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

Click on the drop-down menus below to reveal the latest regional stories.

EGYPT: Will new union chief give Egypt more control over press?

Al-Monitor: Egypt’s media is often in the news itself as it has faced one government crackdown after another over the years. The idea of a free press in Egypt is often seen as a paradox. The recently elected president of the Egyptian Journalists’ Union, who is affiliated with the regime, now faces the thorny task of uniting the syndicate’s divided electorate.

KENYA: Report: The Kenyan media business should panic. Kenyan Journalism, not so much. It just needs to collect itself from the gutter.


MOZAMBIQUE: Prime Minister Launches International TVM Channel

All Africa: Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario on Friday launched the international channel of the public television station, TVM.

NIGERIA: NBC extends debt ultimatum to broadcasters by 3 months

Balancing Act: Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has extended the ultimatum for broadcasting organisations to offset their debt to the regulatory agency.

SOMALIA: BBC Somali launches TV news programme

BBC: As part of its growing investment in Africa, the BBC is launching a TV news programme for its Somali-speaking audience.

SOUTH AFRICA: Communications Minister Tasks SABC Board To ‘Quick-Fix’ Finances

Broadcast Media Africa: South Africa new Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has reportedly charged the recently constituted SABC interim board with the ‘urgent’ task of fixing the organisations finances.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC viewership plunges to “the lowest on record”

ScreenAfrica: The SABC’s TV viewership keeps plunging and has now dropped to a disastrous 45% audience share – its “lowest on record” – while SABC radio station listenership also nosedived following the badly implemented 90% local content decree of its former chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

SOUTH SUDAN: Media Body Petitions President Kiir Over Impunity Against Journalists

The East African: The Association for Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS), an umbrella for all media houses has petitioned President Salva Kiir to stop the rising impunity against journalists in the young nation.

TANZANIA: President fires minister over press freedom row, sends warning shot to media

East Africa Monitor: Tanzanian President John Magufuli warned the country’s media organisations to “be careful” on Friday after sacking a minister for defending press freedom.

TUNISIA: Media intimidation in Tunisia (French)

IFJ: Concern that Minister of the Interior’s decision to ban newspaper “Ethawra News” could lay precedent for the department to interfere in the affairs of the sector, intimidate journalists and appropriate the prerogatives of justice.

ZAMBIA: ZNBC to be Regulated by Independent Broadcasting Authority

Lusaka Times: Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) says it will soon start regulating Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation – ZNBC – as a public content provider.

GENERAL: PLAAF aims to support whistle-blowers

AlJazeera: Whistle-blowers in Africa under threat have little legal protection, says lawyer representing Assange, Snowden and more.

HONG KONG: Emergence of digital media prompts minor improvement in Hong Kong press freedom, watchdog says

Hong Kong Free Press

INDIA: Maharashtra passes landmark journalist protection law

IFJ: Any incident of violence against media persons or damage or loss of property of media persons or media institutions is now punishable in the state.

INDIA: Social Media Blocked For 48 Hours In Odisha Town

NDTV:  Even as the Odisha government claimed that the situation was under control in Bhadrak town, which had witnessed violence last week triggered by alleged abusive remarks against Hindu deities, all social media platforms were blocked for 48 hours in Bhadrak and places close to the town as a precautionary measure to prevent spread of violence.

INDONESIA: Indonesia’s Tempo Leads Asia into Cross-Border Collaborations

GIJN: Newsrooms in Asia have traditionally worked alone, guarding their sources and tip-offs fiercely and keeping their stories and investigations in-house. But is all this about to change?

INDONESIA: RSF calls on Jokowi to honour pledge to let journalists work

Pacific Media Centre: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called on Indonesian President Joko Widodo to keep his election promise to allow local and international journalists to operate in West Papua without obstruction or surveillance.

MALDIVES: Opposition TV in Maldives reeling under fine for alleged defamation

IFJ: The Maldives Broadcasting Commission (MBC) slapped the opposition-aligned TV channel with a fine of MVR 1 m (US$ 64,850) for content that it deemed defamed President Abdulla Yameen. The content in question is a speech by a speaker at a rally held by Maldivian United Opposition on October 26, 2016 which the TV had broadcast live.

MALDIVES: Raajje TV fined MVR1m over speech defaming Yameen

Maldives Independent: The broadcasting regulator has slapped an MVR1 million (US$64,850) fine on Raajje TV for airing a speech at an opposition rally in October that was deemed defamatory towards President Abdulla Yameen.

PHILIPPINES: Philippines to switch over to Digital TV

ABU: The Department of Information and Communications (DICT), in partnership with other government agencies, has announced the launch of the Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting (DTTB) migration plan, to move TV broadcasting from analogue to digital.

SOUTH KOREA: “Society 10 years from now”: This South Korean social video startup is made by millennials, for millennials

Nieman Lab: In a rigid media landscape, Dotface finds a large — and growing — audience by publishing on issues that are passed over (or unevenly covered) by legacy news outlets.

SRI LANKA: Opinion: Challenges to media freedom in Sri Lanka; the ‘New’ Government’s performance

The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka): A common view held by many across the Commonwealth that Sri Lanka holds out a beacon of hope to the world in reversing the tide of authoritarianism underscores darker and more complex realities.

TAIWAN: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) opens its first Asia bureau in Taipei

RSF: The press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders, also known under its French name Reporters sans frontières (RSF), is pleased to announce the opening of its first Asia bureau in Taipei.

THAILAND: Voice TV back on air, forced into self-censorship

Prachatai: After a seven-day ban by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), Voice TV is back on air, but for the time being there will be no programmes critical of the authorities.

REGIONAL: Kids Pick Internet Over TV in Asia-Pacific, Study Finds

eMarketer: For this group, accessing the web means picking up a smartphone

AUSTRALIA: ABC’s Media Watch: 30 years on, watchdog has more bite than ever

The Australian: Show me a news reporter who doesn’t religiously watch ABC TV’s Media Watch and you’re looking at somebody who is phoning it in.

AUSTRALIA: ACIJ closes after 25 years of frontline investigative journalism

Pacific Media Centre: The Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, one of the flagships of investigative journalism, has been closed after 25 years in a controversial decision by the University of Technology Sydney.

AUSTRALIA: SBS becomes first Australian free-to-air broadcaster with two nationwide HD channels

SBS: SBS is the first Australian free-to-air broadcaster to provide two nationwide HD channels to audiences, following the launch of SBS VICELAND in high definition (HD) on Saturday 8 April, on channel 31.

NEW ZEALAND: Persuading people to pay more for news

Radio New Zealand: The advertising that has covered the cost of journalism in the past is drifting away from the news media. Readers who value it must be prepared to pay more to secure its future. Mediawatch asks two local online entrepreneurs if crowdfunding is the answer.

TONGA: Concern as Tongan public broadcaster is labelled “enemy of the government”

PMA: The Public Media Alliance calls on the Tongan Prime Minister to respect the independence of the Tonga Broadcasting Commission (TBC) and its role in holding government to account.

VANUATU: Shortwave saves lives: Vanuatu PM to ABC

SBS: The prime minister of Vanuatu has warned the ABC it needs to restore its shortwave radio service in the Pacific, in a submission to a Senate inquiry.

BALTIC: BBC plans to expand to Baltic market

The Baltic Times: The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is planning to team up with a Latvian media outlet to create content for the Baltic region, BNS was informed by BBC representatives.

BULGARIA: The role of journalism for democracy in South East Europe

Ethical Journalism Network: Academics, students and media development professionals from 15 countries met in Sofia, Bulgaria on 28 March 2017 to exchange views on reforming journalism education and training in South East Europe.

EASTERN EUROPE: Eastern Europe to lose one million pay TV subscribers

Digital TV Europe: Eastern Europe will lose one million pay TV subscribers between 2016 and 2022, according to Digital TV Research.

FYROM: Political-motivated violence a threat to journalists

ECPMF: Journalists have been under attack in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

GERMANY: DTH satellite on top in Germany

Broadband TV News: 46% (17.6 million) of the total of 38.3 million TV households receive their TV channels via satellite.

GERMANY: German Proposal Would Limit Social Media Debate

Freedom House: Freedom House have issued a statement voicing their concern for the German cabinet’s approval of the Social Network Enforcement Bill that would give the government authority to levy substantial fines against social networking companies for failing to remove certain content from their platforms.

KOSOVO: Political and economic interests in media ownership are squeezing Kosovar journalism

SEEPM: Media ownership in Kosovo is crucial to understanding the country’s journalistic production and news gathering. Because Kosovo has a very young media market that only developed after 1999 in the real sense of pluralistic media, ownership is still very fluid in terms of who owns what, but also in terms of how ownership translates to influence on journalism.

MONTENEGRO: Montenegro Broadcaster Names New Chief

Balkan Insight: After months of political turmoil, the country’s public broadcaster has found a new head.

NORWAY: Competing news outlets in Norway are building a new standalone site dedicated entirely to fact-checking

Nieman Lab: Faktisk.no is a new collaboration between newspapers Dagbladet and VG and the country’s public broadcaster NRK: “One of the first things we realized was that we had to sit outside our own organizations.”

NORWAY: Ensuring media diversity and plurality in Norway

LSE Media Policy Project: In Norway, a government-appointed Commission on Media Diversity, focusing on citizens as media users, has recently published wide-ranging proposals to safeguard access to journalism at a time of significant turbulence and change.

POLAND: Large loss for Poland’s TVP

Broadband TV News: The Polish public broadcaster TVP lost PLN180 million (€42.5 million) and viewing share in 2016.

SERBIA: Media ownership and politics

Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso – Transeuropa: Methods for pressuring and controlling the media in Serbia have become more sophisticated than in the past, but they are no less harmful to freedom of expression.

SERBIA: Serbian Media Accused of Downplaying Protest

Balkan Insight: Anti-Vucic protests reveal deep divisions in the media in Serbia, with some trying to downplay the protests and accusing the opposition of planning violence on the streets.

UK: BBC to up its investment in Northern Ireland

Digital TV Europe: The BBC is to invest an additional £11 million (€13 million) in new services in Northern Ireland over the next three years.

UK: Murdoch’s Fox wins EU approval to take over Sky

Reuters: The European Commission cleared Rupert Murdoch to take over pay-TV group Sky (SKYB.L) on Friday, leaving a British investigation into the impact on the country’s media landscape as the only remaining hurdle for the $14.5 billion deal.

UK: S4C needs extra funding to avoid ‘second-class’ service

BBC News: S4C has said it needs a major overhaul of its funding and its remit to avoid becoming a “second-class service”.

UKRAINE: EU ready to invest millions of euros in National Public Television and radio company of Ukraine

Ukrinform: The EU expects that the Ukrainian government will allocate necessary additional funds to the public broadcasting service and expresses its readiness to also invest several million euros.

UKRAINE: International debate focuses on governance of PSM in Ukraine

EBU: 150 people from broadcasting, civil society, national authorities and international organisations have come together at a conference organised by the Council of Europe in Ukraine to discuss the role of governing bodies in public service media (PSM).

GENERAL: News agencies join forces for EU data journalism site

EurActiv: The European Data News Hub will launch in June and offer text reporting, still and interactive graphics, photos and videos in five languages, AFP said in a statement Wednesday (5 April).

BRAZIL: EBC employees on strike over censorship complaints

PMA: EBC employees join a general strike to protest against the company’s tight control and to defend freedom of expression.

BRAZIL: In Brazil, outdated defamation laws and costly court cases used to pressure critics

CPJ: Brazilian journalist Erik Silva never imagined that printing information from a municipal government website would see him accused of defamation and lead to a drawn-out court case.

CHILE: Chile set to boost public broadcaster

Rapid TV News: Chile is working on a new law that will boost the national broadcaster TVN and increase its budget in order to complete digitalisation.

GUYANA: GPA accuses gov’t members of trying to dictate state media content

Stabroek News: The Guyana Press Association (GPA) yesterday accused members of government of seeking to “dictate” the editorial content of the state media.

MEXICO: Silencing journalists in Mexico

AlJazeera: Intimidation, killings and censorship are just some of the tactics used to muzzle journalists in Mexico.

PARAGUAY: Protests in Paraguay result in injured journalists while some leaders accuse media of inciting violence

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: In addition to the at least 12 journalists who were injured during the coverage of the protests in Asunción, Paraguay last weekend, media outlets have also faced attacks by some pro-government leaders who accuse them of inciting violence in the country.

ISRAEL: ‘He has caused chaos’: How Netanyahu’s media war nearly split his government

The Washington Post: A political cartoon of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stretched out on a psychologist’s couch and clutching TV sets, radios and newspapers to his chest might be the best depiction of a crisis that threatened to bring down the Israeli government.

ISRAEL: Israel’s Labor Federation Threatens Strike Over Netanyahu’s Public Broadcaster Deal

Haaretz: After workers’ disruptions held at various government agencies, Histadrut head calls for nationwide labor dispute, but hasn’t detailed views on plans for new broadcasting entity.

KUWAIT: Journalists unions launch new drive to establish media freedom mechanism

IFJ: Journalists unions from across the Arab World met in Kuwait on 5/6 April to step up their campaign to establish a regional media freedom mechanism.

TURKEY: MEPs write to imprisoned Turkish journalists

RSF: Members of the European Parliament have begun a campaign of support for imprisoned Turkish journalists. Green MEPs launched the campaign today by writing to Musa Kart, a cartoonist who has been held without trial for more than five months and is facing up to 29 years in prison.

TURKEY: Study: Nationalism behind threats to Turkey journalists

IPI: Reaction to critical commentary indicates risk for those covering constitutional referendum.

CANADA: CBC Nova Scotia wins 4 regional broadcast and digital awards

CBC News: CBC Nova Scotia picked up four regional awards Saturday night at the Atlantic Regional Conference of the Radio-Television Digital News Association in Dartmouth, N.S.

CANADA: Is Quebec’s $36 million promise to newspapers enough?

Media in Canada: Publishers of Quebec newspapers have welcomed the acknowledgement of the industry’s struggles, but is there still work to be done?

CANADA: “News, Democracy and Trust in the Digital Age”: Putting Canadians First

CBC Radio-Canada: [January’s] Public Policy Forum report recognizes the vital role that CBC/Radio-Canada plays in informing Canadians. It also made three recommendations for how that role could change. Having examined the recommendations, we (CBC) would like to share our thoughts.

US: Beyond politics, public media audiences and Trump supporters have some things in common

Current: Between the contentious presidential campaign and the new Republican White House’s proposal to extinguish CPB funding, public broadcasters have been asking about the political affinities of their viewers and listeners.

US: Daily News, ProPublica win Pulitzer Prize

SBS: The New York Daily News and ProPublica have bagged the Pulitzer Prize for public service journalism.

US: ICIJ, NPR, Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting win IRE honors, and other awards

Current: Investigative Reporters and Editors will honor the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, NPR and The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting for investigative journalism produced in 2016.

US: Opinion: Stanley McChrystal: Save PBS. It Makes Us Safer.

New York Times: I like to say that leadership is a choice. As our leaders in Washington confront tough decisions about our budget priorities, I urge them to continue federal funding for public broadcasting.

US: Most Say Tensions Between Trump Administration and News Media Hinder Access to Political News

Pew Research Center: Large majorities of both Democrats and Republicans say the relationship between the two is unhealthy.

US: Reporter’s firing exposes political pressure on state-funded public radio stations


US: Trump’s budget blueprint: A real threat to public service media

PMA: For the price of a coffee, almost all Americans can currently benefit from daily, local public media content. But Trump’s budget plan would wipe out many of these resources.

Facebook Live now accounts for one in five video uploads

Digital TV Europe: One in every five videos posted to Facebook is now a live broadcast, according to Facebook vice-president of product, Fidji Simo.

REPORT: Ellen Hume and Susan Abbott on the Future of Investigative Journalism

Center for Media, Data & Society: The report paints a bright picture of the current state of investigative journalism, stating that “despite the dangers and uncertainties, it is an exciting time to be an investigative journalist, thanks to new collaborations and digital tools.

REPORT: The False Promise of Populism

Freedom House: Populists’ stunning electoral victories in Europe and the United States have shaken the post–Cold War order in Europe and Eurasia, but they could ultimately reinvigorate liberal democracy.

REPORT: First Draft and Public Data Lab release guide to savvy reporting on fake news

CJR: IF THERE’S ONE—and only one—thing we can say definitively about fake news, it’s that it inspired some great reporting, of a kind that has never before been prominent in the public sphere.

PROJECT: Journalism Matters

Aljazeera: From the targeting of journalists with impunity and the demonisation of critical press, to the fake news phenomenon and demand for investigative reporting as budgets shrink, the media is at a critical junction. Journalism Matters is an Al Jazeera project, developed for World Press Freedom Day 2017 in consultation with UNESCO, that seeks to address today’s challenges.

Partisan media and fake newsonomics

AlJazeera: How online outlets feed media consumers what they want to hear – whether it’s real or fake news.

The storytelling formats that are changing the narrative on migration

Journalism.co.uk: ‘We realised there’s a reason why people are tired of these stories – because sympathy is exhausting. Empathy is empowering because it moves you to action’.

Two new features let publishers interact with readers through Facebook Instant Articles

Nieman Lab: Facebook’s relationship with the news industry has been, shall we say, a little one-sided. While the news industry depends on the platform for its growth and distribution, Facebook itself has sometimes downplayed the outsized role it plays in the news industry.

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All PSM Weekly stories are provided for interest and their relevance to public service media issues, they do not necessarily reflect the views of the Public Media Alliance.

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: The SBS building in Melbourne’s Federation Square. Credits: Philip Bouchard/Creative Commons