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

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ALGERIA: Algerian state TV presenter ‘sacked’ over protest support

France24: An Algerian state television presenter has been fired after slamming the media’s role in supporting the regime of ex-leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika and pushing for greater freedoms, colleagues said Thursday.

BENIN: Benin Close To Completion Of Digital Switchover

Broadcast Media Africa: According to the country’s authorities, 28 of the 29 sites that were planned for the switchover are now digital and operational.

BURUNDI: Burundi Commissioner: Free Press Should Be Barred From 2020 Poll

VOA: A senior Burundi election official has called for independent media to be barred from covering the East African country’s presidential polls in 2020, local press and witnesses reported Wednesday.

EGYPT: In Sisi’s Egypt, internet freedom is being shut down

Middle East Eye: With the president now able to remain in office until 2030, the clampdown on anti-government views is set to intensify.

GAMBIA: President Barrow Thumbs Up Article 19 Support To Reform Gambia’s Media Laws

The Voice of Gambia: President Adama Barrow has expressed appreciation to the support rendered by the international free expression agency, Article 19, in reforming draconian media laws that were inherited by his government.

GHANA: Shutdown of Pro-Opposition Radio Stations: Regulator’s Action Arbitrary, Capricious

MFWA: The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has closely followed the developments within the media landscape in Ghana over the last few weeks, particularly the shutting down of two pro-opposition radio stations, Radio Gold and Radio XYZ.

MALAWI: No official broadcaster for elections a serious indictment on MBC: MEC say no worry on credibility of results

Nyasa Times

RWANDA: Govt moves to regulate social media content amid misinformation

The New Times: The Government is going to devise strategies to regulate social media content, a move which is intended to curb the spread of misinformation, the Minister for ICT and Innovation, Paula Ingabire, has disclosed.

SIERRA LEONE: Sierra Leone’s Journalists Demand Justice for “Murdered” Colleague and Call for Law Reform

IPS News: The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) has called on the government of President Julius Maada Bio for the immediate prosecution of all those who physically assaulted a newspaper editor last year.

SOUTH AFRICA: Behind the scenes: How the SABC brought you Elections 2019

SABC: The SABC set up its Outside Broadcast vans at the Election Results Operations Centre in Pretoria more than a week before the final results were announced.

SOUTH AFRICA: Local radio is plugging gaps in South Africa’s mainstream media coverage

The Media Online: Beyond the choreographed photo opportunities and big rallies, there is a local dimension to South Africa’s election campaign that is going largely unnoticed by the national media. As a result, important insights into political dynamics are being missed.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC: A broadcaster in the public interest? (Report)

Media Monitoring Africa: Media Monitoring Africa, a leading media research organisation in Africa, today launched the first interim report analysing the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)’s coverage of the 2019 National and Provincial Elections in South Africa.

SUDAN: Protesters slam Sudan state media for coverage blackout

France24: Grasping an empty plastic bottle that stands in for a microphone, young Sudanese protester Abu Bakr Marghani pretends to be a journalist interviewing demonstrators at Khartoum’s sit-in outside the army complex.

SWAZILAND: Bank Ruling Another Blow for Media Freedom

Via All Africa: Swaziland (now Eswatini) is hardly known as a land where transparency and free speech enjoy much value. Now the country’s High Court has helped maintain this reputation with a decision effectively closing down media investigation into the people behind Eswatini’s new Farmers Bank.

UGANDA: Journalists drag UCC to court over suspended colleagues

The Citizen

ZAMBIA: Zambian Journalists opt for self regulation backed by law

Lusaka Times: The Media Self Regulation Insaka has overwhelmingly resolved to adopt a statutory self-regulatory framework.

ZIMBABWE: Zim Newsrooms a Danger to Female Journalists

Via All Africa: Newsrooms have become difficult and dangerous environments for young graduates joining the journalism profession in Zimbabwe, AB Communications chief executive officer, Susan Makore has said.

REGIONAL: April 2019 in West Africa: A Tale of Internet Shutdown, Detentions, Threats against Journalists

MFWA: The month of April 2019 was darkened by a 24-hour internet shutdown in Benin, a 12-year sentence of an activist in Nigeria and assault on journalists in Guinea, among other incidents in Ghana and Liberia.

GENERAL: African governments are cracking down on the news media. Their citizens might be okay with that

The Washington Post: When Africans think of “the media,” often they think of the hatemongers and fake-news peddlers.

HONG KONG: CPJ calls for withdrawal or modification of Hong Kong extradition bill

CPJ: The Hong Kong government should withdraw a proposed bill amending its extradition law that potentially exposes journalists and others in Hong Kong to criminal trial in mainland Chinese courts, or modify the bill to include additional safeguards to prevent arbitrary rendition, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

INDIA: Cyclone survival not the sexy story

RNZ: The strongest cyclone to hit coastal India for years yielded spectacular shots of devastation for TV news and social media this week. But the real story was why so few people died in such a poor and populous place.

INDIA: Fact-checking vigilantes in India are a bulwark against the move to a ‘post-truth’ world

Scroll.in: The ecosystem of fact checking in India cuts across digital, television, and print media and even crosses over into the corporate domain.

INDIA: The technically sound tech behind All India Radio Tiruchi

The Hindu: As AIR Tiruchi celebrates its 80th anniversary, we take a look at the technology that has helped the station rule the airwaves.

JAPAN: The power of television still strong despite smartphone era (Editorial)

The Mainichi

KAZAKHSTAN: Netizen Report: Widespread throttling puts social media out of reach in Kazakhstan

Global Voices: Kazakhstani netizens had virtually no access to major social media platforms or messaging services from May 7 to 9, according to local media reports and testimonies of internet users.

MALAYSIA: Has the ball started rolling for press freedom under Pakatan’s ruling?

MalayMail: After a year of Pakatan Harapan (PH) rule, the media in Malaysia is going through some positive developments as the new government repealed or set aside many of the archaic laws seen stifling press freedom in the country.   

MYANMAR: Challenges to Myanmar press freedom remain

Myanmar Times: Not a few people were surprised when President U Win Myint granted a pardon last week to Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who had been found guilty of possession of classified documents and sentenced to seven years in prison last September.

NEPAL: FNJ denounces provisions of media council bill

The Himalayan: Federation of Nepali Journalists has announced protest programmes against provisions of the bill related to constituting Nepal Media Council, which according to FNJ, could serve as a government-controlled council to curtail press freedom.

PAKISTAN: Female Journalists Face Challenges in Pakistan (Watch)

VOA: Men predominantly run the media industry in South Asia and in particular Pakistan, but in recent years, more and more women are joining the workforce.

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s anti-fake news law criticised as ‘Orwellian’ threat to freedom of speech

ABC: The Singaporean Government has passed a controversial bill targeted at eliminating ‘fake news’ and disinformation, providing broad powers for authorities to police speech online, including in encrypted messaging applications.

SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka blocks social media again after attacks on Muslims

Aljazeera: Regulators instructed to temporarily block Facebook, other platforms after Christians attack mosques and Muslims’ shops.

TAIWAN: NSB: Taiwan needs no media advice from Beijing

Taiwan News: The NSB deputy chief criticizes China for intervening in Taiwan’s freedom of press, following reports of a controversial Taiwanese media gathering in Beijing.

AUSTRALIA: ABC MD warns of job losses and content cuts

IBC 365: ABC managing director and editor in chief David Anderson is preparing for two different budget outcomes, with the result of the upcoming Australian federal elections to determine which is used by the public service broadcaster.

AUSTRALIA: Ads on Aunty (Watch)

ABC Media Watch: Why political leaders and fringe-dwellers get free airtime on Your ABC

AUSTRALIA: Australia looks for leadership in government and on air

ABC: In the middle of an intense election campaign, Australia’s public broadcaster has been looking for new leaders itself after a scandal that saw off its top executives last year. A veteran media watcher tells Mediawatch there’s lots to learn from the mess at the ABC and its efforts to address the “death of broadcasting”.

AUSTRALIA: Australian journalists need more protection against assaults: report

SMH: Physical assaults against journalists should be taken more seriously and be dealt with under a specific new law, a new report on press freedom in Australia says.

AUSTRALIA: Labor pledges $40 million to ABC and $20 million to SBS to support local content

If.com: If elected, Labor has promised $40 million to the ABC to support drama, comedy, children’s and music programming, and $20 million to SBS to support more Australian content on the broadcaster.

NEW ZEALAND: Christchurch Call: details emerge of Ardern’s plan to tackle online extremism

The Guardian: New Zealand PM will reportedly urge nations to enforce laws banning extremist material and set rules for reporting on terrorism.

NEW ZEALAND: Review reveals ‘challenges that Māori media organisations face’

RNZ: A review of the Māori media sector has found they receive significantly lower budgets to produce content compared to other media, but any decisions about its future will not be made until the end of the year.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: O’Neill plans crackdown on social media ‘fake news’ and ‘bad signals’

Pacific Media Centre: Cabinet will review social media platforms in Papua New Guinea when it convenes on Thursday, says Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

BELGIUM: Belgium’s RTBF MIX Crosses the Language Border

Radio World: Via DAB+ the station targets listeners outside the Wallonia region.

BELGIUM: Study shows woman journalists are leaving the job

EFJ: Female journalists in the French-speaking part of Belgium are leaving their jobs making a very low proportion of them in the media, said in a recent study published by the EFJ member the Belgian professional association of journalists (AJP) for the French-speaking region.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Czech people demand resignation of Prime Minister and media owner Babiš

ECPMF: Tens of thousands of people in the Czech Republic have been protesting against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and his newly appointed Justice Minister Marie Benesova.

DENMARK: Radiodanmark joins forces to lift internet-based radio (Danish)

Finans: Increasing digital media consumption gets Bauer Media, DR and Danske Medier to join forces on a new platform and app that gathers commercial channels and public service channels.

ESTONIA: European Federation of Journalists adopts Estonian press freedom statement

ERR: The EFJ unanimously adopted a statement at a meeting in Tallinn on Friday expressing great concern about “rising pressure on press freedom and independent, critical journalists and journalism in Estonia.”

FRANCE: World leaders, social media heads to gather for summit on terrorism

RNZ: There will be notable absences at a summit to crackdown on social media being used for terrorism in Paris this coming week.

GERMANY: Another station for ARD and ZDF? (German)

Die Welt: SPD Party Vice Malu Dreyer wants a public service news channel.

GERMANY: County Administrative Court: ARD must not show NPD campaign spot (German)

Der Tagesspiegel: In contrast to other broadcasters, the Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB) does not have to broadcast an election campaign by the far-right NPD on the European elections.

GERMANY: Germany launches TV via 5G broadcast trial

Broadband TV News: The 5G Today project has officially started its field trial for TV broadcasting via 5G at a kick-off event at German broadcast technology research institute IRT in Munich today.

HUNGARY: Almost 78% of the media are pro-government

EFJ: The European Federation of Journalists has expressed concerns over the state of media freedom and independence in Hungary following the publication of a study showing that the majority of media in the country are pro-government.

IRELAND: RTÉ management to meet 150 contractors to discuss employment status

The Irish Times: Move follows review that found freelances have ‘attributes akin to employment’

ITALY: Fact-finding mission to Italy (Report)

ECPMF: The Mafia is imposing its vow of silence on the news media. This is was the finding behind the 24 interviews conducted by the fact-finding team in December 2018 with mafia experts, prosecutors, politicians and journalists in Rome.

ROMANIA: Romanian organizations launch fact-checking platform to combat false information


SWEDEN: Stockholm Moderates vote to abolish Sweden’s state

The Local: The most influential district of the centre-right Moderate Party has voted to completely abolish all state-funded radio and television in Sweden.

SWEDEN: Swedish Radio’s most equal workplace (Swedish)

Sveriges Radio: Swedish Radio has been awarded the Key Figures Institute’s prize as Sweden’s most equal workplace in 2019.

UK: BBC building ‘public service algorithm’

BBC News: The BBC wants to “pop your bubble” with unexpected and challenging content on its streaming service, BBC Sounds.

UK: Changing to stay the same (Speech)

BBC: Speech by the BBC’s Director of Radio and Education, James Purnell, about the future of radio at the public broadcaster BBC Sounds and the development of a “public service algorithm”.

UK: Everything you need to know about BritBox – BBC and ITV’s answer to Netflix in the UK

Radio Times: What will it show? When does it launch? How much will it cost? Will it effect BBC iPlayer? And why should licence fee payers fork out again anyway?

UK: UK regulator investigates China’s state broadcaster for airing TV confession

Reuters: Britain’s broadcasting watchdog has launched a formal investigation into whether a confession made by a British man and aired on China’s state broadcaster broke UK broadcasting rules when shown there.

UKRAINE: Investigative journalism is a dangerous job in Ukraine

Deutsche Welle: Another journalist is fighting for his life in Ukraine after a brutal attack; Vadym Komarov had just promised incendiary new findings. Ukraine’s reporters lament the lack of protection and the legal system’s failings.

REGIONAL: The Nordics replace licence fee with public service tax

Nordicom: The Norwegian Government has proposed to replace the country’s radio and TV licence fee with a public service tax. Once adopted, it would mean that all the Nordic countries now have – or are on their way to having – shifted to tax-based funding of public service media.

GENERAL: The battle against fake news ahead of EU elections (Watch)

France24: With parliamentary elections set to kick off in Europe, the EU Commission and tech giants are bracing for a one-of-a-kind battle against disinformation and hate speech.

ARGENTINA: Public media workers repudiate the award of France to Hernán Lombardi (Spanish)

Tiempo: In a context of crisis in the public media, the official received the official distinction of the National Order of the Legion of Honor.

BRAZIL: Bolsonaro wants to arm journalists

RSF: Under a terse decree signed by the president on 7 May and published in the official gazette yesterday, “professional journalists who cover crime” are among the many categories of citizens now allowed to carry firearms in public. `

HAITI: Press Freedom Remains Elusive For Haiti’s Journalists

The Haitian Times: Haiti’s social and economic crisis has taken a toll on the country’s journalists.

MEXICO: Mexico’s press question president’s commitment to press advertising reform

CPJ: When Andrés Manuel López Obrador won Mexico’s presidential elections last year with a promise to drastically cut the millions of dollars the government spends on press advertising each year, it appeared to signal the end to an opaque system that has been criticized as a way for governments to encourage favorable coverage.

VENEZUELA: On the ground in the Venezuelan standoff


VENEZUELA: Venezuela is hurting and Latam fact-checkers are working together to sort fact from fiction

Poynter: Since April 30, fact-checking platforms are connected under the hashtag #VENfacts.

GENERAL: The Americas in April: An historic mission to Geneva, and two nations on the brink of collapse

IFEX: Venezuela and Honduras are burning. At the time of this article’s publication, both countries are enduring complex and confusing situations, neither of which appear to have an end in sight.

ISRAEL: Press watchdog slams Israel bombing of Turkey news outlet in Gaza

MEMO: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has condemned “the Israeli bombing of Turkish-stated owned news outlet Anadolu Agency’s Gaza office” on 4 May, in a statement issued yesterday.

TURKEY: Turkey’s repression of media turns violent


TURKEY: Turkish journalist beaten after TV appearance

Deutsche Welle: Yavuz Selim Demirag has been an outspoken critic of President Erdogan. He was set on by assailants with baseball bats in what journalists say is a sign of shrinking press freedom.

CANADA: Canadian newspaper readership is at an all-time high

Media in Canada: Study finds that younger Canadians are reading newspapers almost as much as boomers.

CANADA: CBC British Columbia wins 5 national RTDNA awards for radio, digital and social media storytelling

CBC News: The awards recognize the best of the best in journalism across Canada.

CANADA: Management of comments on social networks by Radio-Canada (French) (Audio)

Radio-Canada: Carole Aoun explains the rules governing the management of comments at Radio-Canada.

CANADA: Nearly 80% of Canadians want CBC funding increased or maintained: poll

iPolitics: A new poll suggests Canadians are largely in favour of maintaining or increasing funding for the CBC, though Conservative voters are far less enthusiastic of supporting the country’s public broadcaster.

CANADA: Small-city and rural Canadians could lose their free TV

CBC News: Shaw Direct asks CRTC to end program meant to replace over-the-air signals.

US: Here’s the state of Hispanic media today — and where it goes from here

Nieman Lab

US: House Appropriations Committee approves increased Ready To Learn funding, $495M for CPB (Paywall)

Current: The House of Representatives Appropriation Committee approved a bill Wednesday that would increase funding for PBS’ Ready To Learn project to $30 million, a hike of more than $2 million over this fiscal year.

US: White House revokes press passes for dozens of journalists

CJR: In what appears to be an unprecedented move, the White House revoked the press passes of a significant chunk of the Washington press corps because they didn’t meet a new standard, according to Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank.

US: With new strategic plan, Native Public Media seeks collective ‘vision for tomorrow’ (Paywall)

Current: Native Public Media is beginning a new process of strategic planning to shape its identity and policies as it continues to serve tribal stations over the next four years.

Across seven countries, the average price for paywalled news is about $15.75/month

Nieman Lab: More and more news organizations are implementing paywalls. A new report from the Reuters Institute for Journalism surveys the paywall landscape in 6 European countries and the U.S.

Facebook cofounder calls for company to break up over ‘unprecedented’ power

The Guardian: Chris Hughes wrote in the New York Times Facebook’s acquisition of rival platforms has given Zuckerberg ‘un-American’ control

Misinformation and fears about its impact are pervasive in 11 emerging economies

Pew Research Center: Exposure to false or incorrect information is a key concern for people in 11 emerging economies, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. Many social media users report being regularly exposed to misinformation when using the platforms.

These Days, It’s Not About the Polar Bears

The New York Times: Climate science has struggled mightily with a messaging problem.

WhatsApp discovers ‘targeted’ surveillance attack

BBC News: Hackers were able to remotely install surveillance software on phones and other devices using a major vulnerability in messaging app WhatsApp, it has been confirmed.

World media unite for DRR at Global Platform

ReliefWeb: Heads of media and UN agencies met today in Geneva to discuss how public service media and worldwide print and radio media outlets can contribute to reducing disaster risk, saving lives and fulfilling their mandate to further the public good.

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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.

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Header image: Sydney, Australia – People entering and leaving the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Centre in Ultimo. Credit: kokkai/iStock