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

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What we're watching...

Erosion of Hong Kong’s free press?

DW: Pro-democracy outlet Stand News has announced it will stop operating afer police arrested six of its current and former staff for “conspiracy to publish seditious publications.”

What we're listening to...

Disinformation fueled 2021, and 2022 will likely see the same

NPR: Disinformation — about the Jan. 6 attack, COVID-19, vaccines, etc. — shaped the nation’s politics in 2021 and likely will continue to do so throughout the coming year.

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GHANA: GBC’s Sports+ Channel receives several awards at Soccer Achievers Awards, SWAG (Press release) 

GBC: Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, GBC’s Sports+ Channel has recently won five awards in different categories with the overall being the Best Soccer Television Station of the Year at the just ended Soccer Achievers Awards 2021.

MAURITIUS: Mauritius: new law, new attack on the press (27 December)

IFJ: On November 30 in Mauritius, a bill on the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) which will allow the authorities to penalize independent radio stations and order the disclosure of sources, was passed. 

NAMIBIA: INTERVIEW | NBC’s output team speak on daily News production (Watch)


NIGERIA: Media, CSO condemn attack on journalists by Nigerian security agents

ICIR: THE Coalition for Whistleblower Protection and Press Freedom, CWPPF, again has condemned the growing trend of state security attacks on journalists and news media houses publishing investigative reports about public officials involved in corruption.

SOMALILAND: Somaliland authorities arrest three journalists for critical reporting

CPJ: The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on authorities in the breakaway region of Somaliland to unconditionally release three journalists detained for reporting critically on the administration of the Sool region, and to guarantee that the media can cover politics without retaliation.

SOUTH AFRICA: Ntshavheni satisfied with SABC’s progress on turnaround strategy (Watch)

SABC: Minister of Communications and Digital Technology Khumbudzo Ntshavheni says she is happy with the progress made by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on its turnaround strategy.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC News GE found guilty for failing to prevent the airing of interdicted story (Watch)

SABC: SABC Editor-in-Chief, Phathiswa Magopeni has been found guilty after her disciplinary hearing of failing to prevent the broadcast, airing and publication of an interdicted story.

SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa’s “Parliament TV” Channel Put Off Air By Fire At Parliament Building

BMA: South Africa’s Parliament TV channel, which is aired on MultiChoice’s DStv, went off the air during the fire that devastated the National Assembly and other areas of the country’s parliament complex in Cape Town.

SUDAN: Two TV journalists freed in Sudan after mass street protests

Asharq Al-Awsat: Sudanese security forces have released two journalists from Saudi Arabia’s Asharq television channel, a day after detaining them as deadly violence flared during renewed protests against the military government, the station said Friday.

TANZANIA: Tanzania’s press, rights groups urge Suluhu to help amend ‘draconian’ media laws

The East African: Tanzanian media and human rights groups are asking President Samia Suluhu to help amend and scrap draconian media laws that hamper press freedom.

UGANDA: Shaky civil peace as Uganda clamps down on critics, NGOs, media

The East African

REGIONAL: Fake news hinders Africa’s fight against COVID

DW: Damaging myths about the coronavirus have been spreading across Africa through social media — fueling mistrust for vaccines designed to protect people.

AFGHANISTAN: Afghan ex-BBC journalist stranded for months due to Home Office scheme delays (27 December)

The Guardian: Mudassar Kadir said ‘zero progress’ made since he and his family arrived at Dubai refugee centre.

AFGHANISTAN: Afghanistan: Taliban temporarily detain Noorin Television owner

IFJ: On December 26, the Taliban detained Haji Arif Noori, owner of the independent Noorin Television station, and raided his Kabul home before releasing him two days later. 

CHINA & HONG KONG: How Beijing Has Muted Hong Kong’s Independent Media

New York Times: Citizen News, a small online news site in Hong Kong known for its in-depth coverage of courts and local politics, said it would stop publishing on Monday night, deepening concerns about the collapse of the city’s once-robust media.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong leader rejects claims of press freedom ‘extinction’

Al Jazeera: Journalists face mounting pressure in Chinese territory with three independent media outlets closing since imposition of security law.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong media outlet Stand News to close after police raid

The Guardian: The most prominent pro-democracy media outlet still operating in Hong Kong, Stand News, said it will shut down after police raided its offices, froze its assets and arrested senior journalists and former board members. 

HONG KONG: Independent Hong Kong news outlet Citizen News to shut down citing staff safety, days after Stand News raid

HKFP: “[R]egrettably, the drastic changes in society and the worsening of the media environment in the past two years has made it that we can no longer fulfil our ideals without any worry,” the team said in a statement.

INDIA: Digital communication, broadcasting platforms saw significant changes in 2021

The Week: Digital communication and broadcasting platforms underwent significant changes in 2021 with the government introducing several new rules and guidelines while stressing on the need for an institutional mechanism for all media platforms to exercise responsible freedom.

INDIA: Lawsuits, Media Killings in India Are Curtailing Press Freedom, Experts Say (27 December)

VOA: Lawsuits, killings and intimidation of journalists in India are contributing to the country faring poorly in the eyes of media watchdogs.

JAPAN: Experts, LGBT groups say NHK’s year-end show is divisive

The Asahi Shimbun: Some academics and members of LGBT advocacy groups are voicing concerns that the public broadcaster’s year-end variety show is divisive and makes sexual minorities feel excluded.

MALAYSIA: Govt plans to increase flood sirens with public announcements, says PM

MalayMail: The government plans to increase siren stations that are also equipped with public announcements at flood-prone areas to warn residents and also to instruct them to evacuate.

MYANMAR: Myanmar’s Most Oppressive Year Against Media

VOA News: Myanmar’s media freedom record has charted a drastically downward trajectory over the past year.

NEPAL: Press freedom violation cases on the rise

The Himalayan Times: The Federation of Nepali Journalists has issued a press release saying that cases of press freedom violation rose from 52 in 2019 to 62 in 2021. 

PAKISTAN: Framing journalists: PFUJ, PBC, HRCP, FN say journalists shouldn’t be punished for doing their job

The News International: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and Freedom Network (FN) have expressed concerns over court directives to indict journalists in a case related to the affidavit of former Chief Judge of Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Shamim.

PAKISTAN: Geo protests PTV-ARY deal for Pakistan Super League rights (Paywall)


THAILAND: Covid no excuse for media curbs (Editorial)

Bangkok Post: The year 2021 will be remembered as a pivotal moment for the Thai media as it faced challenges from Big Brother-esque controls exerted by the government.

THAILAND: The best summary of the year, “Thai PBS Digital Media”, a collection of outstanding events Key issues in 2021 (Press release – Thai) 

Thai PBS

VIETNAM: Independent TV journalist sentenced to five years in prison in Vietnam

RSF: Le Trong Hung, a Vietnamese journalist who often covered corruption for the independent social media TV news channel he helped to found, was sentenced today to five years in prison on a charge of “anti-state propaganda.”

AUSTRALIA: Balancing ‘rain guilt’, La Niña scepticism as big wet hits drought-declared outback (Feature)

ABC Australia: Rain is breaking news out here in the west, but we’re acutely aware of the fact that not everyone will have some in their gauge.

AUSTRALIA: John Howard and the ABC: desire for cuts came up against Liberal support for broadcaster

The Guardian: Cabinet papers 2001: the Coalition government was left with a dilemma after the ABC had to scale back its international broadcasts.

FIJI: Consumer demand should be driving TV to digital platform – ‘not by force’

Asia Pacific Report: Suva lawyer and media commentator Richard Naidu consumer demand should be driving television stations onto a digital platform like Walesi and not the Fiji government forcing them, reports FijiVillage.

NEW ZEALAND: New board members to oversee Pacific Media Network

Pacific Media Network: Appointments to the National Pacific Trust Board are bringing a new wave of expertise and cultural representation. 

NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand media coverage on Muslims mostly use negative language – study

RNZ: Recent New Zealand media stories involving Muslims mostly used negative language, a researcher from University of Canterbury has found.

REGIONAL: Pacific: IFJ, UNESCO launch kit to defend media freedom in the Pacific

IFJ: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), has launched its ‘Defend Media Freedom – Pacific Media Kit’, which shares information and resources for the continued advocacy of press freedom across the Pacific.

AUSTRIA: New ORF boss Weißmann presented priorities for the first half of the year (German)

Der Standard: The ORF player modules “Sound” and “Sport” should start. 2022 should be the “year of the young target groups”.

AZERBAIJAN: Azerbaijan’s controversial media law has grave consequences for media freedom and independence

Global Voices: The law was passed despite mounting criticism from local journalists and is set to be signed by President Ilham Aliyev and become effective as of January 1, 2022.

BELARUS: 32 journalists will spend New Year’s Eve in prison

IFJ: 32 journalists will spend New Year’s Eve in prison in Belarus. This is one of the figures in the annual review of repression that the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) drew today. 

CZECH REPUBLIC: Czech Television achieved the highest share of viewership in the last 23 years. For the fourth time in a row, it is also number one on the TV market (Press release – Czech)

Česká televize: Last year, TV viewers searched for the Czech Television program the most. CT managed to dominate the domestic market for the fourth time in a row. 

DENMARK: How we listen: New study gives an overall picture of our sound consumption (Press release – Danish)

DR: When we put on the headphones, it is a completely different sound offer we choose than if we hear something out of a loudspeaker, it appears from a new study from DR Media Research.

DENMARK & GREENLAND: Fresh Airwaves: Greenlanders in Denmark ready to tune in to new radio service just for them

Euronews: Greenlanders living thousands of kilometres from home will soon be able to hear news bulletins and important local information in their own language.

FINLAND: Yle makes the regional elections familiar (Press release – Finnish)

Yle: Finland’s first regional elections will be held on 23 January. The aim of Yle’s election content is to tell what the regional elections are about and why to vote.

FRANCE: TV audiences 2021: TF1 and France 2 remain in the lead, strong growth for CNews among 24-hour news channels (French)

Le Monde: The overall television viewing time in 2021 has returned to its level before the health crisis and the confinements, or 3 h 41 per day on average against 3 h 58 in 2020.

GERMANY: ARD chairmanship under the leadership of rbb relies on digitization, dialogue and diversity (Press release – German) (27 December)

ARD: The ARD chairmanship moves from the west to the east of Germany: With the start of the new year, Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb) takes over the management of the federal media association. This is a first in the history of ARD.

GERMANY: Tens of thousands protest nationwide against corona measures (German)

Der Tagesspiegel: During corona protests there are sometimes riots and counter-demonstrations. In Berlin, demonstrators chant “lying press” in front of the ZDF capital city studio.

GERMANY: ZDF joins Global Video Measurement Alliance (Press release – German) (21 December)

ZDF: ZDF is a new member of the Global Video Measurement Alliance (GVMA). GVMA, an association of digital media companies and agencies, measures the performance of their videos on the internet across platforms. 

ITALY: Audio video strike by Rai journalists (Italian)

Rai News: Journalists and RAI journalists are on strike today to protest against the decision of top management to cut off regional and sports information, and against a method based on the cancellation of confrontation with trade unions.

MALTA: TVM’s new channel falls flat with audiences

Times of Malta: The national broadcaster’s brand new news channel is followed by only 2.9% of the television viewing audience, according to the latest broadcasting authority report published earlier this week.

POLAND: Poland’s Duda vetoes media law: controversial media bill will not be signed into law (Watch – 27 December)

France 24: The law, which was adopted by parliament this month, would have prevented companies from outside the European Economic Area from holding a controlling stake in Polish media companies. 

RUSSIA: In Russia, State Is Waging Hybrid War Against Media, Nobel Laureate Says (Interview)

VOA News: In his Nobel speech, Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov described journalism as the “antidote to tyranny.”

SERBIA & HUNGARY: Euronews Serbia Denies Editorial Changes After Orban-Linked Firm Takeover

Balkan Insight: Euronews Serbia’s editor told BIRN that there will be ‘no change in editorial policy’ following the purchase of Euronews by a Portuguese firm with ties to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

SLOVENIA: Dnevnik says RTV Slovenija’s new programme council political (Paywall)

STA: The list of newly-appointed members of RTV Slovenija’s programming council, endorsed by the Janez Janša coalition with the help of MPs from the Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS) and National Party (SNS), suggests that the council will reach new lows in the next four-year term, says the newspaper Dnevnik on Wednesday.

SLOVENIA: Staff put forward bill to overhaul RTV Slovenija (Paywall)

STA: Four prominent long-serving members of staff at RTV Slovenija (RTVS) have drawn up a bill in which they propose transforming the public broadcaster into a fully independent public broadcasting service overseen by a board of trustees.

SPAIN: Agreement for own production, stability, viability, protection in employment and future in RTVE (Press release – Spanish)

RTVE: The president of RTVE,  José Manuel Pérez Tornero, together with the general secretary of the UGT,  Miguel Ángel Curieses,  and the general secretary of the Independent Union,  José Miguel Martínez Millán, have signed an agreement this Tuesday that includes the shared principles on the urgent need to reactivate internal production with measures that increase competitiveness and digitization, thus pursuing greater protection and quality of employment for the entire workforce.

SWITZERLAND: Swiss public broadcaster SRG SSR extends partnership with TV ads company Admeira (Paywall)

Telecompaper: Swiss broadcasting corporation SRG SSR said it has extended its partnership with marketing company for TV advertising Admeira until the end of 2025. Admeira will continue to exclusively market SRG SSR’s premium inventory over the next four years.

UK: BBC calls in Met Police over fear of attacks on journalists after David Amess murder

The Times: The BBC has requested support from police amid growing fears of a David Amess-style attack on a top journalist.

UK: BBC licence fee will be axed and replaced by government grant and subscription, John Whittingdale predicts

iNews: Former Culture Secretary John Whittingdale says the BBC licence fee could be replaced by government grant, topped up by Netflix-type subscription

UK: Director-General: We must look to the future of British broadcasting as we celebrate 100 years of our BBC

BBC: This weekend marks the start of the BBC’s centenary, and with it a year of special programming across all our channels and platforms. 

BRAZIL: Open Letter from RBA/Rede TVT workers (Portuguese)

SJSP: We, workers of the Sociedade Comunicação, Cultura e Trabalho Foundation, made up of employees of Rádio Brasil Atual and Rede TVT, at a meeting held on the 9th, rejected the proposal presented by the broadcaster’s management to renew the collective agreement.

BRAZIL: Strike completely paralyzed sports coverage and reached 95% on MEC and Nacional radio stations, up to 95% on TV Brasil and at least 60% on Agência Brasil (Portuguese – 17 December)

SJSP: Balance was released by EBC, controller of the three public vehicles. The 19-day stoppage was the longest in the public media company’s history.

COLOMBIA: Peace stations exceed 8,000 hours on the air and are consolidated in areas affected by the conflict in Colombia (Spanish) 

Mi Putumayo: 55 journalists from different regions of the country work to inform and highlight the most important news events and cultural events in municipalities that were previously scenes of violence, throughout a 24-hour program.

ECUADOR: IAPA celebrates ruling of the Inter-American Court that protects journalists from censorship (Spanish)

ABC Digital: The Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) celebrated the ruling of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Inter-American Court) against the State of Ecuador, after the government of Rafael Correa forced a journalist and executives of a medium to pay millionaire fines as a result of publications that annoyed the former president.

MEXICO: The CDMX government creates a decentralized body of public media (Spanish)

Expansión Política: The organism’s objective is to produce and disseminate its own audiovisual materials and to disseminate the actions of the current administration.

NICARAGUA: Nicaraguan journalism experienced a “fierce attack” in 2021, says NGO (Spanish)

Hola News: Nicaraguan journalism experienced a “fierce attack” in 2021, when “illegal arrests”, trials, physical attacks and discrediting campaigns against press professionals were recorded, the Collective of Human Rights Nicaragua Never Again, a non-governmental organization.

SURINAME: Journalists call for protection of media worker after grenade scare

Jamaica Gleaner: The Association of Surinamese Journalists (ASJ) has called for protection to be provided for media worker Jason Pinas, after two hand grenades taped together were found under a car parked at his home on Thursday morning.

VENEZUELA: Conatel closes two stations in Portuguese in 24 hours (Spanish)

Espacio Público: The National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) closed the Kalor 101.9 FM station, based in Acarigua in the Portuguese state, this Tuesday, December 28. The outlet is run by the journalist and recently elected mayor by the opposition, Carlos Barrios. 

REGIONAL: Journalists report cases of violence suffered during coverage of protests in 2021 in Latin America (22 December)

LatAm Journalism Review: With social and political tensions intensifying in the countries of the region and a growing anti-press rhetoric by political leaders, reporters covering demonstrations have become targets of radical protesters and part of the security forces.

ISRAEL: The bill on social media incitement is a danger to freedom of expression (Analysis)

Haaretz: The proposed law would turn district court judges into a kind of censor whenever prosecutors so request.

ISRAEL: Israel’s Jerusalem Post website hacked on Soleimani assassination anniversary

Reuters: Israel’s Jerusalem Post newspaper said on Monday its website had been hacked, in what it said was an apparent threat to the country.

JORDAN: Fayez calls for new national media strategy

Jordan News: Senate President Faisal Fayez on Tuesday called for a new national media strategy spearheaded by a higher council or body “to unify the media discourse on various domestic issues and the higher national interests and stances”, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

LEBANON: Request to silence Lebanese alternative media fails (20 December)

Beirut Today: Between a self-preserving syndicate that represents the political parties in power and a change-seeking alternative that emerged with the October 17 revolution in 2019, the ongoing journalistic dispute in Lebanon stands in place as a microcosm of the country’s political conflict.

TURKEY: Press Freedom in Turkey: 2021 in Review

Stockholm Center for Freedom: The Turkish government continued to muzzle the press in 2021 in a variety of ways, including imprisoning journalists and using regulatory authorities to exert financial pressure.

YEMEN: Why has Yemen Become so Dangerous for Journalists?

International Policy Digest

CANADA: Creator Network seeks young storytellers with a passion for making videos, online content

CBC News: CBC Ottawa’s Creator Network is looking for young digital storytellers from diverse backgrounds to produce original video content to air on CBC. 

CANADA: In this remarkable year of news, a note of thanks (Blog – 23 December)

CBC News: CBC News thanks you for trusting us to tell stories, and for playing a role in them.

US: 2021: A Review of Public Media Advocacy

Protect My Public Media: It has been a year. 2021 brought a new Administration and Congress as well as continued concerns about how public media could survive the pandemic.

US: Being a journalist in the US is becoming more dangerous (Opinion)

The Washington Post: The year 2022 is not looking particularly promising for press freedom. In fact, the United States is one place where journalists could start seeing an increase in the types of threats that many of our colleagues in many illiberal societies already face.

US: CBP launches review of secretive division that targeted journalists, lawmakers and other Americans

Yahoo News: U.S. Customs and Border Protection is conducting a review of a secretive division that uses some of the country’s most sensitive databases to investigate the travel and financial records and personal connections of journalists, members of Congress and other Americans not suspected of any crime.

US: Faces of NPR: Whitney Maddox (Interview)

Public Radio East: Faces Of NPR showcases the people behind NPR–from the voices you hear every day on the radio to the ones who work outside of the recording studio. 

US: If American democracy is going to survive, the media must make this crucial shift (Paywall)

The Washington Post: Journalists stepped it up in 2021, but now we need a concerted effort. 

US: Kids need to see themselves reflected in media. Here are some recommendations (Feature)

Wisconsin Public Radio: Tired of looking for family entertainment where diversity doesn’t feel like a token after-thought? Look no further.

US: More than 70 local newsrooms launched during the pandemic

Poynter: The pandemic changed the news business and, in a lot of ways, not for the better. … But in some communities, the pandemic also clarified the value of reliable information. 

2021: a grim year for journalists and free speech in an increasingly turbulent and authoritarian world

The Conversation: Journalists and media workers around the world are increasingly being targeted, especially in countries where authoritarian regimes hold power.

45 journalists and media staff killed in work-related incidents during 2021, says IFJ

IFJ: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today published its annual list of journalists and media professionals which reports 45 killings during 2021 in 20 countries, a drop from 65 killings recorded last year in 2020.

Are partisan news sites to blame for polarization? A massive study suggests they’re not

Nieman Lab

CPJ Head: With Press Freedom, ‘US Leadership Really Matters’ (Interview)

VOA News: As of December, more than 290 journalists were in prison for their work and at least 24 had been killed, according to the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists. 

I’ve been lied about and others get death threats. Covid has shown the power of misinformation (Opinion)

The Guardian: One of the most unpredictable aspects of the past two years, and one of the most disheartening, has been the rise of widespread misinformation. The line between facts and lies has disintegrated.

UNESCO seeks nominations for World Press Freedom Prize

ICIR: THE United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)/Guillermo Cano is seeking nominations for its  World Press Freedom Prize.

We Will ‘Hold the Line’: A Year-End Message from FRONTLINE’s Executive Producer

PBS’s Frontline

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