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

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What is...

Our weekly explainers for key public media terms, phrases and values.

Week 31: What does MEDIA REGULATION look like?

Regulatory mechanisms – whether they exist within a media organisation or outside of it – play an important role in protecting media freedom and maintaining editorial independence. For public broadcasters, rigorous external mechanisms, such as a national broadcasting regulator, may outline expectations and responsibilities of public media and ensure public service goals are met. Meanwhile, internal regulatory mechanisms – such as a supervisory body, an ombudsman, and even stable funding – can better safeguard public broadcasters’ independence, promote transparency, and foster the accountability needed to serve the publics that fund them. But the mere presence of regulatory mechanisms is not enough: the protection of public media and media freedom requires a commitment to independence, impartiality, independence, accountability, and transparency from policymakers and others in government.

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As the coronavirus pandemic worsens, public media are rapidly adapting to best cover the crisis on a local level while also providing for educational needs and vulnerable groups as isolation policies are introduced.

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Coronavirus: Resources & best practices

Essential resources for sourcing and reporting news about the coronavirus pandemic

What we're reading...

Marius Dragomir: Media Capture and Its Contexts: Developing a Comparative Framework for Public Service Media

CEU Democracy Institute: In his book chapter co-authored with Minna Aslama Horowitz, Marius Dragomir, DI’s Senior Program Manager and Director of the CEU Democracy Institute’s Center for Media, Data and Society, creates a framework for analyzing media capture and its impact on Public Service Media.

What we're listening to...

The group guarding NZ’s media freedom

RNZ: New Zealand this year was judged the eighth best nation in the world when it comes to the freedom of journalists to report without fear.

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EGYPT: A day after giving Al Jazeera ‘green light’ to broadcast, Egypt detains its journalist

The New Arab: Egyptian authorities detained an Al Jazeera journalist on arrival in Cairo, a day after the Qatari broadcaster featured live reporting from Cairo following an eight-year ban.

GHANA: NMC calls on government to assist GBC clear it debt (29 July)

GBC: Chairman of the National Media Commission, Yaw Boadu Ayeboafo, says government needs to urgently resource the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation for efficient and effective delivery on its public service mandate.

KENYA: KBC lauded for embracing technology in quest to stay afloat

KBC: The National Assembly Broadcasting and Library Committee has lauded Kenya Broadcasting Corporation for embracing the new and improved technology in its quest to stay afloat in the market.

NAMIBIA: Veld fire breaks out near NBC headquarters (Watch)


SOMALIA: Somalia: Call for safety of journalists as two-day training on professionalism and access to information focuses on upcoming elections

IFJ: Somali journalists deserve to work in an environment free of fear for their safety if they are to make a positive contribution to the development of democracy in the country. 

SOUTH AFRICA: Army presence at SABC likely to curtail media freedom – rights body

IOL: Media freedom organisation Right2Know (R2K) has raised concerns about the sudden decision to deploy the army to guard the premises of the SABC in Johannesburg and Durban.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC confirms presence of SANDF members in its offices but not into newsroom

SABC: The SABC has confirmed that members of the South African National Defence Force have been deployed at its offices in Auckland Park, Johannesburg and in Durban.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC News crew verbally attacked while covering land dispute story outside Polokwane (Watch)

SABC: SABC News crew was verbally attacked while covering a story about a dispute over land ownership at Moletjie, outside Polokwane, in Limpopo.


SABC: The SABC has noted concerns raised by various stakeholders regarding a 2008 clause in the SABC employment contracts dealing with the Corporation’s right to intercept, monitor and read any communications of employees.

TUNISIA: Al-Jazeera Still Locked Out After Raid on Tunis Office

VOA News: The day after President Kais Saied moved to assume executive control over Tunisia, security forces raided Al-Jazeera’s bureau in the capital, Tunis. More than a week later, the offices — along with the broadcaster’s equipment — remain locked off, leaving its journalists to work remotely, using smartphones, Lotfi Hajji, Al-Jazeera’s bureau chief in Tunis, told VOA.

UGANDA: Wave of police attacks on reporters during Uganda’s night-time Covid curfew

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the repeated attacks against journalists by police enforcing a night-time curfew imposed in Uganda to combat a surge in Covid-19 cases.

ZAMBIA: CPJ joins call urging Zambia to maintain internet access during elections (Callout)

CPJ: The Committee to Protect Journalists joined 41 other human rights, free expression, and technology organizations in a letter to Zambian President Edgar Lungu, calling on him to ensure that the internet and digital communications remain uninterrupted throughout Zambia’s August 12 general election period.

AFGHANISTAN & UK: UK agrees to consider providing safe haven for Afghan journalists

The Guardian: U-turn over those who worked for British media follows outcry from newspapers and broadcasters.

CAMBODIA: Cambodian Committee to Monitor, Discipline Journalists Raises Alarms

Radio Free Asia: Cambodian journalists and rights groups are voicing concern over the authoritarian government’s creation of a new committee to promote “journalism ethics and professional standards” with the power to discipline reporters.

CHINA: China lodges representations with BBC over flood reporting

Reuters: China has lodged a stern representation with Britain’s BBC over its reporting of the floods in Henan and a statement over how foreign journalists were being treated, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

HONG KONG: Embattled Hong Kong broadcaster RTHK deletes all Tweets, disables Twitter comments

HKFP: It is unclear if the broadcaster is aware that users may still screenshot their tweets or use the “quote” function to comment.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong: Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai, accused under the national security law for one year, faces a life sentence

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) details the six ongoing procedures against Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai, who exactly one year ago was accused of national security crimes for which he risks up to a life sentence.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s RTHK to Air More ‘Patriotic’ Content Lauding Ruling Party

Radio Free Asia: The Hong Kong government announces a long-term partnership with the state-owned China Media Group to supply Beijing-approved media content for local audiences.

INDIA: ‘Freedom of Press Relies on Non-Interference by Govt’: Editors Guild Moves SC on Pegasus

The Wire: The media body has sought a court-monitored SIT probe into the reports of state-sponsored surveillance of journalists, activists and politicians using the Pegasus spyware.

INDIA: No country for journalists (Opinion)

Deccan Herald: The India Press Freedom Report 2020, released by the Rights and Risks Analysis Group, presents a bleak picture of the state of media freedom in the country, buttressing it with many details and facts and figures.

INDIA & PAKISTAN: India’s refusal to allow journalists to visit Pakistan condemned

Dawn: India’s refusal to allow a group of India-based foreign journalists to travel to Pakistan via Wagah border crossing has stoked concern about press freedom in India.

KYRGYZSTAN: Kyrgyzstan: “False Information” Law Threatens Free Speech

HRW: President Should Veto Legislation, Protect Media Freedom.

PAKISTAN: Alvi launches digitization of state media bodies

Pakistan Press Foundation: President Dr Arif Alvi will launch digitalization of the state media organizations, including Radio Pakistan, at a ceremony in Islamabad today (Saturday).

PAKISTAN: Pakistan a democracy only in name: Hamid Mir

Dawn: The anchor and host of the now-off air primetime show Capital Talk on Geo, Hamid Mir, in a wide-ranging interview to the BBC World Service, criticised the shrinking space for press freedom and the growing “climate of fear” for journalists in Pakistan.

PAKISTAN: Proposed Media Regulator Could Further Limit Pakistan’s Press

VOA News: A plan by Pakistan to streamline its media regulation bodies into one organization with expanded powers has raised concern among some journalists and analysts.

SOUTH KOREA: Media groups up in arms against ‘unconstitutional’ reform bill

The Korea Times: Six media organizations have joined forces to push back against the ruling party’s attempt to revise a law to impose punitive damages on media outlets or reporters for producing what it calls “fake news.”

THAILAND: Thai key media organisations to govt: Define fake news, don’t control freedom of speech

The Star: Thailand’s six key media organisations held an online seminar on Wednesday (Aug 4) under the topic “Are chilling effects from Emergency Decree any real?” aiming to criticise the government for “controlling people’s freedom of speech under the authority of the Emergency Decree”.

THAILAND: Thai PBS Podcast opens up ideas for independent producers to produce podcasts, using the “charm” of storytelling (Thai – Press release)

Thai PBS: Thai PBS Podcast, an audio media agency under Thai PBS has opened a space to accept project proposals from independent third-party producers to co-produce “podcasts” through commissioning for the year 2021

THAILAND: Thailand: Immediately Repeal Emergency Regulation that Threatens Online Freedoms (Callout)

HRW: 17 international human rights organizations today denounced the Thai government’s newly announced Regulation No. 29, which empowers the authorities to censor online expression, and investigate and prosecute individuals responsible for communications that may “instigate fear”. 

AUSTRALIA: ABC boss warns staff over social media posts

The Sydney Morning Herald: ABC boss David Anderson has warned staff they risk being sacked for social media posts that compromise the public broadcaster’s independence, with the company updating its employment contracts to make this clear.

AUSTRALIA: ABC, Nine push for FM radio licences in Western Australia

The Sydney Morning Herald: The ABC and Nine Entertainment Co have rejected claims they are setting a dangerous precedent by supporting a switch of three of its radio stations from AM to FM in Western Australia, urging the move should take place to ensure it can improve the quality of coverage for its listeners.

AUSTRALIA: Calls for broadcaster Win to hand back $4.5m grant after axing staff, programs

The Guardian: The regional TV network has cut nine local news bulletins and 20 staff after getting a $4.5m grant tied to maintaining journalism during Covid. 

AUSTRALIA: Murdoch channel faces Australian inquiry over Covid videos (Paywall)

Financial Times

AUSTRALIA: One of the government’s most vocal ABC critics admits he doesn’t watch it

The Sydney Morning Herald: One of the federal government’s most vocal critics of the ABC — who claims it is biased and pushing an increasingly “woke” agenda — has admitted he doesn’t actually watch it.

NEW ZEALAND: Accountability in question after MediaWorks review

RNZ: A review of the working culture at MediaWorks released this week is by far the most comprehensive airing of the internal problems of any New Zealand media company.  But its leaders and governors have not yet answered questions about it – and it’s far from clear if anyone is accountable.

NEW ZEALAND: High Court stops RNZ from using further information stolen in Waikato DHB cyber attack

RNZ: RNZ has been ordered to not use any more of the information stolen in the Waikato District Health Board cyber attack and also ordered to permanently delete any copies of it from its systems.

NEW ZEALAND: The group guarding NZ’s media freedom (Listen)

RNZ: New Zealand this year was judged the eighth best nation in the world when it comes to the freedom of journalists to report without fear.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Keeping PNG connected by investing in radio

Lowy Institute: Australia could quickly make a critical – and relatively cheap ­– neighbourly investment in democracy.

AUSTRIA: ORF election 2021: who will be the new ORF boss? (German)

Der Standard: On Tuesday, the ORF Board of Trustees will appoint a new General Director. 

BELARUS: Belarus Sends Reporter to Prison Over Deleted Chat Messages

VOA News: A court in Belarus convicted a journalist of insulting the president in messages in a deleted chat group and sentenced him to 1 1/2 years in prison, the Belarusian Association of Journalists said Monday. 

BELARUS: Report analyses Lukashenko’s year-old crackdown on Belarusian journalists

RSF: A joint report published today by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) examines the Belarusian government’s year-old crackdown on journalists, especially those who covered the unprecedented and massive peaceful street demonstrations calling for fair and transparent elections in the wake of the disputed presidential election on 9 August 2020.

FINLAND: Yle Arena’s smart TV applications are being renewed (Finnish)

Yle: The use of Yle Areena with Internet-connected smart TVs is growing all the time. During 2020, growth in the entire audience came to a whopping 100%. So a kind of digital revolution in the living rooms is going on. We are responding to this development by introducing the new Yle Areena app to our audiences.

GERMANY: Germany’s public broadcasters win funding battle against Saxony-Anhalt

Deutsche Welle: The federal state of Saxony-Anhalt had blocked the increase in funding for Germany’s public broadcasters, but the top court said the move was unconstitutional.

GERMANY: Why the increase in the license fee is not a “problem of democracy” (German – Comment)

Meedia: Unsurprisingly, the Federal Constitutional Court paved the way for an increase in the broadcasting fee. ARD and ZDF welcome the program. Saxony-Anhalt’s head of government, Reiner Haseloff, senses a “problem of democracy”. He should know better.

GIBRALTAR: GBC begins broadcasting from new premises (Watch)

GBC: GBC CEO Gerard Teuma says the public will be very impressed by the new facilities at Rosia Road. And that there are plans to organise open days which will give the public the opportunity to view the facilities.

HUNGARY: Spying scandal further increases worries of Hungarian journalists

IPI: Permissive legal framework in Hungary means virtually anyone can be put under surveillance.

IRELAND: Irish Examiner view: Public service broadcasting must be protected (Opinion)

Irish Examiner: It is in everyone’s interests that RTÉ, in whatever guise, is strong enough to offer a credible warts-and-all view of society.

ITALY: €100 DVB T-2 switch grant

Advanced Television: From August 23rd, Italian households can apply for a subsidy towards the purchase of TV sets compatible with the new DVB T-2/HEVC Main 10 DTT transmission standard.

LATVIA: New public media oversight body approved

LSM: At an extraordinary sitting on Wednesday, August 4, the Saeima confirmed Jānis Siksnis, Jānis Eglītis and Sanita Upleja-Jegermane as the members of the newly established Public Electronic Mass Media Council (SEPLP) which will oversee the output of public media [including the LSM web portal you are reading now as well as Latvian Television and Latvian Radio].

MALTA: PBS in the eye of a storm as election looms (Opinion)

The Malta Independent

MALTA: TVM ‘stifling the stories that could embarrass government’

Times of Malta: Reporters claim national station reduced to ‘noticeboard’.

MONTENEGRO: Montenegro’s Troubled Public Broadcaster Elects New Chiefs 

Balkan Insight: Major changes in Montenegro’s public broadcaster RTCG are underway after former director Bozidar Sundic resigned on Thursday, and the broadcaster’s governing council interviewed candidates for a new head.

NORWAY: NRK’s election coverage  (Norweigan – Press release)

NRK: September 13 is the Storting and Sami Parliamentary elections. Here is the overview of the most important debates and programs on NRK.

POLAND: US senators accuse Poland of “democratic backsliding” and “undermining media freedom”

Notes from Poland: A bipartisan group of US senators has accused Poland’s government of “democratic backsliding” and “undermining media freedoms”. Such actions could damage Polish-American trade, business and defence relations, they warn.

RUSSIA: Russia blocks more news sites critical of Kremlin

Deutsche Welle: Two outlets backed by the London-based Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky were blocked for users in Russia. It represents the latest crackdown on freedom of the press in Russia.

SLOVENIA: A proposal for consent to the dismissal of the director of TV SLO was submitted to the Program Council of RTV Slovenia (Slovenian)

RTVSLO: On 30 July 2021, the General Manager of RTV Slovenia Andrej Grah Whatmough submitted to the Program Council of RTV Slovenia a proposal for consent to the dismissal of the director of Television Slovenia Natalija Gorščak.

SPAIN: Spanish watchdog gives qualified welcome to new media law proposals

Digital TV Europe: Spain’s markets regulator the CNMC has published an update on plans for a revision of the country’s audiovisual media law which specifies that all players present in the market “that compete for the same audience” should contribute to the financing of public broadcaster RTVE.

SWEDEN: Training programme for foreign-educated journalists (Opportunity – Swedish)

SVT: Today, the application opens for the programme “New Colleague” – an educational programme for foreign-educated journalists who want to become active in Sweden.

UK: Anti-vaccine protesters storm BBC HQ – years after it moved out

The Guardian: Confused anti-vaccine protesters stormed what they thought was a major BBC building on Monday, apparently unaware the corporation largely moved out almost a decade ago.

UK: Can the BBC stay with the pace in the fight for Olympic viewing rights?

The Guardian: Tokyo was the Games at which the corporation’s tradition of wall-to-wall coverage ended, and that trend is set to continue.

UK: Nearly a third of waking hours spent on TV and streaming, Ofcom says

BBC News: UK adults spent nearly a third of their waking hours watching TV and online video content in 2020, according to a report from regulator Ofcom.

REGIONAL: Disturbing pattern of violence and harassment at COVID-related protests across Europe

IPI: Attacks on journalists in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Slovakia and Cyprus.

BRAZIL: TSE inquiry to investigate Bolsonaro also investigates political use of EBC (Portuguese)

Poder360: The inquiry opened by the TSE (Superior Electoral Court) to investigate President Jair Bolsonaro’s statements against the electoral system will also investigate whether the president made political use of the EBC (Empresa Brasil de Comunicação).

COLOMBIA: 195 journalists have been attacked by the Public Force during the National Strike (Spanish)

Contagio Radio: The Foundation for Freedom of the Press, FLIP; Reporters Without Borders, RSF and the International Press Association of Colombia, APIC, denounced the lack of security guarantees for journalists covering the National Strike in Colombia. According to the complaints received by FLIP , 314 journalists have already been attacked while carrying out their reporting tasks .

ECUADOR: Ecuadorian Radio Broadcasting Association presented reform to the Communication Law (Spanish)

El Universo: The reform seeks to continue strengthening the defense of freedom of expression, according to the union.

ECUADOR: Government says there is political will to sell seized media, but admits there are legal restrictions to do so immediately (Spanish)

El Universo: In accounting books, according to the data of the current Government, the shares of the seized media are valued at $ 16’557,823.19.

GUYANA: UK, Canada welcome Guyana to Media Freedom Coalition

Guyana Chronicle: The Media Freedom Coalition is a partnership of countries whose objective is to defend media freedom where it is under threat, a release said.

MEXICO: Nearly 80% of local digital and regional media in Mexico want to include paid content or reader contributions, report says

LatAm Journalism Review: Nearly 80% of local digital and regional media in Mexico are working for or plan, within three years, to incorporate a reader revenue model, meaning a paywall system, subscriptions, contributions or membership program.

NICARAGUA: The press in Nicaragua between exclusion and privilege (Spanish)

Voice of America: “Exclusion for some, privileges for others”, says the independent journalist Wilih Narváez.

VENEZUELA: Journalists take to buses and balconies to deliver news in Venezuela (Watch)

The Independent: Journalists in Venezuela are taking to buses and balconies to deliver news and preserve press freedom in the South American nation. The media is facing mounting pressure from a government trying to control the flow of information, leaving millions across the country to access news largely through state-operated channels.

REGIONAL: Pandemic brought new excuses to attack journalists and restrict freedom of expression in Latin America in 2020, says Article 19

LatAm Journalism Review: The COVID-19 pandemic gave rise to new excuses to exercise violence against journalists and restrict freedom of expression in several Latin American countries during 2020.

REGIONAL: What you need to know now: Trends in freedom of expression and information in Latin America and the Caribbean

IFEX: IFEX’s Americas Editor provides the context for key developments in relation to freedom of expression and information witnessed in Latin America and the Caribbean in the first half of 2021.

IRAN: Iran: Parliament’s “Protection Bill” will hand over complete control of the Internet to authorities

Article19: Iran’s Parliament is poised to pass a Bill within the next two months that will deal a devastating blow to the rights to freedom of expression online and the privacy of internet users. 

PALESTINE: 43 violations against media freedoms in Palestine during July

MADA: July 2021 witnessed a relative decrease in the number of violations against media freedoms in Palestine, compared to what it was in the previous two months (May and June), when it recorded a sharp increase (167 violation in May, 123 violation in June).

TURKEY: Journalists prevented from covering wildfires

IFJ: Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) has threatened broadcasters with sanctions if they are found to have covered wildfires raging across the country in a way that could cause fear among the public. 

TURKEY: Turkey: TV crew attacked during live broadcast on raging wildfires

EFJ: A team of the Turkish TV channel Halk TV was attacked in the İçmeler area of Marmaris. The aggressors threatened to block the channel’s live broadcast from the fire-hit region and a cameraman was targeted with a broken glass bottle. This incident occurred after a recent threat by the government-controlled RTÜK (Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council) to TV stations over their critical coverage of the wildfires, which have been raging across the country for the past few days.

CANADA: Canada weighing options to get Facebook, Google to pay for journalism following first round of consultations

Toronto Star: The federal government has two options on the table for making digital platforms such as Facebook and Google pay media companies in Canada for journalism, but after the first phase of consultations, isn’t clear on which is the best way forward.

CANADA: CBC/Radio-Canada’s coverage of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 reaches record numbers on digital (Press Release)

CBC/Radio-Canada: From the Opening Ceremony on July 23 to the Closing Ceremony on August 8, Canadians tuned into the Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020 in record-breaking numbers.

CANADA: Stakeholder engagement on fair revenue sharing between digital platforms and news media (Report)

Department of Canadian Heritage: “Canadian Heritage is undertaking a phased approach to stakeholder engagement, to contribute to the policy development process on the issue of sharing of revenues with news media outlets.”

US: Broadcasters Push for Local Journalism Tax Break Bill

Broadcasting & Cable: Local broadcasters are urging the Senate to provide tax credits to stations that staff up their newsrooms, citing, in part, Big Tech’s “devouring” of their local ad market.

US: New NPR Ethics Policy: It’s OK For Journalists To Demonstrate (Sometimes) (Opinion)

NPR: NPR rolled out a substantial update to its ethics policy earlier this month, expressly stating that journalists may participate in activities that advocate for “the freedom and dignity of human beings” on both social media and in real life.

US: President Biden nominates three directors for CPB board (Paywall)

Current: If confirmed, the nominees would fill three of four vacant board of director seats.

US: White House to require visitors, journalists to confirm vaccination status

The Hill: The White House is requiring visitors to the building, including journalists, to confirm they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to testing before entering the complex starting next week.

US: Why government has a constitutional duty to save the news industry (Opinion)

The LA Times: Only one private institution is mentioned in the Constitution: the press. Our nation’s founders recognized that a press free to criticize those in power and spread information across society is essential in democracy. 

US: Why independent documentary filmmakers want new and improved funding models



Call for Nominations: Challenge of the Climate Crisis Journalism Programme (Opportunity)

WAN-IFRA: The World Editors Forum is organising a virtual journalism programme on the Challenge of the Climate Crisis to help journalists build skills and capabilities to cover climate-related stories in an accurate and engaging way.

Covering COVID-19 with automated news (Report)

CJR: For all the news organizations that have adopted automated journalism over the last decade or so, the COVID-19 pandemic could have been the perfect story to automate as the technology draws on structured data that can fit into predictable story frames.

Good practices and recommendations to counter political interference in the media (Report)

EFJ: The final report on “Building independent media to counter political interference”, authored by Marc Gruber, was published by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and funded by the Open Society Foundations (OSF).

How to set up a mobile-first newsroom

Journalism.co.uk: With mobile news consumption on the rise, two MoJo experts from Bangladesh share tips on changing the way you think about creating content

Learn how to enhance your investigative reporting in platforms: Register for new Knight Center course (Opportunity)

Knight Center: The latest Big Online Course (BOC) from the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas will show you how to dig through key digital assets to gain a clearer picture of the people you’re researching.

The role of citizen journalism in our connected world

Daily Maverick: Citizen journalism is ‘the collection, dissemination and analysis of news and information by the general public, especially by means of the internet’. But what are the implications of sharing images and news via social media, of witnessing and reporting on the world around us?

Why journalists need emergency safe havens

Index on Censorship: Journalists tell Index how a new type of visa is vital to protect lives and stop media censorship. 

PSM Weekly is available via email. You can subscribe by signing up to our mailing list at the bottom of the page or email editor@publicmediaalliance.org.

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: Behind the scene. Multiple camera setup. Female cameraman shooting the film scene with camera in film studio. Credit: guruXOOX/iStock

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