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 watching...

Why Public Media Matters

UNESCO: Public media is built around the core values of journalism. Where independence is guaranteed, it remains the most trusted national media. Now it is under threat worldwide. This session will explore what defines PSM and how it can remain credible, trusted and viable in the digital age.

What we're listening to...

British TV and the threat from tech

The Media Show, BBC Radio 4: This week Ofcom, the media regulator, warned that traditional broadcasting is “at risk” without “radical shake-up”. But at risk of what, and what kind of shake-up does the regulator have in mind? Meanwhile, Ofcom is about to take on the massive task of regulating “online harm”, including social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram. But is a British regulator really able to police the internet? In her first major interview, Melanie Dawes, the new CEO of Ofcom, explains her strategy to Amol Rajan.

Global Headlines

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

CAMEROON: 1,600th day in prison, 50th court appearance for top Cameroonian journalist

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates its call to the Cameroonian authorities to end their completely unprecedented persecution of the former head of the country’s state radio and TV broadcaster, who has been held since 2016 and is due to appear in court this week for the 50th time on a trumped-up charge for which no evidence has ever been produced.

GHANA: EU Observer commends GBC for equitable coverage of elections

GBC News: The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) Ghana has commended state-owned radio station Uniiq FM and state-owned newspaper Daily Graphic for providing equitable electoral coverage to the two main political parties during the December 7 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections.

MAURITANIA: Breathe New Life into Freedom of Expression: MFWA Urges New Media Regulator in Mauritania

MFWA: Since June 10, 2020, three new people have joined Mauritania’s nine-member media regulatory body, the Haute authorite de la presse et de l’audiovisuel (HAPA). The newcomers include the current President, Houssein Ould Medou, Abdallah Dieng and Mamoudou SY, dean of the print media journalists’ association and former president of the Regroupement de la Presse Mauritanienne (RPM), MFWA’s partner organization in Mauritania.

SOUTH AFRICA: DA starts petition against SABC TV licence plan for Netflix, DStv

News 24: The Democratic Alliance (DA) has started a petition against the ANC-led government’s controversial plan to introduce new legislation to force viewers to pay for a SABC TV LIcence for smartphones and tablets. It would force video streamers and pay-TV operators like MultiChoice to collect SABC TV Licence fees from subscribers by adding it to their bills.

SOUTH AFRICA: Hack Of TV Licence Website Resolved (Statement)

SABC: The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is pleased to announce that the hack of its TV license website, www.tvlicences.co.za has been resolved.

SOUTH SUDAN: Witness: Silencing Dissent in South Sudan

HRW: Adiang Malish (not their real name) was used to receiving phone calls at all hours of the day and night. A busy journalist in Juba, South Sudan, the 37-year-old was regularly called by pranksters and important sources alike. When he received threatening calls asking him why he wrote articles about an opposition party, he just dismissed it as an angry reader. He never expected that one day, he’d be detained and tortured for his work.

SUDAN: Sudan: 84 broadcast journalists fired over alleged loyalty to former regime

IFJ: On 10 December, 84 journalists of the state National Authority of Radio and TV were dismissed due to alleged loyalty to the regime of former president Omar Al-Bashir and administrative irregularities in their hiring process. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate, the Sudanese Journalists Union (SJU) condemn this decision and demand the immediate re-integration of all the media workers.

UGANDA: Uganda: Journalists targeted as government revokes foreign press passes before elections

RFI: In a move a little over a month before the presidential election, Uganda has revoked the media accreditations of all foreign journalists, including those already registered to cover the 14 January polls, according to the government-run Media Council of Uganda on Thursday.

ZIMBABWE: ZBC engages independent producers to cultivate relations

ZBC News: ZBC continues to cultivate good working relations with independent content producers, amid commitment by various players in the arts industry to provide the national broadcaster with content.

REGIONAL: Radio France International (RFI) Commences Broadcasting In Fulani Language

Broadcast Media Africa: Radio France International (RFI), the international arm of France’s public radio broadcasting service have announced that it has completed transmission testing and have officially started it “Fulani Language” broadcast from Monday 14th December 2020.

GENERAL: Fighting the Covid-19 infodemic – five strategies for African fact-checkers

Africa Check: The Covid-19 pandemic is far from over, still taking lives and livelihoods across the world. Recovery from the crisis has been slowed by a global flood of misinformation about the disease, its impact and potential resolution. Here are five ways fact-checkers in Africa can tackle this “infodemic”.

CHINA: China: Bloomberg News Beijing bureau staff member detained over suspicion of national security

IFJ: Haze Fan, a Chinese citizen who has worked for the Bloomberg News Beijing bureau since 2017, has been detained by Chinese authorities on suspicion of endangering national security. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) urges the Chinese authorities to release Fan immediately and drop any imminent charges against her.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong pro-democracy tycoon Jimmy Lai charged under security law

BBC News: Hong Kong pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai has been charged under the territory’s controversial new national security law.

INDIA: All India Radio all set for rebranding, streamlining of services

Deccan Herald: Prasar Bharati proposed to streamline 43 ‘Vivid Bharati’ channels to nine language-specific entertainment services.

JAPAN: Communications minister urges NHK to lower fees quickly

The Japan Times: Communications minister Ryota Takeda on Friday urged NHK to lower its viewing fees at an early date.

KASHMIR: Why Are Kashmiri Politicians Denying Interviews to Local Journalists? (Analysis)

The Wire: Politicians from Kashmir have consistently been denying interviews to local journalists, and speaking only to the national and international press.

MALAYSIA: NGOs important platform to disseminate accurate information – KKMM

The Borneo Post: The Communications and Multimedia Ministry (KKMM) sees non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as an important platform capable of disseminating accurate and authentic information to the public as well as support efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

NEPAL: Journalists, stakeholders want government to scrap Public Service Broadcasting Bill

The Himalayan Times: The Federation of Nepali Journalists and other stakeholders have demanded that the Public Service Broadcasting Bill registered in the National Assembly be scrapped.

NEPAL: Media houses urged to help end untouchability

The Himalayan Times: Dalit rights activists have urged private and public media outlets to play their roles in eradicating untouchability and empowering Dalit communities.

PAKISTAN: Battling with infodemic and disinfodemic: the quandary of journalists to report on COVID-19 pandemic in Pakistan (Research)

Taylor & Francis: The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all sectors of life. Despite economic downturn, one major impact of global pandemic is the rise of ‘infodemic’ and ‘disinfodemic’, which actually creates challenge for the public to access reliable information when they require it. News media plays a crucial role in such stressful situations by providing timely and accurate information about the pandemic. 

PAKISTAN: Rashid Latif and seven others fired from PTV

Geo News: Former Pakistan skipper and TV analyst Rashid Latif is among eight who have been laid off from Pakistan Television Corporation (PTVC) days after the new chairman, Naeem Bokhari, assumed charge, Dawn reported Tuesday.

PHILIPPINES: Philippine journalist Maria Ressa says new libel case “ludicrous”

Reuters: Maria Ressa, who heads a Philippine news website known for its tough scrutiny of President Rodrigo Duterte, refused to enter a plea on Tuesday in a second cyber libel case she faces, saying the charges against her were ludicrous.

SOUTH KOREA: KBS builds ‘Corona 19 emergency broadcasting system’ in preparation for the 3rd stage of distance (Press release – Korean)

KBS: KBS, distancing three- step upgrade over ‘ Corona 19 emergency broadcast system ” building.

TAIWAN: Taiwanese pro-Beijing television news channel taken off air

SCMP: CTiTV’s channel 52 says it will continue broadcasting on digital platforms after being refused a new licence.

THAILAND: Foreign media express anxiety over Thailand’s press freedoms

The Thaiger: Foreign journalists in Thailand are expressing concern about what they are calling restrictions on press freedom. Speaking at a recent  Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand forum, speakers said that the current laws are “proving to be an obstacle to reporting of the anti-government protests”, despite government assurances there have been no curbs on freedom of expression.

AUSTRALIA: ABC chair Ita Buttrose accuses government of ‘political interference’ in draft letter to Paul Fletcher

The Guardian: Exclusive: Buttrose mounts robust defence of broadcaster’s independence in response to questions about Four Corners’ episode Inside the Canberra Bubble.

AUSTRALIA: ABC establishes new Indigenous Archives Unit (Press release)

ABC Australia: The ABC has established a new Indigenous Archives Unit responsible for managing Australia’s largest news and current affairs collection relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

AUSTRALIA: Creative collaboration between the ABC and Australian arts community (Press release)

ABC Australia: ABC Chair Ita Buttrose confirmed the public broadcaster’s commitment to the arts at its inaugural Arts Summit in Sydney with key leaders of the Australian arts community.

AUSTRALIA: Expect delays and power plays: Google and Facebook brace as news media bargaining code is set to become law

The Conversation: The long-awaited mandatory code that will force Google and Facebook to pay Australian media companies for news content was finally unveiled yesterday.

AUSTRALIA: How the ABC News 50:50 project is transforming our coverage of women in sport

ABC Australia: 

AUSTRALIA: The Conversation’s submission to the Senate Inquiry into media diversity in Australia (Blog)

The Conversation: On 11 November 2020, the Australian Senate established an inquiry into the state of media diversity, independence and reliability in Australia and called for public submissions. The Conversation Australia & New Zealand made the following submission to the inquiry:

FIJI: FBC Roadshow set to hit the western division

FBC News: People on Viti Levu can expect an enthralling roadshow team from the Fijian Broadcasting Corporation this week.

NEW ZEALAND: Closures, cuts, revival and rebirth: how COVID-19 reshaped the NZ media landscape in 2020

The Conversation: When Bauer Media announced the closure of its New Zealand magazine operation just a week into level 4 lockdown in early April, things looked ominous for local media. Revenues and newsrooms were already contracting. It was hard to see things improving.

NEW ZEALAND: Work has resumed on RNZ-TVNZ merger, briefing to minister confirms (Watch)

Stuff: Work has resumed on the possible merger of RNZ and TVNZ into a new public media organisation, a briefing prepared for reappointed Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi has confirmed.

ALBANIA: Albanian President Promises He Will Guarantee Journalistic Freedom Amid Protests

Exit News: Albanian President Ilir Meta claimed that violence against journalists has persisted on the third day of the protests sparked by the killing of Klodian Rasha by the police.

ARMENIA & AZERBAIJAN: BBC correspondent describes staying safe, finding journalistic camaraderie during Nagorno-Karabakh’s 6-week war

CPJ: Journalists who covered the recent six-week-long conflict between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh faced violence to get the story of the region’s latest bloody chapter to the world. At least six journalists were injured in shelling attacks in Nagorno-Karabakh and two were assaulted when a mob descended on a broadcaster in Armenia to oppose its reporting on the November 9 peace treaty, as CPJ documented. CPJ issued safety advice for journalists covering the conflict.

AUSTRIA: Up to 210 million government advertising: Concordia calls for a shift to media funding (German) 

Der Standard: The federal government has tendered up to 180 million media budget for government advertising and up to 30 million for creative services over the next four years. The Concordia press club calls for a substantial part of the funds to be used for “media promotion that is clearly linked to quality” and “is independent of good behavior towards advertisers”.

BELARUS: CPJ joins calls for accountability, ending of crackdown in Belarus

CPJ: Today, on International Human Rights Day, the Committee to Protect Journalists and eight other civil society groups issued a joint statement expressing deep concern about the violation of human rights and press freedom in Belarus in the wake of the August 9 presidential election, and calling Belarusian authorities to immediately investigate and redress the ongoing abuses. 

BELARUS: RSF’s 15 recommendations for ending the four-month-old crackdown on press freedom in Belarus

RSF: After nearly 450 press freedom violations registered in Belarus in the past four months, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is recommending 15 ways to end what is an unprecedented crackdown on the media in a European country.

BELGIUM: VRT will police its own neutrality under new agreement

The Brussels Times: The Flemish public broadcaster VRT will be responsible for making sure its news and current affairs coverage is strictly neutral under a new agreement.

DENMARK: DR Lyd is DR’s new podcast and radio offer (Press release – Danish)

DR: DR’s radio app changes its name to DR Lyd and at the same time becomes the digital main entrance for DR’s total audio offer. The app has been updated to give users a better digital experience and be present with digital content where the listeners are.

FINLAND: Yle broadcasts the Castle celebrations in both Finnish sign languages ​​for the first time (Watch – Finnish)

Yle: Finnish subtitles on TV1 are also available for the celebration broadcast. 

FRANCE: Associations and unions denounce “arbitrary arrests” during the Parisian demonstration against the global security law (French)

Le Monde: In Paris, among the 5,000 demonstrators according to the police, double according to the organizers, 124 were taken into custody, including at least two journalists: a reporter from the media “HQ” and another from the Angry Reporters collective (REC).

FRANCE: Franceinfo prefers to lose “minutes” than the “confidence” of listeners (Paywall – French)

Le Monde: The continuous public news radio has a new boss, Jean-Philippe Baille, succeeding Vincent Giret, who becomes news director for the entire Radio France group.

GERMANY: Bremen and Saarland turn to the Federal Constitutional Court (German) 

Deutschlandfunk: ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio have announced after the decision from Saxony-Anhalt on the Interstate Broadcasting Treaty that they will file a complaint with the Federal Constitutional Court. The exact schedule was initially unclear. Also, whether the increase in the radio license fee on January 1st could come into effect temporarily until the final decision has been reached.

GERMANY: Credibility, trust, relevance (Press release – German)

ZDF: 74 percent of those surveyed have very high or high levels of trust in the reporting of the public television channels. That is the result of the current representative Politbarometer survey of the Forschungsgruppe Wahlen (FGW) on trust in the credibility of the reporting of the public television stations ARD and ZDF, which was carried out in October 2020. 

GERMANY: Free licenses from ARD and ZDF: Why Using Public Service Videos Remains Difficult (German) 

Deutschlandfunk: If teachers want to show the “Sendung mit der Maus” in class, they first have to laboriously clarify the rights. An alliance is therefore calling for more free licenses for knowledge and educational videos for public broadcasters. This could also increase the range of the stations.

GERMANY: Licence fee spat threatens jobs at German public broadcasters (Paywall)

The Times: In Germany €0.86 buys you a litre of milk, two apples, or if you are a public broadcaster a whole world of trouble.

ITALY: Successful models of local journalism blossom in Italy despite pandemic challenges

IPI: Examples of hyper-local and national journalism buck national trend of falling trust in media.

LATVIA: New media law for Latvia

Broadband TV News: Latvia’s president has signed off the Law of Public Electronic Media and its Management.

NETHERLANDS: NPO adjusts programming during lockdown (Press release – Dutch) 

NPO: The Dutch Public Broadcaster will also ensure that people in the Netherlands remain connected to each other in the coming weeks. With adapted and impactful programming for young and old, NPO and the broadcasters will bring news, backgrounds, culture, education and entertainment to all channels during the lockdown.

POLAND: Purchase of Polska Press by state energy giant spells disaster for media freedom in Poland

IPI: Troubling acquisition comes as Warsaw remains locked in veto battle over EU values.

RUSSIA: Law paves the way for internet censorship (German) 

Deutschlandfunk: In Russia, pro-government media are accusing platforms such as YouTube and Facebook of blocking their content. The government wants to take action against this alleged practice with a new law. Critics see this as an attempt to censor unpopular content on the Internet.

SPAIN: Refuge from ‘fake news’: Television recovers young audiences with the pandemic (Spanish) 

La Vanguardia: Generalist television has recovered the audience of the young public with the pandemic. It is one of the main conclusions of a recent study by the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) on the impact of Covid-19 on media consumption in Spain. The report reveals that television is the most widely used medium to find out about the pandemic, although increases have also been registered in other media.

SWEDEN: For the sake of trust – the review board’s review of public service (Review – Swedish) 

Riksrevisionen: The Review Board’s review of the program content in the public service companies is largely effective and leads to the desired result. However, the National Audit Office recommends that the review board develops the motivations for certain decisions, and works to shorten its processing times.

SWEDEN: The local content is streaming on Radio 2020 (Blog – Swedish) 

Sveriges Radio: Never before has Swedish Radio been more present in our country as we are right now. In 2020, we have not only been present and broadcasting radio from all of Sweden’s municipalities, we have also opened 30 new mobile so-called pop-up newsrooms, in addition to our permanent presence in 50 municipalities. It is an editorial presence that no other Swedish media company can show. Of course we are happy and proud.

SWITZERLAND: Harassment and sexism: the RTS takes new measures (Press release – French) 

RTS: Determined to put an end to all forms of abuse within it and to become exemplary in its fight against harassment, the RTS is putting in place significant means to protect its employees and free up word. Among these, the signing of the “Charter for an anti-sexist and inclusive public service media”, accompanied by concrete measures, commits the entire company, including on its branches.

UK: Breaking down what Ofcom’s ‘vision for the future’ means for public service broadcasting in the UK (Comment)

Digital TV Europe: The UK’s broadcasting regulator Ofcom sent out a stark warning this week that the country’s traditional public service broadcasters need a radical shakeup to laws and regulations in order to survive in an online world. On the basis that the existing rules and regulations are outdated and stem from the early days of the internet in 2003, Ofcom’s review of public service broadcasting puts the sector at a critical juncture.

UK: Trusted News Initiative (TNI) to combat spread of harmful vaccine disinformation and announces major research project (Press release)

BBC Media Centre: At a recent summit chaired by the BBC’s new Director General, Tim Davie, the Trusted News Initiative (TNI) agreed to focus on combatting the spread of harmful vaccine disinformation.

REGIONAL: Journalists are #EssentialWorkers (Campaign)

EFJ: During the health crisis, journalists have been playing a crucial role. When most of us are required to stay home, they act as our eyes and ears on the ground bringing trustworthy and reliable information to us. Yet, in some European countries journalists are still not considered as essential workers impeding their ability to work. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) launched, in partnership with its affiliates in Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey, a social media campaign to raise awareness about the need to regard journalists as essential workers.

REGIONAL: Media Freedom in Europe in the Shadow of COVID-19 (Report)

IPI: New report explores wide-ranging effects of pandemic on press freedom.

REGIONAL: Pandemic increased news and media usage in the Nordics 

Nordicom: The Corona pandemic has led to increased demand for news in the Nordic countries. The increase for television news is particularly clear, while social media as a news source has played a minor role. These are some of the results from national Corona surveys during Spring and Summer 2020.

GENERAL: New EU policies on platforms will shape the next chapter of the internet (Blog) 

EBU: The European Union is in the midst of launching new policies that will shape the next chapter of the internet. The Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA) will be published this week, joining the recent launch of the European Democracy Action Plan.  This next chapter aims to change the concentration of power in our online environment, providing a better framework for innovation, fair competition, opinion-making, free speech and ultimately democracy.

ARGENTINA: “The provincial government wants to sanction ‘de prepo’ a new Public Media Law that contains worrying points” (Spanish)

Nuevo Dia: This was stated through social networks by the Provincial Deputy of Encuentro Ciudadano. Among the controversial points, he pointed out improvisation, the discretion of the official guideline and the “lack of respect for the workers.”

BRAZIL: Bolsonaro will have to compensate journalist Bianca Santana for making a false accusation (Portuguese) 

FENAJ: President Jair Bolsonaro was sentenced in the first instance on Thursday (10) to compensate journalist Bianca Santana, from UOL portal, for having falsely accused her of writing fake news during a live broadcast conducted by the agent.

BRAZIL: Correio Braziliense journalists suspend strike, but maintain mobilization (Portuguese) 

FENAJ: With the conclusion of the payment of the November salary, the newsroom of Correio Braziliense suspended the strike that started on Tuesday (8/12), after three days of stoppage. The assembly unanimously voted to return to work, but maintained the state of strike until next Friday (18), when workers meet again to assess the payment of the 13th salary.

COLOMBIA: Irresponsible Stigmatization of Journalists Covering Demonstrations Puts Reporters at Risk (Statement)

FLIP: FLIP rejects public figures and journalists issuing messages linking reporters, which are covering social protests, with urban militias. These generic assessments put journalists at risk, deteriorate the conditions for their work, and negatively impact the debate on issues of public interest.

COLOMBIA: The Atlantic Carnival will be experienced through public media and digital platforms (Spanish) 

RTVC: Through an alliance between RTVC Sistema de Medios Públicos, the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications and the Government of Atlántico, the department’s Carnival will be adapted to new digital formats.

CUBA: Cuban journalist Luz Escobar repeatedly barred from leaving her home

CPJ: Cuban authorities should stop barring journalist Luz Escobar from leaving her home, and cease harassing independent journalists in the country, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

EL SALVADOR: ARENA Party prevents journalists from Noticiero El Salvador from entering a press conference (Spanish)

APES: The Nationalist Republican Alliance party (ARENA) denied access to journalists from Noticiero El Salvador to the press conference on the presentation of their candidates for deputies to the Central American Parliament PARLACEN for the 2021 elections. Said newscast denounced the restriction on its social networks, which It was held on Monday, December 7. 

EL SALVADOR: Trade unionists attack and threaten radio and television journalists (Spanish)

APES: A group of trade unionists from the Salvadoran Social Security Institute STISSS attacked several journalists who were giving information coverage in the Legislative Assembly this Tuesday, to the visit of public officials.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO:  ‘Frightening police behaviour’ (Paywall)

Trinidad Express: It is becoming “quite frightening” that in the face of numerous authorities already established by the courts on the legal way in which search warrants should be obtained and executed on premises, some police officers are still flouting the law and acting outside of its parameters.

URUGUAY: Between passes and casualties: how the media map is configured for 2021 (Spanish) 

El Observador: The details of some of the most recent movements ranging from figures who for years worked in one channel and go to another, new incorporations, massive casualties in public media and changes of direction.

REGIONAL: Kayleaser Deveaux-Isaacs appointed Vice President of the CBU

CBU: The General Manager of the Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas, BCB, Mrs. Kayleaser Deveaux-Isaacs has been appointed Vice President of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union, CBU, with effect from December 9, 2020. She was elected by the Board at its monthly meeting to fill a vacancy created when Mrs. Amalia Mai of Great Belize Production demitted office recently.

IRAN: Iranian journalist Kayvan Samimi begins 3-year prison sentence over protest coverage

CPJ: Iranian authorities must release journalist Kayvan Samimi from prison and cease jailing members of the press for their work, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

IRAN: Ruhollah Zam: Iran executes journalist accused of fanning unrest

BBC: Iran has executed a journalist who was accused of using a messaging app to stir up dissent.

IRAQ: Iraqi Kurdistan: Broadcasting ban threatens media freedom

IFJ: The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has suspended the broadcasts of local network Nalia Radio and Television (NRT) for one week from December 7 for “irresponsible behaviour”, according to the Ministry of Culture and Youth. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), and its affiliate, the Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate (KJS) condemn this decision and call for its immediate annulment to comply with the region’s media laws.

PALESTINE: Calls for UN to investigate Israel’s killing of Palestinian journalists 

MEMO: Complaints submitted to the United Nations (UN) accuse Israel of intentionally targeting journalists in Palestine and failing to thoroughly investigate its killings of media workers.

SYRIA: Syrian journalist Hussein Khattab shot and killed while reporting in Aleppo governorate

CPJ: Authorities in the northwestern Syrian city of Al-Bab should conduct a thorough investigation into the killing of journalist Hussein Khattab, and hold those responsible to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

TURKEY: Turkey: Crackdown on Independent TV Channels

HRW: End Violations of Media Freedom; Annul Abusive Measures; Ensure Impartiality

YEMEN: In Yemen, journalism can be a capital offence (Opinion)

Al Jazeera: Four journalists accused by the Houthis of ‘spying’ are facing the death penalty.

REGIONAL: RSF: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria among world’s biggest jailers of journalists

MEMO: Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF) has revealed that China, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Syria are the world’s biggest jailers of journalists for the second year.

CANADA: Access Reelworld extends its reach to racially diverse francophones in Canada’s screen-based industries (Press release)

CBC/Radio-Canada: This July 2020, Reelworld Film Festival, and Reelworld Screen Institute launched Access Reelworld, the largest and most comprehensive searchable national recruiting platform for Canadian Indigenous, Black, Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern/North African, and Latin Americans in the screen-based industries. The platform builds on Reelworld’s 20-year legacy of providing pathways of opportunity for racially diverse Canadian talent and continues to expand its reach. 

CANADA: CBC and BET+ Greenlight “The Porter” (Working Title), an original drama about railway workers in Canada and the United States who joined together to give birth to the world’s first Black union and sparked a civil rights movement

CBC/Radio-Canada: CBC, Canada’s public broadcaster, and BET+, the preeminent streaming service for the Black audience, are partnering on original series THE PORTER (working title, 8×60) from Inferno Pictures and Sienna Films, which has been greenlit for 2021/22.

CANADA: CBC/Radio-Canada releases 2019–2020 Environmental Performance Report

CBC/Radio-Canada: Further reductions in air emissions and energy and water consumption are among the highlights of CBC/Radio-Canada’s 12th Environmental 

CANADA: CJFE and human rights groups call on federal government to allow 100 journalists at risk into Canada annually (Press release)

Newswire: A coalition of more than a dozen press freedom and human rights groups, led by the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, is calling on the Canadian government to help protect the lives of foreign journalists at risk.

CANADA: New Association Aims to Strengthen Independent Journalism in Canada (Press release)

Newswire: Today marks the official launch of Press Forward, a new national association that aims to unify, elevate and advocate for independent journalism organizations in Canada. Press Forward is dedicated to ensuring people in Canada have access to strong, independent, and community-focused journalism. It’s mission is to boost innovation, inclusivity and diversity in media across the country.

US: A newspaper renaissance reached by stopping the presses

Nieman Lab: “Weaning our remaining great American newspapers from paper is a multi-year process, part art and part science.”

US: A Reflection: 10 Years of Protecting Public Media

Protect my Public Media: Ten years ago, 170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting, the predecessor to Protect My Public Media, was launched. Recognizing the challenges ahead, our grassroots network was created to defend the federal investment that powers local public radio and television stations.

US: Appointment of new VOA chief raises fears for U.S. broadcaster 

PBS: The appointment on Wednesday of a new director of Voice of America has raised new concerns about the direction of the government’s flagship international broadcaster as President Donald Trump’s term winds down.

US: At Least 117 Journalists Detained, Arrested Covering US Protests This Year 

VOA News: At least 117 journalists have been detained or arrested while covering protests across the U.S. in 2020, according to a report released Monday by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a collaborative project of two leading press advocacy organizations. 

US: CPJ calls on North Carolina county to grant court access, drop charges against journalist

CPJ: The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on the Alamance County Court in central North Carolina to grant journalists regular access to court proceedings and for the county district attorney to drop charges against local reporter Tomas Murawski.  

US: CPJ testifies to US Congress, calls for more effort to fight restrictions on press

CPJ: Journalists working around the world continue to face a wide variety of challenges, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the U.S. government must redouble its efforts to defend press freedom, CPJ Advocacy Director Courtney Radsch said during testimony to the U.S. Congress today.

US: Declining trust forces publishers to claim (or disclaim) values

Nieman Lab: Many publishers’ product and technology teams have spent time over the past two years working to understand bias in emerging machine learning algorithms. But 2021 will see those teams tackling a far more difficult problem: perceived bias in the human journalism algorithm. And the long march to win back trust will begin.

US: Gunjan Kedia to Join PBS Board of Directors (Blog)

PBS: PBS today announced the election of Gunjan Kedia to serve as a member of its Board of Directors. Kedia is Vice Chair of U.S. Bank Wealth Management and Investment Services and a member of the U.S. Bank Managing Committee, its senior most leadership group.

US: “I was Voice of America’s director. Trump’s latest pick to run the organization is dangerous.”  (Opinion – Paywall) 

The Washington Post: New VOA director Robert R. “Reilly is a dangerous choice. His views are not conservative — they are extreme…In 2014, Reilly published ‘Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything,’ a book describing homosexual acts as ‘habitual moral failure’ and lamenting the ‘legitimization of homosexual behavior.’”

US: In 2020, U.S. journalists faced unprecedented attacks (Feature)

CPJ: As the Committee to Protect Journalists publishes its annual tally of journalists imprisoned around the world, not a single U.S. reporter is behind bars for their work. But that statistic belies the country’s marred press freedom landscape following the summer’s Black Lives Matter protests in which journalists were handcuffed, shoved, and shot at with less-lethal ammunition. 

US: NPR’s first staffer on the future of publicly funded media: A Q&A with Jack Mitchell

CJR: When Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Public Broadcasting Act into law in 1967, he established the Corporation for Public Broadcasting—and, soon after, the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio—setting aside government funds for television and radio programming. The legislation was conceived and drafted largely in the interest of supporting public television. Support for public radio was added as an afterthought, so the CPB decided to invest in the future of American public radio by sending a young person to London to work for a year at the BBC and return to help build NPR. That person was Jack Mitchell.

US: Predictions for journalism 2021

Nieman Lab: Each year, we ask some of the smartest people in journalism and the media what they think is coming in the next 12 months. At the end of a trying 2020, here’s what they had to say. 

US & SAUDI ARABIA: US judge orders disclosure of Khashoggi murder video

MEMO: US federal judge Paul Engelmayer on Tuesday ordered the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to surrender a report on the killing of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as well as a video of his assassination, after rejecting the decision to keep this information confidential, reported Bloomberg.

Democracy cannot function without media freedom (Opinion – Paywall) 

Financial Times: We must bridge the gap between governments’ commitments and violations of journalists’ safety.

#FightForFacts : RSF’s new campaign video (Watch)

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is unveiling its new international awareness-raising campaign video entitled #FightForFacts. Produced by the French advertising agency BETC, it aims to help viewers appreciate journalism’s importance in enabling people to understand issues that are decisive for their future and to take action.

International: Can media and information literacy protect journalists?

Article 19: Can Media and Information Literacy (MIL) protect journalists? This is the question the academic paper “Understanding the link between a media and information literate citizenry and the (un)-safety of journalism” seeks to answer.

International Human Rights Day: UK statement (Speech)

Gov.uk: Delivered by Ambassador Neil Bush at the OSCE Permanent Council, 11 December 2020.

Journalists jailed for social media “terrorism” highlight content moderation challenges

CPJ: A journalist in China uploaded a video to YouTube criticizing the Chinese government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. Another, in Vietnam, left a state-owned newspaper but continued posting stories they wouldn’t let her cover on Facebook. In Egypt, a freelance photographer streamed an anti-government protest from his balcony on Facebook Live. In Iran, two journalists operated a Telegram channel for months after their news website was shut down.

Netherlands announces €7m funding for UNESCO-OHCHR to strengthen press freedom

Devdiscourse: The partnership will aim to put in place activities that support an independent and free press, ensure the safety of journalists – with particular focus on women journalists – promote access to information, and fight against impunity for crimes committed against media professionals. 

Press freedom: Journalists end up in jail for reporting on coronavirus crisis

DW: Hundreds of journalists are in prison worldwide for not giving in to government censorship, according to the German chapter of Reporters Without Borders. The findings were published in its annual report on press freedom.

Should you trust media bias charts?

Poynter: These controversial charts claim to show the political lean and credibility of news organizations. Here’s what you need to know about them.

The words journalists use often reduce humans to the crimes they commit. But that’s changing.

Poynter: Person-first language recognizes that dehumanizing descriptions can influence public perceptions and self-conception.

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Header Image: Behind the scene. Multiple camera setup. Female cameraman shooting the film scene with camera in film studio. Credit: guruXOOX/iStock