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

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CHAD: Chad Plunged into Social Media Blackout: No Government Explanation Forthcoming

AFEX: Internet users in Chad have been denied access to social media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp. The government and service providers have given no reason for the restriction.

EGYPT: Egyptian and foreign media harassed over electoral fraud stories

RSF: The Egyptian authorities have tolerated no criticism of the elections, and have counter-attacked via the National Election Authority (NEA) and the Supreme Media Council (SMC), defending the use of material incentives as legitimate and accusing the media of acting in a non-professional manner.

EGYPT: Egypt raids independent website, arrests editor over election coverage

CPJ: Since April 1, Egyptian authorities have shuttered Masr al-Arabia’s office in Cairo, arrested its editor-in-chief, and levied a fine against the website after it allegedly violated election regulations, according to news reports.

ETHIOPIA: Why New Ethiopian PM’s First Priority Should Be Free Expression

All Africa: Though it may come with risks, it would be in the government’s own interests to encourage open dialogue and constructive criticism, writes William Davison for African Arguments.

MAURITANIA: Mauritania Continues Crackdown on Anti-Slavery Journalism and Activism

MFWA: The authorities in Mauritania have detained and expelled a French-Moroccan photojournalist who was conducting research on slavery.

MOZAMBIQUE: Parliament Asked to Defend Freedom of Expression

Via All Africa: Representatives of several prominent Mozambican civil society organisations on Tuesday delivered a petition to Veronica Macamo, chairperson of the country’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, calling on the Assembly to intervene in defence of freedom of expression.

NIGER: MFWA Calls for an End to Clampdown on Media, Civil Society in Niger

MFWA: The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) is deeply concerned about recent violations of press freedom and freedom of assembly by the authorities in Niger, and calls for an immediate end to the crackdown.

NIGERIA: Media to review bills, policies before passage, execution, says Lagos governement

The Guardian (Nigeria): The Lagos State government has pledged to allow the media to review bills and policies before they are passed or implemented.

SIERRA LEONE: Sierra Leone Joins Global Trend: Shuts Down Internet and Mobile Services during Elections

AFEX: The government of Sierra Leone has joined the trend of government-mandated Internet shutdowns during important national events such as elections.

GENERAL: Africa round-up: Internet censorship, Cambridge Analytica ripples and more

IFEX: It was an eventful month on the continent with the approval of an amendment in South Africa regulating online content and the consideration of a bill seeking to restrict freedom of expression and media freedom, a disturbing trend of attacks on journalists by political party loyalists, the deportation of a photojournalist from Mauritania, and the spreading tentacles of the Cambridge Analytica scandal in Africa.

ARMENIA: Mounting concern about press freedom in Armenia

RSF: As Armen Sarkissian, the first Armenian president to elected by parliament, prepares to take office on 9 April, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) points out that halting the decline in media freedom will be a major task facing Armenia’s government.

AZERBAIJAN: Azerbaijan goes to the polls amid muzzled media and blocked websites

CPJ: Throwing journalists in jail, abducting them from abroad, accusing them of financial misdeeds, blocking websites, hacking social media accounts, imposing travel bans: this is not an exhaustive list of the tactics Ilham Aliyev’s government has used to try to ensure the independent media are muzzled and critical voices silenced.

CHINA: How China is trying to export its soft power

DW: In recent months, China’s Communist Party has been setting up an international soft power network, while consolidating domestic media to shore up its image at home. William Yang reports from Taipei.

HONG KONG: New 3-year contract for Leung Ka-wi as head of Hong Kong’s public broadcaster RTHK

South China Morning Post: Leung, who can remain in the post until 2021, thanked staff for their cooperation over the past few years

INDIA: Doordarshan bets on app that doesn’t require data to stream TV on mobile phones

ABU: So far, the app has seen 100,000 downloads as of March 2018 and the technology is in place in 19 cities.

INDIA: India forms committee to regulate online media

IFJ: After the failed attempt to implement a policy to suspend journalist’s accreditation over fake news, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry of India has formed a committee without any representation of working journalists to recommend regulations for online media.

INDIA: India makes U-turn after proposing to punish ‘fake news’ publishers

CNN: The Indian government is shelving a rule to punish journalists for publishing “fake news” just 48 hours after its introduction.

JAPAN: Crowdfunded news startup seeks to strengthen Japan’s investigative journalism

IJNet: Backed by a crowdfunding campaign, it represents one of the best new journalism hopes in a country that is often uncomfortable with investigative reporting.

KAZAKHSTAN: Criminal Probe of Media Outlets

HRW: Journalists Questioned, Website Blocked.

MALAYSIA: Civil society organisations decry silencing of critical voices in UPR submission

Article 19: In a submission to the UN Human Rights Council, ARTICLE 19 and 14 Malaysian civil society organisations expressed grave concerns about the deteriorating environment for freedom of expression in Malaysia.

MALAYSIA: The Week in Fact-Checking: Malaysia is criminalizing fake news

Poynter: The Malaysian government raised eyebrows this week when both houses passed a bill outlawing fake news, punishable by up to six years in prison for both its publication and sharing.

MALDIVES: Court throws out Sangu TV apology case

Maldives Independent: A private TV station that aired colourful language about the president faces having to say sorry, after the civil court on Sunday refused to overrule the broadcasting watchdog’s order for an apology.

PAKISTAN: International, national journalist bodies decry suspension of Geo TV

The News: International and national journalist bodies on Wednesday condemned the illegal suspension of the Geo News transmission, saying that gagging of media is direct assault on freedom of speech and access to information which is guaranteed in the Constitution of Pakistan.

PAKISTAN: Top Pakistani News Channel Is Forced Off Air, and Eyes Are on the Military

The New York Times: Pakistan’s largest television network says it has been forced off the air by cable operators in most parts of the country, in a move widely seen as being forced by the military as it flexes its authority over civilian institutions.

PHILIPPINES: Rappler fights to survive amid rising threats to journalists in the Philippines

CPJ: On January 15, the Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission ruled that online news group Rappler had violated laws barring foreign ownership and control of local media, and moved to revoke its registration.

SOUTH KOREA: South Korea’s National Assembly stalled over law on media independence

The Korea Herald: Rival parties continue to trade barbs over the controversial broadcast law reforms which will partially deprive the ruling party of its authority to select and appoint the heads of public broadcasters, leading the country’s opposition parties to boycott plenary sessions at the National Assembly as a way to push for the proposal’s approval.

SRI LANKA: Web Journalists condemn intimidation of MTV/ MBC

Newsfirst: The National Movement of Web Journalist’s – Sri Lanka issuing a release this morning (April 7), said it vehemently condemns the efforts to intimidate the staff at the MTV network.

VIETNAM: Six Vietnamese bloggers get exceptionally long jail terms

RSF: In the seemingly endless series of trials of citizen-journalists in Vietnam, this one was exceptional because of the unprecedented severity of the sentences.

GENERAL: Women march, an eye-roll breaks the Chinese internet, and worrying new legislation

IFEX: Some backlashes against marches by women’s groups across Asia-Pacific, a surge in social media censorship in China, Sri Lanka’s state of emergency, journalist killings in India, and passage of repressive laws are highlighted.

AUSTRALIA: Why SBS needs an inclusion strategy, despite the broadcaster’s famed diversity (Subscription)

Financial Review: Business leaders have an obligation to speak up on social issues that affect the community and ultimately our employees, if we want our workplaces to be inclusive.

NEW ZEALAND: PM standing by Curran after RNZ committee hearing

RNZ: The Broadcasting Minister remains safe in her job with the Prime Minister saying there was nothing new out of a specially called select committee hearing about a meeting between Clare Curran and a former RNZ news executive.

REGIONAL: Backstory: ABC broadcasters mentor Indo-Pacific women sport journalists at Commonwealth Games

ABC News: As Commonwealth athletes compete on the Gold Coast, five women journalists from across the Indo-Pacific are achieving professional success on the sidelines.

REGIONAL: France committed to backing ePOP Pacific climate storytelling

Asia Pacific Report: The French government is committed to the fight against climate change in the Pacific and hopes programmes such as the eParticipatory Observers Project (ePOP) will shed light on the impact of this global phenomenon in the region.

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: Journalists’ protection from powerful people in local communities

SEENPM: Freedom of expression in BiH is still not on a satisfactory level and journalists are often exposed to various kinds of pressure, even including direct threats.

BULGARIA: State of Journalism and Freedom of Speech (Report)

SEENPM: The annual report “State of Journalism and Freedom of Speech in Bulgaria” stresses that, despite a formal legal frame that promotes media freedom and pluralism, only owners of media critical of the government are under scrutiny and constantly under legal pressure in Bulgaria.

CROATIA: Croatia’s HRT launches news channel for international audience

Digital TV Europe: Croatian public broadcaster HRT is to launch new free-to-air news channel HRT-HTV 5 to an international audience on the Eutelsat satellite platform.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Czech investigative journalists say police repeatedly questioned them

CPJ: The journalists said they were questioned separately on several occasions in recent months about their sources and leaked information.

CZECH REPUBLIC: In-depth: The battle for Czech public media

IPI: Amid attacks on public television and radio, outcome rests with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš

DENMARK: Denmark to scrap mandatory public service broadcasting fee

Reuters: Denmark will become the first European country to abolish mandatory fees for public broadcasters after the government secured backing for a proposal that includes a 20 percent budget cut for the biggest state TV and radio outlet, DR.

HUNGARY: As elections loom, stakes are raised for Hungarian media

IPI: Experts fear targeting of key independent outlets following April 8 vote.

HUNGARY: Inside Orban’s crackdown on Hungary’s free press

Aljazeera: When Dan Nolan set out to expose how the Hungarian state media systematically targets opposition voices, he became a target himself.

IRELAND: Fake news comes late to Ireland, but the country is still unprepared (Opinion)

Polis LSE: Ireland has largely been spared the “Fake News” epidemic that wreaks havoc in its counterparts to its East and West. The upcoming Abortion referendum has changed that.

ITALY: Amazon agreement with Rai to bring films and series on the Prime platform

Corriere della Sera: Streaming services ally with traditional TV. Amazon Prime Video, the service of the ecommerce giant, has signed an agreement with Rai to bring its TV series, films and programs for kids on the digital platform.

ITALY: Italy’s Election (Report)

EJN: Fear and insecurity dominate as media make infotainment out of the election.

MALTA: Slain journalist honored with Tully Award for Free Speech

The News House: Daphne Caruana Galizia spent her career exposing government corruption and organized crime in Malta.

MONTENEGRO: “There is no point in police protection for journalists”

SEENPM: After Malta and Slovakia, also in Montenegro the media finds itself suppressed with utmost brutality.

SLOVAKIA: RTVS editors feel pressure, mistrust their superiors

The Slovak Spectator: News reporters from RTVS published an open letter to the head of the public service TV and Radio, Jaroslav Rezník, worried about his decisions.

SLOVAKIA: Thousands rally to demand police chief step down over journalist’s murder

DW: Tens of thousands of Slovaks have rallied to demand the country’s police chief be fired following the murder of Jan Kuciak. Thursday’s march was the largest since protests forced prime minister to resign last month.

SPAIN: All groups except PP, ask Pastor to activate public tender RTVE (Spanish)

Teledetodos: All parliamentary groups except the PP, have today [April 3] sent a letter to the president of Congress, Ana Pastor, to inform him of the agreement on the procedure for election of officers of RTVE through public tender, which is to receive the approval of the officers both chambers.

SPAIN: The CNMC published the report on compliance with the obligations of RTVE in 2015 and 2016 (Spanish)

Teledetodos: The CNMC (National Commission for Markets and Competition) has published its second report on the degree of compliance with public service obligations Corporation Radio and Spanish Television for the years 2015 and 2016 (CRTVE).

SPAIN: RTVE signs content exchange deal with Mexico’s Canal Once

Telecompaper: Spanish state broadcaster RTVE has reached an agreement with Mexico’s Canal Once to exchange original audiovisual content and co-produce new programmes.

SWITZERLAND: Successful in-house productions, leadership changes and solid results for the SRG SSR in 2017 (German)

SRG SSR: The SRG has also closed the year 2017 with a solid result. Corporate governance was reorganized last year with the appointment of President Jean-Michel Cina and General Director Gilles Marchand. The SRG also managed to set new trends in its programMES. In 2018, SRG will adapt to future financial conditions.

UK: BBC inks key Russian OTT/VOD deals

Broadband TV News: BBC Studios has signed a number of content sales agreements with leading digital platforms in Russia.

UK: BBC launches social app for kids, CBBC Buzz

Digital TV Europe: The BBC has launched a social mobile app for children aged under 13 in a bid to reinvent kid’s content for a new generation of viewers.

UK: BBC Radio 4 broke impartiality rules in Nigel Lawson climate change interview

The Guardian: Ofcom says interviewer failed to challenge controversial claims including that there had been no increase in extreme weather events

REGIONAL: Balkan Countries Most Vulnerable to ‘Fake’ News (Report)

SEENPM: Balkan countries are the most vulnerable in Europe to the “fake” news and post-truth phenomenon, a new report says, blaming media that are highly controlled by the state or business interests, educational deficiencies and low overall trust levels in society.

GENERAL: European TV viewers remain at “historically high level”

TVB Europe: Eurodata TV Worldwide revealed the latest trends in its One TV Year in the World report

BRAZIL: Brazil’s Agência Pública: Where Journalists Innovate and Collaborate

GIJN: Since March 2016, a pink two-story, 300-square-meter house on a tree-lined street in Botafogo, in the southern area of Rio de Janeiro, has been a haven and a venue for both Brazilian and foreign journalists and those interested in journalism and the ongoing changes surrounding the profession.

HAITI: Haitian journalists demand answers after colleague vanishes

Caribbean Life: Hundreds of journalists wearing white shirts marched through Haiti’s capital Wednesday to demand an investigation into why a freelance photographer vanished two weeks earlier while on assignment.

HONDURAS: Cybersecurity Bill Threatens Free Speech

HRW: Proposed Law Would Gag Government Critics.

JAMAICA: Press Freedom Is Limited – Study Reveals That Less Than 50 Per Cent Of Jamaicans Believe Media Has A Free Voice, While Trust Is Declining

The Gleaner: Less than 50 per cent of Jamaicans believe the country enjoys freedom of the press, according to the latest findings by the Latin America Public Opinion Project (LAPOP), a regional research group.

GENERAL: Ecuadorian journalists kidnapped, defending women’s rights, and Guatemala under the microscope: March in the Americas

IFEX: It was an intense month: a journalist was murdered in Mexico, a Brazilian councilwoman was assassinated in Rio, Venezuela was caught in an information trap, and in the United States, free expression faltered.

PALESTINE: CPJ Safety Advisory: Covering Gaza protests

CPJ: CPJ’s Emergencies Response Team (ERT) has issued the following advisory for journalists planning to cover the demonstrations.

PALESTINE: “MADA” calls for investigation into the killing of journalist Murtaja and other civilians in Gaza by IOF”

MADA: The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms MADA calls for a formation of an independent commission of inquiry to investigate the killing of Yaser Murtaja, a 31 year-old photojournalist in “Ain Media” and the disproportionate use of excessive force by IOF against journalists and civilians during the peaceful return demonstration along Gaza borders since “Land Day” 30/03/2018.

TURKEY: Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 2, 2018


TURKEY: Turkey’s independent media: Staying dry at the ‘poolside’

IPI: BirGün editor-in-chief Barış İnce on how independent journalism can stay alive in Turkey.

GENERAL: As UN HRC takes place, governments in the MENA region step up repression

IFEX: Concerns about abuses and Bahrain’s Grand Prix; the risks of protesting and covering protests in Iraq; Egypt’s media attacks extend beyond its borders; a controversial online game censored; a new report from Syria.

REGIONAL: Gulf journalism in exile: An independent press stands alone


CANADA: Deadly Force: How CBC analyzed details of hundreds of fatal encounters between Canadians, police

CBC: CBC researchers tracked down details about 461 Canadians who died at the hands of police.

CANADA: Minister Joly Announces Appointments to CBC/Radio-Canada Board including New Chair and President & CEO

CBC/Radio-Canada: The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, today announced the appointment of the new Chair, President & CEO, and three additional Members of the Board of CBC/Radio-Canada.

CANADA: Where’s The Outcry Over Canada’s Own Shrinking Media Landscape? (Opinion)

Huffington Post: Our media may not be reading off identical scripts quite yet, but we’d be fooling ourselves to think there isn’t a problem.

US: Anchor Judy Woodruff on the dare-to-be-boring ‘PBS NewsHour’ in the era of Twitter and ‘fake news’

Los Angeles Times: Ah, the good old “PBS NewsHour.” These days, you can watch it on YouTube, on Apple News, and on its website. You can listen via podcast. And you can still see it at the same time each evening on a piece of furniture called a television set. But its journalist’s soul is a thing unchanged since 1975…

US: Digital news organization reaches local community with bilingual reporting

IJNET: When I tell people I report in English and Spanish for an NPR member station, they are usually surprised.

US: New Research Finds More Than 90 Percent of Americans Want Public Broadcasting to Help Provide Earthquake Early Warnings

CISION: 88 Percent of Americans & 94 Percent of Californians Say Government Should Invest in Early Warning Technology

US: NPR creates two digital leadership roles

Current: NPR announced two new leadership roles within its digital division Thursday.

US: Taking Over Local News (Listen)

The New York Times: On local TV stations across the United States, news anchors have been delivering the exact same message to their viewers. “Our greatest responsibility,” they begin by saying, “is to serve our communities.”

US: ‘The Pub’ #110: How pubcasters are teaming up to take on Pennsylvania’s opioid crisis (Listen)

Current: If a major issue is affecting your community, chances are its impact reaches beyond your town line. That’s especially true of the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania, where the drug overdose rate is more than twice the national average.

BBC Arabic – AimHigh Trainee Scheme for Journalists With Disabilities


Could we build the Facebook-era equivalent of public broadcasting?


Democracy in the Crosshairs

Freedom House: Authoritarian powers that are fundamentally hostile to democracy cannot be ignored or appeased.

Ethics in the News: Trust in Ethical Journalism – The Key to Media Futures (Report)

EJN: If 2017 was the year the world finally woke up to the threat of disinformation and the way internet technologies are secretly and subtly used to undermine democracy, then 2018 is becoming the year when ethical journalism, a human instinct beyond encoding and algorithmic definition, finally gets the recognition it deserves.

How to write stories on development that people actually want to read

EJC: Seven European media outlets share their experiences, tricks and insights

ICIJ’s Paradise Papers wins award for innovation in watchdog journalism

ICIJ: The Paradise Papers investigation has been honored with a top prize at the IRE Awards, an international award for investigative reporting and editing.

The bots beat: How not to get punked by automation

CJR: BOTS ARE EVERYWHERE. A report by The New York Times recently outed about 3.5 million of them on Twitter. But they’re also on Facebook and Reddit, and weaving their way into government processes. You might even be following some (or they’re following you).

The lie is not the story: Practicing journalism in the disinformation age (Opinion)

Power 3.0

Public Service Media in the Networked Society (Report)

Nordicom & RIPE: Nordicom [has launched] the eighth book in the RIPE series: Public Service Media in the Networked Society. The book critically examines the ‘networked society’ concept in relation to public service media.

Using journalism networks to reduce risks while reporting

IJNET: With the Panama Papers winning a Pulitzer Prize and organizations like the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) producing projects with content from many countries, collaboration in investigative journalism is becoming more common than ever.

What a failed media startup can teach us about involving readers in reporting

NiemanLab: The Canadian startup OpenFile was a bet on collaboration between journalists and their audience: “We learned that we shouldn’t dismiss [a story] just because it’s not articulated in a way that we would as journalists.”

Why the business model of social media giants like Facebook is incompatible with human rights

EJN: Facebook has had a bad few weeks. The social media giant had to apologise for failing to protect the personal data of millions of users from being accessed by data mining company Cambridge Analytica. Outrage is brewing over its admission to spying on people via their Android phones. Its stock price plummeted, while millions deleted their accounts in disgust.

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