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

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

EGYPT: As Egypt-U.S. relationship moves forward, jailed Egyptian journalists left behind


GAMBIA: The Gambia’s journalists find new freedom of expression

Aljazeera: The country’s former president silenced its media, but with a new government journalists are returning to work.

NAMIBIA: New ICT policies to be rolled out this year

New Era: Access to information, social media use, a communication plan and review of national information are some of the policies for which legislation would be rolled out this year, according to information minister Tjekero Tweya.

NIGERIA: NBC Extends Licence Fees Payment By 3 Months

PM News: The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has extended the deadline for the payment of outstanding licence fees by broadcast stations by three months.

NIGERIA: NBC Will Not Be Revoking Broadcasting Licences

Broadcast & Media Africa

RWANDA: Rwandan Journalists Launch Investment Company, Seek Self-Reliance

Rwanda Eye: Rwandan journalists have formed an investment company – which they believe will bring an end to what has become a traditional bad perception about media practitioners in Rwanda.

SOUTH AFRICA: ANC Wants Parliamentary Inquiry Into Media

News 24: Parliament must hold an inquiry into the media because self-regulation is not working, ANC chief whip in the National Assembly Jackson Mthembu said in Johannesburg on Sunday.

SOUTH AFRICA: Muthambi Halts Interim SABC Board’s Duties

Via All Africa: Communications Minister Faith Muthambi has told members of the interim SABC board that they cannot proceed with their job until they have been vetted by the state security department.


SABC: As part of the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) mandate to facilitate nation-building and promote social cohesion in South Africa, the public broadcaster has embarked on a drive to create awareness around the benefits of people paying their TV licence.

SUDAN: ‘Security Is Still Gagging Sudanese Press’ – Journalist

Via All Africa: Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) is still harassing journalists and columnists, says Mujahed Abdallah, one of the three journalists who are currently banned from publishing.

TANZANIA: Tanzania’s president is trying to force the media to shut up, listen and be nice

Quartz: When he came to power in Nov. 2015, there were great expectations that Tanzanian president John Magufuli was all the country needed to fight corruption, improve service delivery to the citizens and enhance the democratic space. It hasn’t quite worked out that way.

ZAMBIA: Opposition Shunning Public Media, Claims Amos Chanda

Zambia Reports: State House has charged that it is by choice that the opposition is not accessing public media under President Edgar Lungu’s administration.

ZIMBABWE: Annual report highlights pitfalls in freedom of expression and access to information

MISA: Report documenting freedom of expression, access to information and privacy of communication as well as access to all forms of media in Zimbabwe.

REGIONAL: Kwese, SuperSport, SABC, StarTimes All Bag Broadcasting Rights From FIFA

Broadcast & Media Africa

AFGHANISTAN: Radio Sana, a community station run completely by women, is changing lives in Baghlan

ReliefWeb: Run completely by women, Radio Sana is the only radio station in the Northern City of Pul-e-khumri, Afghanistan. While the station has a particular focus on women, and caters to a largely female audience, they try to cover a range of different issues that are important to the community.

CHINA: The New York Times vs. the ‘Great Firewall’ of China

The New York Times: If you look at the top of our home page, you’ll see a tab with two Chinese characters, which mean “Chinese.” Few people know the struggle and angst that put those characters there.

HONG KONG: DAB Broadcasting Gets the Axe in Hong Kong

Digital Radio FM Insider: The public broadcaster Radio & Television Hong Kong will terminate its five channels digital audio broadcasting (DAB+) in about six months due to diminishing demand and mobile use.

INDIA: Chaining the Watchdog: Soft censorship and media capture stifle coverage of India’s prolonged land conflict

CIMA: The use of economic development as a pretext to displace local communities in resource-rich areas is a familiar story. How this story is playing out in the world’s largest democracy, however, may be less familiar because India’s media has been unable to cover it effectively.

INDONESIA: ICFJ Knight Fellowship, Indonesia

ICFJ: The International Center for Journalists seeks outstanding applicants with a background in multimedia and data journalism for a year-long ICFJ Knight Fellow position in Indonesia.

JAPAN: Fully UHD by 2025

Advanced Television: Japanese TV households will be fully UHD by 2025, according to Masayuki Suga, Deputy Director, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

KYRGYZSTAN: In pivotal election year Kyrgyz media face verbal assaults from president and legal action

CPJ: In Kyrgyzstan, once Central Asia’s most liberal country, President Almazbek Atambayev is tightening his grip on critical voices, including independent journalists and foreign media.

MONGOLIA: Draft broadcasting law put before Mongolia parliament

IFJ: In early March, the draft Broadcasting Law was put forward to the Mongolian parliament after several years of debate and numerous versions.

NEPAL: Nepal to switch to digital TV as from May 2017

ABU: The Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) in Nepal has instructed cable operators to make necessary arrangements to ensure that analogue is replaced by a digital signal as from May 2017.

PAKISTAN: What’s causing poor journalistic practice in Pakistan?

DW: Journalists working in Pakistan’s burgeoning electronic media sector continue to receive limited training while the South Asian country’s regulatory authority does little in the way of monitoring.

PHILIPPINES: Philippine media groups cry foul over Duterte’s diatribes

Reuters: Philippine media organizations have hit back at President Rodrigo Duterte for an expletive-laden speech that lashed out at a domestic newspaper and a television network, saying threats would not stop journalists from reporting the truth.

SINGAPORE: 4G spectrum auction nets Singapore Government $1.14b

The Straits Times: The Singapore Government has made $1.14 billion from the sale of airwaves to be used for delivering 4G mobile services.

SOUTH ASIA: Byte Back: IFJ launches guide to combat cyber harassment in South Asia

IFJ: New tool to combat cyber harassment in South Asia, as part of a wider strategy to counter abusive behavior online, largely documented and directed at women journalists.

SRI LANKA: Independent Media Council in the offing

News.lk: The Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Ministry is engaged in drafting new legislation to set up an Independent Media Council.

THAILAND: Drop Suspension on TV Station for Criticizing Army

Human Rights Watch: Junta Should Accept UN Call to End Restrictions on Media and Free Expression.

THAILAND: Media reject regulation as unnecessary

Bangkok Post: Five media organisations reaffirmed their opposition Tuesday to a bill aimed at setting up a new body to regulate the media, saying this is unnecessary as the mainstream media has refrained from taking sides in times of political conflict.

AUSTRALIA: Average 6.4 screens per home

Advanced Television: Australians are voracious consumers of broadcast TV and other video, and as of Q4 2016 had a dizzying array of options by which to do so.

AUSTRALIA: Parliament to launch inquiry into ‘fake news’ in Australia

The Sydney Morning Herald

FIJI: Regulations to control social media mooted in Fiji

Radio New Zealand: The director of Fiji’s Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Ashwin Raj says it’s time to think about laws to regulate racist hate speech on social media.

NEW ZEALAND: Fairfax NZME merger decision delayed again, until May

Stuff: The decision on whether Fairfax New Zealand and NZME can merge has been delayed again by the Commerce Commission.

NEW ZEALAND: ‘Journalism Still Matters’ 10 years on

Radio New Zealand: Ten years ago, the journalists’ union held a summit at Parliament under the banner ‘Journalism Matters’ to air their fears about commercial pressures diminishing the quality of news. A decade later, they were back for a event called ‘Journalism Still Matters’. What’s the state of play now?

NEW ZEALAND: Tagata Pasifika: 30 years on and still going strong

NZ Herald: When New Zealand’s only Pacific current affairs show started, the only time journalists could have their stories filmed was on a Saturday.

TONGA: Concern as Tongan public broadcaster is labelled “enemy of the government”

PMA: The Public Media Alliance calls on the Tongan Prime Minister to respect the independence of the Tonga Broadcasting Commission (TBC) and its role in holding government to account.

BALKANS: Balkan States Hit by Democratic Setbacks

Balkan Insight: Balkan countries experienced democratic setbacks in 2016 because of corruption, political interference in the justice system and uncompetitive elections.

BELARUS: At least eight journalists still jailed for reporting on Belarus protests

CPJ: According to the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), security forces have detained, beaten, or otherwise harassed more than 100 journalists since nationwide protests began in February.

BELARUS: Mapping Media Freedom: Mass detention of journalists in Belarus on Freedom Day

Index on Censorship: A mass detention of journalists took place in three Belarusian cities during Freedom Day marches. Freedom Day is an unofficial holiday in Belarus, which is celebrated on 25 March to commemorate the proclamation of the Belarusian People’s Republic in 1918.

FRANCE: France Télévisions chief highlights Netflix rival SVOD project’s progress

Digital TV Europe: France Télévisions’ plans for a new SVOD service are progressing well, with agreements in principle signed with five production groups, according to director-general Delphine Ernotte-Cunci.

FRANCE: The activity of France Télévisions in the green, for the first time since 2012 (French)

Les Echos: The public broadcaster recorded an operating profit in 2016.

GERMANY: German media respond to new rules on reporting ethnicity of criminals

DW: It might be the norm in other countries, but in Germany, revealing a criminal’s country of origin in the media is still highly controversial. But some say that doing so can even serve to rectify prejudiced opinions.

GREECE: Greek libel reforms only first step toward greater press freedom

IPI: Repeal of criminal defamation, increased legal awareness seen as necessary to better protect journalists’ rights.

IRELAND: Sweeping changes afoot for RTÉ

PMA: Director-General announces sweeping structural and executive changes as the Irish public broadcaster looks to secure its future relevance and survival.

ROMANIA: Wave of Fake News ‘Fuelling Divisions’ in Romania

Balkan Insight: An article published on Sunday by Agence France-Presse claiming that fake news was flourishing in Romania has put the spotlight back on this troubling phenomenon.

RUSSIA: Journalists detained during anti-corruption protests

Index on Censorship: Russian and international journalists who were covering anti-corruption protests that took place across Russia on Sunday 26 March 2017 were among those detained as police moved to disperse demonstrators.

SCANDINAVIA: New and exciting among the research literature

Nordicom: During 2016, a great deal of new literature was released in the field of media and communication research in the Nordic countries. To make it easier to navigate among the titles, Nordicom has put together a a list of selected research literature.

SCANDINAVIA: TV viewing in the Nordic countries in 2016

Nordicom: Even though linear TV still attracts large audiences, the trend is clear: linear TV is decreasing while online TV is growing. And this is especially true for the young audience.

SPAIN: Albert Rivera on the election of the Council and president of RTVE: “We do not want to associate Government with public television” (Spanish)

Europa Press: The president of Citizens, Alberto Rivera, has affirmed this Tuesday, March 28, that the PSOE’s law proposal which intends to modify the election process of the Administrative Council of RTVE and its president is “the same that Ciudanos proposed four weeks or a month and half ago” and that “there has to be wide consensus in the Chamber to choose the president and the Council of RTVE”.

SPAIN: Focus on PSM: Spain

PMA: In recent weeks, public media has been the topic of numerous discussions and debates in the Spanish media landscape.

SPAIN: The Council prepares an organ for the political control of private radio and television (Spanish)

Las Provincias: It will have responsibility over the content, may require the cessation of advertising and monitor the dissemination of cultural and linguistic features.

SPAIN: Opinion: The need for a plural and independent public television (Spanish)

El Mundo: Yesterday, the Congress of Deputies took into consideration a law proposal to modify the election process of the board of administration of RTVE and its president.

SWEDEN: New tool Filterbubblan helps journalists and the public better understand the filter bubbles in Sweden

Journalism.co.uk: Launched last week, the tool recreates the three big filter bubbles around Swedish political discourse.

SWITZERLAND: ‘Going backstage’: Swiss researcher reveals public broadcast practices

Asia Pacific Report: In an ever-changing news environment, one academic and researcher has “gone backstage” at Switzerland’s public broadcasting company to better understand what “news” and “doing news” is.

UK: BBC journalism, Ofcom and a bit of regulatory gobbledygook’ (Opinion)

ProfPervis: From Monday 3rd April 2017 the BBC has an external regulator for the first time.Well almost.

UK: BBC World Service journalists are using a tool called Stitch to speed up social video production

Journalism.co.uk: More than 300 journalists across bureaux are using the tool to create quick videos for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

UK: Channel 4 and BBC: Changes ahead

BBC News: Change is coming to British broadcasting – including, probably, a change of location. Indeed, location, location, location was the theme of this year’s Nations & Regions Media Conference in Salford.

UK: Channel 4 claims relocation would be ‘highly damaging’

Digital TV Europe: Channel 4 has said moving out of London would be “highly damaging”, after Culture Secretary Karen Bradley revealed the UK government is looking into the possibility of relocating the public broadcaster.

UK: David Clementi leads BBC into era of sweeping changes

Financial Times:

UK: Ofcom outlines plans for regulating the BBC’s performance

Ofcom: Ofcom has published detailed proposals on how it will regulate the BBC’s performance under its new Royal Charter, which outlines how the BBC should deliver for its audiences.

GENERAL: Female leadership in PSM six times higher than in private companies

EBU: New EBU research reveals that 22% of Member organizations are led by female Director Generals, a proportion six times higher than for the biggest European private companies.

GENERAL: ‘InfoMigrants:’ International media cooperation for refugees and migrants

Deutsche Welle: “InfoMigrants” is an online project offering information for refugees and migrants. Financed by the EU, the project is a cooperation between Deutsche Welle, France Médias Monde and Italian news agency ANSA.

GENERAL: Report: Mapping of media literacy practices and actions in EU-28

European Audiovisual Observatory: This study has been financed by the European Commission with the goal of analysing the various media literacy initiatives on a national or regional level in order to provide an overview of what is currently being undertaken.

GENERAL: A new European union is forming (of news orgs partnering to share their data tools and journalism)

Nieman Lab: The state of the European Union may now be more uncertain than ever, but European news outlets have been making cross-border moves to solidify ties to each others’ work.

BRAZIL: Analogue TV signal disconnected in São Paulo and regional municipalities (Portuguese)

EBC: The broadcast signal will only be available in the digital format from 29 March 2017.

BRAZIL: Brazilian TV hit by retransmission dispute

Advanced Television: With digital transition due in 2018, a number of free-to-air TV stations have complained that the country’s main distributors are unfairly refusing to pay those broadcasters to carry their channels.

BRAZIL: EBC defends the division of public broadcasting taxes after the subject is discussed in court (Portuguese)

Teletime: The Empresa Brasil de Comunicação (EBC) defended on Monday 3 that the division of resources of the Contribution for the Promotion of Public Broadcasting (CFRP) will only occur after the approval of the validity of the rate established in court. After that, there will still be the need for regulation to determine how this division will be made.

BRAZIL: EBC workers denounce censorship and signal strike on the 28th (Portuguese)

Vermelho: Journalists and radio broadcasters from EBC decided that they will remain in a state of strike. They also indicate that the broadcaster’s employees will be able to join the general strike against the reforms of Social Security and labor laws. EBC workers from São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília and Maranhão participated in the assembly. They denounce the practice of censorship on the broadcaster.

MEXICO: Alarm after five attacks on Mexico journalists in March

IPI: Shootings across country leave three journalists and bodyguard dead, another wounded.

NICARAGUA: Journalism in Nicaragua under Siege

IPS: During the 161st session of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an empty chair across from the OAS Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Edison Lanzas, sums up the Nicaraguan government’s relationship with this issue in the country: absence.

VENEZUELA: Journalists attacked during anti-government protests in Venezuela

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: The protests and the crises that generated the decision of the Venezuelan Supreme Court (TSJ) to suspend the powers of the National Assembly on Wednesday, March 29, have once again left the press in its most vulnerable position: security forces have assaulted reporters covering the protests, according to reports.

GENERAL: Journalistic investigations without borders: Latin American journalists innovate with transnational projects

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas

REGIONAL: IAPA condemns attacks on and intimidation of journalists in Colombia and Mexico, cyber attacks in Venezuela

Caribbean News Now: The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) has condemned acts of aggression and intimidation against journalists in Colombia and Mexico, and online attacks on a Venezuelan independent portal, matters that will be taken up at the organization’s midyear meeting to be held March 31 to April 3 in Antigua, Guatemala.

ISRAEL: Coalition crisis averted with public broadcasting compromise deal

Israel Hayom: After weeks of heated disagreement on the brink of early elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon agree to establish a news division that would be separate from a contentious new public broadcasting body.

TURKEY: Judges who ordered release of journalists suspended

CPJ: Turkey’s Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HYSK, by its Turkish acronym) yesterday suspended the judges of Istanbul’s 25th Court for Serious Crimes, according to media reports.

REGIONAL: RPT-Vice Media takes its edgy journalism to the Middle East

Reuters: Vice Media is bringing its edgy style of journalism to the Middle East to tap what it believes is an underserved market of young, digital hungry consumers.

CANADA: After layoffs at local news stations, CTV union calls on government to help media industry

Financial Post: A union representing more than 12,000 of Canada’s media workers is calling on the federal government to help support local news after CTV announced layoffs in three cities in Ontario.

CANADA: This Canadian radio pioneer dreamed of ‘words without wires’

CBC: There was probably no moment more magical or terrifying than Reginald Fessenden’s radio broadcast across the Atlantic Ocean on December 24, 1906.

US: CPB board members excoriate colleague for publicly backing defunding

Current: Members of the CPB Board spoke out sharply at a meeting Monday against fellow director Howard Husock, who in a recent Washington Post op-ed argued in favor of defunding the corporation.

US: For the last time, President Trump can’t change U.S. libel law

Poynter: President Trump has repeatedly threatened to change U.S. libel law to crack down on news organizations that publish information he finds objectionable. But could he actually make good on his threat?

US: New NPR podcast ‘Up First’ will provide early look at day’s news

Current: NPR will launch a morning news podcast this week that will draw from a Morning Edition interview segment to get listeners up to speed on the day’s top stories.

US: Opinion: Trump’s public broadcasting cuts will zero out live, local, real news

LA Times

‘InfoMigrants:’ International media cooperation for refugees and migrants

DW: “InfoMigrants” is an online project offering information for refugees and migrants. Financed by the EU, the project is a cooperation between Deutsche Welle, France Médias Monde and Italian news agency ANSA.

Report: Essential Principles for Contemporary Media and Communications Policymaking

RISJ: This report proposes principles to guide contemporary media and communications policymaking in democratic countries seeking to improve the contributions those operations and systems make to society.

VR startups face ‘survival challenge’ until mobile platforms reach critical mass

Digital TV Europe: Virtual reality startups face a “challenge to survive” until mobile platforms that support virtual experiences reach critical mass, according to a panel of speakers at MIPTV.

PSM Weekly is available via email. You can subscribe by signing up to our mailing list at the bottom of the page or email editor@publicmediaalliance.org

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: John Georgiou/Creative Commons