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: Egyptian media threaten unlicensed channels

Advanced Television: There is still widespread piracy of TV broadcasts in the MENA region and the transmission of pirated movies as well as channels promoting the sale of unlicensed “medical treatments” and beauty products and so-called healers.

GAMBIA: Gambia named biggest global advancer on freedom of expression

The Point

KENYA: Increased attacks on journalists unacceptable, says Media Council

The Star (Kenya): Journalists are increasingly becoming targets of violence, the Media Council of Kenya has said.

KENYA: Media stakeholders asked to tackle fake news

The Standard: Media industry players have been challenged to tackle the surge of fake news in Kenya to win trust of news consumers.

NIGERIA: CrossCheck Nigeria targets WhatsApp as a hotspot for fake news

Journalism.co.uk: 16 news organisations are working together as part of a ‘watchdog project’ to debunk politically motivated mis- and disinformation ahead of the 2019 Nigerian election.

NIGERIA: ICFJ TruthBuzz Fellow aims to tackle misinformation in Nigeria

IJNet: Not only do journalists need to be trained to produce fact-checks; they need to be trained on the best way to present them.

SOUTH AFRICA: Analysis: 5 things you need to know about the SABC board chaos

News24: The resignation of four members of the SABC board this week has caused some confusion about where it leaves the public broadcaster.

SOUTH AFRICA: DA, UDM disagree on dissolution of SABC board

SABC News: The United Democratic Movement (UDM) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Parliament are on the opposite sides on whether the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Board should be dissolved to appoint an interim one.

SOUTH AFRICA: Only Cyril Ramaphosa can get the SABC out of this crisis (Opinion)

Daily Maverick: It seems we are in the end game for the SABC. Reports that three SABC board members have resigned signal not only the imminent collapse of the board but also the deepening of a deliberately engineered crisis, and just a few months before elections it is a crisis not just for the media sector but for our democracy.

SOUTH AFRICA: Ramaphosa steps in as SABC board digs in its heels

City Press: President Cyril Ramaphosa wants a full board within six weeks, while uncertainty still looms over Treasury guarantee.

SOUTH AFRICA: The SABC whirlwind: Four big issues plaguing the national broadcaster

Times Live: A new board was appointed in 2017 to save the sinking ship. Since their appointment, board members and executives have been faced with the challenge of reviving the SABC at whatever cost. Here are the four big issues plaguing the broadcaster.

TANZANIA: ‘Last Warning’ to TV Owners

Via All Africa: Television stations were yesterday reminded to observe broadcasting rules that prohibit beaming of immoral motion picture. `Information, Culture, Arts and Sports Minister Dr Harrison Mwakyembe issued the reminder here, saying television stations were duty bound to maintain and promote the country’s culture.

UGANDA: Reframing media coverage of refugees in Uganda

EJN: Uganda is currently hosting over 1.6 million refugees, the highest number of in the country’s history, receiving emergency arrivals from South Sudan, DR Congo and Burundi adding to the numbers that have been in the country from Rwanda, Somalia and Kenya.

REGIONAL: Colonial and Apartheid-era laws still govern press freedom in southern Africa


REGIONAL: Free expression under assault in Uganda, freedom of assembly wins in South Africa, and fear a way of life for LGBTQI+ in Tanzania


GENERAL: How new media platforms have become powerful across Africa (Opinion)


CHINA: Inside China’s audacious plan for global media dominance

The Guardian: Beijing is buying up media outlets and training scores of foreign journalists to ‘tell China’s story well’ – as part of a worldwide propaganda campaign of astonishing scope and ambition.

INDIA: #MeToo: All India Radio official accused of sexual harassment demoted, Prasar Bharati tells NCW

Scroll.in: The public broadcaster submitted an action-taken report to the National Commission of Women, saying the official has been transferred and subject to penalty.

INDIA: Prasar Bharati CEO on convergence and public broadcasting

Indian Television: Pubcaster needs to think ‘digital first’ to keep pace with evolving tech.

INDIA: Rekindle public service broadcasting

Telangana Today: DD must set its own value and benchmarks rather than copying commercial television in its revamp efforts

MYANMAR: Myanmar Information Minister Denies Reports That Press Freedom is in Decline

Radio Free Asia: Myanmar’s information minister has rejected widespread domestic and international criticism that the Southeast Asian country is backpedaling on media freedom, and has stressed the need for state-owned news organizations to continue informing citizens about government policies and decisions.

PAKISTAN: Are women reporters shut out from ‘hard’ beats? Pakistani journalists deliberate

Dawn: “What’s the point of using ‘lady reporter’ to refer to women? No one calls men ‘male reporter’,” asked Tanzeela Mazhar, core member of The Coalition of Women in Journalism (CFWIJ) Pakistan Chapter.

PHILIPPINES: A new weapon against press freedom in the Philippines (Opinion)

Rappler: Rappler is doing its job – and that’s why it has become a favorite target of the Duterte government.

SOUTH KOREA: Moon Appoints Incumbent KBS Chief as Broadcaster’s New Head

KBS World Radio: President Moon Jae-in appointed incumbent KBS President Yang Sung-dong as the new chief of the nation’s largest broadcaster on Monday.

TAIWAN: PTS wins best video game award at AAA’s in Singapore

Focus Taiwan: Taiwan’s Public Television Service (PTS) won the Best Video Game Award Thursday at the 2018 Asian Academy Creative Awards (AAA’s) in Singapore with “Kidz,” adapted from the PTS TV series “On Children.”

THAILAND: Thai PBS boosted by social media

Advanced Television: The Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS), has increased its reach across social media exponentially in the past year by capitalizing on the growing digital video demand in Asia.

AUSTRALIA: ABC chairman job: Academic, legal and media executives make the shortlist

The Sydney Morning Herald: The government is actively reviewing a shortlist of candidates for the ABC chairman role, with former legal executive Michael Rose among the possible choices to take the top job.

AUSTRALIA: ABC dramas share the spoils at AACTA Awards

ABC Media Room: Landmark ABC dramas Riot and Mystery Road have shared the spoils at the 2018 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards, winning nine of the nation’s top screen prizes between them.

AUSTRALIA: Google and Facebook face Australia crackdown over market power

Financial Times: Australia’s competition regulator is seeking to force Google to unbundle its Chrome internet browser from mobile phones and other devices, to curtail the company’s “near monopoly” position in internet search.

NEW ZEALAND: Is media mental health coverage helping?

RNZ: New Zealand’s biggest-ever inquiry into our mental health system says it’s broken and action is urgent. Many in the media pointed out that’s what previous inquiries have said too so we shouldn’t expect much meaningful change now. Is that realistic reporting or damaging defeatism?

NEW ZEALAND: News values, what is the litmus test?

RNZ: Gavin Ellis with his thoughts on what is happening to news values. He says the tests that his generation of journalists applied in order to rank stories by importance seem to have gone out the digital window.

NEW ZEALAND: TVNZ in 2018: the public broadcaster finally remembers who owns it

The Spinoff: In the first of a series on the major New Zealand media companies, sourced through anonymous conversations with senior executives, Duncan Greive assesses the state of NZ’s biggest TV network.

NEW ZEALAND: Upping the game in women’s sports coverage

RNZ: Women’s football doesn’t often make much of a mark in our sports news but the unprecedented achievements of the Young Ferns and a sexist joke from a bloke in Paris did this past week. The minister of sport also bluntly challenged our sports reporters to up their game too. Fair call?

NEW ZEALAND: What we can learn from New Zealand’s media transformation

Crikey: From serious politics to pop culture, there are several bright spots in the New Zealand media landscape. What could we glean from them?

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: UN and US stand up for media freedom in PNG

RNZ: The United Nations and the United States have issued a joint statement condemning any effort to curb media freedom in Papua New Guinea.

SAMOA: Pacific should fight fake news – Samoa regulator

RNZ: Pacific Island countries should put more pressure on companies like Facebook to crack down on fake news, Samoa’s internet regulator says.

BELGIUM: The board of RTBF approves its management contract, but … (French)

L’Echo: The text was approved unanimously, minus one abstention and subject to certain modifications.

BELGIUM: What does the VRT mean for the economy? (Flemish)

VRT: The VRT receives a grant of 267.2 million euros from the government (2016 figure). Recent research now shows that every euro invested by the government in the VRT yields much more: in total, the VRT generated 670 million euros in economic value. Every euro invested therefore yields 2.5 euros for the economy.

DENMARK: Use of social media in Denmark in 2018

Nordicom: From 2017 to 2018, the proportion of the Danish population who use social media has risen slightly. While the proportion of older people using social media has grown, the development among young people has stagnated or decreased slightly, though from a very high level.

FRANCE: Culture Prime: Public Media Rewrites Culture (French)

France Inter: The six public broadcasting companies are teaming up to launch a new social media on Facebook, in order to promote access to culture for as many people as possible.

FRANCE: “Inadmissible slips” of police denounced by journalists’ unions (French)

Le Monde: Photographers and reporters were targeted during the “yellow vests” demonstration on 8 December. Trade unions ask to be received at the Elysee.

GERMANY: TV broadcasting via 5G trial launches in Germany

Broadband TV News: A transmitter from German technology company Rohde & Schwarz successfully went into operation at the Wendelstein transmitter site of Bavarian public broadcaster BR on December 4, 2018 as part of the 5G Today research project.

HUNGARY: Hungary exempts pro-govt media firm from competition rules

The Washington Post: The creation in Hungary of a giant, pro-government media conglomerate will not have to be scrutinized by media or competition authorities.

HUNGARY & POLAND: Patrons and clients: the media systems of Hungary and Poland

EJC: Media systems vary across the countries of Central/Eastern Europe. A new research studying how media cover migration in Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovenia confirms that media discourses are shaped by political influences in the former two countries where the incumbent governments’ favouritism distorts media markets heavily and pro-government journalism is now on the rise.

IRELAND: The new RTÉ Player: How does it measure up in the Netflix era?

The Irish Times: Relaunched for the streaming age, it carries new Player-only shows, but the pre-roll ads remain.

ISLE OF MAN: PMA criticises potential PSB changes

Manx Radio: A letter from the Public Media Alliance expressing ‘great concern’ over proposed changes to Manx Radio has been sent to Island politicians.

LUXEMBOURG: Media too concentrated, too many political ties: Study

Delano: Media in Luxembourg is dominated by a small group of companies and is at “high risk” of political interference, according to a recent academic report.

POLAND: Attempt to Silence Polish Newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza


POLAND: Is media censorship a coming threat in Poland?

DW: Poland’s ruling party PiS and state institutions want to intimidate critical media. The National Bank of Poland wants articles on corruption in the financial sector erased online. Journalist organizations are protesting.

POLAND: Polish authorities stepping up harassment of independent media

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Polish authorities to end their harassment and attempts to intimidate independent journalists and media outlets, which they have stepped up in recent weeks.

RUSSIA: Opening up Russia: The right to information and the fight for transparency

Article 19: This report examines the situation for people in Russia to obtain government held information, the rights they have under international and national law to access information and the obstacles they face in exercising those rights.

SERBIA: Serbian Ruling Party-Linked Company Buys Two TV Stations

SEENPM: The Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS) has called for a quick investigation into the purchase of the TV Prva and O2 stations by the Kopernikus Corporation which is owned by the brother of a ranking ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) official.

SLOVAKIA: Groups press for changes to protect journalist safety in Slovakia

IPI: Council of Europe Platform partner organizations carried out solidarity visit to Bratislava in wake of Kuciak murder

SPAIN: 20 candidates aspire to preside RTVE (Catalan)

Comunicació 21: The committee delivered the list of candidates this Monday to the joint committee of parliamentary control of the Corporation after more than three months to evaluate the 95 candidatures accepted in the competition.

SPAIN: ‘Operación Triunfo’ and the success of its strategy in digital platforms (Spanish – Press Release)

RTVE: The “Operación Triunfo” channel  on YouTube, created by Gestmusic Endemol and RTVE as part of the format’s transmedia strategy and the rest of the actions on RTVE’s own digital platform have made OT an unprecedented success in our country.

SPAIN: Publishers, digital companies, journalists and users join against the reform of the Intellectual Property Law that closes websites without judicial authorization (Spanish)

Pdli: The signatory organizations refuse to allow a Commission linked to the Government (known as the ‘Sinde Commission’) to order the removal of Internet content without a judge assessing whether or not they affect a fundamental right such as freedom expression.

SWITZERLAND: Switzerland to switch off DTT on June 3, 2019

Broadband TV News: Swiss public broadcaster SRG will terminate the digital terrestrial distribution of its TV channels (DTT) via DVB-T nationwide on June 3, 2019.

UK: BBC cancels plans for Sunday night Brexit debate

The Guardian: Decision leaves open possibility of similar debate going ahead on ITV

UK: Crash-out Brexit threatens ‘huge disruption’ to broadcast

Digital TV Europe: A no-deal Brexit would have a disastrous impact on the UK broadcasting sector, according to commercial broadcasters association COBA.

UK: Investigative website targets working-class millennials outside ‘London bubble’

IJNet: The founder of a Leeds, UK-based investigative news website for working-class millennials and people outside the “London bubble” says she made a conscious effort not to make a “big profit” from it.

UKRAINE: News Consumption And Media Trust In Ukraine

EJO: “Ukrainians have become more active news consumers and tend to compare more sources to verify the information they receive,” the director of Internews Ukraine, Wayne Sharpe, commented on the results of the survey.

GENERAL: #IJ4EU: New stories on climate change denial, EU funding for far-right

IPI: Grant programme supports cross-border investigative journalism in Europe

GENERAL: A Europe that Protects: The EU steps up action against disinformation

European Commission: To protect its democratic systems and public debates and in view of the 2019 European elections as well as a number of national and local elections that will be held in Member States by 2020, the EU is presenting today an Action Plan to step up efforts to counter disinformation in Europe and beyond.

REGIONAL: Youth and News in a Digital Media Environment (Anthology)

Nordicom: The anthology aims to shed light on the implications of these transformations for young people in the Nordic and Baltic countries.

ARGENTINA: Against Fake News – Towards a coalition of journalists and media to fight false news in the next elections (Spanish)

Clarín: A group of technology companies, journalists and media is going towards the creation of a coalition to combat fake news in the upcoming Argentine presidential elections.

COLOMBIA: Colombia journalism project aims to bring untold stories of war to light

The Guardian: Reporting was restricted by the remoteness of the war zones and the military’s control of access. Peace is allowing a new approach

COLOMBIA: The controversial project that brings back the professional journalist card (Spanish)

El Espectador: The initiative is already going for a second debate in the plenary of the Senate. The card or credential can only be requested by people who have met the requirements of studies, experience or percentage of income derived from the profession. The initiative also creates a kind of “superintendence” with sanctioning power against communicators.

MEXICO: Mexico’s new president urged to protect journalists

IPI: IPI representative on journalist safety calls on government to turn page on ‘plague’ of violence and impunity

NICARAGUA: Press freedom in great danger after bad month in Nicaragua

RSF: The persecution of Nicaragua’s political opposition and media critics has not let up since April. But now, instead of just obstructing journalists covering protests and social unrest, the police are undertaking direct, violent action against those regarded as overly critical of the government.

NICARAGUA: ‘We’re going to kill you’: Nicaragua’s brutal crackdown on press freedom

The Guardian: Journalists have been beaten, arrested, and robbed in the wake of the civil revolt that paralysed the country earlier in the year.

GENERAL: Nearly 40 Latin American journalists work across borders for global investigation into medical devices industry

Knight Center: Thirty-nine journalists from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela were among the more than 250 professionals who worked on the project, which took a year to plan and another year to finish, according to ICIJ.

IRAN: Impunity reigns in murders of journalists in Iran

RSF: Impunity is one of the most important reasons for violence against journalists in Iran, and many other murders of journalists remain unsolved and unpunished, in addition to the 1998 murders of journalists and intellectuals.

JORDAN: Gov’t withdraws cybercrime bill; move met with praise

The Jordan Times: Judicial process for hate speech, spreading rumours and fake news to be revised.

LEBANON: Lebanese Media – a Family Affair

RSF: Often seen as the most liberal and free media environment in the Arab World, Lebanon’s media landscape appears tightly aligned with domestic and foreign powers vying for control.

PALESTINE: MADA: 57 attacks against media freedoms during November

MENAFN: November has witnessed an escalation in the number and gravity of the attacks targeting media freedoms in Palestine in comparison with the preceding month.

TURKEY: Create conditions for independent media to flourish, IPI exhorts Turkey

IPI: Turkey’s commitment to restoring press freedom not reflected in reality on the ground, high-level mission concludes

GENERAL: Arab Investigative Reporters: Life On The Edge

GIJN: We know that journalism is not easy anywhere in the world today, even in America, once a beacon for free speech and democracy until the advent of President Donald Trump. But nowhere compares with the Middle East for lack of press freedom and the constant danger in which reporters operate.

CANADA:  A generation of journalists are struggling (Commentary)

JSource: We have, in the last few years, become more concerned about the impact on local democracy as the Canadian news media landscape shrinks. But much less has been said about the impact on a generation of journalists. How many voices have already been lost because they couldn’t face a precarious future?

CANADA: Afterthought: Canadian Journalists Face a Dilemma About Accepting Government Subsidies (Opinion)

The Runner: Journalists are divided on whether the government’s proposed $595 million tax break will help or hinder the industry

US: “Fake flus!” When it comes to health, battling misinformation requires strategic thinking

NiemanLab: Politics isn’t the only place where countering misinformation is tricky business: “The best evidence suggests that a more effective way of dealing with misinformation is not spreading it in the first place. That means avoiding repeating various myths — even if you’re debunking them.”

US: Public media must reimagine itself for a new era – or give up ‘reason to exist’ (Paywall)


US: Social media outpaces print newspapers in the U.S. as a news source

Pew Research Center: Social media sites have surpassed print newspapers as a news source for Americans.

US: There isn’t one best way to map local news ecosystems. But can we do it better?

NiemanLab: “Despite the volume of research currently underway about news ecosystems, there is no gold standard.”

A Future With Less News

The New Republic: Alan Rusbridger’s account of his time at The Guardian illustrates the possibilities and limits of journalism in the digital era.

Alert! Alert! The information demands on the modern digital journalist are overwhelming and leading to burnout

NiemanLab: “We have a problem with the ways traditional managers view technology in this new environment.”

Digital-born news sites are ‘coming of age’, three-year research project shows

Reuters Institute: Digital-born news outlets have developed to become a well-established part of the media landscape. They now face many of the same challenges as legacy media, including the need to establish sustainable funding models, attract new audiences and diversify distribution strategies, according to a new Reuters Institute report which tracks how digital-born news sites have evolved between 2016 and 2018.

Digital influencers have changed advertising. They’re changing journalism, too.

CJR: Digital influencers don’t simply post selfies or pictures of food—some of them present themselves as reporters or informed pundits and their posts as journalism.

Disinformation, Fact-checking, local news, inequality, voice, ‘shiny things’…and the Digital News Report: 10 research highlights of 2018

Reuters Institute

GIJN’s Data Journalism Top 10: London’s Murder Hotspots, Hungary’s Media Monopoly, Data Journalism’s Fallacies

GIJN: What’s the global data journalism community tweeting about this week?

Google is launching a voice-driven version of Google News for smart speakers and phones

NiemanLab: “News on smart speakers is not living up to the promise of what it could be.”

Expression Agenda Report 2017/2018

Article 19: The global state of freedom of expression and information is at its lowest point for ten years.

Misinformers are moving to smaller platforms. So how should fact-checkers monitor them?

Poynter: Misinformation on Twitter and Facebook feeds seemed to have been somewhat contained in the recent U.S. midterm elections compared to the 2016 presidential campaign. But that doesn’t mean fakery has been banished from the internet.

This journalist created a system to make sure more female experts got on air

Poynter: BBC anchor Ros Atkins wondered why his organization set such high standards for production, accuracy and political balance but had no standard for how many women appeared on BBC programs.

Why ethical journalism matters for newsrooms and their audiences

IJNet: In an era of rampant disinformation and uncertainty for both journalists and their audiences, ethical journalism plays a critical role in helping journalists create effective newsroom structures and storytelling processes.

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: KTVU Tower. Credits: Tony Webster/Creative Commons

Related Posts