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

Click on the drop-down menus below to reveal the latest regional stories.

EGYPT: As elections draw near, Egypt’s media faces further restrictions

Al-Monitor: Egypt’s Public Prosecutor Nabil Sadek has instructed his staff to monitor news and social media outlets and take legal action against those deemed to be “undermining the country’s security.”

EGYPT: Egypt’s top prosecutor orders authorities to monitor media for “fake news”

CPJ: Egypt’s Prosecutor General Nabil Sadiq today ordered state prosecutors to monitor media reports and take action against any outlets publishing “false news, [false] statements, and rumors,” AP and Reuters reported.

EGYPT: Egyptian regime turns its sights on foreign media

RSF: After stifling the national media and censoring information on social networks, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s regime has been stepping up its harassment of foreign media in the run-up to the presidential election that is to be held on 26-28 March.

GAMBIA: GPU sets in motion media legal reforms

The Point: The Gambia Press Union’s (GPU) Legal Position Paper on the Media Reforms is now set for submission to the government of The Gambia following its validation on Friday.

NIGERIA: Bill seeks death penalty for hate speech offenders

Nigeria Democratic Report: Any person found guilty of any form of hate speech that results in the death of another person shall die by hanging upon conviction, reads a new bill by the Senate.

NIGERIA: Nigeria Becoming Africa’s Biggest Free TV Platform

Via All Africa: Alhaji Lai Mohammed, minister of Information and Culture, has said that with the Digital Switch Over (DSO), Nigeria has taken a bold step in building Africa’s biggest and most lucrative free-to-air television platform.

TANZANIA: Criticism of President Leads to Imprisonment

Freedom House

TANZANIA: Tanzania Uses Biometrics for SIM Card Registration

All Africa: The biometric system will help nab criminals who use forged identities to register SIM cards which are then used to commit fraud and other crimes, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority’s Director, James Kilaba has said.

ZIMBABWE: Ex-Zbc Workers Evicted, Appeal to Mnangagwa

Via All Africa: Some former ZBC workers who were retrenched 16 years ago have called on President Emmerson Mnangagwa to intervene on their eviction matter and non-payment of their terminal benefits by the broadcasting company.

CHINA: Chinese authorities detain relatives of Radio Free Asia’s Uighur reporters

DW: Relatives of five reporters for Radio Free Asia’s Uighur service have been detained in China’s Xinjiang region. RFA said families were targeted in retaliation for its coverage of Beijing’s crackdown on ethnic Uighurs.

CHINA: Xi Jinping’s power grab and China’s media politics (Listen)

Aljazeera: Five years into Xi Jinping’s rule, the fourth estate has been melded much more thoroughly into the political machine.

INDIA: Indian Government supports DD news broadcast to 100 countries

ABU: The Indian Information and Broadcasting ministry is mulling expansion of Doordarshan’s round-the-clock news broadcast to around 100 countries with a view to reach out to the diaspora and put across India’s perspective on domestic and international issues.

INDIA: Why Prasar Bharati Continues to Remain Bereft of Real Power

The Wire: While years of government meddling has left the public broadcaster struggling for autonomy, its marginalisation has gained momentum under the Modi regime.

INDONESIA: Just how free is the press in South-East Asia’s largest democracy?

ABC News: Indonesia is entering election season — this June the country will hold local elections across 17 provinces, 39 cities and 115 regencies.

JAPAN: Automation comes to news-gathering in Japan

The Japan Times: The news business in Japan has long been notoriously labor-intensive. Reporters assigned to the crime and disaster beats have largely relied on briefings from police officers or firefighters for their initial reports.

JAPAN: NHK debuting 8K footage at SXSW

Advanced Television: Japan’s public broadcaster NHK is set to showcase some of its 8K programming at the ‘South by South West’ (SXSW) show in Austin, Texas (March 13th – 15th).

KYRGYZSTAN: Mounting concern about threats to media freedom in Kyrgyzstan

Via IFEX: What with prosecutions, astronomic damages awards and travel bans, there is mounting concern about the threats to media freedom in Kyrgyzstan.

MALAYSIA: Malaysia’s Najib pushes to outlaw ‘fake news’ before election

Reuters: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s scandal-haunted government pushed plans for legislation outlawing“fake news” on Monday as parliament convened for the last time before an election due by August.

MALAYSIA: Malaysia would use “fake news” law to crush media freedom

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges Malaysia’s authorities to abandon the proposed law against fake news that parliament is due to begin examining today, because it has all the hallmarks of a new government weapon for suppressing media freedom.    

 MALDIVES: Press freedom watchdogs urge Maldivian authorities to respect media rights


MYANMAR: Can the five new TV channels survive?

Frontier: Fierce competition for advertising and planned amendments to the Broadcasting Law are among the challenges facing the companies poised to launch digital channels.

MYANMAR: Seen but not heard: Women in Burmese media

Asian Correspondent

NEPAL: Charges against Nepal journalists ‘attack on press freedom’

Aljazeera: Journalists from Nepal’s largest newspaper have been charged with contempt of court after publishing critical stories about the country’s chief justice.

PAKISTAN: Islamabad High Court declares network disconnections as illegal

Via IFEX: Bytes for All, Pakistan welcomes the decision by the Honorable Judge of Islamabad High Court, Justice Athar Minallah whereby he declared the network shutdown as illegal and a disproportionate response to security threats.

SINGAPORE: Singapore wants to ban coverage of terrorist attacks

RSF: A ban on media coverage when most needed by the public is, in essence, the main aim of the Public Order and Safety Bill presented by Singapore’s home affairs ministry, which would allow the police to enforce a “communications stop order.”

THAILAND: Radio Thailand marks 88th anniversary

Asia Radio: The National Broadcasting Services of Thailand (also known as Radio Thailand) was founded on February 25, 1930.

UZBEKISTAN: Uzbekistan releases world’s longest-jailed journalist, but two more face trial

CPJ: Ruzimuradov, a former reporter for the opposition newspaper Erk, was quietly released on February 22 and has been reunited with his family, a relative of the journalist told CPJ today.

AUSTRALIA: An Independent ABC (Press Release)

ABC: From time to time, the ABC stands accused of being either biased in our attacks on the Government or kowtowing to that same Government.

AUSTRALIA: ABC Rallies the troops

ABC MediaWatch: Video from editorial director aims to motivate staff after weeks of criticism.

AUSTRALIA: Espionage bill still threatens journalists with jail, union says

The Guardian: The MEAA wants a blanket defence for journalists, who could still face 10 years’ jail.

NEW ZEALAND: How far off is the government’s media funding fix?

RNZ: The broadcasting minister has appointed advisors to look into funding our public media at arm’s length from government. The new TV channel she once wanted seems to be off the table for the foreseeable future, but when will we know who gets the $38 million funding boost promised before the election?

NEW ZEALAND: Iwi radio stations: ‘Don’t forget about us’

RNZ: The 21 iwi radio stations that make up Te Whakaruruhau o Ngā Irirangi Māori, or the Māori Radio Network, have told the Māori Affairs Select Committee that current government funding is only enough to get by, but not enough to thrive.

NEW ZEALAND: No new television channel for RNZ, says chairman

Stuff: Radio New Zealand will not launch a full-blown standalone television channel after all, chairman Richard Griffin says.

NEW ZEALAND: Stuff-NZME merger back to the drawing board (Audio)

RNZ: Media companies, Stuff and NZME, say they’ll have to go back to the drawing board and renegotiate their proposed merger.

AUSTRIA: Austria’s public broadcaster sues far-right vice chancellor over ‘fake news’ post

DW: Far-right leader Heinz-Christian Strache is facing multiple lawsuits over a Facebook post saying Austria’s public broadcaster spreads “propaganda.” His “reform” calls have raised concerns about the news outlet’s future.

AUSTRIA: Vice-chancellor accuses public broadcaster of lying

Mapping Media Freedom

DENMARK: Media Development 2017 (Report)

DR: The DR Audience Research Department’s annual report on the use of electronic media in Denmark.

FRANCE: French media is in talks about collaborating on a unified login system

Digiday: Concerns about the looming ePrivacy Regulation, not to mention fear of the duopoly, are prompting European publishers to collaborate on joint consumer login systems. So far, Germany and Portugal have led the charge. Now, it looks like France could join the fray.

LITHUANIA: Lithuanian operators defy Russian channel ban

Broadband TV News: A number of Lithuanian cable operators have decided to defy a one-year ban on the retransmission of the Russian language channel RTR Planeta.

MALTA: Ten years after launch of blog, murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia faces posthumous barrage of libel lawsuits


MOLDOVA: The public broadcaster of Moldova diversifies its content with support of the Council of Europe

Council of Europe: The Council of Europe and the public broadcaster Teleradio-Moldova officially opened the Documentary Films Department Telefim-Chisinau.

MONTENEGRO: Self-regulation in Montenegrin media: One Code, several self-regulators

Safe Journalists: When in 2002 a joint Code of Journalists of Montenegro was adopted, even the worst pessimists could not predict that the next phase of self-regulation in Montenegrin media would be thus slow.

ROMANIA: Romanian reporters criticize mayor for “insulting” language

The Washington Post: Romanian journalists have criticized the mayor of the western city of Timisoara for using “aggressive and insulting language” about reporters.

SERBIA: Serbian press council faces pressure amid push for self-regulation

IPI: Complaints Commission notes rise in ethical breaches.

SLOVAKIA: Press freedom in Slovakia after investigative reporter’s murder

RSF: Never, not even in the darkest hours of the country’s history, have the Slovak media experienced such an act of violence as last weekend’s double murder of the young investigative reporter Ján Kuciak and his partner.

SLOVAKIA: ‘They can’t kill us all’: Slovakian journalists defiant after murders

The Guardian: Colleagues of Ján Kuciak, killed after investigating mafia links, vow to continue his work.

SLOVAKIA: Thousands march for slain Slovak journalist who probed corruption

Reuters: Thousands marched in Bratislava and other Slovak cities on Friday for murdered investigative journalist Jan Kuciak, demanding swift action in response to a killing that has shocked the country and shaken its government.

SPAIN: Censorship and manipulation on public television (Spanish)

El Diario: The News Council of Televisión Española (TVE) has been set up and with the contribution of more than four hundred cases of censorship or information manipulation has requested the European Parliament (EP) to adopt consequential measures.

SPAIN: More than 2,500 women journalists sign a manifesto in support of the March 8 feminist strike (Spanish)

RTVE: They denounce the “machismo” of the sector, precariousness, wage gap, glass ceiling and sexual harassment.

SPAIN: RTVE delivers strong profit for the first time in years

Rapid TV News: Spanish national public broadcaster RTVE seems to have finally corrected its deficit situation, delivering a €25 million profit in 2017.

SWITZERLAND: Attack on public broadcasting licence fee clearly fails

SwissInfo: Voters have rejected a proposal to do away with the mandatory licence fee for Switzerland’s public broadcasters.

SWITZERLAND: Switzerland to keep TV/radio licence fee, SRG posts reform plan

Broadband TV News: Swiss public TV and radio broadcaster SRG SSR will continue to be financed through the public licence fee.

UK: BBC pay: 200 staff seek publication of all salaries and benefits

The Guardian: Almost 250 BBC staff including stars such as Victoria Derbyshire, Mariella Frostrup, Naga Munchetty and Dan Snow have challenged the corporation to publish individual salaries and benefits of staff if it is serious about tackling pay inequality at the corporation.

UK: Devolving broadcasting ‘may mean less money’

BBC News: Transferring broadcasting powers from Westminster to Cardiff could mean less money for those serving Welsh audiences, a media academic said.

UK: Tony Hall: BBC must fight US tech firms to protect British values

The Guardian: Director general to warn of threat to social unity amid rising dominance of ‘west coast giants’

GENERAL: The Digital TV Europe Industry Survey 2018

Digital TV Europe: Digital TV Europe’s third annual survey reveals what top industry executives think about the most pressing issues facing the digital video distribution business.

GENERAL: New report on journalism and media privilege by the European Audiovisual Observatory

CoE: The report is dedicated to the question as to how national law in Europe protects journalists and their right to work in safety and without interference.

ARGENTINA: The news programme of TV Pública comes back but organised by its staff (Spanish)

Infonews: Despite the emptiness and information blackout that TV Pública is submitted to, the workers put on their shoulders the task of reporting and returned to air the news of the weekend via the Internet.

COLOMBIA: From war to peace: new narrative strategies in Colombian journalism

IJNet: Traditional war reporting, which mostly focused on revealing the brutality of the conflict, is being replaced by new storytelling techniques using alternative narratives and creative digital tools.

ECUADOR: Journalists and civil society organizations in Ecuador create Democratic Group to reformulate communications law

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: Journalists, lawyers, academics and human rights activists from Ecuador have announced the formation of the Democratic Group for the Reforms of the Organic Law of Communication (LOC).

ECUADOR: The fiscal budget for public media was reduced for 2018 (Spanish)

El Comercio: The 12.6% reduction in money allocated from the State was driven by changes in the editorial line , new products and the increase in the audience that improved economic efficiency.

BARBADOS: Barbados minister calls for more TV licences

Caribbean Life: In probably the first statement from this administration suggesting that television broadcast licences should be liberated on the island, Minister of International Business Donville Inniss said the state has no place in media operations, but should be providing only the regulatory environment.

VENEZUELA: IFEX-ALC condemns deterioration of respect for free expression in Venezuela


VENEZUELA: IPYS considers continued decrease in internet speed a threat to Venezuelans’ access to digital news media

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: In recent years, the decreasing capacity of internet browsing in Venezuela has affected many Venezuelans who seek information through digital media, in the face of self-censorship and censorship of traditional media by the government, IPYS said in its report released at the end of February.

IRAQ: Kurdistan Region of Iraq: Protesters, Journalists Detained

HRW:  Kurdistan Regional Government security forces detained participants in December 2017 protests around Sulaymaniyah and forced them to sign statements promising not to criticize the government.

ISRAEL: Proposed Bill: Public Broadcaster Would Require Knesset Approval for Budget

Haaretz: Likud lawmaker Miki Zohar claims that Kan should be subject to oversight, but the shift eliminates a safeguard to protect its independence.

TURKEY: Deutsche Welle wants to set up Turkish TV channel

Broadband TV News: German international service Deutsche Welle (DW) wants to set up a Turkish language television channel in the coming years.

TURKEY: State broadcaster censors music

Deutsche Welle: Turkey’s national public broadcaster TRT has banned more than 200 songs. The music supposedly “encourages alcoholism” or “propagates terrorism,” accusations the affected musicians reject as ridiculous.

TURKEY: TRT World launches on Freesat

Digital TV Europe: English-language Turkish news service, TRT World, has launched on UK subscription-free satellite TV platform, Freesat.

TURKEY: Turkey’s journalists have sacrificed their freedom in the pursuit of truth

Index on Censorship: Recent developments in Turkey, once seen as a role model for the Muslim world, have shown that concepts such as the rule of law and right to free speech are no longer welcome by the Erdogan government.

CANADA: Canada pledges $50 million to local journalism. Will it help?

CJR: The Canadian government has pledged to create a $50 million fund to support local journalism in Canada over the next five years. But the money (which amounts to $39 million US), while welcome in an industry that is badly struggling, may also be too little, too late to make a difference.

CANADA: CBC/Radio-Canada 2017-2018 third quarterly report now available online

CBC/Radio-Canada: “Thanks to Canadians, in Q3 we doubled our digital reach two and a half years earlier than planned”.

CANADA: Federal budget fails to provide real help to Canadian media, industry officials warn

The Toronto Star: Ottawa’s budget promise of $50 million for local journalism is not enough to slow newsroom closures, they say.

CANADA: Pirates are selling cheap, live TV and some Canadians are signing up

CBC News: Unauthorized services are ‘basically designed to replicate your cable experience’.

US: Five decades after Kerner Report, representation remains an issue in media

CJR: America’s alarming disunion is evident any time you turn on the news or read the paper. But a recent survey commissioned by the Ford Foundation indicates that our disconnect goes beyond our political disagreements—that our division may be exacerbated by the makeup of our media.

US: PBS and KQED Partner to Provide Educators With Free Certification in Media Literacy

PBS: PBS and KQED, announced a partnership to offer PreK-12 teachers free certification in media literacy. The PBS Media Literacy Educator Certification by KQED recognizes educators who excel in creating and implementing instruction with media, and provides support to help all teachers accelerate these skills.

US: Public TV urges FCC to exempt stations from ATSC 3.0 simulcasting rules

Current: Public broadcasters have asked the FCC to exempt non-commercial TV stations from a regulation requiring them to transmit video in two different broadcast standards during rollout of Next Generation TV technology.

5 ways newsrooms covered the Winter Olympics 2018 with interactives and data visualisations

Journalism.co.uk: Graphs, illustrations, and conversational interfaces have all featured in publishers’ coverage over the past few weeks.

Disinformation spread online is so disorienting that it’s messing with the researchers who study it

Nieman Lab

Human Rights Council 37: What’s at stake for freedom of expression?

Article 19: Over the next four weeks the UN’s top human rights body is expected to act on some of the world’s most pressing freedom of expression violations and abuses.

‘No silver bullet’: Publishing’s ‘incremental’ revenue often doesn’t replace lost ad dollars

Digiday: Many publishers are faced with a math problem. All the new “incremental” revenue lines — commerce, licensing, micropayments, events — don’t add up to more than their declining ad businesses as Google and Facebook suck up ad budgets.

RSF shines light on “forbidden coverage” of women’s rights (Report)

RSF: To mark International Women’s Day (March 8), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is publishing a report entitled “Women’s rights: Forbidden subject” which sheds light on the difficulties that journalists – both men and women – can encounter when they cover women’s rights.

Seven digital security habits that journalists should adopt

RSF: RSF’s tips for journalists to protect online communications

There are 149 fact-checking projects in 53 countries. That’s a new high. (Report)

Poynter: A new report from the Duke Reporters’ Lab offers a snapshot of the evolving fact-checking ecosystem around the world.

When Fighting Fake News Aids Censorship (Opinion)

Project Syndicate: Laws meant to curb “fake news” may be well intentioned, but their implementation has been sloppy, with few mechanisms to ensure accountability, transparency, or reversibility.

Who are the intermediaries for international news? five key questions answered

Humanitarian Journalism: The role of non-profit intermediaries in supporting international news has been the subject of growing discussion recently.

Yes, there’s a crisis of trust in journalism. But it’s inside newsrooms, too

CJR: Journalists in America’s major newsrooms are asking a question of their bosses: Is anyone in charge here?

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Header image: Radio tower in San Francisco. Credits: Orin Zebest/Creative Commons