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.

BOTSWANA: It’s official: Btv favours the BDP

Mmegi Online: The Ombudsman, Augustine Makgonatsotlhe has found that Botswana Television (Btv) is biased towards the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).

CAMEROON: Cameroon Threatens Cable TV Operators Shutdown for Hosting Pro-Secession Channel

The East African: The Cameroonian government has threatened to shut down all cable television distributors “for broadcasting seditious and hurtful programmes”.

EGYPT: UN condemns Egypt’s widening ‘assault on free speech’

Aljazeera: Rights experts say Egypt’s blocking of some 130 websites looks ‘more like repression than counter-terrorism’.

GABON: Gabon to deny opposition access to state media

Africa News: Minister of Communication and spokesman for Gabon, Alain Claude Bilie By Nze, has said opponents who do not recognize the authorities in place will not have access to state media.

KENYA: How social media and fake news are battering traditional media in Kenya (Analysis)

The Conversation: The recent Kenyan elections firmly demonstrated the incursion and perhaps even gradual institutionalisation of fake news as an actor in modern politics, particularly during elections.

KENYA: Kenyan democracy cannot take shape until its media step up


KENYA: Police issue new warning to online hate mongers

Daily Nation: The National Police Service and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission warned that anyone spreading hate speech on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms would be arrested and charged.

LIBERIA: UN Women Supports Liberia Broadcasting System to Promote Gender Equality

Front Page Africa: The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) today signed an agreement with the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in Liberia through the ‘Women’s Radio Project.’

MAURITANIA: Top Journalists under Siege

MFWA: Police in Mauritania have arrested and interrogated four senior journalists in connection with what it terms “trans-border crimes.”

MAURITIANA: Wave of media interrogations in Mauritania

RSF: Mauritanian journalists have been arrested and interrogated at length by the police for the third time this year, in what Reporters Without Borders (RSF) regards as an attempt by the authorities to reinforce their control of the independent media.

MOZAMBIQUE: Mozambique sites digital TV migration completion as priority

Rapid TV News: The conclusion of Mozambique’s migration to digital terrestrial television (DTT) and the expansion of the African country’s mobile network have been earmarked as priorities by the Government.

NAMIBIA: New Media Ombudsman Against Single Internet Gateway

The Namibian: New media ombudsman John Nakuta yesterday said government should discard the notion of regulating the media through a single telecoms internet gateway.

SOMALIA: Somalia acquires control software for social media

Telecompaper: The Somali government is in the final process of storing software equipment meant to control or limit social media for security reasons, Radio Dalsan reported citing sources.

SOUTH AFRICA: Parliament: Communications committee works against clock to finalise permanent SABC board picks

Daily Maverick: Recommendations to fill the permanent 12-strong SABC board are set to be finalised on Tuesday by Parliament’s communications committee.

SOUTH AFRICA: South African Broadcasting Board Candidates Grilled by Committee

All Africa: The South African Broadcasting Corporation’s interim board has changed the broadcaster’s tarnished image, John Matisonn told the portfolio committee on communications. This comes as Matisonn and his peers faced the first round of interviews for new members of the public broadcaster’s permanent board.

ZAMBIA: MISA, IBA welcome govt’s plan to table Access to Information bill in parliament

Lusaka Times: The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) has commended government’s pronouncement that the much anticipated Access to Information (A.T.I) Bill will be presented to parliament next month.

ZIMBABWE: Mugabe’s Media Legacy

Aljazeera: As Mugabe responds to reports that his wife assaulted someone, we examine the president’s media tactics.

CAMBODIA: Cambodian paper closes shop, lamenting drift to ‘dictatorship’

France24: The forced closure of The Cambodia Daily, a highly regarded broadsheet that helped foster independent journalism in the Southeast Asian country, marks the latest step in an escalating crackdown on freedom of speech.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong scraps 24-hour BBC World Service radio channel despite criticism

Reuters: Hong Kong’s public broadcaster RTHK dropped a 24-hour BBC World Service channel from its airwaves on Monday, replacing it with state radio from China in what critics say is a sign of encroaching Chinese control in the former British colony.

INDIA: As Social Media Heat Rises, Media Houses Worry About What Journalists Are Tweeting

The Wire: The debate over how much journalists should reveal on social media about their political preferences has become even more relevant as the polity and society get increasingly polarised.

INDIA: India issues sweeping rule on internet shut-offs

CPJ: India’s communication ministry on August 7 issued a rule that allows the government to temporarily shut down internet and telecommunications services in the event of “a public emergency or public safety [issue].” The rule does not specify what the government considers a public emergency, or a threat.

KYRGYZSTAN: Court Shuts Down Independent TV Channel

Institute for War & Peace Reporting: Human rights activists and media experts have warned that the government’s closure of an independent television channel is the latest in a series of politically-motivated attacks on freedom of speech in Kyrgyzstan.

MALAYSIA: RTM Sabah-Malaysia launches radio app

ABU: Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) has launched a mobile application to enable local communities to tune in and listen to any Sabah RTM radio stations.

MYANMAR: BBC Burma pulls Myanmar TV deal over Rohingya ‘censorship’

The Straits Times: The BBC’s Burmese language service on Monday (Sept 4) said it was pulling a broadcasting deal with a popular Myanmar television channel citing “censorship” as the two partners clashed over coverage of the Muslim Rohingya minority.  

NEPAL: Express yourself: asking fresh questions with Facebook Live in Nepal

BBC Media Action: Social media is providing a platform for young voices in a new programme called Taja Sawal (Fresh Questions) in Nepal.

PHILIPPINES: Duterte oks higher fines for fake news

Rappler: The publication of false news now comes with a fine of P40,000 to P200,000 from the previous fine of just P200 to P1,000.

SOUTHEAST ASIA: Should governments regulate freedom of expression?

Rappler: Political experts agree that fake news and social media threaten democracy in Southeast Asia

SOUTH KOREA: Court issues warrant to detain MBC president for labor probe

Yonhap News: Seoul court issued a warrant to detain the chief of public broadcaster MBC for a week for an investigation into alleged unfair labor practices, prosecutors said Friday.

SOUTH KOREA: KBS World launches 24-hour English radio channel

The Korea Times: KBS World Radio launched an all-English radio channel, with its first program “KBS World Radio News.” It began broadcasting at 5 p.m., Monday (4 Sept).

THAILAND: Govt sedition cases breed fear, says HRW

Bangkok Post: The regime should stop bringing sedition charges against people who criticise the government as it feeds a climate of fear, a seminar was told.

AUSTRALIA: A window into the nation

ABC News: The ABC’s flagship radio current affairs program AM turns 50 this week. Look back on some of its greatest moments.

AUSTRALIA: ABC Commercial agreed to trial: NewsMaven

The Australian: The chief executive of ad tech firm NewsMaven has confirmed ABC Commercial executives agreed to a trial that would involve “testing” advertiser demand for the national broadcaster’s content.

AUSTRALIA: SBS-Australia kicked off its VR Projects

ABU: SBS recently launched ‘Untold Australia’ season two, with Inside Manus, the first of three new virtual reality (VR) projects.

AUSTRALIA: Xenophon proposes media bill compromise as Labor threatens parliament chaos

The Guardian: Stalled media bill set to return to Senate, while Labor protests Joyce’s refusal to step down until citizenship case heard by high court.

FIJI: FBC- Fiji Upgrades AM signal

ABU: Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) , in association with the Japanese government and their Grant Aid Programme, has upgraded its AM signal.

NEW ZEALAND: TVNZ’s profit plummets 89 percent

Newsroom: State-owned Television New Zealand posted an 89 percent drop in full-year profit after taking a $12.4 million write-down on the value of an “onerous” contract for content from the Disney studio and some $4.5m of restructuring costs.

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: New report highlights the poor working conditions of BiH journalists

EFJ: A Special report on the status and cases of threats against journalists in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) was published on Monday 28 August 2017 by the Institution of Human Rights Ombudsman of BiH. The publication highlights the very bad employment status of journalists in the country, as well as the increase of violence, harassment and attacks against them.

CYPRUS: Newly launched Arabic service strengthens the voice of Cyprus, says CNA Board Chairman

Cyprus News Agency: The new website of the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) in Arabic is here and aims to strengthen the voice of Cyprus, said CNA Board Chairman Larkos Larkou.

CZECH REPUBLIC: The gradual takeover of the Czech media system (Article)

via CIMA: Changes in the ownership structure of mainstream Czech dailies are transforming what had been a relatively stable Czech media environment over the previous 20 years.

ESTONIA: Estonia defends ban on Russian ‘pseudo media’

euobserver: Estonia’s EU presidency has claimed the right to ban Russian reporters from its events if it deemed them guilty of “subversive activities”.

FINLAND: Court defends Yle in Panama Papers tax case

Yle: Last year Finnish tax authorities ordered public broadcaster Yle to hand over documents leaked from the Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca. On Wednesday a court ruled that the Tax Administration has no right to demand the data.

FINLAND: Finland Goes Digital as Public Broadcaster Yle Launches Content Creator Hub

The Video Ink: Yle, the national public broadcast network of Finland, announced today the launch of a new digital platform for millennial content creators, along with microfunding opportunities to support new creative content.

FRANCE: Public broadcasting: the licence fee reform will not take place in 2018 (French)

Le Monde: The public broadcasting companies demanded an extension of the fee to all modes of reception of television and radio.

GEORGIA: OSCE expert ‘not convinced’ Georgia needs media ombudsman

OC MEDIA: The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media has said he ‘is not convinced’ that Georgia needs a media ombudsman. The announcement comes in response to Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s 6 March initiative to establish the position.

GERMANY: Half of Germans support single ministry for digital policy

Telecompaper: Nearly half of Germans (48%) support the idea of creating a single ministry to manage digital policy in the country.

GERMANY: Germany’s fight against fake news: Can it work?

CIMA: The fight against misinformation in media continues to ramp up. We are witnessing an explosion of proposed solutions and approaches in how to best filter “fake news.” Many foundations, NGOs, and tech platforms are putting money into media literacy, fact-checking and financial support for news outlets as ways to combat the spread of misinformation.

GERMANY: Linear TV 80% of TV consumption

Advanced Television: An RTL study has revealed that linear TV still dominates TV consumption in Germany, accounting for 80 per cent of Germans’ daily time spent watching TV and film content, but this drops to 60 per cent for 14-25 year-olds.

IRELAND: RTÉ to offer improved redundancy terms to 300 staff

The Irish Times: RTÉ is to seek as many as 300 redundancies – more than had initially been expected – when it announces a cost-cutting programme to staff on Thursday.

ITALY: Orfeo: “RAI will change, new channels and less headlines, but new certainties for resources” (Interview – Italian)

Repubblica: Less than three months after his assignment, Rai’s general manager, Mario Orfeo, charts with the newspaper Repubblica a first budget and on the eve of the new season, faces the most current issues on the agenda: information, news plan, service agreement, financial resources, the path towards the media company, the renewal of Vespa, the web and Gabanelli, the return of Benigni.

SOUTH EAST EUROPE: Journalism in Times of Crisis: Case Studies in Six SEE Countries

ECPMF: A study on the way the media in 6 South-eastern European countries have reported on recent socio-political crises.

SPAIN: TVE issued as its own information the argument of the PP about the statement of Rajoy in the ‘Gürtel case’ (Spanish)

InfoLibre: The directorate of TVE’s “Informativos” used the newscasts to spread the argument of the Partido Popular in the coverage of the statement as a witness of the President of the Government, Mariano Rajoy, before the National Court for the so-called Gürtel case.

SWITZERLAND: Public broadcaster to increase disabled-friendly content

Swissinfo.ch: The Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) has agreed to increase its offerings for a visually and hearing impaired audience.

UK: BBC’s 100 Women Challenge will report from four cities with solutions journalism angle

Journalism.co.uk: The project will focus on four issues affecting women today and their possible solutions, looking for contributions from those on the ground

UK: Reuters Institute report highlights UK readers’ behaviours on desktop when news breaks, and the 3 news brands that come on top

Journalism.co.uk: The latest study from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism looks at the differences in news consumption habits among UK readers who access news on desktop.

UK: The state of Channel 4 (Opinion)

Open Democracy: It should be much easier for Channel 4, unburdened by the in-house inertia of other broadcasters, to address the “nations and regions deficit” that disfigures the broadcasting sector. Is it time to relocate?

UKRAINE: Foreign Journalists Barred or Expelled

HRW: Ukrainian authorities have detained and expelled several foreign journalists in recent weeks, most recently Russian reporter Anna Kurbatova, Human Rights Watch said today. In just over a month, the Security Services of Ukraine (SBU) have expelled or denied entry to at least five foreign journalists.

WESTERN EUROPE: Digital Initiatives Look to Give Radio a Boost in Western Europe

eMarketer: Digital radio is getting a boost in Western Europe. UK-based Radioplayer recently announced a deal to put smart radios in Audi automobiles, while Radio France will soon let its listeners curate their own playlist of the public service broadcaster’s content.

ARGENTINA: Argentina’s The Bubble wants to spread English-language news model across Latin America

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: Many of the writers at Argentine digital news site The Bubble have spent time helping to fill the pages of the 140-year-old Buenos Aires Herald, Latin America’s oldest English-language newspaper. In recent years, both publications, The Bubble and The Herald, have worked from Buenos Aires to inform the country’s English-speaking community about politics, culture and the economy. But that’s where the similarities end.

ARGENTINA: Cooperation agreement between the System of Public Media and Content and Unesco (Spanish)

Télam: Media and Public Affairs Minister Hernán Lombardi and Unesco’s Deputy Director-General for Culture, Francesco Bandarin, ratified a mutual cooperation agreement Wednesday at the CCK to generate lasting communication channels and work jointly on joint projects and programs.

BARBADOS: Time to revisit the role of the CBC (Opinion)

Barbados Today

BRAZIL: Brazilian initiatives seek to increase gender and racial diversity of journalistic sources

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: A series of initiatives that have emerged in Brazil in recent years have sought to increase the presence of women and experts of color as journalistic sources. The intention is to bring more diversity into the public debate and to transform the representation of these social groups in media, which mostly choose white men to be specialists and voices of authority in their stories.

MEXICO: Public media sign agreement to share audiovisual contents (Spanish)

20 Minutos: In order to provide certainty for the transmission of audiovisual materials and to generate quality products, the Public Broadcasting System of the Mexican State (SPR) and RED Mexico signed a collaboration agreement.

MEXICO: The OECD and public TV (Spanish)

Sin Embargo: In addition to making very clear recommendations to diminish the preponderance of America Movil and Televisa, the OECD devoted an important space to public television in the study on telecommunications and broadcasting in Mexico 2017, which was presented at a public event last week.

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: Govt to pay creators for TTT content

T&T Guardian: Content creators will be paid by the Government to produce local content for broadcast with the revamped Trinidad and Tobago Television (TTT). However, whilst TTT will have its “own” advertisers, content creators will also be encouraged to acquire their own advertisers.

VENEZUELA: Organization renews demand for access to information law in Venezuela despite polarized political climate

Knight Center for Journalism: Access to public information in Venezuela is a guarantee established in the country’s Constitution. However, in reality, if a journalist or citizen wants to know the salary of a public official or the amount of money spent during an electoral campaign, for example, the response in many cases will range from “we don’t know” to “we cannot respond.”

VENEZUELA: Reporting in Venezuela: ‘The fear has become real’

Deutsche Welle: The situation for media professionals in Venezuela has become increasingly dangerous. But according to journalist Gustavo Hernandez, social media and the country’s hunger for information is keeping the news media alive.

IRAQ: NRT office in Iraqi Kurdistan attacked

CPJ: Video footage aired by the channel showed what appeared to be a group of men entering the building and ripping down the station’s rooftop sign.

ISRAEL: Israel suspends decision to bar Al Jazeera journalist

Reuters: Israel on Wednesday backtracked from a decision to revoke the accreditation of an Al Jazeera journalist, saying he explained that comments he made last year did not amount to support for Palestinian violence.

PALESTINE: Palestinian journalists face crackdown as Abbas tightens grip on media

The Guardian: The leader of the Palestinian Authority is looking to increase his reach amid power struggles with rivals.

TURKEY: 171 journalists behind bars in Turkey: Main opposition CHP report

Hurriyet Daily News: There are currently 171 Turkish journalists in jail in the country, according a report prepared by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) following a workshop last week.

US: CPB to Provide Emergency Grants to Areas Devastated by Hurricane Harvey

CPB: The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) today announced that it will provide up to $500,000 in emergency funds to public television and radio stations in areas of Texas and Louisiana devastated by Hurricane Harvey. These grants will help stations continue to provide lifesaving news and information to their communities by helping address some of the increased operating costs due to the extraordinary storm damage.

US: Kentucky public TV station gives suspended students a turn behind the cameras

Current: An educational initiative developed by a Kentucky public broadcaster is turning teens who have been suspended from school into TV producers.

US: The New York Times is building out a new philanthropic arm in search of nonprofit funding for its journalism

Nieman Lab: The New York Times will now also be competing for philanthropic funding for journalism.

5 Ways digital journalism puts audience at the centre

Data Driven Journalism: At The Coral Project, journalists have been working on ways to bring the communities they serve to the forefront of reporting. As inspiration, they collected 16 examples of audience-centred journalism. We roundup the top five of these below.

8 global news habits you probably didn’t know about


Editorial transparency in computational journalism

Data Driven Journalism: With computational methods also becoming more prevalent in the newsroom – including data journalism, curated news feeds, automated writing, social media analytics, and news recommender systems – we should hold ourselves to the same standards by making ourselves accountable and our processes transparent.

Four types of “fake news”

Journalism Research News: So-called fake news have become a widely discussed topic especially since the 2016 presidential elections in the United States. The concept and the term, however, are older, write Edson C. Tandoc Jr., Zheng Wei Lim and Richard Ling, all of Nanyang Technological University. The authors searched for scholarly articles using the term and analysed the publications they found.

From civil to cesspool: Local news battles offensive comments


Giving data soul: Best practices for ethical data journalism

Data Driven Journalism: For centuries, journalists have been affirming this statement by combining data and interviews to create content that informs and inspires change. It is no surprise, then, that data journalism, which transforms numbers into impactful graphics and enlightening narratives, has become a popular medium for journalists.

Government and corporations hinder journalists with ‘media capture’

CJR: Around the world, many media organizations are not truly independent.

Podcasting — Digital Audio at its Storytelling Best

OSF Journalism: Is a good podcast the same as good radio? It can be, but not always.

RIPE@2017: Public Service Media In The Networked Society (Publication)

RIPE: The theme for RIPE@2017 Reader, the eighth book in our series of peer-reviewed edited books published by Nordicom, assesses characteristics, dynamics and implications of the networked society in relation to public service media [PSM].

Silicon Valley and the media: the problem or the solution?

RNZ: The profits of Apple, Google and Facebook soar while the bottom lines of news media companies slump. Trust in news has been dented by a surge in ‘fake news’ online. Silicon Valley is clearly part of the news media’s problem, but will it also be part of the solution?

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