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

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BENIN: Benin’s government has shut the internet ahead of an election that has no opposition

Quartz: Benin’s legislative elections today will have no one contesting from the opposition parties. Another thing that voters won’t have access to: the internet.

EGYPT: Clampdown on media coverage of Egypt’s constitutional referendum

RSF: The ban on publishing partial results was imposed by the National Election Authority, which is in charge of the voting. It nonetheless announced at a press conference in Cairo on 20 April that the media had the right to cover both the voting and the vote count, but many reporters have in practice been prevented from attending vote count operations.

ERITREA: In Eritrea, Jailed Journalists Continue to Languish

VOA News

ETHIOPIA: Under Abiy, Ethiopia’s media have more freedom but challenges remain

CPJ: During a trip to Addis Ababa in January, it was impossible to miss the signs that Ethiopian media are enjoying unprecedented freedom.

GHANA: Assault of the 3 Ghanaian Times Journalists: Policy Paths to Improving Safety of Journalists’ Situation in Ghana

MFWA: On Thursday, March 14, 2019, 10 security officers assaulted three reporters of the state-owned Ghanaian Times newspaper who were on their way cover some events in Accra.

KENYA: KBC, airports risk auction if Kenyan Gov’t fails to pay Ksh.5.6 trillion debt

Citizen Digital: Listed public institutions such as State Broadcaster KBC now risk auction should the Kenyan government fail to meet its ballooning debt obligation.

NAMIBIA: Namibia’s Media – Facing the Digital Challenge (Report)


RWANDA: Rwanda court repeals law banning satirical cartoons

Reuters: Rwanda’s supreme court on Wednesday repealed a law that banned the publication of political cartoons, while upholding another that punishes insulting or defaming the president with at least five years in prison.

SOUTH AFRICA: Chris Maroleng’s sacking causes further strife at South African broadcaster SABC

The Africa Report: South Africa’s public broadcaster, the SABC, is once again facing turmoil following the sudden removal of COO Chris Maroleng and concerns over an urgent cash bailout.

SOUTH AFRICA: Decision to fire SABC COO a step towards restoring organisation: Board

SABC News: The SABC Board says its decision to dismiss its Chief Operations Officer, Chris Maroleng, is a step towards restoring stability and bringing order in the public broadcaster.

SOUTH AFRICA: Digital migration creeps forward

ITWeb: Twenty five thousand low-income households in the Northern Cape province have migrated from the analogue broadcasting system and connected to digital terrestrial television (DTT).

SUDAN: IFJ demands military rulers end gross interference in journalists’ union

IFJ: The IFJ has urged the Transitional Military Council in Sudan to revoke a decree freezing the activities of trade unions, including the journalists union.

SUDAN: Sudan’s bold challenge to authoritarianism

BBC News: Certain moments in history offer the possibility of change, not just in one place but as a signal in millions of lives and beyond national borders. What is unfolding in Sudan has the potential to shape an epoch on the continent of Africa.

UGANDA: Police raids cut short three radio interviews with opposition politician

RSF: The police raided Hope Radio, Kiira FM and Mubende FM on 4, 13 and 18 April respectively. In each case, they cut short an interview with Besigye and disconnected the radio station’s transmitter.

REGIONAL: BBC Arabic extends MENA carriage deal with Yahlive

Rapid TV News: BBC Arabic is extending its reach across North Africa through a long term partnership with UAE-based satellite broadcaster Yahlive.

REGIONAL: ATI and safety of journalists of paramount importance for credible elections

Via IFEX: Five Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries are scheduled to go for elections in 2019. The five are Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa. The countries will be holding their elections in May and October respectively.

GENERAL: Freedom of Expression Situation in Africa – 208 Violations Recorded in 30 Countries only 14 Redressed in 2018

AFEX: There was widespread impunity for freedom of expression (FOE) violations recorded in 2018 with only 14 out of the 208 violations recorded received some level of redress by stakeholders in the African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX’s) maiden Annual Freedom of Expression Situation in Africa report.

HONG KONG: Beijing’s ‘baleful influence’ on Hong Kong’s freedom of speech

Aljazeera: Activists say jailing Umbrella Movement leaders shows how freedom of speech is being restricted in the city.

INDIA: Doordarshan News taps Bollywood characters to encourage voter participation

Livemint: The official Twitter handle of Doordarshan News has been posting photos of characters from popular Hindi films with hashtag #MakeYourMark and urging voters to come out and exercise their voting rights.

INDIA: How to Fight India’s Fake-News Epidemic (Opinion)

The New York Times: Disinformation can be defeated by treating the crisis as we responded to infectious diseases in the past.

INDIA: India Internet Clampdown Will Not Stop Misinformation

HRW: New Rules Threatens Privacy and Freedom of Expression.

INDONESIA: Backstory: Hunting for fake news and trolls in Indonesia’s elections

Reuters: The first online troll I met was a middle-aged, potbellied Indonesian man, dressed casually in jeans and sneakers. He said his nickname was “Commandant”.

JAPAN: Are these the last days of AM radio in Japan? And what is ‘Wide FM’?

The Mainichi

JAPAN: Some NHK board members troubled by return of director with ties to Abe gov’t

The Mainichi: Multiple members of NHK’s Board of Governors have expressed concerns about the public broadcaster’s reinstatement of former executive director Yuji Itano, whose close ties to the government have drawn fire, sources close to the situation said.

MALAYSIA: Visual radio RTM’s new direction, says Gobind

New Straits Times: The launching of visual radio by Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) is the broadcaster’s new direction to move in tandem with transformation of the media.

PAKISTAN: Pakistan’s Cyril Almeida named 71st IPI Press Freedom Hero

IPI: Respected columnist faces treason charges for coverage of civil-military relations and militancy in Pakistan.

SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka Easter bombings: Was the social media ban necessary?

Aljazeera: Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube were among the platforms blocked by the government after the killing of over 250 people.

SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka’s President Lifts Ban on Social Media

The New York Times: Sri Lanka’s president on Tuesday called for the “immediate” lifting of a temporary ban on several social media networks…

THAILAND: Abuse of media share law a growing concern

Bangkok Post: Original good intent of law twisted beyond all reason in cases of Thanathorn and others.

THAILAND: “Authorities must stop using fake news allegations to silence free and fair criticism” (Interview)

IFJ: Chiranuch Premchaiporn is the co-founder of the Foundation for Community Educational Media (FCEM) and Prachatai (meaning Free People), the independent media website. She highlights the limitations on press freedom and the use of fake news to silence the media. #WPFD2019.

GENERAL: Kathmandu Action Plan for Media Integration in Climate Action and DRR

ABU: The 5th ABU Media Summit on Climate Action and Disaster Preparedness adopted the Kathmandu Media Action Plan which lists concrete steps for fully involving media in saving lives and livelihoods.

AUSTRALIA: A matter of (mis)trust: why this election is posing problems for the media

The Conversation: Election 2019 may well prove a watershed event in more ways than one. This will likely be the first time in the country’s electoral history that more voters are following the campaign online than via conventional media – television, newspapers and radio.

AUSTRALIA: ‘There are forces at work out to destroy public broadcasting’: Former ABC journalist (Interview)

The Advertiser: Sky News host Chris Kenny spoke with former ABC journalist and staff appointed board member Quentin Dempster as the future of the public broadcaster comes under the spotlight as an election issue.

MICRONESIA: Bid to expel journalist from Yap puts spotlight on Micronesian ‘free’ media

Asia Pacific Report: Traditional chiefs are trying to expel a US journalist from the Federated States of Micronesia island of Yap.

NEW ZEALAND: Big Boost for RNZ Audiences On-AIr and Online

RNZ: The first nationwide GfK radio industry survey for 2019 reflects another very strong twelve-month performance for RNZ with year-on-year growth for live listening across the two networks RNZ National and RNZ Concert.

NEW ZEALAND: NZ journalists focusing on ‘tragedy prevention’, says CJR research

Asia Pacific Report: More New Zealand journalists have been seeking ways to “prevent tragedy” through their reporting, shows new research published in Columbia Journalism Review.

NEW ZEALAND: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to lead global attempt to shutdown social media terrorism

NZ Herald: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron will next month co-chair a meeting in Paris aimed at addressing how social media plays a part in promoting terrorism.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Deplorable neglect of PNG’s ‘voice of the nation’ (Opinion)

Asia Pacific Report

AUSTRIA: Austria broadcaster defends journalist who compared far-right poster to Nazis

Reuters: Austria’s public broadcaster ORF defended its top news anchor on Friday after a far right politician threatened the journalist with “consequences” for comparing an anti-immigrant poster to Nazi propaganda.

ESTONIA: ERR Head: Press freedoms at public broadcaster not under threat

ERR: Press freedoms at public broadcaster ERR are not under threat, board chair Erik Roose said on Saturday.

ESTONIA: Journalists: Political pressure causing media self-censorship

ERR: The expression ”responsible use of freedoms” refers to a desire to restrict press freedoms; compliance with it leads to increasing self-censorship amongst journalists – so say Andrus Karnau and Ahto Lobjakas, presenters of politics show Olukorrast riigis, on ERR’s Raadio 2.

FRANCE: French police asked to respect press freedom during Yellow Vest protests

RSF: The level of violence to which journalists have been exposed at these protests has been unprecedented.

GERMANY: Extreme-right NPD electoral ad dropped from German TV — report

Deutsche Welle: A court ruled that German public broadcaster ZDF was within its rights to refuse airtime to a campaign advertisement of the extreme-right National Democratic Party (NPD), the Rhein Zeitung newspaper reported Saturday.

GERMANY: German broadcaster sees 5G as potential replacement for DVB-T2 (Paywall)

Telecompaper: 5G broadcasting might replace the DVB-T2 transmission standard by 2030 at the latest in Germany, the head of syndication and controlling at German public radio and TV broadcaster Bayerischen Rundfunk (BR) Helwin Lesch said.

ITALY: Italy’s RAI relaunches thematic channel offer

Advanced Television: Italian public broadcaster RAI is closing two thematic channels, while at the same time launching one new TV channel.

NETHERLANDS: Dutch media regulator to work more closely with data protection authority


ROMANIA: Local Media in Romania Earn Profits, But Only on Paper

CMDS: The majority of local media outlets in Romania managed to earn profits in 2017, but in reality, Romanian local media experience a profound financial crisis

RUSSIA: Russia postpones digital switchover in 21 regions

Digital TV Europe: The Russian government has postponed digital switchover in 21 regions of the country, according to local reports.

SLOVAKIA: IPI calls for investigation into the surveillance of journalists in Slovakia

The Slovak Spectator: The International Press Institute wants to know how the crime group managed to access police databases.

SLOVENIA: Hungary and Croatia Try to Silence Slovenian Media

SEENPM: Government connections in two of Slovenia’s neighbours try to influence media reports in the country, but Slovenia reacts strongly, showing a more progressive approach to freedom of the press.

SPAIN: The strike at RTVE prevents the broadcast of ‘La mañana de La 1’ (Spanish)

InfoLibre: Convened by the RTVEsinpersonal platform, affects the live spaces, except for the news. They denounce the shortage of personnel in the technical areas that translates into an increase in external hiring.

UK: BBC launches first multiplayer online game in beta

Digital TV Europe: The BBC has launched its first multiplayer online game in beta to get feedback from users ahead of a full launch.

UK: BBC submits iPlayer plans to Ofcom

Digital TV Europe: The BBC has submitted its plans to make more box-sets and more content available for longer on its iPlayer service to Ofcom following completion of the public interest test ordered by the regulator.

UK: In a place where journalists’ freedom is under threat, Lyra McKee was a fearless voice of truth

Prospect: Amnesty and Reporters Without Borders have both highlighted the risk to journalists in Northern Ireland. After McKee’s death, it’s time politicians and press across the UK took the lives of its people seriously.

UK: Untrustworthy news sites could be flagged automatically in UK

The Guardian: NewsGuard in talks with ISPs about sending alerts to warn readers of suspect news sites.

UK: Wanted: newsrooms that truly reflect modern Britain (Opinion)

The Guardian: No-name applications may be an effective way to eliminate elite bias in journalist recruitment.

UKRAINE: Pressures on investigative journalists during the electoral campaign

IFJ: After Ukraine elected its new president on 21 April, Sergiy Tomilenko, chair of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) describes the state of press freedom in the country and his union’s role in upholding quality journalism, warning journalists against propaganda and encouraging political leaders to stand for freedom of speech.

REGIONAL: The Western Balkans’ Sketchy Media Literacy Landscapes (Research)

SEENPM: Major research by SEENPM member organisations finds that countries of the region lack comprehensive policies and institutional framework for developing MIL in a systematic way and at scale.

GENERAL: After journalist’s murder, efforts to combat SLAPP in Europe

CJR: Daphne Caruana Galizia, an investigative journalist in Malta, was on her way to the bank when she was killed by a car bomb outside her house in October 2017.

GENERAL: Are European elections guaranteed without “fake news”? (French)

Radio France: As European elections approach, states, European institutions, media and digital platforms are struggling to stop the spread of false news.  

GENERAL: Is press freedom going to be an issue in the next European election?

Index on Censorship: Responding to violations of media freedom in Hungary has become a conundrum for the EU. With populist parties poised for large gains in the next European election, Sally Gimson explores in the spring 2019 issue of Index on Censorship magazine what the EU could do to uphold free speech in member countries.

ARGENTINA: City of Buenos Aires launched new public media programming (Spanish)


ARGENTINA: Drawing a map of media concentration in Argentina (Spanish)

Noticias: Results of an investigation to monitor ownership of the media across Argentina.

MEXICO: Capital city government presents initiative of Broadcasting Law (Spanish)

24 Horas: The proposal replaces the Digital Radio and Television System of the Federal District Government, and will be a decentralized, non-sectorized body with its own legal personality and assets.

NICARAGUA:  Still governing by repression a year after crisis began

Amnesty International: A year after the beginning of the crisis in Nicaragua, President Ortega’s government is continuing its strategy of repression and human rights violations, despite the many calls from international organizations and the determined efforts of civil society to find a swift solution that upholds the rights of the population.

URUGUAY: On the initiative of journalists’ association, political parties in Uruguay to sign a pact against misinformation

Knight Center: All political parties with representation in the Uruguayan parliament are set to sign an Ethical Pact against misinformation on April 26.

REGIONAL: OECS drops 15 places in 2019 World Press Freedom Index

Caribbean News Now

REGIONAL: Violence Against Reporters in Latin America Increased in 2018

The Rio Times: The improvement seen in the 2018 annual Reporters Without Borders (RFS) report on freedom of press in Latin America was short lived. This year’s report shows reporters covering the region face more violent and intimidating working conditions.

IRAN: Flood emergency triggers crackdown on journalists in Iran

RSF: The crackdown has above all been prompted by online criticism of the slow pace with which the authorities have responded to massive flooding in around 25 provinces since 22 March. At least 76 people have died in this “unprecedented phenomenon,” according to the government.

SYRIA: Journalists in northern Syria face intimidation and insecurity every day

Index on Censorship: In March, the Violation Documentation Center reported on the arrest of two journalists in Jarabulus by the local Turkish-backed security intelligence. They noted that the Turkish zone of influence has a high level of insecurity for journalists and are “closed to the media except for those licensed by Turkey, and closed to local and international human rights organisations”.

TURKEY: DW launches Turkish YouTube channel, +90

Deutsche Welle: Deutsche Welle and three other major international media partners have launched a new YouTube channel they say aims to provide “a range of new journalistic information” to users in Turkey, as well as Turks living abroad.

TURKEY: Turkish newspaper staff sent back to prison

Al-monitor: Six former employees of one of Turkey’s oldest newspapers were sent back to prison on Thursday after a court upheld their convictions on terrorism-related charges in a high-profile case international rights defenders have slammed as a blatant attack on press freedom.

TURKEY: Two years without Wikipedia

Article 19: Today [29 April] marks two years since the Turkish government blocked access to the online encyclopaedia website, Wikipedia, in Turkey.

YEMEN: How They Did It: Reporting Online — and Offline — Threats to Yemeni Journalists and Activists

GIJN: Yemen is a highly challenging place for journalists to work, given that they face threats from all sides in the ongoing civil war.

CANADA: Montreal’s new Maison de Radio-Canada is smaller but better, execs say

The Whig: The design of the public broadcaster’s new home is expected to facilitate collaboration between its francophone and anglophone services.

CANADA: Thunder Bay: Local news is important for conversations on reconciliation

The Conversation: The Ontario city of Thunder Bay is in the headlines these days for all the wrong reasons. Canada’s highest rates of murder and violent crime.

US: How breaking news got panelized: On cable, journalists and pundits increasingly share space.

The Washington Post: Within minutes of the announcement that President Trump had agreed to meet North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, the cable news networks had their panels of talking heads assembled and ready, like SWAT teams preparing to storm a barricaded house.

US: Local News in America Is Dying. Charity Might Save It

Bloomburg: Some 200 nonprofit websites are hustling to keep state and city governments honest. Many are succeeding.

US: PBS program chief shares strategies for ‘building bridge’ to younger, more diverse audiences (Paywall)

Current: Look to the forthcoming “Summer of Space” and Retro Report for a taste of what Perry Simon plans to build on as PBS’ new chief program executive.

5 ways to change the narrative from fear to hope

Bond: When a 2019 Gillette advert condemned toxic masculinity and encouraged men to be “the best a man can be”, activists rolled their eyes. But we should also ask ourselves why some companies are better at bringing to life the very values that we believe we espouse and want to see commonplace in our societies.

A decade of working in data journalism: what has changed? (Opinion)

Simon Rogers: When I decided I wanted to be a journalist, somewhere between the first and second years of primary school, it never occurred to me that would involve data.

Collaboration shows a way forward for local journalism with impact

RISJ: Under pressure from declining revenues and in some cases limited resources, local journalism is seeing a variety of collaborative efforts which are having clear benefits in the quality of reporting, resource sharing, and engagement with communities, a new study finds.

Does social media reform have the law on its side?

RNZ: Some pundits predict the “Christchurch call to action” and the PM’s upcoming social media summit in Paris won’t move US-based tech companies. They’ve always resisted regulation and can fall back on powerful US free speech laws. But could reformers find US lawyers and lawmakers end up on their side?

Gender on the agenda for the future of ethical journalism – not just for women

Ethical Journalism Network: Women account for almost half of the global population. Yet to look at the constitution of newsrooms or news reporting, you might think that figure was wrong.

Global Shining Light Award

GIJN: Every two years, the Global Investigative Journalism Network presents the Global Shining Light Award, a unique award which honors investigative journalism in a developing or transitioning country, done under threat, duress, or in the direst of conditions.

Migrants and the media: what shapes the narratives on immigration in different countries

The Conversation

More than meets the eye: tips to find EU funding for journalism

EJC: The European Union is entangled with journalism in so many ways that it can be hard to see the forest for the trees. That’s because journalism only appears on the label of very few programmes, but can well be an ingredient or theme of many others.

Overcoming DAB+ SFN Network Challenges

Radio World: Here’s what we’ve learned when trialing small-scale, local digital terrestrial services in Poland.

Unleash the Power of Citizen Journalists in Your Newsroom

GIJN: Local news is in crisis, apathy among young citizens is at an all-time high and the rise of smartphones is turning neighbors into alienated strangers.

What to do with disinformation?

OBC Transeuropa: A factsheet.

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