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

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WEEK 18: What do RETRENCHMENTS look like? 

As many news organisations face growing funding instability, retrenchment – the process of reducing expenditure or costs during times of financial difficulty – is becoming more widespread, particularly since the onset of the pandemic. For public media, retrenchment often looks like redundancies or the significant loss of jobs. Examples include South Africa’s SABC, which saw 621 job losses as part of its retrenchment; at Ireland’s RTÉ, a voluntary staff exit scheme will be reopened to close a “persistent” funding gap; at ABC in Australia, 250 jobs were slated to be cut due to budget shortfalls; and at Switzerland’s SRG SSR, “job cuts are inevitable” as the public broadcaster continues its cost-cutting programme. But retrenchments don’t only affect human resources; they also affect the services offered by public broadcasters. This is the case at ARD in Germany, where recently announced austerity measures could “have significant consequences for the programming” in all regions. While some retrenchments are unavoidable, they can drastically hinder the ability of public media to provide an essential and effective service to their audiences.

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What we're watching...

Media in Africa | Threats and opportunities in press freedom across the continent 

SABC News: Yesterday the University of Johannesburg’s Strategic Communications Department held an online joint webinar commemorating the 2021 World Press Freedom Day. The discussions were about “Press Freedom in Digital Age, Threats and Opportunities”.  This comes a week after the release of the World Press Freedom Index, a barometer of the state of media freedom across the globe, which found that there has been a decline in public access to information and an increase in obstacles to news coverage in a number of countries.

What we're listening to...

The Media Show: Decline of the Editor

BBC Sounds: In his final edition as presenter of The Media Show, Amol Rajan looks at the challenges ahead for journalism. With help from leading journalists, Amol argues that this is a golden age of media – but a dark age for news. Readers increasingly don’t trust what they see in newspapers. 

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BURKINA FASO: In Burkina Faso, Spanish journalist killings underscore broader dangers to the press

CPJ: The murder of Spanish reporters David Beriain and Roberto Fraile by unidentified attackers last week in eastern Burkina Faso was a tragic example of the dangerous working conditions for  journalists in the country, where the government has struggled to contain a rise in militant activity in recent years.  

BURUNDI: Burundi show promising media freedom (Watch)

Africa News: As one of the countries leading in terms of media oppression, Burundi has made major steps to ensure media rights were in place since the new administration came to power.

GHANA: Information Minister tasks State Broadcaster to set up committee to come out with guidelines on future of GBC

GBC Ghana: Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has suggested to the National Media Commission (NMC), to in the next 10 days put in place a Committee to identify challenges and come up with clear guidelines for the future of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation.

KENYA: Pay reporters well to boost press freedom — Speaker Muturi

The Star: Poor payment of journalists, media owners’ interests and the influence of business and political players are the main threats to press freedom, National Assembly speaker Justin Muturi has said.

MALAWI: Country Ignites Digital Transformation Through US$72.4 Million Credit From The World Bank

Broadcast Media Africa: Recent statistics from Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has revealed that only 14% of the Malawi population has access to the internet.

MALAWI: Malawi media joins World Association of News Publishers on World Press Freedom Day

Nyasa Times: In celebrating World Press Freedom Day today, May 3, Malawi Media Freedom Committee has been accepted as a chapter for World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) — a regional and global network of media professionals which is committed to standing for quality journalism and press freedom while respecting diversity and plurality of voices.

MOZAMBIQUE: Mozambique: Govt Claims Commitment to Press Freedom But MISA Warns of Abuses

Via All Africa: Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Monday reiterated the commitment of his government to defend the right to information, in compliance with its mission to improve living conditions and strengthen democracy. […] But the Mozambican chapter of the regional press freedom body, MISA (Media Institute of Southern Africa) warned that press freedoms are currently under threat in Mozambique.

NAMIBIA: Namibia: NBC workers on strike, IFJ backs call for solidarity

IFJ: Workers at the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation, the country’s national public broadcaster, are on strike to protest against poor working conditions and low pay while managers share millions of dollars in bonuses.

NAMIBIA: Rifts Shows At Public Broadcaster Over Acquisitions Of TV Content Rights

Broadcast Media Africa: According to BMA sources, top managers at the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) managers have shared their unhappiness and revealed their discontent with the top management approach to acquiring television rights.

SEYCHELLES: Seychelles climbs in World Press Freedom rankings; now in top third of all countries

Seychelles News Agency: Seychelles has improved its ranking in the World Press Freedom Index for a third consecutive year, climbing 11 spots to 52nd out of 180 countries.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC says it’s all system go for the coverage of 2021 local government elections (Watch)

SABC News: The SABC has told parliament that the recent retrenchments will not have any impact on the broadcaster’s election coverage.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC to comply with court’s order to reinstate Palesa Chubisi

SABC News: The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) says it intends to comply with a court order that TV news presenter Palesa Chubisi be properly consulted before she is retrenched.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC to proceed with eviction of illegal occupiers from its Mahikeng flats

SABC News: The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) says it intends to proceed with a process to evict all illegal occupiers of SABC properties in Mahikeng, in North West. This after the illegal occupiers failed to restore possession of the Bop TV flats and other SABC properties back to the SABC, as ordered by the North West High Court.

UGANDA: Curb sexual harassment in media houses, says Nabakooba

Daily Monitor: The Minister for Information and Communications Technology, Ms Judith Nabakooba has urged media houses to put in place strict policies against sexual harassment to protect female journalists.

UGANDA: Uganda launches Editors’ Guild on World Press Freedom Day

Daily Monitor: The Uganda Editors’ Guild was yesterday inaugurated in Kampala during activities to mark the World Press Freedom Day, celebrated every May 3.

ZIMBABWE: Veteran Journalist Says Press Freedom Elusive in Zimbabwe Despite Registration of New Players (Watch)

VOA Zimbabwe: Veteran journalist, John Masuku, says there is need for media pluralism in Zimbabwe as newly-licensed broadcasting stations in Zimbabwe are aligned to the ruling party. He says a lot still needs to be done in the country in terms of opening airwaves. He speaks about this issue with Gibbs Dube.

ZIMBABWE: Zim makes progress in opening up media

The Herald: Zimbabwe, under the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa, has made significant strides in the past three years to open up the media sector and make the work of journalists freer, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said.

REGIONAL: Press Freedom in Africa in a year hit by government restrictions (Watch)

FRANCE 24: As journalists and organizations around the globe mark World Press Freedom Day, we’ll take a look at the state of the freedom of the press in Africa and how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted it.

AFGHANISTAN: AJSC, UNAMA, NAI and UNESCO raise their concern over the press freedom in Afghanistan on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day

UNESCO: Today, Afghan Journalists Safety Committee (AJSC) in collaboration with United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Nai (Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan) and United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) celebrated the World Press Freedom Day in Kabul, Afghanistan.

AFGHANISTAN: No free press in Taliban-controlled areas

MENAFN: Taliban take hostage a civil and cultural activist two years ago in Ghazni province, blaming him guilty for his post that showed the death of innocent people in the Taliban’s attacks.

BANGLADESH: Controversial law said to limit press freedom in Bangladesh

The Express Tribune: Rights bodies say free speech under serious threat as the government points to flaws in the media.

CAMBODIA: After Crushing Free Media, Cambodia’s Hun Sen Claims to ‘Place High Value’ on Journalism


HONG KONG: Convicted Hong Kong journalist wins award for investigation

FRANCE 24: A Hong Kong journalist who was prosecuted over investigating an attack on democracy supporters by government loyalists won a prestigious press prize on Thursday, even after her employer backed out of the awards.

HONG KONG: Entrusting CCP with media ethics is like putting a python in charge of chicken eggs | Benedict Rogers (Opinion)

Apple Daily: This week has been a bad one for media freedom in Hong Kong. 

HONG KONG: Hong Kong journalist Bao Choy appeals conviction over accessing public data for documentary

HKFP: Hong Kong journalist Bao Choy has filed an appeal against a magistrate’s decision to convict her after she accessed public records to investigate police behaviour during the “7.21” mob attack on Yuen Long MTR station – one of the most controversial incidents of the 2019 protests.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong leader flags ‘fake news’ laws as worries over media freedom grow

Reuters: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday the government was working on “fake news” legislation to tackle “misinformation, hatred and lies,” as worries grow over media freedoms in the global financial hub.

HONG KONG: RTHK Independence Called into Question Over Show Hosted by Hong Kong Leader

VOA News: Public broadcaster Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) is bound by its charter to be editorially independent and immune from political influence. But a new series, in which Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam interviews political leaders about reforms, is being criticized as testing the limits of that independence.

HONG KONG: State newspaper accuses Hong Kong media outlet of inciting terrorism amid press freedom fears

Apple Daily: A state-run newspaper has accused online media outlet Stand News of publishing an article that breached the national security law, an accusation that comes amid fears of tightening press freedom in Hong Kong.

INDIA: India cannot breathe. Is the media choking it further? (Blog)

LSE Blogs: As debate on the reportage of the COVID-19 crisis in India unfolds, journalists and researchers Ruhi Khan (LSE) and Danish Khan (University of Oxford), throw a spotlight on the political economy of the media in India. Through interviews with those at the helm of media organisations in India, they show how certain control mechanisms are employed by the State to exert pressure on the media and dictate the narrative.

INDONESIA: Attacks on journalists rise in Indonesia

IPI: Media sector feels strain of COVID-19.

MALAYSIA: Malaysia Media Report 2020: Lack of women in senior editorial positions results in toxic newsrooms

Malay Mail: The Malaysia Media Report 2020 said the lack of women in senior editorial positions have resulted in a “toxic and self-perpetuating cycle” in newsrooms. The report stated that such under-representation in key editorial roles such as directors, bureau chiefs and editors in the industry also lead to under-reporting of women’s rights and gender equity.

MALAYSIA: Media landscape got worse over past year, say journalists

Free Malaysia Today: A large number of journalists believe that working conditions and the media landscape have worsened over the last year, according to a survey conducted by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), Peninsular Malaysia.

MALAYSIA: Repeal draconian laws to ensure media freedom, says activist

Free Malaysia Today: There is an urgent need to repeal draconian media-related laws and push for media reform and greater press freedoms, rights advocate Cynthia Gabriel said today.

MALAYSIA: Report: Media in Malaysia concerned over job security and personal safety amid Covid-19 outbreak

Malay Mail: Media practitioners in Malaysia are increasingly concerned about their personal safety and job security as the global pandemic rages on, according to the Malaysia Media Report 2020.

MYANMAR: Media gains reversed in Myanmar coup (Opinion)

The Jakarta Post

MYANMAR: Myanmar military bans satellite TV, charges Japanese journalist

Al Jazeera: Generals who seized power in coup three months ago seek to further isolate country amid continuing opposition to their rule.

PAKISTAN: Cabinet approves journalist protection bills

The News International: The federal cabinet has approved two long-awaited bills for protection of journalists and media professionals and criminalising forced disappearances in the country.

PAKISTAN: EU concerned over state of freedom of press in Pakistan

Geo News: The European Union (EU) has expressed deep concern over the lack of freedom of the press and violence against journalists in Pakistan.

PAPUA: Media alliance calls in Jokowi’s pledge to allow foreign journalists into Papua

Asia Pacific Report: The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) is calling in a pledge made by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in 2015 over press freedom in Papua that has never been fulfilled over the past five years.

PHILIPPINES: Why the shutdown of ABS-CBN is an assault on free expression (Opinion)

ABS-CBN: The damage inflicted on our democratic institutions by last year’s closure of ABS-CBN can never be repaired unless the network is allowed once again to operate. But we cannot expect legislators who served as the network’s executioners to perform such an act that would sanitize their conscience. 

SINGAPORE: Singapore media firm’s restructuring sparks questions over future of journalism

SCMP: The publisher of Singapore newspaper The Straits Times billed a plan on Thursday to spin off its media business into a non-profit entity as a boon for local journalism, but observers are pessimistic that the move – the biggest restructuring of the industry in decades – will alter the country’s anaemic state of press freedom.

SOUTH KOREA: “A better life, a safer Korea for children”… KBS, Children’s Day special all-day program (Korean)

KBS: KBS, a disaster supervisory broadcaster, is holding a special program all day on May 5 (Wed) with the theme of <Better Life, a Safer Korea for Children> in celebration of Children’s Day.

AUSTRALIA: AAP to receive multimillion-dollar federal government funding boost

The Sydney Morning Herald: Newswire AAP, which almost closed last year over concerns it was losing too much money, is expected to receive almost $20 million in funding from the federal government’s budget.

AUSTRALIA: ABC board member’s run-in with a cow exposes a board ‘in strife’

The Sydney Morning Herald: ABC chairwoman Ita Buttrose says it is a mistake to leave her powerless to choose ABC directors, with government delays in filling three vacancies almost leaving the board short when a member was attacked by a cow.

AUSTRALIA: ABC claims there were ‘reasonable grounds’ for suspecting Porter of rape

The Sydney Morning Herald: The ABC did not defame Christian Porter in an online story at the centre of a Federal Court lawsuit because it did not name him and did not assert that he was guilty of raping a young woman in the 1980s, lawyers for the broadcaster have said as it prepares to fight the case in court.

AUSTRALIA: Don’t be surprised if you’re surprised by the new ABC iview (Press release)

ABC Australia: ABC iview is offering even more to Australians in 2021. The ABC’s video-on-demand (VOD) service helps viewers watch what they want, when they want it, with new personalised features that make it easier to enjoy outstanding programmes from the nation’s biggest collection of Australian content.  

AUSTRALIA: Funding steady for national broadcasters, more money for community broadcasting: Federal Budget

Radio Info: Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has delivered the federal budget with a focus on “creating jobs and rebuilding the economy,” as Australia continues to recover from the covid pandemic and to keep it at a very low level compared with the rest of the world.

AUSTRALIA: Male voices dominate the news. Here’s how journalists and female experts can turn this around (Opinion)

The Conversation: Last week, the ABC announced it had achieved a milestone it had been trying to reach for more than two years. For the first time, in the previous month of March, it had equal numbers of women and men appearing in its news coverage.

AUSTRALIA: SBS appoints Darren Farnham as Chief Technology Officer (Press Release)

SBS: SBS today announced the appointment of Darren Farnham as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and member of the SBS Executive leadership team.

AUSTRALIA: Wesley Enoch: the 2021 budget must think big and reinvest in the social capital of ideas

The Conversation: Big thinking has been unfashionable for too long. Over the past decade, successive leaders have overseen cuts to universities, the arts and public broadcasting.

NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand did not tell broadcaster to ‘censor’ anti-government comments on its social media

AFP Fact Check: Facebook posts claim New Zealand ordered public broadcaster Radio New Zealand to remove comments critical of government policy from its social media platforms. The claim is false: New Zealand’s government and RNZ both told AFP the claims were fabricated and there had been no such request. Posts critical of Jacinda Ardern’s Labour government can still be seen on the broadcaster’s social media channels as of May 5, 2021.

NEW ZEALAND: RNZ National audience takes a tumble

Newsroom: MediaRoom: The latest radio ratings show a second big drop for RNZ National, a bounceback for The Edge and strong growth for ZM.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Media Frontline Efforts in COVID-19 Overlooked

One PNG News: The Pacific Islands News Association says in the fight against COVID-19, the critical frontline efforts of media workers in bringing much-needed information and news to the people has been largely forgotten. 

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: PNG police release EMTV employee detained over buai market video

Asia Pacific Report: Papua New Guinean police have released a detained EMTV staff man, Richard Magei, after he reportedly filmed officers destroying buai markets at 5 Mile in the capital of Port Moresby.

VANUATU: Vanuatu: Legislative changes raise media freedom concerns

Via IFEX: The Pacific Freedom Forum has warned that legislative amendments passed by the Vanuatu Parliament could be used to attack journalists who publish critical reports on politicians and government policies.

REGIONAL: ABC Radio Australia focuses on women in the Pacific with Sistas, Let’s Talk (Press release)

ABC Australia: A unique 30-minute radio program and podcast focusing on women’s issues across the Pacific launches on ABC Radio Australia this Friday, 14 May.

REGIONAL: Pacific journos call on governments to uphold public right to information

Asia Pacific Report: Information as a public good is a powerful theme for this year’s World Press Freedom Day and serves as a reminder to Pacific Island governments that the public have a right to information that affects their lives, says a Fiji-based media educator.

BELARUS: Belarus Media Is Under ‘Wave of Repression’

VOA News: Belarus has never had a strong tradition for media freedom but a mass crackdown after contested elections last year has made an already repressive situation even more dire, local journalists say.  

BELARUS: Belarusian parliament passes amendments stifling press freedom

Via IFEX: The legislation includes a ban on coverage of unsanctioned protests, restrictions on the establishment of media outlets, and other policies to restrict press freedom. To enter into force, it needs to be approved by the Constitutional Court and signed by President Lukashenko. 

BULGARIA: EU Commissioner for Justice: Bulgaria Should Step up Reforms, Media Freedom Is Essential for Democracy


CROATIA: Croatian President Condemned for Rant Against HRT Reporters

Balkan Insight: President Milanovic has been slated by unions for sparring with public broadcaster reporters in the city of Split, where he accused them of being tricksters and political ‘mercenaries’.

CROATIA: Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek: Concept of HRT Management Inaugurated During Zoran Milanović’s Premiership

Total Croatia News: Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek said on Friday that she was shocked by President Zoran Milanović’s attack on the HRT public broadcaster, adding that she had always stood up for press freedom.

FINLAND: Two YLE reports set off discussion about police racism in Finland

Helsinki Times: POLICE RACISM has become a topic of nationwide discussion following the release of two reports about questionable police actions and procedures by YLE.

FINLAND: Yle met hundreds of municipal election candidates from all corners of the country: the 294-part Kuntarundi audio series has been released today at the Arena (Finnish)

Yle: Yle’s regional journalists interviewed municipal candidates from nearly 300 municipalities in the spring and winter. The election audio series is aimed especially at mobile and online news users and is one of Yle’s largest election products in the summer municipal elections.

FINLAND & HUNGARY: How Finland’s biggest newspaper is helping Hungarian independent media Telex

IPI: Inspiring example of cross-border solidarity of media in EU.

FRANCE: Report of the Independent Commission on relations between the press and the police (Report – French)

Gouvernement.fr: The Independent Commission on relations between the press and the police, chaired by Jean-Marie DELARUE today submitted to the Prime Minister the report which had been requested on December 22, 2020.

FRANCE: Safeguarding France 4, media independence, new programs: Delphine Ernotte details her projects (French – Paywall)

Le Journal du Dimanche: INTERVIEW – The CEO of France Télévisions and president of the European Broadcasting Union is worried about the attacks suffered by several public media. She explains what will change on her channels and defends the existence of France 4.

GERMANY: No more FM – but when? (German – Listen)

Deutschlandfunk: For years, media policy and broadcasters have been planning the switch from FM to digital radio. So far, they have not been able to agree on a shutdown date for the old technology – but the public sector is running out of time.

GERMANY: ZDF’s Thomas Bellut (Interview)

World Screen: Director-General Thomas Bellut tells World Screen how ZDF’s range of programming helps support democracy and contributes to political culture and social cohesion, and how the industry may change post-pandemic. 

GREECE: Greek reporter after death threats: journalism targeted by business-politics ties

Euractiv: Greek journalist Kostas Vaxevanis recently heard someone was trying to have him killed. Days later, another well-known investigative journalist was assassinated in a mafia-styled execution in Athens. EURACTIV spoke to Vaxevanis to find out if press freedom is in trouble in Greece.

HUNGARY: Hungary is becoming a semi-dictatorship as the EU watches idly (Opinion)

Euronews: I run a radio station in Budapest called Klubrádió. For twenty years we broadcast to an audience of a couple of hundred thousand, holding politicians to account, and surviving on our advertising revenues. We survived in this niche — known by few outside our country — until under Viktor Orban’s brand of “illiberal democracy” we found ourselves in the cross-hairs of his regime.

HUNGARY: Hungary may see takeovers of last free media, experts warn

Euractiv: Recent reports have confirmed the negative trend for media freedom in Hungary but also pointed to Budapest’s negative impact on press freedom in neighbouring countries. On World Press Freedom Day (3 May), EURACTIV talked to two Hungarian media experts.

ITALY: Italian public broadcaster asked to stop promoting ‘intolerable’ content

The Guardian: Activists claim Rai regularly breaks its own code of ethics when it should be setting example to rest of industry.

NORWAY: NRK is betting double-digit millions on the youngest teenagers (Danish)

Nordvision: The 12-14 year olds are the ones NRK reaches the worst. A new offensive strategy must bring the target group back to NRK’s ​​platforms.

POLAND: Poland’s Press Push Back at Government Control

VOA News

POLAND: With firing of four editors, “repolonisation” under way in Poland

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the reinstatement of four editors-in-chief with the Polish regional media group Polska Press who were fired by the Polish state-controlled oil company that acquired the group, although a competition court has frozen the acquisition. RSF also calls on Poland’s competition watchdog to ensure that their dismissal is rescinded.

RUSSIA: Blinken: Russia Undermining Press Freedom, Targeting RFE/RL (Watch)

RFE/RL: In an interview with RFE/RL during a one-day visit to Kyiv on May 6, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed to stand up “for the right of journalists to do their jobs.” His comments came as RFE/RL finds itself under increasing pressure in Russia, where authorities demand that it identify itself as a “foreign agent” in accordance with legislation that critics say is designed to crack down on independent media and NGOs.

RUSSIA: Media face financial ruin under Russian “foreign agent” law

IPI: Legislation weaponized to target both domestic and foreign media.

SPAIN: Spanish Public Broadcaster Deploys New Chyron Graphics Workflow, Video Wall System

TV Technology: RTVE used the new workflow and Chyron Prime Video Walls for its recent election coverage.

UK: BBC publishes first register of external staff earnings

BBC News: Dan Walker and Justin Webb are among the on-air BBC personalities to feature on the corporation’s first register of staff earnings from external events.

UK: How the BBC makes money (Factcheck)

Full Fact: “This is the BBC’s total income, not just that from the licence fee (£3.5 billion) or public money. Much of the rest is generated from its commercial operations.”

UK: Ofcom: No competition concerns from BBC Sounds

Radio Today: BBC Sounds is not having any significant adverse impact on fair and effective competition, Ofcom says.

GENERAL: Interview: ‘This is the fake news business model’

IPI: IJ4EU grantee Ieva Ivanauskaitė describes ‘following the money’ to understand how disinformation spreads in the Baltics.

REGIONAL: Commissioner floats plan for EU ‘media freedom act’ next year

EU Observer: Better EU tools are needed to protect media freedom as a “pillar of democracy” rather than just a player in the national economy, EU Commission vice-president Věra Jourová said on Monday (3 May) to mark World Press Freedom Day.

REGIONAL: The impact of Covid-19 on media freedom

Council of Europe: During the pandemic, reliable information became critical not only to keep people informed but also safe and healthy. The need for quality, fact-checked journalism has taken on even more relevance in this period. However, the pandemic has also added new concerns to the media sector, already weakened by the fragile financial situation and increasing threats and violence against journalists. 

ARGENTINA: They appointed opposition representatives to the Enacom and RTA boards (Spanish)

Infobae: José Corral will be in the communication body and Carlos Monte and Cristian Larsen in RTA. The positions were vacant since the beginning of the Alberto Fernández government. They were proposed by the Bicameral Commission of Congress.

BAHAMAS: Bahamas Press Club applauds appointment of freedom of information commissioner

Eyewitness News: As media houses around the world celebrated World Press Freedom Day yesterday, the Bahamas Press Club 2014 said “hats off” to the government on the appointment of a freedom of information commissioner, which brings the Freedom of Information Act closer to becoming law.

BRAZIL: FENAJ and unions defend EBC in meeting with PPI team

FENAJ: Entities are against the company’s privatization process, under studies within the federal government’s Partnerships and Investment Program. 

COLOMBIA: CPJ, partners call on Colombian authorities to address press freedom violations in protest response

CPJ: The Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and IFEX-ALC sent a letter to Colombian President Iván Duque and three other high-ranking Colombian officials urging them to investigate press freedom violations committed by state security forces responding to protests and guarantee Colombians’ rights to access information and free expression.

COLOMBIA: How is the Colombian media covering the protest? (Analysis – Spanish) 

Radiónica: The Spectator, Urban Cartel, Metro, Maelstrom, La Silla Vacía, Cerosetenta, Pacifista! and Canal Capital reflect on covering unemployment.

COLOMBIA: Single radio (Spanish)

Caracol Radio: Radio in Colombia comes together, in a great joint broadcast, to give a message of encouragement to the country.

ECUADOR: Lasso urged measures to defend freedom of expression in Ecuador (Spanish)

Swissinfo: Several NGOs, more than forty media and civil society organizations in Ecuador asked the president-elect, Guillermo Lasso, to sign a document to guarantee freedom of expression in the country and to coordinate with the Guilds actions to strengthen the communication sector.

EL SALVADOR: Dismissals in state media

APES: Around a score of journalists and workers related to the information of the Television of El Salvador (Channel 10) and radio El Salvador, were fired this Monday, May 3, 2021 by the Communications Secretariat of the Presidency. The affected personnel belonged to the areas of press, production and social networks. 

HONDURAS: British Embassy and PEN International foster dialogue around Media Freedom in Honduras

UK Government: The British Embassy together with PEN International organised a webinar around Media Freedom in Honduras.

MEXICO: Mexico is deadliest country for journalists, who also face government harassment

NBC News: “In the end, what matters to us is that what is happening in our regions is known,” one journalist said. “That all the corruption isn’t forgotten, all the attacks.”

URUGUAY: The new media law project: zero transparency, concentration by three (Opinion – Spanish) (Paywall)

La Diaria: The current government, when it was in the opposition, promised to repeal the 2014 media law. 

REGIONAL: Nothing has changed since Windhoek (Opinion – Spanish)

El Peruano: Every individual has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, says the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

IRAN: Proposed Iranian law would ban US, British journalists and media

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the latest censorship attempt in Iran, in the form of a proposed law currently before the Iranian parliament that would ban US and British journalists from entering Iran and would ban the Iranian media from reporting anything that the US and British media publish. 

IRAQ: On World Press Freedom Day, 10 Rights Groups Call On Iraqi Kurdistan Authorities To Stop Violations Against Journalists

Scoop: Ten human rights organizations issued a joint statement today calling on the Iraqi Kurdistan authorities to stop their ongoing violations against freedom of the press, lift restrictions on journalistic work, and stop prosecuting and detaining journalists.

ISRAEL: More than two dozen journalists attacked by Israeli security forces in Jerusalem

IPI: The Israeli security forces should stop targeting journalists covering the ongoing clashes in East Jerusalem, the International Press Institute (IPI), the global network of editors, media workers and journalists, said today.

ISRAEL: Netanyahu corruption trial sheds light on meddling in Israeli media

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled by the disturbing and unacceptable practices threatening media independence in Israel that have come to light during the evidentiary stage of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial…

LEBANON: Freedom of Speech in Lebanon Is Under Attack

Human Rights Watch

SAUDI ARABIA: World Press Freedom Day: Activists pay tribute to Jamal Khashoggi

Middle East Eye: Rights advocates have paid tribute to Jamal Khashoggi on World Press Freedom Day, renewing calls for accountability and justice for the slain Saudi journalist. World Press Freedom Day, marked on 3 May, comes two months after the US administration released a report accusing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of ordering Khashoggi’s assassination.

PALESTINE: The EU marks World Press Freedom Day with Palestinian journalists fighting COVID-19

MENAFN: In celebration of the World Press Freedom Day, the Office of the European Union Representative and the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate joined Palestinian journalists to highlight the press’s vital role in promoting and protecting freedom of opinion and expression. 

TURKEY: Turkey does not investigate or prosecute journalistic activities: diplomatic response to UN

SCF: In its official response to a joint UN letter on the retrial of the country’s Reporters Without Borders (RSF) representative and journalist Erol Önderoğlu, the Turkish government claimed that no one is being subjected to investigation or prosecution for solely their journalistic activities in Turkey.

TURKEY: Turkey’s media regulator warns Spotify over critical content

Arab News: Turkey’s media watchdog has warned online audio streaming giant Spotify to “regulate its content” in line with Turkish legislation or risk critical items being removed or cut. 

YEMEN: Calls grow for release of Yemeni journalists

Anadolu Agency: With four journalists still facing death penalty, 24 new violations of press freedom documented in first quarter of 2021.

CANADA: CBC and Radio-Canada Media Solutions to rep Télé-Québec nationally (Paywall)

Cartt.ca: Quebec’s public educational broadcaster, Télé-Québec, announced today it is entrusting its advertising representation outside the province to CBC & Radio-Canada Media Solutions and its sales team, effective in June. 

CANADA: Changes to Radio Canada International come at expense to core mandate, say supporters (Opinion – Paywall)

The Hill Times: ‘Radio Canada International has just one mandate and that is to explain Canada to the world,’ says former host Wojtek Gwiazda.

CANADA: Curling broadcasting shutdown forces organizers, media, viewers to pivot

CBC: The venerable supports of pandemic-era sports media coverage — television and streaming — have been critical lifelines for reporters tasked with remote filing in the absence of regular in-person access.

CANADA: How a national association is building a robust independent media landscape in Canada

Poynter: North of the border, corporate consolidation reigns and news deserts are growing. Sound familiar? Press Forward aims to change that.

CANADA: It starts from you: A record season for ICI TÉLÉ (Press release – French)

Radio-Canada: It is with pride and gratitude that Radio-Canada wishes to point out that, both throughout the day and during prime time, ICI TÉLÉ obtained its best results in 2020-2021 since the measure was established.

US: As Arab Spring Unfolded On Twitter, Social Media Gained Foothold At NPR (Listen)

Wyoming Public Media

US: Broad agreement in U.S. – even among partisans – on which news outlets are part of the ‘mainstream media’

Pew Research Center: The term “mainstream media” has long been used to refer to established journalism outlets in the United States. In recent years, it has also been used in a more critical context, including by former President Donald Trump, other politicians and members of the media themselves.

US: Commentary: Student journalists are local journalists (Opinion)

The Ithacan: This year for World Press Freedom Day, held May 3, there was a renewed push to celebrate local journalists. No, this did not mean addressing race and gender pay gaps for reporters, nor did it involve providing the infrastructure needed to maintain independent local newsrooms. Instead, we got a hashtag — #FollowLocalJournalists.

US: Local Motion: 3 Women Doing Public Service Media

KVNF: This week on Local Motion, Gavin Dahl interviews three women doing public service media work in Colorado, photojournalist and educator Abby Harrison, Ouray County Plaindealer reporter Liz Teitz, and KGNU news director Shannon Young.

US: NPR At 50: Founding Mothers Reflect On Radio Past And Present (Listen)

Wyoming Public Media

US: PBS Digital Studios and Center for Asian American Media Debut A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF ASIAN AMERICA (Press release)

PBS: New Miniseries Hosted by Journalist Dolly Li and Professor Adrian De Leon Addresses Increase in Hate Crimes and Anti-Asian Sentiment in the U.S.

US: Public media’s one-of-a-kind leadership training needs new funding. Here’s why our industry can’t let it end (Paywall)

Current: The most transformational leadership program we’ve ever experienced gave public media a boost during one of our industry’s most challenging years. Now, its future is in doubt.

US: Radio With A Purpose: Bill Siemering On NPR’s Original Mission Statement (Feature)


US: Trump Justice Department secretly obtained Post reporters’ phone records

The Washington Post: The Trump Justice Department secretly obtained Washington Post journalists’ phone records and tried to obtain their email records over reporting they did in the early months of the Trump administration on Russia’s role in the 2016 election, according to government letters and officials.

AIB launches search for outstanding coverage of media freedom

AIB: New award category for the best media freedom coverage added to the AIBs

Facebook will push you to read articles before you share them

Vox: The company says it wants to promote “more informed sharing.”

Learn techniques of data analysis and visualization; Register now for Knight Center’s all-new online course (Opportunity)

Knight Center: Data talks, if you know how to make it. Journalists understand now more than ever that learning basic data journalism skills, including techniques to analyze it and turn it into visualizations, is essential to their work. 

Production Unlocked (Opportunity)

BBC Academy: Unlock your learning with Production Unlocked. The BBC Academy will be offering an exciting series of workshops, masterclasses, expert advice sessions and more!

The volunteers using ‘honeypot’ groups to fight anti-vax propaganda

BBC News: In a policy shift, Facebook is now removing groups and pages that discourage people from getting vaccines. As social media giants grapple with the anti-vaccine movement, Specialist disinformation reporter Marianna Spring meets the everyday citizens battling conspiracy theories in their spare time.

What threatens press freedom today? (Opinion)


When white collar criminals try to silence the press (Series)

Swissinfo: In Switzerland, as in the rest of Europe and the US, attempts to pressure and censor a financially fragile media are increasing. Some 30 non-government organisations warn that these judicial attacks threaten free speech.

Why do people avoid news? It’s not just because it makes them feel bad

Nieman Lab: Plus: How community-centered collaborative journalism really works in a pandemic, the impact of Sinclair on national political views, and the everyday tactics that shape whether young people trust news.

Windhoek+30 Declaration calls for affirming information is a public good

UNESCO: Participants of the 2021 World Press Freedom Day Global Conference adopted the “Windhoek + 30 Declaration”, thirty years after the landmark meeting that brought forth the 1991 Windhoek Declaration on Free, Independent, and Pluralistic Press, which triggered the proclamation of 3 May as World Press Freedom Day. 

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