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

As the global Covid-19 pandemic continues and many countries enter a state of lockdown, the need for community solidarity and mutual support has never been greater. But this support requires quality, fact-checked and evidence based news and information.

With this in mind, the Public Media Alliance has compiled an extensive and growing resources featuring recommended tools, advice and sources for journalists and the public alike. The resources can be found via the link below or in the ‘Tools’ section of our website.

The resource will be frequently updated to reflect the changing needs and evolving situation. If you have any recommendations, please let us know.

We also want to hear about your local public media coverage! Email us!

As the coronavirus pandemic worsens, public media are rapidly adapting to best cover the crisis on a local level while also providing for educational needs and vulnerable groups as isolation policies are introduced.

We want to hear from our members about what you are doing to best cover the crisis on a local level. Email us using the link below.

Coronavirus: Resources & best practices

Essential resources for sourcing and reporting news about the coronavirus pandemic

What we're watching...

PBS CEO Paula Kerger Talks Maintaining Public Trust in Troubled Times 

PBS: On June 15th, a court in the Philippines convicted one of the country’s most prominent journalists, Maria Ressa, of cyberlibel. Advocates for press freedom quickly called the trial unfair, arguing it is part of a larger crackdown by Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte on his political opponents and media critical of him. Nick Schifrin talks to Ressa about an “ominous” global trend toward reporters.

What we're watching...

ABC Cuts

ABC Media Watch: 250 jobs cut and programs axed as the ABC deals with a funding shortfall and a five-year digital plan. What the latest round of cuts mean for the ABC and its audience.

Global Headlines

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

BOTSWANA: Journalists arrested, charged with ‘nuisance’ in Botswana

CPJ: On June 18, intelligence agents arrested David Baaitse, a reporter for the privately owned Weekend Post weekly, and Kenneth Mosekiemang, a photographer for the outlet, after they photographed a building linked to the Directorate of Intelligence and Security, the country’s domestic and international intelligence agency….

CAMEROON: Cameroon Journalist Filing for VOA Harassed by Police

VOA: A Cameroonian journalist who freelances for the Voice of America says he was harassed by police who seized his equipment Saturday in Yaoundé, the capital. 

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Central African Republic: Coronavirus and the media

EJO: In fragile states such as the Central African Republic, the Covid-19 pandemic poses a serious threat to sustainable media development, as Michel Leroy reports.

EGYPT: Egypt arrests another journalist as attacks on independent media intensify

Middle East Eye: Egyptian security forces raided the offices of al-Manassa news agency and arrested its editor-in-chief, the agency said on Twitter, marking the latest attack on media freedom by the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. 

EGYPT: Egypt: Women Tiktok users are being charged with cybercrimes

IFEX: In the case of Menna Abdel Aziz, also known as Aya, the Public Prosecution prioritized protecting its interpretation of morality at the expense of its legal duty to protect a victim of a crime.

ETHIOPIA: Ethiopia: Legislating On Hate Speech And Disinformation – Lessons From Ethiopia

Mondaq: Rights organisations and international observers have flagged concerns surrounding the signalling effects of the Hate Speech Law on free speech in Ethiopia. 

KENYA: Kenyan editors in plea for media, journalists

The East African: More than 300 journalists have lost their jobs in the past nine months and the Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) argues that the pandemic is likely to exacerbate an already dire situation.

MALAWI: Malawi private media commended for robust electoral coverage: MBC blasted for fabricated content

Nyssa Times: The Malawi media has been commended for their professionalism to achieve robust and inquisitive coverage in the just conducted, court sanctioned fresh presidential elections by a consortium comprising of the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Public Trust, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), the Public Affairs Committee and the Mhub. But the civil society group has lambasted state run Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) for favoritism. 

MOROCCO: Pegasus Spyware Targets Moroccan Journalist

VOA: Omar Radi wasn’t surprised to find he was the target of apparent surveillance by Moroccan authorities. The freelance investigative journalist has been threatened and arrested for his coverage of the government, and was most recently summoned by police on June 24. 

NAMIBIA: Questions over Access to Information Bill

New Era Live: The Access to Information in Namibia (Action) coalition yesterday expressed concern over the Access to Information Bill, calling on members of parliament (MPs) to refer it to a committee for fine-tuning.

NIGERIA & UK: BBC World Service Gets Into Partnership With MTN In Nigeria

Broadcast Media Africa: The BBC World Service and MTN Nigeria have entered into a new partnership agreement that will see the delivery of the “BBC News Minute” bulletins on the MyMTN app to be freely consumed by subscribers. 

SOMALIA: Somalia: Somaliland Continues Media Crackdown On TV Stations

Radio France Internationale: The government of self-declared Somaliland has closed down two major television stations in the capital Hargeisa over a two-day period. It’s the latest in a string of cases of media suppression, according to the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ). 

SOUTH AFRICA: BEMAWU considers interdicting the SABC over ‘illegal practices’

SABC News: The Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (BEMAWU) says it is considering interdicting the SABC over ‘what it says’ are illegal practices being conducted by management over the looming retrenchments at the public broadcaster.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC has to do what is necessary, even if it’s painful: CFO

SABC News: South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Chief Financial Officer Yolande van Biljon has told Parliament’s Communications Committee during an online meeting, on Wednesday, that the public broadcaster has addressed most of the low hanging fruit when it comes to cost-cutting and the salary bill now needs to be tackled.

SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa: Community Radio Stations Call For Covid-19 Relief

Broadcast Media Africa: Community radio stations in South Africa are severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. And as such, the South African Community Radio Foundation (SACRF) is crying out for emergency financial relief from the SA government. 

TANZANIA: Tanzanian government revokes license of Tanzania Daima newspaper

CPJ: In a June 23 statement, Tanzania’s Information Services Department, which registers print media, announced it would revoke Tanzania Daima’s distribution and publication license as of June 24, according to news reports and a copy of the statement, which CPJ reviewed.

REGIONAL: Africa’s twin battles: COVID-19 and fake news

The Guardian Nigeria: There is a keen awareness that the fragile infrastructure and inadequate health services of many African countries would be unable to cope with a full-blown crisis, and as a result, many governments have taken strict measures to curb the spread of the virus. But there is another battle that could undermine efforts to contain the threat: fake news. 

AFGHANISTAN: Draft Law Will Restrict Press Freedom, Afghan Journalists Say  (Watch)

VOA: An outcry following a new draft amendment to Afghanistan’s media laws has led the Presidential Palace to announce it will recall the draft until the proposals are discussed further with the news media.  Sarwan Rahim Gul reports.

BANGLADESH: Freedom of speech in the time of a pandemic (Opinion)

New Age: Amid COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh, increasing number of cases were filed against writers, cartoonists, artists, teachers, students, political activists and journalists under the Digital Security Act for criticising the government. Sarwar Tusher writes about the present state of freedom of speech.

CAMBODIA: Cambodian journalist jailed for two Facebook posts critical of Hun Sen

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the European Union to toughen its sanctions against Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government in Cambodia after a third journalist in three months was arrested for “inciting chaos.”

CHINA: Inside China’s strategy to influence the world’s media (Report)

IFJ: China’s sophisticated and systematic strategy to embed itself in the global news landscape and build its discourse power beyond borders is one of the key findings of a new report launched today by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). 

HONG KONG: China passes controversial Hong Kong national security law

The Guardian: Critics say the measure, which criminalises secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, erodes Hong Kong’s autonomy. 

HONG KONG: Dozens arrested as Hong Kongers protest against proposed national security law

FRANCE 24: Hong Kong police arrested at least 53 people on Sunday after scuffles erupted during a relatively peaceful protest against planned national security legislation to be implemented by the mainland Chinese government.  

HONG KONG: Hong Kong government must end its attack on public media independence (Statement)

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Hong Kong government to end its attack on the editorial independence of public broadcasting group RTHK, which is essential to ensuring media plurality in a landscape of dwindling press freedom.

INDIA: How India’s radio industry is fighting a tough survival battle

Best Media Info: As the economy opens up, advertising is also showing some signs of revival. Though the green shoots are visible, industry captains say it is going to be a long road to recovery for India’s radio industry, which is already battling challenges on multiple fronts. 

INDIA: Illegal Sand Mining a Deadly Beat for India’s Journalists

VOA: The killing of a reporter in India’s Uttar Pradesh state has exposed the dangers for journalists covering illegal sand mining and construction in the country. 

INDIA: India bans Chinese-owned apps, including Tiktok, after border clashes (Watch)

FRANCE 24: The Indian government has banned 59 Chinese-owned apps over cybersecurity concerns, including the likes of TikTok and WeChat. This move could have a major impact on the video-sharing platform owned by Bytedance, as India is one of its biggest markets. 

INDONESIA: YouTube censors live stream on homophobia and religion

IFEX: The live webinar ‘Exploring non-homophobic religions’ was interrupted on 24 June after users reported the webinar for breaching community guidelines. Many are asking if it reflects an algorithm bias against LGBTQI+ content or whether it was initiated by conservative groups in Indonesia.

JAPAN: Discussing NHK online viewing, reception fees for people who do not have TV (Paywall)

Asahi Shimbun: On May 26, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications’ experts’ meeting on the issue of NHK’s improvement summarized requests to NHK. They are asking for consideration of internet broadcasting services for people who do not have TV. Considering the increasing number of youths away from television, they ask to consider the future reception fee system as well.

KYRGYZSTAN: Kyrgyzstan draft legislation empowers government to block ‘false information’ online

CPJ: On June 25, the country’s parliament held the second and third readings of proposed legislation called “On Manipulating Information” and passed it by a vote of 79 to 10, according to media reports. If signed by Jeenbekov, it will go into effect, according to those reports.

MALAYSIA: Police question journalist over articles on hospital fire inquiry

IFJ: Boo Su-Lyn, editor-in-chief of health news portal CodeBlue, has been summoned by the police for investigation under the Penal Code following the publication of four articles based on findings from an inquiry into a fatal hospital fire in Johor Baru in 2016. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) urges authorities to stop this intimidation and drop their investigation.

PAKISTAN: Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s arrest: Jang-Geo workers hold countrywide demos

The News International: The workers and journalists of Geo and Jang group Monday held protest demonstration against unlawful detention of Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman calls for his immediate release and said the illegal arrest is violation of the constitution, law of land and human rights.

PAKISTAN: Pakistan’s new media directive could restrict TV reporting on COVID-19

IFEX: The new directive could limit TV coverage of COVID-19 and make it difficult for the electronic media to “present a responsible and accurate account of the situation that has been created by the pandemic and its impact on healthcare professionals.”

PHILIPPINES: Ressa, Santos seek reversal of cyber libel conviction, cite 13 errors

Rappler: ‘The court’s role in the trial is to determine malice, not make malicious statements. Ascribing an underhanded and even unlawful motive – without assertion or proof – is malicious,’ says the motion for partial reconsideration.

PHILIPPINES: Solon’s proposal for ABS-CBN to air only non-political shows ‘unconstitutional’: analyst

ABS-CBN News: A lawmaker’s proposal to allow ABS-CBN Corp to resume operations without news and public affairs programs is “unconstitutional,” a media analyst and journalist said Tuesday.

SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka: End Persecution of Journalist

HRW: The Sri Lankan authorities should stop targeting, intimidating, and harassing journalist and woman human rights defender, Dharisha Bastians, and her family. The Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Front Line Defenders condemn this assault on human rights and press freedom in Sri Lanka and call on the Sri Lanka Police to immediately stop the harassment and ensure Bastians’ safety.

THAILAND: Stop using emergency powers to restrict the rights of protesters (Statement)

ARTICLE 19: ‘Emergency measures adopted to combat the COVID-19 pandemic have been repeatedly used by Thai authorities to target government critics and peaceful protesters, said ARTICLE 19. Police have initiated criminal proceedings against at least 25 individuals involved in peaceful protests for alleged violations of emergency regulations. Today’s decision to extend the emergency period heightens concerns that the pandemic is being used as a pretext to silence government critics.

REGIONAL: Asia’s changing media habits and trust levels revealed in annual Reuters Institute report

Asia Radio Today: Traditional media sources such as television and print are becoming less important while digital and social media have become more widely used in Asia, according to this year’s annual Reuters Institute digital news report. The international study reports news attitudes and consumption around the world. It also found that the trust in media is dipping with Malaysia and South Korea showing the lowest levels.

REGIONAL: Joint Statement: Ensure Civil Society Participation For A People-Centred ASEAN (Statement)

Malaysiakini: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has failed to hold its Member States accountable for the spike in human rights violations and erosion of fundamental freedoms across the region over the past six months, rights groups said today.

GENERAL: DRM and AIBD launch joint training season

Asia Radio Today: The Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) Consortium and the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) announce a series of three webinars “DRM – Digital Radio for your Needs” to start on July 8th. 

GENERAL: It’s Not Just Maria Ressa’s Arrest. Coronavirus Is Accelerating Crackdowns on Press Freedom Across Asia

TIME: With fears of the coronavirus and restrictions on crowds still in effect, there were no defiant protests when journalist Maria Ressa emerged from a Philippine courtroom on June 15, convicted on a dubious charge of “cyber libel.”

AUSTRALIA: ABC chair Ita Buttrose writes stern letter to Communications Minister day after job cuts announced 

ABC News: Just a day after her organisation announced it would shed hundreds of jobs, ABC chair Ita Buttrose has written a stern letter to Communications Minister Paul Fletcher, accusing him of failing to provide data and modelling on potential savings at the public broadcaster for nine months.

AUSTRALIA: ABC Cuts (Watch) 

ABC Media Watch: 250 jobs cut and programs axed as the ABC deals with a funding shortfall and a five-year digital plan. What the latest round of cuts mean for the ABC and its audience.

AUSTRALIA: Australian regional media to gain funding after ‘catastrophic’ ad revenue fall

The Guardian: More than 100 regional newspaper publishers and broadcasters across Australia are set to gain funding through a federal government scheme to help media deal with “catastrophic” declines in advertising revenue.

AUSTRALIA: Eric Beecher and regional publishers united in fight against tech giants

The Sydney Morning Herald: Solstice Media chairman Eric Beecher will continue to push for a regulatory code to level the playing field between publishers and tech giants despite signing a content licensing deal with Google last week. 

AUSTRALIA: Latest $84 million cuts rip the heart out of the ABC, and our democracy

The Conversation: At the height of the coronavirus emergency, and on the back of devastating bushfires, Australia’s much awarded and trusted national broadcaster has again been forced to make major cuts to staff, services and programs.

AUSTRALIA: SBS staff urge leadership change as former journalists air claims of racism

The Guardian: Exclusive: staff write to the board, as managing director separately says he was ‘sickened’ to read accounts of racist treatment of Indigenous reporters. 

AUSTRALIA: The crucial role multicultural media has played in combating COVID-19

The Sydney Morning Herald: The crucial role multicultural media plays in conveying information about COVID-19 to Australians who speak a language other than English at home has been recognised by the government as it scrambles to respond to a second spike in cases in Victoria. 

COOK ISLANDS: Cook Islands MPs seek to ban political editor for story on travel perks

Asia Pacific Report: Cook Islands Members of Parliament want to ban a journalist from Parliament for what they claim was inaccurate reporting over them seeking travel perks in the House. They have asked the Speaker, Niki Rattle, to withdraw senior Cook Islands News journalist and political editor Rashneel Kumar after he wrote an article published on Friday titled “MPs seek allowance top-ups in downturn“.

NEW ZEALAND: Midweek Mediawatch: Reporters criticised for being too critical (Listen)

RNZ: In recent weeks, the media has played a crucial role in New Zealand’s Covid-19 health response. Journalists including Kristin Hall of 1 News and Newshub’s Michael Morrah have driven health officials to carry out much needed reforms after uncovering a series of safety concerns over the procedures in place at managed isolation and quarantine facilities. But some of the reporting and commentary that’s emerged has been questioned.

VANUATU: Vanuatu newspaper apologises for misguided satire

RNZ: Vanuatu’s Daily Post newspaper has apologised for a cartoon on racism that it ran at the weekend. The illustration, by a regular cartoonist going by the name Kranki Kona, sparked outrage among some readers.

ALBANIA: Albania, the controversial media law (Update)

ECPMF: Concerns persist over the approval of the new package of amendments aimed at modifying two important laws on the Albanian media, the so-called “anti-defamation package”.

AUSTRIA: ORF boss Wrabetz is working on the framework for the next general election (German)

Der Standard: The board of trustees should vote on the ORF strategy by 2025 by the end of the year.

BELARUS: Independent media advocate and journalist tell of challenges covering Belarus’s upcoming elections and coronavirus

CPJ: As Belarus’s August 9, 2020, presidential election nears with President Aleksandr Lukashenko vying to remain in power after 26 years in office, press freedom advocates say Belarusian authorities are cracking down on journalists and government critics.

BULGARIA: Bulgarian Publisher’s Acquittal Welcomed by Media Freedom Watchdogs

Balkan Insight: Media watchdogs welcomed the acquittal in Bulgaria on Sunday of the independent publisher and businessman Ivo Prokopiev, describing the charges against him as retaliatory and as intended to stifle investigative reporting.

CROATIA: HND Tells PM: Instead Of Accusing Journalists, Answer Their Questions

Total Croatia News: The Croatian Journalists’ Association (HND) on Thursday called on Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic to stop accusing journalists, saying that they were only asking legitimate questions and his duty as the prime minister was to answer them.

FRANCE: Audiovisual reform cards shuffled (French)

La Croix: The review of the great reform, which was to overhaul the audiovisual law of 1986, create a French-style BBC or act to suppress France 4 and France Ô, was halted by containment.

GERMANY: BR abolishes organizational separation between television and radio (German)

Horizont: Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) is repositioning itself in the middle of the year. In all future channels, the offers will be the responsibility of two program directorates organized in terms of content: “Information” and “Culture”. The decades-long division at the top of the public service broadcaster according to television and radio has thus been abolished.

GERMANY: Interim balance: ARD education offers millions of people in times of Corona (German)

ARD: Time for a first look back: In the acute phase of the corona crisis, the public made extensive use of the educational content that ARD offered on radio, television and online. This is especially true for children, teenagers and young adults.

GERMANY: Interview with SWR director Gniffke – “Who else cares about the older generation? Nobody!” (German)

Volksfreund: Why the SWR director defends soap operas, what he says about higher radio contributions and how he remembers flying knives in the Vulkaneifel.

HUNGARY: Media outlets who criticised Hungary’s response to COVID-19 asked to apologise

Mapping Media Freedom: Media outlets, both in Europe and the US, have been approached by the Hungarian ambassadors based in their countries to apologise for their critical coverage of the country’s response to COVID-19. 

IRELAND: RTÉ income set to fall by up to 35% due to Covid-19

RTÉ: RTÉ’s total income is expected to fall by up to 35% due to the coronavirus emergency, according to a submission from the broadcaster to the Oireachtas Covid-19 committee.

MACEDONIA: COVID-19: Border closures exploited to spread disinformation in North Macedonia

IFEX: Amid the resurgence of coronavirus cases in still-shuttered North Macedonia, the tourist seasons getting underway in nearby countries have been used to manipulate public opinion with disinformation and to inflate toxic nationalism.

POLAND: For a bitter taste of Polish populism, just watch the evening news (Paywall – Comment)

The Guardian: Poland’s public broadcaster has entered the paranoid realm of the far right. A presidential election shows what is at stake

POLAND: Polish public broadcaster peddles government hate speech in presidential election run-up (Statement)

RSF: Poland’s public television Telewizja Polska (TVP) has openly betrayed its public service mission in the run-up to Sunday’s (28 June) presidential election, acting almost exclusively as the mouthpiece of the government and of President Andrzej Duda, who is seeking another term. 

RUSSIA: Russia: “Fake news” law and spurious prosecutions used to silence independent journalists

IFEX: Journalists in Russia reporting on the authorities’ handling of the Covid-19 pandemic are facing continued fines and investigations stemming from new laws on “fake news”, intensifying an already hostile landscape for critical and independent media.

SLOVAKIA: Slovak investigative reporter Peter Sabo receives pistol cartridge in mailbox

CPJ: On june 25, Peter Sabo, a reporter for online news site Aktuality.sk, found a pistol cartridge in his mailbox in Bratislava, according to a report from his employer. Sabo covers organized crime in the country and has reported on the investigations into the 2018 killing of Aktuality.sk journalist Ján Kuciak, according to a report by local newspaper SME.

SPAIN: Some 15 organizations ask the Valedora do Pobo for media equality during the campaign (Spanish)

La Vanguardia: A total of 15 political organizations have delivered to the Valedora do Pobo a manifesto in which they demand the right of citizens to know all the options for the regional elections on July 12 and ask for “equality” in the public media.

SWEDEN: New report: Swedish public service media under fire (Watch)

RSF: Politicians are demanding funding cuts, a narrower mission and personal penalties for journalists. Public service is the target of online abuse and threats, and a new financing model has only increased criticism. In many parts of Europe, public service broadcasting is already under severe pressure. Is Sweden next in line?

UK: BBC iPlayer clocks up another record month

Broadband TV News: BBC iPlayer continued to reap the benefits of lockdown in May by recording its biggest month to date. There were a total of 570 million requests to stream programmes on iPlayer in May, up from 564 million programme requests in April, which was the previous best month on record. The figure represents growth of 72% on the same month last year. 

UK: The LNP Review gives us scope to grow and improve this trailblazing partnership

BBC: The BBC has recently completed a detailed review of the Local News Partnerships (LNP). It felt a bit like a school inspection, with the director of BBC Northern Ireland Peter Johnston and his team taking a thorough look at partnership and the outcomes it delivers. 

UK: Peers call for tougher regulation of digital and social media in UK

The Guardian: Ministers are being urged to toughen up the regulation of digital and social media because “a pandemic of misinformation and disinformation” is eroding trust in politics and public institutions. 

UK: Rupert’s radio: can Murdoch’s Times Radio compete with the BBC?

The Guardian: Times Radio – which launched today at 6am as a daily audio version of Rupert Murdoch’s highest-brow newspaper – had the coup of securing Boris Johnson’s first broadcast interview since his recovery from coronavirus. 

REGIONAL: How The Local’s nine news sites tweaked their way to 11,000 new paying members during the pandemic

Poynter: The Europe-wide network of English language sites employed reader surveys, altered working hours, membership messaging and cross-border collaboration.

REGIONAL: Public Service Radio for Lockdown: Citizens and Technology

Radio World: The pandemic has brought out the best from many institutions including Europe’s public service radio.

ARGENTINA: The lessons I learned from the year they spied on me (Opinion – Paywall)

The New York Times: Illegal espionage of journalists, politicians and power critics in Argentina reveals the weakened state of press freedom and of our democracy. There are learnings in this experience.

BRAZIL: Brazil: Reject “Fake News” Bill (Statement)

Human Rights Watch: Brazil’s Congress should ensure that any measure aimed at addressing defamation and the spread of false information upholds people’s fundamental rights to freedom of expression, association, and privacy, Human Rights Watch said today. The current draft of a so-called “fake news” bill in the Senate contains vague and overbroad provisions that are open to abuse. 

COLOMBIA: [Report] Alternative and popular press: new state military objective?

Colombia Informa: On June 15 a day of mobilizations took place in different cities of the country , after almost three months of quarantine. In Medellín, the press that went out to cover this march was brutally attacked and censured by the police forces. This type of action is not an exclusive case. 

GUATEMALA: Working in fear

Development and Cooperation: In what is unfortunately a frequent occurrence, a Guatemalan journalist was fatally shot earlier this year during an armed attack.

GUYANA: The pretense of journalistic objectivity (Opinion) 

Stabroek News: Despite our small population size, Guyana has many media outlets and the scene is constantly expanding – we are quite cosmopolitan in that regard. This steady expansion has the capacity to be good given how deeply classist, ethnic and politically partisan our media outlets are. 

HONDURAS: New Penal Code is a serious risk to the freedom of expression in Honduras (Spanish) 

La Prensa: The new Honduran Penal Code came into force on Thursday tempered by the controversy among those who defend it as a necessity to modernize the legislation and those who reject it as a setback in the fight against corruption. 

JAMAICA: MAJ Disappointed As Media Not Granted Exemption Under Data Law – Whistleblowers, Journalists Could Be Exposed

The Gleaner: The Media Association Jamaica (MAJ) Limited is expressing disappointment over the passing of the Data Protection Bill two weeks ago without changes to grant complete exemption to the media on the basis of press freedom principles, something for which it and the Press Association of Jamaica had been lobbying. 

MEXICO: Journalists, facing disinformation and attacks (Spanish)

The Economista: Social organizations dedicated to the defense of freedom of expression agreed that during the Covid-19 contingency in Mexico, attacks against journalists increased, mainly by state actors, in addition to the lack of adequate working conditions for the exercise. of journalism in the country.

MEXICO & BRAZIL: RSF launches new program to promote the safety of journalists in Brazil and Mexico

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Germany is launching a new program to promote the safety of journalists over the next three years. The program will start in Brazil and Mexico, in cooperation with the Mexican human rights NGO Propuesta Cívica and the RSF office for Latin America in Rio de Janeiro.

VENEZUELA: Press day in Venezuela: Maduro “has turned journalists into enemies of citizens” (Spanish) 

Voice of America: The restrictive measures that the Nicolás Maduro government has taken to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which has left 4,563 infections according to official figures, have aggravated attacks on the press and censorship in the country. 

IRAN: Iran: Jailed women human rights defenders are being silenced amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

IFEX: The world has been facing a pandemic that left prisoners including human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience very vulnerable among other populations in the Gulf region and neighbouring countries. 

IRAN: Iran uses public media as a means of mass repression (French)

France Culture: On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, last Friday, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) published a chilling report on the forced confessions, filmed and broadcast by the Islamic Republic of Iran in propaganda purposes.

IRAN: Journalists Union In Iran Protests Layoffs As Newspapers Face Financial Hardship

Radio Farda: In a statement released on Wednesday, the Journalists Union of Tehran warned about the dire circumstances of the Iranian print media and said the situation is unprecedented in its 160-year history. 

LEBANON: Lebanon judge issues ‘unenforceable’ media ban against US ambassador

Middle East Eye: A Lebanese judge banned journalists from reporting remarks made by the US ambassador on a Saudi-owned news channel where she spoke out against the Hezbollah party.

TURKEY: Turkey tries journalists accused of revealing state secrets

Al Jazeera: Seven journalists go on trial over reporting on deaths of Turkish intelligence personnel serving in Libya.

YEMEN: Statement on media freedom in Yemen

Media Freedom Coalition – GOV.UK: The undersigned members of the Media Freedom Coalition’s Executive Group express their growing concern about the Houthis’ attacks on media freedom in Yemen, where their continued detention of Yemeni journalists is troubling evidence of serious abuses of the right to freedom of expression.

CANADA: CMG calls for funding to convert temporary employees at CBC to full-time

Canadian Media Guild: CMG is encouraged by a positive meeting with Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault where CMG CBC/Radio-Canada Branch president Kim Trynacity, asked the minister for targeted funding to convert 50% of temporary/precarious workers at CBC to full-time staff. 

CANADA: Radio-Canada announces partnership with RTBF (Radio Télévision Belge Francophone)

CBC/Radio-Canada: CBC/Radio-Canada is pleased and proud to announce that it has reached a partnership agreement with RTBF (Belgium’s French-language public broadcaster) that will broaden the audience reach of made-in-Canada content in that country’s francophone market.

US: Australian journalist Amelia Brace testifies before US Congress about being struck by police during Black Lives Matter protest

ABC News: An Australian journalist has testified before a US congressional committee about being struck by police outside the White House while reporting live on a Black Lives Matter demonstration.

US: In Choosing The Wrong Photo, NPR Editors Paved The Way For Partisan Attack (Public Editor)

NPR: Donald Trump Jr. called out NPR via Twitter this week for what ultimately turned out to be a bad job of matching a photo to a story. That mistaken photo selection created an inaccuracy that fueled an overblown political narrative captured by the hashtag #defundNPR.

US: Overcoming systemic racism begins in our own newsrooms (Opinion)

The Poynter Institute: When you call in favors, the people who tend to benefit most are people who look like you. It’s the same reason so many sources in our stories are white men: because it’s often convenient to access those voices….

US: PBS CEO Paula Kerger Talks Maintaining Public Trust in Troubled Times (Watch – Interview)

Variety: Paul Kerger entered 2020 planning to spend much of it celebrating PBS’ 50th anniversary. But plans change.

US: PBS KIDS and Little Free Library Team Up for Story-Times This Summer

PBS: In the latest addition to its ongoing “Read-Along” initiative on Facebook and YouTube, PBS KIDS has partnered with Little Free Library for a collection of story-time videos this summer designed to encourage reading and togetherness for kids and parents. 

US: Some Countries Using Virus Curbs to ‘Silence Critics’, Ex-Leaders Warn

The New York Times: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in authoritarian behaviour by governments around the world, posing a growing threat to democracy, hundreds of former prime ministers, presidents, Nobel laureates and lawmakers have warned.

US: Voice of America struggle for independence highlights issue of state role in government-backed media

The Conversation: Journalists, scholars, media freedom organisations and even senior Republicans have been alarmed by the appointment of Donald Trump’s nominee, Michael Pack, as chief executive of the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM), which oversees state-funded international media. 

US: Why is public media so white? (Paywall)

Current: We hold these truths to be self-evident: Public media has a whiteness problem. You know this. Everybody knows it, especially people of color. The vast majority of our stations and organizations fail to adequately reflect their communities or the country. 

Audience Engagement in a Time of Social Distancing (Webinar)

ICFJ: Audience engagement and service journalism—well-researched, advice on practical matters — are taking on new importance and driving change in newsrooms during the global COVID-19 pandemic, three engagement editors said during a webinar this week hosted by ICFJ and the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University. 

Discerning, sceptical, and relatively well informed: news audiences in the ‘infodemic (Research)

Reuters Institute: Journalists and academics should collaborate in the fight against COVID-19 misinformation, argues Rasmus Nielsen at Global Fact 7.

Facebook targets ‘false news’ amid growing pressure from advertisers

BBC News: Facebook is launching a campaign to help people spot fake news amid a growing advertising boycott putting pressure on the company to tackle misinformation and hate speech.

“Google paying publishers” is more about PR than the needs of the news industry

Nieman Lab: Google and Facebook are happy to pay for news — as long as it’s on their terms.

Overcoming systemic racism begins in our own newsrooms 

Poynter: I’ve concluded that silence is complicity — and I will no longer be silent.

Media companies face questions about race, diversity and inclusion

Poynter: The death of George Floyd and the protests around the country have shined a light on police brutality and the treatment of Black people by police. But the protests are about much, much more than that. They’re about the discrimination that people of color continue to face every day and have faced for centuries — in all areas of life. That includes the media.

Nearly half of UN member countries have obstructed coronavirus coverage

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has registered violations of the media’s right to cover the coronavirus crisis in no fewer than 90 of the 193 UN member countries since the start of the pandemic. Governments must stop “blaming the messenger” and take action to protect press freedom and enable journalists to provide reliable information, RSF says.

Netflix’s Exclusive Deal For Denmark’s Borgen Could Upset International Sharing Agreements With Broadcasters

Forbes: Netflix has become so big that it needs to invest in local markets to maintain growth and market share. It just inked a deal with Danish Radio (DR), Denmark’s public broadcaster to fund the development of a 4th season of the smash hit Borgen (The Castle), revived after 7 years.

Protecting Journalists and Media Workers: Good Practice (Report)

MFRR: Recommendations for the UK Government’s National Committee for the Safety of Journalists

The Necessity of Diversity in the Digital Newsroom (Opinion)

Project Syndicate: Demographically uniform newsrooms have been producing uniformly homogeneous content for decades, and the lack of diversity in the media has actually worsened in recent decades.

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Header Image: TV cameras lined up, covering large public event. Credit: Microgen/istock