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

Public media is in peril and facing many challenges. Social media platforms are presenting an existential crisis to public service media. Governments are trying to extend their control and influence on the editorial output of the broadcasters. Funding systems for many are up in the air. Journalists are facing threats, attacks and harassment, both online and in-person. But it’s also an exciting time for public service media – digital platforms provide new opportunities to reach audiences, technology means public broadcasters can be innovative in how they provide a public service.

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When Reporters Are the Enemy: Practicing Journalism in Hostile Regimes 

CJR: The Columbia Journalism Review explores the dangers of reporting under some of the world’s most restrictive governments.

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Regulation, innovation and future-proofing: takeaways from Perugia on generative AI 

Journalism.co.uk: Have news organisations learned the right lessons from working with platforms? Are newsrooms being too short-sighted in their applications for the tech? These questions and more were discussed at the International Journalism Festival

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BURKINA FASO: Burkina Faso suspends more foreign media over HRW report

VOA: This follows similar action last week, when Burkina Faso temporarily suspended the programs of Voice of America and BBC/Africa following the broadcast of news stories about a Human Rights Watch report accusing the Burkinabe army of abuses against civilian populations.

BURKINA FASO: Statement on Burkina Faso’s Actions Against VOA Programming, Access to Website and Digital Platforms (Press release) 

VOA: Voice of America is concerned about restrictions on its content demanded by the government of Burkina Faso.

BURKINA FASO: Why Burkina Faso is muzzling foreign media

DW: Burkina Faso’s military junta has suspended more international media, including DW. It’s part of a pattern of press repression as the junta’s counterterrorism operations take a high civilian toll.

CHAD: Concern about newspaper’s suspension, other restrictions, two weeks before elections in Chad

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is alarmed by the growing obstacles that Chad’s authorities are placing in the way of press freedom ahead of presidential elections on 6 May, including suspending a newspaper, preventing another from covering a political rally and banning interactive broadcasts.

GHANA: Politicians have hijacked ownership of media houses to suppress press freedom — Charlotte Osei

Modern Ghana: Charlotte Osei, the former Chairperson of Ghana’s Electoral Commission, has warned that the country’s media landscape risks stifling free speech if ownership remains concentrated in the hands of politicians.

KENYA: Kenya’s long walk to media freedom (Opinion)

The Standard: The free and independent media in literally under siege. While other countries are working on innovative viability and sustainability models for their media to get a free, responsible and accountable partner in the democratisation process, in Kenya, we are busy butchering a free press.

LESOTHO: Lesotho: Authorities must stop threats against Lesotho Tribune’s journalists and proprietor

Amnesty International: “Amnesty International is appalled by the harassment, intimidation and threats against journalist and media proprietor Phafane Nkotsi. The threatening notes found at the premises of Lesotho Tribune are despicable and designed to send a chilling message to journalists and the media. This attack on freedom of expression and media freedom must stop.”

MALI: Mali’s transitional calendar ignored; siege on media, civil society intensified

MFWA: The transitional government in Mali was supposed to have ended on March 26, 2024. But the much-anticipated deadline for a return to constitutional order has passed in a casual manner, with the military government, which was formed after the August 2020 coup, still ensconced on the throne.

NIGER & RUSSIA: Kremlin deploys propaganda outlets to whitewash Wagner’s footprints in the Sahel

VOA: To expand its influence in the African region, Russia has launched a complex of diplomatic, economic, and military initiatives, from hosting annual African forums under President Vladimir Putin’s patronage to funding a massive propaganda campaign to whitewash Russia’s image from the stain of violence and corruption left by Wagner troops. 

NIGERIA: Differently-abled person speaks on challenges impacting freedom of expression in rural areas

Ripples Nigeria: Josephine Diase, a prominent figure in the Disability Movement, sheds light on the obstacles confronting people with disabilities in rural regions, especially as it concerns media freedom and freedom of expression.

SENEGAL: Spotlight: Press Freedom in Senegal in 2024 

IPI: This International Press Institute (IPI) briefing highlights current press freedom challenges in Senegal. Additionally, it sets forth high-level recommendations on promoting and protecting press freedom and journalist safety.

SOUTH AFRICA: Canal+ continues to buy shares in MultiChoice off the market

IOL: France-based multilateral broadcast group Canal+ has acquired a further 3.37 million MultiChoice shares, the Takeover Regulation Panel (TRP) said in a JSE regulatory notice yesterday.

SOUTH AFRICA: Condemnation of State Security Agency’s Attempt to Vet SABC Head of News

Media Monitoring Africa: This move by the SSA undermines the fundamental principles of media and editorial independence and freedom of the press. While the SABC may be a deemed a Critical Infrastructure in terms of the Critical Infrastructure Act, the Act is focused on the vetting of security personnel and not journalists.

SOUTH AFRICA: Financial pressures on press are risking quality of independent media (Opinion)

Sunday Times: South Africa’s strong history of robust and independent media is facing many challenges, including financial pressures and the increasing influence of powerful interests.

TOGO: Togo elections: Authorities must allow media to work freely

IPI: Government expelled French journalist and suspended accreditation for foreign reporters.

REGIONAL: Digital disinformation threatens African elections, activists say (Watch) 

VOA: At least 16 African countries, including South Africa, will hold elections in the remaining months of 2024. Voters who go online for political news are risking exposure to disinformation and misinformation. But a new digital ethics organization aims to help journalists and activists identify false and misleading content so they can educate the public.

REGIONAL: Exile Media Hub Nairobi: A Sanctuary for Journalists from East Africa

UNESCO: The project protects and strengthens exiled journalists with safety, livelihood, financial and legal assistance, capacity development and more.

AFGHANISTAN: How radio is making women’s voices heard in Afghanistan

BBC Media Action: As women’s rights are severely curtailed, a group of brave female radio producers and presenters remain on air to bring critical health information.

AFGHANISTAN: Taliban detain 3 Afghan radio journalists for playing music, talking to female callers 

CPJ: Taliban authorities should immediately and unconditionally release radio reporters Ismail Saadat, Wahidullah Masum, and Ehsanullah Tasal and stop harassing the press for their work.

AFGHANISTAN: The journalists behind Afghan Fact share how they counter disinformation (Interview)

IJNet: At the end of 2022, an Afghan journalist sent his colleagues an IJNet Persian article on fact-checking and verification. The piece came with a recommendation: that they should launch a website focused on fact-checking in Afghanistan.

AFGHANISTAN: Why the Taliban Love Social Media

The Walrus: The extremist group’s strategy to normalize its rule in Afghanistan.

CHINA: Apple’s censorship in China is just the tip of the iceberg 

CJR: Last week, the Chinese government ordered Apple to remove several widely used messaging apps—WhatsApp, Threads, Signal, and Telegram—from its app store. According to the Wall Street Journal, these apps have about three billion users globally, and have been downloaded more than a hundred and seventy million times in China since 2017.

CHINA: ‘I couldn’t remain silent’: Son fights for Uyghur journalist’s release from Chinese prison

CPJ: The last time Bahram Sintash saw his journalist father was in 2017. Qurban Mamut, an influential Uyghur editor had come to the United States for a visit but upon his return to Xinjiang in northwest China, he disappeared.

CHINA: Piercing the Veil of Censorship in China as a Visual Investigator

GIJN: Investigative reporting in China has become extremely difficult due to the severe deterioration of press freedom in the past decade. Therefore, open source investigations conducted outside China are becoming crucial.

HONG KONG: HK press group’s fundraiser forced online after venue axes booking

HKFP: The Hong Kong Journalists Association had planned the concert to raise funds to support press freedom but the live event was axed at the last minute. It is the latest in a series of such events faced by remaining civil society groups.

HONG KONG: Quality journalism to benefit from Hong Kong shelving law against fake news (Opinion)

South China Morning Post: The government has finally shelved a law against fake news first proposed in 2021 in the wake of social unrest and amid the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic. The decision is welcome.

INDIA: India Today Group’s AI anchor Sana wins global media award

India Today: India Today Group’s AI news anchor, Sana, wins the 2024 Global Media Award by the International News Media Association for leading the transformation of the newsroom with innovative AI technology.

INDIA: The ghosts of India’s TikTok: What happens when a social media app is banned

BBC: TikTok was one of India’s most popular apps – until it was banned in 2020. It’s a lesson for what might unfold if a US ban goes ahead.

INDIA: The Taming Of India’s Regional Media: Why Hindi Dailies, TV Channels Present Handouts From Ministries As News

Article 14: In this essay for an anthology on the curbing of press freedoms in India, veteran journalist and author Mrinal Pande explains how the Hindi-speaking belt, the country’s largest homogenised media market, saw family-owned news corporations network with other business houses, acquire political clout and eventually became a key factor in the BJP’s big electoral successes.

INDIA: Why WhatsApp is resisting India’s new social media regulation

NewsBytes: WhatsApp, the popular messaging service, is resisting a regulation by the Indian government that mandates social media platforms to trace messages and identify their origin.

INDONESIA: Publisher Rights And Indonesian Media Transformation

Voi.id: Publisher Rights regulations are at the center of debate in the Indonesian media world. Some welcomed it warmly, seeing it as a crucial step in maintaining media continuity amidst digital shocks. However, on the other hand, voices of concern have also emerged, regarding the possibility of limiting press freedom.

JAPAN: Japan’s ‘cowardly’ media fails to take on corporate giants (Opinion)

Financial Review: As he leaves Japan as the AFR’s North Asia correspondent, Michael Smith reflects on a media that is often too scared to hold its government and CEOs to account.

KAZAKHSTAN: RFE/RL, Kazakh Foreign Ministry Reach Agreement On Accreditation

RFE/RL: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) has reached agreement with the Kazakh Foreign Ministry over the accreditation of dozens of its journalists in the Central Asian country amid fears the government was trying to stifle independent media.

NEPAL: Nepal’s Media fraternity battles disinformation

Annapurna Express: Nepal’s media fraternity has expressed concerns regarding a surge in fake news directed at independent media outlets that have been uncovering corruption and governance failures. They say these fake news represent a deliberate and systematic campaign to undermine the credibility of independent press and misguide the general public. 

PAKISTAN: Over 200 journalists ‘intimidated’ via legal notices last year: Freedom Network

Dawn: Media freedom in Pakistan suffered significant setbacks over the past year, particularly through “state-driven intimidation” and “predatory actions by some non-state actors” which saw over 200 journalists and bloggers targeted via at least 70 legal notices.

SINGAPORE: Award-winning drama All That Glitters to debut on Netflix alongside other popular Mediacorp titles (Press release) 

Mediacorp: This follows an agreement inked between Singapore’s largest content creator Mediacorp and global streaming platform Netflix.

SINGAPORE: Yahoo to lay off staff in S’pore as it shifts to content curation

Straits Times: Yahoo is reportedly letting go of its editorial and social media teams in Singapore as it moves towards the curation of content here.

SOUTH KOREA: KBS President Park Min, still dreaming of doubling the subscription fee? (Korean)

Mediaus: It was confirmed that KBS President Park Min said at a company workshop after taking office that ‘the license fee may be doubled in the near future.’ President Park said that even if the payment rate drops to 50% due to separate collection of TV license fees, there is no problem if the license fee is doubled.

SOUTH KOREA: KT pursues AI-powered media content business

The Korea Times: KT is strengthening its media business utilizing artificial intelligence technology capabilities, taking the content business as one of its core growth pillars, the company said Monday.

THAILAND: Thai PBS joins forces with Thai Health Promotion Foundation to produce and distribute content promoting family health (Press release – Thai)

Thai PBS: Thai PBS and the Health Promotion Foundation have signed an MOU to share knowledge for promoting children, youth, and family health. They aim to support education, research, and development in this field.

AUSTRALIA: ‘Anti-democratic’: Labor minister warns Facebook against removal of Australian news content

The Guardian: Albanese government will ‘back local journalism’ in dispute over proposed news media bargaining code, says Stephen Jones.

AUSTRALIA: Australia urged to impose big tech tax to fund trusted media and fight disinformation

The Guardian: Thinktank casts ‘deterioration of the information environment’ as a foreign policy priority and a threat to social cohesion.

AUSTRALIA: Launch of SBS South Asian channel and SBS Spice, a new English language offering for younger South Asian Australians (Press release)

SBS: Pushing the boundaries of digital storytelling, SBS Spice is for Gen Y with a South Asian heritage who want to shape their own cultural narratives and be informed and entertained via social media.

AUSTRALIA: Social media companies can’t be immune from the need for a social licence (Analysis)

ABC: In the free-for-all between the Australian government and big tech boss Elon Musk this week, the government had to be on a winner. 

AUSTRALIA: The real reason Elon Musk is taking on Australia (Analysis)

Financial Review: Australia has become the latest battleground for the billionaire’s global war on internet censorship, will he win?

NEW ZEALAND: Media minister rolled as industry awaits plan

RNZ: Melissa Lee has been replaced as Minister of Media and Communications after just seven months in the role in which she promised new policy to address the media’s acute problems.

NEW ZEALAND: Pasifika to be recognised at prestigious media awards (Press release)

PMN: From the PMN Cook Islands language show to PMN Tonga and Tagata Pasifika co-host John Pulu, PMN News lays out who’s up for what at the upcoming media awards.

NEW ZEALAND: Problems for news media arose ‘too fast’ – former media minister Melissa Lee

RNZ: Former Media and Communications minister Melissa Lee says she may have been “a little slow” in reacting to dramatic changes in the media landscape.

NEW ZEALAND: The voices that vanish in a decimated newsroom

The Spinoff: How will the recent wave of job cuts impact ethnic diversity in the media?

NEW ZEALAND: What are Paul Goldsmith’s plans as new Media Minister?

1News: New Media and Communications Minister Paul Goldsmith has declared himself up for the challenge.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Slow progress on reforms and ongoing restrictions to freedom of expression

CIVICUS: CIVICUS, a global civil society alliance, is concerned about the slow progress on reforms to protect civic space as well as efforts by Prime Minister James Marape’s government to stifle the media and freedom of expression.

AUSTRIA: Application against ORF contribution postponed: Westenthaler involves media authorities (German) 

Der Standard: FPÖ board member Peter Westenthaler is immediately busy with KommAustria: He is requesting that talks be started with the government about abolishing the ORF contribution.

AUSTRIA: Trustee Lederer: “There should be no precarious employment relationships in the ORF” (German) 

Der Standard: Heinz Lederer expects General Director Weißmann to find a solution by June. A third of the income from part-time jobs should go to funds and be distributed

BELARUS: Belarus declares DW Belarus an ‘extremist organization’ (Press release)

DW: The Belarusian Ministry of Interior has classified DW Belarus as an “extremist organization” leading to a ban on DW content on all platforms across the country.

BELARUS: New Media Incubator: How a Belarusian media outlet pursued sustainability amidst severe pressure 

IPI: Backstage is a Belarusian media outlet of a novel nature, tailored for an audience of young, creative individuals interested in cinema creation and popular culture.

BELGIUM: Belgian media subject to labor inspection investigation after several complaints against editorial board (French) 

Le Soir: The labor inspectorate will investigate the operation of the VRT information service, after several notices reporting abusive behavior within the VRT NWS Jong editorial staff. 

BELGIUM: Police raided two Kurdish TVs and seized journalistic materials 

EFJ: On the night of 22-23 April 2024, the Belgian federal police searched the premises of the building of the Kurdish television channels Stêrk TV and Medya Haber (Medya News) in Denderleeuw, Flanders. The police operation was conducted as part of a European Investigation Order (EPO) on terrorist financing.

BELGIUM: VRT Board of Directors expresses support for management and employees and asks respect for the specific governance of the public broadcaster (Press release – Dutch) 

VRT: The VRT Board of Directors takes all recent questions and comments about the public broadcaster to heart. The directors express their confidence in the internally initiated processes and express their support for the managing director, the board of directors and all employees who work every day to lead VRT through a difficult transition period into a future-oriented media company. 

BULGARIA: Bulgaria Minister urged to drop defamation lawsuit

ECPMF: The Media Freedom Rapid Response consortium partners criticise the criminal defamation lawsuit filed by Interior Minister Kalin Stoyanov against investigative journalists Atanas Chobanov and Dimitar Stoyanov of the Bureau for Investigative Reporting and Data (BIRD). The undersigned organisations believe that the lawsuit is designed to silence legitimate investigative reporting and should be immediately withdrawn.

CZECH REPUBLIC: The General Director of Czech Television and the Director of the European Broadcasting Union jointly discussed the cooperation between the two institutions (Press release – Czech)

Česká televize: The CEO of Czech Television Jan Souček met in Geneva with the CEO of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) Noel Curran as part of a working meeting aimed at deepening mutual cooperation.

DENMARK: DR gave DRTV a boost in 2023, increased efforts to produce sustainably and collaborated closely with the external creative industries (Press release – Danish) 

DR: DR has just presented the annual report and public service statement for 2023. It was a year of strengthened digital offers, close cooperation with the external creative industries in Denmark and an increased focus on sustainable TV production.

FINLAND: Four new points to the journalist’s instructions (Finnish) 

Yle: The ethical guidelines regarding the work of professional journalists have been revised. The reform will enter into force on 1 October 2024.

FINLAND: Some climate issues are impossibly difficult for journalists, says ex-chairman of the Finnish climate panel Markku Ollikainen (Finnish) 

Yle: The level of competence of journalists in climate matters is weak, says Markku Ollikainen, who has been the chairman of the Finnish climate panel for more than a decade.

FRANCE: Public broadcasting reform: for Rachida Dati, a completed file in hand (French) 

Libération: The bill for bringing together public entities will go before MPs in May. An opportunity, for the minister, to offer herself an express assessment with a view to the 2026 municipal elections in Paris.

FRANCE & RUSSIA: France being ‘pounded’ by Russian disinformation, says minister

The Guardian: Jean-Noël Barrot says propaganda via social media and fake websites may distort EU election results.

GEORGIA: Gia Murghulia – the conclusion of the international audit on the public broadcaster is a sign of professional integrity, I would like to thank the management team of the First Channel (Press release – Georgian) 

TV1: Practically, the report of the international audit does not reveal any significant flaws, which is highly appreciated, – the member of the Public Broadcasting Board of Trustees, Gia Murghulia, said at today’s meeting of the board, where the report of the international audit company on the financial statements of the Public Broadcasting Company was heard.

GEORGIA: Online Media Banned From Georgian Parliament Amid Protests Against ‘Russian-Style Foreign Agents Law’

RFE/RL: Online and print journalists will not have access to the Georgian parliament’s plenary session on April 29, authorities announced amid mounting protests against plans by the ruling party to introduce a law that domestic critics and Western countries have said will be used to crack down on independent voices in the South Caucasus nation.

GERMANY: Alliance “Media for Diversity” on the topic “Inclusion in focus” (Press release – German) 

ZDF: What responsibility do media companies have to address the lives of people with disabilities in our society and make them visible?

GERMANY: ARD Reform becomes audible and visible (Press release – German)

ARD: The directors have agreed on a decision to establish a central ARD tech unit. This unit will take the federal principle into account, but as a central organizational unit it will receive a clear decision-making mandate for standardized technical solutions.

GERMANY: Change to management positions in the ZDF editorial team (Press release – German)

ZDF: Some management positions in the ZDF editorial team will be filled. Intendant Dr. Norbert Himmler informed the ZDF board of directors.

GERMANY: WDR Broadcasting Council wants ARD to sue for more fees (German)

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: An artistic director election is coming up at WDR. Incumbent Tom Buhrow gives the Broadcasting Council another task: If the states do not quickly implement the increase in broadcasting fees, ARD should go to Karlsruhe.

ICELAND: Rules for the use of RÚV material in the presentations of candidates for the presidency (Press release – Icelandic) 

RÚV: RÚV’s election editorial board has previously decided to authorize the use of material from RÚV’s election coverage with certain restrictions.

ITALY: Italy’s government is trying to influence the state-owned broadcaster (Paywall)  

The Economist: Giorgia Meloni’s supporters accuse RAI of left-wing bias.

ITALY: The glass ceiling for women journalists in Italy feels unbreakable. What can be done?  

The Fix: The Italian media ecosystem isn’t kind to women, a fact that is corroborated by numbers. We look at what is wrong and what can be done to make things better

NETHERLANDS: Cuts to NPO appear to be becoming concrete: ‘We play an extremely important role in pluralism’ (Dutch)

Villamedia: The NOS reports, based on sources around the formation, that the parties PVV, BBB, NSC and VVD are close to agreement on the future of public broadcasting. According to the sources, the NPO would face a cutback of 200 million euros, leaving it with a budget of 600 million euros.

NORTH MACEDONIA: Journalists fear North Macedonia’s new media law

POLITICO: Journalists are accusing North Macedonia’s ruling party and opposition of banding together to restrict press freedom, ahead of an election in the Balkan country.

RUSSIA: 2 More Russian Journalists Arrested As Crackdown On Independent Media Heightens 

RFE/RL: The crackdown on independent media in Russian mounted over the weekend, with two journalists having alleged ties to the late Aleksei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation and Western news outlets being arrested and charged with “extremism.”

RUSSIA: European Parliament Demands Release Of Kurmasheva, Gershkovich, Others Held In Russia 

RFE/RL: European lawmakers have approved a resolution that calls for the “immediate and unconditional release” of all political prisoners held in Russia, including journalists Alsu Kurmasheva and Evan Gershkovich.

RUSSIA: Forbes Russia journalist detained for criticizing military, lawyer says 

VOA: A journalist with the Russian edition of Forbes magazine has been detained on charges of spreading what Moscow views as false information about the Russian army, his lawyer said Friday.

RUSSIA: Russia Clones Wikipedia, Censors It, Bans Original 

404 Media: Russia has replaced Wikipedia with a state-sponsored encyclopedia that is a clone of the original Russian Wikipedia but which conveniently has been edited to omit things that could cast the Russian government in poor light.

SERBIA: Serbia, the EU, and the path to greater media freedom (Opinion)

Diplomatic Courier: Serbia and other Western Balkans countries navigate the significant problem of media freedom as they seek EU accession. While Serbia is working to harmonize their legal frameworks with those of the EU and has recently passed new media laws, state ownership remains an issue, writes Vladimir Lucic.

SLOVAKIA: Slovak media freedom under threat amid controversial bill, Jourová warns 

Euractiv: European Commission Vice-President for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová called for the respect of media freedom in Slovakia during her meeting with Culture Minister Martina Šimkovičová and other Slovak government officials on Thursday, a day after the government approved the new draft law to overhaul public broadcaster RTVS.

SLOVAKIA: Slovakia’s populist government to replace public broadcaster 

BBC: The Slovak government has approved a proposal to abolish the public broadcaster and replace it with a new body, prompting renewed fears for the independence of the media under Robert Fico’s populist-nationalist coalition.

SLOVAKIA: Slovakian journalists wear black to protest media overhaul

The Guardian: Journalists in Slovakia are protesting against a government move to overhaul the country’s public broadcaster, warning that the populist prime minister, Robert Fico, and his allies are undermining media freedom.

SLOVAKIA & HUNGARY: Poll Finds Concerns About Media Freedom on the Rise in Slovakia and Hungary

Balkan Insight: Compared to last year’s survey, worries in Slovakia grew by 3 points, but fell 18 points in Poland. This reflects political changes, such as Fico assuming power in Slovakia and trying to turn public broadcaster into a government mouthpiece.

SPAIN: RTVE incorporates an AI platform managed by Eviden to detect false information (Spanish)

El Confidencial Digital: Called IVERES, it uses advanced natural language processing and machine learning algorithms that analyze content, audio, images and text to evaluate its veracity.

SPAIN: Terrorism investigation into Catalan journalist raises concerns ahead of elections

IPI: The partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today expressed concerns over the terrorism investigation by the Spanish authorities of journalist Jesús Rodríguez Sellés. The journalist left Spain for Switzerland citing a lack of guarantees for practicing his profession and the threat of arbitrary arrest in Spain.

SWEDEN: People are convicted of threats against the police and several media (Swedish) 

Aftonbladet: A man in his 30s is sentenced to probation and compensation after a series of threats. His hateful messages were directed at police officers and employees at Aftonbladet, TV4 and SVT.

SWEDEN & UKRAINE: Information must not become a class issue (Press release – Swedish)

Swedish Radio: Access to information must not become a class issue. This is what Sveriges Radio’s CEO Cilla Benkö and Chief of Staff Gabriel Byström write in a debate article after visiting the Ukrainian public service company Suspilne in Kyiv to learn lessons from operating as a media company during a prolonged war.

SWITZERLAND: The SRG annual report 2023 is here (Press release – German) 

SRG SSR: The SRG 2023 annual report published today highlights many facets of the past financial year – from reporting on the federal elections to artificial intelligence and sustainable television productions. 

SWITZERLAND: Use of artificial intelligence at SRG (Press release – German) 

SRG SSR: Chat GPT, Whisper or Gemini: Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology that is increasingly influencing everyday work at SRG. AI tools have been in use at SRG corporate units for a long time.

UK: BBC World Service Launches New Global China Unit (Press release) 

BBC: The team will produce a range of original journalism that will be available on the World Service and wider BBC platforms.

UK: Broadcasters put on notice to maintain due impartiality ahead of General Election (Press release) 

Ofcom: New research underlines the significant value viewers and listeners place on due impartiality as Ofcom puts broadcasters on notice that they must maintain the highest editorial standards ahead of a General Election.

UK: How is Ofcom funded? (Press release) 

Ofcom: Most of Ofcom’s funding comes from fees paid to us by the companies we regulate, to cover the cost of the work we do in their sectors.

UK & IRAN: Lack of action on Iran could lead to more threats and attacks in UK, says journalist 

The Guardian: A former BBC journalist has said the UK government will “pay a heavy price” for its lack of action against the Iranian regime, which could lead to more “threats” and “operations” in Britain, after the stabbing of an Iranian journalist in London.

UKRAINE: Global Task Force for public media condemns destruction of TV tower in Kharkiv, Ukraine (Press release) 

CBC/Radio-Canada: The destruction on Monday of a TV tower by a suspected Russian missile strike in Kharkiv is an attempt to silence news media and constrain access to vital news and information, says the Global Task Force for public media.

REGIONAL: EFJ and union members kick off new project on capacity-building and social rights for journalists 

EFJ: Stand Up for Journalism is an EU-funded project with the objective to improve the capacity of national journalists’ unions and associations in addressing challenges brought by the digital transformation in the media; and the compounding impacts of various emergencies such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent economic, social and political crisis brought by recent international wars.

REGIONAL: EU to investigate Meta over election misinformation before June polls

The Guardian: Brussels to act later this week against Facebook and Instagram owner over policies on deceptive advertising and political content, reports say.

REGIONAL: Europe ministers say more resources needed to combat Russian disinformation online

Euractiv: Ministers from France, Germany, and Poland revealed on Monday (29 April) that the Russian disinformation network “Portal Kombat” has continued growing, with new websites targeting 19 member states and the Western Balkans, and called for more resources to tackle online disinformation ahead of June’s EU elections.

REGIONAL: Media freedom ‘perilously close to breaking point’ in several EU countries

The Guardian: Media freedom is declining across the EU and “perilously close to breaking point” in several countries, a leading civil liberties network has said, highlighting widespread threats against journalists and attacks on the independence of public broadcasters.

REGIONAL: Webinar: World Press Freedom Day 2024 in Europe (Event)

IPI: Leading editors from Poland, Slovakia, Italy and Germany will highlight and debate key challenges they face as Europe gears up for a crucial election season.

ARGENTINA: Milei Moves Forward with the Gutting of Public Media

NACLA: The shutdown of a state-owned media agency reinforces the concentration of content production and threatens the right to information in Argentina.

BRAZIL: EBC will now have an Editorial and Programming Committee (Portuguese)

Agência Brasil: Empresa Brasil de Comunicação (EBC) will have a technical body for institutionalized participation of society. Consultative and deliberative in nature, the Editorial and Programming Committee will be made up of 11 members, according to a decree published this Wednesday (24) in the Official Gazette of the Union.

CHILE: Chilean journalists Daniel Labbé and Josefa Barraza face criminal charges

CPJ: Chilean authorities must drop criminal charges against journalists Daniel Labbé and Josefa Barraza and ensure journalists can work without restrictions, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday.

COLOMBIA: “13 journalists attacked at Colombia’s opposition marches”

Colombia Reports: Thirteen journalists were attacked at Colombia’s anti-government protests, said press freedom foundation (FLIP) on Monday.

COSTA RICA: Costa Rica’s Declining Press Freedom Highlighted in US Report

The Tico Times: In general, the document revealed that there “weren’t any significant changes in the human rights situation in Costa Rica in the past year.”

ECUADOR: Journalists in Ecuador face mounting insecurity 

IJNet: When a group of masked, armed men stormed the TC Television network studios in Guayaquil, Ecuador during a live broadcast in January, the lack of security Ecuadorian journalists experience today was exposed.

HAITI: Haiti’s right to information must be protected, say 90 Haitian journalists and RSF (16 April)

RSF: More than 90 Haitian journalists and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) call on the international community and Haiti’s new Transitional Presidential Council to give the right to information a central place in the search for a solution to the crisis that has been intensifying in Haiti in recent months.

JAMAICA: RJRGLEANER Group Expects To Reach More Than Half The Population With NextGen TV Network By Mid-year

Radio Jamaica News: The RJRGLEANER Communications Group has projected that it will reach more than half of the population with the new NextGen TV network by mid-year. 

MEXICO: Journalist Roberto Figueroa is kidnapped and murdered (Spanish) 

IFJ: Figueroa is the first journalist murdered this year in Mexico, and although the motivations behind the crime are still unknown, it is essential that it be investigated considering his journalistic work as a possible motive. 

MEXICO: Mexican journalist is slain south of Mexico City

VOA: Mexican journalists held a vigil and protest Saturday a day after one of their colleagues was slain in the southern state of Morelos. They demanded a transparent investigation into the case and vented anger over the dangers news workers face in Mexico, which is one of the world’s deadliest countries for journalists.

NICARAGUA: Born in Nicaragua, forced into exile: The case of Divergentes 

IJNet: In 2020, Nicaragua contended not just with the COVID-19 pandemic, but also intensified repression from the administration of Daniel Ortega in response to a 2018 social uprising against corruption and human rights abuses.

PERU: Renowned Peruvian investigative reporter battles criminalized smear campaign, cancer 

VOA: A smear campaign — amplified by complicit, cowed or indifferent broadcast and print media — portrayed the self-styled “intelligence agent for the people” as Public Enemy No. 1, a ruthless, egotistical victimizer of innocents.

VENEZUELA: Conatel closes the Barquisimeto station Radio Minuto 106.1 FM (Spanish)

El Nacional: The National Union of Press Workers reported that the station requested to renew the concession to Conatel without receiving a response.

REGIONAL: IAPA report does not project a good future for journalism in Latin America (Spanish)

France 24: The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) does not project a good future for journalists in Latin America. The growing cases of violence and insecurity in political and drug contexts and scenarios are some of the main factors that put freedom of expression and the lives of journalists at risk.

REGIONAL: U.S. politicizing of LatAm journalism is toxic for LatAm democracy (Opinion)

WLRN: When U.S. officials, Republican or Democrat, honor only Latin American journalism that promotes their political agendas in the region, it undermines Washington’s democratic credibility there.

GAZA & US: Biden hails ‘press freedom, democracy’ but ignores Gaza media death toll of 142

Asia Pacific Report: US President Joe Biden has spoken at the annual White House Correspondents’ dinner in Washington in spite of protests over alleged “complicity” of media about Israel’s war on Gaza, offering a toast to “press freedom and democracy” but ignoring the death toll of Palestinian journalists.

IRAN: Iranian Journalist Moved to Karaj Prison to Start Sentence 

IranWire: Parisa Salehi, a journalist and student activist, was moved to Kachouei Prison in Karaj on Sunday to begin her jail term.

ISRAEL: Israeli police detain and assault Palestinian journalist Saif Kwasmi 

CPJ: On April 24, Palestinian freelance journalist Saif Kwasmi was reporting on activities at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque during the Jewish Passover holiday for the local news agency Al-Asiman News when four Israeli counter-terrorism police officers entered and asked him to leave with them

ISRAEL & GAZA: Journalist casualties in the Israel-Gaza war

CPJ: CPJ is investigating all reports of journalists and media workers killed, injured, or missing in the war, which has led to the deadliest period for journalists since CPJ began gathering data in 1992.

KURDISTAN: IFJ Gender council adopts declaration to support a safer and more equal workplace for women

IFJ: “We condemn the dangers endured by women journalists in many parts of the world, putting their lives and health at risk when they do their jobs, keeping members of their communities and countries informed.”

LEBANON: Syrian media activist arrested in Lebanon 

Enab Baladi: After leaving the French consulate in Beirut following an interview that was to decide his travel to France, Lebanese security forces arrested Syrian media activist Muhannad al-Zoubi on April 24.

TURKEY: 2023 was a year of increasing pressure, censorship for Turkish journalists: report

Turkish Minute: Turkish journalists are experiencing unprecedented pressure and censorship that has seen hundreds of reporters prosecuted, according to the annual report released by the Journalists’ Association of Turkey (GCD) on press freedom in the country.

TURKEY: Turkey arrests pro-Kurdish reporters in ‘terrorism’ probe, relative says

VOA: Nine Turks working for pro-Kurdish media outlets were arrested Tuesday in Turkey, their employers and lawyers said, with a relative of one saying they were accused of “terrorist activities.”

UAE: CABSAT 2024 to highlight new advancements in media, satellite technology (Event) 

ANI News: CABSAT 2024, the Middle East’s flagship event for content, broadcast, satellite, media and entertainment will be held from 21 May to 23 May at the Dubai World Trade Centre. 

YEMEN: Yemen: YJS reports 17 cases of violations against media freedom in the first quarter of 2024

IFJ: The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS), in cooperation with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), launched its first 2024 quarterly report on media freedom in Yemen, which has listed 17 violations of press freedom since the beginning of the year.

CANADA: Canada’s Bell Media rolls out English & French-language FAST channels 

TBI: Canada’s Bell Media has launched 10 FAST channels, a mix of English and French language, covering genres including entertainment, news and sports programming.

CANADA: CBC, Radio-Canada journalists are fiercely independent in their reporting: CBC’s Poulter (Opinion – Paywall)

The Hill Times

CANADA: Centre named in honour of trailblazing Black publisher aims to make journalism more inclusive 

CBC: ​​More than 170 years ago, Mary Ann Shadd Cary — an anti-slavery journalist and activist who lived in Windsor, Ont., — became the first Black woman in North America to publish a newspaper. Now, a Carleton University initiative aimed at making journalism more inclusive bears her name.

CANADA: Free CBC workshop: How to tell your story (Opportunity) 

CBC: Learn what journalists look for in a good story and get tips on how to pitch yours

CANADA: RSF denounces “catch-and-release” arrest of Montreal journalist Savanna Craig

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for Canadian authorities to clear journalist Savanna Craig of all wrongdoing and decries the catch-and-release tactic employed by Canadian police. Craig is the second journalist arrested in Canada under such circumstances in as many months.

CANADA: Sachedina – CTV News Fellowship unveiled 

Broadcast Dialogue: CTV News and Chief Anchor and Senior Editor Omar Sachedina have announced the creation of the new Sachedina ∙ CTV News Fellowship, in partnership with RTDNF Canada and the University of Toronto’s Massey College.

US: As ‘news deserts’ spread, US journalism fights on 

San Francisco Examiner: It’s an optimism rarely found in America’s bleak media landscape, more often characterized by abrupt mass layoffs, a grinding lack of resources — and, finally, an information vacuum.

US: Budget committee rejects proposal to reduce Arkansas PBS’ spending authority (Paywall)

Current: The network has faced questions from lawmakers over questionable spending practices found in a 2022 audit.

US: Early Thoughts on the New York News Subsidy (Opinion) 

Second Rough Draft: New York State’s new $90 million, three-year subsidy for the struggling news industry is a big step forward for those who have advocated for government aid to newsrooms at a time when the business of news remains in sustained crisis, with most newspaper staffs shrinking drastically and many newer digital entrants failing. 

US: Frank Bruni on journalism in The Age of Grievance (Q&A) 

CJR: I spoke with Bruni about how the press can avoid perpetuating grievance culture, how it can model the importance of ambiguity, and the necessity of holding up mirrors when they are most needed.

US: Inside the Crisis at NPR (Paywall)

The New York Times: Listeners are tuning out. Sponsorship revenue has dipped. A diversity push has generated internal turmoil. Can America’s public radio network turn things around?

US: Most Americans say a free press is highly important to society

Pew Research Center: A large majority of Americans see the freedom of the press as highly important to the well-being of society. But many express concerns about potential restrictions on press freedoms in the United States – and say that political and financial interests already have a lot of influence on news organizations.

US: New York law to fund journalists’ jobs should be model for rest of US (Opinion)

Freedom of the Press Foundation: Journalists’ First Amendment rights seem to be constantly under threat in the United States these days, whether it’s police arresting or attacking reporters or government officials digging into their sources and editorial decisions. But one of the most alarming threats to freedom of the press today has nothing to do with the First Amendment.

US: Poll: Biden and Trump supporters sharply divided by the media they consume 

NBC News: Those who don’t follow political news feel more positively about Donald Trump and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and more negatively about Joe Biden.

US: The case for funding environmental journalism right now (Opinion) 

Poynter: Philanthropy has an important role to play in supporting reporters, but funding must be transparent and clear to maintain credibility

US: The New Yorker’s succession race is kicking off (Opinion) 

Semafor: A New Yorker without David Remnick is difficult to imagine. This year, he’ll become the second-longest-tenured editor in the magazine’s history, and one of only five to ever hold the job.

US: TikTok ban would weaken press freedom

Freedom of the Press Foundation: Banning TikTok is wildly unconstitutional. Worse yet, it could set a precedent that empowers the government to censor or outlaw news outlets, too.

US: With YouTube Booming, Podcast Creators Get Camera-Ready (Paywall)

The New York Times: To some, “video podcasts” are a contradiction in terms. That hasn’t made them any less popular.

10 ways researchers can help journalists avoid errors when reporting on academic studies

The Journalist’s Resource: This tip sheet outlines some of the many ways researchers can help the news media cover research accurately, starting with the journalists who interview them about their own work.

AI deepfakes threaten to upend global elections. No one can stop them. (Paywall)

The Washington Post: As more than half the global population heads to the polls in 2024, AI-powered audio, images and videos are sowing confusion and clouding the political debate

AI in journalism, “a fundamental change” and unstoppable, according to an expert (French) 

RTL Info: Artificial intelligence (AI) is shaking up journalists and will soon cause “a fundamental change in the information ecosystem”, considers consultant David Caswell, formerly of Yahoo! and BBC Newslab, the innovation team of the British public audiovisual group, in an interview with AFP.

As sources increasingly dismiss journalists, Poynter assembles best practices to help

Poynter: Relationships and beat reporting basics are the keys to battling back against sources who don’t engage.

Emergency broadcasting: the indispensable role of radio

EBU: A new report from the EBU on radio in crisis situations highlights the indispensable role of terrestrial radio, such as FM and DAB+ technologies, in maintaining communication continuity during these extreme situations.

Generative AI is already helping fact-checkers. But it’s proving less useful in small languages and outside the West

Reuters Institute for the study of Journalism: Experts from Norway, Georgia and Ghana discuss the limitations of this technology. Will AI platforms improve things in the years to come?

How to build a stronger newsroom culture – seven tips from an expert (Interview) 

The Fix: Newsrooms are often fueled by passion, purpose, and plenty of burnout. For many journalists, the thrill of chasing a story is tempered by long hours, low pay, and a pressure-cooker environment.

Meta Says It Plans to Spend Billions More on A.I. (Paywall)

New York Times: Along with the higher spending, the owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp projected lighter-than-expected revenue, causing its stock to plummet.

“Objectivity” in journalism is a tricky concept. What could replace it?

Nieman Lab: “For a long time, ‘objectivity’ packaged together many important ideas about truth and trust. American journalism has disowned that brand without offering a replacement.”

OpenAI to use FT journalism to train artificial intelligence systems

The Guardian: Under deal, ChatGPT users will receive summaries and quotes from Financial Times content and links to articles

We are in sobering times – BBC boss says abuse of journalists is escalating

Yahoo!: The director-general of the BBC Tim Davie has warned that abuse and harassment of journalists is “escalating”.

What journalists and independent creators can learn from each other 

Nieman Lab: As the media industry winds its way along the precarious cliffside of collapsing business models and eroding trust in journalism, panelists asked, again and again, whether the role of the journalist is — or ought to — change.

Without investigative journalism, no democracy? (Event – French) 

Centre Pompidou: Although reporters are all by definition investigators, investigation requires in-depth work: collecting, cross-checking, validating, while guaranteeing the secrecy of the sources. The greatest rigor is required because the issues are often major, whether political or economic. In this sense, the very exercise of investigative journalism appears to be a beacon of democracy.

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