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 by emailing editor@publicmediaalliance.org

Coronavirus: Resources & best practices

Essential resources for sourcing and reporting news about the coronavirus pandemic

What we're listening to...

Absolute transparency and a common error culture (German)

Deutschlandfunk: How did journalism react to the corona crisis? The author Jagoda Marinić hands out praise – but warns against only wanting to convey information. Scientists also need to be critically questioned, she says.

What we're watching...

Lies and truths of the coronavirus (Webinar – Spanish)

Teledetodos: The coronavirus pandemic has brought about an epidemic that, unfortunately, we have already observed in major events (electoral processes, natural catastrophes …): that of disinformation.

Global Headlines

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

DRC: DRC police run down TV reporter Tholi Totali Glody covering COVID-19 lockdown

Via IFEX: TV reporter Tholi Totali Glody was run over by Democratic Republic of Congo police while covering the lockdown in Likasi, the second-largest city in the Haut-Katanga province.

EGYPT:  Egypt forces Guardian journalist to leave after coronavirus story

The Guardian: Egyptian authorities have forced a Guardian journalist to leave the country after she reported on a scientific study that said Egypt was likely to have many more coronavirus cases than have been officially confirmed.

GHANA: Curbing Misinformation in a COVID -19 Era, Ghana’s Approach


GUINEA: IPI urges Guinea to investigate attacks on journalists covering election

IPI: On March 22, delayed parliamentary polls and a constitutional referendum were held in the West African country. In the run up to the polls and on the polling day journalists came under attack from the police as well as groups belonging to different political parties.

KENYA: Kenya Broadcasting Corporation Rolls Out Educational School Radio Broadcasts

Via Broadcast Media Africa: Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) through its various radio stations began airing school broadcasts on Monday this week. In an agreement that was signed between the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) and KBC, the school programs will broadcast from Monday to Friday on a weekly basis.

MOROCCO: Court hands journalist four month suspended sentence and fine for a tweet

Amnesty International: A court in Morocco has today handed journalist Omar Radi a four-month suspended prison sentence and a fine of 500 Dirham (52 USD) for a tweet in which he criticized an appeal court judge for upholding heavy prison sentences against activists from the Hirak El-Rif social justice movement.

NAMIBIA: Media considered ‘critical service’

The Namibian: The Labour ministry has regarded the media as a critical service instead of an essential service.

NIGERIA: COVID-19 In Africa: Nigeria’s NBC Calls On Pay-TV Operators To Decrypt Local Channels

Broadcast Media Africa: The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has called on all pay-TV subscription broadcasters in Nigeria such as DStv, GOTv, DSTV, FreeTv and Startimes, among others, to immediately decrypt all the local channels on their bouquets to allow all citizens access to their services in Nigeria without hindrances so that they can receive daily reports and updates on the coronavirus pandemic.

NIGERIA: Editors Condemn Harassment of Media Personnel

Via All Africa: The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has strongly condemned the harassment of drivers of newspaper distribution vans by overzealous security agents in some states on Sunday, March 29.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC board reassures staff as COVID-19 fears rock the public broadcaster (Watch)

SABC News: The SABC Board has rejected claims that management put workers at risk of exposure to the coronavirus by concealing information about a staff member who had been exposed to the pandemic.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC expands news, current affairs services in bid to keep nation up-to-date on COVID-19

SABC News: The SABC has expanded its News and Current Affairs services on free-to-air television channels with immediate effect. The public broadcaster says this is a direct response to the escalating need for public awareness on information around the coronavirus outbreak. It has also committed to continue to provide citizens with valuable, accurate and factual news and information during this period.

UGANDA: HRNJ-Uganda statement on the coronavirus outbreak, safety of journalists and banning of press conferences (Statement)  

HRNJ – Uganda: Since the outbreak of the CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) in different countries of the world and subsequently Uganda, several measures have been undertaken to contain its spread and therefore minimize the extent of the scourge. We should all observe the health guidelines as put in place.

UGANDA: UCC warns 3 TV station sover COVID-19 broadcasts

Chimp Reports

ZIMBABWE: The struggle to access information in Zimbabwe continues 

MISA Zimbabwe: MISA Zimbabwe notes with concern that highly questionable fees, which do not promote the exercise of rights, have been affected recently by different agencies.

REGIONAL: Coronavirus infects press freedom in Africa

RSF: As journalists and media covering the coronavirus pandemic’s spread in Africa continue to be subjected to censorship, acts of intimidation and physical violence, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on African governments not to go after the wrong target and to guarantee press freedom, which is more essential than ever at this time.

GENERAL: Update: The Media and Covid-19 in West Africa (March 23rd – 29th, 2020)


BANGLADESH: Monitoring Media: Info ministry scraps circular amid outrage

The Daily Star (Bangladesh): In the face of a huge outcry, the information ministry last night cancelled its circular assigning 15 officials to monitor if private television channels were running any propaganda or rumours about the novel coronavirus outbreak.

CHINA & US: Coronavirus: mass expulsion of foreign correspondents further cripples freedom of information in China

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges the regime to reverse its decision to expel 13 US foreign correspondents today and insists that independent reporting is, now more than ever, critical in the fight against the coronavirus.

HONG KONG: China is sinking its claws deeper into a bastion of freedom (Opinion)

The Washington Post: While the world is busy trying to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus, Chinese authorities last week pulled credentials from journalists at three major media outlets: the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and The Post. 

INDIA: Ban on high-speed Internet on mobiles extended till April 3: J&K govt.

The Hindu: The J&K administration on Thursday decided to continue with the ban on the high-speed Internet for all mobile phone users in J&K, despite requests by political parties and civil society groups to restore it in the wake on the COVID-19 crisis.

INDIA: DD Kerala benches its 400-strong workforce 

Times of India: The employees of Doordarshan Kendra, Thiruvananthapuram, is wondering whether it is the Mandi House mandarins’ ‘love for English in the time of Corona’ behind the decision to replace DD4’s Malayalam programmes with DD India’s English content.

INDIA: Doordarshan set to bring back Golden Era of television

All India Radio: Doordarshan is all set to make staying at home more enjoyable for people during the lockdown by bringing its Golden Era shows back on television. The show Chanakya is planned for daily telecast in the afternoon time bands of DD Bharti from 1st week of April.

INDIA: In Delhi, newspaper vendors are caught between customers and coronavirus

Newslaundry: The distribution system makes them pay for the paper, but the pandemic keeps them from recovering the cost from the customer.

INDIA: Journalists assaulted by police amid coronavirus lockdown in India

CPJ: Authorities in India must stop assaulting journalists and allow them to do their work freely and without restrictions, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

INDIA: Kashmir’s blocked Internet could be deadly during coronavirus pandemic

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Indian government to immediately restore high-speed (4G) Internet in the Kashmir Valley, where the existing restrictions on communications are potentially criminal during the Covid-19 pandemic.

JAPAN: BPO NHK International Broadcasting Program Violates Broadcast Ethics (Japanese)

NHK: The NHK International Broadcasting Program, which covers a company that provides rental services for families, had a insufficient system to check that the person introduced as a user is actually a staff member of the company. Therefore, it was concluded that there was a violation of broadcast ethics.

JAPAN: LINE Health status survey with 83 million users in Japan: Agreement with MHLW (Japanese)

NHK: LINE, a leading telecommunications app in Japan, has signed an agreement with the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare to provide information on new coronavirus measures. As part of this agreement, more than 80 million domestic users will be surveyed from March 31 for health status and other information.

JAPAN: Overcoming the Coronavirus Crisis Together: NHK’s Action Agenda (Press Release)

NHK: The spread of the new coronavirus is having a huge impact on social and economic activity around the world. At the same time, the spread of unreliable information is stoking fear and anxiety. Now, more than ever, NHK, as a public service media organization supported by receiving fees, is fulfilling its mission of delivering services of genuine public benefit. 

MALAYSIA: National Press Club initiates fund-raiser to help media during MCO

Malay Mail: In a bid to assist the media fraternity combat Covid-19, the National Press Club of Malaysia (NPC) has initiated a fund-raiser through its Journalist Welfare Fund.

MYANMAR:Myanmar journalist hit with terrorism charges for interviewing insurgents

CNA: A Myanmar journalist faces up to life in prison for publishing an interview with a rebel group operating in the country’s restive Rakhine state, a week after the insurgents were classified as a terrorist organisation.

MYANMAR: Rohingya refugees and coronavirus: A disaster waiting to happen?

Asean Today: Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar following a military crackdown in 2017. The persecuted community now faces a new invisible threat. With limited access to information, sanitisation and medical assistance, if the virus reaches the camps it could have terrible consequences.

PAKISTAN: #FreeMirShakilurRehman: Pakistani politicians, Malala’s father join social media campaign for MSR’s release

Geo News: The arrest of Jang Geo Media Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in a 34-year-old property case was roundly condemned on social media on Sunday, with many prominent users demanding his immediate release.

PAKISTAN: Jang Group publisher Mir Javed ur Rahman passes away after battle with lung cancer

Geo News: Chairman and printer, publisher of the Jang Group, Mir Javed ur Rahman, the eldest son of the late visionary Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman, and elder brother of Jang Geo Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, passed away in Karachi on Tuesday.

PAKISTAN: Pakistan prepares for DRM

Asia Radio Today: The first group of 30 engineering professionals of Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) successfully completed their 5-day training on Digital Radio Migration (DRM) technology, becoming the “torch bearers for implementation of the digitisation project” (according to a PBC press release).

PHILIPPINES: Emergency law threaten press freedom

IFJ: President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act of 2020 on March 25 that grants him special powers to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, including measures that will penalise individuals or groups who spread false information.

PHILIPPINES: Reporting the Covid-19 unknown: How reporters in Philippines do their job

Asia Pacific Report: On March 21, the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) in the Philippines issued a call for media solidarity on COVID-19, saying that journalists and media outlets should consolidate their efforts to verify and call out mis or disinformation, get behind the stories and investigate as necessary the misuse of funds and resources.

TAIWAN: Taiwan invites US media expelled by China

RTÉ: American journalists expelled by China are welcome to set up shop in Taiwan, foreign minister Joseph Wu said on Saturday as the democratic island burnishes its credentials as a regional free speech haven.

THAILAND: Thailand declares state of emergency, imposes press restrictions

CPJ: Thailand should uphold press freedom and refrain from harassing and restricting reporters while emergency rule is imposed to contain the coronavirus outbreak, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha today imposed a state of emergency in the country, set to last until at least April 30, according to news reports.

TURKMENISTAN: Turkmenistan bans the word “coronavirus”

RSF: By banishing the word “coronavirus” from the Turkmen vocabulary in a radical move to suppress all information about the pandemic, Turkmenistan’s government is putting its citizens in danger, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says. 

AUSTRALIA: ABC’s Norman Swan denies ‘rancour’ with chief medical officer after PM’s office intervention on coronavirus

The Guardian: Broadcaster says his forthright views on government’s initial response to outbreak must have ‘really annoyed’ them, but he was not cowed

AUSTRALIA: Closure of regional newspapers amid coronavirus pandemic

IFJ: Regional newspapers in Australia have begun closing their doors and laying off staff following the Australian Government’s economic stimulus response to the coronavirus. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) condemn the regional newspaper closures, emphasising the importance of access to information during the coronavirus pandemic.

AUSTRALIA: Keeping children educated and entertained during COVID-19 crisis…It’s easy as ABC (Press Release)

ABC: The ABC is committed to helping educate and inform Australian children, teachers and parents at home or school with trusted content during the COVID-19 crisis.

AUSTRALIA: SBS launches multilingual Coronavirus news and information portal to further support multicultural Australia (Press Release)

SBS: SBS has launched the SBS Multilingual Coronavirus Portal, a dedicated online information hub for multicultural communities to easily access accurate and trusted news and information about COVID-19, in their language.

AUSTRALIA: Top 10 news websites surge by 54% but drop in advertising puts pressure on media industry

The Guardian: Lack of consumer spending as Covid-19 lockdowns grow means industry is looking at widespread cuts. 

FIJI: Fijians turn to traditional media amid COVID-19 crisis

FBC News: As the Coronavirus crisis grips the entire world and people seek reliable information, misinformation and fake news is being widely shared online. Fijians say they are now quickly switching to traditional media for the latest factual and verified information on the virus.

NEW ZEALAND: How we’re running RNZ from home


NEW ZEALAND: ‘Is the dog about to bark?’ The perils of home broadcasting in the Covid-19 crisis

The Guardian: Radio New Zealand’s Susie Ferguson lives with a ‘slight sense of panic’ that the children will barge in on her morning news show

NEW ZEALAND: RNZ Public Media Services Update

RNZ: As New Zealand’s Lifeline Utility radio broadcaster, RNZ is required to maintain essential public information channels and news during times of national emergency and we are committed to supporting all New Zealanders during these challenging times.  

SOLOMON ISLANDS: Solomons officials face sack if critical of Covid-19 response

RNZ: The Ministry of Health in Solomon Islands has sent out a memo threatening “termination with immediate effect” for staff who post comments online criticising the government’s Covid-19 response.

REGIONAL: Effective coronavirus messages and fake news: Can we do better?

Pacific Media Centre: After days of web surfing for Covid-19 coronavirus news around the Asia-Pacific, two areas that appear to need improving in some countries are official communication and fact checking.

REGIONAL: Pacific governments ‘working better’ with creative media in pandemic

Asia Pacific Report: Pacific governments across the region have put side their differences with media and are working alongside them in these difficult times, say New Zealand journalists covering Moana.

AUSTRIA: Landesstudio becomes a restricted area (German)

ORF: The ORF regional studio in St. Pölten not only commands the coronavirus in terms of reporting, but also organisationally. From Wednesday evening (26 March), the state studio will become a restricted area. 16 employees move into the editorial office and take care of the usual program.

AZERBAIJAN: Azerbaijan’s Coronavirus Disinformation Law Could Curb Press Freedom, OSCE Says

RFE/RL: The media-rights watchdog for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has raised concerns about legislation passed recently in Azerbaijan with the stated aim of fighting against coronavirus disinformation.

BELARUS: Belarusian journalist arrested for criticizing president’s Covid-19 approach

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the immediate release of a Belarusian news website editor who is facing up to ten years in prison on a corruption charge after criticizing the president’s relaxed approach to the Covid-19 epidemic. The Belarusian government is trying to intimidate independent media outlets, RSF says.

BELGIUM: No temporary unemployment at VRT for the time being (Dutch)

De Standaard: Until 3 May, the PSB will not claim temporary unemployment for any of its employees. Until then, all VRT employees are already certain that their wages will be maintained. The unions have agreed this with the management during the social consultation. The news can be read in the newsletter of the ACOD-VRT.

ESTONIA: ERR most trusted news source during emergency situation

ERR: ERR television channel ETV is the most trusted media channel, according to a recent survey. 

FRANCE: Courses, documentaries, theater, cinema … France Télévisions adapts its programs during confinement (French)

France Info: On France 4 in particular, lessons given by teachers in national education are broadcast on weekdays.

FRANCE: Radio France commits to Press and Media Week at home on the theme “information without borders?” (French)

Radio France: Radio France joins forces with CLEMI (Center for Media and Information Education) for this 31st edition of Press and Media Week at the House from March 23 to 28  on our channels – #SPMM # SPMM2020

FRANCE: The appointment of the mediator. Thank you letters from listeners to franceinfo (Listen – French)

France Info: For once the roles are reversed, it is the mediator of the antennas of Radio France, Emmanuelle Daviet, who answers the editorial director of franceinfo, Jean-Philippe Baille, to relay the messages of the listeners who were very numerous to him write from the start of containment.

GERMANY: Media in the corona crisis: good sides – bad sides (German)

Frankfurter Rundschau: Success and danger are close to each other in the corona crisis for media and publishing houses: As the advertising business collapses, public interest grows.

GERMANY: Media libraries from ARD and ZDF now with shared login (German)

DWDL: At the end of the month, the ARD and ZDF media libraries will be merged more closely. A common login should make the content even more accessible to users.

GERMANY: Today.de becomes ZDF today (German)

Design Tagebuch: ZDF has relaunched the online offering of its news brand today. Not only was the design of the website and apps redesigned, the name was also changed in the course of the relaunch.

HUNGARY: Coronavirus: Hungary government gets sweeping powers

BBC News: The Hungarian Parliament has voted by 137 to 53 to accept the government’s request for the power to rule by decree during the coronavirus emergency.

HUNGARY: Hungary seeks power to jail journalists for ‘false’ COVID-19 coverage

IPI: New draft legislation in Hungary threatening journalists and others accused of spreading “false information” with jail is a step toward total information control and the further suppression of press freedom in the country, the International Press Institute (IPI) warned today.

IRELAND: Exclusive: RTÉ’s Dermot Horan on ‘buying time’ as production slows

TBI Vision: “The immediate impact [of Covid-19] for a public broadcaster such as RTÉ is that you suddenly have this huge responsibility to get the information to the public,” says Horan, director of acquisitions and co-productions at RTÉ. “You are the main repository for key information.”

ITALY: Q&A: RAI journalist Stefania Battistini on covering Italy’s coronavirus outbreak (Blog)

CPJ: Stefania Battistini, an experienced reporter for Italian public broadcaster RAI, has covered terrorist attacks, earthquakes, and Syria’s civil war for the channel’s news program. Now, she is confronting the biggest challenge of her career: the coronavirus pandemic that is ravaging Lombardy, northern Italy, one of the hardest-hit regions in the world.

LATVIA: President Levits urges support for media during crisis

LSM: President of Latvia Egils Levits has drawn attention to the need to support credible media outlets through the crisis and underlined the importance of a professionally-maintained information space to give the public access to information that can help them make choices about their behavior.

MOLDOVA: Battling Coronavirus, Moldova Targets Unwanted Media ‘Opinion’

Balkan Insight: Moldovan authorities are flirting with further reining in media freedoms as the COVID-19 pandemic worsens.

MONTENEGRO: Attacks on journalists challenge press freedom in Montenegro

IPI: IPI documents range of serious threats to media in Balkan country

ROMANIA: How COVID-19 Affects Media in Romania

CMDS @ CEU: The first case of the novel coronavirus was registered in Romania on 26 February. “Three weeks later, the country was passing emergency decrees limiting freedom of expression and access to information, temporarily withdrawing from the Convention of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and moving to monopolize all official communication regarding the spread of the virus,” …

SLOVENIA: Slovenian Prime Minister Attacks Radiotelevizija Slovenija (RTVS) on Social Media

Council of Europe: On 20 March 2020, the Prime Minister of Slovenia Janez Janša used social media to accuse Slovenian public broadcaster Radiotelevizija Slovenija (RTVS) of spreading lies about the government and issue a veiled threat over its funding.

SPAIN: Coronavirus and the media (Report)

EJO: The focus of the Spanish media’s coverage of the coronavirus issue has shifted as the number of infected people increased and the measures taken in response to this became more drastic.

SPAIN: TVE turns to education, sports and information, while private entertainment prevails (Spanish)

Info Libre: With everyone at home, and television audiences skyrocketing, the various networks face three more weeks of alert with their sights set on the impact on their programming. In the last ten days, the response has been unanimous: “In times of crisis, information comes first,” say one and the other.

SWEDEN: An important role in difficult times (Swedish – blog)

Sveriges Radio: The demand for the latest correct information about corona is high among the public. Cilla Benkö, CEO of Sveriges Radio writes about the continued work to reach listeners with often vital content in the company that must not be silenced.

SWEDEN: Great demand for Swedish Radio’s multilingual offering (Swedish)

Sveriges Radio: In recent weeks, Swedish Radio’s reporting for our audiences in languages ​​other than Swedish about corona has been sought by more and more people who want reliable information. Elle-Kari Höjeberg, supply manager for national minority languages ​​and other languages ​​reflects on what our offer means.

SWEDEN: Swedish viewers turn to public broadcaster for coronavirus news (Paywall)

Telecompaper: Swedish viewers are turning towards domestic public service broadcasters as their primary source for news in video form during the coronavirus crisis, said consultancy Mediavision. 

SWITZERLAND: Corona crisis affects the login project (German)

Horizont: The Corona crisis is disrupting the schedule of the Swiss digital alliance for the joint login project. For the members – including commercial and public media – the goal of enabling users to log in together remains a high priority. But the slump in advertising revenues is now putting the brakes on companies.

UK: BBC donates £500K to Covid-19 Fund

Broadcast: Majority will go towards helping out-of-work freelancers. 

UK: BBC News suspends 450 job cuts to ensure Covid-19 coverage

BBC News: BBC News has suspended plans to cut 450 jobs as it faces the demands of covering the coronavirus pandemic. The job losses were announced in January and were part of a plan to complete a £80m savings target by 2022.

UK: DCMS Committee launches inquiry into the future of public service broadcasting

UK Parliament: MPs will consider the future of public service broadcasting (PSB) in a digital age. How PSB is funded, the content offered and how it is regulated will be examined against alternative subscription, streaming services and Freeview services.

UK: UK anti-fake news unit dealing with up to 10 false coronavirus articles a day

The Guardian: No 10’s rapid response unit targets misinformation as false articles continue to be shared. 

UKRAINE: EBU makes Ukrainian pubcaster appeal

Broadband TV News: The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has written to the Ukrainian government to urge them not to reduce the budget of its member UA:PBC. In a statement, the EBU says the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine is planning to substantially reduce the public broadcaster’s funding. which could critically undermine its ability to operate in the future.

REGIONAL: International Press Freedom Organisations call for determined actions to protect free flow of information to tackle COVID-19

Council of Europe: We, the undersigned press freedom and freedom of expression organisations, are writing to express our profound concerns about the dangers of governments taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to punish independent and critical media and to introduce restrictions on the access and scrutiny by media to government decisions and actions. 

REGIONAL: In Europe, tech battle against coronavirus clashes with privacy culture

Reuters: Governments across Europe are turning to technology to track the spread of the coronavirus and monitor people under quarantine, an approach that seeks to learn from Asia but is also putting the region’s privacy rules to the test.

ARGENTINA: Find here all the information published by FOPEA on the coverage of COVID-19 (Spanish)

FOPEA: FOPEA has provided links, data and useful references for daily work in the context of the crisis caused by COVID-19. We will update the contents daily so that the material is a source of consultation for FOPEA members and the journalistic community in general.

BOLIVIA: ‘Navigating underwater’: Data journalism and press freedom in Bolivia

ICIJ: The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists highlights the work of Nelfi Fernandez Reyes, an investigative journalist with El Deber, a leading newspaper in Bolivia.

BRAZIL: Brazil restricts access to government information amid COVID-19 emergency

CPJ: On March 23, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro signed Provisional Measure 928, which suspends deadlines for public authorities and institutions to respond to requests for information submitted under the country’s freedom of information legislation, and forbids appeals in cases of denied requests, according to the measure, which CPJ reviewed.

COLOMBIA: COVID-19 and press freedom, FLIP’s concerns (Spanish)

El Espectador: The Foundation for Press Freedom asked the State to guarantee an optimal and safe environment for journalists to have access to information related to the new coronavirus. They also stated a series of concerns about possible limitations to journalistic practice that may arise. 

COLOMBIA: Recommendations of care for journalists and media workers during the emergency by COVID-19 – second installment (Spanish)

FLIP: Journalists and other media workers are a population exempt from preventive isolation measures in Colombia. Hundreds of reporters, cameramen, photographers, editors, and other radio, television, press, and digital media personnel will continue to work to keep the flow of information alive on this topic of high public interest.

EL SALVADOR: APES will accredit independent journalists who provide coverage during the National Emergency (Spanish)

APES: The Association of Journalists of El Salvador (APES) will sign independent journalists, members and non-members who provide coverage during the period of National Emergency in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic

GUATEMALA: Trust deficit: Guatemala’s new president must overcome skepticism to improve press freedom

CPJ: With a new president in office, Guatemala has the opportunity to reverse years of declining press freedom after the country’s journalists endured obstruction, legal harassment, orchestrated online attacks, and threats of violence. 

HAITI: Haiti-Coronavirus (Covid19): The online press faces a historic responsibility, the AHML notes

Haiti Press Network: In a note published on Thursday, March 26, 2020, the Haitian Association of Online Media (AHML) congratulates all journalists and press workers who, against all odds, in this difficult context are trying to inform the population. 

HONDURAS: Decree restricting freedom of expression in crisis issued by Covid-19 (Spanish)

C-Libre: Government authorities issued a Presidential decree in the Council of Ministers (PCM)on  March 16 in the midst of the Red Health Alert for the pandemic caused by the Corona Virus (COVID-19). The decree restricts constitutional guarantees, including article 72 regarding the free emission of thought. 

TRINIDAD: Media personnel attacked while covering COVID story

Trinidad Guardian: Members of the media were physically and verbally assaulted by security guards at the San Fernando General Hospital. TV6 video journalist Cindy Raghubar-Teekasingh and Che Teekasingh were standing at the car park recording footage of a COVID-19 screening area near the Accident and Emergency Department when they were accosted by the guards. 

REGIONAL: FEPALC mourns the death of four Latin American journalists victims of COVID-19 and remains vigilant (Spanish) 

FEPALC: Two journalists from Ecuador and two from the Dominician republic have died. Officially in the Dominican Republic, at least four journalists have tested positive for COVID-19, a reporter and a news presenter, both from Telenoticias and Channel 11. 

IRAQ: ‘Fake news’ spreads around coronavirus treatments in Iraq

Aljazeera: Global health experts warn misinformation as dangerous as pandemic as Iraqi media claims coronavirus treatment found.

ISRAEL: How Israel’s media fails the country amid coronavirus, political crises (Opinion)

Al-Monitor: With political and health crises gripping Israel, the media has shirked its responsibility to challenge government officials and report the facts. 

TURKEY: Journalism in times of COVID19: an update from Turkey

OBC Transeuropa: In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Turkey persists in detaining and arresting new journalists. Calls by human rights organisations for the release of journalists and activists are multiplying. 

TURKEY: Turkey rounds up hundreds for social media posts about coronavirus

Reuters: Turkey has arrested 410 people for making “provocative” posts on social media about the coronavirus outbreak, its interior minister said on Wednesday.

TURKEY & SAUDI ARABIA: Jamal Khashoggi: Turkey charges 20 Saudis over journalist’s murder

BBC News: Turkey has charged 20 suspects over the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in October 2018. Prosecutors said an indictment accused former Saudi Deputy Intelligence Chief Ahmad Asiri and former royal aide Saud al-Qahtani with instigating the murder.

REGIONAL: Middle East governments clamp down on coronavirus coverage

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is concerned to see Middle Eastern governments taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to step up state censorship and to reaffirm their monopoly of the dissemination of news and information.

CANADA: Canada’s News Media Tries to Regain Trust During COVID-19 Outbreak

EMarketer: At a time when reliable information about the coronavirus is critical, trust in the news media in Canada is not as high as it should be, according to new research. 

CANADA: Feds plan $30M ad buy to help media deal with COVID-19 fallout

National Post:  The federal government announced Wednesday that it is planning a $30-million COVID-19 awareness advertising campaign and moving closer to implementing long-promised tax credits for newspapers as it seeks to support Canada’s struggling media industry during the pandemic.

CANADA: More CBC/Radio-Canada news, kids, and entertainment programming available to Canadians during COVID-19 crisis (Press Release)

CBC/Radio-Canada: To help Canadians through the current COVID-19 situation, CBC/Radio-Canada is delivering special access to content across all of its platforms, including trusted news and information to stay informed, educational resources for kids and parents, and a wide variety of programming to keep Canadians entertained when they need a break.

CANADA: Trusted News Initiative announces plans to tackle harmful coronavirus disinformation (Press Release)

CBC/Radio-Canada: CBC/Radio-Canada is joining an industry collaboration of major media and technology organizations to rapidly identify and stop the spread of harmful coronavirus disinformation.

CANADA: ‘We totally understand the frustration’: CBC president defends local TV news suspension amid pandemic

CBC News: CBC/Radio-Canada President and CEO Catherine Tait says Canadians will be seeing more of their local television news hosts during the supper hour starting Tuesday. The public broadcaster came under fire last week after announcing evening and late-night TV newscasts would be temporarily suspended in favour of consolidated news coverage from CBC News Network during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

US: Coronavirus relief bill includes $75m to public broadcasters (Paywall)

Current: Public broadcasting will receive emergency funding from the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill signed Friday by President Trump. The bill includes $75 million for CPB “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, including for fiscal stabilization grants to public telecommunications entities,” the bill says.

US: CPB Statement on Supplemental Funding Decisions by the United States Congress (Press Release)

CPB: “We greatly appreciate Congress’ recognition of the important role and extraordinary impact America’s public media stations have in their communities.  This vitally needed stabilization funding will help to ensure all Americans will continue to have access to crucial local and national services that are being provided by public media stations across our nation.”

US: InsideClimate News organises regional networks to spur reporting on climate change 


US: Local journalism needs a coronavirus stimulus plan, too (Paywall – Opinion)

Washington Post: It’s a harsh paradox. Media readership and viewership is soaring as citizens seek life-or-death information about the coronavirus: Where to get tested? Does my hospital have enough ventilators? Is it safe to go outside? But the accompanying economic decline is killing off advertising — for restaurants, cars, travel, entertainment — and other support that has kept many news organizations going. 

US: PBS and WGBH to Provide At-Home Learning Programs for Students and Educators Nationwide During School Closures Through WORLD Channel

PBS:  As schools across the country close in response to the COVID-19 virus, PBS and WGBH Boston have partnered to support distance learning. Beginning on Monday, March 30, the public media WORLD Channel from WGBH will provide a daily, five-hour At-Home Learning Service, for students in grades 6-12, to PBS stations nationwide.

US: Podcast: COVID-19, communities in need (Listen)

CJR: On this week’s Kicker, Kyle Pope, editor and publisher of CJR, speaks with Bui and Mathew Ingram, CJR’s chief digital writer, on how newsrooms have struggled to create a two-way conversation with their readers in the past. Without time for cautious planning, papers may learn how to serve their communities best.

US: Some good news on the COVID-19 front? We fact-checked 10 positive coronavirus claims.

Poynter Institute: The MediaWise team fact-checked good news about the novel coronavirus.


Newsweek: President Donald Trump admonished PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor for making “snarky comments” and not saying congratulations to the armed forces and other entities helping to treat and prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Controlling cyber security: Are PSBs doing enough? (Paywall)

IBC365: Public service broadcasters are increasingly targeted by malicious cybercrime as they employ cloud-based workflows to manage valuable content assets.

Fake news in the time of coronavirus: how big is the threat? (Opinion)

The Guardian: People assume that we’re vulnerable to false information. But even in times of crisis, common sense usually prevails.

How are int’l buyers working around Covid-19?

TBI Vision: The way that we all work has changed. Most of you will be reading this while stuck at home. But the international content industry is still in operation and it is adapting in the face of the Coronavirus crisis.

How media worldwide are covering the coronavirus crisis (Resource)

EJO: The crisis triggered by the coronavirus is presenting the world with unprecedented challenges. While borders are closing and ever more governments move towards declaring a state of national emergency, the European Journalism Observatory seeks to shed light on the media response to the crisis worldwide, both in countries that enjoy press freedom as well as states where media freedom is restricted.

Internews Launches Rapid Response Fund to Support Local Journalism Worldwide

Internews: Global non-profit Internews today launches a rapid response fund to help small, local news organisations worldwide survive in the face of COVID-19. The fund will launch with $100,000 to be made available immediately and is targeting $1 million in donations to provide immediate support for journalists globally.

In times like these, what is the future of the BBC? (Opinion)

CAMRI: We need a reformed and bigger BBC putting information engineering in the public interest at the centre of a new vision for the UK. We are in the middle of an information war and we need policy based on the national interest, not narrow commercial competition. 

Journalism Needs a Stimulus. Here’s What it Should Look Like (Opinion) 

CJR: In the face of this pandemic, the public needs good, economically secure journalists more than ever. As most of us are sheltered in place, journalists are out there tracking the spread of COVID-19, separating fact from fiction, and holding politicians and powerful institutions accountable. 

Media in crisis mode (German)

MDR 360: The corona crisis is having a massive impact on the work of newspapers, television and radio stations. In this series MEDIEN360G deals with the work and importance of media in crisis mode.

On the same wavelength: how radio keeps us connected during coronavirus

The Guardian: Whether it’s Lauren Laverne’s moving music choices, serious health advice on LBC or throwback pop with Sara Cox, the medium is providing reassurance in uncertain times.


Rory Peck Trust: Concerns grow for unjustly detained journalists in prisons worldwide.

Radio listening booms while music streaming stalls

BBC News: People staying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic appear to be listening to more radio rather than music apps, figures suggest.

The regimes using coronavirus as an excuse to attack press freedom

The New Statesman: Disease specialists have been banned by the South African government from speaking to the media about Covid-19, amid abuses across the world.

Weathering the storm: Broadcasters talk shifting schedules, pausing production amid COVID-19

Realscreen: Producers, broadcasters and distributors are venturing into largely uncharted territory as the COVID-19 pandemic upends production activities across the globe. 

When local news dies, so does democracy (Watch)

TED: Nearly 1,800 newsrooms have shuttered across the US since 2004, leaving many communities unseen, unheard and in the dark. In this passionate talk and rallying cry, journalist Chuck Plunkett explains why he rebelled against his employer to raise awareness for an industry under threat of extinction — and makes the case for local news as an essential part of any healthy democracy.

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Header Image: Empty television studio with camera. Credit: Grafissimo/iStock