Our weekly round-up of public service media related stories and headlines from around the world.

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What we're listening to...

Australian media launch ‘Right to Know’ campaign

RNZ: Australia correspondent Bernard Keane looks at the rare show of solidarity by Australian media companies who say their journalists are being stopped from holding the powerful to account.

Four journalists jailed in Burundi for trying to cover insecurity in the country 

BBC Sounds: This is just the latest incident involving journalists – there’s been a crackdown on the media that may intensify as elections approach. We hear from the head of human rights and safety for the International Federation of Journalists.

What we're watching...

Celebrating 10 years of Student Reporting Labs!

PBS Newshour: In 2009, Managing Editor of Education, Leah Clapman founded PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs as a way to educate and engage young people in the news and public media. Over the last ten years, SRL has grown from an initial six schools and six partner stations to more than 150 Labs and 48 partner stations all over the country. Hear what NewsHour staff, PBS stations, and SRL students and teachers have to say about 10 years of Student Reporting Labs below:

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Global Headlines

ALGERIA: Algeria arrests fifth journalist amid anti-government protests

CPJ: The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Algerian authorities to release Bendjama Mustapha, editor-in-chief of Le Provincial, and end the harassment of journalists covering anti-government protests

BURUNDI: Four journalists jailed in Burundi for trying to cover insecurity in the country (Listen)

BBC Sounds: This is just the latest incident involving journalists – there’s been a crackdown on the media that may intensify as elections approach. We hear from the head of human rights and safety for the International Federation of Journalists.

CAMEROON: Media and Peace: Journalists Train On Covering Elections

Cameroon Tribune: A five-day workshop for participants from all over the country opened in Yaounde on October 22, 2019.

EGYPT: Twitter “Silenced” Dissenting Voices During Anti-Government Protests In Egypt

Buzzfeed News: Dozens of accounts were suspended without reason during rare anti-government protests, new research shared with BuzzFeed News shows.

GUINEA: MFWA, Partners Organise Media-Security Forum to Promote Journalists’ Safety in Guinea

MFWA: The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in collaboration with the partner organisation in Guinea, Association Guineenne des Editeurs de la Presse Independante (AGEPI), is organising a Media – Security Agencies Forum to promote the safety of journalists in Guinea.

MOZAMBIQUE: Mozambican journalists and activists targeted with threats in election year

Global Voices: Threats sent via SMS are not unprecedented in Mozambique.

NAMIBIA: NBC suspends production manager

NBC: Production manager at the national broadcaster Glendyrr Bailey has been suspended pending an investigation into alleged conflict of interest and misuse of company equipment and staff.

NIGERIA: NBC To Start Analogue Switch Off In 2020

Via Broadcast Media Africa: Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission has reported that plans are underway to begin analogue switch off in six areas starting with Abuja, as from the next year.

NIGERIA: Nigerian court grants anonymity to witnesses testifying against journalist Agba Jalingo 

CPJ: The Committee to Protect Journalists today expressed concern over a Nigerian court’s decision to grant anonymity to witnesses set to testify against journalist Agba Jalingo and deny the public access to the courtroom during the trial.

NIGERIA: Nigerian Military Target Journalists’ Phones, Computers Over ‘Forensic Search’ for Sources

Via All Africa

SOMALIA: FESOJ Condemns The Brief Arrest Of Five Journalists In Mogadishu For Covering Demonstration

Radio Dalsan: Federation of Somali Journalists condemns in the strongest possible terms the brief arbitrary arrests of five journalists covering demonstration by Somali police on Sunday ,27 October 2019 in Mogadishu.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC to go all-in on Internet streaming

Tech Central: The SABC plans to go big on Internet streaming, offering all its content on its own online video platforms, group CEO Madoda Mxakwe has said.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC plans ‘freemium’ streaming service that might require your TV licence number 

Channel 24: The SABC is working on a paywall streaming service with the plan to make content accessed through it available with a valid SABC TV Licence number as part of a “freemium” approach.

SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa’s SABC Plans To Launch Streaming Service To Rival Netflix

Via Broadcast Media Africa: SABC’s CEO Madoda Mxakwe has announced that South Africa’s public broadcaster plans to migrate to digital broadcasting platforms and roll out an over-the-top (OTT) streaming service that will compete with international players such as Netflix.

TANZANIA: “As Long as I am Quiet, I am Safe”

HRW: Since President John Magufuli came to power in 2015, Tanzania has seen a sharp backslide in respect for basic freedoms of association and expression, undermining both media freedoms and civil society. While some restrictive trends may have predated his term, they have intensified since he became president.

TANZANIA: Climate of Fear, Censorship as Repression Mounts

HRW: Repeal Repressive Laws; Investigate Abuses of Activists, Critics, Opponents.

TUNISIA: Tunisia’s new president urged to consolidate press freedom gains

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Kaies Saied, who was sworn in as Tunisia’s new president yesterday, to continue his predecessor’s commitment to journalistic freedom, independence and pluralism on the basis of the country’s constitution and international obligations.

REGIONAL: How China benefits from Africa’s smartphone boom

Deutsche Welle: Africans are increasingly using smartphones. Chinese providers in particular benefit from the boom. The African companies that are pushing their way onto the market are having a hard time competing with Chinese prices.

BANGLADESH & AUSTRALIA: Radio is the original and best social media: ABC’s Andrea Ho #RadioAsia2019

Asia Radio Today: Discussing the ever evolving medium of radio at this week’s Radio Asia conference in Bangladesh, the ABC’s Andrea Ho reminded delegates that radio was the first social medium and, if used well, is able to challenge the new social media of today.

CHINA: RSF warns journalists about Chinese propaganda app that may spy on them

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) warns journalists about Chinese President Xi Jinping’s propaganda app, which could be used as a spying tool for the regime.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong broadcaster TVB seeks injunction to prevent assaults against news crew and property damage

HKFP: Hong Kong’s largest television broadcaster TVB has applied for a temporary injunction against people who “unlawfully and willfully” assault its news crew and damage its property.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong journalists took over a police news conference in protest

Quartz: A daily press conference hosted by the Hong Kong police was interrupted today (Oct. 28) when a journalist spoke up from the back of the room.

HONG KONG: RTHK head rejects allegations that coverage favours demonstrators, accused of ‘living in utopia’

SCMP: The head of public broadcaster RTHK has rejected allegations its coverage favoured Hong Kong protesters, saying it had invited more pro-establishment guests on air than those from the other side of the political spectrum.

INDIA: In India, Modi’s nationalism quashes dissent with help from the media

The Conversation: This summer, Narenda Modi’s government, emboldened by its phenomenal success in the Indian national election, announced it had revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

INDIA: Indian Media Must Be More Responsible When Reporting On Suicides (Study)

NDTV: A three-member team; Dr Gregory Armstrong of the University of Melbourne, Dr Anish Cherian of NIMHANS and Dr Lakshmi Vijaykumar, founder of Sneha Suicide Helpline, looked at the way the Indian media report suicides, studying Tamil Nadu reporting in particular.

JAPAN: NHK sues leader of anti-NHK party over unpaid subscription fees

Mainichi: Japan’s public broadcaster NHK sued on Monday the head of a minor opposition party, who has been a vocal critic of the organization, for not paying his subscription fees.

JAPAN: NHK to “mass produce” 8K content

IBC365: NHK developed its own 8K camera system after the Japanese broadcaster decided to shoot upcoming sports broadcasts in the country in the format. 

PAKISTAN: Ministers, media bodies condemn Pemra order

DAWN: Not only the media persons and journalists’ bodies but also a number of cabinet members have criticised the directive issued by Pemra to restrict the appearance of television anchors in current affairs programmes.

PAKISTAN: Pakistan media regulator walks back ban on news anchors expressing personal opinions

CPJ: On October 27, 2019, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, the country’s nominally independent media regulator, issued an order posted on its official Twitter account prohibiting news anchors from expressing opinions, stating that anchors hosting news programs “should not appear in talk shows,” and saying that news organizations would be held responsible for “any biased, unfair analysis” aired by their employees.

PHILIPPINES: Consortium on Democracy and Disinformation calls for research proposals (Opportunity)

Rappler: Together with members from media organizations, the academe, and other civil society organizations, the consortium aims to find answers to how disinformation is produced and how it affects Philippine democracy.

SOUTH KOREA: KBS Accuses YouTube Panel over Sexist Remarks against Female Reporter

KBS World: South Korean broadcaster KBS has filed a defamation accusation against a YouTube panelist for his alleged sexist remarks about a female KBS reporter. 

AUSTRALIA: AFP allegedly told ABC lawyer it ‘did not want sensationalist headlines’ prior to raids

ABC News: An Australian Federal Police (AFP) officer told ABC lawyers he did not want “sensationalist headlines” prior to a raid of the broadcaster’s Sydney headquarters, a court has heard.

AUSTRALIA: Australian media fights for citizens’ right to know

CJR: This summer, Australia saw unprecedented breaches of press freedom. 

AUSTRALIA: How and why the ABC made Australia Talks — your questions answered

ABC News: The ABC’s Australia Talks project aims to find out what Australians are really thinking and feeling, and then use those findings to help us all learn something about each other.

AUSTRALIA: Media industry must unite against gender-based online abuse (Callout)

MEAA: A united industry approach by media organisations is needed to combat the prevalence of online harassment and abuse of women media workers, a new report recommends.

AUSTRALIA: ‘There will be job losses’, ABC boss warns amid reduced funding

SMH: ABC staff will lose jobs as the broadcaster grapples with reduced funding.

NEW ZEALAND: Additional funding helped NZ On Air deliver more, and more diverse public media in 2018/19

NZ On Air: Two one-off funding boosts last year for public media resulted in more than 50 new projects targeting under-served audiences.

NEW ZEALAND: Public Broadcasting Policy – New chapter, same story? (Opinion)

SCOOP: The formation of a new coalition government in New Zealand in the wake of the 2017 election ended three terms of National-led governments and raised the prospect of a significant shift in media policy. National had insisted that in the digital media ecology, the funding of public broadcasting institutions was no longer a priority.

NEW ZEALAND: TV sell-off prompts political response

RNZ: MediaWorks’ move to cut off its TV arm has swung the spotlight onto the government’s plans for broadcasting. Politicians sent out distinctly mixed messages this past week ranging from staged schadenfreude to promises of help  – and ‘wait and see’.

AUSTRIA, GERMANY & SWITZERLAND: ORF, ARD, ZDF create model statute for editors (German)

Salzburger Nachrichten: The editorial boards of ARD, ZDF, Deutschlandradio and Deutsche Welle (AGRA), the ORF editorial board and editors from the Swiss SRG have agreed on a far-reaching cooperation at their autumn meeting this week in Vienna.

DENMARK: New report about the media development in Denmark

Nordicom: In 2018, more Danes accessed a news site daily than read a printed daily newspaper. During the same year, half the newspaper titles in Denmark lost more than ten percent of their readers. These are some of the trends shown in the Media Development in Denmark 2019 report.

ESTONIA: President on media freedom at Äripäev conference (Speech)

ERR: President Kersti Kaljulaid’s speech at Äripäev’s 30th anniversary conference ’30 years of free press in Estonia’

FRANCE: “We challenge Google’s decision”: French press publishers lodge complaint against digital giant who does not respect “neighboring rights” (French)

France Info: Marc Feuillée, president of the National Daily Press (SPQN), announced that a complaint about “abuse of dominance” will be filed against Google.

GERMANY: German media industry continues to grow in 2019

Broadband TV News: For the first time this year, the audiovisual media industry in Germany will reach a combined turnover of more than €13 billion.

GERMANY: Political provocation: How do the media handle it? (Opinion)

MDR360: Do journalists jump over too many sticks? In some cases it is quite appropriate to respond to provocations. But especially when politicians spread misrepresentations, there is a risk that they receive even greater attention by reporting. So be careful.

HUNGARY: New Restrictions on Journalists Working in Hungarian Parliament

COE: On 21 October 2019, the Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary, László Kövér, published a list of new rules which have come into force for the autumn session which restrict the freedom of movement and activities of journalists working in both Hungarian Parliament Building and the offices of the National Assembly. 

IRELAND: Licence fee changes likely to worsen funding crisis, RTÉ says

The Irish Times: Director-general tells Minister high salaries will be kept ‘under review’. 

LATVIA: Latvijas Radio urges media council to finance equipment purchase and repairs

BNN: Latvijas Radio urges Latvia’s National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) to allocate EUR 271 800 to finance replacement of outdated radio equipment and repairs.

LITHUANIA: Lithuanians are using software to fight back against fake news

THe Economist: The country is besieged by Russian propaganda. 

MALTA: Government mum on Malta’s failure to sign global media freedom pledge

The Shift: The Maltese government has failed to sign a pledge by an international coalition of governments committing to taking action to improve media freedom and the safety of journalists at home and abroad.

NETHERLANDS: Journalists demonstrate for release NOS reporter (Dutch – Listen)

NPO: Bas was taken hostage by a judge-judge yesterday [24 Oct], because he doesn’t want to say anything about a conversation with one of his sources. That could endanger his source and himself, he says. Bas relies on his journalistic privilege.

SPAIN: Catalonia protests: Without journalism, there is no democracy

EFJ: The political conflict between Catalonia and Spain has reached its most critical point with a week of protests against the sentence that condemned Catalan leaders between 9 and 13 years of prison. 

SPAIN: SVoD and pay-TV thrive in Spain

IBC365: Consumer spend is forecasted to exceed €3 billion in 2019 for the first time in the Spanish entertainment market, according to a report by Futuresource.

SPAIN: The Sixth in the electoral television with kidnapped RTVE (Opinion – Spanish)

Público: It is the first time that a television (La Sexta) interviews a government president three times in four months. It is also the first time that three electoral processes (two general and one municipal and regional) have been carried out with RTVE kidnapped by a single administrator imposed by the government without a Board of Directors or parliamentary control. 

SWEDEN: Digitisation is affecting our media lives

Nordicom: The use of traditional media is decreasing and the use of social media is levelling out. At the same time, the use of digital streaming services for video and sound is increasing. This is stated in the report The Swedes and the Internet 2019, presented by the Internet Foundation in Sweden on October 15.

SWEDEN: SVT wants to offer a multimedia news service (Blog – Swedish)

SVT: Eric Rosén, assistant editor at Schibsted-owned Aftonbladet, wants to contribute to clarity in the public service debate.

SWITZERLAND: Zurich: the SRG will have to pay for the land of the city (Italian)

Swissinfo: The SRF German Swiss TV studios are located on land that has been made available for free for over 50 years by the city of Zurich. The situation is now set to change: especially after the SRG has refused to hand over another parcel to the city.

UK: BBC launches UK’s first voice news service

IBC365: The BBC has released the first UK interactive voice news service in a bid to make it easier and quicker for listeners to find stories.

UK: BBC Local Democracy Reporter scheme opened up to BAME publications

Press Gazette: The BBC-funded local democracy reporting service has been opened up to news platforms aimed at black, Asian and minority ethnic communities in the UK to help its journalism reach a wider audience.

UK: BBC risking ‘lost generation’ as younger audience tunes out

Ofcom: The BBC may not be sustainable in its current form, if it fails to regain younger audiences who are increasingly tuning out of its services.

UK: Brexit bias? BBC faces a difficult balancing act in polarised nation (Opinion)

The Guardian: There has been a marked rise in complaints as the corporation tries its best to remain impartial

UK: Presenter Samira Ahmed faces the BBC at tribunal

BBC News: Presenter Samira Ahmed has taken the BBC to tribunal this week, arguing she was paid “a sixth” of what Jeremy Vine earned in “a very similar job”.

UKRAINE: Online and Social Media Overtake TV in Popularity in Ukraine – a New USAID-Internews Media Consumption Survey Says

Internews: Ukrainians increasingly turn to the internet as their major source of news and information, with online and social media taking over from television this year for the first time in popularity and reach, according to the annual Internews Media Consumption Survey presented today at a press conference.

REGIONAL: Code of Practice on Disinformation one year on: online platforms submit self-assessment reports

European Commission: Today, the European Commission published the first annual self-assessment reports by Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Twitter and 7 European trade associations under the Code of Practice on Disinformation.

ARGENTINA: This is how the television channels covered the closing of the elections (Spanish)

Infobae: Argentinian channels had special coverage of the presidential elections, All of the stations on air like cable modified their programs with columnists, special guests and opinion tables. 

BRAZIL: Bolsonaro threatens not to renew Globo concession (Portuguese) 

Brasil247: Bolsonaro blamed the media for news that he said was trying to destabilize him and threatened not to renew the contracts of media companies.

HAITI: “Change of system: the Haitian press must be part of it”, according to Jacques Desrosiers

Haiti Press Network:  Senior journalist Jacques Desrosiers pointed out that the press should also be a part of the changes happening in Haiti and improvements to the profession must also be made. Desrosiers commented that a higher standard of training is needed. 

MEXICO: Journalism and technology against organised crime in Mexico (Spanish)

La Vanguardia: Research shows how reporters who uncover the most serious cases of drug trafficking and feminicide are virtually organized. 

MEXICO: Making do with less: Mexican media bruised by president’s austerity

Reuters: Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office in December promising to reduce public spending to free up more resources for the poor. But his austerity drive has left media outlets reeling, and raised questions about whether Lopez Obrador is trying to influence coverage.

REGIONAL: More Latin American journalists are using fact-checking and data analysis tools, ICFJ research finds 

Knight Centre for Journalism in the Americas: The use of digital fact-checking and information verification tools has nearly doubled among journalists in Latin America and the Caribbean over the past two years, according to unpublished data from a survey by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) obtained by the Knight Center.

REGIONAL: Regional media trained in covering hurricanes

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday: The Association for Caribbean Media Workers held a workshop in Antigua on media coverage of children in disaster.

IRAQ: Journalists injured and detained, broadcasters banned as protests resume in Iraq


ISRAEL: Members of public assault Israeli journalist Daniel Siryoti in Kiryat Ata

CPJ: Israeli authorities should investigate the assault on journalist Daniel Siryoti and ensure that the perpetrators are held to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

JORDAN: Cabinet appoints new director generals for JRTV, Jordan News Agency, Petra

ZAWYA: The Cabinet on Monday appointed Fayeg Hijazeen as the new director general of the Jordan News Agency, Petra, following an extensive qualification process and interviews, as part of the government’s approach for employment in leading positions.

LEBANON: Spinning, downplaying, ignoring: Lebanon protests and the media (Watch)

Al Jazeera: How domestic media outlets are covering Lebanon’s protests against taxes, austerity and corruption.

PALESTINE: Palestinian court orders block of dozens of news websites and Facebook pages

CPJ: On October 17, the Ramallah Magistrate Court ordered local internet service providers to block access to at least 25 news websites within the West Bank and Gaza, following a request from the Palestinian attorney general’s office, according to reports from the regional press freedom group Skeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom, the Palestinian online rights organization Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media, and the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate.

TURKEY: New powers of Turkey’s media watchdog threaten last bastion of free press: The internet

IPI: Experts say regulation aims to exert control over independent online media currently outside government’s reach

TURKEY: Turkey Targets Foreign Journalists in Press Freedom Crackdown 

VOA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan filed a criminal complaint Friday against a French magazine over a cover accusing him of “ethnic cleansing,” according to the state-owned Anadolu Agency.

CANADA: Public broadcasters around the world collaborate to support media literacy

CBC/Radio-Canada: To mark Global Media and Information Literacy Week, 24-31 October, national public broadcasters the ABC, CBC/Radio-Canada and PBS have come together to call for greater media literacy in the digital age.

CANADA: Why CBC started looking into violence in schools (Opinion) 

CBC News: The safety of students at school was raised recently in the wake of the fatal stabbing of a 14-year-old student at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School in Hamilton. CBC’s investigation into violence in schools uncovered some alarming statistics.

US: As California burns again, news outlets neglect climate change again (Opinion)


US:  Battle to regain control of Pacifica’s WBAI continues in court

Current: Local hosts have regained access to studios at Pacifica’s WBAI but remain off the air, with control of the station subject to a pending legal dispute that is dividing the network’s board of directors.

US: Changing Coverage of Indigenous Communities: A Q&A with NAJA’s Tristan Ahtone

GIJN: Tristan Ahtone, the president of the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), is an award-winning journalist and an associate editor for tribal affairs at High Country News, which covers the western United States. 

US: Inspired by past projects, ProPublica launches collaborative reporting tool

IJNet: In 2016, ProPublica launched Electionland. A year later, they rolled out Documenting Hate. The two large-scale collaborative reporting projects have mobilized newsrooms and journalists across the country to crowdsource information about voter access issues and hate crimes in the U.S. The results have been hard-hitting reports providing comprehensive coverage of these often under-covered issues.

US: The Exchange: PBS CEO Paula Kerger (Listen)

Reuters: Streaming is upending the media landscape, including public television. Its funding model, local structure and social mandate make broadcaster PBS unlike any other U.S outlet. Its longest-serving boss, Paula Kerger, discusses the challenges and possibilities of the new era.

US: To help confused users, NPR will consolidate its two apps into one (Paywall)

Current: NPR will focus on promoting a single app for its content beginning next year with a new app powered by NPR One’s technology.

13 countries cited for enabling ‘impunity’ in journalist deaths

France 24: More than 200 killings of journalists are unsolved in 13 countries cited by a media watchdog group for enabling “impunity” for the crimes.

Facebook Introduces News Tab (Listen)

NPR: Facebook began rolling out a feature in the U.S. on its mobile app: a tab called Facebook News. It highlights stories from established publications selected by a team of journalists.

Half the world on mute: the fight against online harassment

Deutsche Welle: For women journalists, online harassment and abuse aren’t just questions of workplace safety but also of censorship, writes Canadian DW editor Michaela Cavanagh.

ICFJ Survey: Journalists Worldwide are Embracing Technology to Tackle Daunting Challenges

ICFJ: Journalists around the world are increasingly turning to digital technology to help address daunting challenges such as the spread of misinformation and growing attacks on reporters, according to the International Center for Journalists’ 2019 survey of the State of Technology in Global Newsrooms. 

Investigative reporter gives tips on building credibility, trust

IJNet: News organizations have been losing credibility for years, and the reasons are many. Too often, we journalists have been arrogant and said, in effect, “Trust us, we know what we’re doing.” But today, journalism is under attack, and we have to explain why people should trust us.

Leaderless rebellion: how social media enables global protests

Financial Times: From Hong Kong to Chile activists have used technology to stay ahead of the authorities.

Newsonomics: Will Facebook’s new news tab be a milestone or millstone? (Editorial)

Nieman Lab: The money is welcome, and the potential audience is too. But does this push publishers away from being destinations and toward being suppliers?

What if scale breaks community? How to reboot audience engagement amid political attacks and platform capture

Nieman Lab: Dramatic shifts in the media landscape over the past two decades — including the advent of social media, the rise of participatory audiences, and what we’re calling “platform capture” — have necessitated the transformation of journalism’s relationship with news consumers.

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