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

As the global Covid-19 pandemic continues and many countries enter a state of lockdown, the need for community solidarity and mutual support has never been greater. But this support requires quality, fact-checked and evidence based news and information.

With this in mind, the Public Media Alliance has compiled an extensive and growing resources featuring recommended tools, advice and sources for journalists and the public alike. The resources can be found via the link below or in the ‘Tools’ section of our website.

The resource will be frequently updated to reflect the changing needs and evolving situation. If you have any recommendations, please let us know.

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.

Coronavirus: Resources & best practices

Essential resources for sourcing and reporting news about the coronavirus pandemic

What we're listening to...

Pacific Beat: How Pacific governments use coronavirus crisis to curb media

Asia Pacific Report/Radio Australia: In this episode of Pacific Beat, we interview Pacific Media Centre director Professor David Robie on the challenges that he sees facing the region’s media.

What we're watching...

VRT NWS launches corona chatbot on Facebook (Dutch)

VRT News: With the ‘Check’ section, VRT NWS has been making efforts to get rid of false claims, rumors and other fake news for some time. There is also a need for that. For example, a large flow of disinformation is circulating around the corona crisis. That is a major social challenge.

Global Headlines

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

EGYPT:  Egypt has made journalism a crime with crackdown, says Amnesty International

The Guardian: Journalism in Egypt has effectively become a crime over the past four years, Amnesty International says, as authorities clamp down on media outlets and muzzle dissent. As the number of coronavirus infections in Egypt continues to rise, the government is strengthening its control over information instead of upholding transparency, the London-based rights group said in a report released on Sunday.

GABON: Media regulator’s sanctions to blame for climate of mistrust in Gabon

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for a complete overhaul of Gabon’s media regulator, the High Authority for Communication (HAC), after it suspended yet another media outlet for three months, contributing to a dangerous decline in press freedom.

GHANA: Countering COVID-19 Fake News: MFWA Upscales Fact-Checking Initiative, Partners 50 Media Organisations

MFWA: In an effort to effectively deal with the proliferation of fake news and misinformation around the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has significantly ramped-up its fact-checking project.  

KENYA: Kenyan media unmask will to survive beyond Covid-19 effects (Opinion)

KBC: Last week I should have returned to Kenya from the Netherlands, having attended a four-day global conference that was to be a precursor to the World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) 2020 that was marked Sunday.

KENYA: Protect Kenya’s Journalists Reporting on Covid-19

HRW: Kenyan media didn’t have much to celebrate on World Press Freedom Day. Kenyan police and senior state officials have continued to intimidate, threaten, and physically attack journalists reporting on sensitive issues, and authorities have done little to end the abuses.

LIBERIA: Gov’t threatens to shut down media houses

The New Dawn: Liberia’s Solicitor General Cllr. Seyma Syrenius Cephus threatens to shut down any media institution caught spreading falsehood and seize their equipment. The Solicitor General also vows to arrest anyone caught spreading misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic.

MALAWI: MBC to open up airwaves as MEC urges Malawi media to be ‘neutral’ in fresh polls

Nyasa Times: Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC)  chairperson Jane Ansah has assured that taxpayer-funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) will open up the airwaves to all parties during the 60-day official election campaign period for the July 2 fresh presidential elections.

MALAWI: MISA Malawi calls for media independence, professionalism 

Misa Malawi: MISA Malawi joins the rest of the world in celebrating World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) with a call for media independence, professionalism and integrity. This year’s WPFD is being celebrated under the theme ‘Journalism without fear or favour’. The 2020 WPFD theme is a call to action on media independence, a key element in the 1991 Windhoek Declaration for the Development of a Free, Independent and Pluralistic Media.

NAMIBIA: Free and independent media an indispensable pillar of democracy

NBC News: The executive chairperson of the Namibia Media Trust (NMT), Gwen Lister said journalists must be able to report without interference from Government or special interests. She said, “let’s celebrate journalists today.” In terms of media self-regulating, the veteran journalist said free and independent media is an indispensable pillar of democracy, adding that most journalists adhere to the code of ethics. However, she said, the code of ethics has got some grey areas.

SEYCHELLES: Seychelles improves World Press Freedom Index ranking to 63rd out of 180 countries

Seychelles News Agency: Seychelles has again improved its ranking in the World Press Freedom Index, climbing six spots to 63rd out of 180 countries. The ranking places the island nation 11th in Africa. The improvement in the ranks is Seychelles’ second big jump in a row. In 2018 the island nation was ranked 85th globally, before moving up to 69th place last year. The rankings, released to coincide with World Press Freedom Day on May 3, are prepared by Reporters Without Borders.

SOMALIA: Being a Journalist is Risky Business in Somalia

VOA: Journalists in Somalia routinely face many difficulties but this year, under the stress of the spread of COVID-19, they say feel even more threatened by intimidation and arrest by what they call hostile leaders.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC gets Icasa exemption from local content rules

TECH CENTRAL: Communications regulator Icasa has granted the SABC exemption from local content quotas as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown. This frees the public broadcaster to increase the ratio of foreign content it broadcasts on television.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC launches a new television channel – SABC Education 

SABC: The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is delighted to announce the launch of a new channel, SABC Education. In line with the Corporation’s mandate, the new channel will broadcast public service content from the Department of Education, educational programmes currently available on SABC 1, 2, 3, and archived material produced by the SABC on a limited basis.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC to launch stand-alone education channel, but it won’t be accessible to all yet

Eyewitness News: To extend a further helping hand to children during the coronavirus lockdown, the SABC will be launching a stand-alone SABC Education channel packed with content to cater for different ages and grade levels. 

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC’s above-inflation salary increases under scrutiny

City Press | News 24: Fury mounts at 5% pay rise offered during an economic bloodbath by a broadcaster that has already been bailed out to the tune of billions

TANZANIA: Tanzania marks yet another Press Freedom Day, but…

The Citizen: World Press Freedom Day which is being marked globally today has come at a time when journalists in Tanzania and around the world are still facing safety threat due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

ZIMBABWE: ZBC Board Welcomes New Acting CEO

Via Broadcast Media Africa: The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) board has appointed its Non-Executive Director Ms Helliate Rushwaya as the national broadcaster’s new acting Chief Executive Officer.

REGIONAL: West Africa’s Press Freedoms at Risk During Coronavirus

Voice of America: West Africa has seen improvements in press freedom since the 1990s as democracy has taken root in the region. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, though, press freedom groups say security forces have assaulted journalists covering the outbreaks in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone, among other countries.

BANGLADESH: Attacked and harassed — How Bangladeshi journalists are paying the price for COVID-19 reporting 

DW: Rights groups say that PM Sheikh Hasina’s government is trying to conceal information about COVID-19. Experts say the public health crisis in Bangladesh is far worse than what the authorities are projecting.

CHINA: Coronavirus: RSF denounces China’s censorship on academic publications

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) denounces China’s recent censorship on some coronavirus publications, a move that may deprive the international community of essential information to fight the pandemic.

INDIA:  NewsOnAir app grows 125% during COVID-19 outbreak, says Prasar Bharati CEO Shani Shakhar 

The Times of India:

INDIA: Q&A: Senior Indian journalist Hartosh Singh Bal (Interview)

Aljazeera: Al Jazeera speaks to Hartosh Singh Bal, political editor of Caravan magazine, on the state of media and democracy.

INDIA: Where No Newspaper Can Go: Community Radio in Odisha Is Bridging the COVID-19 Info Gap

The Wire: “We broadcast in Kosali to inform the public in their own language for better understanding”, said the station CEO of Radio Swayamshakti.

JAPAN: How the world responds to “educational crisis” for children who have lost school

NHK: How are children around the world trying to fill the “blanks” of learning? The current situation reported.

MALAYSIA: Call for media practitioners’ protection

The New Straits Times: Protection for media practitioners in the country must be put in place, urged the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) on World Press Freedom Day today. It said the media was an essential instrument which contributes to the awareness and protection of human rights through its reporting, pushing relevant parties to respond and prevent occurrences of transgressions.

MALAYSIA: Gov’t support needed for media council to become a reality – Mkini CEO

Malaysiakini: The Malaysian Media Council pro-tem committee chairperson Premesh Chandran today stressed that the support from the Communications and Multimedia Ministry is needed in order for the council to become a reality.

MONGOLIA: Criminalization of defamation is another disturbing attack on media freedom, threatening anti-corruption efforts

Article 19: Transparency International and ARTICLE 19 today called on the Mongolian government to take urgent legislative action to address an increasingly dangerous environment for independent media in the country.  

PAKISTAN: Activists, journalists and intellectuals worldwide call for release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman

Geo News: The following statement calling for the fair treatment of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman has been endorsed by a growing number of prominent rights activists, academicians, journalist, intellectuals and politicians worldwide. 

PAKISTAN: Press Freedom (Editorial)

Dawn: TODAY, on World Press Freedom Day, an ugly reality confronts us: never before has Pakistan’s media been in such deep peril.

PAKISTAN: Workers vow to continue protest till release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman

The News International: The media workers of the Jang/Geo Group continued to protest against the arrest of Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman outside their office on Monday.

PHILIPPINES: NTC orders ABS-CBN to stop operations

Rappler: The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a cease and desist order against media giant ABS-CBN on Tuesday, May 5, a day after the expiration of its congressional franchise. In its order, the NTC directed the network to halt television and radio broadcasting operations.

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s Fake News and Contempt Laws a Threat to Media, Journalists Say 

VOA: A pair of Singaporean laws designed to block false news and criticism of the courts are being used to silence and harass independent news outlets, rights groups and journalists say.

SRI LANKA: Sri Lankan journalists turn to self-censorship under Rajapaksas as hope for justice fades (Blog)

CPJ: Nadesapillai Vithyatharan is a rare survivor, one of the few journalists abducted during Sri Lanka’s civil war who lives to tell the story.

SOUTH KOREA: MBC anchor urges diversity in female beauty norms

Korean Times: Is she an attention-seeker or a trailblazer? Internet users who happen to see the name of TV news anchor Lim Hyun-ju are tempted to ask this question.  Lim took the center stage on the internet as her name surfaces frequently because of her rule-breaking demeanor.

TAIWAN: Coronavirus: WHO urged to lift ban on Taiwanese reporters

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the World Health Organization (WHO) to lift its ban on Taiwanese journalists, which violates the universal right to information and is undermining efforts to combat the coronavirus epidemic.

THAILAND: Hunkering down and tuning in

Bangkok Post: Media consumption is gathering pace as the homebound audience rides out the pandemic. 

AUSTRALIA: ABC 7.30 host Leigh Sales on the coronavirus stories that moved her to tears and setting up to broadcast from home

ABC News: As the coronavirus crisis unfolds, Backstory is interviewing ABC journalists, broadcasters and behind-the-scenes staff about covering the story. 7.30 host Leigh Sales tells of the emotional impact of interviewing people who’ve lost someone to the virus.

AUSTRALIA: ABC and the art of training Australia’s brightest minds 

ABC: The ABC TOP 5 scheme has been expanded to artists and arts scholars for the first time, to help train Australia’s next generation of researchers in the art of sharing their wisdom with the nation.

AUSTRALIA: ABC keeps the arts alive at home for all Australians

ABC: With the lights out in theatres and concert halls due to COVID-19, the ABC is bringing the best of the arts home to all Australians with performances by our leading arts and music companies, alongside new arts documentaries and radio programs.

AUSTRALIA: ABC loses $783m funding since 2014 when Coalition made its first cuts – report 

The Guardian: Public broadcaster warns staff of more cuts in programs, services and jobs.

AUSTRALIA: First new Australian comedy about life under lockdown to screen on ABC 

Sydney Morning Herald: The first new Australian television show to poke fun at life under lockdown will hit screens this month. The ABC’s eight-part comedy series will parody the surge in parenting, home improvement and wellness advice that has emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

GUAM: Guam’s news blackout: Since when are our journalists being ‘info rationed’?

Asia Pacific Report: The people of Guam tune in to the governor’s daily press conference not only to catch daily updates on the status of covid-19 pandemic, but also to get information that is relevant to their quarantined life. For pure entertainment, there is Netflix.

FIJI: Fiji media “victims of govt intimidation”- RSF

RNZ News: A report on the world’s freedom of the press says the media in Fiji remains “victims of government intimidation”.

FIJI: Media Industry faces challenges amid COVID-19 (Listen)

FBC News: The COVID-19 pandemic is increasingly disrupting countless industries across the world due to the effects of the growing global economic crisis. However for the media sector, the virus is ironically creating both opportunities and challenges.

NEW ZEALAND: An idea to fix the media funding model (Listen)

RNZ Mediawatch: So far the Government has announced $50 million in funding to support the media industry as it deals with a financial hit from the Covid-19 crisis. There have also been calls for the Government to make digital platforms Google and Facebook share revenue from journalism. We speak to Eric Crampton the Chief Economist at the New Zealand Initiative.

NEW ZEALAND: Eyes on NZ on Air under new management (Listen)

RNZ: Struggling news media companies are hoping the funding agency New Zealand on Air will bankroll more journalism in future, in addition to the local dramas and documentaries for TV it has funded from the public purse for years. Mediawatch asks its new CEO Cameron Harland if it wants that job – and how it’s adapting to the Covid-19 chaos disrupting all the broadcasters it supports.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: PNG media suffers ‘overwhelming deference’, says freedom report (Watch)

Asia Pacific Report: Papua New Guinea’s two daily newspapers – the PNG Post-Courier and The National – which dominate the market, demonstrated “overwhelming deference” to the office of former  Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, says a new report about the country’s media freedom.

TONGA: Tonga drops five places in world free press rankings – ‘keep fighting’ call 

Asia Pacific Report: The RSF report said Tongan politicians had not hesitated to sue media outlets, exposing them to the risk of heavy damages awards.

REGIONAL: Pacific Beat: How Pacific governments use coronavirus crisis to curb media (Listen)

Asia Pacific Report: In this episode of Pacific Beat, we interview Pacific Media Centre director Professor David Robie on the challenges that he sees facing the region’s media.

REGIONAL: Pacific governments accused of using coronavirus crisis as cover for media crackdown

The Conversation: As fears grow over vulnerability to the coronavirus in parts of the Pacific, some governments stand accused of sheltering behind tough emergency or lockdown rules to silence criticism. Already, several media freedom watchdogs and the United Nations have condemned countries – including Fiji and Papua New Guinea – for exploiting the crisis.

ALBANIA: COVID-19 Worsening Environment for Media Freedom, Report Warns

Balkan Insight: New report by Council of Europe Platform on Wednesday noted a deteriorating situation for the media in 2019, capped by a new level of difficulties caused by COVID-19 – which has encouraged some governments to clamp down further on journalists.

BELGIUM: New editor-in-chief VRT NWS: Dimitri Verbrugge and Elke Jacobs (Dutch)

VRT: The two new VRT NWS editors-in-chief have been announced. Dimitri Verbrugge becomes editor-in-chief of Het journaal and Elke Jacobs becomes editor-in-chief of Digital and Young. Both have proved in recent years that they know well what news is and how VRT NWS translates that into sharp journalism and audiovisual stories.

CROATIA: Ban on Appearance of SNH Leader Proves Censorship at HRT

Total Croatia News: The Croatian Journalists’ Association (HND) said on Sunday that the decision by the public television broadcaster to ban the leader of the Croatian Journalists’ Union (SNH) from appearing in its popular Sunday talk show was confirmation of censorship at the HRT.

DENMARK: COVID19 and World Press Freedom Day: Denmark provides a survival kit for media outlets

ECPMF: National TV, national newspapers and internet media have more users than ever, but revenue from advertising almost disappeared overnight. Now the state is jumping in with subsidies. After a few days of controversial negotiations in the Ministry of Culture the deal was done: on 1 April, the Danish media got a survival kit.

ESTONIA: “Estonian Stories” is waiting for new film projects until the end of May! (Estonian)

ERR News: Estonian Public Broadcasting, the Estonian Film Institute and the Estonian Cultural Endowment have announced a new competition for the series “Estonian Stories”. Ideas can be submitted on May 30.

GEORGIA: Georgian Public defender slams ‘mistreatment’ of Adjara TV journalists 

OC Media: Georgian Public Defender Nino Lomjaria has slammed the publicly funded Adjara Public Broadcaster for violating the labour rights of three of their former journalists. In recent weeks, the organisation’s new management has continued to dismiss and reassign journalists critical of the channel’s new management and new editorial direction.

FRANCE: Delphine Ernotte: “A transition to prepare for the future” (Paywall – French)

Le Figaro: The CEO of France Télévisions details the stimulus measures and the future of France 4.

FRANCE: France Medias Monde’s – France 24, takes part in platform to debunk fake news on Covid-19

ABU: France 24 takes part in the “#CoronaVirusFacts Alliance”, a collaborative platform to debunk fake news around the Covid-19. It was launched by the International Fact- Checking Network (IFCN), which gathers more than 60 fact-checking organizations, including France 24’s Observers.

FRANCE: French competition authority rejects Molotov’s TF1-M6 complaint

Broadband TV News: Molotov had accused TF1 and M6 of having ceased distribution of their channels in the run up to the launch of Salto, the French streaming platform run jointly by the commercial stations and the French public broadcaster France Televisions.

FINLAND: Interview: Janne Yli-Äyhö, YLE (Paywall)

IBC365: Like the rest of the industry, YLE has had to adapt swiftly to the coronavirus pandemic. But CTO Janne Yli-Äyhö – who is also guest chair of the IBC2020 content steering group – is still focussed on the Finnish broadcaster’s long-term digital transformation strategy, writes George Bevir.

GERMANY: EFJ condemns physical attack on ZDF camera crew after filming demonstration in Berlin

EFJ: A ZDF camera crew were attacked after filming a demonstration against the corona rules for satirical news programme the heute-show (Today Show) on Friday 1 May. The team were on the way back to their vehicles when the incident took place. The EFJ joined its German affiliates the German Association of Journalists (DJV) and the German Union of Journalists (dju in ver.di) in condemning the attack.

GERMANY: German attack on journalists to be investigated for political motives

DW: A day after an attack on a camera crew in Berlin, police have announced that state security are looking into the political background of the suspected assailants. Protesters in Berlin also injured 20 police officers.

GERMANY: Update on the attack on a team of the “heute-show” (German)

ZDF: Six team members were injured in an attack on a team of seven members of the ZDF “Today Show” on Friday, May 1st, 2020, in Berlin-Mitte.

HUNGARY: Hungary’s new coronavirus legislation could have journalists jailed

Coda Story: Media watchdogs warn that new laws against disinformation could impact journalists in their attempts to report on Covid-19. 

MOLDOVA: Pandemic Fires Hate Speech in Moldova (Paywall)

Balkan Insight: The COVID-19 outbreak has worsened divisive and irresponsible public discourse in Moldova, an expert monitoring hate speech from Promo-LEX organisation tells BIRN in an interview.

POLAND: Netflix to support Polish TV and film producers

Broadband TV News: Netflix and the Polish National Chamber of Audiovisual Producers (KIPA) have created a new assistance fund for the neediest TV and film industry employees affected by the suspension of productions during the coronavirus pandemic.

RUSSIA: Top Russian newspaper fights for survival amid censorship row

DW: The staff at “Vedomosti” are defying the paper’s new editor-in-chief, who they say is undermining the publication’s journalistic independence. Now the conflict is threatening the media outlet’s funding as well.

SPAIN: RTVE increases the sale of documentaries worldwide (Spanish)

RTVE: RTVE has increased the sale of documentaries in recent weeks coinciding with the slowdown in the production of programs and series caused by the pandemic in the audiovisual sector worldwide.

SWEDEN: Director-General Cilla Benkö: free press vital during the coronavirus pandemic (Swedish)

Sveriges Radio: As the coronavirus spreads, media freedom is being threatened and challenged around the world. The need for an international position that can safeguard journalism – a UN special representative – has rarely been so glaringly apparent.

SWEDEN: The project “An Unusual Everyday Life” documents everyday life during the corona pandemic (Swedish)

SVT: SVT News Dalarna started the project “An Unusual Everyday” at the end of March as they saw the value of documenting for the future how society is affected in the wake of the corona crisis. The project has been spread to several local editors and the national news has also jumped on the initiative.

UK: BBC continues global expansion of the 50:50 Project to help increase female representation in the media (Press Release)

BBC: The BBC highlights five key areas of growth for its grassroots initiative that aims for 50:50 representation of women and men in the media.

UK: Coronavirus: BBC ‘needs to make £125m savings this year’ 

BBC: The BBC has said it will have to “think hard about every pound” it spends on new programmes because of financial pressures during the current lockdown.

UK: More BBC news teams reach equal on-air gender representation despite Covid-19 crisis 

Press Gazette: The number of BBC news teams with equal on-air representation of men and women has grown from last year, despite drastic changes to the broadcaster’s output during the coronavirus crisis.

UK: More young adults watching Channel 4

Advanced Television: Young viewers have flocked to Channel 4 since lockdown began with its viewing share amongst 16-34-year olds up +19 per cent in peak-time over the ‘stay at home’ period (March 23rd onward) and up +11 per cent in daytime. Channel 4 says it is the only commercial public service broadcaster to have increased gains with young viewers across both day-parts.

UK: TV is getting creative to keep shows on the air under lockdown 

WIRED: TV production has quickly adapted to the coronavirus crisis. But the impact will be felt far into the future of broadcasting.

REGIONAL: Attacks on media in Europe must not become a new normal

COE: Attacks on press freedom in Europe are at serious risk of becoming a new normal, 14 international press freedom groups and journalists’ organisations warn today as they launch the 2020 annual report of the Council of Europe Platform for the Protection of Journalists. 

REGIONAL: EU condemns attacks on press freedom during COVID-19 crisis

DW: Ahead of World Press Freedom Day, Germany’s foreign minister said independent journalism is being weakened during the coronavirus pandemic. The EU also warned that media freedom is under threat in several countries.

REGIONAL: News on public service – week 18 (Swedish)

Nordvision: DR P3 at home from the kitchen has received overwhelming response, Nordic Media Days are digitally arranged, and SVT documents everyday life in the corona pandemic’s tracks. We have noticed this and other things this week.

REGIONAL: News report shows broadcast media are most trusted

EBU: The EBU’s new Trust in Media report shows that radio and TV continue to be the most trusted media throughout Europe. By contrast, social networks are least trusted in 85% of countries. 

ARGENTINA: Public Media on Workers’ Day (Spanish – Watch)

TV Publica: The only way to do a great job is to love what you do. Today, public media workers celebrate #Worker Day more than ever, building citizenship with diversity, plurality and inclusion.

BARBADOS: BARJAM to media practitioners: Take a bow

The Barbados Advocate: Members of the local media fraternity, particularly those on the front line who have been keeping the country abreast of developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, have been asked to take a bow.

BRAZIL: Brazil’s Bolsonaro: Turning COVID-19 denial into media spectacle (Watch)

Al Jazeera: A president at odds with his advisers and scientists over COVID-19, who has said the virus is no worse than the flu, and whose supporters accuse the media of hyping up the story. Not Donald Trump, but Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro. 

BRAZIL: On World Press Freedom Day, journalists are attacked in Brazil during pro-Bolsonaro demonstration

Knight Center for Journalism: On World Press Freedom Day, celebrated May 3, Brazilian journalists were attacked, insulted and expelled from a Brasilia demonstration in favor of the Jair Bolsonaro government and against Congress and the Federal Supreme Court.

CHILE: The situation of press workers worsens (Spanish)

IFJ: The main media groups in that country, El Mercurio and La Tercera, are making progress on possible emptying plans that began before the pandemic, but have worsened since the arrival of COVID19. Our affiliates in Chile affirm that the adjustment is not due to an economic crisis, but to a plan of cuts and reconversions.

COLOMBIA: The secret folders (Spanish)

Semana: Semana reveals evidence of how the Army ran a computer tracking program in which most of its targets were journalists, several of them Americans. Politicians, generals, NGOs and trade unionists are part of the list of more than 130 victims.

CUBA: Authorities must guarantee press freedom in the COVID-19 era

Amnesty International: In the context of World Press Freedom Day, Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Article 19 are sending an open letter to President Miguel Diaz-Canel urging him to take immediate measures to guarantee press freedom and protect independent journalists in Cuba

ECUADOR: Reporters in Ecuador’s Guayaquil risk it all to cover coronavirus

Al Jazeera: As bodies piled up, journalists weighed the risks of reporting from the field. For some, it was already too late.

PERU: Watch I Learn at Home LIVE: virtual classes for initial, primary and secondary by TV Peru and Radio Nacional, TODAY May 5 (Spanish)

La Republica: The 2020 school year began on April 6 with virtual classes due to the coronavirus pandemic. Minedu established the program learn at home for all students of the level initial , primary and secondary throughout the country.

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: T&T jumps three spots in 2020 World Press Freedom ranking

Loop: Trinidad and Tobago has ranked 36th in this year’s World Press Freedom rankings, moving up three spots from 2019. The Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranks 180 countries and regions according to the level of freedom available to journalists. In revealing T&T’s ranking, RSF expressed concern that journalistic rights were in question.

VENEZUELA: Venezuela arbitrarily detaining reporters covering COVID-19: CPJ

Al Jazeera: Rights groups say 10 journalists have been detained and more than two dozen threatened due to work on the pandemic.

REGIONAL: CBU Urges Media to Guard its Freedom even in a Public Health Pandemic

CBU: “Media workers across the world are marking World Press Freedom Day 2020 in an environment never experienced before; one that creates fear and tremendous uncertainty, but one which requires fearless, factual, informative and responsible journalism to serve our peoples well”, declares the Caribbean Broadcasting Union in a message to mark the occasion.”

REGIONAL: How Latin American Media Outlets are Collaborating on COVID-19 Investigations

GIJN: About a month ago, journalists from 14 Latin American media outlets began planning a collaborative project to investigate issues related to the coronavirus pandemic. This is how Centinela Covid-19 emerged, bringing together organizations from 12 Latin American countries plus Univision Notícias, from the United States.

GENERAL: News media from Brazil and Peru give space to voices of essential, frontline workers and people in quarantine during pandemic

Knight Center for Journalism: Following the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on the daily routines of people around the world, some Latin American media are dedicating spaces for the voices of those who want to share their stories, particularly those from the front lines.

IRAN & TURKEY: Mounting concern about Iranian refugee journalists in Turkey

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Turkish authorities and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to do everything possible to guarantee the safety of Iranian journalists who have fled to Turkey and to speed up their resettlement in third countries because their situation has worsened as a result of the coronavirus epidemic.

PALESTINE: On World Press Freedom Day, Media Freedoms in Palestine Are Still Under Attack

MADA: The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms “MADA” sends the warmest congratulations to journalists in Palestine and around the world on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day which falls today.

TURKEY: Turkey’s Journalists’ Union depicts grim picture in report on World Press Freedom Day

Journo: The report was authored by TGS legal and labor experts Ülkü Şahin, İlyas Coşkun and Beste Dönmez Gedik to record the press freedom violations in Turkey from April 2019 to April 2020. According to the report, which is 150-page-long with its annexes, 85 journalists are currently in Turkey’s prisons. Throughout the past year, Turkish courts ruled for a total prison sentence of 178 years in 166 legal cases against journalists. Meanwhile, 37 journalists were physically assaulted.

YEMEN: Rights groups call for release of death row journalists in Yemen

Middle East Monitor: Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Samir Kassir Foundation and several other organisations have issued a joint statement on the eve of  World Press Freedom Day – 3 May – calling for the immediate release of four journalists who are at risk of execution in Yemen.

YEMEN: The death of journalism in Yemen’s war

The New Arab: With the rule of law in Yemen paralysed by years of war, journalism is often associated with spying or communicating sensitive information to political rivals. 

REGIONAL: How authorities in MENA are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to silence critical voices

IFEX: As the number of COVID-19 cases in MENA continues to climb, the impact on civil liberties and freedom of expression is growing throughout the region. While prisoners of conscience fight to be released from their overcrowded confinement, the region’s media is struggling to provide accurate information to counter official narratives, amidst significant blowback by authorities.

CANADA: CBC/Radio-Canada leads Digital Publishing Awards with 34 nominations 

CBC/Radio-Canada: CBC and Radio-Canada have received a combined 34 nominations in 19 categories for the 2020 Digital Publishing Awards, which honour the work of Canadian digital publications and creators. 

CANADA: Canadian leaders mark World Press Freedom Day 2020 – Les leaders canadiens soulignent la Journée mondiale de la liberté de la presse 2020 (Watch)

World Press Freedom Canada

CANADA: Financially struggling newspapers to get federal money within weeks, heritage minister says 

CBC News: Newspapers don’t have an audience problem; they have a revenue problem, says publisher. 

CANADA: Lack of government openness remains a sticking point for Canadian press freedom 

CTV News: While Canada has demonstrated a growing commitment to international press protections, experts say legal battles over sources and an inadequate access to information system remain sticking points for Canadian journalists.

US: About Seven-in-Ten U.S. Adults Say They Need to Take Breaks From COVID-19 News

Pew Research Institute: 61% give equal attention to national and local coronavirus news

US: PBS fast-tracks ‘American Portrait’ special on coronavirus

Current: Producers of American Portrait raced over the past six weeks to finish a special broadcast on the coronavirus pandemic for its May 8 PBS debut.

US: Public Media Responds to Coronavirus Pandemic with Programming that Educates, Informs and Engages

CPB: How are US public media responding to the coronavirus pandemic? 

US: Stations respond to quickening drumbeat of mental health needs in their communities (Paywall)

Current: Stations and producers who specialize in producing mental health coverage view their work as a crucial community service for audiences who are struggling and need support.

US: Teachers on TV: Classes hit the airwaves during pandemic

AP: Teachers have begun recording classes at home, using whatever technology they can, for television in places including New Jersey, Nebraska and New Mexico, where officials have partnered with broadcasters to help students feel connected and to overcome hurdles with access to the technology needed for distance learning.

US: There can’t be press freedom without the press

DW: Local newspapers are falling victim to the coronavirus pandemic. For years, they have been struggling. DW spoke with industry insiders from California, Texas and Washington about the state of local media in the US.

US: Use of Smart Speakers in the U.S. Increases During Quarantine

NPR: NPR and Edison Research release The Smart Audio Report Spring 2020, find 77% of adults in the U.S. have had a change in their typical routine due to COVID-19 outbreak

US: Why public media should be partnering on statewide education (Paywall)

Current: If you are still working on your remote-learning program or working through partnerships with state and government officials, here are the most important reasons public media stations should continue to partner on statewide curriculum.

5 charts on views of press freedom around the world

Pew Research Center: To mark the day, here are five charts that show how people globally see the freedom of the press. All findings are taken from Pew Research Center surveys.

As press freedom suffers with Covid-19, journalists must look behind the masks of power (Opinion)

Ethical Journalism Network

Do not silence journalists during coronavirus pandemic (Opinion) 

DW: Old habits die hard, they say, including the age-old inclination to silence independent, critical voices. But the coronavirus pandemic means we need those voices more than ever, the OSCE’s Harlem Desir writes for DW.

DW Director General Limbourg: ‘Press freedom is in danger around the globe’ (Watch)

DW: Peter Limbourg says this year’s multiple awards reflect the global nature of the threat to freedom of speech during the coronavirus pandemic. In various parts of the world, including Europe, the crisis was being used by some as an excuse to suppress freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

Extra terrestrial: how lockdown revived linear TV 

The Guardian: Streaming services are not the only platforms seeing an uplift in lockdown, as everything from talent shows to ambitious dramas garner record-breaking viewing figures.

GNI Statement on Network Disruptions in the Pandemic Context

GNI: The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic is causing unprecedented impacts for health, the economy, and public life around the world. As governments, corporations, institutions, and individuals attempt to secure and share up to date and accurate information on government assistance, essential services, stay at home orders, and remote work, they are increasingly dependent on services enabled by information and communication networks.

How to protect the right to information during the pandemic (Spanish)

IJNet: Those were the main conclusions of an online seminar led by Silvia Chocarro , director of Article 19 Protection, and Edison Lanza , special rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in the framework of the Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum of the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and IJNet. 

IJ4EU fund opens new calls for cross-border investigative journalism (Opportunity)

IJ4EU: The IJ4EU fund today, May 5, opened two new calls for cross-border investigative journalism projects in the EU and EU candidate countries.

Free online courses reporting on COVID-19 (Resource)

Thomson Foundation: Level up your skill set and give yourself an original edge. Browse our FREE Journalism Now online interactive courses, designed and led by industry experts and find the one that is right for you. 

Radio funds to combat impact of COVID-19 crisis (Opportunity)

Asia Radio Today: A number of radio funds are being created around the world to support those who work in the radio and audio sector who are facing difficult or uncertain times as a result of COVID-19. 

Shared responsibility: Safeguarding press freedom in perilous times

IMS: Lessons learned and new approaches to media safety – this IMS study looks at the safety challenges our partners face reporting in some of the world’s most dangerous political contexts and explores practical and proactive solutions to support press freedom for all.

There is no better time to invest in diverse independent media (Opinion)

Al Jazeera: As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, journalism around the world seems to face increasing difficulties. In my country, Denmark, local media outlets are suffering major economic set-backs and are already seeking state support. Such is the fragility of media operations that even in one of the most affluent countries in the world, with ample resources for public and private outlets, the disruption of social and economic life has immediate repercussions.

Threatened, maligned, jailed: Journalism in the coronavirus pandemic

DW: Populism, political power grabs and financial trouble: Christian Mihr of Reporters Without Borders tells DW that journalists around the world face growing threats in the age of COVID-19.

UN: Press is Essential ‘Antidote’ to Pandemic Misinformation 

VOA: Marking World Press Freedom Day, the United Nations Secretary-General called on governments around the world Sunday to guarantee that journalists can safely do their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why are journalists reporting on the pandemic facing threats? (Watch)

Al Jazeera: United Nations warns of a ‘second pandemic’ of misinformation and conspiracy theories.

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