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

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EGYPT: Reversing decision, Egypt continues to hold Al Jazeera journalist

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the decision by Egypt’s judicial authorities to continuing holding Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein after previously deciding five days ago to release him conditionally, and calls for the withdrawal of all charges against him.

GAMBIA: Government Compensates Four Gambian Journalists

Foroyya via AllAfrica: The Gambia Government has compensated four Journalists based on the rulings made by the ECOWAS Court.

GHANA: Ghana’s Broadcasters Reportedly Stand Against Implementation Of DTT Policy To Save Free-to-Air TV

Broadcast Media Africa: The Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) has reportedly taken a stand against the Ministry of Communication’s policy to block free-to-air (FTA) TV content in the country.

IVORY COAST: Ivory Coast accelerates digital migration with SES

Broadband TV News: Ivory Coast’s public broadcasting company, the Société Ivoirienne de Télédiffusion (SIDT) has selected SES as its digital partner in the move to meet the country’s 2020 deadline for switching over from analogue to digital broadcasting.

KENYA: Kenya Broadcasting Commission Calls For Govt Intervention In Settlement Of Historical Debts

Broadcast Media Africa: The Managing Director of the Kenya Broadcasting Commission, Dr Naim Bilal has declared that there is a need to update the Kenya Broadcasting Act cap 221 to allow for the establishment of a functional public service broadcaster and also to protect Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) from competition.

NIGERIA: We found that Nigerian papers’ coverage of pre-election violence passed muster

The Conversation: Nigeria has a vibrant press media landscape. But freedom of the press is only rated as “partly free” by Freedom House, mostly due to the fact that news media are still susceptible to political pressures.

SOMALIA: Journalists Face Threats, Intimidations Ahead of Jubbaland Elections

AllAfrica: The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns multi-pronged attacks by Jubbaland authorities in Kismayo against journalists reporting on sensitive issues, threatening freedom of expression ahead of elections slated for August 2019.

SOUTH AFRICA: Sanef takes action as journalists continue to come under fire

News 24 via AllAfrica: The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) announced that progress is being made in the Equality Court case it initiated to protect journalists against harassment and abuse.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC calls on Icasa to review its sport broadcasting regulations

SABC News: The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has called on the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) to review and regulate the current sports broadcasting regulations which are unaffordable and not sustainable.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC radio stations continue to grow

SABC NEWS: SABC radio stations continue to top listenership charts in South Africa, with some of them recording significant  growth for the period of October 2018 to March 2019.

SOUTH AFRICA: Successful Management Of Digital Media Infrastructure To Take Centre Stage At Upcoming Industry Forum In Johannesburg, SA

Broadcast Media Africa: Broadcast Media Africa (BMA) has announced that it will be hosting the International Forum on ‘Digital Infrastructure and Platforms for Converged Broadcast Media on the 21st – 22nd August 2019 in Johannesburg – South Africa.

SUDAN: Sudan’s military rulers shut down Al-Jazeera Khartoum bureau

CPJ: Sudan’s military rulers yesterday ordered the Khartoum bureau of Al-Jazeera to be shut down and banned its staff from working in the country, the Qatari-broadcaster said today.

UGANDA: Men dominate media space in Uganda, says study

New Vision: The study also looked at the gender of news subjects by television stations, which found that out of a total of 372 news subjects, 29% were female.

ZIMBABWE: Mutsvangwa: State media journalists have green light to be political

New Zimbabwe via AllAfrica: There is no law which stops State media journalists from participating in political contests, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said.

ZIMBABWE: Media reforms on course: Govt

The Herald via AllAfrica: The Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services is finalising the repeal of some media laws such [as] the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) to ensure a sound media industry in the country, an official has said.

GENERAL: Four trends in the TV landscape to tune into this year

Screen Africa: Amanda Turnbull, vice president and general manager of Discovery in Africa and the Middle East shares the latest media trends she’s watching right now.

CHINA: 58 Uyghur Journalists Detained

RSF: NGO Uyghur Human Rights Project has recently revealed that 58 journalists from the Xinjiang region are being detained, bringing Reporters Without Borders’ total count to 111 detainees in China.

CHINA: RSF urges democracies to resist China’s “new world media order”

RSF: On the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) warns the world’s democracies against the danger that China’s system of media control poses to journalistic freedoms, and against trying to compete for Beijing’s favours, an approach that will be fatal for all those who love freedom.

CHINA: Twitter issues apology for blocking accounts critical of China

The Guardian: Twitter has apologised for suspending accounts critical of Chinese government policy days ahead of the 30th anniversary of a bloody crackdown on protesters at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, after an outcry among users.

INDIA: Media Ownership Monitor: Who owns the media in India?

RSF: Indian Prime Minister Modi’s recent election victory occurred within a surprisingly tight media space, comprised of the State’s monopoly in radio news and highly concentrated regional newspaper markets that are controlled by a small number of powerful owners, some of whom have strong political affiliations.

INDIA: New government to retain autonomy of Prasar Bharati: Prakash Javadekar

The New Indian Express: The Union Minister also lauded public broadcasters DD and All India Radio (AIR) for their credible programmes and coverage and asked officials to promote channels like DD Bharati.

JAPAN: Law revised to allow simultaneous streaming by NHK

NHK: The Diet has amended a law to allow Japanese public broadcaster NHK to begin simultaneous television broadcasts on the internet.

MYANMAR: Press freedom in Myanmar still under threat

The Asean Post: Last month, media freedom advocates praised the surprise release of two Reuters reporters in Myanmar but stressed the pair should never have been jailed in the first place. They called for sweeping reforms of the country’s paralysing press laws.

NORTH KOREA: North Korea: Fake news on both sides is the norm

Deutsche Welle: Stories of the secretive state captivate media and audiences alike. But often the stories are only half true, sometimes outright false — especially those coming from a particular South Korean source.

PAKISTAN: Media Freedom Group Calls For Pakistani Journalist’s Release

FRE/RL: An international media-freedom watchdog has urged Pakistan to immediately release a reporter who was detained for his coverage of this week’s violently repressed protests by minority Pashtuns in a northwestern region near the Afghan border.

PAKISTAN: References against judges: Pemra serves notices on 14 TV channels for violating advice

The News: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Saturday issued notices to 14 TV channels for violating its advice with regard to the references filed against the Supreme Court and High Court judges with the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC).

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s ban on fake news sets a dangerous precedent

New Scientist: As tempting as it sounds, Singapore’s initiative to curb online misinformation could stop public-interest journalism and stifle academic discourse, says Donna Lu.

VIETNAM: US Lawmakers Urge Greater Push For Vietnam Press Freedoms

Radio Free Asia: U.S. lawmakers called in a letter on Tuesday for a stronger push by the United States to demand that Vietnam uphold the right to freedom of expression in the wake of the jailing of bloggers and activists in the one-party communist state.

GENERAL: Global Media Forum 2019: Press freedom linked to media credibility

Deutsche Welle: With journalists and media organizations losing some of their credibility, authorities are finding it easier to curtail freedoms. Asian journalists explored ways to deal with the situation at DW’s Global Media Forum.

GENERAL: Journalist killings, arrests and assaults climb worldwide as authoritarianism spreads (Blog)

The Conversation: Randy Covington on Myanmar as prime example of a country divided under authoritarian rule and truth-seeking journalists 

AUSTRALIA: ABC puts online creatives to the test at Pitch-o-rama

ABC: The ABC is searching for Australia’s next big online series with submissions now open for the Pitch-o-rama competition at the annual Screen Makers Conference.

AUSTRALIA: Australian journalist’s home raided over spying report

BBC News: Australian police have raided the home of a journalist who reported that the government was considering a secret plan to spy on its citizens.

AUSTRALIA: News Corp Australia plans to axe journalists who lack digital skills

The Guardian: Staff told ‘big cuts’ will include 55 editorial posts as executive chairman says newsrooms need ‘new skills’.

NEW ZEALAND: Budget 2019 not transformative for media

RNZ: The broadcasting funding changes in Budget 2019 weren’t exactly headline-making stuff. There were only incremental increases and the abandonment of the only major innovation arising from Budget 2018. It falls well short of Labour’s policy before it took power.

NEW ZEALAND: New collaboration puts reporters in the regions but future funding is already in doubt (Listen)

RNZ: A pilot programme will place reporters in regions where coverage of local issues is in decline. it’s paid for with $1m from the public purse, but only for a year. Mediawatch talks to two key players who set it up, a local news publisher who backs the idea and one who is shut out of it for now.

ALBANIA: Press Freedom Watchdog Call on Albanian Government to Protect Journalists

Exit – Explaining Albania: Reporters Without Borders has called on the Albanian government to protect journalists against “serious violence” inflicted upon them whilst carrying out their duties during the ongoing protests.

FINLAND: New fund supports journalists facing harassment and threats

EFJ: The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has welcomed the creation of a new fund for journalists who became victims of persecution or threats. It is a joint project of the Union of Journalists in Finland (UJF), five top Finnish media companies and several other representative organisations working in the media sector.

FRANCE: French Open Snapchat series launched by France Télévisions

SportsPro Media: French public broadcaster France Télévisions (FTV) has partnered with Snapchat to produce a new dedicated sports programme to be shown via the social media platform.

FRANCE: Radio France wants to achieve 60 million euros in savings by 2022 (French)

FranceInfo: The direction of the radio group has unveiled part of its plan for the coming years.

FRANCE: Towards the end of self-service for Radio France podcasts (French)

Les Echos: Public radio, still dominant in this format, wants to better control their distribution and keep listeners on its platforms.

GERMANY: Germany proposes Europe’s first diversity rules for social media platforms (Blog)

LSE: Here, Professor Natali Helberger, Paddy Leerssen and Max Van Drunen from the Institute for Information Law at the University of Amsterdam argue that a German proposal to impose diversity obligations on social media platforms’ algorithms deserves more scrutiny

ITALY: Italian minister Salvini threatened journalist Roberto Saviano with withdrawal of his police protection

EFJ: On May 29th, Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini published a video on Facebook in which he threatened the journalist Roberto Saviano with the withdrawal of his police protection from mafia.

NETHERLANDS: Newscoop: A Facebook for news with a Wikipedia twist

Deutsche Welle: The Amsterdam-based startup aims to democratize news by leveraging a global network of citizen journalists. The platform is harnessing blockchain technology to verify its content and keep a check on fake news.

ROMANIA: Policing The Police: Romanian Journalist Defies Death Threats (Video)

RFE/FL: Senior Romanian police officers have resigned after claims that they ordered death threats against a journalist probing plagiarism at the Police Academy. Amid growing concerns about declining media freedom in Romania, Emilia Sercan insists she will continue her work.

SERBIA: Media Regulator’s Wrongdoings Exposed

SEENPM: Serbian Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media (REM) exerts influence on the media by espousing some and thus creates inequality in the media market, largely sheltered by its political dependence on the ruling party, the Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia (CINS) finds.

SERBIA: Protests for Media Freedom Drag Into Sixth Month in Serbia

Fortune: Opposition from across the political spectrum have joined forces to call for freedom of the press, but some journalists have worried if it is just another way for politicians in the country to abuse media.

SPAIN: Spanish households turning to online VOD

DTVE: A third of Spanish households paid for online audiovisual content in 2018, according to the latest study by markets regulator the CNMC.

SWITZERLAND: SRG to stop broadcasting SRF1, SRF2 and SRF over DVB-T from 03 June

Telecompaper: The Swiss Public Broadcaster SRG will stop broadcasting the channels SRF1, SRF2 and SRF over the DVB-T terrestrial transmission system from 03 June for lack of copyright. The DVB-T licence has been withdrawn on grounds of austerity.

UK: BBC and BT in UK’s first live 5G production trial

BBC: The BBC and BT successfully made the UK’s first live TV contribution over a public 5G connection, using EE’s 5G network.

UK: Critics of the BBC should stick to the facts (Opinion)

The Observer: Last week, the Observer asked: “Is BBC news broken?” Here, its director of news and current affairs defends its approach.

UK: Online usage grows, but so do social media concerns – Ofcom study

BBC News: The amount of time we spend online is growing, but so are calls for tougher regulation, a study of 1,001 children and 2,057 over-16s suggests.

UK: Half of UK homes are SVOD subscribers

DTVE: According to the latest statistics from BARB, the number of homes with SVOD services has risen by 8.37% – just over a million – in Q1 2019. The total is 13.33 million.

REGIONAL: Western Balkans stakeholders agree public service media funding principles

DTVE: Parliamentarians, regulators, public service media management, governing bodies and civil society organisations from the western Balkans have adopted a set of common funding principles for public service media at a meeting in Sarajevo.

GENERAL: Freedom of press in Europe no longer self-evident

Euroactiv: Up until recently, freedom of press was considered as a self-evidence in Europe. That is no longer the case, especially in several eastern European countries, where journalists have come under severe political pressure.

GENERAL: Berlusconi buys stake in German TV in anti-Netflix pivot

Al Jazeera: Italian broadcaster Mediaset SpA has bought a stake in Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE as it seeks to diversify beyond its home country and fend off growing competition from Netflix Inc.

BRAZIL: Bolsonaro announced that it will close the company that groups the public media of Brazil (Spanish)

La Voz: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced Friday that he will “extinguish” the Brazilian Communication Company (EBC), which groups federal state media, and said he will distribute his employees in other public agencies.

BRAZIL: Brazilian journalist Robson Giorno shot and killed in Rio de Janeiro state

CPJ: On May 25, unknown individuals knocked on the door of Giorno’s home in Maricá, a coastal town in Rio de Janeiro state, and lured him to the street, where individuals in a car shot him six times, according to news reports.

COLOMBIA: NYT story about Colombian army prompts alarming wave of intimidation

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Colombian authorities to respect the media’s work and condemns the poisonous climate for independent journalism, including verbal attacks and intimidation attempts, since a New York Times story on 18 May reflecting badly on the Colombian army high command.

CUBA: Review of Radio Televisión Martí says U.S. government-funded news service to Cuba disregards objective journalism for propaganda (Blog)

Knight Center: An independent report found that news shows offered on U.S. government-funded Radio Televisión Martí, which produces news for and about Cuba, were “peppered with bad journalism” as well as being “ineffective propaganda.” 

MEXICO: By Cuts, public media are in danger (Spanish)

El Universal: Budget restrictions are indiscriminate, says analyst.

MEXICO: Mexican Journalist Wins Freedom of Speech Award Amid Violent Atmosphere for Journalists

Citizen Truth: Anabel Hernandez, an exiled Mexican investigative journalist, won the Freedom of Speech Award given by Germany’s news agency Deutsche Welle, making her the first female to win in the five-year history of the award. Hernandez’s award is especially noteworthy as Mexico is considered one of the most dangerous countries for journalists in the world.

PERU: IRTP signs co-production agreement in France (Spanish)

El Peruano: The executive president of the Institute of Radio and Television of Peru Hugo Coya Honores, signed an agreement with France Medias Monde.

BAHRAIN: Bahrain says following opposition social media could result in legal action

SwissInfo: Bahrain, a U.S. ally that hosts the Navy’s Fifth Fleet, has warned citizens and residents that following anti-government social media accounts could result in legal action, hardening a government campaign against critical online voices.

IRAQ: Threats against Iraqi journalist after political corruption revelations

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the death threats received by a well-known Iraqi journalist who published evidence of alleged political corruption, and calls on the Iraqi authorities to protect threatened journalists.

SYRIA: Journalists injured, fired upon while covering clashes in northern Syria

CPJ: The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on the Syrian authorities to respect the civilian status of journalists covering airstrikes and clashes in the northwestern part of the country.

TURKEY: Turkey’s once-venerable news source mired in election controversy

Coda Story: Turkey state-backed news agency says it’s fighting back fake news. Independent journalists say it’s created the problem.

YEMEN: CPJ calls on Houthis in Yemen to release all detained journalists

CPJ: The Houthis are expected to begin what they have described as trial proceedings in June or July for at least 10 journalists who have been detained for nearly four years, according to Abdullah al-Mansouri, the brother of one of the journalists, and a statement from the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate sent to CPJ by syndicate co-chair Nabil Alosaidi.

CANADA: CBC pitches advertisers in push to save commercial revenues, pre-empt election funding fight

The Globe And Mail: CBC executives and on-air personalities pitched the public broadcaster as a potent platform for advertisers at its annual Upfront sales presentation, seeking to arrest a drop in commercial revenues and gain more control over its fate during an election year in which its federal-government funding may become a campaign issue.

CANADA: CBC President Catherine Tait on trust, raising money and attracting a younger audience

CBC Radio: It is the job of the CBC to build social cohesion in Canada, according to CBC/Radio-Canada president and CEO Catherine Tait, but “we also have an obligation to run a business.”

CANADA: CBC President defends broadcaster’s editorial choices (French)

La Presse: The President of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation defends the coverage of US politics by the network after Conservative leader Andrew Scheer suggested that the state corporation was placing too much emphasis on Uncle Sam’s country and not enough on Canada.

US: After four years of handing out money for European news projects, Google is expanding its funding to North America

Nieman Lab: Projects, which should be related to local news or revenue generation, can receive up to $300,000 in funding. As in Europe, the launch comes with talk of government regulation in the air.

US: PBS’ plans for thematic programming will provide ‘cornerstones’ for station efforts

Current: PBS Chief Programmer and General Manager Perry Simon unveiled several programming approaches at the PBS Annual Meeting Thursday, including thematic quarterly program initiatives planned up to several years in advance.

US: ‘Orphan counties,’ and a battle over what local news really means

CJR: Jill and Michael Fischer live seven miles outside the city of Durango, a historic mountain town of nearly 20,000 and the seat of La Plata County in southwest Colorado. When they turn on their TV for local news, however, evening broadcasts—about community events, the weather, and most notably politics—arrive via satellite from Albuquerque, New Mexico, more than 200 miles away.

US: PBS’ plans for thematic programming will provide ‘cornerstones’ for station efforts (Paywall)

Current: At the PBS Annual Meeting, the network’s chief programmer said upcoming initiatives will be “built around specific content themes that are locked in and announced several months or even years in advance.”

US: The Public Media Stack: imagining a better tech ecosystem for today’s pubmedia (Paywall)

Current: Digital Editor of Current interviews former BBC executive on Matt Locke’s vision for a ecosystem which shares public media ethics and values.

10 most urgent cases of journalists under threat: June 2019

Deutsche Welle: Journalists serve the public by speaking truth to power, a pursuit which puts some reporters in peril. Here’s a list of the 10 most urgent cases for June 2019, published by the One Free Press Coalition.

Climate change or climate crisis? To really engage people, the media should talk about solutions (Opinion)

The Conversation: Days after the British parliament declared a “climate emergency”, The Guardian announced that it would start using “stronger” language to discuss the environment…

How power and privilege shape communities – and what this means for journalists

Journalism.co.uk: 10 recommendations on building bridges between the mainstream media and underrepresented voices.

New IPI report examines newsroom measures against online abuse

IPI: Research conducted in 45 newsrooms in 5 countries

Journalist killings, arrests and assaults climb worldwide as authoritarianism spreads

The Conversation: Myanmar, nudged by the conscience of the world, recently released two Reuters journalists imprisoned for more than 500 days – good news in what otherwise has been a dismal period for media freedom.

Rory Peck Awards 2019

Rory Peck: The Rory Peck Awards 2019 are now Open for Entries until Wednesday 5th June.

‘Rotten Tomatoes for news’ allows journalists and public to rate credibility of articles as rival to Newsguard

Press Gazette: A website dubbing itself the “Rotten Tomatoes for news” is about to launch a system for journalists and members of the public to rate and review the credibility of news articles.

SVOD subscriptions to approach one billion

DTVE: According to Digital TV Research, the global number of gross SVOD subscriptions will increase by 439 million between 2018 and 2024 to 947 million.

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