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

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What we're listening to...

The European media perspective – on Brexit, the EU elections and the media climate

Swedish Radio: How different European media view these issues and the situation for journalists and media working in Europe were the topics discussed by an expert panel at Swedish Radio’s seminar during the political week at Almedalen.

What we're watching...

Media Raids update

ABC Media Watch: AFP documents reveal journalists may face criminal charges for reporting on classified material.

BURKINA FASO: Burkina Faso Parliament passes legal revisions criminalizing fake news, reporting on terrorism

CPJ: CPJ Africa says that Burkina Faso authorities should prevent the enactment of revisions of the penal code that criminalize false news and reporting on terrorism or security operations, and ensure laws do not permit jail time for reporters.

CAMEROON: President Biya’s Bodyguards Guilty of Attacking Swiss Reporter

All Africa: Six members, five men and a woman, of President Paul Biya’s security team were arrested in Geneva for an alleged assault on a journalist who was covering a demonstration by opponents of the Cameroonian leader.

EGYPT: Will government’s new rules control fake news or control Egyptian media?

AL-MONITOR: Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation recently issued new controls aimed at “at dialing back chaos across the media landscape” but academics and journalists see the move as an attempt to control and regulate the media. 

GABON: RSF calls for overhaul of Gabonese media’s “executioner”

RSF: After another media outlet’s arbitrary suspension by Gabon’s High Authority for Communication (HAC), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for an overhaul of the way this media regulator functions so that it fulfils its original role of defending press freedom instead of the government’s interests.

GHANA: Critical Times for Press Freedom in Ghana as Violations Near Alarming Proportions

MFWA: Events unfolding in Ghana over the past 18 months paint a gloomy picture of the press freedom situation in the country.

KENYA: New York Times ad for Nairobi bureau chief riddled with clichés about Africa

Global Voices: ‘From the deserts of Sudan and pirate seas of the Horn of Africa…’

MAURITANIA: Mauritania still violating press freedom after restoring Internet

RSF: The Mauritanian authorities have finally restored the Internet access they disconnected one day after the 22 June presidential election, but Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges them to stop intimidating the most critical journalists and, in particular, to free an outspoken TV presenter held since 3 July.

MOROCCO: Moroccan independent journalists describe climate of pervasive surveillance, harassment


NIGERIA: NBC And ICPC In Legal Battle Over $6.9Million DSO Project

Broadcast Media Africa: Nigeria is on the brink of missing yet another chance to advance into the Age of Information; a new era where knowledge and technology drive the economy.

SOUTH AFRICA: Mboweni instructs Treasury to find ways to fund the SABC

SABC News: Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has reportedly instructed Treasury Director-General (DG) Dondo Mogajane to look at ways of funding the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) using cash from the contingency reserve.

SOUTH AFRICA: Pay-TV vs streaming: MultiChoice fends off rivals 

Business Live: MultiChoice has drawn labour’s ire over a jobs cull. But investors are backing the company as it fends off competition 

GENERAL: Donor-funded journalism is on the rise in Africa: why it needs closer scrutiny 

The Conversation Africa: An enormous and increasing portion of the foreign development aid coming into Africa annually is for media development. Foreign aid funds diverse projects, ranging from investigative journalism in Nigeria, to stories on Chinese building projects in Kenya, or health reporting in South Africa. 

GENERAL: Wave of shutdowns sweep through the continent and Tanzania dips further down rabbit hole of repression Africa

IFEX: June in Sub-Saharan Africa: A roundup of key free expression news, based on IFEX member reports.

AFGHANISTAN: Radio program bridges elections information gap

Relief Web: Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections in October 2018 saw active involvement of civil society organizations (CSOs) calling for transparency and accountability in what turned out to be a complex and contentious process. Critical to the success of their efforts was the role of the media. 

CAMBODIA: Cambodia Should Accept UPR Recommendations on Civil and Political Rights

HRW: The Cambodian government accepted 173 UPR recommendations but rejected key recommendations on civil and political rights. This is not surprising, as the Hun Sen government is in the midst of its biggest attack in a generation on the media, NGOs, opposition politicians, and critical voices. 

HONG KONG: Government accused of omitting sensitive content from press conference transcript

IFJ: The Hong Kong government was accused of omitting sensitive questions in the official transcript of a press conference held after a major protest in the city. 

HONG KONG: Hong Kong Journalists Slam Police Treatment of Media at Mass Protest

RFA: Hong Kong’s journalists on Monday hit out at police attacks on the press during Sunday’s mass protest in Kowloon against proposed amendments to the city’s laws that would allow the extradition of alleged criminal suspects to mainland China.

HONG KONG: Police condemned for ‘declaring war on media’ (Watch)

RTHK: Lawmakers and journalists have blasted action by the police during operation to clear the Mong Kok area of protesters on Sunday night, saying officers used excessive force, assaulted reporters and stopped journalists and cameramen from reporting what was going on.

INDIA: Fake news-wary urban Indians trust their inner circle—and government mouthpieces—the most

Quartz: When it comes to trusting news sources, proximity and familiarity of the source matters in India.

INDIA: How Modi government uses ad spending to ‘reward or punish’ Indian media (Watch)

The Independent: The Indian government’s decision to stop buying adverts in three major newspaper groups has drawn a spotlight on a system that critics say is used by the state to control media coverage.

JAPAN: This Reporter Asks a Lot of Questions. In Japan, That Makes Her Unusual.

The New York Times: Isoko Mochizuki, a reporter for Tokyo’s largest regional newspaper, is widely known for her interrogations of Japanese officials.

MYANMAR: Surge in judicial harassment of journalists by military and police in Myanmar 

RSF: Two months after Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were pardoned and released, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is very concerned about a surge in cases of journalists being threatened, intimidated and jailed in Myanmar as a result of judicial harassment by the military and police.

PAKISTAN: Network forced to pull interview with ex-president

IFJ: An interview with Pakistan’s former president was taken off air within minutes of commencing broadcast on Geo News on July 1, drawing criticism of high level interference and attempt at controlling Pakistan’s media.

PAKISTAN: Interview with former Pakistani president taken off air, journalists and activists decry censorship

Global Voices: A recorded interview of former Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari, a lawmaker from the Sindh province, was taken off air shortly after its broadcast began on Geo News television on Monday, 1 July 2019, in another incident of censorship in the country.

SRI LANKA: Is Sri Lanka using the Easter attacks to limit digital freedom?

Aljazeera: Sri Lanka has drafted a new cybersecurity bill but experts warn the country could be using political turmoil to pass laws.

THAILAND: Thai Journalists, Activists Said to Face Increased Scrutiny

VOA: Across Thailand’s media landscape, new cybercrime and sedition laws created by the former junta-led government have effectively stifled criticism of that period.

AUSTRALIA: Australia’s anti-encryption laws being used to bypass journalist protections, expert says

The Guardian: New legislation has given AFP ‘power to strike a chilling blow against press freedom’, cybersecurity researcher tells parliamentary review.

AUSTRALIA: Federal police forced Qantas to hand over the private travel records of an ABC journalist

The Sydney Morning Herald: The Australian Federal Police demanded Qantas hand over the private travel arrangements of a senior ABC journalist as part of its controversial investigation into a major national security leak.

AUSTRALIA: Joint media statement on meeting with the Attorney-General and Communications Minister (Statement)

ABC: We had a constructive discussion with Attorney-General Christian Porter and Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher today but we remain frustrated that a month after search warrants were carried out by the Australian Federal Police the fate of our journalists remains unclear.

NEW ZEALAND: Dark corners of the web fight back against New Zealand’s strive to restrain the far-right after Christchurch massacre

Independent: Memes, videogames and online chat forums are glorifying the Christchurch attack as governments worldwide press tech giants to clamp down on far-right propaganda. 

NEW ZEALAND: Strong Audiences for RNZ National (Press Release)

RNZ: The second nationwide GfK radio industry survey for 2019 reflects another strong   twelve-month performance for RNZ’s live radio programming with audience increases year-on-year for key weekday programmes and Saturday Morning proving particularly popular for listeners to RNZ National.  

TIMOR LESTE: Timor-Leste free speech, criminal defamation and protecting Maun Bo’ot (‘Big Brother’)

Pacific Media Watch: Proposals to make defamation a crime in Timor-Leste have sparked public debate about a controversial law that could see people jailed for their opinions on popular platforms like Facebook.

TONGA: Controversy over new media appointment in Tonga

RNZ: The state-owned Tonga Broadcasting Commission has been rocked by allegations the appointment of its new Station Manager was done without due process.

REGIONAL: ABC Claims To Be “Best Placed” For Pacific Islands TV Deal, Despite FreeTV Australia Being Awarded $17M Contract

B&T: “We think it should be us”, ABC managing director David Anderson told the government, after FreeTV Australia won a $17 million contract to broadcast Australian content throughout the Pacific Islands.

REGIONAL: Pacific Update, working with social media and curbing fake news

FBC NEWS: Deliberations on the future of Pacific media was a hot topic at the 2019 Pacific Update. A panel of journalists from the Pacific discussed how newsrooms deal with the rise of social media and fake news.

ALBANIA: New Media Law Casts Wider Net

Exit: The new Audio-Visual Media Law, which is part of the “anti-defamation package” announced by Minister of Justice Etilda Gjonaj on July 3, expands the attempt of the Rama government to capture and control all online media.

FRANCE: Nearly one in two French people think that the media frequently convey false information (French)

France24: Nearly one in two French people (48%) think that newspapers and magazines frequently convey false information, a proportion that rises to 52% for television and radio, according to an Ipsos study conducted in 27 countries and published on Friday.

GERMANY: German journalists receive letters containing white powder

Deutsche Welle: Two journalists in Dortmund who report on the far-right have received letters containing a white powder. Dortmund police told DW a special police unit that investigates the far-right has taken on the case.

GERMANY: Germany fines Facebook for underreporting hate speech complaints

Deutsche Welle: The US social media giant has been found guilty of failing to fully report the number of complaints it received, in clear violation of German transparency laws. Facebook may appeal the ruling, saying the law is unclear.

GERMANY: The whole world under your finger (German)

MDR360: About 1.2 million blind and visually impaired people live in Germany. With the help of the technical possibilities of the new media, blind and visually impaired people can communicate with equal rights in society.

GREECE: Anarchists ransack Athens weekly’s headquarters

RSF: A video posted on the newspaper’s YouTube channel shows the extent of the damage caused by the approximately 15 masked individuals who stormed into its offices armed with steel bars at around 3 pm,  methodically smashed office equipment, computers and furniture and threw black paint over the walls. None of the journalists was injured.

GREECE: No confidence in the media (German)

Deutsche Welle: The Greeks have chosen a new government. But the belief in the democratic system is deeply shaken. This is also reflected in the distrust of the media.

ITALY: A Radio Station in Italy Finds Itself on the Frontline of a Populist Attack on the Press

TIME: Every morning for more than two decades, thousands of listeners across Italy tuned in to Radio Radicale to hear the iconic voice of journalist Massimo Bordin hosting the daily newspaper review. 

ITALY: Who guards the writers? Journalists who write about the Mafia and extremist movements in Italy need round-the-clock protection. They are worried about Italy’s deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini will take their protection away 

SAGE Journals: Journalists in Italy are worried about losing their round-the-clock security. Irene Caselli finds out how this is affecting their lives and work

MOLDOVA: Together we are stronger: Social media companies, civil society and the fight against disinformation 

Freedom House: Social media companies must cooperate with local actors to fight election-related disinformation, and international organizations must encourage and support these efforts.

MONTENEGRO: Historic collective agreement improves employees’ rights at public broadcaster RTCG

EFJ: The Trade Union Media of Montenegro (SMCG) signed an historic collective agreement with the public broadcaster Radio Television of Montenegro (RTCG) on 28 June, after three years of collective bargaining. 

POLAND: Poland’s public media serve as propaganda tool

IPI: A recent report by Poland’s Society of Journalists and the Batory Foundation finds that public media in Poland do not fulfil their role as a source of independent and balanced news, but rather function as a propaganda tool for the government.

SLOVAKIA: Slovakia seeks to introduce right of reply for politicians 

Council of Europe: Lawmakers in Slovakia are considering a bill that would legally mandate a right of reply for politicians and public officials who claim their honour or reputation has been damaged in media reports. The bill has been condemned by the Slovak Press Publishers’ Association. 

SPAIN: A new Andalusian radio-television? (Spanish)

Teledetodos: The Professional Association of Journalists of Andalusia (CPPA) has expressed its “deep malaise” after hearing the proposals of each parliamentary group to renew the Board of Directors of the RTVA and the Audiovisual Council of Andalusia. 

SPAIN: The audience turns its back on the news (Spanish)

El País: TVE suffers losses and Mediaset questions the continuity of information. 

UK: Annual Report 2018/19 – a year of creative success, transformation and efficiency

BBC: A strong year for the BBC is today set out in the corporation’s Annual Report. A string of hit programmes saw the BBC pick up more than 180 awards, and in a prolific year there was significant progress on gender pay, record levels of efficiency, and a jump in commercial profits to help fund quality programmes for licence fee payers.

UK: Russia’s RT and Sputnik barred from UK conference on media freedom

The Guardian: Foreign Office says news outlets refused entry over ‘active role in spreading disinformation’. 

UK: UK announces £9 million project to support independent media in Ukraine

Gov.UK: Foreign Office Minister of State Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon announced that the UK is supporting independent media in Ukraine and the wider region through a new £9 million 3 year project, as he attends the Ukraine Reform Conference in Canada

UKRAINE: Ukraine’s public broadcasters want a free press. Can they survive the politics?

PRI: In Ukraine, there’s a tradition: “If you have the media, you are king.” That’s according to Zurab Alasania, the head of the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine, or UA: PBC. 

UKRAINE: Draft bill to allow blocking of internet sites without a court order

Council of Europe: On 4 July 2018, the Ukrainian Parliament’s Committee on security and defence approved a draft bill that would enable prosecution and the National Security and Defence Council to block Internet sites they deem threatening to national security without a court ruling. 

REGIONAL: Western Balkans, media freedom is deteriorating

Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso: Journalists who cover financial and organised crime have become the target not only of criminals, but of state institutions too, especially in countries where the rule of law is weak. 

GENERAL: EBU, RSF and partners launch public consultation on the Journalism Trust Initiative

EBU: The EBU and its partners Reporters without Borders (RSF), Agence France Presse (AFP) and the Global Editors Network (GEN) are pleased to announce the launch of an official public consultation around the Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI). The JTI’s aim is to create a series of standards to identify trustworthy journalism. 

GENERAL: Report by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Mr. Harlem Désir (Report)


BRAZIL: Outcry after reports Brazil plans to investigate Glenn Greenwald

The Guardian: Brazil’s Bar Association, journalists and opposition lawmakers have reacted with outrage to reports that the country’s federal police plan to investigate the bank accounts of an American journalist who published leaked conversations between prosecutors and the graft-busting judge who is now Jair Bolsonaro’s justice minister.

CUBA: Is Cuba trying to outlaw independent media? A new decree will prohibit foreign web hosting

Global Voices: Cuban officials issued a decree law on July 4 that prohibits Cuban citizens from running websites hosted outside of the country dealing a heavy blow to Cuba’s growing independent media sector, where nearly all media sites and blogs take advantage of foreign hosting services and blogging platforms.

COLOMBIA: Colombian freedom of expression organization bets on the development of local journalism in ‘news deserts’

Knight Center: The foundation for Press Freedom in Colombia (FLIP) champions the Ruedas Creando Redes (Wheels Creating Networks) project to bring a mobile journalism lab to 10 municipalities considered information deserts. 

MEXICO: Press freedom summit urges Mexico to reform journalist protections 

CPJ: At CPJ’s Mexico Press Freedom summit, journalists called for the government to change its rhetoric against the press, to reform federal spending on advertisement, to commit to transparency in rooting out illegal surveillance and to end impunity in violence against the press. 

MONTSERRAT: A matter of contempt of court or free speech?

Caribean News Now: A fierce and intense debate has erupted in Montserrat and its diaspora over a directive issued by the island’s High Court Registrar warning about public comments, especially on social media, on an ongoing case before the court.

VENEZUELA: Venezuela releases 22 prisoners after UN report

BBC News: Venezuela released 22 prisoners, including high-profile judge Maria Afiuni and journalist Braulio Jatar, on Thursday, according to the UN. Mr. Jatar was jailed in 2016, after reporting on a protest against President Maduro on Margarita Island. He was later accused of money-laundering. 

GENERAL: One Free Press Coalition’s most urgent cases for July 2019: 10 journalists under threat

Deutsche Welle: Journalists often put their own lives on the line or risk detention for their reporting. With press freedom at risk, the One Free Press Coalition is highlighting these 10 most urgent cases for July 2019.

IRAN: Iran’s draft data protection act: too little but not too late 

Global Voices: A Draft Personal Data Protection Act currently awaiting review in the Iranian Parliament, that apparently aims to protect the personal data of individuals, is instead likely to enable further surveillance and censorship.

TURKEY: Turkey think tank study is ‘blacklisting document’

Deutsche Welle: The list mostly targets foreign media, including DW, for alleged bias against the Turkish government. The journalists’ union has said that the list is another method of intimidation being used by Ankara.

TURKEY: Press freedom violations June 2019 


YEMEN: South Yemeni separatists ransack state news agency in Aden

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns an attack by a South Yemeni separatist group on the office of the state-owned news agency Saba in Aden, in southern Yemen, on 3 July. The armed attackers ransacked the premises but caused no injuries. 

REGIONAL: ‘There’s no free media right now in Kurdistan’: Kamal Chomani

Deutsche Welle: There was great hope for the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan when it was granted autonomy by Iraq in 2003. Yet journalist Kamal Chomani says there is no independent media — and thus limited press freedom.

CANADA: A reporter’s long, failed fight to keep his work on ISIS from the RCMP (Listen)

CBC: For the last four years, Vice reporter Ben Makuch has been fighting to keep communications he had with a suspected ISIS fighter from the RCMP. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, and last week, Makuch and Vice lost their final appeal on this case. Ben Makuch talks to host Jayme Poisson about that journey, and what it might mean for press freedom in Canada. 

CANADA: UK’s BBC forges ‘creative partnership’ with Canada’s CBC

TBI Vision: Canadian public broadcaster CBC has struck a “creative partnership” agreement with UK counterpart the BBC that will see the organisations working together more across genres including drama and factual programming.

CANADA: Canada to champion media freedom at global conference (Press release)

Government of Canada: Canada and the United Kingdom will co-host the first Global Conference for Media Freedom in London, U.K., on July 10 to 11, 2019.

US: Are Local Papers Beyond Saving? A Test in Ohio

Wall Street Journal: After trying to sell the struggling family-run newspaper for the past 18 months, the owners of the Youngstown Vindicator announced that it couldn’t find a buyer and would shut down at the end of the summer. Their collapse may signal a turning point for local newspapers. 

US: Veto by Alaska’s governor threatens funding for state pubcasters (Paywall)

Current: State funding to public broadcasters in Alaska is at risk after Gov. Mike Dunleavy vetoed an appropriation approved by the state legislature.

US: Most Republicans don’t trust fact-checkers, and most Americans don’t trust the media 

Poynter: Almost half of Americans believe that fact-checkers are biased, and the majority of these skeptics are Republican. But fact-checkers are still much more highly trusted than traditional media, a new study from Pew Research Center shows. 

US: Not just one foundation, not just one newsroom: How the Colorado Media Project is trying to rebuild a local news ecosystem

Nieman Lab: “This didn’t take a ton of capital. It just took a lot of willingness on the part of a lot of different folks to collectively figure out what we should do, where are the gaps, and how we can fill them.”

US: Taking The Temperature Of NPR’s Climate Coverage (Opinion)

NPR: NPR listeners and readers have strong and varied opinions about how NPR should apportion its reporting efforts. But over many months, one topic has come up again and again: climate change.

US: U.S. Press Freedom Tracker adds Andy Ngo assault to list of attacks on journalists

Washington Times: According to some leftists and media figures, Andy Ngo isn’t a journalist, but clearly the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker disagrees.

US: New scandals rock Government’s foreign broadcasting service

The New York Times: The United States Agency for Global Media, the government’s foreign broadcast service, already struggling to clean house after a series of scandals last year at flagship operations like Voice of America and TV Martí, is now being rocked by two new cases that have raised further questions about its journalistic and financial management.

A free press is the lifeblood of democracy – journalists must not be silenced (Opinion)

The Guardian: Journalists risk everything to hold power to account, crucial work for which a $1bn global fund should be established

Social media shutdowns restrict the flow of information when it’s needed most

CIMA: Following the tragic terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka earlier this year that killed over 250 people, the government blocked popular social media platforms and messaging apps in an attempt to prevent the spread of misinformation online. However, the ban not only blocked misinformation, it also prevented the spread of reliable and potentially life-saving information.

Streaming could kill UK independent film industry, experts say

The Guardian: Producer highlights how making movies for Netflix is easier than finding funding for cinema releases

The real ‘fake news’: how to spot misinformation and disinformation online (Guide)

CBC: For starters, let’s stop calling it ‘fake news’

Unlocking Journalism Resilience: Adapting a Digital Business Model to Promote Press Freedom

WAN-IFRA: A new report from WAN-IFRA examines how news media companies in Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico are experimenting with their revenues and adapting business models to safeguard press freedom.

What it’s like being a woman in media (Watch)

BBC: In the age of #MeToo, the media industry is changing but some women think it still has a long way to go. Three women from different areas of the industry told the BBC what it’s like for them – and what they think needs to change.

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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: Set of NBC Good Morning Namibia. Credit: PMA