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

As the global Covid-19 pandemic continues and many countries enter a state of lockdown, the need for community solidarity and mutual support has never been greater. But this support requires quality, fact-checked and evidence based news and information.

With this in mind, the Public Media Alliance has compiled an extensive and growing resources featuring recommended tools, advice and sources for journalists and the public alike. The resources can be found via the link below or in the ‘Tools’ section of our website.

The resource will be frequently updated to reflect the changing needs and evolving situation. If you have any recommendations, please let us know.

We also want to hear about your local public media coverage! Email us!

As the coronavirus pandemic worsens, public media are rapidly adapting to best cover the crisis on a local level while also providing for educational needs and vulnerable groups as isolation policies are introduced.

We want to hear from our members about what you are doing to best cover the crisis on a local level. Email us using the link below. 

Coronavirus: Resources & best practices

Essential resources for sourcing and reporting news about the coronavirus pandemic

What we're listening to...

Covid-19 has caused a crisis in the media industry

RTÉ: RTÉ explores the impact that Covid-19 is having on the media industry both globally and domestically.

What we're watching...

BBC launches new film to demonstrate its role as a public service broadcaster in a time of national crisis 

BBC: At a time when the UK is facing an unprecedented crisis, the role of the BBC as a public service broadcaster which helps keep the country informed, educated and entertained, has never been more important.

Global Headlines

Click on the tab menu below to reveal the latest regional stories.

BURUNDI: Release on repetitive attacks against media professionals (Press Release – French)

UBJ: The Burundian Union of Journalists (UBJ), concerned about the repetitive attacks on media professionals in the run-up to the 2020 elections.

GHANA: Ghana’s president has invoked a tough new law against coronavirus: why it’s disquieting (Opinion)

The Conversation: During a state of emergency, governments, as the duty-bearers, are allowed to temporarily suspend the exercise and enjoyment of some rights. They are also allowed to bypass some procedural limits to have more of a free hand to deal with the emergency, while maintaining law and order.

LIBERIA: CPJ, Reporters Without Borders Slam Weah Government For Debts Owed to Media

Front Page Africa: Two leading international journalists watchdog organizations are backing the Publishers Association of Liberia (PAL) in expressing serious disappointment over the George Weah-led government’s reluctance to meet up with its indebtedness with the struggling Liberian media two years after the ruling CDC government came to power.

MOZAMBIQUE: TVM in partnership with Africa Prime Service launches campaign to spray facilities (Portuguese)

TVM: Television in Mozambique launches a campaign to spray its facilities as a measure to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an initiate within the scope of the protection of its employees in the context of safety and hygiene in the workplace.

NAMIBIA: COVID-19 presents challenges and opportunities for Namibian media 

NBC: The Director-General of the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) Stanley Similo says the broadcaster reaches 1,6 million people daily through its various platforms and it is prepared to inform the nation on COVID-19.

NIGERIA: NBC Warns Broadcast Stations against Programmes with Unverifiable Claims.

This Day: The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) said it has observed with dismay, the preponderance of programmes with unverifiable claims targeted at COVID 19 Pandemic, and has warned all broadcast stations against airing such programmes.

SOMALIA: Journalists’ Union Calls For Media To Be Declared An Essential Service In The Fight Against COVID – 19

Shabelle Media Network: The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) has today called on the Federal Government of Somalia to classify the media as essential service and open up the operating space for the media during the impending curfew imposed on Mogadishu.

SOUTH AFRICA: Coronavirus | SABC backs its programming after ANC-led alliance questions output

News 24: The SABC has defended its programming after a letter penned by the ANC-led tripartite alliance emerged criticising the public broadcaster for “not fulfilling its mandate” during the national lockdown to halt the spread of Covid-19.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC, DBE launch a multi-media learner support initiative

SABC News: The SABC and the Department of Basic Education have announced the launch of a multi-media learner support initiative under the banner: COVID-19 Learner Support.

ZAMBIA: ZNBC fails to meet union deadline to pay workers

Zambia Watchdog: The Zambia Union of Broadcasters and Other Information Disseminators (ZUBID), has revealed that ZNBC has not paid its employees since February.

ZIMBABWE: COVID-19 is the enemy, not the media!

Misa Zimbabwe: The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic among other major challenges poses the greatest test to Zimbabwe’s respect for its Bill of Rights more so as it pertains to media freedom and citizens’ right to access to information.

REGIONAL: Is the coronavirus killing press freedom in Africa?

Deutsche Welle: As Africa remains on COVID-19 lockdown, journalists across the continent report having their rights violated by security forces. Cases of physical violence are on the rise. Is coronavirus killing press freedom in Africa?

REGIONAL: FAJ calls for heightened protection for frontline journalists and improvement of their conditions of work amid COVID-19 tragedy

IFJ: The Federation of African Journalists (FAJ), the Pan-African regional organisation of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), salutes and extends solidarity on behalf of its affiliates to all African journalists who have been working tirelessly to keep the communities they serve updated and help them make sense of the pandemic that engulfed them.

GENERAL: Over 80 groups demand release of jailed journalists in Africa amid pandemic

IPI: At least 60 journalists behind bars in Egypt alone. 

BANGLADESH: BTV World Channel Launched In North Africa Via Bangabandhu Satellite

Via Broadcast Media Africa: Bangladesh’s state-owned Bangladesh Television (BTV) has launched its broadcast in North African countries to meet the interest of local viewers, especially expatriate Bangladeshis, via the Bangabandhu satellite.

CAMBODIA: Reporter Jailed for Quoting Hun Sen on COVID-19

HRW: The Cambodian authorities should immediately drop all charges against Sovann Rithy, a journalist working for TVFB, who was arrested for quoting a recent speech by Prime Minister Hun Sen about COVID-19, Human Rights Watch said today. 

HONG KONG: News outlet accused of breaching one-China principle

IFJ: The English news program, Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) was criticised by the Hong Kong government after a reporter asked a World Health Organisation (WHO) official if the global organisation would reconsider Taiwan’s membership.

HONG KONG: RTHK rejects govt complaint over Taiwan interview

RTHK: Radio Television Hong Kong on Thursday rejected a government claim that the station has breached its mission and charter in relation to an interview with the World Health Organisation (WHO) regarding Taiwan, as an adviser to the broadcaster accused the administration of damaging RTHK’s editorial autonomy.

INDIA: ‘Charges Smack of Vindictiveness’: Journalists’ Union Condemns FIRs Against The Wire

The Wire: The criminal charges filed smack of vindictiveness and amount to a direct attack on press freedom, threat to freedom of speech and expression as well as a clear violation of the citizens’ right to access to information.

INDIA: Coronavirus Impact: Prasar Bharti repackages nostalgia by launching DD Retro

Financial Express: After the success of reruns of Ramayan and Mahabharat, public service broadcaster Prasar Bharti has rolled out a new channel DD Retro. The channel is specifically dedicated to repackage nostalgia by featuring old classics.

INDIA: Criminal charges against news editor in india must be dismissed (Statement)

PEN America: Authorities in India’s Uttar Pradesh state filed a criminal complaint against an editor and founder of the news website The Wire for the outlet’s reporting on a government minister violating the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

INDONESIA: House to pass controversial Criminal Code

IFJ: The House of Representatives is due to pass the revised Criminal Code, which has been widely criticised for violating press freedom and access to information. 

INDONESIA: Little Transparency in COVID-19 Outbreak

HRW: Indonesia’s government is failing to provide transparency and access to information to battle the COVID-19 outbreak, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have been charging people under abusive criminal defamation laws for their online comments about the coronavirus and the government’s response.

INDONESIA: Jakarta Journalists Risk Lives to Cover COVID-19

VOA:  Journalists in Indonesia say they are risking their lives to cover the COVID-19 pandemic because some local media companies are ignoring internationally observed safety guidelines.  

JAPAN: NHK WORLD-JAPAN to Fully Launch Automatically Translated Multi-Lingual Subtitles on Live-Streamed TV Programs (Press Release)

NHK World: NHK WORLD-JAPAN, the 24-hour international English TV channel of NHK, will today extend the service of automatically translated multilingual subtitles.

JAPAN: Japanese Government considering the introduction of an app for “grasping close contacts”: Practical experiments will be conveyed soon (Japanese)

NHK: With the spread of the new coronavirus, the government is considering the introduction of an application that can list the contacts using the communication function of the smartphone in order to quickly grasp the rich contacts of the infected people, and in a practical experiment in the near future I am going to embark.

MALAYSIA: Media freedom and fake news during the time of Covid-19 (Opinion)

Malaysiakini: False information and rumours thrive on fear and uncertainty, and the Covid-19 pandemic offers plenty of both.

MYANMAR: Myanmar govt accused of restricting media information

New Straits Times: Civil society groups here have accused the government of taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to censor legitimate information and curtail freedom of expression.

PAKISTAN: PFUJ urges reversal of decision to close AAP News

IFJ: Hundreds of media workers in Pakistan have been left jobless following the sudden closure of AAP news.

PAKISTAN: Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s continued detention slammed by Human Rights Society of Pakistan

Geo News: Chairman Human Rights Society of Pakistan Dr S M Zafar on Thursday slammed the continued detention of Jang Geo Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman over trumped up charges in a property case.

PAKISTAN: Union secures Punjab Covid-19 relief package

IFJ: Journalists union leaders in Pakistan have negotiated a Covid-19 relief package in Punjab which will ensure compensation for those who contract the disease as well as the provision of protective equipment for media workers.

PHILIPPINES: Philippine Authorities Go After Media, Online Critics

HRW: The Philippine government is cracking down on journalists and social media users critical of the government’s COVID-19 response, threatening media freedom and the rights to free expression and access to information.

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s media sector gets boost amid Covid-19, including $8 million fund to protect jobs 

Straits Times: An $8 million fund launched by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will create more production opportunities in the coming months and, in turn, protect the jobs of media professionals. The Public Service Content Fund is part of a series of initiatives introduced by the authority to help Singapore’s media sector tide over the Covid-19 pandemic.

SOUTH KOREA: From AR shows to short films: The wonders of election coverage

The Korea Herald: It is not just politicians who will be battling for voters on Wednesday — local television broadcasters are waging a battle of their own armed with new technology and high-profile experts to attract viewers to their election night coverage Wednesday.

SOUTH KOREA: Terrestrial broadcasters tighten their belts amid drop in ad sales

Yonhap News Agency: Terrestrial broadcasters that have struggled with falling viewership have been tightening their belts again as the local advertising market has been hit hard by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

AUSTRALIA: Australian Community Media to suspend multiple country newspapers

ABC News: It is feared dozens of regional newspapers across Australia will close temporarily amid a business downturn due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

AUSTRALIA: Guardian Australia doubles audience to become fourth most popular news site in the country

The Guardian: The coronavirus pandemic has led to a spike in traffic to news websites, with Guardian Australia experiencing the biggest surge in the Australian market.

AUSTRALIA: Scott Morrison dismisses call to reverse ABC funding freeze after bushfire and coronavirus crises 

SBS: Prime Minister Scott Morrison has rebuffed a call from Labor to allow the ABC more funding.

AUSTRALIA: Why the ABC’s reporting of the George Pell case wasn’t a witch-hunt

ABC News: ABC editorial policies make very clear that it is the job of the public broadcaster’s journalists to report “without fear or favour, even when that might be uncomfortable or unpopular”.

NEW ZEALAND: 5G conspiracy question ignites debate on press performance

RNZ: Thousands of people are tuning into the government’s daily Covid-19 press briefings, and often they’re sticking around to watch reporters interrogate the officials and politicians on-stage. People comment incessantly on reporters’ performance, from random Twitter users to show hosts on Radio New Zealand. Sometimes those critics aren’t across the complexities and considerations that journalists have to navigate while they’re going about their work.

NEW ZEALAND: NZ media nervously wait in COVID-19 crisis

The Canberra Times: Faced with an imperilled media industry, New Zealanders are voting with their wallets and funding journalism at an unprecedented level.

NEW ZEALAND: NZME to cut 200 jobs as advertising revenue plummets

RNZ: NZME is losing about 15 percent of its workforce and asking staff to take pay cuts, as its advertising income looks to have been halved.

NEW ZEALAND: Surge of support for crisis-hit media (Listen)

RNZ: Good journalism costs money to produce but advertising has fallen off a cliff during the COVID-19 crisis and some companies that sponsor media outfits may cut back too. But the founder of a service that turns readers of our media into donors and subscribers says a sudden surge in payments is a sign of hope – and the government should take note too.


PAPUA NEW GUINEA: PNG: Police Minister Kramer blasts two journalists in virus reporting row

Pacific Media Watch: Papua New Guinea’s Police Minister Bryan Kramer has published an extraordinary attack on two leading journalists over their reporting of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, accusing them of “misrepresenting” a financial update this week and suggesting they ought to be sacked.

AUSTRIA: State support for media: A noble but risky proposition (Blog)

IPI: In failing to promote diversity and quality, Austrian experience shows pitfalls of public funding models.

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: Bosnia Trying to Censor Information About Pandemic, Journalists Say

Balkan Insight: Serb-led entity has been urged to withdraw new decree banning the spread of panic – as journalists’ union complains of repeated moves in the country to censor information about COVID-19 under the guise of preventing misinformation.

CROATIA: Only 15% of Freelancers in Croatian Media Sector Have Kept Jobs

Total Croatia News: One third of freelancers in the Croatian media sector have lost all their jobs since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, 26% have lost most of their jobs, and only 15% have kept their jobs, according to a survey by the Croatian Journalists’ Association (HND) and the Trade Union of Croatian Journalists (SNH).

CZECH REPUBLIC: Here and now and in your apartments. Czech Television is filming a pandemic series Love in Time Corona (Press Release – Czech)

Czech TV: One house, three generations and one global pandemic. Czech Television is coming up with a story that is now experiencing the whole nation and the whole world. 

FRANCE: Coronavirus, and after? Franceinfo opens the debate (French)

France Info: Franceinfo is mobilizing to reflect on the “after” health crisis. In partnership with Terra Nova and the Foundation for Political Innovation, the global media is launching a major call for contributions around #AndAfter.

FRANCE: Protect freelance paid journalists, whatever the cost (Press Release- French)

ACRIMED: We publish below a press release initiated by the representative unions of journalists, co-signed by numerous collectives and associations of journalists and freelancers. 

FRANCE: Radio, companion of confined life, sees its audiences explode (French)

Le Monde: With long-term confinement, the antennas adjust their grids to meet the demands of listeners.

GERMANY: Corona: Effects on the ZDF company (Press Release)

ZDF: What security measures has ZDF taken? What does the broadcaster say about the current situation? Here you will find current information on the effects of the corona virus on the ZDF company. 

GERMANY: Deutschlandradio is open for further cooperation (German)

Süddeutsche Zeitung: Deutschlandradio director Stefan Raue can imagine further cooperation with providers of streaming platforms – but this is conditional. “We are fundamentally open to cooperation. If our immediate environment is free of advertising,” he told the German Press Agency.

GERMANY: The corona crisis determines reporting and leaves little room for other topics (German – Press Release)

ZDF: In March, in addition to the spread of the coronavirus, the countermeasures decided on and the social and economic effects of the pandemic, there are only four other topics in the main news reporting: The renewed refugee crisis lies by far at the EU’s borders in second place.

GERMANY: The correspondent in the home office (German)

Deutschlandfunk: Many correspondents are currently not reporting from abroad as usual – because the broadcasters have to weigh up the reporting obligation and the security of the employees during the corona crisis. How can international reporting still work now?

GREECE: Greek Govt Support for Media Comes at Expense of Transparency

Balkan Insight: Cash-strapped media outlets will be happy to receive payments from the state budget to run publicity material about the government’s anti-coronavirus measures – but lack of transparency about the distribution of the funds has worried the opposition.

HUNGARY: Orbán sows seeds of fear of media suppression

EU Today: Under the cover of “fighting coronavirus” the Hungarian government has banned gender reassignment, legislated jail terms for “fake news”, and has covertly taken control of theatres and other cultural activities.

IRELAND: Covid-19 has caused a crisis in the media industry (Listen)

RTÉ: “I was sobbing hysterically. The rug had literally been pulled out from under my feet. I was falling and I didn’t know where I was going to land. It’s a terrifying situation.”

ITALY: Italian Pubcaster Rai Seeks to Reassure Producers as Pandemic Shrinks Resources (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety: Italian state broadcaster Rai, the country’s long-time major film and TV industry driver, is seeking to placate concerns being voiced by the country’s producers as it navigates the coronavirus crisis amid mounting criticism and shrinking resources.

KOSOVO: Kosovo, fake news and politics

OBC Transeuropa: An unsigned and suspicious article, featured on the website of the Kosovar public broadcaster in the middle of the last election campaign, resparked the debate in Pristina on the use of false news as a tool for propaganda and political struggle. 

NORWAY: NRK “Always with You” at Easter (Norwegian – Press Release)

NRK: Are you in the corona quarantine and need company at Easter? Don’t despair: With the streaming service NRK TV and the live broadcast NRK Always together, you get everything from live concerts, light entertainment, smashing fresh miniseries and coffee slab roses with Lars Monsen. 

NORWAY: Norwegian kittens are “big in Japan” (Norwegian)

NRK: The 14 little kittens, which are streamed live almost 24 hours a day at nrk.no, have a surprising fan club across the globe.

ROMANIA: New threats to the media sector in Romania

EFJ: Romania’s Government is preparing a mechanism to send state employees into technical unemployment for limited periods of time during the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 outbreak. These measures were decided by PM Ludovic Orban‘s government without any consultation of workers’ representative organisations, in total disregard of social dialogue.

RUSSIA: New Legislation Imposes Penalties and Prison Sentences for Spreading ‘False Information’ on Coronavirus

COE: On 1 April 2020, President Vladimir Putin enacted legislation imposing harsh new penalties on media organisations and individuals for spreading “knowingly false information” related to natural or man-made emergencies, as a response to the COVID-19 crisis. 

SLOVENIA: Public broadcaster’s council condemns attacks on RTV Slovenija, staff

STA: The programming council of the public broadcaster has come out in defence of independent and professional journalism after several RTV Slovenija crews have been attacked and Prime Minister Janez Janša accused the broadcaster of lying in recent weeks.

SPAIN: Internal war on TVE? (Spanish)

Info Libre: After the departure of José Antonio Álvarez Gundín from the Directorate of Informativos de TVE and the appointment of Begoña Alegría for the position, the Popular Party and certain managers released from their positions denounced the nature of “purge” that their dismissals had had . They also spoke of up to a hundred expelled journalists and even some of the “aggrieved” went to court with results that were mostly negative.

SPAIN & PANAMA: RTVE launches RTVE Play, its international OTT video on demand platform with Premium content in Panama (Spanish)

RTVE: RTVE Play arrives this month in Panama, with the best selection of audiovisual content from RTVE. The audiovisual platform, currently undergoing tests, will soon expand its availability to the rest of the American countries.

SWEDEN: SVT – about a month with corona (Blog – Swedish)

SVT: Sweden has now lived day and night with the corona virus for over a month. Every day, the situation has become increasingly serious. The need to be able to follow and understand what is happening is extremely large and Swedish media (both commercial and public service) have met with vital journalism.

SWITZERLAND: Swiss public broadcaster furloughs 600 employees due to Covid-19 crisis

Telecompaper: Swiss public broadcaster SRG SSR said that it plans reduced working hours for around 600 employees due to the Covid-19 crisis.

UK: Channel 4 cuts content budget by £150m as virus hits ad revenues

The Guardian: Beleaguered broadcaster to slash programming costs and furlough almost 100 employees. 

UK: Covid-19 news and information: consumption and attitudes (Report)

Ofcom: Results from week one of Ofcom’s online survey. As a response to the Covid-19 outbreak, Ofcom has commissioned an ongoing weekly online survey of c.2,000 respondents, to monitor how people are getting news and information about the crisis.

UK: How the Beleaguered BBC Became ‘Comfort Food’ in a Pandemic (Paywall)

The New York Times: British audiences have flocked to the broadcaster for breaking news and escapism, offering it hope of fending off its critics and cuts to its funding.

UK: ‘Is my nan going to die?’: how kids’ TV is responding to the coronavirus

The Guardian: Children’s TV and radio presenters are finding new ways to stop their audiences feeling stressed, following reports that young children are become increasingly anxious about the coronavirus pandemic.

UKRAINE: EU Ambassador welcomes budget provision to Ukrainian public broadcaster

Kyiv Post: Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Matti Maasikas welcomes the vote of the Verkhovna Rada for providing the budget to the National Public Television and Radio Company of Ukraine.

REGIONAL: Central and Eastern Europe Freedom of Information Rights ‘Postponed’

Balkan Insight: Freedom of Information requests, a vital tool for journalists trying to cover COVID-19, are the latest victim of official efforts to address the pandemic in Central and Eastern Europe.

REGIONAL: Repressive laws, prosecutions, attacks… Europe fails to shield its journalists against the abuse of the COVID-19 crisis

RSF: While contributing to the fight against the coronavirus, journalists in the Balkans and Central Europe are attacked by governments as well as other actors they criticise.

GENERAL: European media freedom suffers under COVID-19 response

IPI: Red flags as states in central and eastern Europe implement restrictive measures against the press.

GENERAL: Press freedom the next victim of the Coronavirus? (French)


ARGENTINA: Argentine journalists demand return of press conferences at Casa Rosada, suspended at the beginning of coronavirus pandemic

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: The Argentine Journalism Forum (FOPEA, for its Spanish acronym) warned this week that the ban on questions from journalists during government announcements about the coronavirus contributes to disinformation in the country.


BOLIVIA: Bolivia enacts decree criminalizing ‘disinformation’ on COVID-19 outbreak

CPJ: Bolivian authorities should reform the country’s lockdown decree to ensure that journalists cannot face jail time for reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

BRAZIL: Brazilian forum on access to information law returns with the objective of blocking setbacks

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: The Forum on the Right of Access to Public Information changed its composition and resumed activities to face threats against public transparency and to monitor compliance with the Access to Information Law (LAI, for its acronym in Portuguese) in Brazil.

BRAZIL: With MPs, newspaper companies reduce rights; FENAJ and unions contest individual agreements (Portuguese)

FENAJ: Provisional Measures 927 and 936, issued by the President of the Republic in response to the coronavirus pandemic, adopt measures in favor of companies, to the detriment of decent working conditions, allowing for the reduction of wages and labor rights in all sectors of the economy.

COLOMBIA: FLIP asks Congress to guarantee the publicity of the virtual sessions (Spanish) 

FLIP: FLIP requests the Congress of the Republic to fulfill the duty of publicizing the sessions that are held in the entity, in accordance with article 88 of Law 5 of 1992. Likewise, that it attend to the provisions of the Ministry of Justice and Law, which in the context of the emergency decreed that non-face-to-face meetings of the organs of the Public Power should be subject to the condition of publicity ( Article 12 of Decree 491 of 2020 ). 

ECUADOR: Another virus is causing major damage in Ecuador. It’s called fake news

Miami Herald: It’s very possible that fake news farms in Venezuela, Mexico and Cuba are trying to destabilize Latin American countries by exploiting the coronavirus crisis to create public outrage against democratically-elected governments. If you’re a skeptic, as I was, you should take a look at what’s happening right now in Ecuador.

HAITI: Journalists assaulted while covering COVID-19 measures in Haiti

CPJ: On April 2, several unidentified men punched and hit a group of eight reporters at the National Identification Office, a government department that manages citizens’ identification cards, while they were investigating claims that the office was violating COVID-19 guidelines by keeping applicants in close quarters, according to news reports and Robest Dimanche, one of the journalists, who spoke with CPJ in a phone interview.

JAMAICA & US: Legendary Radio Announcer Dies from COVID-19 Complications

Voice of America: Listeners are mourning the coronavirus death of legendary Jamaican radio broadcaster Gil Bailey. Media outlets say he died of complications from the virus at age 84 on Monday in New York, where he was championed as the voice of Jamaican and Caribbean radio for five decades. 

MEXICO: Missing journalist found murdered in Mexico’s south

Al Jazeera: A Mexican journalist who disappeared more than a week ago in the southern state of Guerrero was found dead on Saturday, becoming the second journalist to be murdered this year in the country.

MEXICO: The government must bet on the public media, they warn (Spanish) 

Forbes: The federal government should bet on the rescue and strengthening of the public media , according to an expert on the matter, after President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced on Friday about the return of fiscal times to radio companies and television to get around the economic crisis for the Covid-19.

PUERTO RICO: New Puerto Rico law threatens jail time for spreading ‘false information’ about COVID-19

CPJ: Puerto Rican authorities should guarantee that journalists can cover the COVID-19 pandemic without fear of government retaliation, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

REGIONAL: UNESCO will provide grants in the framework of the World Campaign for Media Freedom

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: UNESCO is donating a total of US $500,000 to nonprofit organizations, including media associations and/or journalists, with projects that improve legal protections for journalists, as well as those that support investigative journalism aimed at fighting impunity.

BAHRAIN: Bahrain puts imprisoned journalist in solitary confinement after reporting on COVID-19 danger

CPJ: Journalist Mahmoud al-Jaziri who according to CPJ research has been imprisoned since December 2015 and is serving a 15-year prison sentence on charges of belonging to a terrorist group, recorded an audio clip that was posted on dissident-run channel Bahrain Today3 on YouTube on April 7. During the clip, al-Jaziri disputed reports that Bahraini authorities had taken measures to protect prisoners from the spread of COVID-19 and was moved to solitary confinement the next day.

IRAN: Coronavirus and the media (Report)

EJO: Iran has been one of the countries hardest hit by the novel coronavirus. The Islamic Republic’s response to the outbreak has been controversial. The media’s coverage of the crisis has been limited to publishing the official narrative. However, the lack of independent investigation and fact-checking has inflamed distrust in the Iranian media.

IRAN: Iranian journalist arrested for criticising Teheran’s handling of Covid-19 tops One Free Press Coalition’s monthly list

The Straits Times: Iranian journalist Mohammad Mosaed, who was arrested by the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Feb 22, after he criticised Teheran’s lack of preparedness in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, tops One Free Press Coalition’s April list of 10 most urgent cases.

IRAQ: Iraqi Kurdish authorities call for closure of NRT broadcaster over COVID-19 report

CPJ: On April 7, the Kurdistan regional government’s Health Ministry sent a letter to the attorney general requesting authorities close NRT and prevent it from broadcasting, according to a report from the broadcaster, NRT Director General Awat Ali, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app, and a report by the Metro Center for Journalists’ Rights and Advocacy, a local press freedom group.

ISRAEL: US foundation teams up with Kan channel to provide accessible coronavirus news

The Times of Israel: Ruderman Family Foundation supporting nightly news broadcasts with prominent sign language interpreter, voice-overs in simple, slowly enunciated Hebrew.

JORDAN: Jordan military arrests TV executives for airing virus complaints

Al Jazeera: Roya TV officials arrested for reporting on lack of jobs and money needed by labourers to feed families under curfew.

SAUDI ARABIA: How online streaming is shaping Saudi pop culture — at the push of a button

Arab News: Ever since streaming services became available in the Middle East, leading online sites have been dictating people’s tastes and preferences, their mass media effect influencing Saudi Arabia as it does the rest of the world.

SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi Arabia blocks access to Turkey news portals

Middle East Monitor: Authorities in Saudi Arabia have blocked access to the websites of Anadolu Agencyand TRT Arabic, reported by Anadolu Agency. The ban is the latest bad decision by Saudi Arabia, which continues to violate human rights and freedom of expression.

PALESTINE: Social media is the bridge to the world for Palestinian youth

Middle East Monitor: Social media plays a vital role in transforming people’s lives. Being on social networks and blogs allows everyone to connect with others easily. This is especially so for the people of occupied Palestine, particularly those in the Gaza Strip.

TURKEY: Free prisoners of opinion in Turkey (Op-ed)

ECPMF: Marc Pierini, former EU Ambassador to Turkey (2006-2011) initiated an op-ed on the draft amnesty law affecting political prisoners including journalists in Turkey. The op-ed is co-signed by Rebecca Harms, expert on Turkey and former Green Member of the European Parliament.

TURKEY: Turkey cracks down on journalists, others as coronavirus rumors spread

Al-Monitor: A prominent Turkish journalist became the target of two criminal complaints late Monday evening after posting a tweet implying the state might require citizens to contribute personal savings to help fund the national coronavirus response.

UAE: Dubai-based ‘Al Aan’ TV launches COVID-19 digital awareness campaign with user generated content by Arabic speakers in Europe

Zawya: Initiative designed to share experiences that help curbing the spread of virus via the ‘Aish Al Aan’ live streaming platform

YEMEN: CPJ calls on Houthis to reverse death sentence against Yemeni journalists, release them from custody (Statement)

CPJ: The Committee to Protect Journalists expressed alarm at a decision by the Ansar Allah group, known as the Houthis, to sentence Abdulkhaleq Amran, Akram al-Waleedi, Hareth Hameed, and Tawfiq al-Mansouri to death, and urged the Houthis to release them and all other journalists in their custody.

REGIONAL: COVID-19: Unblock Voice Over IP Platforms in Gulf (Statement)

HRW: In light of the COVID-19 global pandemic outbreak, we, the undersigned organizations, urge the governments of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, and Oman to permanently lift the ban on all Voice Over IP (VoIP) platforms used for voice and video internet calls.

GENERAL: Fighting COVID-19 goes hand-in-hand with shuttering newspapers across MENA region 

Global Voices Advox: In the “war” against COVID-19, a number of governments in the Middle East are banning print journalism “until further notice.” The media sector and press, in particular, were already in bad shape in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA). Like elsewhere, years of falling revenues, digitalization, poor quality content and co-option by authorities have led to a decrease both in the number of printed newspapers and readership.

CANADA: Canada’s public broadcaster launches the CBC Creative Relief Fund, an unprecedented initiative to provide timely, urgent support to Canadian creators

CBC/Radio-Canada: In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, CBC has launched THE CBC CREATIVE RELIEF FUND to provide immediate, urgent support to Canadian creators. The unprecedented new Fund will provide $2 million in development and production funding for a diverse range of innovative, original Canadian storytelling, including scripted comedies and dramas, unscripted entertainment, kids and young adult programming, podcasts, play adaptations and short documentaries.

CANADA: Canadian media co-operative makes temporary lay-offs due to Covid-19

COOP News: A Canadian co-operative that publishes six daily newspapers is to temporarily lay off 143 employees and cease print editions during the week. The measures are designed to help it cope with a drop in advertising revenue caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.

CANADA: CBC/Radio-Canada programming updates – April 9

CBC/Radio-Canada: To help Canadians through the current COVID-19 situation, CBC/Radio-Canada is delivering special access to content across all of its platforms, including trusted news and information to stay informed, educational resources for kids and parents, and a wide variety of programming to keep Canadians entertained when they need a break.

CANADA: Pandemic puts hostile environment training bursaries for freelance journalists on hold

Cision: The Forum Freelance Fund (FFF) 2020 competition for bursaries to help freelance journalists attend hostile environment training has been put on hold until later in the year, because of problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

US: Building the perfect home studio with NPR’s Don Gonyea (Paywall)

Current: Many public media journalists are working from home, covering the coronavirus from dining room tables and recording audio in makeshift pillow forts. Don Gonyea, NPR’s roving national political correspondent, has a lot of experience recording high-quality audio outside of a studio. 

US: How right-wing media is covering the COVID-19 epidemic

Columbia Journalism Review: As the nation girded to face its biggest challenge since World War II, much of the coronavirus coverage from right-wing websites—websites that you may never have heard of, but which are read by millions every day—was characterized by faulty projections, inflammatory anti-Chinese rhetoric, and over-the-top praise for President Trump.

US: Live White House briefings wane on public radio as NPR leaves ‘All Things Considered’ intact (Paywall)

Current: Public radio stations are welcoming NPR’s decision to pull back from interrupting All Things Considered with live feeds of White House briefings about the coronavirus pandemic, citing President Trump’s frequent misinformation and contradiction of health officials.

US: ‘Now more than ever’ — and we really mean it (Paywall)

Current: There’s so much hope and inspiration to be found in how public media organizations have risen to this unprecedented challenge. PBS stations have become our public schools by super-serving teachers, parents and students. NPR stations are telling the stories of nurses and doctors, farmworkers and grocery workers, small business owners and the newly unemployed. 

US: Poynter’s Kelly McBride Will Be NPR’s New Public Editor

NPR: McBride will advocate for news consumers and hold NPR accountable, helping public radio best serve American democracy.

US: Public Radio Responds To Coronavirus

UALR: NPR and local public radio stations have shifted resources to inform the public about the coronavirus pandemic, providing vital information — from the international and national perspective as well as the local news in each community.

US: Trump claims ‘total authority’ and attacks media in chaotic coronavirus briefing

The Guardian: Donald Trump has declared in a White House briefing that his “authority is total” when it comes to lockdown rules during the coronavirus pandemic, and he denied that he was weighing firing Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s foremost infectious diseases expert who sits on the coronavirus task force.

Audio resources to counter disinformation: UNESCO and radio stations mobilized to fight against COVID-19 (Resource) 

UNESCO: To contribute to countering disinformation on COVID-19 and promoting healthy behaviours, UNESCO has produced a series of audio messages that can be freely used by radio stations from around the world. 

Coronavirus the New Scapegoat for Media Censorship, Rights Groups Say

Voice of America: Governments worldwide are using the COVID-19 pandemic to tighten media regulations and silence independent news media, human rights groups and media watchdogs say. 

COVID-19: 4 Online Resources to Help Journalists Verify Information (Resources) 

MFWA: The impact of COVID-19 across the world has increased people’s anxiety as well as quest for information. People want to know the latest news and developing issues about the pandemic. Media outlets and their journalists, in their bid to serve the public’s interest, are also trying to break news faster and feed their audiences.

COVID-19: A state of emergency is not an excuse for government repression (Statement)

MLDI: Governments around the world are taking extraordinary measures in the fight against COVID-19. Many of these are essential steps to protect health and life. However, some states are enacting laws that dangerously undermine civil and political rights.

Fact-checkers spread the gospel of media literacy amid the COVID-19 crisis 

Poynter Institute: The coronavirus has halted most of the globe, but there’s one movement it has fueled — media literacy. In India, the United States and Brazil, fact-checking and media literacy organizations are training citizens to confront the new coronavirus “infodemic.”

GIJN Webinar — Collaborating on Long-Form and Documentary TV & Video (Opportunity)

GIJN: In this third GIJN Webinar in our Investigating the Pandemic series, Collaborating on Long-Form and Documentary TV & Video, we bring you a stellar cast of television news executives and commissioning editors from RTS in Switzerland, Premières Lignes in France, BBC Global News, and BBC Arabic and BBC Africa, PBS Frontline in the United States, and from Canada’s CBC — to launch a collaborative platform to support long form television investigations into COVID-19.

Governments and employers must do more to protect workers

IFJ: Governments and employers need to do more to protect jobs, wages and living standards amid the Covid-19 pandemic according to a new survey published by the International Trade Union Confederation. 

How much TV should your children be watching right now? (Paywall) 

The Financial Times: Some shows are good; others, less so. What’s important during lockdown is knowing the difference.

IFJ Affiliates Initiatives (Resource) 

IFJ: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliates are fighting on a daily basis for citizens to receive the most balanced and updated information on Covid-19 and inform journalists about their rights and precautionary measures they should take in these critical times.

Journalism with public sense (Spanish)

Pagina 12: From a book by Victor Pickard, Marcelo Valente and Néstor Piccone debate about the conditions for the construction of a truly independent public media system.

Media Freedom in Times of COVID-19 (Watch)

CMDS @ CEU: Access to accurate information is essential to fighting a pandemic. However, many governments see it as an opportunity to further restrict media freedom. Our Senior Program Officer and Researcher, Eva Bognar, our Director, Marius Dragomir, and our Outreach Coordinator, Robert Nemeth discuss how the coronavirus exacerbated an already problematic area.

Short Guide to Reporting Security During a Pandemic

CJR: For most journalists, producing accurate, reliable reporting in the public interest is a daily job requirement, and one that is no more paramount than in times of crisis. Yet producing that reporting often demands that journalists rely on sources who may not be authorized to speak to the press.

The art of good interview (German)

Deutschlandfunk: Confrontational, informative or boring – interviews can be many things. Here the respondents are in top form or can be pushed into the corner. But how does the interviewer proceed? How do you prepare, how do you hold out and what needs to be done so that everyone benefits from it in the end?

The journalists and colleagues we’ve lost to the coronavirus

Poynter Institute: Here, we’re collecting the published obituaries of the journalists and those employed by the media around the world who’ve died because of the coronavirus. Please let us know who we’re missing. We’ll keep this updated.

What Role Should Newsrooms Play in Debunking COVID-19 Misinformation? (Opinion)

Nieman Reports: When conspiracies pass a tipping point, newsrooms working collectively to push out strong debunks can slow the spread of myths and misinformation. 

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