalists covering the outbreak and related issues in various countries in West Africa.

GENERAL: African broadcasting in a time of Covid-19 – Reports from the front line in Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda (Opinion)

Balancing Act

GENERAL: Coronavirus May Spell the End for Many of Africa’s Print Newspapers

GIJN: “For news organizations, the virus has sparked unprecedented interest and demand for news. Yet, it might also put the nail in the coffin of the already struggling newspaper industry worldwide. ”

AZERBAIJAN: Azerbaijan abuses quarantine rules to jail critical journalists and bloggers

IPI: Spate of journalists arrested for covering COVID-19 measures worsens already dire media freedom situation, IPI says. 

BANGLADESH: Covid-19 triggers surge in violence, prosecutions against Bangladeshi journalists

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is alarmed by the increase in cases of civilian and police violence and judicial harassment of journalists trying to cover coronavirus-related issues in Bangladesh in the month since a general lockdown was imposed on the population. Many of the cases are detailed below.

CHINA: China’s lack of press freedom causes problems for the world

Deutsche Welle: China has been heavily criticized in the latest world press freedom rankings. Its suppression of coronavirus information has real health consequences, not just in the country but throughout the world.

CHINA & US: Pandemic coverage and information gaps

CJR: For reporters who are bilingual in Chinese and English, the breaking news stories about COVID-19 that have occupied US media’s front pages aren’t so breaking. They have already seen the same headlines in China weeks, if not months, earlier.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s visually impaired deprived of Covid-19 information with half of Chinese-language news apps inaccessible, NGO finds

South China Morning Post: Hong Kong Blind Union says 2,000 kept out of the loop over city’s infected tally, mask availability and other important updates. Five of the 10 Chinese-language media reviewed fell short in areas such as font size and screen display 

INDIA: Indian police campaign of harassment of journalists in Kashmir

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns a campaign of harassment of journalists in Srinagar, the capital of the northern Indian territory of Jammu and Kashmir, where the police have brought criminal accusations against three journalists in as many days. 

INDIA: Press freedom rapidly deteriorating

IPI: Authorities must ensure journalists’ freedom to work amid rise in harassment and attempts to control narrative. 

JAPAN: NHK, telework drama production 3 broadcasts in early May (Japanese) 

ITmedia News: NHK announced on April 27 that it has launched a project, “I’ve made a new drama right now,” where the staff and performers do not directly meet each other from the meeting to the actual recording. Broadcast on May 4th, 5th and 8th. 

MALAYSIA: Malaysia charts biggest improvement globally for press freedom in 2020 index; best in Asean again

Malay Mail: Malaysia showed the greatest improvement in a 2020 global index measuring press freedom in 180 countries and regions, again topping the South-east Asian or Asean region just like it did in the 2019 edition.

PAKISTAN: Campaign for release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman continues

The News: The journalists along with the civil society, lawyers, traders and political workers continued their protest against the illegal arrest of Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman on Sunday and demanded of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to take notice of illegal arrest that was only meant to attack the freedom of press that was guaranteed in the Constitution of Pakistan.

PAKISTAN: Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman: Why Pakistan’s media mogul is behind bars

Deutsche Welle: The EU has raised concerns about the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman, chief editor of Pakistan’s Jang media group. Critics accuse PM Imran Khan of targeting journalists who are critical of his government’s performance.

PHILIPPINES: Philippines slips 2 places in World Press Freedom Index

Rappler: The Philippines, now ranked 136th, is cited as having state troll armies which weaponize disinformation on social media, as well as having some intolerance towards critical journalism. 

PHILIPPINES: Rare Cyber Libel Case Tests Fragile Media Freedoms in Philippines

VOA: A Philippine court’s pending verdict in a rare cyber libel case is shaping up as a new benchmark for the Southeast Asian country’s on-again, off-again media freedoms.

SOUTH KOREA: KBS’ Election 2020 Results Coverage: Captivating Audiences with State-of-the Art Technology (Press release)

KBS: KBS Wowed Audiences with Cutting-edge Technology and Sophisticated Graphics.

TAIWAN: Chinese TV groups use coronavirus pandemic to gain Taiwan market share

Taiwan News: Chinese media groups are using the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to push their over-the-top (OTT) streaming services in the Taiwanese market, with even state-owned China Central Television (CCTV) expected to put in an appearance, the Liberty Times reported Wednesday (April 22).

THAILAND: BBC Thai Service boosts audience in dark times

Nikkei Asian Review: Digital service covers COVID-19 with international perspective to capture younger demographic. 

GENERAL: CPJ, 73 media and rights groups urge Asian heads of state to release jailed journalists (Letter)


AUSTRALIA: ABC launches $5m fund to provide urgent support for Australian creatives during COVID-19 crisis (Press Release)

ABC: The ABC has launched a $5 million development fund to provide urgent and critical support to independent Australian producers and safeguard local content and creativity during these unprecedented times.

AUSTRALIA: New freelance grants and support for First Nations media (Opportunity)

Judith Nielson Institute: Six new grants have been awarded to media organisations, as a part of the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas’ initiative to support freelancers and casual contributors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest round of grants includes support for arts journalism, regional and community media and First Nations media.

AUSTRALIA: Television production takes first tentative steps after COVID-19

Sydney Morning Herald: A shell-shocked TV industry has begun to take its first tentative steps back to recovery, with Neighbours resuming production on Monday after a four-week shutdown, while the ABC has announced a $5 million development fund to ensure the sector is production ready when things return to some semblance of normality.

FIJI: Fiji media industry faces challenges over coronavirus disruption

Asia Pacific Report: The covid-19 coronavirus pandemic is increasingly disrupting countless industries across the world with a growing global economic crisis.

FIJI: Fijian military leader defends government’s right to ‘stifle’ press during Covid crisis

The Guardian: Concerns have also been raised about Vanuatu, where it is illegal to publish stories on coronavirus without government approval. 

NEW ZEALAND: A welcome hand up for local content

NZ On Air: NZ On Air welcomes today’s announcement by Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Hon. Kris Faafoi of some immediate relief for local media platforms struggling with the sharp downturn in advertising revenue due to Covid-19.

NEW ZEALAND: Future of local media in the spotlight (Listen)

RNZ: Media commentator Andrew Holden looks at why publishers like Stuff will get little direct support from the Government compared to broadcasters. Could a deal that forces digital giants to pay for news content be a game-changer for the global media industry – and which country will crack this first? And why is a project to effectively merge TVNZ and RNZ on ice at a time when the sector is at a crossroads?

NEW ZEALAND: Government moves on short-term relief for media

RNZ: The Government has unveiled a $50m “adrenaline shot” for commercial media companies struggling with the sudden slump in revenue caused by the Covid-19 crisis – with more to come in weeks ahead. But not all media will feel the benefit and bigger decisions remain to be made on the future of our biggest providers of journalism and news.

NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand to give $50m to help ailing media groups during Covid-19 crisis

The Guardian: Aid for industry follows government help for health and aviation sectors. 

REGIONAL: Tough coronavirus controls threaten Pacific, global media freedom

Asia Pacific Report: Against a backdrop of many governments using tough controls under cover of fighting the covid-19 coronavirus pandemic to strengthen “creeping authoritarianism”, a global media freedom watchdog has signalled draconian virus reactions as a major threat.

AUSTRIA: ORF Finance Committee discussed the effects of the corona crisis (German)

Horizont: Director General Alexander Wrabetz informed the Board of Trustees about possible scenarios for this year, the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Thomas Zach, subsequently reported.

BELGIUM: Coronavirus: RTBF advertising revenue losses could reach 15 to 20% (French)

RTBF: According to an assessment communicated to the administrators of RTBF, the loss of advertising revenue could reach 15 to 20%. The RTBF Board of Directors spoke at length on Friday about the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis on its operation and in particular its financial fallout.

CROATIA: Maja Sever: “I try to show the importance for public service media to be independent from political influence”

IFJ: Maja Sever is a journalist and editor at Croatian Radio-Television. She is also the president of the Croatian Trade Union of Journalists, an active member of the Croatian Association of Journalists and an executive member of the European Federation of Journalists.

ESTONIA: Estonia to support freelancers in creative industries during crisis

The Baltic Times: During the present time of crisis, the state is also supporting freelancers in cultural and creative industries as well as theaters that have thus far not received public support, Estonian Minister of Culture Tonis Lukas said.

ESTONIA: Estonian Public Broadcasting launched a new web channel Jupiter.err.ee (Estonian)

ERR News: Estonian Public Broadcasting launched a new web channel Jupiter this morning. The new program brings together the best audio-visual content that national broadcasting offers to its viewers-listeners at jupiter.err.ee.

FINLAND: The Children’s Arena is now also available as an HbbTV service (Finnish)

Yle: The Children’s Arena now also operates as an HbbTV service. In the past, the Children’s Arena has served children’s audiences in the browser , as an iOS and Android mobile app, and on AndroidTV devices, but now a leap is being made to other smart TV devices as well.

FRANCE: “Massive return of cinema to France Télévisions: let us hope that this frantic desire continues after confinement!” (French)

Le Monde: A group of directors, distributors, festival directors and other cinema professionals are delighted to see more heritage films broadcast on public television. They want this initiative to continue after the confinement.

GERMANY: “MDR Shorts” – second initiative of the MDR for Central German creatives (German – Opportunity)

MDR: Corona hits many Central German short film makers hard. For example, the Leipzig short film festival KURZSUECHTIG and the FILMFEST Dresden were initially postponed until autumn. The MDR is helping in the crisis and is launching the “MDR Shorts” project after the enormous response to “Corona Creative”.

GERMANY: WDR launches children’s HbbTV app

Broadband TV News: WDR, the regional affiliate of German public broadcaster ARD serving federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, has launched a smart TV app for children.

GREECE: TV and radio campaign spot in support of journalists

IFJ: The Journalists’ Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN) has launched a TV and radio campaign spot in support of journalists, media pluralism and credible news and information during the pandemic.

HUNGARY: Hungarians fearful for democracy and press freedom under Orbán’s regime

EU Today: A new survey finds 50% of Hungarians think democracy and press freedom has worsened in the last 10 years.

IRELAND: No plans for TV licence payment moratorium during Covid-19 crisis

The Journal: RTÉ announced yesterday that it will be availing of the wage subsidy scheme.

IRELAND: RTÉ will avail of temporary wage subsidy scheme

The Irish Times:  RTÉ is availing of the Government’s Covid-19 temporary wage subsidy scheme, it told employees on Wednesday. It will top up payments to staff and has informed them that they won’t be out of pocket as a result of the scheme. The public service broadcaster said the coronavirus crisis was having “a significant impact” on its business, affecting both commercial and licence fee revenue.

PORTUGAL: Nos launches distance learning project with RTP

Telecompaper: Nos has launched #EstudoEmCasa, a distance learning project broadcast on RTP Memoria, in partnership with Portuguese public broadcaster RTP, which can be consulted at any time of the day.

RUSSIA: A transmitter cannot be put off (German)

Deutschlandfunk: Doschd is considered the most important independent television station in Russia after ten years on the air. Disputes with the repressive government in Moscow have been part of the editorial business from the start. But the creators cannot be dissuaded from their goals.

SLOVENIA: ‘It’ll be Bloody’: Under Jansa, Troubled Times for Slovenian Media

Balkan Insight: The spread of COVID-19 has coincided with the return to power of right-wing hardliner Janez Jansa. Slovenian journalists are bracing for a storm.

SPAIN: Ayuso orders an audit on Telemadrid in the midst of a pandemic (Spanish)

Info Libre: It is the first in 16 years, despite accusations of maladministration and the dismissal of 800 workers in the Aguirre and González stages, and has led to professional and political opposition. While the PP accuses TVE of manipulation, TVG workers take a hundred weeks of “Black Friday” to denounce that this television is at the service of the President of the Xunta

SPAIN: Concerns as Penal Code used to criminalise jokes and misinformation about coronavirus

Article19: In Spain, speech related criminal proceedings have been brought under the Penal Code, which had been heavily criticised prior to the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

SWEDEN: Chronicle: “In a river of corona numbers – we work at SVT” (Swedish)

SVT: “Figures, forecasts, reports, analyzes and even more figures. All in a furious pace. As data journalists, we are used to working with both a lot and complex data. But we are also used to having plenty of time to analyze and process the data we are dealing with and with thoughtfulness build visualizations of it. But the corona pandemic has changed our way of working in several ways and it is important to stay calm when the storm is at its strongest”.

SWEDEN: Swedish radio leverages peach recommendations for content production 

EBU: Swedish Radio has deployed automatic recommendation technology in its newsroom to help journalists leverage the value of the organization’s vast and ever-growing content library.

SWEDEN: The corona crisis and surveillance throughout Sweden (Swedish)

SVT: The corona crisis is an exceptional situation. As always with larger news, the need for information and journalism is great and the pattern we have seen before is repeated – SVT Nyheter’s supply becomes an essential part of people’s news consumption.

SWITZERLAND: Annual report SWI swissinfo.ch

Swiss Info: On 12 March 2019, SWI swissinfo.ch celebrated its 20th anniversary. This provided us with the opportunity to reflect on our eventful history as a purely online news organisation, and to look at the state of the media globally. To this end we hosted an event with journalists from all over the world co-organised by the Swiss branch of Reporters Without Borders.

SWITZERLAND: Our experience working from home in Switzerland

Swiss Info: With the main office closed, SWI swissinfo.ch staff members are working from all over the country and discovering new ways to bring the latest developments from Switzerland to the world.

UK: BBC, Channel 4, ITV: finding relevance with pandemic PSAs in a digital age (Paywall)

The Drum: At a time of national crisis, public service broadcasters are taking the opportunity to remind the general public that their country needs them. With the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV fighting to stay relevant in a world that is rapidly changing its viewing habits, the time is ripe for them to stand up in our hour of need.

UK: Nick Hornby: BBC should be ‘untouchable’ after coronavirus (Opinion)

Penguin: Before Covid-19, the broadcaster was under attack from politicians. Now, the way it has guided us through the crisis means we should value its calm intelligence more than ever.

UK: The BBC’s future: The next episode (Paywall – Listen)

The Economist: The public-service broadcaster is having a good pandemic. But the loss of young audiences poses a mortal threat to its funding. 

UK: TV in lockdown: How shows are coping without a studio audience

BBC News: If somebody tells a joke, and nobody is around to hear it, was it actually funny?

REGIONAL: Much more Nordic children’s content (Norwegian)

Nordvision: The Nordic children’s channels have a long tradition of working across national borders. This year too, the collaboration has borne fruit. Here are some of the many co-productions from 2019.

REGIONAL: Some Balkan States Waging ‘Crusade’ Against Media, Report Warns

Balkan Insight: Media freedom in the Balkans continues to decline, with some governments stepping up pressure on independent media while exerting control over public broadcasters, says Reporters Without Borders’ 2020 World Press Freedom Index.

GENERAL: As Europe Confronts Coronavirus, the Media Faces a Trust Test 

Nieman Reports: How coverage of the coronavirus in Italy, Spain, France, and Germany has impacted trust in news outlets. 

GENERAL: EU politicians want media emergency fund (German)

Horizont: Given the Corona crisis, EU politicians have proposed a European media emergency fund. In a letter, a number of MEPs asked representatives of the top of the commission to consider a European emergency fund to support the media and journalism.

GENERAL: World Press Freedom Day 2020: Quality information can save lives

EFJ: Threats to press freedom are impeding the public’s right to know. Media restrictions, the closure of local newspapers, controlled public service media, precarity and insecurity, intimidation and violence against media workers are among the many ways press freedom is being curtailed just at the very time when the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening lives and the entire global economy.

BRAZIL: MANIFESTO | #JournalistsSave Life (Portuguese)

FENAJ: Journalists across the country have been under pressure since April 13 for announcements of cuts of up to 70% in their working hours and wages. The media companies’ offensive is based on Provisional Measure No. 936, of April 1. The category tries to negotiate through the unions, but the threat is posed.

BRAZIL: What is the value of the journalist? (Portuguese)

FENAJ: April has become even more symbolic for Brazilian journalists: in addition to celebrating our day on the calendar, it is in this month of 2020 that the profession has been profoundly affected by an illness and by government measures that are supposed to come to protect the worker.

COLOMBIA: Journalists are imposed working conditions equal to or more harmful than the Covid-19 pandemic

IFJ: Six companies representing 18 media outlets in the country were reported to the Ministry of Labor for practices on the sidelines of Covid-19 for a breach on workers’ rights. The Government of Colombia must cogently materialize the mechanism of “Rigorous labor inspection of employers’ labor decisions during the health emergency”, contemplated in Circular 022 of March 19, 2020, of the Ministry of Labor.

CUBA: At Home, Suffering with Cuban TV (Opinion)

Havana Times: Right before the lockdown came into force, the Cuban government’s Radio and Television Institute (ICRT) announced that it would help make quarantine a little easier by putting on a kind of summer programming.

ECUADOR: FENAPE works to defend Ecuadorian journalists during the COVID-19 pandemic (Spanish)

IFJ: The National Federation of Journalists of Ecuador (FENAPE) is carrying out various actions to support and advise journalists affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

JAMAICA: Jamaica rises on World Press Freedom Index

Jamaica Observer: JAMAICA has risen two places on the 2020 World Press Freedom Index, and now ranks sixth among 180 countries that most respect freedom of information.

EL SALVADOR: Salvadoran government reinforces limits on freedom of expression and the press during COVID-19 pandemic

Knight Center for Journalism : Since the Salvadoran government imposed mandatory home quarantine on March 21 due to the new coronavirus pandemic, a number of executive restrictions have affected access to information and freedom of expression.

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: MATT raises concerns about COVID briefings

Trinidad Guardian: The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT) has written a letter to Minister of Communication Donna Cox, about the virtual press briefings where an update is given on COVID-19. In recent times, reporters have expressed concern about access to the briefings as well as the participation of non-journalists in the virtual briefings.

URUGUAY: “I am dedicated to the public media and I will continue to do so,” said Gerardo Sotelo (Spanish)

El País: The journalist and leader of the Independent Party Gerardo Sotelo assumed last Friday as the new director of the National Audiovisual Communication Service (Secan), which brings together the public media.

REGIONAL: RSF 2020 Index: Latin America’s dark horizon for press freedom

RSF: The environment for journalists in Latin America is increasingly complex and hostile. Many journalists covering sensitive subjects have experienced an increase in harassment, violence and intimidation. At the same time, the media have been subjected to major smear campaigns in most of the region’s countries.


GENERAL: Covering COVID-19 now and in the future: Knight Center, UNESCO and WHO launch free online course for journalists. Register now! (Resource)


Knight Center for Journalism: The COVID-19 pandemic has taken over the world — and the news. To help arm journalists with knowledge and tools to cover the virus and the health, social and financial crises it is causing, the Knight Center is offering the free online course “Journalism in a pandemic: Covering COVID-19 now and in the future.”

IRAN: Iran press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 


ISRAEL: Israel court strengthens journalists’ rights amid surveillance push

IPI: The International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists for press freedom, welcomes the decision of Israel’s High Court of Justice ordering the government to provide exemptions for journalists from coronavirus-related mobile phone tracking.

SAUDI ARABIA & EGYPT: Harrowing Ramadan in world’s worst prisons for journalists

RSF: On what is the first day of Ramadan in most Muslim countries, a period of meditation and reconciliation, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Saudi Arabia and Egypt, two leading jailers of media personnel, to release detained journalists whose isolation is being aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

TURKEY: IPI Turkey Webinar: The importance of independent media in beating the pandemic (May 3, 2020) (Event)

IPI: The International Press Institute (IPI) is hosting a webinar on May 3, World Press Freedom Day, to highlight the importance of independent media in beating the pandemic. Journalists in Turkey have faced immense challenges in recent years due to government efforts to suppress the flow of information and silence criticism.

TURKEY: Turkey’s Erdogan clamps down further on media amid coronavirus crisis

Deutsche Welle: The Turkish president seems to be using the coronavirus crisis as a pretext to get rid of the few critical media outlets left in his country. Opposition politicians and journalists fear a new spate of censorship.

REGIONAL: Coronavirus harming press freedom in Iran, Iraq, China: RSF

Arab News: The coronavirus pandemic is being used to erode press freedom in Iran, Iraq and China, according to the annual World Press Freedom Index report compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

GENERAL: Middle East Broadcasters Scramble to Serve up Ramadan Soaps Amid Pandemic 

Variety: Broadcasters across the Arab world are clambering to serve up Ramadan soaps as the coronavirus pandemic forces the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims to observe the Islamic calendar’s holy month at home rather than in a mosque.

CANADA: CBC/Radio-Canada and Canada Council for the Arts announce “Digital Originals” funding initiative to support Canadian arts community (Opportunity)

CBC/Radio-Canada: CBC/Radio-Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts today announced the creation of Digital Originals, a new time-limited funding initiative to help artists, groups and arts organizations pivot their work to online audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will directly benefit creators of original digital content.

CANADA: Coronavirus to hit Canadian TV and film industry for $2.5bn (Paywall)

IBC365: The coronavirus pandemic could cause a $2.5 billion hit to the Canadian media and entertainment sector, according to a report from the Canadian Media Producers Association.

CANADA: Financially struggling newspapers to get federal money within weeks, heritage minister says

CBC News: Newspapers don’t have an audience problem; they have a revenue problem, says publisher. 

CANADA: STRONGER TOGETHER, TOUS ENSEMBLE Raises Over $6 Million So Far for Food Banks Canada as Historic Broadcast Reaches 11.5 Million Canadians

Bell Media: Following last night’s [April 26] historic all-Canadian special, STRONGER TOGETHER, TOUS ENSEMBLE, it was announced today that more than $6 million has been raised to date to provide immediate support to Food Banks Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

US: FCC proposal could help public TV stations improve signal coverage (Paywall)


US: Michelle Obama Joins PBS KIDS For Weekly Story Times

WTTW: For the past several weeks, PBS KIDS has been hosting read-alongs of favorite books with children’s book authors on its Facebook page and YouTube channel in order to encourage reading while children are at home. Now, former First Lady Michelle Obama will join in on the fun, with a weekly series, Mondays with Michelle Obama.

US: NPR’s New Public Editor: I Thought Listening To The News Would Be Easier (Opinion)

NPR: “Within a single hour last week, while listening to Morning Edition, I was first charmed by a delightful conversation between Peyton and Lola, 4- and 6-year-old cousins, describing their new reality; I then became enraged by an interview with U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft, who dodged every question host Steve Inskeep asked about the logic of cutting off funding to the World Health Organization.”

US: Report for America — remotely? Despite coronavirus, RFA will put 225 journalists “in” newsrooms across the country

Nieman Lab: “We used to say trustworthy information is important to democracy. And now we should say trustworthy local information is a matter of life and death.”

US: RSF calls on Trump administration to allow free flow of information on coronavirus

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is alarmed by the chilling trend of press access denials and retaliatory measures against journalists, government employees and whistleblowers attempting to report on and speak out about the COVID-19 crisis in the United States.

US: URI study finds PBS KIDS Series The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!™ boosts preschoolers’ understanding of science, engineering

University of Rhode Land: Multi-platform media content leads children to more realistic views of science.

Actions to Support Media, Enhance Access to Information, and Leverage Digital Technologies in the Fight Against the Pandemic (Resources)


Children at increased risk of harm online during global COVID-19 pandemic (Press release)

UNICEF: Newly released technical note aims to help governments, ICT companies, educators and parents protect children in lockdown.

Coronavirus: top media initiatives during the crisis (French)

L’ADN: France Télévisions, BBC, ABC… The public media are organizing and offering their audiences content to help them get through the crisis.

DRM – Collaborates with ABU and ASBU to jointly host a two-part interactive webinar session (Webinar)

Digital Radio Mondiale: Under the theme of “DRM Benefits in Times of Crisis,” The DRM Consortium in collaboration with Asia-Pacific Broadcast Union (ABU) and Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) will jointly and for the first time host a two-part interactive webinar session. 

Freelance journalists risk lives and livelihoods amid COVID-19 pandemic

CPJ: Johannesburg-based freelance journalist Yeshiel Panchia was on his way to cover a story about a local developer who had found a way to keep his wage laborers employed during South Africa’s coronavirus lockdown by letting them live on the construction site so that they didn’t have to leave “home” in contravention of strict rules.

IJ4EU relaunches: 1 million euros for investigative journalism in Europe (Funding)

IPI: First call is expected to be launched in mid-April. 

Malicious forces creating ‘perfect storm’ of coronavirus disinformation

The Guardian: Russia and China among state and other actors spreading fake news and disruption, say experts. 

Routes to Content: how people decide what TV to watch (Research)

University of Huddersfield: The contemporary media landscape has altered the discoverability of television content. More than half of UK households have a TV set connected to the internet and subscribe to at least one subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service, multiplying the routes that people can take to find the television programmes that they want to watch.

Seven public broadcasters impatient to be framed “unfair competitors” (French)

Le Devoir: The health crisis reveals the important role of public broadcasters despite the fact that it is reducing their advertising revenues, said CBC President and CEO Catherine Tait. 

The constant shifts of the coronavirus pandemic may be making journalists more comfortable expressing uncertainty (Opinion)

Nieman Lab: At a time of almost constantly changing news, what are the obligations of journalists to make it clear that their information is provisional?

Without empathy, journalism is lost (Opinion)


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