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: Can new TV network boost Cairo’s role in Africa?

Al-Monitor: As part of its efforts to boost ties with other African countries, the Egyptian government is planning to launch a TV channel and news website covering African news and issues.

EGYPT: Egyptian authorities lash out against media over election coverage

CPJ: Authorities blocked news websites, threatened journalists with retaliatory actions if their reporting was “unethical,” and are reviewing at least one publication for reporting on alleged election irregularities, according to media reports.

KENYA: Government ‘maintains stranglehold on media’

Deutsche Welle: The resignation of several Kenyan columnists, citing concerns over increased media regulation and a ‘worrying pattern’ of government influence, has put the issue of press freedom back in the spotlight.

MOZAMBIQUE: Mozambique’s press faces violent reprisals in its war for freedom

The Irish TImes: The nation’s journalists still run the risk of abduction, detention and death threats.

NIGERIA: Media urged to tread softly on security

The Guardian (Nigeria): Security agencies in the country have given assurances that they would maintain a balance between openness and national security.They have, however, called on the nation’s media owners and practitioners to walk the fine balance between openness on one hand and national security on the other.

SOUTH AFRICA: All TV and radio in South Africa must have 70% local content – ANC

My Broadband: The ANC resolved at its 54th National Conference to conclude a review of South Africa’s broadcasting policy.

SUDAN: Sudan sentences 2 journalists for “false news,” 2 others for defamation

CPJ: The Press and Publications Court sentenced two journalists for “false news” on March 22 and two on defamation charges in a separate trial on March 15, according to the Sudanese Journalist Network and news reports.

UGANDA: Museveni slaps taxes on social media users

Daily Monitor: Faced with an increasingly critical citizenry, the government has slapped new taxes on social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Skype and Viber to stop what the President has called lugambo (gossip).

INDIA: India drops plan to punish journalists for ‘fake news’ following outcry

Reuters: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday ordered the withdrawal of rules punishing journalists held to be responsible for distributing “fake news”, giving no reason for the change, less than 24 hours after the original announcement.

INDIA: Surge in police violence against journalists in India

RSF: On 24 March, New Delhi journalists staged a major demonstration about the issue after the latest example of police violence against journalists the day before, when police tried to break up a “pad yatra” (long march) in New Delhi by students and teachers from Jawaharlal Nehru University.

INDONESIA: Indonesia Threatens to Shut Down Facebook If Privacy Breached

Bloomberg: An Indonesian cabinet member has threatened to shut down Facebook Inc. if there is any evidence the personal data of citizens is being harvested or the social media giant fails to crack down on “fake news” during upcoming elections.

MALAYSIA: Anti-Fake News Bill passed during policy stage

The Star (Malaysia): The Anti-Fake News Bill 2018 was passed during the policy stage at the Dewan Rakyat on Monday (April 2) after a bloc vote.

MALAYSIA: Malaysia’s anti-fake news law raises media censorship fears

CNN: Is an anti-fake news law proposed in Malaysia really designed to protect the country’s citizens, or is it just a way for the government to clamp down on the media and stifle free speech?

MYANMAR: Media freedom declining in Myanmar: experts, journalists

Myanmar Times: Journalists and other media professionals face great risks in practicing their profession in conflict areas such as Kachin, Rakhine and Shan states, where media freedom is not respected, according to journalists and experts.

PAKISTAN: PEMRA orders restoration of all Geo TV channels within 24 hours

Geo News: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has ordered restoration of all Geo TV channels on their actual position within 24 hours, according to a press statement by the regulatory body issued Monday.

PAKISTAN: The Hard Limits of Pakistan’s Media Freedom

The Diplomat: Self-censorship out of fear might explain a near media blackout on reporting widespread Pashtun protests.

PHILIPPINES: PH state media urged to exercise editorial independence

Rappler: An educator called on state-owned media organizations in the Philippines to exercise editorial independence and stop serving as propaganda tools for the country’s presidents since the Marcos regime.

TAIWAN: News service to be offered in Vietnamese, Indonesian and Thai

Focus Taiwan: Starting Monday, news programs will be broadcast every weekday in Vietnamese, Indonesian and Thai, according to Public Television Service (PTS) Sunday, the first television station to provide news services in these three Southeast Asian languages in Taiwan.

THAILAND: Verdict Threatens Labor Abuse Reporting

HRW: Huge Libel Award Puts Rights Investigations at Risk.

UZBEKISTAN: Journalists Prosecuted, Harassed

HRW: Despite Media Freedom Advances, Long Way to Go

AUSTRALIA: ABC News bot partners with Hearken platform in world-first project to tap SA voters’ curiosity

ABC News: During the South Australian election campaign, ABC News launched a world-first integration between its Messenger bot and the Hearken (Curious) platform to ask voters what they wanted to know before polling day.

AUSTRALIA: Australia to begin DVB-T2 broadcast trials

ABU: Free TV and Broadcast Australia are to conduct trials of the digital terrestrial broadcast standard DVB-T2, which has the potential to allow 4KTV reception.

AUSTRALIA: SBS Radio launches new marketing campaign for multilingual Australians

Mediaweek: SBS Radio has launched a new marketing campaign aimed at Australians who speak a language other than English (LOTE) at home.

SAMOA: Samoa PM threatens to ban social media

RNZ: Samoa’s Prime Minister has warned that Facebook and other social media platforms may soon be banned in the country.

NEW ZEALAND: Curran says RNZ+ policy ‘evolution’ still stands

RNZ: Broadcasting Minister Clare Curran says she still wants RNZ to eventually evolve into an operation that runs a stand-alone TV channel.

NEW ZEALAND: Online broadcasting ‘wild-west’ could be tamed, says expert

RNZ: A media law expert has welcomed the possibility that overseas-based online broadcasters may have to comply with New Zealand regulation.

BALKANS: Balkan Countries Most Vulnerable to ‘Fake’ News, Report

Balkan Insight: The 2018 Media Literacy index of the Open Society Institute in Sofia says Balkan countries are the most susceptible in Europe to ‘fake’ news – owing to their highly controlled media, low educational levels and low levels of trust in society.

BULGARIA: State of Journalism and Freedom of Speech (Report)

ECPMF Resource Centre: The annual report by the Association of European Journalists highlights that the “culture of pressure” in Bulgarian media is on the rise.

CROATIA: Fact-checking around the world: Inside Croatia’s Faktograf

IJNET: Veteran journalist Petar Vidov was covering political corruption and organized crime for Index, Croatia’s most visited news portal, when talk of a fledgling fact-checking operation caught his attention. He left his high-profile job to help make the startup a reality.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Czech public broadcaster begins transition to DVB-T2 and HEVC

Digital TV Europe: Czech public broadcaster Ceská Televize is to begin transmitting its signal in the DVB-T2 format from tomorrow, the first major step in the country’s transition to the advanced version of the digital-terrestrial broadcast standard.

ESTONIA: Estonia targets post-Brexit broadcast business

Broadband TV News: Estonia is joining Ireland and the Netherlands as possible contenders to take on international channel distribution after Brexit.

IRELAND: Call for licence fee collection model to be updated

RTE: Funding indigenous content and improving TV licence collection rates are necessary in the public interest, according to the vice chair of the Oireactas Communications Committee.

ITALY: Italian public TV: new agreement including commitment to tackle hate speech

EFJ: The Italian public television RAI, Rai Journalists Trade Union (Usigrai) and the Italian EFJ affiliate, FNSI (Federazione Nazionale della Stampa Italiana), signed a new collective agreement to extend the national labour contract to journalists working in public media.

KOSOVO: Serbian journalists attacked by police in Kosovo


MACEDONIA: We require equal treatment of attacks against journalists and politicians

Safe Journalists: The representative of the Association of Journalists of Macedonia, Deniz Sulejman, participated in a discussion for the results of the research on the efficiency of the mechanism of the European Union benchmarks in Macedonia.

MALTA: Government urged to implement CoE recommendation on protection of journalists

Times of Malta: Recommendation signed in 2016 but not yet implemented.

NORWAY: Norwegian Union of Journalists signs freelance framework agreement


RUSSIA: Russian TV dodges bad news

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the growing the trend for the major Russian TV channels to ignore or play down bad news.

SLOVAKIA: In Slovakia, the killing of a journalist inspires a new wave of people power

The Washington Post: A month after the grisly double murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee, Martina Kusnirova, the aftershocks continue to reverberate throughout Slovakia, underscoring the country’s struggles with corruption but also the vital importance of the quest to uncover it.

SPAIN: The accounts do not come out: The CNMC asks for a revision of the RTVE financing model (Spanish)

Vozpopuli: The competition regulator had already warned of the need to provide public radio-television with a new financing system that reduces the budgetary uncertainty it faces each year and facilitates compliance with the public service it has been entrusted with.

SPAIN: The necessary public television (Spanish)

Teledetodos: The agreement reached this week by PSOE, and citizens can unlock the appointment of a new management dome RTVE is a first step to put the public radio and television in the path of independence.

SWITZERLAND: Working with its members, Republik wants to show there is demand for reader-funded journalism in Switzerland

Journalism.co.uk: ‘We want to make the reporting visible and understandable, because a lot of people don’t know what a journalist does and what the criteria and requirements of this work are’

UK: BBC targets 50/50 split in male and female experts by next year

The Guardian: Plan for equal gender contributor split across news, current affairs and topical shows meets with scepticism.

UK: Hall: BBC facing ‘fight for the future’ in big tech-dominated world

Digital TV Europe: The BBC and UK public service broadcasting in general faces “a fight for the future” that will test the whole British creative industry in a world where “the global media landscape is going to be dominated by four, perhaps five, businesses on the West Coast of America in the years to come”, according to BBC director-general Tony Hall.

UK: iPlayer to evolve as BBC braces itself for reinvention for a new generation

Rapid TV News: As it set out its priorities for the year ahead in its annual plan, the BBC has conceded that faced with huge challenges from the likes of Netflix and Amazon it needs to respond to changes in consumption habits, especially regarding its younger viewers.

UK: S4C to lose central government funding by 2022

Insider Media: Welsh language broadcaster S4C is to lose its £6.76m UK government grant with all future public funding to come from the TV License fee.

UKRAINE: Do Ukrainian Media Practice Self-Censorship?

Freedom House: In a Facebook post earlier this month, a Ukrainian member of parliament expressed doubt about the existence of media self-censorship, asking, “Which themes do Ukrainian journalists avoid because of pressure?” A journalist in the Cherkasy region replied, “You must live in a different country.”

REGIONAL: Western Balkans: media freedoms and safety of journalists still at risk


GENERAL: Brussels plans crackdown on ‘fake news’ in social media

CNBC: Brussels is preparing to crack down on social media companies who have been accused of spreading “fake news”, issuing a stark warning that scandals such as the Facebook data leak threaten to “subvert our democratic systems”.

GENERAL: How Europe’s Media Cover Brexit


GENERAL: New EU rules on content portability set to come into force

Digital TV Europe: New rules on content portability across the European Union will come into force on April 1, enabling users of online audiovisual services to view content while outside their home country within the EU.

CAYMAN ISLANDS: ‘Futile’ to enforce public access TV

Cayman Compass: Television regulators consider it “futile” to attempt to enforce a licensing requirement for cable companies to provide a “free-to-air” public channel.

ECUADOR: Three journalists are kidnapped in Ecuador, signaling the violence spilling over from Colombia

The Washington Post: Every night since March 26, when three Ecuadorian journalists were kidnapped near their country’s border with Colombia, their colleagues have gathered to demand their rescue.

HONDURAS: Radio Progreso: Honduran journalists under threat (Watch)

Aljazeera: The independent radio station is playing a dangerous game – alternative narratives, alternative journalism in Honduras.

JAMAICA: PAJ Rejects Explanation For Media Restriction At Ministers’ Swearing-In Ceremony

The Gleaner: The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) has rejected the explanation by the Office of the Prime Minister for restricting media coverage of [27 March] swearing-in of two new Government ministers and two state ministers.

MEXICO: Mexican police officers found guilty of murdering journalist in rare conviction

The Guardian: Two officers sentenced to 25 years in prison after being convicted in the killing of newspaper owner Moisés Sánchez in Veracruz.

PARAGUAY: Paraguayan journalist asked to reveal her sources in case about audio that reveal alleged government corruption

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: For four hours, Paraguayan investigative journalist Mabel Rehnfeldt was questioned at the Prosecutor’s Office, where she was summoned as a witness on March 22, in Asunción.

SAINT LUCIA: Association of Caribbean Media Workers condemns planned “press censorship” law

St. Lucia Times: ACM is concerned about a recent statement by Saint Lucia’s Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Information and Broadcasting, Dominic Fedee on plans by his administration to impose additional regulations on the country’s private media.

VENEZUELA: Digital Media Take the Lead in Reporting in Venezuela

IPS: Online media have taken the lead, ahead of the conventional media, in reporting in the tense political and economic climate in Venezuela, where freedom of speech and of information are under siege.

PALESTINE: Palestinian journalists injured covering mass protest in Gaza Strip

CPJ: At least 10 Palestinian journalists were injured while covering mass protests on the Gaza border, according to the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), the Palestinian press freedom group Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedom (MADA), the regional press freedom group Center for Defending the Freedom of Journalists (CFJ), and news reports.

SYRIA: In Syria, where jobs are scarce, journalism becomes a means of survival


TURKEY: Mass detentions over social media criticisms of Turkey’s actions in Syria

Via IFEX: Turkish authorities have detained and prosecuted large numbers of people in recent weeks over social media posts criticizing Turkey’s military operation in the northwest Syrian district of Afrin, Human Rights Watch said today. The crackdown violates the right to peaceful expression.

REGIONAL: Apps, arrests and abuse in Egypt, Lebanon and Iran

Article 19: Repression and marginalisation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Queer (LGBTQ) people across the world have limited safe opportunities for LGBTQ people to meet up but this is especially true for communities in the Middle East and North Africa.

CANADA: Catherine Tait chosen as CBC/Radio-Canada president

CBC News: TV and film executive to become 1st woman to hold top role at Canada’s public broadcaster.

CANADA: Mobile emergency alerts launch in Canada April 6

Global News: Starting April 6, most LTE mobile devices in Canada will be able to receive wireless public alerts in the event of an emergency. As Reid Fiest reports, the technology previously interrupted TV and radio broadcasts.

US: Mississippi legislature wants to cut funding to state public broadcaster by 2024 (Subscription)

Current: A budget that includes a clause to end state funding for Mississippi Public Broadcasting as of 2024 is headed to the governor’s desk.

US: New US Espionage Act prosecution has troubling implications for press freedom


US: NPR Maintains Highest Ratings Ever

NPR: Podcasts Turn to Broadcast as Ratings Stay Strong.

US: Philadelphia Media Network is adding six fellows to engage diverse audiences that they are ‘simply not reaching’

Poynter: Two years ago, staffers at the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and philly.com worked together to map out a plan for their future.

US: PRSS Announces 27 ‘Tornado Alley’ Public Radio Stations for CPB-Funded Metadata Project

CPB: Stations to expand emergency messaging on mobile, other digital platforms.

10 best free digital storytelling tools for journalists in 2018

Hackastory: There are a bunch of tools to help you build a digital story. Every day, companies are launching new tools. That’s why we selected the 10 best free digital storytelling tools for journalists in the year 2018.

Collaboration and the creation of a new journalism commons


Emily Bell thinks public service media today has its most important role to play since World War II

Nieman Lab: “I think there’s a very viable long-term financial model for commercial media. But I don’t necessarily think that applies directly to journalism.”

Exploring How Blockchain Technology Can Make Life Easier for Creators and Media

DV Innovation: Blockchain, Bitcoin, Ethereum, smart contracts. If you haven’t been living under a rock the last couple of years, you have probably heard media and tech people mention these buzzwords all the time.

The key role slow journalism plays in the 24/7 digital news cycle

Journalism.co.uk: Rob Orchard, editor, Delayed Gratification, explains why being ‘last to breaking news’ can often help readers better understand the world around them.

Thinking about what you need in a secure messenger

Via Ifex: All the features that determine the security of a messaging app can be confusing and hard to keep track of. Beyond the technical jargon, the most important question is: What do you need out of a messenger?

Tracking media development donor support: An update on 2016 funding levels

CIMA: Tracking donor efforts to support media development is fundamental to assessing whether enough resources are being directed at these efforts, and whether those resources are being channeled to the areas of most pressing need.

‘We didn’t spend enough time thinking about the risks,’ Zuckerberg admits

CJR: When Mark Zuckerberg talks about something that has gone wrong at Facebook—which happens rather frequently—he almost always comes off as concerned and apologetic, and his latest interview on Vox Media’s “The Ezra Klein Show” on Friday, March 30th is no exception.

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All PSM Weekly stories are provided for interest and their relevance to public service media issues, they do not necessarily reflect the views of the Public Media Alliance.

All headlines are sourced from their original story.

If you have any suggestions for our weekly round-ups, please email PMA at editor@publicmediaalliance.org.

Header Image: CBC Radio-Canada Broadcast Centre, Vancouver. Credit: Glotman Simpson/Creative Commons