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.

GAMBIA: EU Delegation to The Gambia launches report on Freedom of Expression and Media Pluralism

Media4Democracy: The European Union Delegation and Media4Democracy will present an analysis of freedom of expression and the state of the media in The Gambia at an event on 7 February. This report comes one year after a democratically elected government took power with a strong commitment to media pluralism and access to information.

EGYPT: Egypt imposes travel restrictions on journalists

Al Monitor: Egypt’s National Press Authority (NPA) recently issued a travel restriction that some in the news business consider a blessing, while others see it as a curse.

EGYPT: Egyptian news site keeps media freedom alive amid Sisi crackdown

The Financial Times: As pre-ordained election result approaches, Mada Masr challenges Cairo regime.

KENYA: How closure of TV stations has narrowed democratic space in Kenya

The Conversation: Three of Kenya’s leading broadcasters remained shut for a week. Two have since been allowed back on air.

KENYA: Kenya crackdown on media, opposition attracts heavy criticism

Reuters: A top Kenyan newspaper published a fake death notice of a prominent opposition financier on Wednesday, a bizarre error that rights groups interpreted as another sign of an anti-democratic slide.

LIBERIA: Xinhua Seeks Collaboration With Liberian Media

Via All Africa: The China News Agency, Xinhua, is seeking to collaborate with the Liberian media.

MALAWI: Opposition party demands broadcast coverage

SABA News: The opposition MALAWI CONGRESS PARTY, MCP, has complained to the Communications Regulatory Authority against the MALAWI Broadcasting Corporation.

NIGERIA: Delta government denies alleged plans to sell DBS, DRTV

The Guardian (Nigeria): The Delta State government has denied alleged plans to sell the Delta Broadcasting Service (DBS) in Asaba, and the Delta Rainbow Television (DRTV) in Warri.

RWANDA: Rwanda shuts radio station for denigrating women

The Citizen: Rwanda’s media watchdog has ordered a US-owned Christian radio station shut for three months after a “vile” sermon against women, it said Monday.

SOUTH AFRICA: SA editors take aim at new ANC spokesperson Mabe

The Citizen: The editors’ forum added that it ‘believes that frank, robust relations between the ruling party and the SABC are essential’.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC hires new head of news

News24: The South African Broadcasting Corporation has announced that it has appointed a new Group Executive: News and Current Affairs.

UGANDA: Ugandan cartoonists are offering some of the sharpest criticism on the state of the country

Quartz: Uganda’s political cartoonists have sharp pens, producing work that is often highly critical of the government and state of the country.

ZAMBIA: Zambia tables legislation to regulate social media

IT Web Africa: Zambia’s Transport and Communications Minister has confirmed the country’s parliament will review three bills designed to regulate internet usage and social media: the cybersecurity and cybercrime bill, e-commerce bill and data protection bill.

ZIMBABWE: 2018 elections: ZBC under spotlight

Daily News: As the 2018 harmonised elections loom, the public media and in particular ZBC has come under the spotlight as it is being called to be fair when covering political parties contesting in the poll.

BANGLADESH: Digital Security Act: Editors demand discussions with stakeholders

The Daily Star: The Shampadak Parishad has voiced deep concern over the inclusion of the controversial Section-57 of the ICT Act and some strict provisions in the draft of the Digital Security Act 2018.

CAMBODIA: Attacks on fundamental freedoms continue in the lead up to elections

Monitor Civicus: The Cambodian authorities escalated its repression in 2017 by dissolving the main opposition party and arresting its leader Kem Sokha on charges of treason. It also intensified its misuse of the justice system to criminalise human rights and political activists and forced the closure of media outlets. The situation has deteriorated further in 2018, in the lead up to this years’ elections, with new legal restrictions being proposed.

CHINA: Government organised interview lacks transparency

IFJ: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) criticises the Public Security Ministry of China for allowing granting certain media access to an interview with detained book publisher, Gui Minhai.

CHINA: Reporters beaten, robbed while investigating allegations of pollution

CPJ: A group of men on January 25, 2018, assaulted and robbed two television journalists while they were reporting on allegations of industrial pollution in Hebei province’s Quzhou county, approximately 260 miles southwest of Beijing, according to news reports.

HONG KONG: News-based education hub set to be launched in Hong Kong to show visitors city’s media history

South China Morning Post: Brainchild of the Journalism Education Foundation will open after five years of planning and will not rule out exhibitions of past politically sensitive events

INDIA: At India Today, Anchors Can Spread Fake News While Editor is Sacked For Speaking Out

The Wire: Angshukanta Chakraborty was asked to leave for tweeting that news organisations shielding journalists who spread fake news should be tried in court.

INDIA: Broadcasting sector against auctioning TV channel licences

Television Post: Stakeholders across the spectrum have vehemently opposed the auction of TV channel licence as it is technically not feasible and will lead to a bidding war for procuring licences which will increase the financial burden on TV broadcasters.

JAPAN: NHK World updates app to issue disaster alerts in English

The Japan Times: Tourists and residents in Japan who don’t speak Japanese no longer need to be concerned about missing out on earthquake and tsunami alerts.

MYANMAR: Rohingya crisis: When information is a matter of life and death

BBC Media Action: The scale of the humanitarian crisis is visible on the road winding away from Cox’s Bazar long before you reach the camps.

MYANMAR: Women Journalists Say Access to Information More Challenging Under NLD

The Irrawaddy: Access to information has become far more challenging under the National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government, Myanmar women journalists told their Asian colleagues at the Women in News Southeast Asia summit in Yangon last Thursday. The discussion focused on ways of reshaping the media landscape.

MYANMAR: Threats, arrests, and access denied as Myanmar backtracks on press freedom

CPJ: Local and international journalists face challenges reporting on the crisis and other politically sensitive issues.

NEPAL: Meeting Nepal’s Open Data Revolutionaries

Open & Shut

PAKISTAN: Ban on airing Valentine’s Day content remains

Geo News: Acting on earlier directives of the Islamabad High Court, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) again reminded electronic and print media from promoting Valentine’s Day celebrations, according to a notification issued by the regulatory body on Wednesday.

PAKISTAN: Mashaal Radio shutdown: Is Pakistan suppressing foreign media?

Deutsche Welle: The shutting down of a US-funded Pashto-language radio station has raised concern over Pakistani authorities clamping down on free speech and Western media outlets in the country.

PAKISTAN: #MemberInterview: Pakistan’s pioneering safety bill remains flawed

Poynter: The Pakistani government is currently considering a new bill that, if eventually passed, would be the country’s first law on the safety and protection of journalists. While the draft text contains several points that would set a new precedent for protecting Pakistan’s media, concerns about the law’s implementation remain.

PAKISTAN: World Radio Day Interview: Fazeela Saba, Sports Broadcaster, Pakistan

Asia Radio Today: UNESCO spoke to a special guest from Pakistan, sports broadcaster Fazeela Saba, on her experiences as a woman in a field dominated by men.

PHILIPPINES: New threats to outspoken Philippine media outlets

RSF: Kodao Productions, a Philippine alternative news website, is still down after being the target of a cyber-attack six days ago.

THAILAND: Thai opposition TV channel suspended again

RSF: The TV channel supports the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), an opposition movement also known as the Red Shirts, which has links to Thaksin Shinawatra, a former prime minister now living in exile.

AUSTRALIA: ABC now costs each Australian four cents a day – half of what it did 30 years ago

The Guardian: Broadcaster’s inaugural public meeting told of savings to taxpayers and further upheaval as it restructures for the digital age

AUSTRALIA: Can ABC be trusted to hold the government to account? (Opinion)

The Guardian: Broadcaster’s handling of the cabinet files raises questions about its coverage of national security

AUSTRALIA: Game on for female sports broadcasters at Commonwealth Games

ABC: Sports broadcasters from India, Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Samoa are taking part in a unique mentoring program in Australia to promote gender balance in sports broadcasting.

AUSTRALIA: ‘Has the ABC adopted a policy of dumbing down?’ ABC leadership fields public’s questions

ABC: The ABC’s editorial board has fielded criticisms from members of the public during its first annual public meeting at the broadcaster’s headquarters.

AUSTRALIA: Once a beacon of press freedom in the region, Australia’s proposed law threatens to silence journalists

IJNET: Proposed reforms of Australia’s national security laws aimed at clamping down on government leaks have raised fears for press freedom in one of the Asia-Pacific’s most open democracies.

FIJI: Fiji journos questioned over airport workers lockout article

RNZ: The police in Fiji have taken Islands Business journalists and a director of the publication in for questioning over an article it published on Friday.

FIJI: UN High Commissioner concerned at Fiji media curbs

RNZ: The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights says the limits imposed on journalists in Fiji are “highly worrying.”

KIRIBATI: Foreign journalists ban over ferry disaster blamed on climate doco

Asia Pacific Report: A controversial climate change documentary showing at the Sundance Film Festival has been blamed for the Kiribati government blocking journalists from entering the country to report on the fatal sinking of a passenger ferry.

KIRIBATI: Kiribati government hits out at ‘irresponsible’ foreign journalists

RNZ: The Kiribati government has hit out at media organisations in Australia and New Zealand over their attempts to cover the aftermath of a ferry sinking.

NEW ZEALAND: Cyclone season 2017/2018: how to listen

RNZ: Throughout this cyclone season Radio New Zealand Pacific [RNZI] will be operating its CYCLONE WATCH schedule.

NEW ZEALAND: Is sports journalism on the ropes?

RNZ: “To say I’m worried about the future of sports journalism is like Captain Smith saying he was worried about the Titanic – after it struck the iceberg.” A leading sports editor tells Mediawatch why he fears New Zealand media companies are turning away from sport.

BALKANS: Revealing Corruption Remains Challenge for Balkan Media

SEENPM: Reporters on corruption and organised crime in the Balkans are subject to a range of different pressures and challenges – as our comparison of reporting on such cases in Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia shows.

CZECH REPUBLIC: “Us”, “Them”, and “The Rest”: Foreign News in the Czech Media

EJO: If foreign news offers a window into the world, then the window for radio listeners in the Czech Republic is a fairly narrow one. Researchers from Palacký University in Olomouc found that foreign news focuses mostly on Europe and the United States, relies on Anglo-Saxon sources of information and offers little diversity in news coverage.

DENMARK: After it stopped posting to Facebook, a Danish broadcaster saw its traffic stability improve

Digiday UK: Publishers wonder what will happen to their traffic if Facebook drops news from its news feed entirely, as some fear. Danish broadcaster TV Midtvest found out just that when it stopped posting content to Facebook for two weeks in January.

FRANCE: France Télévisions launches youth TV service Slash

Broadband TV News: France Télévisions has launched Slash, a new digital-only offer with which it hopes to attract 18-30 year olds. At the same time, the public broadcaster will also be launching a SVOD service.

FRANCE: France Télévisions taps Arkena for SVOD plan

Digital TV Europe: France Télévisions has chosen Arkena to provide transcoding capability for its planned – and much delayed – SVOD offering.

FRANCE: Public broadcasting: the boss of M6 for the suppression of advertising (French)

Le Point: Nicolas de Tavernost believes that France Televisions must refocus on its public service missions and suggests to follow the British model.

FRANCE: Rapid response will be key to French anti-fake news law

RFI: The French Minister of Culture Françoise Nyssen said that a judicial procedure would be established to stop the dissemination of fake news, as she introduced the anti-fake news law.

FRANCE: Who will name the bosses of the public broadcasting? (French)

Le Monde: The government plans to entrust this choice to the boards of directors of the companies concerned.

GEORGIA: Calls for resignation of head of Georgian Public Broadcaster

OC Media: More than 70 Georgian NGOs and prominent cultural figures have published a plan to ‘resolve the crisis’ in the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB). The 6 point plan includes a call for the resignation of the head of the GPB, Vasil Maghlaperidze.

GEORGIA: Private TVs, NGOs Draft Plan for Georgia’s Public Broadcaster

The Messenger Online: Georgia’s private televisions, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and public representatives held a meeting about the recent developments in Georgia’s state-financed Public Broadcaster (GPB) and set up a 6-point plan to improve situation in public TV.

GERMANY: Germany’s AfD to open its own newsroom in preparation for mainstream media offensive

Deutsche Welle: Germany’s Alternative for Germany (AfD) party is planning a massive communications expansion as it takes aim at the German mainstream media landscape.

IRELAND: RTE unveils executive team appointments

Real Screen: Irish broadcaster RTÉ has made new senior appointments within its content teams as part of an ongoing restructure.

MOLDOVA: Moldova Introduces Fines for ‘Russian Propaganda’

Balkan Insight: The authorities have begun to impose financial penalties on media outlets in an attempt to prevent alleged attempts to spread Russian propaganda in Moldova.

NETHERLANDS: NPO sales brings Dutch series to the world

TV Kids: Hedda Bruessing, head of the media business at Dutch pubcaster NTR, talks to TV Kids about NPO Sales, the international sales arm of Netherlands Public Broadcasting (NPO).

SERBIA: Verbal attacks on journalists by pro-government Serb media

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns a series of threats and verbal attacks by pro-government media against four journalists on social networks in recent days, in the run-up to local elections in Belgrade and two other municipalities, and calls on the authorities to punish those responsible.

SPAIN: The blockade continues at RTVE: Congress and Senate return the ball of the renewal to the political parties (Spanish)

Ver Tele: The Tables of the Congress and the Senate have not made a decision about how RTVE needs to be renewed and urge the groups to reach an agreement between them.

SPAIN: Ciudadanos uses RTVE to mark even more distance from the PP (Spanish)

ABC Spain: Villegas announces that the orange party will abandon the negotiations if the public contest is not approved

SPAIN: Podemos accept RTVE reform without public contest, but require the endorsement of four groups (Spanish)

La Vanguardia: Unidos Podemos agreed on Monday to undertake an immediate renewal of the RTVE Council without public competition, but using the voting system of the new Law of the Corporation, approved last September, which accepts support for candidates by absolute majority (176 deputies in Congress) provided they are endorsed by at least four parliamentary groups, which prevents a bipartisan PP and PSOE agreement.

SPAIN: Unidos Podemos propose the creation of a subcommission in the congress to develop the public tender for the council of RTVE in six months (Spanish)

EcoDiario: Noelia Vera, deputy of Unidos Podemos and responsible for the party on RTVE, announced on Monday that her group has proposed the creation of a subcommittee in the Congress of Deputies to “unblock” the current situation regarding the renewal of the Council of RTVE, because “PP and PSOE have not had any kind of political will when it came to developing the public contest” for the broadcaster.

SWITZERLAND: European media organisations express support to Swiss public service and local TV and radio stations

EFJ: On March 4th, Swiss citizens will decide through a national vote whether to abolish the media reception fee, previously collected through the company Billag (hence the initiative’s name “NoBillag”).

UK: BBC series tracks lives of six underprivileged and gifted 13-year-olds

The Guardian: Generation Gifted is to follow children until they reach 16 to track social mobility in the UK

UK: BBC sets out new distribution policy

Broadband TV News: The BBC has launched a consultation into a new Distribution Policy that will govern how its services are distributed to third parties.

UK: BBC iPlayer achieves best-ever year

Broadband TV News: Changes to the BBC iPlayer have paid off for the BBC with the streaming service recording its best-ever year.

UKRAINE: Ukrainian public broadcaster decides not to show World Cup matches

Kyiv Post: The National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (UA: PBC) has decided not to broadcast matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup to be played in Russia this summer, UA:PBC Chairman Zurab Alasania said in an interview published in the official newspaper Uriadovy Kurier.

GENERAL: France Télévisions, Swedish Radio and BBC first to join european media start-up network: the Sandbox Hub

EBU: EBU Members France Télévisions, Swedish Radio and the BBC are visiting Belgian broadcaster VRT on 8th and 9th February for the kickoff of The Sandbox Hub, part of the European MediaRoad project, led by the EBU.

COLOMBIA: Doing journalism in Colombia: between threats, aggressions and low salaries (Spanish)

El Espectador: In 2017 there were 276 cases of violations of journalistic work, including threats, physical attacks and obstructions to work.

ECUADOR: ‘Noise and Confusion’: Fake News in Ecuador

Snopes: Editors at Ecuadorian media outlets told Snopes how fake news and disinformation affected two recent votes in the South American country.

HONDURAS: CPJ calls on Honduras to reject law regulating online speech

CPJ: The Committee to Protect Journalists, along with more than 50 international and local digital rights organizations and media outlets, joined calls on Honduran lawmakers this week to reject a proposed law that would regulate online speech.

MEXICO: Inaction by Mexican authorities in 21 disappearances of journalists since 2000

RSF: On the tenth anniversary today of Mexican journalist Mauricio Estrada Zamora’s disappearance, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the appalling level of impunity in Mexico, where there have been at least 21 unsolved disappearances of journalists since 2000.

VENEZUELA: Press freedom advocates and journalists sign manifesto in solidarity with Venezuelan journalists who left the country

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: After four journalists from investigative journalism site Armando.info left Venezuela due to a looming defamation lawsuit, an important group of journalists and organizations that defend freedom of expression and the press throughout Latin America have signed a statement warning about the serious deterioration of the conditions facing the Venezuelan press.

VENEZUELA: Venezuela’s anti-hate law provides Maduro with another tool to intimidate the press

CPJ: Venezuela’s journalists say they fear a new anti-hate law will be a new tool for the government to suppress critical reporting.

GENERAL: Media Pluralism, Public Trust, and Democracy: New Evidence from Latin America and the Caribbean

CIMA: As elsewhere, public trust in the media is on the decline in Latin America and the Caribbean. Is this trend attributable to social media? To a broader anti-establishment backlash? Or does it reflect growing concerns over pluralism in the media and the dominant control of the media by a few elites?

IRAQ: The IFJ warns about media freedom violations in the region

IFJ: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has today denounced the multiple media freedom violations in the Iraqi Kurdistan region documented in a new report by IFJ affiliate the Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate.

IRAN: Revolution anniversary – 39 years of news control and censorship in Iran

RSF: Thirty-nine years after the revolution, as young men and women protest in the streets, the Islamic Republic is trying to reinforce its news control both at home and internationally.

SAUDI ARABIA: At least 15 journalists held arbitrarily in Saudi crackdown

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the release of around 15 Saudi journalists and citizen-journalists who have gone “missing” in a wave of arrests that began last September.

TURKEY: Robots, kittens and Netflix: Turkish curbs on the media reach ludicrous levels

The Conversation: Regulation and censorship mechanisms have recently reached absurd levels in Turkey. Two stark recent examples illustrate the banality of the recent creeping controls.

CANADA: Banning media coverage of ethics probes a bad idea, transparency groups say

CBC News: Pro-transparency groups are panning the new federal ethics watchdog’s suggestion that he should be able to prevent the media from reporting on his investigations.

CANADA: SCC overturns interim order forcing CBC to remove victim’s name, photo from articles

iPolitics: Canada’s top court has overturned an Alberta appeal court’s decision to order the CBC to temporarily remove the name and picture of a young murder victim from two online articles the broadcaster published before a publication ban was issued.

CANADA: Our social media fan base keeps on growing!

CBC/Radio-Canada: Digital platforms are a big part of our Strategy 2020. That’s why it’s important for an organization like ours to have a strong, relevant presence on social media.

CANADA: Twitter, CBC sign unique Olympic streaming deal (Subscription)

Media in Canada: Canada is the first country with an officially sanctioned live Twitter stream of Olympic competition.

US: As scrutiny reveals deeper problems at NYPR, Walker accelerates workplace reforms

Current: Shaken by reports of harassment and racial bias at WNYC, CEO Laura Walker is doubling down on efforts to repair a workplace culture that employees describe as hostile.

US: Outlets aim for engagement as Facebook feeds less news to users

Current: Public media news outlets and stations are prioritizing more engagement with their audiences on Facebook as they respond to changes to the social platform’s News Feed algorithms.

US: PBS denounces Trump’s proposed funding cuts (again)

CNN: Like it did last year, President Trump’s budget proposal eliminates almost all federal funding for public broadcasting.

US: Public media again in bull’s-eye in president’s FY19 plans

Current: President Trump once again aims to end public broadcasting funding in his draft budget for fiscal year 2019, released Monday. The proposal would rescind all but $15 million of CPB’s funding of $445 million for both this year and next year.

US: Public media projects pull in annual NEA grants

Current: Five public media organizations are among recipients of more than $25 million in grants announced Wednesday by the National Endowment for the Arts.

GENERAL: Best Practices of Public Educational Broadcasters

CMF Trends: What are the best practices of public broadcasters in Canada and in the US? Here’s a list of six areas in which major North American public TV stations have decided to focus and invest.

10 Countries to Watch in 2018

Freedom House: These countries are among those that may be approaching important turning points in their democratic trajectory, according to the latest Freedom in the World report.

A timely climate media strategy to empower citizens

Asia Pacific Report

Credibility Is the New Currency. And that’s Good for Independent Media

GIJN: Independent media — those based on serving the public rather than turning a profit — will grow in importance through revealing corruption and holding authorities accountable.

Do presenters need to be neutral?

RNZ: Seven Sharp presenter Jeremy Wells is still a spokesperson for Meridian Energy while other TV presenters have recently published opinion pieces in other media about the news of the day. Some argue that newsreaders should remain neutral so as not to appear biased. We ask the panelists whether they agree or think everyone is entitled to express their opinions.

“Girls are supposed to make rotis”: Fighting bias in women’s sports broadcasting

World Radio Day: UNESCO spoke to a special guest from Pakistan, sports broadcaster Fazeela Saba, on her experiences as a woman in a field dominated by men. Ms Saba is a well-known voice on radio and a recognised face on TV, working with the public broadcaster PTV Sports and radio station Suno FM.

How the world’s countries provide public media

Swissinfo.ch: What’s the situation for public media around the world? SWI swissinfo.ch tapped its international network to find out what kinds of media systems exist elsewhere and how they are maintained.

International Reporting Project closes amid funding shift for foreign news

CJR: But after two decades of supporting reporting around the world, last week IRP, announced it would close its doors this month. John Schidlovsky, IRP’s founder and director, summed up the reason in a note to alumni: “After 20 years, the year-to-year battle to raise sufficient operating funds finally caught up with us.”

In the era of online news, longform journalism shows its value

IJNET: It is a mistake to think that online news readers are only looking for memes, GIFs and YouTube-style videos. At La Prensa, the largest newspaper in Nicaragua, longform articles are still in high demand.

Social media guidelines for radio stations

Deutsche Welle: You want to know how to verify user generated content or need help handling hate speech? These guidelines set out policies to ensure radio stations use social media productively and avoid common pitfalls.

World Radio Day 2018 (Interview)

PMA: What is World Radio Day? Why is the theme ‘radio and sport’? PMA spoke to UNESCO’s Media Development and Society Section Chief to find out more.

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: Alan Levine/Creative Commons