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

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CAMEROON: Media crackdown in Cameroon raises eyebrows

Journal du Cameroun: Press freedom in Cameroon has come under serious questioning in Cameroon with the recent clampdown on media professionals by security forces.

RWANDA: Media stakeholders reflect on challenges as Rwanda marks Africa Information Day

The New Times: While much is expected from the mainstream media, little has been invested in the same space that is expected to educate and inform masses, let alone build a strong sector that would help shape the future of the country, media practitioners say.

SEYCHELLES: Seychelles News Agency to Become Independent Entity Next Year, Following Cabinet Vote

Via All Africa: The Cabinet of Ministers approved a policy proposal on Wednesday to turn the Seychelles News Agency (SNA) into an independent entity.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC employees stage pickets, want new funding model to save jobs

News24: In an attempt to save their jobs, SABC employees are expected to wear black and hold a lunch-hour picket on Friday.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC notes with concern Competition Commission’s ruling

SABC News: The SABC says it has noted with concern the Competition Commission’s ruling on its July 2013 multi-million-rand agreement with pay to MultiChoice that it amounts to a notifiable merger.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC to urgently implement inquiry recommendations into sex harassment

Eyewitness News: The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) says its priority is now to urgently implement the recommendations of the independent commission of inquiry into sexual harassment at the public broadcaster.

SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa’s competition watchdog rules SABC, Multichoice deal a merger

Standard Media: South Africa’s competition watchdog has ruled that a distribution deal between MultiChoice, Naspers’ pay-TV business and the country’s public broadcaster in 2013 constituted a notifiable merger.

TANZANIA: Press freedom advocates released after detention in Tanzania

Aljazeera: Committee to Protect Journalists staffers were on a reporting mission when they were detained in Dar-es-Salaam.

UGANDA: Uganda misses social media tax revenue target

The East African

GENERAL: A year in fake news in Africa

BBC News: The spread of fake news in Africa has been blamed for igniting ethnic violence, sowing confusion among voters and even causing currency fluctuations.

GENERAL: African Investigative Journalists Say Threats Mounting — from Near and Far

VOA: In recent years, intrepid African reporters have played a key role in uncovering corruption, human rights abuses, gang violence, drug and wildlife crimes, and other unsavory dealings; but, says South African journalism professor Anton Harber, that’s come at a cost.

GENERAL: Arrests and murder in Somalia, Facebook fact-checking in South Africa, and questioning official statistics in Tanzania – a crime?

IFEX: Africa in October: Journalist shot and killed, Tanzania’s new law on statistics impacts on freedom of expression and Gambia sets up a truth and reconciliation commission, and the West Africa Conference on Investigative Journalism.

GENERAL: What we’ve learnt about fake news in Africa

BBC News: By analysing fake news messages on private networks like WhatsApp and Facebook, and surveying people in Nigeria, Kenya and India, researchers have pinpointed the motivations, anxieties and aspirations that drive it.

REGIONAL: MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy heads to Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia

Screen Africa: MultiChoice Africa has launched a pan-African initiative that will provide important training and on-the-job placements for young African creatives.

CHINA: China scours social media, erases thousands of accounts

The Straits Times: China’s top cyber authority has scrubbed 9,800 social media accounts of independent news providers deemed to have posted sensational, vulgar or politically harmful content on the Internet, it said late on Monday (Nov 12).

CHINA: World’s first AI news anchor unveiled in China

The Guardian: The ‘tireless’ artificial news readers simulate the voice, facial movements, and gestures of real-life broadcasters

HONG KONG: Exhibition on Hong Kong public service broadcasting at Heritage Museum in Sha Tin tells story of RTHK

South China Morning Post: Acting city leader pays tribute to RTHK’s contribution to local life

HONG KONG: Hong Kong effectively blacklists senior British journalist

The Guardian: Asia news editor Victor Mallet, whose right to work was previously revoked, has now been barred from re-entering as a visitor

INDIA: Nationalism a driving force behind fake news in India, research shows

BBC News: A rising tide of nationalism in India is driving ordinary citizens to spread fake news, according to BBC research.

JAPAN: Japanese journalist faces criticism for being kidnapped in Syria

DW: Two weeks after arriving back to his native Japan after enduring 40 months of captivity at the hands of militants in Syria, Yasuda said he felt compelled to apologize for making a “silly mistake” and being captured. At the same time, he defended the important job journalists carry out in conflict zones.

JAPAN: NHK WORLD-JAPAN Launches in Salt Lake City TV Market via Partnership with KUEN, a service of the Utah Education Network

GlobeNewswire: KUEN Joins U.S. Public Broadcasters Distributing Japanese Lifestyle and News Programming in English to U.S. Markets

MYANMAR: Facebook slammed by UN for its role in Myanmar genocide

CJR: The report notes that despite Facebook’s promise to do better on these kinds of issues than it has in the past, it has refused to provide country-specific data about hate speech on its platform, which the UN said “is imperative to assess the problem and the adequacy of its response.”

NEPAL: Nepal Television Upgrading to HD by January 2019

ThomasNet: Given a mandate from the country’s Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, Nepal Television, the national broadcaster of Nepal, must fully upgrade to high-definition by January of next year – which also marks the broadcaster’s 34th anniversary.

PAKISTAN: Pakistan: Dozens of armed police raid Karachi Press Club

RSF: The raid was carried out by dozens of armed plainclothes police who arrived at this prestigious Pakistani press institution at around 10:30 p.m., stormed inside and proceeded to search all the rooms, including meeting rooms, kitchens and the sports room.

PHILIPPINES: Philippines Says It Will Charge Veteran Journalist Critical of Duterte

The New York Times: The Philippine government said it had grounds to indict the news organization Rappler and its founder, Maria Ressa, for tax evasion and failure to file tax returns. The site has been critical of the president.

AUSTRALIA: Federal government floats Pacific scheme for commercial TV networks

Mumbrella: On Thursday, the government detailed plans to beef up relations with the region which included working “with our commercial media operators to ensure the Pacific can connect to quality Australian media content.”

AUSTRALIA: Independence concerns grow for Australia’s public broadcaster

IFJ: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) have called for an overhaul of the ABC board and management processes to ensure editorial independence and freedom from political interference.

AUSTRALIA: Michelle Guthrie and Justin Milne reveal explosive relationship breakdown at the ABC

ABC News: In the Four Corners investigation, Ms Guthrie and Mr Milne made claims and counterclaims about alleged political interference and pressure to fire journalists at the national broadcaster.

FIJI: Fiji blackout in force ahead of polls

RNZ: A blackout on all campaigning and mention of political parties in the media is in force in Fiji ahead of election day on Wednesday.

FIJI: Fiji PM rebukes journalist when challenged on media freedom laws

Asia Pacific Report: Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says the country’s restrictive media laws are not affecting next week’s general election.

NEW ZEALAND: JLR’s greatest hits keep coming (Audio)

RNZ: National’s leaders faced more curly questions after another secret recording featuring MP- gone-rogue Jami-Lee Ross was leaked to media. That raised more questions about the ethics of squeezing stories out of stuff where the public interest is far from clear.

NEW ZEALAND: NZ and Australia ignoring Pacific in new media strategy – expert (Audio)

RNZ: An analyst of Pacific issues says New Zealand and Australia are turning deaf ears on calls for more independent media in the region.

NEW  ZEALAND: NZ planned Pacific TV service not what is needed – expert

RNZ: An analyst of Pacific issues says New Zealand’s planned TV service for the Pacific is disregarding the needs of the region.

NEW ZEALAND: Stuff tightens squeeze on community papers

RNZ: Reporters are being laid off in Auckland and further north, leaving long-standing local papers there with just a handful of journalists. It’s the latest cost-cutting move by the country’s biggest publisher of papers. One former editor tells Mediawatch it’s a cut too far.   

REGIONAL: ‘Rethink’ say ABC friends condemning Canberra’s Pacific media plan

Asia Pacific Report: A public broadcasting advocacy group has condemned Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s plan to commercialise Pacific broadcasting as not being able to provide quality public interest journalism to the country’s neighbours.

BULGARIA: The Death of Bulgarian Journalist Viktoria Marinova: A Scandal, a Murder and a Mystery

GIJN: Police say it was a random crime, and the arrested perpetrator has confessed. But the victim of the brutal rape and murder was Bulgarian television journalist Viktoria Marinova — and her last broadcast was about the theft of hundreds of millions of euros from European Union-funded programs in her country.

FRANCE: Franck Riester announces on LCI the end of the television fee in its current form within 3 years (French)

LCI: Will the TV licence fee live its last moments? This Thursday morning on LCI, the Minister of Culture Franck Riester confirmed that in three years it would take a different form, and should take into account the new uses of French public broadcasting consumers.

FRANCE: Public broadcasting: the reform criticised from all sides (French)

BFMTV: Professionals and politicians consider the savings requested for France Télévisions by the government to be excessive.

GERMANY: German States Want Social Media Law Tightened

Reuters via VOA: German states have drafted a list of demands aimed at tightening a law that requires social media companies like Facebook and Twitter to remove hate speech from their sites, the Handelblatt newspaper reported Monday.

ISLE OF MAN: BBC and UK taxpayers should fund Manx Radio, Tynwald report recommends

BBC: Manx Radio should in future largely be paid for by the BBC and UK government, a Tynwald committee has recommended.

ISLE OF MAN: Changes proposed for Isle of Man radio service

Radio Today UK: The report makes 11 recommendations which, if implemented, are set to see big a number of changes to public service broadcasting in the Isle of Man.

ITALY: Italian journalists respond with fury to M5S’s ‘whores’ insult

The Guardian: Freedom of the press is under attack, claims union behind protests

POLAND: TVP English channel launches

Broadband TV News: It was launched on November 11, the 100th anniversary of Poland’s independence, and is available as a streaming service on Polandin.com, as well as on YouTube and Facebook.

SPAIN: Spanish free DTT use declining as consumers turn to pay TV

Digital TV Europe: Use of Spain’s free-to-air digital-terrestrial TV platform fell to a historical low at the end of the first quarter as consumers turned to pay TV services, according to numbers compiled by market regulator the CNMC.

SPAIN: The interview of the director of TV3 to Inés Arrimadas ends up being a discussion on public television (Spanish)

El Pais: The opposition leader accuses TV3 of saying “many lies” and stresses that the majority of constitutionalist voters ignore it

SPAIN: This Spanish data-driven news site thinks its work goes past publishing stories — to lobbying the government and writing laws

NiemanLab: “You feel all this knowledge would be useful for something, for trying to change something.”

UK: BBC faces renewed calls to open Thought for the Day to atheists

The Guardian: The 165-second slot, aired each morning at about 7.45am on the Today programme, has irked atheists and humanists for years. Critics point to the growing number of people in the UK who do not identify with any organised religion, arguing that a slot devoted to reflections on issues of the day should not be restricted to people of faith.

UK: The BBC uses a virtual studio to better explain the news to young people across Africa

newsrewired: The television programme What’s New?, which is part of the BBC’s investment for new programming in Africa, covers news and current affairs specifically for children across the continent – the first time an international broadcaster has done this.

UK: YouTube to label government and public-funded clips

BBC: YouTube is starting to put notices below news clips that state if the video was produced using public or government funds.

UKRAINE: Funding Cuts Threaten Reform at Ukraine’s Public Broadcaster

Chatham House: The transformation of Ukraine’s public broadcaster will reinforce the nation’s media literacy and democracy. Underfunding and a desire by those in power to maintain control risks reversing progress.

GENERAL: EBU news report highlights 50 ways to enhance trust in public service journalism

EBU: A new EBU report suggests that journalistic organizations should defend themselves when they are attacked to help build engagement and trust in public service journalism.

GENERAL: EU stumbles in plan to levy 3% digital tax on major firms

The Guardian: Agreement to take action against companies such as Facebook and Google runs into opposition

GENERAL: New report details state of media freedom in EU

Index: Index on Censorship has released a new report detailing the state of media freedom in 35 European countries in the past four years. Threats include being burned in effigy, insulted, menaced, spat at, threatened with death and rape. There have been assassinations, lawsuits, and assaults.

GENERAL: Unions launch new regional group to fight for free and independent journalism

IFJ: Journalists unions across the Mediterranean and Black Sea region have launched a new group – Med-Solidaire – to build solidarity and a stronger voice for journalists in the fight for free and independent journalism.

ARGENTINA: Workers clarify to Lombardi: “Public TV is not a museum” (Spanish)

InfoNews: The state channel did not cover the Final of the Libertadores weekend, nor the Mar del Plata Film Festival for the first time in 20 years. Its workers, who are in permanent assembly, once again denounced the authorities for the dismissals.

BRAZIL: In Brazil, 1 in 4 internet users regularly get news on WhatsApp

IJNet: One in four internet users in Brazil use WhatsApp in their weekly news digest, although almost of them admit they distrust the content they access through the app most of the time, according to a new survey sponsored by ICFJ under the TruthBuzz program.

BRAZIL: Mauricio Santoro: ‘Freedom of the press is a precious gift’

DW:  #Article19ForAll: In Brazil, freedom of the press and freedom of expression means that everyone is a part of the national conversation, even when a country’s politics shift dramatically.

HONDURAS: Violence against reporters covering mine protest in northern Honduras

RSF: Eight journalists were physically attacked by police and soldiers on 27 October while covering the use of force to evict the more 350 environmental activists who had been camped outside the entrance to the mine for the past three months in protest against its activities

MEXICO: Next government will strengthen public media, says Robledo (Spanish)

La Jornada: The next federal administration will seek to strengthen public media so that they can complement the private media and have real autonomy.

NICARAGUA: Journalists fear the establishment of censorship towards critical media (Spanish)

La Prensa: Representatives of the journalistic union see in this model a new danger to the freedom of press and information in Nicaragua, rights that, they denounced, have been violated in the eleven years of the Ortega regime.

NICARAGUA: Nicaraguan organization reports 420 violations against press freedom in past six months

Knight Center: The organization looked at the period from April 1 to October 18, 2018 and found violations including aggressions, attacks, threats, defamation, censorship, judicial harassment, intimidation, verbal harassment, misogyny, death and others.

PERU: Peruvian media bring fact-checking to radios across the country with new segment to verify public discourse

Knight Center: One of Peru’s digital investigative journalism sites and its largest radio broadcasting company have teamed up to verify public discourse and share their findings across the country.

GENERAL: Journalistic associations from seven Latin American countries form alliance to monitor freedom of expression in the region

Knight Center: United not only by cultural and geographical similarities, but also by the type of problems that their countries face politically, economically and socially, seven journalistic organizations have formed the Voces del Sur alliance to systematize the monitoring freedom of expression in their countries.

LEBANON: Pressing issue: Lebanon’s print media is dying

Middle East Eye: Long an emblem of free speech in the Arab world, Lebanese newspapers are now closing and hundreds of journalists are out of a job

SAUDI ARABIA: In Online Ruse, Fake Journalists Tried to Hack Saudi Critic

VOA: Hackers impersonating journalists tried to intercept the communications of a prominent Saudi opposition figure in Washington, The Associated Press has found.

SYRIA: Damascus journalist has a million stories but none she can safely report

CPJ: While journalists like Boulos remain frightened for their safety, their bigger concern is that seven years into the war, and with ongoing crises in other parts of the world, people have stopped listening.

TURKEY: Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of November 1, 2018


TURKEY: Turkey: The Kafkaesque trial of ‘Taraf’ journalists

Article19 via IFEX: “Inadequate time and facilities to prepare one’s defence, and repeated changes in the composition of the panel of judges reveal a disregard of basic rights to defence and standards of fair trial as guaranteed under international human rights law.”

REGIONAL: Iran and Saudi Arabia are vying to have the Middle East’s least free press

The Washington Post: Iran has long been a leader in the ugly industry of silencing journalists within and beyond its borders, but Saudi Arabia’s murder of Jamal Khashoggi inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul earlier this month eclipses even Tehran’s depraved treatment of reporters.

CANADA: 42 years of science journalism — and one big story (Opinion)

CBC/Radio-Canada: CBC Radio turned 82 this week, and for more than half of that time, it has employed this science journalist. And throughout those four decades, one story has persisted and evolved — climate change.

CANADA: Canada must act to protect independent journalism, says lawyer

Radio Canada International: A Canadian lawyer is calling on the government to change Canada’s law so that a criminal act against a journalist carries a stiffer than usual penalty. Toronto lawyer David Butt says this would send a message to the world about the need to respect independent journalism.

US: Climate change plays second fiddle as California burns

CJR: The Woolsey and Camp fires are not coincidental, one-off monstrosities, but rather significant new evidence of a rapidly changing climate. Sadly, far too much media coverage has failed to draw that link.

US: CNN’s Jim Acosta has White House pass revoked after Trump confrontation

The Guardian: President called Acosta a ‘rude, terrible person’ after he refused to give up a microphone while trying to ask a question

US: Donors Invest Millions in Investigative Journalism Centers at US Universities

GIJN: News out of the US states of Arizona and Maryland in August found yet another funder riding to the rescue of American journalism at a moment when the media, and the truth itself, is increasingly under attack.

US: During the midterm elections, local fact-checking was scant

Poynter: In the lead up to the midterms in the United States, plenty of fact-checkers covered contentious political battles around the country. They counted falsehoods, broke down the top storylines of the election and fact-checked political ads.

US: Journalism’s Bad Reflection

CJR: What does it mean that most newsrooms in America don’t reflect the diversity of the communities they cover? The answer can’t be good. CJR visited 10 newsrooms across the country where the mismatch between the makeup of the staff and the demographics of the coverage area seems particularly notable.

US: States of emergency: How California newsrooms are reporting deadly, destructive blazes

Poynter: In the north, it’s California’s deadliest and most destructive blaze on record, by far. In the south, another gigantic fire is threatening the nation’s second-biggest city.

Does News Recommendation On Facebook Increase Selective Exposure?

EJO: Results from comparative research suggest that about a quarter of users come across news they have not looked for actively on Facebook. What remains unclear, however, is which of these “randomly” or “unintentionally” encountered news items users will then choose to click on and read.

How news app Kinzen will enable users to create their own daily news routine

Journalism.co.uk: Launching in January, news app Kinzen is aiming to enable users to take control of their own news routine, one that is personalised and tailored to their intentions.

How Reuters uses robots to analyse data and humans to tell the stories

Journalism.co.uk: Reg Chua, executive director at Reuters, explains how the news agency’s ‘cybernetic newsroom’ relies on the combined strengths of machines and human journalists to create richer editorial for its audiences

Katharine Viner ‘The Guardian’s reader funding model is working. It’s inspiring’

The Guardian: The Guardian’s editor-in-chief reflects on the state of media today and explains how the support of 1 million readers has enabled us to report and investigate the most important stories of our time

New Models: How Academics, Nonprofit News and Government are Collaborating

GIJN: Hidden Costs brings together award-winning journalists, scholars and major media organizations — the New York Times, PBS Frontline, the Toronto Star, Smithsonian Channel, NBC News, DigitalGlobe and Google News Labs — to undertake investigative-reporting projects.

You thought fake news was bad? Deep fakes are where truth goes to die

The Guardian: Technology can make it look as if anyone has said or done anything. Is it the next wave of (mis)information warfare?

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