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

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LIBERIA: New Freedom House Report Reveals that Press in Liberia Not Truly Free

FPA: Freedom House, a U.S-based non-government organization, that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom, and human rights says the press in Liberia is not wholly free.

LIBYA: Libya: Government must act against attacks on journalists and the media

IFJ: Over 140 journalists from 20 different media outlets handed a letter to the Government of National Accord (GNA) urging them to stop the attacks on media freedom and ensure a safe working environment for journalists in the country.

NIGERIA: BBC Africa shines spotlight on Nigeria elections

BBC: As Nigeria prepares to hold elections on February 16, BBC Africa will be offering comprehensive coverage for our local and international audiences across radio, TV, online and social media.

NIGERIA: China launches access satellite TV project for 10,000 villages in Africa

The Guardian (Nigeria): The Chinese government has launched an access to satellite TV project for 10,000 villages aimed at providing digital TV access to rural communities across Africa.About 1,000 villages in Nigeria will benefit from the project.

SOUTH AFRICA: SABC money troubles hit music industry

City Press: The SABC stopped paying royalties for music used on its radio and television stations last year, making the local music industry the latest victim of the public broadcaster’s financial implosion.

SOUTH SUDAN: AFEX Condemns South Sudan’s Media Authority Censorship

AFEX: The African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX) condemns the summoning of the Editor in Chief of Al Watan Arabic newspaper by South Sudan’s Media Authority, for publishing articles on on-going demonstrations in neighbouring Sudan.

TUNISIA: Tunisia: first framework agreement in the media of the Arab world signed (French)

IFJ: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) praised the signature on Wednesday (January 9th) of a framework agreement for the Tunisian media. The agreement was signed at the headquarters of the government presidency by the National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT) and Tunisian media and government representatives.

ZIMBABWE: Blowing hot and cold: Media law and policy reforms process in 2018

MISA: That Zimbabwe’s media law and policy framework is seriously flawed and therefore in dire need of improvement has been palpable for a long time now.  

ZIMBABWE: Calls for media reforms intensify

Daily News Live: Media practitioners in the country have high hopes for this year including the licensing of genuine community radio stations, among other reforms targeting the sector.

GENERAL: Taxed, throttled or thrown in jail: Africa’s new internet paradigm

Global Voices: Africa’s landscape of online free speech and dissent has gradually, but consistently, been tightened in recent years. In 2018 in particular, the cost of speaking out — both legally and economically — was on the rise across the continent.

AFGHANISTAN: Journalist killed in Afghanistan, the first of 2019

DW: A part-time radio journalist was traveling in western Afghanistan last week when he was kidnapped by Taliban militants and later killed. The country is repeatedly ranked as one of the deadliest for journalists.

BANGLADESH: Opposition and Democracy Activists Criticize Election Coverage in Bangladesh

VOA: In the wake of Bangladesh’s recent general election, opposition coalition and pro-democracy activists expressed disappointment with alleged episodes of vote manipulation going largely unreported in the local media.

CHINA: Twitter Users in China Face Detention and Threats in New Beijing Crackdown

The New York Times: One man spent 15 days in a detention center. The police threatened another’s family. A third was chained to a chair for eight hours of interrogation.

HONG KONG: China Spies on International Media in Hong Kong

HRW: Will Hong Kong Authorities Investigate?

INDIA: All-India RAdio celebrates poetry in different languages

The Times of India: It is the first time that the AIR Chennai has hosted the festival of poetry that provides a creative platform to national integration and linguistic harmony.

INDIA: Caught in harassment row, Prasar Bharati says will sensitise staff

The Times of India: Director general of All India radio, Fayyaz Shehryar, who appeared before the National Commission for Women on Monday, submitted that “most complaints (of sexual harassment against AIR employees) were baseless,” but assured the NCW that the public broadcaster had not only taken cognisance of the complaints, but also initiated punitive action where necessary.

INDIA: Private FM stations can now broadcast news from All India Radio

New Indian Express: The private FM broadcasters will have to carry AIR news bulletins either simultaneously or deferred live by not more than half an hour.

JAPAN: Japan plans to take steps against ‘fake news’ by June

The Japan Times: The government plans to come up with a set of measures aimed at preventing the spread of false online information, or “fake news,” particularly during elections and disasters, according to government sources.

MALAYSIA: Proposal to reform laws to protect royals’ reputation threaten freedom of expression

Article19: Article19 is deeply concerned by the recent statements of senior government officials suggesting an intention to strengthen legal provisions protecting Malaysian royalty from insults.

MYANMAR: Reuters journalists to remain in Myanmar jail after losing appeal

The Guardian: Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo jailed for seven years for breaching country’s Official Secrets Act

PAKISTAN: Media must revamp models to remain independent: Fawad Chaudhry

DAWN: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday suggested that Pakistani media houses revamp their revenue models to maintain their independence and “mentally prepare” for the future when technology will change the way television and the news are consumed by audiences.

AUSTRALIA: ABC launches review after admitting it underpaid casual employees

ABC: Head of public affairs Emma McDonald said in a statement that a detailed review was underway to confirm how penalties, allowances and loadings should have been calculated and applied in the cases of some 2,500 staff over the past six years

AUSTRALIA: More than a craze? Australians continue to devour ‘slow TV’


NEW ZEALAND: Stuff set for quick sale by new owner Nine

Stuff: The sale of Stuff is expected to get underway before the end of March.

BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA: Media in BiH between personal freedom and public finances

Safe journalists: Great media systems are exceptionally hard to finance and press and print media houses are even in the worst possible position.

CROATIA: Writers and Journalists Demand Freedom of Expression

Total Croatia: The Croatian Writers’ Society (HDP) and the Croatian Journalists’ Association (HND) on Wednesday expressed solidarity with the journalists and media found guilty in court “for doing their job” and asked the Culture Ministry to change media regulations so as to protect the freedom of expression and writers’ independence.

FINLAND: Hate campaigns advice kit for journalists – What you should do

Journalists in Finland: Journalisti magazine has published a pull-out / download and print advice kit for journalists who are subject to online hate speech, and for their colleagues and supervisors. The idea is to have the poster displayed prominently in newsrooms.

FRANCE: France Televisions agrees with producers to withdraw its Netflix series (French)

Le Figaro: The public broadcasting group has just reached an agreement with producers to exploit its own series on its own free and paid digital platforms.

FRANCE: France Télévisions makes pact with producers ahead of Salto launch

TBI Vision: France Télévisions has struck an agreement with producers that will enable it to exploit content exclusively on its own free and subscription digital packages.

FRANCE: France TV wants to cut 1,000 posts by 2022

Challenges: France Televisions wants to remove 1,000 net posts by the end of 2022 as part of its project of collective contractual terminations, on which the management and the unions began to negotiate Monday.

FRANCE & UK: Delphine Ernotte (France Televisions) and Tony Hall (BBC): “Public Service Media remains a marker of democracy” (French – Interview)

Le Journal du Dimanche: The leaders of France Televisions and the BBC, Delphine Ernotte and Tony Hall, defend in their JDD interview their ability to provide certified information in the era of “fake news”.

GERMANY: ARD expands TV station, offers visual radio programmes

Telecompaper: German public broadcaster ARD has expanded its so-called Internet Link Services, adding new TV channels and also offering visual radio programmes, Teltarif.de reports.

ITALY: Italian journalists assaulted by neo-fascists in Rome

EFJ: The data published on the Platform of the Council of Europe for the Protection of Journalism shows a serious deterioration of the working conditions of journalists in the country.

LITHUANIA: Joint letter: Demand to guarantee the full independence of LRT

ECPMF: Joint letter sent by EFJ and ECPMF to the Prime Minister of Lithuania and the Speaker of the Seimas (Parliament) demanding  that the government ensure the independence of the Lithuanian public broadcaster, as proposed changes to the law threaten to curtail it.

POLAND: Gagging orders, legal action, and communist era laws used to try to ‘choke’ Polish press

CPJ: Polish security agents enter the house of a prominent TV journalist over accusations that he propagated Nazi propaganda. Police summon a reporter over claims that he breached the privacy of the vice-head of the constitutional court. And Poland’s central bank files gagging orders against two papers, demanding they remove several articles about a corruption scandal allegedly involving the bank’s president.

POLAND: TVP reveals Lithuanian plans

Broadband TV News: The Polish public broadcaster TVP plans to expand its presence in Lithuania by launching a channel.

RUSSIA: Russia says it is investigating BBC for airing terrorist ideology

Reuters: Russia’s state communications regulator said on Thursday the BBC had published material that propagated the ideas of a terrorist group and that it was investigating whether the British public broadcaster had broken Russian law.

SPAIN: The RAE modernizes the definitions of ‘journalist’ and ‘journalism’ (Spanish)

La Vanguardia: The Royal Spanish Academy ( RAE ) has modified the definition of ‘ journalist ‘ and ‘ journalism ‘ in the latest edition of the digital dictionary, three years after the journalist Ramón Salaverría sent a formal request to the institution in which he considered “inappropriate” to keep the “obsolete” definition.

UK: BBC eyes streaming alliance with European public broadcasters to take on Netflix

The Drum: The BBC is reportedly in talks to extend its commercial ties with European public service broadcasters in a bid to stave off competition from the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime.

UK: Government must help audiences find public service TV – however they are watching it (Opinion)

LSE: Clare Sumner, BBC Director, Policy, explains here why the BBC and other public service broadcasters have called upon the Government to update the prominence rules, arguing that it should be easy to find PSB content wherever viewers are watching.

UK: Loss of free TV licence could push over-75s into poverty – charity

The Guardian: Thousands of older people could be forced to cut back on heating or food, Age UK warns

ARGENTINA: The Secretariat of Public Media will organise the International Exhibition in 2023 (Spanish)

Telam: The Secretariat, managed by Hernán Lombardi, will be in charge of organising the “Expo 2023 Argentina Buenos Aires, the Creative Industries in Digital Convergence,” the first of its kind to take place in Latin America.

CUBA: Museum of Dissidence: We must sacrifice ourselves if we want to achieve freedom in Cuba

Index on Censorship: Artistic freedom is under attack in Cuba, but artists are fighting back.

ECUADOR: Attacks on the press in Ecuador decreased by 52% during 2018, according to annual report from Fundamedios

Knight Center: “Although it is a significant decrease, the number of attacks against media, journalists and activists is still important enough to not lower our guard,” the organization said in its report titled “The year of the sea change for freedom of expression?”.

NICARAGUA: Riot police surround awards ceremony location as best in Nicaraguan journalism is recognized inside

Knight Center: Hours before the start of a ceremony to recognize the best journalism in Nicaragua, riot police — a constant during protests that have rocked the Central American country since April — started to surround the ceremony location.

NICARAGUA: The Escalating Attack On Press Freedoms In Nicaragua (Listen)

NPR: NPR’s Scott Simon talks to Confidencial editor Carlos Fernando Chamorro about the Nicaraguan government’s brutal crackdown on press freedoms.

ISRAEL: Palestinian citizens of Israel struggle to tell their stories

CJR: The struggle to create a sustainable and independent Palestinian press inside Israel reflects many of the pressures facing these communities. Stories about Palestinian citizens of Israel are often not heard, even though the citizens themselves are a crucial component of the stories others tell. And journalists say there are few good options for Arabic-speaking reporters in the country.

TURKEY: Journalist convicted of “libel” and “insult” for reporting on Paradise Papers leaks

Article19: An Istanbul court on 8 January 2019 convicted Turkish journalist Pelin Ünker of “insulting a public official” and “libel” over its 2017 reporting of “Paradise Papers” leaks in the daily Cumhuriyet.

CANADA: Broadcasting review hears renewed calls for online streaming services to do more to fund Canadian content

CBC News: CBC, CRTC also call for new rules to ensure news distributed on platforms like Google, Facebook is trustworthy.

CANADA: CBC/Radio-Canada submits its recommendations for modernizing Canada’s culture legislation

CBC/Radio-Canada: In its submission, CBC/Radio-Canada presents its case for modernizing Canada’s cultural legislation, which includes ensuring a strong public broadcaster to support Canadian culture and democracy in the digital world.

US: How the fossil fuel industry got the media to think climate change was debatable (Opinion)

The Washington Post: Late last year, the Trump administration released the latest national climate assessment on Black Friday in what many assumed was an attempt to bury the document. If that was the plan, it backfired, and the assessment wound up earning more coverage than it probably would have otherwise. But much of that coverage perpetuated a decades-old practice, one that has been weaponized by the fossil fuel industry: false equivalence.

US: To diversify its audience, Nevada’s KUNR goes bilingual (Paywall)

Current: A Nevada NPR station is aiming to strengthen its ties with an underserved community by taking the unusual approach of publishing local news in Spanish.

US: US TV networks put ratings over principle by airing Trump speech (Opinion)

The Guardian: Broadcasters criticised for giving president access, as fact checking becomes a media event

BIRN and Partners Start Balkans, Turkey Media Freedom Project

BIRN: The goal of the three-year project entitled ‘Strengthening Quality News and Independent Journalism in the Western Balkans and Turkey’ is to enhance media trust among citizens and create a safe environment for journalists to produce independent news content through training, mentoring, technical and financial support, and publishing.

Facebook, fighting off skeptics, plans to invest $300 million in journalism programs

CNN: Facebook says it is making by far its biggest investment yet into struggling sectors of the news industry. On Tuesday the company is announcing a three-year commitment to invest $300 million in “news programs, partnerships and content.”

Fake news more prevalent among over 65s

RNZ: New research shows people over the age of 65 shared fake news articles online nearly seven times more than younger social media users.

Global champions of free expression: 2019 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards shortlist announced

Index on Censorship

Millennial-focused, Muslim site is alternative to extremism online

IJNet: Sleek and modern in design, Islami.co was created “to provide a place for Islamic learning for urban Muslims,” says founder and journalist Savic Ali. But the site’s central remit is countering the forces of conservatism and extremism that drew such large crowds to the anti-Ahok rallies.

People older than 65 share the most fake news, a new study finds

The Verge: And the finding holds true across party lines

Subscriptions, subsidies, and pressure on platforms: media trends in 2019 (Report)

Reuters Institute: Subscription and membership models will become the key revenue focus for the news industry this year. Quality news will need to be further subsidised, while use of social media will decline among news outlets and social media users alike.

Tom Law on Media Literacy for newsrooms (Interview)

OBC: Last December Tom Law from the “Ethical Journalism Network” (EJN) held a training at the Centre for International Cooperation in Trento on “Media Literacy”: what does that mean exactly? How can newsrooms foster critical thinking? An interview

What the Experts Expect for Investigative Journalism in 2019

GIJN: With the backlash against democracy and anti-press sentiment growing, the need for investigations around issues such as corruption and climate change continues to rise.

WordPress announces new toolkit for small and medium-sized publishers


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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.

All headlines are sourced from their original story.

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Header image: Empty television studio with camera. Image: Grafissimo/iStock

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