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.

CAMEROON: Journalists urge CAF to call Biya’s regime to order

Cameroon Concord: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has addressed a letter to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to urge Cameroon to release all journalists arrested for their work in the country, reports Daily Nation. 

GUINEA-BISSAU: Guinea-Bissau suspends Portuguese public radio and TV broadcasts

RSF: Announcing the measure on 30 June, Guinea-Bissau communication minister Victor Pereira blamed Portugal’s failure to respect bilateral agreements on media cooperation with its former colony.

KENYA: Kenya seeks to restrict political commentary on social media ahead of elections

CPJ:  Kenyan authorities should ensure that proposed social media guidelines do not prevent journalists from reporting critically or close the space for public debate ahead of general elections due to take place August 8, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

KENYA: Kenyan election campaign hits journalists and media freedom

RSF: Ten years after appalling election violence was accompanied by serious media freedom violations in Kenya in 2007, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has been looking at the current election campaign’s impact on press freedom.

NAMIBIA: State TV Station Gets Programmes Content From Japan

Broadcast Media Africa: Content and TV programming from scores of television stations in Japan have been given to Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) free of charge.

NIGERIA: Digital switchover in Nigeria hits another speed bump

PMA: Nigeria’s journey towards digital transition has faltered once more after missing another deadline. But the country aims to continue steps towards a digital future with a slower, phased switchover.

RWANDA: Media Urged to Embrace Data Journalism

via All Africa: The media has been encouraged to embrace data journalism to be able to enhance their reporting particularly on issues like budgets and financial reports.

SOUTH AFRICA: Outcry Over Zuma’s ‘Stalling’ of SABC Probe

IOL: Alleged delays by President Jacob Zuma to sign a proclamation for a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) probe into the SABC is causing consternation.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC channel head resigns

Times Live: After 13 years at the SABC, TV boss Maijang Mpherwane has resigned from the public broadcaster.

SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa journalists obtain order against activists

IPI: Court bars group from demonstrating outside homes, threatening violence.

GENERAL: AFEX Calls for Immediate End to Impunity for Crimes against Journalists in Africa

AFEX: The African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX), a network of African freedom of expression groups, has expressed serious concerns about the increased incidents of attacks against journalists, media practitioners and free expression advocates on the continent, and urged governments in the region to step up efforts to safeguard free speech online and offline.

GENERAL: African Communication Regulation Authorities Network to cover continent

GBN: The African Communication Regulation Authorities Network (ACRAN) will intensify its efforts to rope in all media regulatory organisations on the continent.

GENERAL: Building Coalitions for Media Reform in Africa


CHINA: Chinese, Russian media lock arms to challenge Western press

Asia Times: On the sidelines of the July 4 Xi-Putin summit, 17 agreements were concluded at the third China-Russia Media Forum, aiming to reshape global opinion.

HONG KONG: RTHK files complaints against censorship after rescheduled show

PMA: Hong Kong’s public broadcaster denounces censorship after one of its satirical programmes was pulled at the last minute to be replaced by the Chinese Presidents speech.

INDIA: CCI orders probe against Prasar Bharati in 2016 FM radio licensing row

LiveMint: The CCI has ordered a detailed probe against public broadcaster Prasar Bharati for alleged abuse of dominance with respect to draft FM radio licensing agreement.

INDIA: Doordarshan mulls reach extension in south & east markets with new regional offerings

Indian Television: India’s public broadcaster Doordarshan is all set to expand its viewership in non-Hindi speaking markets having drawn up plans to increase presence in the southern and eastern parts of the country by launching new TV channels.

INDIA: Network 18 Digital CEO Manish Maheshwari on how media businesses are keeping up with the ‘feverish’ pace of digital disruption in India

The Drum: Media businesses all over the world are facing disruption from changing consumer habits and channel fragmentation but with the Indian Government putting investment into accelerating digital usage in society, for broadcasters like Network 18, transformation is essential to succeed.

JAPAN: Investigative Journalism in Japan: Tough Times But Signs of Hope

GIJN: In June, Japan passed a controversial law targeting conspiracies to commit terrorism and other serious crimes, a measure critics warn will bolster state surveillance of dissidents and other opposition.

MYANMAR: Burma urged to free journalists, amend telecommunications law

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is concerned about the increase in media freedom violations in Burma and, in particular, reiterates its call for the unconditional release of three journalists who were arrested in the northeast on 26 June and the repeal of article 66(d) of the 2013 Telecommunications Act.

NEPAL: Nepal Army’s plan to run FM radio triggers debate

The Kathmandu Post: The Nepal Army’s plans to run FM radios, as it began test transmission in Dipayal recently, has triggered a debate whether the national defence force should act as a broadcaster in a democracy.

PAKISTAN: Censorship in the Name of Security: Pakistan’s Dawn Leaks Case

CIMA: Tensions between press freedom and national security came to a head recently in Pakistan when the nation’s most widely read English newspaper, Dawn, published remarks from a closed-door government meeting last fall that offered a glimpse into the increasingly fractious relationship between elected officials and military leadership.

PHILIPPINES: Philippine Senator Moves to Criminalize ‘Fake News’ — Could This Lead to Censorship?

Advox: Philippine Senator Joel Villanueva filed a bill in late June that would criminalize the “malicious distribution of false news.” Media groups are warning it could lead to censorship.

THAILAND: Assembly backs tougher rules for online media

Bangkok Post: The National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA) has voted in favour of short and long-term recommendations for online media reform, including tighter regulations over content.

AUSTRALIA: ABC move will dumb down religion, says Eric Abetz

The Australian: Federal conservative MPs Eric Abetz and Cory Bernardi have slapped down the ABC for a proposed restructure of its religious unit, saying the broadcaster was “unreflective” and favoured other specialist areas such as science.

AUSTRALIA: SBS partners with Create NSW to fund six LGBTIQ Short Films

Decider TV: Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of Mardi Gras, Create NSW and SBS have announced a funding initiative supporting emerging LGBTIQ filmmakers.

AUSTRALIA: TV reigns supreme in Australian viewing habits

RAPID TV News: Both free and subscription-based broadcast television is watched at home weekly by 83.7% of the population – some 19.9 million people, according to the latest Australian Video Viewing Report.

NEW ZEALAND: Culture clash over controversial comedy

RNZ: Heard the one about the Aussie comedian, the Tongan teenager and the New Zealand TV channel? No-one’s laughing now after Māori TV’s top brass stepped in to dump a controversial comedy after one episode.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Green MP Delahunty calls for NZ action, media focus on West Papua

Asia Pacific Report: Final year Bachelor of Communication Studies student journalist Ashleigh McCaull at Auckland University of Technology talks to Green MP Catherine Delahunty about the West Papuan human rights violations and lack of New Zealand political and media interest.

ALBANIA: Return Albania’s public broadcaster to the public!  (Opinion)

ECPMF: At a time when ‘fake news’ is undermining trust in media across the globe and is threatening the stability of both consolidated and fragile democracies, defending the truth is not just a challenge for the new media. Surely it also becomes as much of a challenge for the mainstream public service media (PSM) across Europe.

BALKANS: Pressure Rises on Journalists in the Balkans

Balkan Insight: Weakening EU and US influence in the Balkans and increased Russian influence, as well as growing political and economic pressures on journalists, have created a harsher environment for Balkan media, BIRN’s biennial meeting heard.

BELGIUM: “It is not hard to come into our tower”: Belgian public broadcaster VRT is connecting with young creatives

Nieman Lab: With events, trainings, and a freelance database, OpenVRT is an attempt to make the Belgian public media broadcaster VRT more accessible.

BELGIUM: NPO revamps on-demand portal NPO Start

Broadband TV News: Dutch public broadcaster NPO is revamping its online OTT on-demand service, formerly Uitzending Gemist, calling it NPO Start and introducing a premium version.

FRANCE: French police violence against journalists referred to ombudsman

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is asking French ombudsman Jacques Toubon to investigate ten cases of journalists who have been subjected to unwarranted violence by the security forces while covering demonstrations in France during the past year or so.

GERMANY: German parliament adopts controversial law on social media threatening media freedom

EFJ: The German parliament voted last Friday on 30 June a law on social media forcing online platforms like Facebook and Twitter to remove illegal hate speech posted by users. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) expressed concerns regarding the adoption of the law warning that the law would lead to widespread online censorship and limit media freedom.

GERMANY: ProSiebenSat.1 calls for new public broadcast regime and seeks funding

Digital TV Europe: German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 has called for public funding to be made available to commercial broadcasters to support public service broadcasting that can “reach a larger number of young people”.

GEORGIA: Private TV stations denounce planned changes in Georgia’s broadcasting law

OC MEDIA: A number of private TV companies and civil rights organisations in Georgia have urged Parliament not to pass a bill removing restrictions on commercial advertising on Georgia’s Public Broadcaster (GPB).

GREECE: Greece to auction 3 new national TV licences

Advanced Television: Greece’s Syriza-led government is keen to limit the number of national terrestrial broadcasters to four.

IRELAND:  Denis Naughten: Debate needed on future of TV licence system

Irish Examiner: A debate on the future of the TV licence system is needed to ensure that a viable public service media is provided, says Communications Minister Denis Naughten.

IRELAND: ‘Fake news’ online boosts trust in newspapers, watchdog tells Dáil

Irish Independent: The proliferation of unreliable or ‘fake news’ on social media has actually boosted trust in traditional media in Ireland, according to the head of the State broadcasting watchdog.

IRELAND: How an RTÉ mobile journalist covered ‘Ireland by bike’ using his iPhone and a set of wheels

Journalism.co.uk: Reporter Cian McCormack told Journalism.co.uk about his cycling trip around the country, producing daily radio reports for RTÉ Radio 1’s Morning Ireland programme.

IRELAND: State to appoint agent to collect TV licence fees, says Minister

The Irish Times: The Government is to appoint a “new agent” to collect television licence fees in an attempt recoup some of the estimated €40 million a year that is currently going unpaid, Minister for Communications Denis Naughten has said.

KOSOVO: Kosovo Coalition Divided over Criminalising Defamation

Balkan Media Watch: The largest coalition campaigning in the Kosovo elections is divided over a controversial proposal to reintroduce criminal penalties for defamation.

LATVIA: LTV cuts ties with Ventspils council following oligarch revelations

LSM: Latvian Television (LTV) has cancelled an agreement with the Ventspils City Council in the show Dziesmu sirdij rodi Ventspilī (Find Your Heart’s Song in Ventspils), the television announced July 5.

MONTENEGRO: Public Service Broadcasting in Montenegro (Research)

Analitika: This paper examines the status and operation of the public service broadcaster in Montenegro and the process of transformation of the state-controlled Radio Television of Montenegro (Radio i Televizija Crne Gore, or RTCG) into a public service broadcaster.

ROMANIA: TV consumption grows in Romania

Broadband TV News: Romania is one of the few countries in the world where the consumption of linear TV services is still rising.

RUSSIA: Last nail in coffin of Russian Internet freedom

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges the Duma to reject two bills that have been approved on first reading and, if adopted, would eliminate much of what remains of Internet freedom in Russia. They would ban software for bypassing the blocking of websites, censor search engines and bring messaging apps under control.

RUSSIA: Russian TV first for Chinese market

Broadband TV News: A new Russian channel named Katyusha and aimed specifically at viewers in China will be launched by the end of the year.

SERBIA: SES Video and Telekom Serbia Broadcast Radio Television of Serbia Channels

BusinessWire: SES (Euronext Paris:SESG) (LuxX:SESG) announced today that, together with its long-term partner Telekom Serbia, it will carry six TV channels and one radio station for Serbian public broadcaster RTS across Europe.

SPAIN: RTVE’s international kids signal secures first LATAM partner

Rapid TV News: Colombia’s Movistar has become the first Latin American operator to add RTVE’s international kids signal.

SPAIN: RTVE live broadcast in Dolby Audio, Dolby Vision

Advanced Television: RTVE has become the first national channel in Spain to complete a live broadcast in Dolby Audio and Dolby Vision.

SPAIN: Trade Unions demand that presidents of all public media have to be chosen via public competition (Spanish)

La Vanguardia: The Federation of Trade Union of Journalists (FESP) today called for the election of the presidents of all public media, not just RTVE, to be carried out via public competition.

UK: BBC promises a wider mix than rivals as it seeks to reinvent itself

The Guardian: Broadcaster outlines plan for ‘reflecting and representing a changing UK’ and its strategy for competing with Netflix and Amazon.

UK: BBC to cut journalists’ pay perks in drive to save £80m from news budget

The Guardian: Proposals include abolishing unpredictable hours allowance and cutting overtime as corporation prepares to reveal top salaries.

UK: BBC’s Webb: ‘fewer but bigger kids commissions’

TBI Vision: The head of UK pubcaster the BBC’s kids department has said her division’s commissioning focus has switched to ordering fewer, but “bigger and better” shows.

UK: Fifteen hyperlocals to partner with the BBC

Community Journalism: The Centre for Community Journalism has learned that 15 community & hyperlocal news publishers have successfully partnered with the BBC to receive local news content as part of the Local Democracy Reporter Scheme.

UK: Media culpa: journalists are losing public’s trust

The Spectator: When the audience don’t believe the news, we’re all in trouble.

UK: Report: PSBs boost factual, sports and kids programme spend

Advanced Television: UK regulator Ofcom has published its Public Service Broadcasting Annual Research Report for 2017. The report assesses the performance of the designated public service broadcasters – the BBC, ITV, STV, UTV, Channel 4, S4C and Channel 5.

UK: UK swaying towards UGC for trustful news

Advanced Television: A study from Newsflare reveals the current level of mistrust for the UK media, with findings showing just 22 per cent of people always believe the information reported by news sources.

UK: Younger viewers turning off public broadcasting in UK

Rapid Tv News: Data from UK broadcaster Ofcom has found that the UK TV viewers are watching fewer public service broadcasts with the fall most evident among the younger elements of the audience.

GENERAL: Which are the challenges and solutions for public service media?

EFJ: Politicians with an agenda, managements on tight budgets and industry competitors under existential threats to malicious disseminators of falsehoods – it is a “perfect storm” of challenges for today’s public service news providers. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU)’s new study addresses those changing demands, much of which were researched during a rapid tour of small group of European broadcasters in the spring 2017.

BRAZIL: Innovative tool created by Brazilian helps to measure journalism’s impact on society

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: From the start, journalists are taught that the profession is important for society and for the defense of democracy. But how can that relevance be measured in people’s everyday lives?

COLOMBIA: “We want to build a good quality public television” (Spanish)

Kien Y Ke: Canal Capital belongs to everyone in Bogota. This is very clear for Yesid Lancheros, its information director, a journalist with extensive experience in written and digital media, who now faces the challenge of public television with the sole objective of removing the political overtones from the public broadcaster that damaged it so much in the past.

ECUADOR: Melendres: “Public media tell the other truth of the information” (Spanish)

El Telégrafo: Geovanna Melendres, editor-in-chief of the newspaper El Telégrafo, participated yesterday in ‘Dialogues for Democracy’, along with Luis Eduardo Vivanco, editor-in-chief of La Hora newspaper.

MEXICO: In Mexico, reporting the news is a deadly profession with little protection

The Washington Times: The murder was outrageous, but for Mexican journalists these days, grimly familiar.

MEXICO: The Invisible Costs of the War against the Press in Mexico

Nieman Reports: Marcela Turati on the Mexican journalists who have to flee the country because of threats to their safety

ISRAEL: The Israeli media has kept us in the dark for 50 years (Opinion)

972: Since 1967, the Israeli media has hid the ugly, everyday reality in the occupied territories. But even if they really knew, would Israelis still choose to end 50 years of military rule over the Palestinians?

PALESTINE: Palestinian Authority crackdown on media raises alarm among journalists

Middle East Eye: Journalists and media rights activists have warned that the arrest of a journalist by the Palestinian security forces last week points to new attempts to drastically restrict journalism in the West Bank.

TURKEY: EU Parliament urges Turkey to release arrested journalists immediately

EFJ: The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the resolution of the European Parliament calling for the immediate release of arrested journalists in Turkey.

TURKEY: Ibrahim Eren appointed DG of Turkey’s public broadcaster

TRT: Turkey’s cabinet appointed Eren, who had served as deputy director general of TRT for four years.

TURKEY: Turkey’s news media landscape highly polarized also in Twitter

Journalism Research News: Twitter has become an important playground for the news media in Turkey.  Burak Doğu of the İzmir University of Economics, conducted a network analysis in Twitter to look at Turkey’s polarized news media landscape after the Gezi protests.

GENERAL: Mideast media ‘need united front’ against Facebook, Google

Arab News: Middle East media need to present a united front against Google and Facebook due to the allegedly unfair advantage enjoyed by the social-media giants, something that could kill off local media within years, it has been claimed.

CANADA: Canada and SA celebrate 20 years of film and TV co-production at DFM

Screen Africa: In 1997, Canada and South Africa signed an Audiovisual Co-production Treaty which would pave the way for collaboration between Canadian and South African film and television productions.

US: A little San Francisco public media history for PMDMC

Current: This year’s Public Media Development and Marketing Conference kicks off Wednesday in San Francisco, a longtime home of innovation in public media fundraising.

US: Broadcasters’ Wide Wish List For Media Rulebook Review.

Inside Radio: The Federal Communications Commission has put everything in its media rulebook up for review as part of a wide-ranging proceeding to eliminate regulations that are “outdated, unnecessary or unduly burdensome.” The industry has responded with an array of ideas that the agency can take to ease the requirements on stations while at the same time upholding their end of the bargain as licensees.

US: During record heat wave, major TV stations in Phoenix and Las Vegas completely ignored the impact of climate change

Media Matters for America: Major television network affiliates in metropolitan areas most affected by a record-breaking heat wave in June failed to discuss how climate change exacerbates such heat waves or mention that it will make them more frequent in the future, and major national TV networks neglected to report on the connection too.

US: Indiana Public Broadcasting wins Two PRNDI’s for East Chicago Lead Contamination Coverage

Lakeshore Public Radio: Indiana Public Broadcasting (IPB News) has won two national Public Radio News Directors Incorporated Awards (PRNDI), for the 2016 coverage of the lead contamination crisis in East Chicago, Indiana.

US: PBS Wants the Government to Reexamine Hard Stance on Indecency

The Hollywood Reporter: Together with NPR, the public stations also suggest the time might be right to ditch a rule prohibiting the broadcast of lottery drawings.

US: Republicans on Senate committee assert media leaks harm US national security

CPJ: The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by a report released today by a group of Senate Republicans arguing that “an avalanche” of media leaks under the Trump Administration is harming national security.

US: Stop Trump and the Republicans from defunding public broadcasting (Opinion)

Daily Kos

US: Threats are real, but benchmarks point to healthy public radio system

Current: Renewed confidence in the future of public radio is showing up all across the country.

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