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.

BENIN: Benin is the latest African nation taxing the internet

Quartz: Benin has joined a growing list of African states imposing levies for using the internet.

COTE D’IVOIRE: Cote d’Ivoire’s public broadcaster RTI – Meeting Africa’s digital challenge:” 86% of our content is viewed on a mobile phone” (Interview)

Balancing Act: The mobile phone is becoming one of the key devices for accessing broadcast material in Africa. Cote d’Ivoire public broadcaster RTI has chosen to meet the challenge rather than pretend it doesn’t exist.

EGYPT: Egypt’s president ratifies law to monitor social media

ABC News: Egypt’s presidency has ratified a controversial legislation imposing regulations on social media that is says aims to crack down on fake news.

GAMBIA: Bad media laws to be repealed in December

The Point: The minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure has explained that the numerous laws in The Gambia that restrict the work of the media and journalists by criminalizing speech and dissent will be repealed in December 2018.

GHANA: Ghanaian journalist abducted and beaten over critical story on opposition politician

CPJ: Ghanaian authorities should thoroughly investigate and bring to justice all those responsible for an attack on Jerry Azanduna, a reporter with the government-funded Ghana News Agency (GNA), and ensure his belongings are returned, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

KENYA: News by refugees, for refugees in Kenya


NIGERIA: Why We Detained Journalist for Two Years Without Trial – Govt

Via All Africa: The Nigerian government has said it did nothing wrong by detaining a journalist, Jones Abiri, for two years without trial.

SOUTH AFRICA: Job [cuts] expected at SABC

Sowetan Live: The crippling financial woes at the SABC are set to cause a jobs bloodbath that will see more than 800 employees retrenched to reduce its R1.2bn annual wage bill.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC appoints Dumisani Hlophe as news, current affairs political editor

The Citizen: This is another step taken by the public news service to consolidate its position as an independent and impartial news provider, the SABC says.

SOUTH SUDAN: South Sudan peace deal fails to provide for media reform

Sudan Tribune

SUDAN:  Radio Dabanga: Is Darfur losing its media lifeline?

Aljazeera: The Amsterdam-based station sheds light on a region that the Sudanese government prefers to keep in the dark.

AFGHANISTAN: Afghanistan journalism continues to suffer after its deadliest attack

CJR: Journalism in Afghanistan, once the source of a major post-Taliban success story, is under attack.

CHINA: Foreign reporters decry China’s denial of access to media pools

Kyodo: An association of Beijing-based journalists expressed opposition Friday to China’s selective denial of access to media pools, after a Japanese newspaper reporter was barred from covering a diplomatic event earlier this week.

INDIA: India Pushes Back Against Tech ‘Colonization’ by Internet Giants

The New York Times: In recent months, regulators and ministers across India’s government have declared their intention to impose tough new rules on the technology industry.

INDIA: Pune police raid Hyderabad journalists’ homes, seize electronic devices

CPJ: The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns police raids on the homes of Hyderabad-based journalists KV Kurmanath and Kranti Tekula, and calls on authorities to immediately return their electronic devices, which include reporting material.

INDIA: WhatsApp issues radio Public Service Announcements in India to combat Fake News

Digit: WhatsApp’s radio PSAs urge Indian users to watch out for fake news and rumours spreading through forwarded messages on the platform. The announcements also informs users of new features to spot fake news, such as Forwarded Labels.

JAPAN: Tenants in rented homes with TVs must pay NHK reception fee: top court

The Mainichi: The Supreme Court has upheld a May 2017 Tokyo High Court decision that a resident of a rented room with a TV must sign a subscription contract with public broadcaster NHK and pay monthly reception fees as long as the resident has exclusive use of the TV.

MALAYSIA: Gobind says still studying how to outlaw political ownership of media

MalayMail: A government decision on media ownership by people with political links will be made only after the Communications and Multimedia Ministry presents its study on the matter to Cabinet.

MYANMAR: Framed by police: Two Reuters journalists jailed for 7 years

IFJ: Two Reuters journalists have each been sentenced to seven years in prison after they were found guilty of breaching the official secrets act in Myanmar.

MYANMAR: From hope to despair for Myanmar’s mangled media

Asia Times: The conviction and jailing of two Reuters reporters officially puts a stake in Myanmar’s short-lived experiment with press freedom

PAKISTAN: CPNE warns govt against introducing new media law

DAWN: The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) has called upon the government to consult editors, journalists, publishers and other stakeholders before carrying out legislation on any media law.

PHILIPPINES: Journalists urged to fight back amid attacks vs Philippine press

PhilStar: The Philippine press, touted as the freest and liveliest in Asia, is under attack, journalism practitioners said.

TAIWAN: Conference on sustainability and the media to mark Radio Taiwan International’s 90th anniversary

Asia Radio Today: A high-level conference in Taipei will explore the relationship between sustainability and the media on September 27 and 28.

TAIWAN: Taiwanese Cofacts fact-checks information online

IJNet: Based on Cofacts’ data, the misinformation debunked on their platform can range from fake promotional messages and medical misinformation to false claims about government policies.

THAILAND: Can the media shed its polarised colours? (Opinion)

Bangkok Post

AUSTRALIA: China officially bans ABC website, claims internet is ‘fully open’

ABC: China’s cyber security regulator has confirmed it has censored the ABC’s website for breaching the country’s internet rules and regulations, but has declined to say how.

AUSTRALIA: Media Files: What does the Nine Fairfax merger mean for diversity and quality journalism? (Audio)

The Conversation AU: Is this merger a welcome development, potentially boosting the capacity of journalists at outlets like The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and the Financial Review to get on with the job of reporting news and revealing wrongdoing? Or is it a takeover that should ring alarm bells for anyone who cares about investigative journalism?

FIJI: Sedition, coup-era media law and nerves keep lid on Fiji press

Asia Pacific Report: The frenzy of the forthcoming elections is just starting to hit Fiji, even though the date has yet to be announced, but the elephant in the room is whether the media is going to be free of government interference.

NAURU: Nauru welcomes media group to Pacific Islands Forum

RNZ: The Nauru President has welcomed members of the media to the Pacific Islands Forum by reminding them that it is important for them to be reliable in the age of social media.

NEW ZEALAND: NZ to help fund dedicated Pacific TV channel

RNZ: New Zealand’s government will spend $US6.6 million in the next three years on a dedicated TV channel for the Pacific. The Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting service would be expanded to include a dedicated channel with New Zealand content.

NEW ZEALAND: Erosion of sports journalism (Audio)

RNZ: Media commentator Gavin Ellis takes a look at the latest lay-offs of sports reporters, four positions at the NZ Herald.  Also, the Joint Innovation Fund announced by RNZ and NZOA could be a rescue package for journalists looking for work.

NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand TV journalist held by Nauru police

Reuters: Police in the South Pacific island of Nauru briefly held a New Zealand journalist at a police station and canceled her permit to cover a regional leaders’ conference on Tuesday, because she met refugees without seeking permission, the government and broadcaster TVNZ said.

GENERAL: Solving Facebook’s Pacific problem

RNZ: Clearly frustrated by his inability to control relentless attacks against him on Facebook, Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi last week said he had had enough.

BELGIUM: Belgian minister calls for religious TV ban after reading on female submission

The Guardian: Catholic lay reader read verses calling on women to submit to their husbands in Songs of Praise-style programme.

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: Regional media between professionalism and commercial interests

Safe journalists: During the period of last twenty years in former Yugoslavia, media have been going through the transitional process which globally contained lack of professionalism as a common issue they have all been sharing, including low-quality level and other values, as far as the concept of media content, is concerned.

BULGARIA: Technology, Public Sphere and Journalism in Bulgaria (Report)

SEENPM: Read the latest report on technology, public sphere and journalism in Bulgaria by Marius Dragomir and Mariia Altergot, published by the Center for Media, Data and Society at the Central European University in Budapest.

CROATIA: Journalists worried about lack of condemnation of attacks on colleagues

Total Croatia News: The head of the Croatian Journalists’ Association (HND) has drawn attention to the worrying lack of condemnations by senior state officials of threats and attacks against journalists.

CROATIA: Public Broadcaster’s Licence Fee Declared Constitutional

Total Croatia News: The court explained that the “monthly fee cannot be identified with a tax or any other public contribution,” and that it is not directly related to owning a TV receiver but rather, access to public radiodiffusion services.

FRANCE: The time of transformation has come for France Télévisions (French – Subscription)

Le Monde: The public company engages in a complete overhaul of its organization, to favor the production of programs.

FRANCE: Radio France is digitizing all over the place (French)

La Croix: This year, the seven stations of Radio France will have to accelerate their digital distribution, as well as open more to the public and “young talents”.

GERMANY: ‘Be careful out there’ German union warns journalists at demonstrations

ECPMF: The national head of the German Journalists Union (DJV) Frank Überall has sent a message to all members on 31. August 2018: “Be extra careful when reporting on right-wing demonstrations.” It comes after a TV camera crew was prevented from filming at a demonstration in Dresden and journalists faced abuse in other German cities.

LITHUANIA: Lithuanian media sign pact with govt to counter hackers

France24: Lithuania’s major online media outlets on Tuesday signed an agreement to work with the defence ministry as they try to fend off a growing barrage of cyberattacks, largely blamed on Russia.

MOLDOVA: Moldova Media NGOs Accuse Police of Obstruction

Balkan Insight: Eight media-related NGOs in Moldova have accused the police of deliberately preventing their work in reporting on the public protests earlier this week – in what they call a new blow press freedom.

NETHERLANDS: RTL Netherlands call for govt to act at public broadcaster

Telecompaper: The calls come as the public broadcaster NPO has had to make structural budget cuts as revenues from advertising fell by EUR 60 million.

NORWAY: Norway tunes in for more of ‘world’s most-boring television’

Euronews: Norway is enjoying the latest instalment in what has been dubbed the world’s most-boring television.

SPAIN: The consumption of television of Spaniards in August marks its minimum in eight years (Spanish)

InfoLibre: Spaniards’ TV consumption in August has been an average of 190 minutes per day per person, which supposedly is the smaller tv consumption registered for this month in the last eight years.

SWEDEN: Announcing Pop-Up Newsroom: Riksdagsvalet 2018.

Pop-Up Newsroom via Medium: Over the last five days of Sweden’s election more than a hundred journalists will come together to design and implement a newsroom that will track misinformation.

SWITZERLAND: Swiss govt approves new 4-year concession for public broadcaster

Telecompaper: The new agreement strengthens the requirement for the public broadcaster to differentiate its offer from commercial channels, while also calling on the group to cooperate with commercial parties on coverage of major events such as sports and entertainment. In addition, the concession authorises the shutdown of the DVB-T network by the end of 2019, due to limited users.

SWITZERLAND: Swiss public broadcaster bucks downward media trend

Swiss Info: The overall quality of journalism is dropping in multilingual Switzerland, where newsrooms are shrinking and where the public narrowly rejected an initiative to abolish licence fees for the national broadcaster this year, according to a comprehensive study.

UK: BBC launches first voice experience for kids

Broadband TV News: The BBC is using popular children’s characters to allow kids to interact with the latest smart speakers.

UK: Broadcasters Want the UK Government to Create an Independent Social Media Regulator


BRAZIL: With new ombudsman, Agência Lupa bets on professional criticism to improve fact-checking during election coverage in Brazil

Knight Center: To navigate with a little more security in the sea of misinformation during election season, Agência Lupa, a pioneer in fact-checking in Brazil, innovated using a well-known role in professional journalism: the ombudsman.

GUATEMALA: Cyber attacks push elPeriódico offline in “new wave of intimidation” against the Guatemalan newspaper

Knight Center: Guatemalan newspaper elPeriódico has been shutdown by a new wave of cyberattacks.

MEXICO: Massive dismissals of journalists and more expensive media due to AMLO’s cuts (Spanish)

PubliMetro: The media industry shows symptoms of deceleration and even if it’s not in debt,the measure of the next administration could aggravate the financial crisis they are going through

MEXICO: Mexico’s tragic record on missing journalists

RSF: No fewer that 21 journalists have gone permanently missing in the past 15 years in Mexico, more than in any other country in the western hemisphere.

PUERTO RICO & U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS: U.S. Caribbean Media Get Six-Month Recovery Extension

Radio & Television Business Report: It is nearly one year since Hurricane Irma, and then Hurricane Maria, wreaked havoc and widespread devastation across Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: New ‘positive’ TTT launched

Loop: The long-awaited rebranding of the State media company took place Tuesday afternoon, which saw the unveiling of the new logo.

VENEZUELA: Maduro silences digital media in Venezuela (Spanish)

El País: Cyber attacks and restrictions to information portals with independent editorial line multiply

VENEZUELA: ‘We don’t have to be afraid of our government, but they really do’ – Newsroom challenges at Efecto Cocuyo, Venezuela

Journalism.co.uk: Hackastory’s Nienke Huitenga and Alka Anna Goos explain the testing conditions journalists are working under in the South American city of Caracas

IRAN: Iranian journalists sentenced to imprisonment, flogging

RSF: “Afflicted by corruption and the current crisis, the Islamic Republic is using all possible means to silence independent media voices.”

ISRAEL: Israel public radio apologises for playing Richard Wagner music

BBC: Israel’s public broadcaster has apologised to listeners after music by Richard Wagner was played on the radio.

TURKEY: Providing temporary shelter for European journalists at risk: ECPMF’s Journalists-in-Residence Programme

ECPMF: The ECPMF’s Journalists-in-Residence programme was designed as a temporary shelter for journalists who face harassment and intimidation as a direct result of their work. Apply by 23 September.

TURKEY: Unsustainable and unfair future for staff at the Turkish Radio and Broadcasting (TRT)

EFJ: The future governance threatens the quality, independence and diversity of public service broadcasting

CANADA: Canadian Media Regulator Mandates TV Networks to Set Aside $5.5M for Music Programs

Billboard: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has reconsidered its earlier decisions regarding conditions of licences for large television groups, resulting in a requirement for the groups in French and English markets to allocate an average of $5.5 million (CAD) per year to support the production of musical programs — a significant increase from an earlier ruling.

CANADA: Radio-Canada expanding its coverage in Ontario

CBC/Radio-Canada: For Radio-Canada, it’s important to offer great services to French-speaking populations throughout the country. For the last two years, ICI Ontario has been practicing what they preach by appointing or reassigning reporters to four new regions.

US: First journalism hub formed by NPR, member stations nears debut (Subscription)

Current: NPR and member stations are planning to launch their first journalism hub as early as this fall, with four partners in Texas forming the core of the collaboration.

US: More than 1,000 U.S. news sites are still unavailable in Europe, two months after GDPR took effect

NiemanLab: Websites had two years to get ready for the GDPR. But rather than comply, about a third of the 100 largest U.S. newspapers have instead chosen to block European visitors to their sites.

US: News “Trust” Ratings Launches in US

Axios: NewsGuard Technologies, a new service that uses trained journalists to rate thousands of news and information sites, is launching its first product today: web extensions that let users view vetted, non-partisan trust ratings for news and information websites.

10 Investigative Tools You Probably Haven’t Heard Of


Alan Rusbridger: who broke the news?

The Guardian: The former editor-in-chief of the Guardian looks back on two decades that changed journalism forever

Crippling costs of war reporting and investigative journalism

Channel News Asia: The cost of war reporting and investigative journalism is becoming prohibitive for media outlets, campaigners have warned.

Explanatory video + engagement = How Vox’s Borders series is humanizing the map and building local source networks

NiemanLab: “It’s a delicate mission to help explain the world, but we’re just riding along with our audience. We’re just as curious as they are,” Posner said.

How To Protect Sources Who Tell Sensitive Stories (Interview)

EJO: If you are reporting about a sensitive or even stigmatised topic, it is crucial to remember that your sources are taking physical and psychological risks just by talking to you.

It’s not just Myanmar — ethnic hate speech runs rampant on social media in Cameroon, India

Global Voices: Advox: The Advox Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in Internet rights around the world.

Journalism Has to Reinvent Itself

Media Power Monitor: How should philanthropies with limited resources act to stem the tide of a global recession in independent journalism? In recent years, an authoritarian crackdown on media across multiple continents has closed so much space for news and information that only 13% of the world’s population now lives in a country with a free press.

Public service media and information disorder (Paper)

CIMUSEE: The paper, an extended reflection on the theme of the speaker series curated by the Center for Media, Data and Society, focuses on a specific challenge for public service media: “fake news” and disinformation, or more broadly, the current “information disorder”.

Radio Reaches the World’s Most Remote Places

Radio World: Whether in the lonely oceans or the Australian desert, local radio stations bring people together

Top 10 Data Journalism Links

GIJN: Muslims to Mecca, Women (Not) in Netflix, Inside Airbnb Europe, London’s Foul Air.

Where Does Journalism End and Activism Begin?

Niemen Reports: The polarized political moment raises fresh questions in newsrooms about the line between reporting and advocacy.

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

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