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

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BURKINA FASO: The 77 Percent: Burkina Faso cartoonists

Deutsche Welle: A group of cartoonists in Burkina Faso have created an animation company with the sole purpose of catering for African children. As Bram Posthumus reports from Ougadougou, the cartoonists are aiming for the sky.

GHANA: Embrace TV licence for GBC’s survival

Ghana Web: The Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) has urged Ghanaians to pay the controversial TV licence fee.

KENYA: The media council of Kenya condemns the attack on the media from politicians

KTN News: Addressing the press in Nakuru media council of Kenya CEO Mr. David Omwoyo urged concerned parties to seek redress using right channels guaranteed by the constitution.

MOROCCO: How Morocco Has Weakened Its Press, Pushing Readers to Social Media for News

Pulitzer Centre: Last year, Morocco overhauled its speech and press laws, a move the country heralded as a major step toward a free press. The intent was to decriminalize all speech that does not incite violence.

NIGERIA: Muslim journalists seek fair portrayal of Islam in Nigerian media

Premium Times: Muslim media practitioners at the weekend urged the Nigerian media to ensure fair portrayal of Islam and Muslims in the country.

SIERRA LEONE: Staff of broke national broadcaster on strike

Journal du Cameroun: Aggrieved by poor working conditions, the staff of Sierra Leone’s struggling national public broadcaster, Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) on Tuesday embarked on an indefinite strike action.

SWAZILAND: Journalists ‘Scared to Do Their Jobs’

Via All Africa: Journalists in Swaziland cannot do their jobs properly because they fear people in authority, a leading media academic in the kingdom said.

SUDAN: Sudanese authorities seize critical papers after reports on rising food prices

CPJ: Agents from Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) yesterday confiscated all copies of six newspapers: the privately owned Al-Tayar, Al-Moustagilla, al-Qarar, Al-Saiha; the socialist party’s paper al-Midan; and the leftist opposition National Congress Party’s Akhbar al-Watan, according to news reports.

TANZANIA: Critics Of Tanzania’s President Say He’s Moved Country Toward Authoritarianism

NPR: John Magufuli is the reformer Tanzania needs — a no-nonsense guy who has reined in corruption and profligate spending. But Tanzania’s president also has a dark side. He has silenced his opposition and eroded basic freedoms of speech and of the press.

TUNISIA: Despite Death Threats, Tunisian Online Station Persists

Radio World: Tunisia’s LGBT internet radio station Shams Rad has only been online since December 19.But in that short time, this North African station has “received more than five thousand death threats.

AFGHANISTAN: Media freedom, access to information essential for building trust, say Kandahar media institutions

ReliefWeb: Media freedom and the flow of accurate information are essential to build trust between government, media and citizens, according to participants in radio programmes and series of discussions held throughout 2017.

AZERBAIJAN: Has Copyright Become a New Weapon Against Online Media?

Coda Story: YouTube’s copyright rules are being abused by the Azerbaijan government in an attempt to censor content from the global video-sharing site according to one of the country’s few independent news services.

BANGLADESH: Govt agencies calling up editors over reports: Editors’ Council

New Age: Editors’ Council on Sunday in a statement expressed concern over incidents of editors and reporters being called up by different government agencies seeking explanation of news published.

CAMBODIA & VIETNAM: Vietnamese, Cambodian radios boost cooperation

Asia Radio Today: The deal allows the two sides to air more radio news and programmes on each country’s politics, economy, culture and society, aiming to strengthen the friendship between Vietnam and Cambodia.

CHINA: China’s media watchdog in legal challenge over censorship of gay content

South China Morning Post: Beijing court accepts rare case in which regulator will be asked to provide legal basis for rules that describe homosexuality as ‘abnormal’.

INDIA: 65 percent of population to be covered under FM network

Web India 123: About 52 percent of country’s population is being covered by FM transmitters of radio and soon the coverage would extend up to 65 percent, Lok Sabha was informed on Thursday.

INDIA: BBC to pursue personalized content through partnerships with local news companies in India

IJNET: To ensure that the BBC gets things right in India, where the first of its new sites went live in October, BBC Connected Studio, the organization’s innovation unit, is partnering with local technology companies to come up with solutions to some of its biggest technology challenges — specifically those that relate to personalization and what it calls “anytime content.”

INDIA: Prasar Bharati to digitise rare tapes

The New Indian Express: Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati has approached the IIT-Delhi to help recover some of its rare audio and video archives—including speeches of prominent freedom fighters—through digitization after several agencies failed to accomplish the task saying “it was beyond them”.

INDIA: Nirmala Sitharaman slams DD for cutting off Tyagaraja Aradhana’s telecast

Financial Express: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today slammed Doordarshan for abruptly cutting off the live telecast of the annual Tyagaraja Aradhana to air an advertisement and termed it “thoughtless” and “insensitive”.

JAPAN: Many Japanese resent paying for their boring public broadcaster (Opinion)

The Economist: Try saying you don’t live there, suggests one website. Pretend you don’t have a television, says another. Such is the advice swapped online on how to avoid paying the “reception fee” that every home that owns a television must pay to NHK, Japan’s PSB.

KAZAKHSTAN: Kazakhstan Tightens Squeeze on Media

TOL: Astana reinforces its status as a no-go area for independent media, while ostensibly more open Kyrgyzstan cracks down on opposition TV station.

MYANMAR: Detention of Journalists Threatens Press Freedom (Press Release)

Freedom House: In advance of the Myanmar government’s decision whether to charge two detained journalists for the Reuters news agency — Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo — for alleged violation of the Official Secrets Act, Freedom House [have issued this statement].

PAKISTAN: ‘Surviving the Story’ highlights Pakistani journalists’ plight

PT: Government should partner with media organisations to encourage and institutionalise life and health insurances for journalists, emerged as a key recommendation of the field study report and the documentary ‘Surviving the Story’, released at the National Press Club (NPC) on Monday.

SINGAPORE:  One more year before the end of analogue TV broadcast

ABU: Households will have one more year to switch to Digital TV after the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) announce that the deadline to pull the plug on analogue TV broadcast has been shifted from end-2017 to Dec 31, 2018.

SOUTH KOREA: KBS-Korea Joins Efforts to Launch Interactive UHD Service

ABU: KBS, the national broadcaster in South Korea in collaboration with the terrestrial broadcasters of the country, has launched the world’s first terrestrial UHD Interactive Service TIVIVA, on November 21, 2017.

THAILAND: ‘Ask this guy’: Thai PM uses cardboard cutout to avoid journalists’ questions

The Guardian: Prayuth Chan-ocha appeared ready for a media conference before producing the unusual prop and walking off.

AUSTRALIA: SBS unveils new look, new app for SBS News

SBS: SBS has refreshed its news portfolio, today launching SBS News with increased capabilities across its broadcast and digital platforms and a bold, new look bring its range of news platforms together under the SBS News banner.

NEW ZEALAND: RNZ and Indian Newslink Announce Content Partnership

RNZ: RNZ has announced a content-sharing agreement with the Auckland-based publisher Indian Newslink.

SAMOA: Research explores media practice, freedom of the press

Pacific Media Centre: A research paper by a National University of Samoa lecturer warns media freedom in Samoa still faces many challenges.

SAMOA: Samoa govt criticised for lack of consultation on criminal libel

RNZ: The Samoa government is being criticised by the Pacific Freedom Forum for reinstating criminal libel without adequate consultation.

SOLOMON ISLANDS: Solomons govt hands over cheque to reduce SIBC debt

RNZ: The Solomon Islands government has handed over a cheque for more than $US27,000 to reduce its outstanding debt to the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Critical of journalists, Czech President Zeman relies on media allies

IPI: Trend toward oligarchic media ownership in focus ahead of Jan 12 to 13 presidential vote

CZECH REPUBLIC: Journalists and Schools Work Together to Teach Media Literacy

EJO: Czech journalists believe media education is increasingly important in an era of fake news. In a recent survey of eleven journalists, representing ten newsrooms, all agreed that news organisations should be involved in educating audiences in, for example, how to ensure news sources are reliable.

DENMARK: End of license: Political majority will surrender it to the tax (Danish)

DR: This will make the funding of public service media more socially just and representative.

FRANCE: Emmanuel Macron proposes new law against fake news

Deutsche Welle: In his first New Year address as president, Emmanuel Macron said measures were needed to defend French democracy. Macron has previously taken aim at Russian media for allegedly spreading untruths ahead of elections.

FRANCE: Public media: a new law proposal by the end of 2018 (French)

CB News: Emmanuel Macron confirmed Wednesday the presentation in Council of Ministers, “before the end of the year” 2018, a draft law on public broadcasting at the Elysee during the ceremony of vows for the press.

GERMANY: Repeal NetzDG bill, deletion is not the answer

EFJ: The German journalists’ association and affiliate of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV), has called on the members of the German Bundestag to abolish the Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG) as soon as possible.

GERMANY: Tough new German law puts tech firms and free speech in spotlight

The Guardian: Social media firms must remove hate speech or face fines up to £44m under controversial law that came into force on 1 January.

ITALY: Alberto Angela, boom of audience ratings for his «Wonders» of Italy: 5.6 million people glued to Rai Uno (Italian)

Corriere della Sera: Yet another success for the science writer who is celebrated on social media too. The first installment of his new program “Wonders – Treasure peninsula”, which was broadcast on Thursday in prime time on Rai Uno, was followed by 5 million 662 thousand admissions with a 23.8% share.

MACEDONIA: Five years after the “Black Monday”

24 Vesti via OBC: Five years have passed since the events of December 2012, when both the opposition representatives and the journalists in the parliamentary hall were removed by the Macedonian police. Without any media coverage and political opposition, the majority approved the country budget for 2013.

NORWAY: A news site gave would-be commenters a quiz. Here’s what happened.


POLAND: Fine Against Polish TV Station Is a Violation of Free Speech

Liberties: The Polish National Broadcasting Council’s recent fine on the private TV broadcaster TVN for alleged biased reporting is a shocking violation for free speech and democratic norms.

SPAIN: Ciudadanos demand Ana Pastor to promote the renewal of the RTVE Council (Spanish)

La Vanguardia: Ciudadanos will demand today the president of the Congress, Ana Pastor, to promote the renewal of the RTVE Council through public tender as 2017 ended without an agreement between the parliamentary groups for the preparation of a regulation that would allow it.

SWEDEN: Swedish security chief warning on fake news

BBC News: The head of Sweden’s security service has told the BBC the agency is not just dealing with an increased threat of terrorism but also the impact of disinformation and fake news.

SWITZERLAND: Artists fight to keep public broadcasting licence fee

The Local Ch: Over 6,000 artists in Switzerland are calling on the Swiss public to vote against the ‘No Billag’ popular initiative, saying abolishing the radio and television licence fee would threaten the range of culture broadcasting in the county.

SWITZERLAND: Swiss ministry organises consultation on SRG licence

Telecompaper: Swiss Department for Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (UVEK) has published the draft for a new licence for the public broadcaster SRG, under consultation until 12 April.

UK: BBC editor quits China post over pay discrimination

Reuters: Carrie Gracie, the China editor for Britain’s public broadcaster the BBC, has resigned from her post in Beijing due to pay disparities with her male colleagues, according to an open letter she wrote.

UK: BBC iPlayer enjoys record week as viewers switch off traditional TV

The Guardian: Streaming service reports sharp rise in requests, with EastEnders’ Christmas Day episode its most popular individual show.

UK: New programming management team for BBC Worldwide Polska

Broadband TV News: BBC Worldwide Polska will have a new programming management team in place by the middle of this month.

UK: Proposed UK data protection bill poses a threat to investigative journalism

ECPMF: Media representatives and experts are criticising a new data protection bill being discussed in the UK Parliament for it is a possible threat to investigative journalism.

UKRAINE: Pyeongchang 2018 and Tokyo 2020 to be broadcast on free-to-air television in Ukraine

Inside the Games: State-owned broadcaster, the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (UA:PBC), has acquired free-to-air broadcast rights for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics and the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.

ARGENTINA: Festival against dismissals on Radio Nacional and in defense of public media (Spanish)

InfoNews: The workers of the TV Pública, Radio Nacional and Télam organised a musical festival on Thursday to protest against the adjustment that the government plans for the public media and that already generated the dismissal of 16 people in the station.

ARGENTINA: Mass dismissals of workers from public media (Spanish)

IFJ: A new wave of dismissals affects journalists and workers in the public media. They will carry out today a cessation of activities, and a mobilization with the union of state workers.

BRAZIL: With help from Facebook, these two projects are tackling fake news in Brazil

Poynter: Today the technology company announced that it’s funding two news literacy projects aimed at preventing social media users from sharing fake news.

CARIBBEAN: Caribbean Broadcasting Union partners donate equipment to hurricane-hit radio services

CBU: The Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) is offering a sincere thank you to its international partners who came through with much-needed support for three of the radio stations hardest hit by catastrophic Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

MEXICO: Displacement, Murder Of Mexican Journalists Show Dangers For Free Press In Americas

Houston Public Media: At least 12 media workers were murdered in Mexico last year.

IRAN: In crackdown on protests, Iranian regime targets freedom to inform

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the Iranian regime’s arrests of around ten citizen-journalists in the past few days and the restrictions it has imposed on access to social networks an attempt to censor information about a wave of protests throughout the country.

IRAN: Iran tries to censor coverage of protests by media based abroad

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the Iranian government’s attempt to silence coverage of the current wave of protests by Persian-language media based outside the country, which are a major source of alternative news and information for Iranians.

IRAN: Why it’s hard to verify details about the demonstrations in Iran

Poynter: What began as a protest over food prices has grown into a full-fledged political crisis in Iran, complete with its own outpouring of misinformation.

ISRAEL: Why Censorship of Israel’s Media Has Grown Under Netanyahu (Subscription)

WPR: Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, faces a growing list of political scandals, including his attempts to manipulate the media and interfere with press coverage.

JORDAN: Arabic-language narrative podcasts connect with a new generation in a region with a rich oral tradition

Nieman Lab: The podcast network Sowt, which both produces and curates podcasts for a Middle East audience, avoids “just translating and adapting U.S. products” to create shows for socially conscious young listeners.

PALESTINE: The IFJ denounces a “dramatic increase” in media violations

IFJ: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has backed its affiliate, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS), in condemning the “dramatic increase” in violations against Palestinian media and journalists following the publication of the PJS 2017 annual report.

CANADA: CRTC launches survey to study Canadian media consumption habits

Mobile Syrup: Between mobile phones, tablets, laptops and the like, there are many ways for people to watch and listen to all kinds of content. With that in mind, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is launching a new survey that aims to discover the reasons why Canadians consume content in different ways.

US: How to cover Trump without getting sucked into his war on the media

Poynter: In the latest volleys in an endless war on the media, President Trump plucked arrows this week from his favorite quivers: hardball legal threats, all-CAPS Twitter rants and reality TV’s grab bag of hyperbole and cliffhangers.

US: In 2017, Media Largely Failed to Connect Extreme Weather to Climate Change Amid Year of Hurricanes, Droughts, Disease

Public Citizen via Common Dreams: Mainstream media outlets scored poorly on major metrics of climate change coverage in 2017, despite major extreme weather events, according to a new report by Public Citizen.

US: Audit finds WV Public Broadcasting still relevant in multimedia era

Charleston Gazette-Mail: West Virginia’s Educational Broadcasting Authority remains relevant and continues to fulfill its goal of providing  educational programming to the state, even in the face of expanding competition, both in traditional and new media, a legislative audit released Monday concluded.

US: New Pew study says local TV news viewing dropping fast

Poynter: Until now, local TV news viewership has been declining slowly.  But a new Pew research study shows that from 2016 to 2017, the decline picked up speed.

US: Mid-band Spectrum Talk Worries Broadcasters

Radio World: Talk at the Federal Communications Commission about how to satisfy demand for wireless broadband has some broadcast organizations on alert for potential spectrum changes that could affect their operations someday.

Analysis: What does the future hold for virtual reality?

IBC: Is the VR market developing in line with expectations, or has uptake of the technology stalled? Analysts share their views.

As Low-Power Local Radio Rises, Tiny Voices Become a Collective Shout

The New York Times

CES: What to Know About Those 8K TVs

The Hollywood Reporter: The TVs have arrived, but where’s the broadcast infrastructure and content?

Global survey on media ethics highlights fake news, low pay and spin

EFJ: The Centre for International Media Ethics (CIME) has published the results of its survey on ‘Media Ethics in the Post-Truth Era’. The survey, with responses from Africa, the Americas, Central and South Asia, Europe and Oceania, aimed to learn from media professionals about the state of media ethics in their countries.

Here’s why journalists can be more confident reporting on climate change and extreme weather

Media Matters for America: The rapidly developing field of climate attribution science gives reporters and meteorologists a valuable tool for educating the public.

If freedom of the press is democracy, then what do you call this?

SEENPM: Defending media freedom has never been so important. Governments are becoming subtler in attempting to hide the truth. Journalists must become subtler too in uncovering it.

Seven Lessons Learned in a Year Teaching Mobile Journalism

EJO:  As mobile journalism becomes more widely used, universities and colleges are building ‘Mojo’ into formal journalism degrees.

Spaceship Media is using ‘dialogue journalism’ to enable productive conversations between communities at odds

Journalism.co.uk: The non-profit partners with newsrooms to get people of opposing views or political beliefs to engage productively using Facebook groups

The Offshore Journalism Project would let newsrooms send a “distress signal” when their content is at risk of being lost forever

Nieman Lab: “When digital news outlets disappear, the holes in coverage show, and they can be huge.”

Three years after Charlie tragedy, death still threatens “blaspheming” journalists

RSF: On the eve of the third anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) deplores the fact that dozens of journalists worldwide are still the targets of calls for their execution or are sentenced to death because they are deemed to be guilty of blasphemy or apostasy.

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