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: Egypt renews Mahmoud Hussein’s detention for 11th time

Aljazeera: Egypt has extended the detention of Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein for an 11th time, 403 days after he was first arrested on bogus charges.

GAMBIA: A year after Jammeh: Free press returns to The Gambia

Aljazeera: While some restrictive laws remain, journalists who were once living in exile are beginning to return to the country.

KENYA: As Kenya Takes Orwellian Turn, Government Goes After Journalists

The New York Times: The government’s response represents the latest chapter in a crackdown on political expression in Kenya, a stable democracy that had seemed to overcome decades of censorship and abuse.

KENYA: Kenyan journalists, fearing arrest, camp out in their newsroom

Reuters: Three Kenyan journalists said on Thursday they spent the night in their newsroom in fear of arrest, watching plainclothes policemen camped outside, and that their lawyers would file court petitions in the morning seeking to ensure their freedom.

KENYA: State refuses to restore TV stations signals

The Daily Nation: The shutdown of NTV, Citizen and KTN enters day seven on Monday (5 Feb), with the Communications Authority showing no signs of obeying a court order directing it to allow the TV stations back on air.

LIBERIA: PUL Condemns ‘Attack’ Against Journalists

Via All Africa: The Press Union of Liberia has strongly condemned violence carried out against Legislative Reporters on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 on the ground of the Capitol.

MAURITANIA: Journalists’ unions launch new campaign in support of the Declaration on Media Freedom in the region (French)

IFJ: The Union of Mauritanian Journalists (SJM), affiliated to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), organized a national event in Nouakchott on 25 January, bringing together more than 70 writers, trade union leaders, academics and human rights organizations. The event concluded with the signing of the Declaration on Freedom of the Media in the Arab World.

NIGERIA: Dogara urges media proprietors to cater for journalists’ needs

The Guardian (Nigeria): Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara yesterday reiterated the call on proprietors of media organizations in the country to pay journalists their salaries and emolument as at when due.

RWANDA: Rwanda’s ambition for tech revolution at odds with government control

San Francisco Chronicle

SOUTH AFRICA: South African Parliament Welcomes Broadcasting Head’s Appointment

All Africa: Former eNCA presenter Chris Maroleng has been appointed as Chief Operations Officer of the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

SOUTH SUDAN: As peace talks resume South Sudan continues its assault on press freedom

CPJ: Ahead of another round of talks scheduled for February 5, the government has continued its years’ long campaign of intimidating journalists.

TANZANIA: Media Told to Spearhead War Against Bad Traditions

Via All Africa: The media were yesterday challenged to spearhead a nationwide public education campaign against all forms of outdated traditions that deny girl children their right to education.

TUNISIA: International NGOs calls for Tunisian government to withdraw draft broadcasting bill that threatens freedom of expression

International Media Support: Thirty six NGOs and professional groups say draft law restricts freedom of expression and independent broadcasting. The undersigned regional and international NGOs join Tunisian organisations in their demands that the government immediately withdraw a draft law on the broadcasting regulator which fails to meet international standards on freedom of expression and independent broadcasting in democratic countries.

WEST AFRICA: MFWA Rolls Out Projects in Six Countries in West Africa

MFWA: The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has commenced two major projects aimed at strengthening the media’s role in promoting transparency and accountability in governance, and improving press freedom in West Africa.

ZIMBABWE: Govt to break ZBC monopoly

The Herald: Acting Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo has said Government is working on introducing new television players in a bid to break the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s monopoly.

REGIONAL: BBC launches Ethiopian and Eritrean radio services

The Citizen: The BBC on Monday launched new daily radio services producing news, current affairs, features and English language training for Ethiopians and Eritreans.

AFGHANISTAN: Journalists in Afghanistan’s northeast strategize on media’s role in peace-building

Relief Web: Local media’s important role in providing accurate information to build trust among communities, and in preventing and resolving conflicts, was stressed by journalists in recent events in the northeastern province of Badakshan.

CAMBODIA: Government Asked Internet Providers to Block Cambodia Daily Site

VOA: The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications has told all internet service providers (ISPs) in the country to block the website of The Cambodia Daily newspaper and its associated social media accounts, including Facebook and Twitter pages, according to documents obtained by VOA Khmer.

CAMBODIA: Cambodia: Media blackout by design

Al Jazeera: Multiple media outlets, both on the airwaves and in print, have been forced to shut down over tax evasion charges that journalists say are simply designed to silence voices of dissent.

CHINA: A Decade of Decline: IFJ launches 10th China Press Freedom Report

IFJ: From the optimism and hope for China leading up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where a more free and open media was promised by China’s leaders to the world, the IFJ reports that reality on the ground is harshly different, with a continuing and disturbing decline in media freedoms in both Mainland China and Hong Kong.

CHINA: China must stop harassing foreign reporters

RSF: With being followed, arrested, roughed up, threatened with expulsion or discovering that pressure has been put on their sources, foreign reporters are finding it increasingly difficult to work in China.

HONG KONG: Journalism NGO reports ‘unprecedented hardship’ for Hong Kong’s media industry and ‘bleak’ trends in China

Hong Kong Free Press: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has noted “unprecedented hardship” in Hong Kong’s media industry in a new report, as well as “an overall negative trajectory for press freedom” in China.

INDIA: I&B min mulls expansion of DD news broadcast to 100 countries

Times of India: The Information and Broadcasting ministry is mulling expansion of Doordarshan’s round-the-clock news broadcast to around 100 countries.

INDIA: Prasar Bharati: India’s public broadcaster (Overview)

SwissInfo: With 67 television studios and 420 radio stations, Prasar Bharati, which is an autonomous body, is one of the largest public service broadcasting corporations in the world.

INDIA: TRAI submits recommendations on Digital Radio Broadcasting in India

Asia Radio Today: The Telecom Regulatory Authority India (TRAI) has submitted its recommendations on Digital Radio Broadcasting in India and said that the government should notify a policy framework for digital radio broadcasting in the country in a time-bound manner with a clear roadmap for roll-out of services to enable smooth transition from analog to digital mode.

INDONESIA: BBC journalist ordered out of Papua over tweets that ‘hurt soldiers’ feelings’

The Guardian: Broadcaster’s Indonesia editor was forced out for tweeting about type of food being sent to tackle malnutrition crisis.

MALDIVES: Amid political turmoil in Maldives, press comes under attack

CPJ:  An opposition-aligned TV station and independent news website have come under threat of closure and cyber attack, respectively, amid an escalating political crisis.

MYANMAR: Myanmar Is Widening Its Crackdown on Reporters Covering the Rohingya Crisis

Time: Two Reuters reporters covering military operations against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority were returned to jail Tuesday after another court appearance in a controversial “official secrets” trial.

NEPAL: Concern over draft bill on National Mass and Communication

Freedom Forum via Ifex: The bill is said to be consolidated, aiming to keep the mass communications sector fair, independent, transparent and professional in order to uphold democratic practice.

PAKISTAN: New report takes a hard look at digital (in)security of journalists in Pakistan

Via IFEX: Digital Rights Foundation’s new report explores the levels of digital threats that journalists face, records their experiences of online insecurity, and flags needed protections from the journalists’ community, their respective media organisations, and the government.

PHILIPPINES: Does the Campus Journalism Act protect press freedom?

Rappler: Press freedom advocates argue that the Campus Journalism Act has, in itself, flaws that compromise press freedom.

THAILAND: Thailand tops internet usage charts

Bangkok Post: Thailand is the world leader for time spent on the internet and mobile internet per day, a consequence of higher social media use and the popularity of online video consumption.

UZBEKISTAN: Free After Nine Years, Uzbek Activist Says Tortured In Prison

RFERL: An Uzbek journalist and rights activist says he was tortured in prison and is looking forward to getting on with his life after nine years behind bars.

SINGAPORE: Understanding Singapore’s undying love for commercial radio

The Drum: There is an assumption that with the rise of streaming on-demand and Internet radio in the past couple of years, commercial radio broadcasting has lost its lustre as listeners flock online to digital channels.

AUSTRALIA: ABC dismantles sound libraries and axes staff to improve budget

The Guardian: Libraries ‘culled’ in favour of single space in Melbourne and 10 staff made redundant.

AUSTRALIA: Cabinet files: Rudd launches legal action against the ABC over report

SBS: Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has launched legal proceedings against the ABC following a report about the home insulation scheme.

AUSTRALIA: Journalism inquiry recommends tax deductions for news media subscriptions

The Guardian: Report urges review of defamation laws and audit of restrictions on national security and border protection reporting

AUSTRALIA: New bill would make Australia worst in the free world for criminalising journalism (Opinion)

The Conversation: Would the ABC’s publication of confidential cabinet documents would be in breach of a proposed government bill?

AUSTRALIA: Stories like The Cabinet Files could land Australian journalists in jail if espionage laws are changed

ABC News: Last week, ABC News reported that ASIO officers had retrieved a huge cache of confidential documents from ABC offices — the so-called Cabinet Files. Those documents were used to report stories that in our view, were unequivocally in the public interest and did not threaten national security.

NAURU: NZ minister confident Nauru will give journalists free rein

RNZ: The New Zealand Pacific Peoples Minister says he is confident journalists will not face barriers to reporting when they visit Nauru during this year’s Pacific Islands Forum summit.

NEW ZEALAND: Media companies move to appeal Court’s merger block

RNZ: Media companies Stuff and NZME are seeking leave to appeal the decision by the High Court to reject the merger they had proposed.

GENERAL: Asia-Pacific welcomes the new year – with declining freedom, rights, and democracy

Ifex: A disturbing regional trend in 2017 is still evident in the first month of the new year, which featured a threat to close down Rappler news website in the Philippines, the revival of criminal libel law in Samoa, and the filing of a draconian espionage bill in Australia.

GENERAL: Media urged to raise awareness about climate change

Scoop.co.nz: Asia-Pacific media urged to raise awareness about effects of climate change on the region’s agriculture and food systems

GENERAL: Refugee and journalist: Who are the ‘infogees’ in Oceania?

PFF via Ifex: Governments need to recognise a new category of refugee for the information age, says PFF, the Pacific Freedom Forum.

FINLAND: Finnish broadcaster targets youth vote with anime-inspired video

The Japan Times: On Jan. 27, the day before Finland’s presidential election, a Finnish social media news and current affairs service called Kioski released an election video that caused a stir online, receiving over 700,000 views since its release.

FRANCE: Public media reform: the tracks for the offer in the regions (French)

Les Echos: The heads of the public broadcasting groups gave copies of their cooperation proposals to the Ministry of Culture a few days ago. They had to propose more precise ways of cooperation on five projects defined by Francoise Nyssen at the end of December.

FRANCE: Françoise Nyssen: “On Mathieu Gallet, the CSA has decided in all independence” (Interview – French)

Journal du Dimanche: In an interview at the JDD, the Minister of Culture Françoise Nyssen reacts after the dismissal of the president of Radio France. She also gives the contours of the public media reform and the law against “fake news”.

GREECE: Greece Launches First DAB+ Transmission

Radio World: Athens-area pilot broadcasts cover much of country

ITALY: Facebook against fake news also in Italy, ahead of the elections (Italian)

Wired: The anti-hoax decalogue is back, also published in national newspapers: Facebook ahead of the elections, is preparing a system for checking the news by relying on Pagella Politica.

ITALY: Italian broadcasters take sports TV rights

Advanced Television: Leading Italian broadcasters RAI, Mediaset, Sky Italia and Discovery Italia have secured important deals for major sporting events.

ITALY: Italian journalists denounce sexual harassment in open letter

The Local.it: Over 100 Italian women journalists have denounced harassment in the media industry in a manifesto in which they call on their bosses and colleagues to “join the cultural battle” against entrenched sexism.

KOSOVO: A violent year for Kosovo’s journalists

SEENPM: Last year in Kosovo 24 cases of threats and attacks on journalists have been registered.

MALTA: Malta journalists face SLAPP threat even as criminal libel repeal proceeds

IPI: Libel abuses again in spotlight following Caruana Galizia murder


Broadband TV News: The Dutch public broadcaster NPO will also change to DVB-T2/HEVC for its free-to-air DTT transmissions.

SERBIA: Opposition parties protest against state broadcaster

B92: Several opposition parties and movements on Sunday held a protest in front of the headquarters of the Radio-Television of Serbia (RTS).

POLAND: Polish public broadcaster veers from impartial mission

IPI: Anti-opposition programming reflects long-standing tradition in Poland of politicising TVP

SERBIA: Radio Television of Serbia Broadcasts all Channels via SES Video

Markets Insider: Serbian public broadcaster RTS now transmits its entire bouquet of nine TV channels and four radio stations via Astra 5 degrees East, following an extension deal between SES and Telekom Srbija.

SPAIN: Adherence to the Declaration of independence and democratization of RTVE (Statement)

Teledetodos: Statement calling for the implementation of a series of concrete measures to ensure an open system in which the President of RTVE and Chairpersons are chosen on an independent and competitive basis.

SPAIN: Group: 2017 was ‘year of crimes of opinion’ in Spain

IPI: Madrid-based free expression platform highlights use of ‘gag law’ to fine journalists and the prosecution of artists and Twitter users

SPAIN: Pedro Sánchez: “The urgent thing is to renew the Board of Directors of RTVE, it is not the most important …it is the most urgent” (Spanish)

InfoLibre: What is urgent is the renewal of the Board of Directors, and the election of a new president to replace José Antonio Sánchez; what is important, is a new business model that stops the lack of staff or research and reduces the outsourcing of a good part of the programming.

SPAIN: Wage discrimination in public media (Spanish)

El Plural: TVE increases inequality while EITB applies its second equality plan

SWEDEN: Proposals for change of basis are criticized (Swedish)

Swedish Radio: A number of representatives of the publishers, including Sweden’s Radio CEO Cilla Benkö, write a debate article in Svenska Dagbladet where proposals for amendments to the freedom of expression are questioned.

SWITZERLAND: Over 1,000 people gather to oppose ‘No Billag’ initiative

Swissinfo.ch: Trade unions and concerned citizens gathered yesterday evening in the square outside the Swiss parliament to protest against the initiative to abolish the licence fees that fund public broadcasting in the country.

SWITZERLAND: Swiss public broadcaster SRG signs new agreement with audiovisual industry

Telecompaper: Swiss public broadcaster SRG SSR has renewed its cooperation agreement with the representatives of the audiovisual industry, for 2018-2020. The agreement regulates cooperation in TV production between SRG, its business units, the subsidiary TPC and audiovisual industry associations.

UK: At the BBC, gender pay gap concerns become a crisis

CJR: Ever since Carrie Gracie stepped down as China editor in early January, citing the corporation’s “secretive and illegal” pay culture, BBC managers have faced an open revolt by senior female journalists at the broadcaster, and a public relations nightmare.

UK: Carrie Gracie tells MPs of BBC pay ‘insult’

BBC News: Former BBC China editor Carrie Gracie has said she is “very angry” about the way the BBC has treated some female members of staff.

UK: How the BBC and the Guardian tell stories on mobile

Global Editors Network via Medium: The visuals editors of the BBC and the Guardian open up about how they approach stories, the key principles they follow, the mix of skills in their teams and the rivals they admire

UK: The BBC World Service’s coverage of humanitarian crises

Humanitarian Journalism: Mainstream news organisations are regularly criticised for either under-reporting or completely omitting humanitarian crises from their coverage. Research recently published by Care International showed that 1/3 of people in need of aid in 2017 received only 2.5% of media coverage.

REGIONAL: Measuring the reach of “fake news” and online disinformation in Europe

Reuters Institute: “We believe that online disinformation is an important issue that the public, publishers, platform companies, policymakers, and other stakeholders should pay serious attention to. But overall, our analysis of the available evidence suggests that false news has more limited reach than is sometimes assumed.

GENERAL: There is consensus in the media community about creating transparency in the media sector

Safe Journalists: The media community-supported initiative for adoption of a legal framework that will ensure transparency of media ownership and financing and regulate advertising segment.

ARGENTINA: Hernán Lombardi denied dismissals on Public TV (Spanish)

La Capital: The head of the public media said that they will not close Encuentro, Pakapaka and DeporTV.

BRAZIL: Ahead of elections, Brazil’s police announce plan to crackdown on ‘fake news’


BRAZIL: Challenges and strategies to combat fake news in Brazil’s 2018 elections

Ijnet: Presidential election years are always turbulent for journalists, and it is no different in Brazil.

MEXICO: Journalists are fleeing for their lives in Mexico. There are few havens

Los Angeles Times: Last year, reporters and photographers turned up dead in Mexico at a rate of about one per month, making it the most dangerous country in the world for journalists after war-torn Syria.

LEBANON: Lebanese authorities less tolerant of media criticism

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is concerned about an increase in judicial proceedings in Lebanon against media outlets critical of the authorities or their allies, including two recent or ongoing cases of journalists being prosecuted just for doing their job.

SYRIA: ‘Everything is a red flag’: The challenges of the new media movement in Syria

Journalism.co.uk: Lina Shaikhouni, a member of the Arabic Team at BBC Monitoring, talks disinformation, objectivity and verification

SYRIA: The Syrian Female Journalists Network Is Bringing More Women’s Voices Into News Coverage

GirlTalkHQ: The Syrian Female Journalists Network was founded by Milia Eidmouni and her friend Rula Asad in late 2012 with a mission not only to amplify the voices of female journalists in Syria and help them get into positions of leadership, but also to help elevate the women’s movement and gender issues in general.

GENERAL: Arab Data Journalists’ Network, a driving force for change in the region

IJNET: The website — in Arabic, English and French — features training materials, resources, tools and techniques for data-generated storytelling. There are postings of local and international news, articles and advice from experts in the field.

CANADA: Canadian media wants to fight piracy by blocking websites. That’s got some worried

CBC Radio: A coalition of Canadian media companies and cultural organizations, including the CBC, have banded together to stop internet piracy. The group — called FairPlay Canada — want the CRTC to block websites which promote piracy.

CANADA: TVO launches 3rd-party investigation into Steve Paikin over sexual harassment allegations

CBC News: Ontario’s public broadcaster has launched a third-party investigation into journalist Steve Paikin over allegations of sexual harassment made by a former Toronto mayoral candidate.

US: 34 arrests, 44 physical attacks, and more chilling numbers from the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker’s first year

Freedom of the Press Foundation: In August of last year, Freedom of the Press Foundation launched the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a first-of-its-kind project that aimed to document and count every press freedom violation in the United States. In just six months, we have now logged over 125 press freedom incidents.

US: Can public radio powerhouse WNYC navigate a crisis of its own making?

Nieman Lab

US: Fake news sharing in US is a rightwing thing, says study

The Guardian: University of Oxford project finds Trump supporters consume largest volume of ‘junk news’ on Facebook and Twitter.

US: Public media executives grapple with how to prevent harassment

Current: As public media leaders examine how to fix startling problems of sexual harassment within their newsrooms and program teams, they are reckoning with painful truths about how to correct unhealthy dynamics in their workplaces.

US: The story of US public media

Swissinfo.ch: Public media in the United States is a decentralized service that provides content across broadcast and digital platforms. The organizations are not governmental agencies, but rather local public institutions funded by a mix of federal funds, individual supporters and corporate and foundation sponsors.

US: YouTube’s latest counter-propaganda effort lumps PBS with state media from China and Russia

Quartz: YouTube has a new feature that will label certain news channels that have received funding from governments, a change that comes as social networks wrestle with how to contain the spread of misinformation online. It already looks set to be a contentious move.

GENERAL: TV and search engines people’s first choices for political information

Journalism Research News: Where do people choose to get political information, and how much do they learn from it? Researchers analyzed data from a national sample of U.S. adults from 2011 and 2012, measuring for political knowledge of the

Advice for navigating the vital but vulnerable world of freelance journalism

Journalism.co.uk: From getting writing experience to finding your passion, one freelance journalist and two editors give their tips for making it as a freelance writer.

At Climate Feedback, scientists encourage better science reporting. But who is listening?

CJR: The Earth is 15 years away from a “mini ice age” “that will cause bitterly cold winters during which rivers such as the Thames freeze over.” That was the claim that kicked off an article in The Telegraph in July 2015.

Financial journalism is limited in its influence

Journalism Research News: After the global financial crisis in 2007-2008, financial journalism has often been criticized for not fulfilling its role as a watchdog for businesses and the financial sector.

Notoriously hard on moms, the news business isn’t getting much better

CJR: With the rights of women in the workplace front and center at this moment—and what a rare moment it is—it’s an ideal time to examine other policies (or lack thereof) that leave women at a disadvantage in their careers.

Turned upside down: fake news and the future of the media (Interview)

Green European Journal

Turns out people really like podcasts after all (and now we have numbers to prove it)


Twitter has been ignoring its fake account problem for years

CJR: Fake accounts have boosted the size of Twitter’s user base, critics say, making the company more valuable in the eyes of investors.

Who chooses partisan news over balanced reporting?

Journalism Research News: Why do people sometimes choose to read partisan news, but select balanced stories at other times?

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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.

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Header image: TV-Studio. Credits: freie-kreation/istock.