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

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ALGERIA: Barred from covering unrest, Algerian journalists hold own protests

CPJ: In a Q&A with CPJ, Algerian journalist Lynda Abbou explains why protests that have swept the country in recent weeks were a pivotal moment for journalists frustrated at censorship.

BURUNDI: Burundi Bans BBC And VOA Because Of Alleged False Reporting

Broadcast Media Africa: Burundi’s media regulator National Communications Council (CNC) cancelled the BBC’s license and accused it of broadcasting a documentary that it said was untrue and had damaged the country’s reputation.

EGYPT: Is Egypt tightening its grip on the media?

Al Monitor: Egypt’s top media regulator has wasted no time in using newly enacted bylaws to impose sanctions on a news site, yet critics claim the body is overstepping its role and limiting freedom of the press.

GAMBIA: In Gambia, young journalists prepare to graduate into a country free from dictatorship


GHANA: Repairing Relations with the Media: Police Take Important Measures

MFWA: Subjected to a barrage of strident public criticism over the past two weeks after a brutal assault on a group of journalists by some police officers, the Ghana Police Service (GPS) has responded positively by interdicting the officers involved.

GHANA: The Fight for Transparency in Ghana

Coda Story: After two decades of delays, Ghana’s new Right to Information bill was passed last week. It was supposed to open the country’s institutions and empower investigative reporters in the fight against corruption, but it may have the opposite effect

LIBERIA: ​Attacks on Liberian radio stations “contrary to spirit” of new press freedom law

RSF: The attacks began as parliament was passing the Abdullahi Kamara Act for Freedom of the Press, which decriminalizes press offences and seeks to create an unfettered media environment.

SOUTH AFRICA: Cabinet: We are committed to helping the SABC

News24: Cabinet has praised efforts to help the SABC raise R3.2bn as interim funding from commercial banks, which it says will help the embattled public broadcaster meet its funding requirements between now and September 2019.

SOUTH AFRICA: President Ramaphosa to announce decision on SABC Board members soon

SABC News: President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to announce his decision on the appointment of the eight non-executive South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Board members soon. This is according to Presidential Spokesperson Khusela Diko.

SUDAN: Sudan : Media still under pressure despite newspaper editor’s release

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) welcomes the release of a leading Sudanese newspaper editor who has been held for more than a month but remains very concerned by the continuing crackdown on Sudan’s media for daring to covering major anti-government protests.

TANZANIA: East African court rules that Tanzania’s Media Services Act violates press freedom

CPJ: The Arusha-based EACJ found that multiple sections of Tanzania’s 2016 Media Services Act, including those on sedition, criminal defamation, and false news publication, restrict press freedom and freedom of expression.

REGIONAL: Deutsche Welle expands partnerships with private and public broadcasters in East Africa

DW: Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) is significantly expanding its presence in Uganda. Director General Peter Limbourg signed several agreements with private and state-run broadcasters in Kampala.

CAMBODIA: Cambodia’s Internet Crackdown Reaches its Activist Monks

Coda Story: For years, a group of Cambodian monks has used platforms like Facebook to expose daily injustices. An online crackdown is now putting them at risk

CHINA: China: RSF calls for release of three journalists investigating workers conditions

RSF: The three journalists are the latest victims in a long line of detainments and “disappearances” that have occurred since the beginning of the workers protest at Jasic Technology in July 2018. At least 44 workers and rights defenders are believed to be detained in relation to this case.

CHINA: How China’s new media offensive threatens democracy worldwide

DW: Press watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) recently released a report detailing the Chinese state’s attempts to silence negative coverage by imposing its political influence on international media outlets.

INDIA: DD Free Dish welcomes sale of 15 MPEG-4 slots

Rapid TV News: Fifteen MPEG-4 channel slots on India’s DD Free Dish direct-to-home TV platform have been sold in an e-auction by public broadcast operator Prasar Bharati.

INDIA: Despite being exposed, fake news thrives on social media ahead of India polls


INDONESIA: The fight against fake news in Indonesia (Watch)

ABC AM: The 2016 US election turned “fake news” into a global concern. But nowhere is this concern greater than in Indonesia, where social media use is among the highest in the world and news hoaxes are a daily challenge.

KAZAKHSTAN: Kazakh reporters arrested while covering protests

RSF: The journalists said they were jostled and prevented from freely covering the protest, during which many activists were arrested.

PAKISTAN: Pakistani government monitoring journalists’ social media activity

IFJ: According to reports, at least five journalists and one blogger were placed on the ‘watch list’ as part of a ‘targeted social media campaign’.

PAKISTAN: Satire offers new ground for silenced Pakistani journalists

Reuters: An army boot and a sandal discuss what to do with fallen former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a satirical social media video that highlights the way journalists shut out from the country’s mainstream media are turning to the Internet.

PHILIPPINES: Philippines issues arrest warrants against Rappler’s Maria Ressa, other executives

CPJ: Authorities in the Philippines issued today arrest warrants against news website Rappler editors and executives, including executive editor and founder Maria Ressa, for violating laws barring foreign ownership of media, according to news reports.

SINGAPORE: Singapore to introduce anti-fake news law, allowing removal of articles

The Guardian: Press freedom concerns over law that will allow authorities to remove articles that breach government guidelines

TAIWAN: Taiwan warns of ‘rampant’ fake news amid China interference fears

Financial Times: Taipei moves to ban streaming video apps iQiyi and Tencent Video from entering market.

GENERAL: Women’s Day marchers attacked, Thai media restricted, and report on media killings in Afghanistan

IFEX: International Women’s day was celebrated across the Asia-Pacific region but women’s groups were harassed in Malaysia, Pakistan, and Cambodia. Thai media faced tremendous challenges ahead of the elections, and a new report revealed unabated media killings in Afghanistan.

AUSTRALIA: ABC gets budget relief as Morrison government extends ‘enhanced’ news-gathering funding

The Sydney Morning Herald: The 2019 budget will unveil good news for the ABC, with the Morrison government providing another three years of funding for the national broadcaster’s “enhanced news-gathering” program.

AUSTRALIA: Political interference experienced at ABC, Senate committee says in calling for overhaul

ABC: A Senate committee has declared political interference — or the prospect of it — is experienced “to varying degrees” throughout the ABC.

AUSTRALIA: SBS Radio: The big broadcaster reveals attraction for advertisers

MediaWeek: The ambitious television schedule at SBS [is] sometimes misunderstood, with people questioning whether certain elements of that strategy are on charter.

FIJI: Fiji MPs restricted from posting online in Parliament

RNZ: Fiji Opposition MP Niko Nawaikula says the government is trying to stop freedom of speech.

NEW  ZEALAND: Chief Censor wants action on ‘weaponization of social media’

RNZ: The Chief Censor is questioning whether changes announced by Facebook will be enough to combat harmful use of social media.

NEW ZEALAND: Christchurch shootings and media court reporting (Audio)

RNZ: The judiciary has just published a summary of rules for media coverage of New Zealand Senior Courts, on the NZ Courts website. There are expected to be significant challenges for both the court and the media  – with unprecedented international interest and concerns around not giving the accused a platform for propaganda.

NEW ZEALAND: Curbing comments to calm the farm online

RNZ: After the atrocity in Christchurch, Stuff says it’s time to civilise the often unpleasant space ‘below the line.’ It no longer accepts online comments on news stories about the topics that get readers the most wound-up. Is this censorship in response to tragedy – or was more moderation long overdue?

AUSTRIA: “The ORF has to bleed!” (German)

Die Presse: In the current negotiations on a new ORF law, at least some are not concerned with a reform of the public broadcaster, but with its destruction.

DENMARK: Denmark’s news media suffer as country’s viewing, reading habits change

The Local: Although the general economy in Denmark is strong, the country’s media industry experienced reduced turnover between 2016 and 2017.

ESTONIA: EKRE MP requests punishment, removal from the airwaves, of ERR journalists

ERR: Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE) MP and deputy chair Martin Helme has requested that journalists at public broadcaster ERR who demonstrate bias in their coverage, should be taken off air.

FRANCE: France Télévisions: Change at the top of the public broadcaster’s communication department (French)

Puremédias: Eve Demumieux replaces Virginie Sainte-Rose, only six weeks after her arrival as the head of communication of the public broadcasting group.

FRANCE: France Télévisions cuts Slash deal for youth format Mental

Rapid TV News: UK-based distribution and rights-management specialist Magnify Media has announced its first licence deal plus options in the UK and Denmark for scripted youth-skewing format Mental.

FRANCE: French content groups slam minister’s licence fee abolition plan

Digital TV Europe: Groups representing French content creators have united to condemn the possible abolition of the TV licence fee, proposed by public accounts minister Gérald Darmanin last Friday.

FRANCE: “It drives me crazy”: Delphine Ernotte criticises delays in French Salto project

Broadband Tv News: Delphine Ernotte, president of France Télévisions, reaffirmed her determination to launch the common SVOD platform with M6 and TF1, Salto.

FRANCE: Riester praises new copyright rules and promises aid for French series

Digital TV Europe: The new European copyright directive approved by the European Parliament earlier this week is “a beautiful European law”, and the French government will move swiftly to transpose it into national law, according to French culture minister Franck Riester.

FRANCE: CSA President visits Bordeaux: “I am very attached to a dedicated financing of public service media” (French)

FranceInfo: On Friday morning, against all odds, the Minister of Public Accounts Gérald Darmanin has revived the debate on the future of the television fee by proposing its removal. The new president of the CSA, Roch-Olivier Maistre,  visiting Bordeaux on Friday, brings a different vision. “The belief that I have is that we need a strong public service and that would mean to have a sustainable financing for businesses.”

GERMANY: ARD launches Youtube digital channel, ZDF allows embedded videos from library

Telecompaper: German public broadcaster ARD has launched a new Youtube channel called ARD Digital Explains, while the other public broadcaster ZDF allows users to embed its videos on third-party websites, Teltarif.de reports.

NORWAY: Healthy media policy and long-term clarification for NRK (Norwegian)

NRK: New government report establishes new funding scheme for NRK and reviews the public broadcaster’s assignment.

SERBIA: Serbian tax authority targets independent local outlets, but not those linked with government

SEENPM: Tax inspections are being used to put pressure on independent local media outlets, an investigation by the Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia (CINS) has found.

SLOVAKIA: Open letter to Slovakia’s President-elect Zuzana Čaputová

ECPMF: After lawyer and civil rights activist Zuzana Čaputová was elected as Slovakia’s first female president on 30 March 2019, several freedom of expression organisations joined the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) to send her a letter, drawing attention to the press and media freedom situation in the country.

SPAIN: RTVE ends 2018 in profit

Advanced Television: Spanish public broadcaster RTVE ended 2018 with a profit of €2 million. Total revenues amounted to €976 million, albeit 2.5 per cent less than planned, versus an operating cost of €974 million.

SPAIN: The Cortes confirm that the RTVE contest continues and that the new cameras will decide its future (Spanish)

La Vanguardia: The Cortes Generales have confirmed the continuity of the public tender by which the RTVE Board of Directors is renewed, but the new Chambers, formed after the April 28 elections, must determine the future.

SPAIN: The Junta Electoral prohibits TV3 from using “political prisoners” or “repression judgment” (Catalan)

El País: The administration body of the elections demands to sanction the Catalan public broadcaster for how it covered the Madrid event

UK: BBC to take control of UKTV in £200m deal with Discovery

The Guardian: Corporation will also license natural history shows such as Blue Planet to US pay-TV giant

UK: £60 million search begins for the next Peppa Pig, Art Attack and Desert Island Discs

GOV.UK: Multi-million pound funds for UK radio and television now open and accepting funding applications.

UK: British TV goes full Fox News (Opinion)

CJR: In the media, Britain seems to have gone full Fox News, taking a page out of the Murdoch playbook by putting the most incendiary and salacious figures possible on TV programs. The effect has been, of course, a distortion of political debate and a deepening of divides.

UK: ITV’s McCall defends BritBox UK project

Digital TV Europe: ITV boss Carolyn McCall has defended the broadcaster’s SVOD tie-up with the BBC, BritBox UK, saying the endeavour is sufficiently “distinctive” and will be “liberating” for producers.

UK: While newsrooms have shrunk, investigative journalism is thriving (Opinion)

The Guardian: Once maligned, digital tools have turned out to be a wonderful addition to our armoury

GENERAL: European Parliament backs cross-border online content

Broadband Tv News: The European Parliament has given its approval to new rules that will allow the online reception of TV and radio content across borders.

GENERAL: The State of Radio in 2019

Radiodays Europe: Coverage from Radiodays Europe 2019.

ARGENTINA: With the election year in full swing, the leadership at TV Pública replaces news presenters  (Spanish)

Tiempo Argentino: The channel’s news management and the head of the Sistema Federal de Medios y Contenidos Públicos, Hernán Lombardi, decided to replace the permanent journalists staff and to contract new presenters and panelists for their four newscasts.

BRAZIL: Brazilian startup launches journalism program, emphasizes diversity and announces new type of national coverage

Knight Center: Lectures and workshops for the Jornada Galápagos de Jornalismo will be based in the offices of major technology companies: Amazon, Google, LinkedIn and Twitter. In addition to giving up their spaces, the idea is that these brands also contribute knowledge and tools.

MEXICO: #MeToo reaches Mexico: majority of women in media report harassment at work

The Guardian: Mexican wave of the movement erupted in creative industries and media where 73% of female workers have faced sexual harassment

MEXICO: Mexican journalists face physical and digital attacks


MEXICO: The Journalists Trying to Stop the Dangerous — and Deadly — Spread of Fake News in Mexico


MEXICO: Public media needs to be critical of the power (Spanish – Interview)

La Silla Rota: Aleida Calleja, with more than 30 years of experience in civil society media now has the challenge to head the Mexican Institute of Radio (IMER).

NICARAGUA: Nicaragua’s exiled journalists aren’t staying silent on media repression

IPI: Since April 2018, dozens of journalists have been forced to leave due to the repressive regime of Daniel Ortega, which has sought to criminalize journalism

VENEZUELA: Nicolás Maduro tightens grip on Venezuela’s media

The Irish Times: Press freedom has suffered since Juan Guaidó’s challenge to president, says watchdog.

GENERAL: Latin American electoral processes fomented hostility against the press: annual report from the IACHR

Knight Center: Journalists and media from countries that had elections in 2018, such as Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Paraguay, Colombia and El Salvador, confronted situations of violence and censorship. This was noted in the annual report from the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

GENERAL: Science journalists unite in networks and foster national and Latin American integration

Knight Center

SAUDI ARABIA: Infographic: Journalists named in Guardian report on torture in Saudi jails

CPJ: Individuals detained under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s crackdown on dissent, including at least four journalists, are being abused and tortured in Saudi prisons, according to medical assessments prepared for King Salman and leaked to The Guardian.

TURKEY: Why Turkish media’s credibility is dead (Opinion)

Middle East Eye: Fake and misleading news, pushed for partisan reasons, has become a growing problem in the country.

CANADA: CBC receives five Canadian Screen Awards for excellence in digital storytelling

CBC: This brings the public broadcaster’s total awards count to 45 Canadian Screen Awards across the first three gala nights.

CANADA: CBC/Radio-Canada Selects Arista Networks for New Broadcast Facility

AP: Arista Networks (NYSE:ANET) today announced that CBC/Radio-Canada, Canada’s national public broadcaster, has chosen Arista Networks’ high performance switching infrastructure for its new “Maison de Radio-Canada” (MRC) in Montreal, a planned state-of-the-art facility that will be fully compliant with the SMPTE ST2110 suite of standards for professional media applications over managed IP networks.

CANADA: Interview with Catherine Tait, President and CEO of Radio-Canada (Listen)

Radio-Canada: As part of a regional tour, President and CEO of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, stopped by Quebec City to discuss the future of public broadcasting.

US: A Public Record at Risk: The Dire State of News Archiving in the Digital Age

CJR: “The majority of the news organizations that participated in this research (19 of 21) had no documented policies for the preservation of their content—nor did they have even informal or ad-hoc archival practices in place.”

US: Alaska Public Media Receives $65,000 Grant to Help Design PBS KIDS Educational Resources

Alaska Native News: AKPM will then use these resources as the basis for developing and implementing their own local educational outreach activities targeting rural communities.

US: Exclusive: Fearful of fake news blitz, U.S. Census enlists help of tech giants

Reuters: The U.S. Census Bureau has asked tech giants Google, Facebook and Twitter to help it fend off “fake news” campaigns it fears could disrupt the upcoming 2020 count, according to Census officials and multiple sources briefed on the matter.

US: Proposed cross-media standard would toughen rules for digital and tv

AdAge: Ratings for individual commercials and duration-adjusted views part of MRC draft

US: The crisis in covering Indian Country

CJR: Native Americans suffer from chronic misrepresentation and erasure by an established press, which continually fails to acknowledge the Indigenous timeline.

10 ‘most urgent’ global press freedom cases, April 2019

Deutsche Welle: Deutsche Welle has joined the One Free Press Coalition, a group of publishers using their global reach to spotlight journalists under attack around the world. A new list will be published each month.

A new app to map and monitor the world’s freshwater supply

Google: Released last week in Nairobi at the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA), the app provides statistics for every country’s annual surface water (like lakes and rivers). It also shows changes from 1984 through 2018 through interactive maps, graphs and full-data downloads.

AP Stylebook update: It’s OK to call something racist when it’s racist

Poynter: Friday’s updated entries on race-related issues are an acknowledgment of the topic’s growing prominence in American journalism. This new guidance offers journalists clarity and precision as they frame the news for their audiences.

Can we make Truth great again?

Coda Story: Humanities scholars long sneered at the notion of objective truth. In this post-truth age, that may be changing

Confronting the Crisis in Independent Media: A Role for International Assistance (Report)

CIMA: With independent media around the world in crisis, what is the role of international donors and private foundations?

Developing Empathy: The Importance of Digital Accessibility Workshops

CBC Digital Labs: Imagine this: you’re given a Ziploc bag filled with pieces of coloured paper of different shapes and sizes and 15 minutes to build something. What can you create?

Facebook considering hiring editors to pick quality news for users

The Guardian: Mark Zuckerberg also said he is weighing up paying publishers for use of their journalism

GIJN Toolbox: Tracking Names and Websites, Verifying Video, a Clustering Search Engine

GIJN: In this month’s edition of the GIJN Toolbox, we look at tools for keeping real-time records of online research, some tools for verifying videos and examples of how they can be used, as well as a search engine that offers a number of different ways to view search results.

How collaborative journalism increases accountability, accuracy and transparency

Journalism.co.uk: While there is no overnight fix to the problems facing newsrooms, working together can help improve media trust and fight mis- and disinformation

Introducing News Inside

The Marshall Project: The Marshall Project launches a print publication that will be distributed in prisons and jails.

IPI jointly launches newsroom safety self-assessment

IPI: Resources will help news outlets to review current safety practices.

Slow down, read up: Why slow journalism and finishable news is (quickly) growing a following

NiemanLab: Slow but steady wins the race — but can that saying also work in the ad-driven digital media world, where “being first” is still a top priority for most publications?

What we learned from analyzing thousands of stories on the Christchurch shooting


Why smart people are more likely to believe fake news

The Guardian: Research shows that smart people are more susceptible to fake news and conspiracy theories – but why?

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