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

As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues, 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 list of 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.

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WEEK 17: What does LOCAL NEWS INVESTMENT look like? 

Local journalism is an integral part of the news ecosystem. While national and international news strive to cover as broad a scope as possible, local news journalism functions at the community level to provide stories and representations that are relevant at local or regional level. Quality local news is not only produced within a community but also for that community, helping to foster democracy and enable greater accountability at a local level. But local news outlets are under considerable strain due to declining revenue and audience fragmentation, with many outlets failing to adapt to new platforms and funding mechanisms, leading to the creation of news deserts. Some solutions can be found in collaborations with and funding from public broadcasters. These investments can look like the collaboration between Report for America and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to expand local newsrooms with a diverse corps of 300 journalists. They can also look like CBC/Radio-Canada’s Local News Matters initiative, a national directory “to help Canadians find and support local media serving their communities” and SVT’s investment in local journalism, which is expanding on the Swedish broadcaster’s nearly 50 national locations. They can also look the like RNZ’s Local Democracy Reporting initiative, which provides additional mentoring, support and training for local journalists across New Zealand.

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.

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Essential resources for sourcing and reporting news about the coronavirus pandemic

What we're watching...

India’s COVID censorship

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What we're listening to...

People overestimate their ability to spot fake news – group

RNZ: An independent research group says climate misinformation is the next major fight in the war against conspiracy theories. Helen Lee Bouygues – the founder of the Paris-based Reboot Foundation – says its studies show people greatly overestimate their ability to spot phony information about climate change. 

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GHANA: Government has no intention of privatising GBC – Information Minister

Modern Ghana: Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, Minister of Information, says government has no intention of privatising the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), the only public broadcaster.

KENYA: Calls for inquest after attack on DW journalist

Deutsche Welle: On Press Freedom Day, Kenyan authorities are being urged to investigate an attack against a DW reporter. Mariel Müller was covering a COVID restrictions protest when she was injured by tear gas canisters fired by police.

KENYA: Forces of darkness keen to turn off media lights (Opinion)

The Star

KENYA: State should establish favourable conditions for media freedom (Blog)

The Star: The International Center for Policy and Conflict (ICPC) observes that atrocious attacks against journalists and all media actors constitute serious violations of human rights.

NAMIBIA: Journalists ‘bathing in poverty’

New Era: As Namibia celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration and the subsequent establishment of World Press Freedom Day, local media practitioners say journalists are overstretched. During the biggest celebration of Namibia’s media sector in the last 30 years, journalists in its biggest newsroom, the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), are on strike over wages and better working conditions.

NAMIBIA: Media experts urge NBC to innovate

The Namibian: NAMIBIAN media experts have called for the financially troubled Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) to find innovative ways of raising revenue to address their workers’ plight.

NAMIBIA: NBC hints at retrenchments

The Namibian: The cash-strapped Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) may be forced to retrench some of its workers if the current financial situation does not improve, NBC board chairperson Lazarus Jacobs yesterday said.

NIGERIA: Media Still Used As a Tool of Control

IWPC: “The more we fight for transparency, the more it will help people be accountable.”

SOMALI: Somali Journalists Alarmed Over Spike in Attacks on Media

VOA News: Somalia is one of the lowest-ranked countries in Africa for press freedom, and advocates are calling on authorities to do more to support journalists as the Horn of Africa nation looks ahead to elections.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC denies claims it cannot pay employee salaries

SABC News: The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has denied claims that it cannot pay employee salaries. This comes after various media reports claiming that the Public Broadcaster could not pay April salaries.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC: Reports Of Delays In Payment Of Severance Package To Retrenched Staff

Broadcast Media Africa: As reported by BMA’s media sources, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has been accused of not being able to afford staff salaries and severance packages for retrenched former employees of the public broadcaster. 

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC’s economics editor Thandeka Gqubule-Mbeki resigns in protest

IOL: SABC economics editor Thandeka Gqubule-Mbeki has resigned in protest over what she alleges are numerous governance and policy breaches and tolerance for outright fraud and corruption at the state broadcaster.

UGANDA: Ugandan Journalists Face Physical Danger While Doing Their Jobs

VOA News: In Uganda, journalists report they have come under attack while doing their jobs. Two journalists say they were beaten last week as they tried to cover a protest over power outages. Dozens more were beaten during the run-up to elections in January.

REGIONAL: Africa: Spyware Threatens Press Freedom’s Privacy Imperative

Via AllAfrica: Spyware’s repeated use to target journalists and those close to them poses an existential threat to the privacy required for press freedom to flourish. Without the ability to privately communicate with sources, conduct research, and compile information, journalists are hampered in their ability to keep the public informed and hold the powerful to account.

REGIONAL: East and Southern Africa: Media freedoms curtailed as COVID-19 regional crises expose urgent need for access to information

Amnesty International: Journalists and media houses across East and Southern Africa came under increasing attack in the past year, despite the urgent need for access to information during the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises in the region, Amnesty International said today.

AFGHANISTAN: Afghanistan: Authorities must protect journalists and journalism amid spiralling violence

Amnesty International: The Afghan authorities must take urgent steps to provide journalists with greater protection, said Amnesty International on World Press Freedom Day, following a year of spiralling threats, intimidation, harassment, and violent attacks against the country’s media workers.

AFGHANISTAN: Can Afghanistan’s Free Press Survive? VOA Special Report

VOA News

HONG KONG: Explainer: The decline of Hong Kong’s press freedom under the national security law

HKFP: HKFP rounds up press freedom incidents since last year as the world marks UN Press Freedom Day.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s latest star TV host? City leader Carrie Lam.

Washington Post: In a city known for producing action-packed martial arts movies, there’s a gripping new TV show on the block. The title promises to captivate viewers: “Get to Know the Election Committee Subsectors.”

HONG KONG: Hongkongers rush to ‘Save RTHK’ from show purge

RTHK: Hong Kong people rushed to save copies of RTHK programmes on Monday as the station began removing shows from the internet, with a journalism academic warning that the broadcaster’s move will allow the authorities to create their own version of history.

HONG KONG: Press freedom situation dire, worse to come: HKJA

RTHK: The Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) warned on Monday that although media workers have never been more pessimistic about press freedom in the territory, the worst is yet to come.

HONG KONG: RTHK gets rid of reporter Nabela Qoser

RTHK: RTHK has decided not to renew the contract of a journalist who incurred the wrath of pro-Beijing politicians and media during the social unrest of 2019, the broadcaster’s staff union said on Monday.

INDIA: A devastating COVID surge takes a fresh toll on Indian journalism


INDIA: Covering India’s Covid crisis: ‘Hundreds of journalists have lost their lives’

The Guardian: Our South Asia correspondent reflects on a catastrophe that is now affecting the lives of almost everyone in the country.

INDIA: COVID: Why is India censoring media during public health crisis?

Deutsche Welle: Indian authorities are again removing social media posts that criticize the government. Censorship watchdogs say those in charge are trying to cover up the true severity of the ongoing public health crisis.

MALAYSIA: Repressive Laws Trigger Massive Press Freedom Decline for Malaysia

VOA: For the past few years Malaysia had been making great strides in press freedom. Under its first democratically elected government for decades, repressive laws were repealed, giving the country’s media more space to do their job. But the unexpected resignation by Prime Minister Mathathir Mohamad last year triggered the collapse of the coalition government, and the king named a new prime minister, without holding elections.

MYANMAR: Myanmar Journalists Are ‘Living in Fear’ as Junta Curbs Freedoms

Radio Free Asia: Not long after enjoying their first taste of freedom, Myanmar’s journalists say they are barely able to function, as the soldiers who toppled the country’s democratically elected government three months ago have moved to choke off the flow of information through intimidation, arrests, and violence.

PAKISTAN: Journalists are never truly free in Pakistan (Opinion)

Deutsche Welle: Fearing persecution and facing threats to their lives, journalists tread carefully in Pakistan. The brave and bold who pose awkward questions are most at risk, writes Warda Imran.

PAKISTAN: FN’s State of Press Freedom Report 2021: Islamabad riskiest place to practise journalism

The News: A dramatic escalation in the climate of harassment of media and journalists has been found leaving an adverse impact on the freedom of expression and access to information, according to the Freedom Network’s annual state of Pakistan Press Freedom 2021 report.

PAKISTAN: Media restrictions threaten right to freedom of expression in Pakistan: Antony Blinken

Geo News: Media and content restrictions are a threat to the ability to exercise the right to freedom of expression and association in Pakistan, says US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

PAKISTAN: PEMRA notice on coverage of cabinet meetings akin to gagging the media: AEMEND

GEO News: The Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND) on Wednesday said it “strongly objects” to the recent restrictions on TV channels “in the name of ‘advice’” to report on proceedings of the Federal Cabinet through sources.

PAKISTAN: The state of media freedom in Pakistan


PHILIPPINES: ‘An example to many’: journalist Maria Ressa wins Unesco press freedom prize

The Guardian: Ressa has been subject to sustained campaign of gendered online abuse and has been targeted by Filipino leader Rodrigo Duterte

SOUTH KOREA: Public broadcasting crisis, license fee increase is necessary

KBS: KBS held a public hearing for a “TV subscription fee adjustment plan” at KBS Art Hall today (28th) and collected opinions from experts from all walks of life.

REGIONAL: The poor state of press freedom is stunting social progress in Southeast Asia

ASEAN Today: The fundamental freedom to publish critical views on society and government is necessary for real democracy and human rights to flourish in the region.

AUSTRALIA: ABC Meets The 50:50 Challenge (Press release)

ABC Australia: ABC NEWS has met the BBC’s international 50:50 Project challenge to achieve equal representation of female and male interviewees and commentators in its news coverage across the month of March. 

AUSTRALIA: Australian journalists’ union urges new approach to media regulation

Asia Pacific Report: Australia’s journalists’ union – the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) – has voted to end its decades long relationship with the Australian Press Council, citing concerns about governance and consistency of rulings at the press regulator.

AUSTRALIA & CHINA: Shut out from the country, this is how the Australian media covers China (Opinion)

The Sydney Morning Herald

FIJI: Fiji media adapt to report on COVID-19

FBC: Members of the media have time and again put their safety secondary as they work to get out as much information as possible to the public.

NEW ZEALAND: Mediawatch: We’ve got trust issues – with news (Listen)

RNZ: New research shows New Zealanders’ trust in the news media slipping, even when it comes to the news they choose themselves. That’s obviously a bad news story for our media – but what can they really learn from asking us what we think?

NEW ZEALAND: People overestimate their ability to spot fake news – group (Listen)

RNZ: An independent research group says climate misinformation is the next major fight in the war against conspiracy theories. Helen Lee Bouygues – the founder of the Paris-based Reboot Foundation – says its studies show people greatly overestimate their ability to spot phony information about climate change. 

VANUATU: ‘Chilling’: Vanuatu libel bill prompts fears for free speech

The Guardian: Journalists and social media moderators in Vanuatu could face up to three years in prison under a new bill that broadly criminalises threatening words, gestures and the “reckless” sharing of false statements.

REGIONAL: “Media Workers Are also COVID-19 Frontline Workers,” says PINA President (Statement)

PINA: As we join the global community in marking the UNESCO 2021 World Press Freedom Day today, the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) acknowledges the great sacrifice and commitment of our media workers in covering the COVID19 pandemic and related issues.

REGIONAL: Pacific Anti-corruption Journalists Call for Regional Commitment to Media Freedom

Solomon Times: Marking World Press Freedom Day 2021, the Pacific Anti-Corruption Journalists Network (PACJN) has called for a regional Pacific commitment to boost media freedom and help increase reporting on activities at risk of corruption.

DENMARK: DR brought the Danes together in 2020 (Press release – Danish)

DR: DR has just presented the annual report and the public service report for 2020. It was a year in which DR gathered the Danes under the corona, while the pressure from the international tech giants increased.

FINLAND: Yle makes elections for all Finns – we focus on locality and constructive political debate (News release – Finnish)

Yle: Yle’s task is to ensure that all Finns receive information and the opportunity to participate in the election debate. Municipal elections will be held on June 13.

FRANCE: France Télévisions leader with 15.8 million viewers every day in front of France 2 and France 3 news broadcasts (French – Press release)

France TV: In April 2021, 37.4 million viewers (*) followed France Télévisions news every week on France 2, France 3 and franceinfo channel 27.

GERMANY: ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio present current financial planning for 2021 to 2024

ARD: The public broadcasters have submitted their medium-term financial requirements for the years 2021 to 2024. In their registration for the 23rd report of the independent commission to determine the financial needs of broadcasters (KEF), the calculations essentially confirm a broadcasting fee of EUR 18.36.

GERMANY: How science journalism accelerated Süddeutsche Zeitung’s digital subscriptions

WAN-IFRA: Since the beginning of the pandemic, the German newspaper has seen its digital subscriptions grow by over 60%. A major factor behind this increase is the publisher’s long-term commitment to quality science reporting.

GERMANY: New SR director wants more pure online content (German)

Deutschlandfunk: Martin Grasmück, director of the Saarländischer Rundfunk since the beginning of May, sees the Internet as an opportunity to publish successful content without expensive equipment. Nevertheless, he wanted to stick to the linear radio with its “insanely long range”, he said in the Dlf. 

GERMANY: Young people often lack everyday relevance in the news (German)

Deutschlandfunk: Half of the young people think it is not important to find out about current events – that is the result of a new study. Journalism must show more clearly why news is relevant for the everyday life of young people, according to Sascha Hölig, one of the authors of the study.

HUNGARY: Blinken alarmed at Hungary press freedom, urges openness

Euractiv: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken voiced alarm Wednesday (28 April) at a deterioration of press freedom in Hungary and vowed to press Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to respect pluralism.

HUNGARY:  ‘Provocative’ Questions: State TV Attack On Journalist Rekindles Concerns Over Press Freedom In Hungary (Watch)

RFE/RL: Hungarian state TV has run a series of reports attacking an Austrian journalist, accusing her of being provocative, amateur, and critical of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. The reports have sparked international controversy, drawing condemnation from Austria’s foreign minister and shining a light on an alleged campaign against independent media in Hungary.

ITALY: State broadcaster in Italy under fire after ‘censoring’ rapper

The Guardian: Rai faces calls to apologise to Fedez over alleged attempt to silence his condemnation of homophobia.

MALTA: Two Thirds Of Maltese People Are Concerned By Political Pressure On Media, Especially PBS

Lovin Malta: A large majority of Maltese people believe the national broadcaster is under political influence, according to the latest Eurobarometer survey.

NETHERLANDS: Culture council backs new broadcasters but warns about fragmentation

Dutch News: The Dutch council for culture has recommended that two new initiatives be admitted to the public broadcasting system – Omroep Zwart and Ongehoord Nederland.

NORWAY: NRK with a positive operating result in the corona year 2020 (Press release – Norweigan)

NRK: In a particularly demanding year with many unforeseen challenges, NRK achieved a positive operating profit of NOK 19.7 million.

POLAND: Poland: Purge of editors begins despite court ruling suspending purchase of Polska Press

IPI: IPI and MFRR partners issue joint statement as editors-in-chief fired.

RUSSIA: Russia Closing Down Media Freedoms

Human Rights Watch: April was a terrible month for freedom of expression in Russia.

RUSSIA: Meduza feels force of Kremlin’s media crackdown (Paywall)

Financial Times

SLOVENIA: #WPFD2021: Time to STAnd up for STA and independent journalism in Slovenia 

EFJ: To mark World Press Freedom Day on May 3, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is supporting its affiliates in Slovenia, the Slovenian Association of Journalists (DNS) and the Union of Slovene Journalists (SNS) in a crowdfunding campaign to support the Slovenian Press Agency (STA), which has had its financing suspended by the government for more than four months now.

SPAIN: Pérez Tornero: “RTVE is still relevant and it can be much more so” (Spanish)

RTVE: The president of RTVE, José Manuel Pérez Tornero, said this Thursday in Congress, in his first periodic appearance before the Mixed Commission of Parliamentary Control of the RTVE Corporation and its Companies, that his management project and that of the board of directors will aim to improve the audience as soon as possible and especially the relevance of RTVE, offering quality entertainment, truthful and plural information, and effective budget management.

SPAIN: Urgent measures in the new stage of RTVE. Public debate (Spanish – Event) 

Teledetodos: Next May 10, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., we will hold a public debate on  urgent measures in the new stage of RTVE. 

SWEDEN: Protect freedom of the press and expression from restrictive bills (Blog- Swedish)

Sveriges Radio: When a society is put to the test, new legislation is sometimes needed to protect its citizens, but in recent years we have seen more and more proposals that at the same time risk hitting the press and freedom of expression hard. For the sake of democracy, it is absolutely necessary not to restrict free journalism, and especially not in uncertain times when it is really needed. This is what Sveriges Radio’s CEO Cilla Benkö writes today on International Press Freedom Day.

SWEDEN: The culture must renew itself and become indispensable online (Swedish)

Nordvision: What attitudes and needs does the audience have 30-44 years when it comes to streamed cultural content? SVT decided to find out the answer. With Nordic support, a comprehensive survey was conducted, and now all the Nordic public service companies have been able to take part in the results.

SWEDEN: Welcome to #srfrukost: Hopeful or hopeless – about climate journalism after the pandemic (Event – Swedish)

Sveriges Radio: Welcome to a digital breakfast seminar that highlights the mission and conditions of climate journalism. How good is the media at making more accessible, and making climate science, important to more people? The seminar will be broadcast digitally on 6 May at 08.15 via the web, social media and in the Swedish Radio app afterwards.

UK: BBC expert Marianna Spring on dealing with social media trolls and why sport is taking a stand

iNews: The BBC’s first specialist disinformation and social media reporter tells us how she [handles] online abuse.

UK: BBC World Service to receive continued additional funding from Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (Press release)

BBC Media Centre: BBC Director General Tim Davie, today welcomed the UK government’s announcement of continued additional funding for the BBC World Service.

UK: Bid to stop Paul Dacre taking over at TV regulator

The Guardian: Industry and government figures stage 11th-hour effort to prevent former Mail editor being appointed chair of Ofcom.

UK: Sir Robbie Gibb: Former Downing Street communications director joins BBC Board

BBC News: Sir Robbie Gibb, a former Downing Street communications director, is joining the BBC board as the board member for England. He will start on 7 May. 

UK: UK’s ITV cautions public service future & urges ‘radical, urgent’ reforms

TBI Vision: UK commercial operator ITV has warned it could stop being a public service broadcaster (PSB) unless “radical” action and “urgent decisions” around its remit are made.

UKRAINE: New DG of Ukrainian broadcaster elected

EBU: The Supervisory Board of the Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (UA:PBC) has elected Mykola Chernotytskyi as Head of the Managing Board. 

REGIONAL: New Report Shows Curbs to Media Freedom in Europe

VOA News: Leading media organizations and watchdog groups have issued a new report concerning threats to press freedom across Europe. It documents a record number of reported violations including physical attacks, harassment, intimidation and online violence against journalists in 2020 — in some cases intensified by COVID-19 pandemic measures.

REGIONAL: Secretary General: European governments should show stronger political will to protect press freedom

Council of Europe: In a statement issued ahead of World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić urged European governments to show stronger political will to protect journalists and independent journalism in order to put a stop to the deterioration of media freedom in the continent.

REGIONAL: World Press Freedom Day: Which are Europe’s lowest-ranked countries for journalistic freedom?

Euronews: The world of journalism faces “drastic losses”, the UN has warned, as it highlights the importance of ‘information as a public good’ on World Press Freedom day.

BRAZIL: Media empowerment is key to Covid-19 recovery in Brazil

EJO: A denialist president, people living and working in precarious conditions, and highly infectious mutations of Covid-19: this is the chaotic combination currently facing Brazil’s population. The “double pandemic” situation, made more dire by attempts to constrain the press and hamper national dialogue, is concerning global multilaterals such as the World Health Organization.

BRAZIL: WPFD: Brazilian union plants trees to commemorate journalists who died from covid

IFJ: Brazilian journalists union FENAJ is planting a memorial wood to commemorate journalists who died from covid.

COLOMBIA: Colombia: press workers were victims of attacks during popular protests (Spanish)

IFJ: Since the citizen protests against the tax reform in Colombia began at the end of April, at least 28 press workers have been victims of different types of attacks that have occurred in different parts of the national territory. Of the attacks registered by the Colombian Federation of Journalists, 17 were carried out by security forces or public officials.

EL SALVADOR: El Salvador’s journalistic union does not rule out government persecution (Spanish)

Swiss Info: The Association of Journalists of El Salvador (APES) denounced this Monday a pronounced increase in violations of press freedom and did not rule out that in the midst of the political situation facing the country there is persecution of communicators.

GUYANA: EU envoy lauds role of media in 2020 elections (Paywall)

Stabroek News: In his message to mark World Press Freedom Day today, European Union (EU) Ambassador Fernando Ponz Cantó reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to defend press freedom noting that it is a pillar of democracy which led to the declaration of results for the March 2020 General Elections in Guyana.

MEXICO: Classes will continue on television: president of RED México (Spanish)

El Occidental: Jorge César and Gabriel Torres signed a collaboration agreement to generate cultural products that promote education, science, technology and culture.

PARAGUAY: What do you know about freedom of expression in Paraguay?

Via IFEX: On 5 May, Paraguay will be evaluated within the third cycle of the UPR. IFEX members in Paraguay SPP and the IFEX-ALC network have proposed recommendations regarding freedom of expression in the country. 

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: Information as a public good (Editorial)

Trinidad Express

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: President: Press Freedom essential to democracy

Loop TT: President Paula-Mae Weekes says a free press in an age rife with misinformation, is essential for educating the public. 

URUGUAY: Specialists agreed that the new media law will generate a system of “less pluralism and diversity” (Spanish)

La Diaria: In addition, they raised concerns about the elimination of transparency mechanisms and citizen participation.

VENEZUELA: 965 violations of freedom of expression are registered in Venezuela in 2020 (Spanish)

Diario Las Américas: The NGO Espacio Público documented that during 2020, 18 radio stations, four print media and two digital media were closed.

VENEZUELA: Venezuelan National Union of Journalists office destroyed in arson attack

CPJ: Venezuelan authorities should thoroughly investigate the arson attack on the regional headquarters of the National Union of Journalists, and ensure those responsible are prosecuted, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

REGIONAL: Caribbean Media Celebrate World Press Freedom Day 2021 (Press release)

CBU: The Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) joins the rest of the world in marking Monday, May 3, 2021 as World Press Freedom Day.  The recognition is done under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO.  We do so under the theme of “Information as a Public Good”.

REGIONAL: Local journalist elected as President of Caribbean Media Association

News Room: Local journalist and President of the Guyana Press Association (GPA), Nazima Raghubir, was on Saturday elected as President of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM).

IRAQ: Iraq bans prank TV shows over ‘cruel’ fake terrorist scenes

Arab News: Iraq banned two prank TV shows on Tuesday for breaching broadcast rules following outrage from viewers when the programs first aired.

SYRIA: “Syria: the Black Hole for Media Work – Ten Years of Violations report” (Press release)

SCM: The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM) on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day, launch a new report titled “Syria: The Black Hole for Media Work – Ten Years of Violations”, that reviews ten years of violations against journalists and media workers, who have been targeted with a wide range of violations during the past ten years since 2011.

SYRIA & GERMANY: Anas Khabir: Fighting for press freedom from exile (Watch)

Deutsche Welle: Syrian journalist Anas Khabir fled his war-torn home country. Despite all odds he managed to build a new career in Berlin. Now he provides news about Germany in Arabic, and information that is not available in Syria.

TURKEY: Can independent journalism fight back in Turkey?

Amnesty International: “Accusing journalists of aiding terrorists because they do not toe the regime’s line is the first step to a totalitarian state,” journalist Sue Turton told me a few years ago.

TURKEY: Press freedom remains a distant dream for many Turkish journalists

Arab News: The challenges facing Turkish journalists came under the spotlight again on May 3, World Press Freedom Day, with experts saying the COVID-19 pandemic had made conditions harder for the media.

TURKEY: Turkey: IPI condemns police directive preventing audio-visual reporting on protests

IPI: Note from Head of Security General Directorate a clear attempt to prevent news reporting.

UAE: NYU Abu Dhabi researcher leads on the effectiveness of a game that helps people spot “fake news”

Zawya: The new game, Fakey, emulates a social media feed and teaches users to recognize credible content.

YEMEN: Yemen: Houthi authorities seize Yemen Digital Media offices and deny journalists access

IFJ: Houthi forces, the de facto government in Sana, sealed the offices of Yemen Digital Media, a private media services provider on 25 April, preventing journalists and staff from entering.

YEMEN: Yemen journalists union demands release of 10 journalists held by Houthi militia

Arab News: The Yemeni Union of Journalists on Sunday demanded the release of 10 journalists held by the Houthi militia in Sanaa.

REGIONAL: Covering corruption, coups, and war crimes in the Middle East

ICIJ: ICIJ’s Cairo-based investigative reporter Maggie Michael talks about the challenges of unearthing secrets and atrocities in a region where threats to press freedom abound.

CANADA: All Canadians can help strengthen our democracy by showing support for local journalism (Opinion)

Toronto Star

CANADA: Canada’s press freedom is in more danger than you think (Opinion)

Canada’s National Observer: Verbal and physical abuse, government obfuscation and police searches, seizures and arrests are just some of the occupational hazards that many Canadians might think journalists only encounter when reporting on the clandestine activities of illiberal regimes in far-away lands or when documenting atrocities taking place in global conflict zones.

CANADA: Fifty new outlets, 250 journalists: Canadian startup unveils plan to revive local news

The Guardian: As local papers close their doors, a morning newsletter defied the odds. Now its founder aims to push the model nationwide.

CANADA: Survey shows Albertans more likely to share fake news

CityNews Winnipeg: A new poll shows Albertans feel the least informed about COVID-19 and are more likely to share fake news. 

CANADA: Your free speech is at risk with Ottawa’s push to regulate online content, experts warn

CBC News: The federal government is facing an uproar over controversial changes to a bill that would bring videos and other content posted to social media sites like YouTube under the purview of the country’s broadcasting regulator.

US: ‘It Was Just Thrilling’: 2 NPR Founders Remember The First Days, 50 Years Ago (Listen)

Wyoming Public Media

US: CPB requests $300M in federal support for pubmedia infrastructure

Current: CPB submitted a request to Congress and the White House Wednesday for $300 million in federal appropriations to support public media infrastructure.

US: Facebook to pay $5 mln to local journalists in newsletter push

Reuters: Facebook Inc (FB.O) on Thursday said it will give $5 million to pay local journalists in multi year deals as part of its new publishing platform to help independent writers attract an audience and make money through the social media network.

US: NPR plans to recognize digital staffers’ union (Paywall)

Current: NPR said Wednesday that it intends to recognize a union of employees who work on the network’s digital operations.

US: PBS Chief Paula Kerger, Weigel’s Neal Sabin on ‘Strictly Business’ (Listen)

Variety: Plans to celebrate PBS’ 50th anniversary last year with programming and events were scuttled by the pandemic. As it turned out, the tough environment of the past 14 months reinforced the value of public TV in more significant ways than any marketing campaign could achieve, as PBS president Paula Kerger tells Variety‘s “Strictly Business” podcast.

US: Through In-Depth and Educational Programming, Public Media Addresses Anti-Asian Hate

CPB: Public media has addressed the appalling rise in violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders through local and national news coverage, public affairs programming, documentaries, and supplementary educational materials that provide history, depth and context.

US: Why your favorite new NPR show might sound a lot like a podcast (Paywall)

The Washington Post

#WPFD 2021: IPI Marking World Press Freedom Day in Europe (Event)

IPI: On May 5, IPI will host a discussion on press freedom in Europe organized in partnership with the IPI Norwegian and Finnish National Committees as part of its celebrations of World Press Freedom Day. 

How covid-19 has accelerated encroachments on media freedom

Journalism.co.uk: On World Press Freedom Day, Damian Radcliffe looks at how governments around the world leveraged the pandemic to undermine public trust in journalism and science.

How Disinformation and Hate Fuel Online Attacks Against Women Journalists (Research)

ICFJ: Vicious online violence that seeks to silence women journalists and discredit their reporting is a growing problem – and one that is often tied to orchestrated disinformation campaigns, new research shows. Because of their race, sexual orientation and religion, some women face even more frequent and vitriolic attacks.

International: Protecting journalists is key to sustainable media

Article 19: Advocates of free speech and media freedom are working hard to ensure the media we consume every day is capable of informing us as well as debating with us, capable of carrying out investigations, and resilient enough to hold officials to account for their actions.

Not just “elected officials and policy experts”: Top editors are trying to refocus the opinion pages on regular people

Nieman Lab: Editors at The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post (and one opinionated Substacker) discussed the rapid growth of opinion in online journalism.

Pandemic cannot become a ‘media extinction event’: UN Secretary-General

UN News: The financial decline of many public interest media organizations worldwide has been among the dangerous side-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday in remarks to a UN-backed event to boost support for the sector. 

RSF, global coalition launch mass video campaign for Maria Ressa

Rappler: In time for World Press Freedom Day, hundreds of global supporters sent in hours of videos containing messages of support for Maria Ressa, independent media in the Philippines, press freedom, and democracy.

Statement by the Media Freedom Coalition on World Press Freedom Day (Statement)

Gov.uk: Members of the Media Freedom Coalition gave a statement on World Press Freedom Day.

UN catalogues ‘chilling tide of abuse’ against female journalists

The Guardian: Misogyny, bigotry and threats ‘cut public trust in critical media’, warns report after major investigation.

“Understanding the way in which information is produced means learning to distinguish it from rumor” (French – Paywall)

Le Monde: For the five years since the creation of the association Médias francophones publics (MFP), the leaders of the eleven media groups present in France, Canada, Belgium and Switzerland are joining forces, in a forum at the “World”, to assert common and essential values.

Viable, diverse, stable and safe is this really too much for media to ask? (Opinion)

MENAFN: Viability, diversity, stability and safety are essential ingredients of any healthy information eco-system. How many media worldwide can say yes to all four? How far are individual professionals, news organisations, and the industry as a whole from achieving these? And at this time of global anxiety, economic turmoil, and future uncertainty, is it crazy to be aiming for them in the first place?

Women Journalists Face Added Challenges Amid COVID Pandemic (Watch)

VOA: The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 3.1 million people and infected nearly 150 million worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. Living through and documenting the pandemic brought a multitude of challenges, especially for women reporters, according to the Coalition for Women in Journalism. VOA’s Mariama Diallo has the story.

WPFD 2021: Attacks on press freedom growing bolder amid rising authoritarianism

IPI: Collective action needed to stop the domino effect of silencing independent media.

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