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

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PSM Innovations

From Cornwall to Cape Cod: Collaborative radio project unites coastal stations across Atlantic

Two radio stations, based on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, have joined forces in an innovative new radio project to produce hour-long programmes of conversations between their communities.

Public radio station CAI and community radio station Source FM may have a large ocean that sets them apart. But besides that, their similarities are bringing them closer together.

The primary link between the two geographically disparate radio stations is that they are both based in towns called Falmouth. CAI serves the Cape Cod area from Falmouth on the south coast of Massachusetts, United States. Meanwhile Source FM, a volunteer-run station, is located in Falmouth, Cornwall in the UK.

But the connection goes beyond the name. Both towns are small, on the coast, and in semi-remote parts of the country. The new collaboration, initiated by Steve Junker, CAI’s Managing Editor for News, aims to share conversations with like-minded people from both sides, covering shared challenges. This could be coastal impacts from climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, or affordable housing issues and young people moving away.

But the project also aims to shed light on their shared positives, such as the natural beauty in their surrounding areas, farming and engaged communities.

The first episode from the collaboration was broadcast in mid-April, with more episodes in production.

Read more about the collaborative radio project

Participants on the trans-Atlantic Zoom call, clockwise from left: Steve Junker, of CAI, the program’s executive producer; Michel Francois, potter from Cornwall; Jennette Barnes, reporter from CAI; Sarah Caruso, potter from Cape Cod.
Participants on the trans-Atlantic Zoom call, clockwise from left: Steve Junker, of CAI, the program’s executive producer; Michel Francois, potter from Cornwall; Jennette Barnes, reporter from CAI; Sarah Caruso, potter from Cape Cod. Photo credit: Simon Neild

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What we're watching...

Media Group: At Least 23 Journalists Killed in Ukraine War

VOA: Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, at least 23 journalists have been killed in the country, according to a journalists’ union. And at least seven of those deaths took place while the journalists were on assignment, says the Committee to Protect Journalists. 

What we're listening to...

Confessions of an election troll in the Philippines

Trending, BBC: We hear from a troll from the Philippines – the “patient zero” of fake news. Experts say the problem is as bad as ever, as a new election looms.

Researchers claim that tactics seen playing out in the southeast Asian country have cropped up elsewhere since Rodrigo Duterte rose to power – perhaps most notably in the US in 2016. Now it’s time for Filipinos to return to the polls, and the experts warn that the problem hasn’t been solved – the current campaign has been plagued by disinformation.

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CAMEROON: World Press Freedom Day: Common Front Against Hate Speech

CRTV: Media professionals of the Union of Francophone Press in Cameroon have agreed to jointly combat hate speech in the media.

ETHIOPIA: Journalists in Ethiopia Say Press Freedom is at ‘Crossroads’

VOA News: In Ethiopia, the experience of journalists working for state broadcasters and independent broadcasters is ‘totally different’.

GAMBIA: GPU observes press freedom with call on gov’t to expedite media law reforms

The Point

GHANA: Generate winning strategies to increase sponsorship value & attractiveness – Deputy DG, GBC Augstus Yamson

GBC: The Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, GBC, Augustus Yamson, has asked the Corporation’s Krachi Radio to ensure the broadcast of attractive programmes to draw more sponsorship. 

GHANA: ‘Poorly paid Journalist threat to national security’ – GBC DG, Professor Amin Alhassan

GBC: The Director General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, GBC, Professor Amin Alhassan has called for better remuneration for Journalists in Ghana.

GUINEA-BISSAU: 77 radio stations resume broadcasting after nearly a month off air

IPI: The IPI global network welcomes the reopening of 77 radio stations in Guinea-Bissau after the government on April 7 suspended their broadcast licenses for non-payment of license fees. 

KENYA: KBC, UoN sign pact to advance women economic empowerment (Watch)

KBC: The University of Nairobi, and the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation have signed an agreement to enhance women economic empowerment in rural communities. KBC will work with the University’s African Women Studies Centre in the dissemination of research findings through various platforms offered by the State Broadcaster. 

MALAWI: Malawi’s President Vows Press Freedom But Critics Cite Arrests, Intimidation

VOA News: Press freedom activists welcome Chakwera’s words, but say more actions needed to prevent journalists from being abused.

SOUTH AFRICA: Pearl Modiadie’s sexual harassment case against former boss and SABC is back in court (2 March)

News24: Pearl Modiadie’s R3.5 million sexual harassment lawsuit against her former boss and Metro FM station manager Anthony Soglo will be heard at the Johannesburg High Court on May 16. This is where the SABC will apply to have the matter removed from the roll through an exception application.

SOUTH AFRICA: “There Is A Need To Relaunch Inquiry Into The Subscription TV Marketplace” – Says ICASA (Industry Regulator)

Broadcast Media Africa: ICASA, the South African regulator for the broadcast media industry, has announced that it will relaunch its inquiry into the country’s subscription broadcasting services marketplace.  

TANZANIA: In Tanzania, Hope Rises for a Better Journalism Climate

VOA News: Tanzania’s president has called for a review of the East African country’s media laws and regulations to ensure greater protection for journalists and media openness. 

TUNISIA: Journalists protest over press freedom in Tunisia (Watch)

Middle East Eye: Tunisian journalists protest against what they say is growing repression and intimidation against the press since President Kais Saied’s power grab last year. The demonstration was organised by the national journalists’ union, the SNJT.

ZIMBABWE: Journalism safety and security a priority ahead of 2023 national elections (Statement)

MISA: As Zimbabwe commemorates this year’s 2022 World Press Freedom Day, MISA Zimbabwe takes note of the improving media operating environment as evidenced by the reduction in the number of media freedom violations in 2021.

REGIONAL: African TV advertising looks like it bounced back in 2021 but spending may slow in 2022 with global bad news and digital pressures

Balancing Act: Data on advertising spend in Africa is not always available in a timely fashion and without discounting factored in, the figures are at best only provide a broad indication. 

REGIONAL: In Africa, Namibia and Eritrea Reflect Journalism’s Polar Opposites

VOA News: Across Africa, laws and customs respecting the media vary considerably. As the world marks World Press Freedom Day on Tuesday, here’s a look at the brightest and darkest situations for the continent’s news media.

REGIONAL: Where in sub-Saharan Africa are media outlets curtailed?

DW: In places such as Cameroon, Guinea Bissau, Rwanda or post-coup Mali, the media’s vigilance extends well beyond issues that matter to the public. Journalists are forced to watch their own backs — and data, too.

AFGHANISTAN: ​​287 Media Outlets Dismantled After the Taliban Took Power, Leaving 6,000 Journalists Unemployed

The Khaama Press News Agency: According to a recent report released on 9th May by the Association of Free Journalists of Afghanistan, 287 media outlets have been closed and almost 6,000 journalists have been laid off since the Taliban took control (August 15, 2021).

BANGLADESH: ARTICLE 19 concerned over safety of journalists and media freedom in Bangladesh

Dhaka Tribune: The UK-based human rights organization ARTICLE 19 has expressed concern over the decline of press freedom in Bangladesh, saying that the safety of journalists and media freedom is at high risk.

BHUTAN: ​​Only SMS votes from the public to be allowed in reality shows

Kuensel: Bhutan Broadcasting Services (BBS) issued a new term of reference for reality shows starting this year due to increasing proposals for reality shows and issues surrounding exploiting the participants and failing to disclose the voting amount.

CHINA: China’s CCTV in spotlight after ‘Ma’ arrest report shakes market

Nikkei: An ambiguous news report that sparked a fall in the shares of Alibaba Group Holding became the subject of intense speculation in China on Wednesday.

CHINA: How China is stepping up harassment of foreign correspondents

CPJ: When international journalists rushed to Zhengzhou city in Henan province to cover a deadly flood in July 2021, they were confronted by angry bystanders who accused them of “spreading rumors” and “smearing China.” 

HONG KONG: Explainer: Small Chinese-language media outlets spring up as Hong Kong’s big names disappear

HKFP: Hong Kong has witnessed the closure of a number of independent media organisations, notably Apple Daily last June and Stand News last December. But a number of small-scale independent Chinese-language outlets survive to tell the stories of the city.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s intrepid press corps battle dislocation, nostalgia and unemployment

Radio Free Asia: Many journalists have started their own news outlets, to connect and inform pro-democracy Hongkongers in exile.

INDIA: BBC Young Reporter India educated over 8000 school students (Press release)

BBC: BBC Young Reporter India (BBC YRI) has reached over eight thousand students in one hundred and sixty schools, including sixteen government schools across twenty-seven states in India.

INDIA: India’s Overt and Covert Chilling of Press Freedom (Opinion)

The Wire: The Pegasus spyware scandal triggered more questions than answers about how long the Indian government has been weaponising social media data.

INDIA: Prasar Bharati to initiate legal action against apps illegally using DD and AIR content

FirstPost: In collaboration with Google, Prasar Bharati has announced that it is taking down all fraudulent applications which were impersonating All India Radio and Doordarshan and illegally using their content. 

INDIA: Prasar Bharati Takes Down Videos Featuring Anti-Modi Chants In Berlin

Boom: In the video taken down by Prasar Bharati from its Twitter and Instagram accounts protestors can be heard shouting “Modi Modi Down Down” multiple times.

JAPAN: New website in Ukrainian provides tips for living in Japan (Press release – 2 May)

NHK: NHK’s international service, NHK World-Japan, has started a website for the benefit of people who have fled Ukraine and resettled in Japan. It delivers information on living in Japan and programs on learning the language. 

KAZAKHSTAN: Nothing new in the ‘New Kazakhstan’ as attacks on social media freedom continue

Global Voices: Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed the amendments to the laws on “protection of the rights of the child, education, information, and informatization,” which may further restrict media freedom in the country. The move, ironically, was announced on World Press Freedom Day on March 3, 2022.

LAOS: Laos’ ‘circle of cronies’ keeps a tight lid on country’s news outlets, report says

Radio Free Asia: Laos is an information “black hole” where the government exerts complete control over news outlets, Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) said in its 2022 World Press Freedom Index this week that ranks the Southeast Asian country near the bottom of its list in terms of allowing journalists to challenge authorities.

MALAYSIA: MP moots revival of media council after drop in press freedom score

Free Malaysia Today: A DAP lawmaker has called for the revival of the move to form a media council after Malaysia dropped nearly 10 points in Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) world press freedom score.

MALAYSIA: Suara Malaysia-Tagalog radio station signing off for good (29 April)

New Straits Times: Effective midnight, the Suara Malaysia-Tagalog radio station, that has been broadcasting for nearly 50 years, will cease operations.

MYANMAR & THAILAND: Future Remains Cloudy for Exiled Myanmar Journalists in Thailand

VOA News: It has been more than a year since Myanmar’s military seized power in a putsch that sent thousands fleeing the country. Among them were scores of media professionals who took up refuge here in Thailand.

PAKISTAN: Pakistan cracks down on netizens amid rare anti-army discourse

Nikkei: Pakistan’s premier investigative agency under the new government of Prime Minister Shabaz Sharif is detaining people accused of spreading provocative online content against the country’s powerful army in what the government says is an attack coordinated by its predecessor.

PHILIPPINES: Journalists need communities’ help in fighting disinformation

Rappler: Philippine journalists have been facing intensified attacks on multiple fronts during this particular election season, says a press freedom study.

SOUTH KOREA: KBS Declares to Further Promote Impartiality, Gender Equality in Election Coverage (Press release)

KBS: KBS declared to raise awareness of gender equality in the lead-up to the June 1 Local Elections. KBS Gender Equality Center and KBS News Division joined forces to seek ways to reduce gender imbalance in election broadcasts at a Roundtable on Gender Equality, held on 26 April, 2022 at KBS Headquarters. 

SRI LANKA: “Emergency regulations are a threat to freedom of speech and expression” (Statement)

IFEX: The Free Media Movement condemns the declaration of the state of emergency in defiance of public demands and calls on the President to remove this repressive law immediately.

REGIONAL: Media industry in South Asia: Fostering digital safety of journalists

The Himalayan Times: Journalists today continue to face high levels of risks due to the unprecedented impact of the COV- ID-19 alongside shutdown of many media outlets and authorities’ attempts to control independent media in the ploy of curbing disinformation, and or maintaining peace and security across South Asia.

REGIONAL: No, Press Freedoms Have Not Improved in Central Asia

The Diplomat: Methodology isn’t a headline buzzword, but an improving rank certainly is — no matter the context.

REGIONAL: South Asia: IFJ launches 20th South Asia Press Freedom Report

IFJ: To mark World Press Freedom Day on May 3, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), on behalf of the South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN), launches its 20th annual South Asia Press Freedom Report entitled Solidarity and Survival: The Story of South Asia.

AUSTRALIA: ABC wins Privacy by Design Awards (Press release) 

ABC: The ABC has won three awards at the inaugural CyberCX Privacy by Design Awards after scoring highest in two award categories and receiving Federal Government recognition as the ‘Top Performer’ for the way we’re building privacy and data protection into everything we do, so that our audiences continue to trust us with their personal information.

AUSTRALIA: Australia lags behind New Zealand, Taiwan and Timor-Leste on World Press Freedom Index

ABC: Media freedom in Australia is “fragile” and less protected than in New Zealand and several emerging democracies in Asia, an international journalism watchdog has concluded in its annual press freedom index.

AUSTRALIA: Facebook whistleblowers allege government and emergency services hit by Australia news ban was a deliberate tactic

The Guardian: When Facebook blocked hundreds of Australian emergency services and government pages during the company’s negotiation with the federal government last year it was not an accident, but rather a deliberate negotiating tactic, company whistleblowers have alleged.

AUSTRALIA: Far from having a leftwing bias, the ABC has been tamed by cuts and incessant attacks (Opinion)

The Guardian: When your opponent is determined for war, history teaches us appeasement does not work. Indeed, unilateral concessions are often counterproductive: they weaken your position and embolden your adversary.

AUSTRALIA: Final selection criteria for SBS 2021-22 Language Services Review released (Press release)

SBS: As part of SBS’s commitment to continue evolving to meet the needs of contemporary Australia, SBS has today announced the final selection criteria it will use as part of the 2021-22 Language Services Review.

AUSTRALIA: Seven’s election debate to air after Big Brother as prime minister snubs ABC

The Guardian: The federal director of the Liberal party, Andrew Hirst, rejected the national broadcaster’s offer earlier this week without giving an explanation.

FIJI: New Press Club ushers in a new era for FMA

FBC News: The Fijian Press Club is a partnership between the Fijian Media Association and the Australian High Commission that aims to develop the media industry in the country.

FIJI: We are heavily criticised but we play a very important role in keeping a democratic society – Simpson

Fiji Village: We are heavily criticised but we play a very important role in keeping a democratic society and keeping people informed. These were the sentiments of the Fijian Media Association General Secretary, Stanley Simpson during the launch of the Fijian Press Club and celebration of World Press Freedom Day.

NEW ZEALAND: RNZ focusses on the future (Press release)

RNZ: RNZ started 2022 with clear priorities and objectives – continuing to deliver the high-quality news, current affairs and entertainment that the public expect from our radio and digital platforms, along with a focus on preparing for an exciting future as part of a new public media entity for Aotearoa.

NEW ZEALAND: ‘Threat to our democracy’: Kiwi journalists increasingly face violence and abuse, study finds

Stuff: Journalists are increasingly facing threats of violence, including the threat of rape, new research by Massey University says.

WEST PAPUA: Does Indonesia have a healthy free press? Not according to West Papua

Global Voices: Papuan journalists face routine threats, abuse, and censorship.

REGIONAL: Free press essential to democracy says Pacific media watchdog

RNZ Pacific: The Pacific Freedom Forum says World Press Freedom Day is a significant milestone for Pacific region media.

REGIONAL: Media freedom slide in Australia ‘undermining’ ability to project democratic values

Asia Pacific Report: A Melbourne-based Indonesian media academic has warned that declining media freedom in Australia is undermining the country’s ability to project liberal democratic values to the Asia-Pacific region.

REGIONAL: Pacific governments urged to respect and protect media freedom (Listen)

RNZ: The Pacific Freedom Forum is urging governments and leaders in the region to respect and uphold media freedom.

ALBANIA: Investigations needed over intimidation of journalists reporting on prosecutor’s vetting

IPI: IPI and other media freedom and journalists’ organisations today wrote to Besnik Dervishi, Commissioner for the Right to Access to Information and Personal Data Protection in Albania, to request thorough investigations into recent cases of suspicious data breaches involving journalists writing about a former prosecutor.

ALBANIA: RSF Responds After Albanian Prime Minister Dismisses World Press Freedom Index

Exit: Reporters Without Borders has responded to the claims by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama that the reports of media violations in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index were “lies” and “fantasy”, by debunking him.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Ten years ago, ČT launched the first hybrid television in the Czech Republic. It is number one on the market and is preparing news (Press release – Czech)

Česká televize: Exactly ten years ago, on May 4, 2012, Czech Television was the first domestic broadcaster to launch the function of the red button, or HbbTV, on the occasion of the World Hockey Championship. Today, the widespread television broadcasting has reached the use of over 900,000 people, making ČT the market leader. 

DENMARK: Danish broadcaster publishes bilingual warnings for Ukrainian refugees

Euractiv: Danish broadcaster TV2 published a bilingual title to reassure the 25,000 Ukrainian refugees about the annual siren tests in Denmark.

DENMARK: This is how DR covers the referendum on the defense reservation (Press release – Danish)

DR: Two party leader debates will help the Danes to decide where to put their tick on 1 June. DR is now ready with programs and host teams for the final sprint in the coverage of the referendum on the defense reservation.

ESTONIA: Criminal fines for journalists over public interest reporting send dangerous signal

EFJ: The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in expressing concerns about the imposition of fines on two journalists and a news outlet in Estonia after they published information about pre-trial criminal proceedings without seeking permission or informing the prosecutor’s office.

ESTONIA: Private media firms join ERR in public address on press freedoms

ERR: Following the decision of Harju County Court to impose a fine on two journalists with investigative weekly Eesti Ekspress, after the publication of an article disclosing money laundering suspicions against former management at Swedbank, the two major organizations representing both the private and the public media in Estonia have issued a joint statement.

FRANCE: Special programming from France Télévisions around the fight against LGBTphobia (Press release – French)

France Télévisions: Faithful to its long-term commitment against all forms of exclusion, violence, harassment and discrimination, France Télévisions offers special programming around the International Day for the Fight against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on 17 may. 

GEORGIA: Another Former Public TV Journalist Alleges Censorship

Civil: Former journalist of the Georgian Public Broadcaster’s discontinued weekly analytical show “Akhali Kvira,” Keti Tutberidze, has become the latest employee to speak out against alleged censorship at the state-funded Public TV.

GERMANY: Alliance “Media for Diversity”: “Promoting diversity is our joint responsibility” (Press release – German)

Deutschlandradio: The “Media for Diversity” alliance, founded in 2021, has set itself the task of promoting diversity in the media industry both internally and externally.

GERMANY: Second attempt: ARD to drop SD distribution on Astra

Advanced Television: German public broadcaster ARD will commence SD switch-off on Astra (19.2° East).

GREECE: Commission: Greece’s 2022 Rule of Law report to focus on media freedom

Euractiv: The Commission’s 2022 Rule of Law Report will have a particular focus on media matters, an EU spokesperson told EURACTIV Greece, following a new report showing that Greece has become the worst EU country when it comes to media freedom.

HUNGARY: Radio Silence: Independent Hungarian Station To Lose License (Watch)

RFE/RL: An independent radio station in Budapest is set to lose its broadcasting license, renewing concerns about media freedom in Hungary.

IRELAND: Calls for levy on Pay TV, Video on Demand services

RTÉ: A levy on Pay TV and Video on Demand services could yield €25 million for the Irish audio-visual industry, at no cost to the taxpayer, according to industry experts.

IRELAND: Ireland warned strict libel laws constrain media freedom

The Irish Times: Campaigners fear State will grow as hub for ‘libel tourism’ in wake of UK exit from EU.

ITALY: Who’s afraid of journalists? The free expression mission to Italy (Event)

Article 19: On 11 May, as part of an open dialogue among journalists, the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) and the European Commission will launch a report elaborating on the key findings and recommendations stemming from the MFRR mission to Italy, which took place in Rome and Naples from 4 to 6 April.

NORWAY: Record high trust in and use of NRK’s ​​content in 2021 (Press release – Norwegian)

NRK: NRK’s ​​reports for 2021 show record high trust in and use of NRK’s ​​content. NRK has never been closer to the goal of reaching everyone in Norway. In 2021, 92 percent of the population used one or more offers from NRK every single day.

RUSSIA: ‘Zombie TV’: The disintegration of Russia’s free press

DW: On World Press Freedom Day, a look at how Russia’s media has evolved since the 1990s: 37 journalists have been murdered in Russia since Vladimir Putin took office in 2000.

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: Russia’s War on Ukraine Is a Threat to Press Freedom, Report Says

TIME: Journalism is coming under increasingly intense pressure in Ukraine, exacerbated by the war, as press freedom remains restricted in well over two thirds of the world, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

SLOVENIA: RTV management demands proof of pressure on Studio City team (Paywall)

STA: Responding to a protest letter from the Trade Union of Journalists (SNS) which speaks of pressure on the staff of the popular current affairs show Studio City, the management of the public broadcaster RTV Slovenija rejected the accusations, demanding proof of the claims or in the opposite case, an apology.

SLOVENIA: Slovenia’s Ombudsman, experts call for deteriorating press freedom to be addressed

Euractiv: Slovenia’s human rights ombudsman and media experts have urged action to address deteriorating press freedom as Slovenia now ranks 54th in the latest World Press Freedom Index – dropping 18 spots compared to last year and ranking the lowest since the index was first compiled.

SPAIN: RTVE organizes the 1st Equality Observatory Seminar, ‘Professional Women in Film and Television’ (Press release – Spanish)

RTVE: The  Equality Observatory of the RTVE Corporation has organized this Wednesday the I Equality Seminar on the role of women in the world of cinema and television . 

SWEDEN: Solar cells provide electricity to Sveriges Radio’s new rolling editorial staff (Press release – Swedish)

Sveriges Radio: Sveriges Radio is now strengthening its local presence with the help of an investment in cars with fully equipped editorial workplaces that are partly powered by solar cells.

SWEDEN: Swedish Radio named Sweden’s most equal employer (Press release – Swedish – 29 April)

Sveriges Radio

SWITZERLAND: Swiss press freedom dealt blow in bid for overhaul of bank secrecy rules

Reuters: Lawmakers blocked a bid to overhaul strict Swiss banking secrecy rules on Friday in a blow to freedom of information advocates seeking an exemption for journalists and whistleblowers.

UK: Channel 4 offers to sell London HQ under alternative plan to privatisation

The Guardian: Channel 4 has said it could sell its £100m London headquarters and almost double the number of staff working outside the capital under plans to become “northern-based” that it hopes offer an attractive alternative to the government’s privatisation push.

UK: Media Bill to give Channel 4 ‘tools it needs to succeed in the future’

Independent: Boris Johnson has cemented the Government’s intention to privatise Channel 4, saying the sale will “unleash the potential of the UK’s creative sector”.

UK: Mental Health Awareness Week 2022: Content across TV, radio and digital to provide support and help build resilience in challenging times (Press release)

BBC: Content includes a number of deeply personal documentaries on BBC television, while radio stations from across the UK will also once again unite to broadcast a special one minute message in support of mental health awareness.

UK: Online Safety Bill will “significantly curtail freedom of expression”

Index on Censorship: Gavin Millar QC has produced the first analysis of the implications of the Bill for the British media and journalism, the courts and the UK’s digital economy.

UKRAINE: Media Group: At Least 23 Journalists Killed in Ukraine War (Watch)

VOA News: Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, at least 23 journalists have been killed in the country, according to a journalists’ union. And at least seven of those deaths took place while the journalists were on assignment, says the Committee to Protect Journalists. Oleksii Kovalenko has the story, narrated by Anna Rice. VOA footage by Kostiantyn Golubchyk.

REGIONAL: European Commission must take ambitious approach to European Media Freedom Act

IPI: IPI today joined 16 organisations in signing an open letter to European Commissioners Vera Jourová, Thierry Breton and Margrethe Vestager on the occasion of Europe Day urging the Commission to take an ambitious approach to the European Media Freedom Act.

REGIONAL: Local cross-border journalism grant: applications open! (Opportunity)

EFJ: The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is inviting all journalists interested in doing cross-border investigative journalism at the local level to apply for the new Local Cross-Border Journalism grant.

REGIONAL: The Western Balkans will need unity and cooperation across society to overcome press freedom challenges

Global Voices: In times of war and global polarization the Western Balkans region is divided along the lines of current polarizing forces.

REGIONAL: What’s Next for Central Europe’s Media?

IPI: IPI World Press Freedom Day 2022 panel discussion examined the future of Central European media in light of recent elections and Russia’s information warfare.

ARGENTINA: Public TV workers denounced a “media campaign” against the public media (Spanish)

Télam: Public TV workers denounced this Monday a media campaign “against the public media” by warning about the informative treatment that the LN+ news channel and the Clarín newspaper gave to a series of judicial presentations made by employees of channel 7 before ” the untimely salary reduction of 40%” carried out between 2018 and 2019 by the management of Cambiemos.

BARBADOS: BARJAM wants media workers included in awards

Barbados Today: The Barbados Association of Journalists and Media Workers (BARJAM) has called on Government to recognize the hard work of persons in that field during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

BOLIVIA: 61 violations of press freedom were recorded in four months (Spanish)

Página Siete: According to a Unitas report, the stigmatization of journalists and the lack of access to information are recurrent. There were also 48 violations of democratic institutions and 47 of the right to protest.

BRAZIL: Everything you wanted to know about Pública’s journalism (Portuguese) 

Agência Pública: Founders, advisors, editors and reporters reveal the backstage of the 10 years of Agência Pública, in a book released by the publishing house Elefante, already on pre-sale.

BRAZIL: See the letter to Lula and access the booklet of proposals for the seminar “rebuilds EBC” (Portuguese)

Frente em defesa da EBC e da Comunicação Pública: The material discussed and prepared at the Seminar “Rebuild the EBC and Public Communication” is already in the form of a “Proposal Notebook” that will be delivered to candidates for the Presidency of the Republic in the 2022 Elections. The idea is to guide the strengthening of the public field, especially the EBC, essential for Brazilian democracy.

CHILE: They will enjoy independence from the government: Check how the rule on public media approved by the plenary was (Spanish)

24 Horas: The article establishes that “these communication media will be pluralistic, decentralized, and will be coordinated among themselves. Likewise, they will enjoy independence from the government and will have public financing for their operation.”

COLOMBIA: Álvaro García: “Once a journalist, always a journalist” (Spanish – 26 April)

El Espectador: The manager of RTVC assures that listening to the audience to find out what they need was key so that, in recent years, the Public Media System put aside controversies and began to stand out in issues such as the India Catalina and Frailejón Ernesto Pérez Awards .

COSTA RICA: Costa Rica stands out in Latin America on press freedom

The Tico Times: Costa Rica is currently 8th in the World Raking and is the only Latin American country among the first positions; the country’s overall score was 85.92. Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia and Finland are top of the list, followed by Ireland and Portugal.

EL SALVADOR: ‘We Are Not Going to Censor Ourselves,’ Say El Salvador Journalists

VOA: The country’s media have investigated gangs for years, but a new law could stop that coverage.

GUYANA: Recommendations from press freedom symposium to be consolidated (Paywall)

Stabroek News: The Department of Public Affairs in the Office of the Prime Minister says that it will be moving to consolidate the recommendations from the two day press freedom symposium into actionable outcomes through further engagement of the “key actors across the local spectrum”.

HONDURAS: Fighting disinformation is key to the development of Honduras (Spanish)

Hondudiario.com: Fighting disinformation and guaranteeing freedom of the press is “key” to achieving development and strengthening democracy in Honduras.

JAMAICA: STUDY: UNESCO Media Viability Indicators Research Study Jamaica (Report)

Media Institute of the Caribbean: The question of media viability must be defined contextually and culturally. As a small island developing state, there is a delicate balance between viability and sustainability. 

MEXICO: Impunity, Violence a Threat to Media Freedom in Mexico (Watch)

VOA: The Committee to protect journalists says that Mexico is one of the most dangerous places in the world to practice journalism outside of an active war zone. Erika Grothe has more from Mexico City.

URUGUAY: They ask that LGBT journalists can decide in the media to respect their vision (Spanish)

Swissinfo: The incidence of LGBT journalists in the editorial line of the media was one of the recommendations given this Tuesday by the Mexican Láurel Miranda to be able to make visible the problems of the group.

VENEZUELA: Venezuelan journalists: “the press needs to be free to influence the level of democracy” (Spanish)

VOA News: The United States Embassy in Venezuela organized this Thursday a digital forum to discuss the right to freedom of the press in that country.

REGIONAL: Report: Impact of COVID-19 on Caribbean journalists (downloadable) (Report)

Media Institute of the Caribbean: The Media Institute of the Caribbean (MIC) commissioned this survey to get an understanding of the challenges and issues that journalists face in general and during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This report highlights the findings of the survey.

REGIONAL: Why is press freedom important to Latin American journalists? We asked, and this is what they said.

LatAm Journalism Review

IRAQ: GCHR mission reports on challenges faced by human rights defenders following October popular movement

IFEX: The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) has published a new report, “They Will Not Shoot Down Our Dream: Challenges Faced by Human Rights Defenders in Iraq Following the October Popular Movement”, based on research carried out during a mission to the country in early 2022.

OMAN: Omani journalist Mukhtar al-Hanai charged over corruption coverage

CPJ: Oman authorities should drop all charges against journalist Mukhtar al-Hanai and allow the press to work freely and without fear of legal harassment, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Friday.

SYRIA: Syria passes draconian cybercrime laws

Index on Censorship: Country is latest to criminalise vaguely defined fake news to target human rights activists and journalists.

TURKEY: Only 31 countries rank worse than Turkey in press freedom

Bianet: Released annually by the Reporters Without Borders (RSF), this year’s World Press Freedom Index was released on May 3 World Press Freedom Day. Turkey has ranked 149th in the 180-country list.

TURKEY: Turkey’s state-run TRT to establish Netflix-like digital platform

Turkish Minute: Turkish state broadcaster TRT will establish an international digital platform that will be an alternative to Netflix, the popular American streaming service and production company, its president has announced.

YEMEN: Yemen journalism union urges release of journalists in Houthi prisons

The New Arab: Yemen’s Journalism Syndicate on Tuesday appealed for the release of journalists held by Houthi rebels in the wake of World Press Freedom Day marked on 3 May.

REGIONAL: Egypt’s clampdown on “immodest” videos, and the systematic targeting of Palestinian journalists

IFEX: April 2022 in Middle East and North Africa: A free expression roundup produced by IFEX’s Regional Editor Naseem Tarawnah, based on IFEX member reports and news from the region.

CANADA: Afghan journalists find freedom of expression in Canada

Newswire: The Government of Canada is working hard to resettle at least 40,000 Afghan nationals as quickly and safely as possible. Canada has now welcomed a total of 12,605 Afghan refugees, with more arriving every week.


CBC: CBC, Canada’s public broadcaster and #1 Canadian podcast publisher, today shared details of its podcast slate for Spring/Summer 2022. 

CANADA: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Grant for Youth Production (Press release – French)

Radio-Canada: In order to support greater diversity in youth creation and production teams, the Alliance Médias Jeunesse with its partners Radio-Canada, Télé-Québec, TFO and APTN , are offering four scholarships aimed at financing three internships for people from diversity or indigenous communities.

CANADA: Journalism under Fire: Media Freedom in a Time of Disinformation and Division (Speech)

CBC/Radio-Canada: On World Press Freedom Day, Catherine Tait, President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada and Chair of the Global Task Force for Public Media, spoke at the Canadian Club Toronto about the new threats to fact-based media in Canada and around the world, and how the public broadcaster is responding. 

US: As Issues Heat Up In Washington, Broadcasters Spend More On Lobbying.

Inside Radio: After cutting back on its lobbying spending last year, the National Association of Broadcasers invested the most during a single quarter to get its message across to lawmakers and regulators than it had in the past two years.

US: Diversify or die out: Five steps for creating a newsroom that reflects America (Paywall)

Current: Changing the storytellers is the only way to help reverse the news media’s unconscionable pattern of racial inequity, says YR Media CEO Kyra Kyles.

US: Five US Pubcasters Join Year-Two Podcast Accelerator

Kidscreen: PRX, PBS KIDS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will provide funding and training for kids audio series focused on work and life skills.

US: Media outlets led by CNN seek access to court filings that House January 6 committee made under seal

CNN: Eighteen national media outlets led by CNN are asking a court to make public secret court filings in former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows’ lawsuit against the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, US Capitol attack.

US: NPR and LAist Studios launch Oye, an audio incubator for Latinx creators (Press release) 

NPR: NPR and LAist Studios are joining forces to launch Oye: The Lab for Latinx Creators, a talent accelerator that will connect creators with fresh ideas to these powerhouse audio organizations. 

US: The Washington Post deploys Democracy Team

E&P: State-based reporters to collaborate with national journalists to cover elections, voting rights and other facets of American democracy.

Detailed ‘open source’ news investigations are catching on

AP News

Ending the gender digital divide is critical to the full enjoyment of women’s rights says UN expert

OHCHR: On World Press Freedom Day, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression Irene Khan urged States to protect women journalists from online and offline attacks, and social media companies to ensure that online spaces are free from discrimination and safe for all women.

Infographic: Where is press freedom restricted?

Al Jazeera: More than 85 percent of the world’s population has seen a decrease in press freedom in their country over the past five years.

In Some Tiny Countries, Big Progress Made on Press Freedom

VOA News: Despite an overall trend of decline in press freedom around the world, there are a few bright spots in countries that are striving to improve their governing systems.

Minority-language media and the digital transition (Report)

IPI: As part of the NewsSpectrum fellowships programme, IPI is publishing “A Media Call to the Future”, a needs assessment of minority- and regional-language media in digital transition in Europe.

‘No guardrails’: Social media is threatening press freedom, Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa says

HKFP: “Every time you do a difficult story to try to hold power to account, you have to be ready to get personally attacked,” Maria Ressa said.

Press freedom is under attack. It needs defenders

The Economist: Autocrats pay lip service to free speech while eroding it in insidious ways.

Proliferation of fake news fuelling divisions, global tensions: RSF

RFI: Unregulated online content has spread disinformation and propaganda that have amplified political divisions worldwide, fanned international tensions and even contributed to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to an annual report by Reporters Without Borders.

Report for the World opens first-ever global call for local newsroom applications (Opportunity)

Report for the World: Having successfully launched in Brazil, India and Nigeria, the program will now open its doors to applications from local newsrooms anywhere in the world.

The pitfalls of disinformation: knowing them to better thwart them (French)

RFI: In a world where information circulates at an unequaled speed, it is sometimes difficult to disentangle the true from the false, the seriousness of a journalistic work from the more or less probable formatting of a false content. This misinformation can take many forms. 

Tools to build a relationship with our audience (Spanish)

RTVC: Making a podcast seems simple: plan, produce and broadcast . However, when we get to the third step, a latent concern arises for content creators: how to build an effective and lasting relationship with our audience? 

What is the ‘product’ of journalism?

Poynter: Journalists need to better understand what their product is. People choose to pay for a package, not an individual unit.

Women journalists see harassment as part of the job, a new study finds

Nieman Lab: Male journalists face less harassment — and different types of it — but seem to see it as part of a job well done.

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Header image: A row of journalists writing in their notepads. Credit: The Climate Reality Project / Unsplash.com

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