PSM Weekly | 26 April – 3 May 2023

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

World Press Freedom Day 2023. Credit: UNESCO

World Press Freedom Day 2023

3rd May 2023
On the 30th edition of World Press Freedom Day, it’s never been more important to recognise how public service media promotes freedom of information and expression.

30 years ago, World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) was launched to remind governments of the importance of freedom of expression and a free and plural media in underpinning democracy, and their duty to protect it.

But this year’s celebration is a particularly solemn one. According to RSF’s 2023 World Press Freedom Index, there has been an unprecedented slide in global media freedom. More countries are now listed in the index’s worst category than ever before.

Within this declining space for free media are independent public service media (PSM); organisations bound by a set of values that oblige accountability to the public alone, to provide accurate and trusted news and information.

These organisations require a particular set of supporting conditions to operate effectively, and are extremely vulnerable to the threats listed in this year’s report, such as propaganda, AI, disinformation – in autocratic as well as democratic countries. This makes it more critical than ever that we recognise, advocate, and support the vital role that public media play in fostering free expression.

Read our 'WPFD 2023: Year in Review'

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...

Recent Press Freedom Trends in Africa Have Analysts Concerned

VOA: According to this year’s World Press Freedom rankings, the environment for journalism is bad in seven out of 10 countries worldwide. The yearly rankings published by Reporters Without Borders evaluates 180 countries. 

What we're listening to...

What is the state of media freedom around the world?

PMA: What are the different threats to media freedom across the world? How are they manifesting and who’s behind them? We speak to journalists & media professionals about the current global situation. 

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BURKINA FASO AND MALI: Press organisations call on Malian and Burkinabe junta to protect journalists

Africa News: Thirty media outlets, journalists’ associations and freedom of expression organisations on Wednesday called on the ruling juntas in Mali and Burkina Faso to protect journalists in the face of growing threats.

BURUNDI: Burundi Court Upholds Journalist’s 10-year Sentence

Barron’s: A Burundian court on Tuesday upheld the 10-year prison sentence handed to journalist Floriane Irangabiye in January, her lawyer told AFP, in a case that has sparked concerns for press freedom in the East African nation.

CAMEROON: Media workers in Cameroon face rising, violent repression; the murder of journalists is Exhibit A

Equal Times: In 2019, Paul Chouta was held for two years at the Kondengui Central Prison in the Cameroonian capital of Yaounde, a maximum-security prison notorious for overcrowding and poor sanitary conditions, while awaiting a trial verdict. He was later sentenced to 23 months’ imprisonment in a defamation case which rights groups say was marred by fair trial violations.

EGYPT: Egypt Frees Al Jazeera Producer Held For Nearly 4 Years

The Guardian Nigeria: The authorities in Egypt have released a journalist with the Qatar-based Al Jazeera news network nearly four years after he was detained, the media outlet said.

GAMBIA: GPU holds first Annual General Meeting

The Point: The Gambia Press Union on Saturday, April 29, 2023, held its first Annual General at the Metzy Hotel. The meeting was meant to assess the progress made by the GPU Board, identify challenges journalists face, and make recommendations for improvement.

GHANA: ‘Ghana’s Media Needs Help, Ghana’s Media Needs Help and Urgently Too.’

Ghanaian Times: “Ghana’s media needs help, Ghana’s media needs help and urgently too” These were the words of the Head of the Department of Communications Studies of the University of Ghana, Dr Abena A. Yeboah-Banin, during the launch of the first-ever report of the State of the Ghanaian Media last week.

KENYA: How Women Are Driving a Golden Age of Data Journalism in Kenya

GIJN: Data journalist Eunice Magwambo has seen a seismic change in the attitudes of her Kenyan colleagues towards data journalism. When she arrived in the news industry in 2018, most Kenyan journalists shied away from this discipline as they thought it was a preserve of people with IT skills.

MALI: Freed After Two Years, French Journalist Recalls Life as Hostage in Mali

VOA: It was April 4, 2021. French journalist Olivier Dubois had just landed in Gao, an arid town in northern Mali that was taken over by jihadists 10 years earlier.

NIGERIA: Media Still Used As a Tool of Control

IWPR: “The more we fight for transparency, the more it will help people be accountable.”

NIGERIA: Nigerian justice minister misrepresents CPJ research on attacks on journalists

CPJ: Nigerian authorities should revise recent statements falsely characterizing CPJ’s research on the press freedom situation in the country, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Friday.

SOMALIA: Right Groups Say Press Freedom Diminishes in East Africa (Watch)

VOA News: As press freedoms have diminished in parts of East Africa, some journalists who fled threats at home have turned into activists, calling for stronger protections for the media. Victoria Amunga at VOA’s Africa News Center in Nairobi tells the story of one such reporter who fled Somalia.

SOMALIA: Somalia’s women journalists fight for human rights

UNDP: Bilan Media – Somalia’s only all-women news team – uses its hard-won freedom of expression to highlight rights abuses and achievements

SUDAN: How Big Tech is ‘failing the Sudanese people’ 

Coda Story: It started with a tweet from what looked like the official account of the RSF. Nearly a million people saw it, and more than a thousand retweeted it. Many surely saw the account’s blue checkmark as confirmation that this was the real RSF. Except it wasn’t. 

REGIONAL: East and Southern Africa: Attacks on journalists on the rise as authorities seek to suppress press freedom

Amnesty International: Authorities across East and Southern Africa escalated their attacks against journalists and press freedom across the region to suppress reporting of corruption and human rights violations throughout 2022, the Media Institute of Southern Africa and Amnesty International said today to mark World Press Freedom Day.

AFGHANISTAN: Exiled Afghan journalist on the power of good journalism

Editor and Publisher: In honor of World Press Freedom Day on May 3, members of the National Press Club’s Press Freedom Team have interviewed journalists in exile from around the world. We will feature their stories every day this week to shed light on press freedom issues worldwide.

AFGHANISTAN: World News | Violence Against Journalists in Afghanistan Increasing, Says Media Body

ANI News: The plight of journalists in Afghanistan is deteriorating with every passing day as the violence against the community has increased manifold in the nation under Taliban rule.

BANGLADESH: Editors’ Council: Abolish DSA, suspend other pending laws against media freedom

Dhaka Tribune: Speakers at the event said that a culture of fear has been created in the country about expressing opinions including journalists

CAMBODIA: Hun Sen’s fight to control the Cambodian infosphere

East Asia Forum: Like in many authoritarian countries around the world, the Cambodian free press is struggling. Its situation is not unique — autocratic leaders, threatened by the latent power of their opposition, frequently resort to intimidation to silence dissidents. Over the past decade, Cambodia has undergone a precipitous decline in press freedom.

CHINA: Freedom to Write Index: China worst jailer of writers in 2022, NGO says

HKFP: In Hong Kong, “[j]journalists, writers, book publishers, and social media commentators have been arrested for sedition and other crimes,” the report said.

CHINA: RSF urges for release of prominent journalist accused of espionage

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the release of state-run Guangming Daily newspaper journalist Dong Yuyu, who has been detained for more than a year and faces a ten-year prison term for spurious charges of “espionage”.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong court considers journalist appeal on press freedom day

Al Jazeera: Bao Choy is appealing her conviction, which relates to her investigation into a brutal mob attack at the Yuen Long station in 2019.

HONG KONG: The decline of Hong Kong’s press freedom under the national security law (Explainer)

HKFP: As Chief Executive John Lee assures Hongkongers that press freedom is “in our pocket,” HKFP rounds up media industry incidents since the onset of the national security law.

INDIA: Kunal Kamra: Why an Indian comedian is challenging fake news rules

BBC: In April, the Indian government brought in new rules that gave it the power to declare news related to it as “fake, false or misleading” if its own fact check unit said so.

INDIA: The downward spiral of media freedom in India

The Assam Tribune: Guwahati, May 2: Media freedom has been deteriorating around the world over the past decade. In some of the most influential democracies in the world, populist leaders have overseen concerted attempts to throttle the independence of the media sector.

INDIA: World Press Freedom Day: India’s “Fake News” Law Must Not Censor Journalists (Press release)

Access Now: On the eve of World Press Freedom Day, Access Now joins 16 other civil society organisations in urging the Indian government to withdraw a new “fake news” amendment to the Information Technology Rules (IT Rules) that could censor journalism and severely jeopardise freedom of expression.

INDONESIA: How to save Indonesia’s independent media voices

Eco-Business: Journalism has to stop sustained attacks on alternative media outlets.

KYRGYZSTAN: Closure of Azattyk Radio (RFE/RL) is a major blow to media freedom

Amnesty International: Amnesty International’s Director for Eastern EUrope and Central Asia reacted to the news that a court in Kyrgyzstan approved a Ministry of Culture request to close down Radio Azattyk, the national bureau of the international broadcasting corporation Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), for purported violation of media regulations. 

MALDIVES: Maldives Press Freedom in Danger

Human Rights Watch: The space for freedom of the media in the Maldives has sharply deteriorated in recent months, leaving President Ibrahim Solih’s government with little to celebrate on World Press Freedom Day, May 3.

MYANMAR: Camera surfaces 15 years after journalist killed in Myanmar

Gulf News: Nagai was recording the demonstration when soldiers arrived, dispersing crowd with gunfire

PHILIPPINES: ‘Sama-sama’: Pinoy journos come together for World Press Freedom Day 2023

ABS-CNN: Various Filipino journalists from different media organizations and platforms highlighted the importance of a free press in a video released Wednesday, World Press Freedom Day.

TAIWAN: Press Freedom Under Attack: Taiwanplus’ ‘connected’ Looks At The State Of Global Media

Technode Global: With World Press Freedom Day coming up on May 3, TaiwanPlus, the global news and infotainment streaming platform based in Taipei, looks at the state of press freedom in “Connected with Divya Gopalan“, the flagship news program launched in March. 

TAJIKISTAN: Tajikistan’s Turn of the Screw Against Media

IWPR: Crackdown has turned journalism into a dangerous profession in the Central Asian nation.

REGIONAL: IFJ launches 21st annual South Asia Press Freedom Report

IFJ: To mark World Press Freedom Day on May 3, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), on behalf of the South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN), releases its 21st annual South Asia Press Freedom Report entitled Pressure & Polarisation: Powering Media Resistance in South Asia.

AUSTRALIA: Australia lags behind New Zealand, Taiwan and Timor-Leste on World Press Freedom Index

ABC: Media freedom in Australia is “fragile” and less protected than in New Zealand and several emerging democracies in Asia, an international journalism watchdog has concluded in its annual press freedom index.

AUSTRALIA: Australia’s New Soft Power: Bargaining Codes Start to Spread Globally

Tech Policy Press: Two years after Australia passed its News Media Bargaining Code, which pushed Google and Meta to inject some $140 million US dollars into the Australian news media ecosystem, other countries are set to move ahead with their own versions of the law. 

AUSTRALIA: ‘Disturbing’: Union demands answers after police raid journalist’s home

WA Today: A journalist inadvertently caught up in a police raid dubbed “disturbing” by the media union has spoken of her shock after photographs documenting the relocation of sacred rock art to make way for Perdaman’s $6 billion urea plant in the Pilbara were seized from her home.

AUSTRALIA: Overwhelming majority of Australians support stronger whistleblower protections as Albanese Government stalls reform

Human Rights Law Centre: Australians overwhelmingly believe that whistleblowers make Australia a better place and should be protected, not prosecuted, finds new research by The Australia Institute and the Human Rights Law Centre. 

AUSTRALIA: Pioneering University of Canberra research reveals the connection between representation in news media and social belonging (Press Release)

SBS: The University of Canberra has today unveiled the findings of a new joint SBS research project examining the impact of media representation on multicultural audiences’ sense of belonging to broader Australian society.

FIJI: Fijian media has grown in confidence with no draconian laws hanging over our heads

Fiji Village: The celebration of the 30th World Press Freedom Day with the theme “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights” comes at no better time for us as our media fraternity has finally felt a breath of fresh air, grown in confidence and is given the freedom and power to conduct its work freely and with no draconian laws hanging over our heads.

FIJI: Times marks press day

THE FIJI TIMES: Fiji’s media industry, The Fiji Times in particular, is today celebrating World Press Freedom Day as a truly free entity. Yesterday, staff of the newspaper were reminded about the struggles some colleagues endured — and the uphill battles faced by the company over the past 16 years — simply to stay operational.

FIJI: World Press Freedom Day: Fiji success leads celebrations in 2023

Islands Business: The human rights context of journalism is essential for realising all other rights, and is a timely theme for the WPFD annual celebrations, says Pacific watchdog, the Pacific Freedom Forum (PFF). Speaking on this year’s World Press Freedom Day, Pacific Freedom Forum chair, Robert Iroga said ongoing challenges for Pacific journalists will only help strengthen resolve in freedom of expression as a vital driver of human rights in the future. 

NEW ZEALAND: Access to reliable local news in New Zealand under serious threat – Shane Te Pou (Opinion – Paywall)

The NZ Herald: The TVNZ/RNZ merger went up in smoke in Chris Hipkins’ policy bonfire. Understandably so – it looked like a big expense on a non-priority to voters.

AUSTRIA: Experts criticise new law gutting Austrian public broadcaster ORF

Euractiv: The Austrian government looks to reign in its independent public broadcaster ORF following significant pressure from private sector media companies, in a move harshly criticised by experts.

AUSTRIA: What is the new ORF TV licence fee every household in Austria will have to pay?

The Local: Instead of a GIS fee only for those with a TV or radio set, every household in Austria will have to pay a fee to fund public broadcaster ORF – which will also have to follow new rules for its journalism production.

AZERBAIJAN: Azerbaijani Media Say New Law, Arrests Are Obstacles to Journalism

VOA News: Independent journalists, experts call on Azerbaijan to review new law, ensure media can report freely.

BULGARIA: Investigative journalists hit by smears and lawsuits (Statement)

ECPMF: Ahead of World Press Freedom Day on May 3, the undersigned partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today raise the alarm about a latest wave of legal pressure exerted against two of Bulgaria’s leading investigative media platforms, and, over their recent revelations about alleged crime and corruption.


EBU: Radio France’s Sibyle Veil has been elected as Chair of the new EBU Radio Committee at the 29th Radio Assembly in Athens. She has been President and CEO of Radio France since 2018.

FRANCE: The Senate ready to disrupt the audiovisual sector (French)

Les Echos: Holding project for public audiovisual media, resale of TNT channels… the chairman of the Culture Committee is putting ambitious reforms back on the table. The whole question is whether there is a political momentum for an audiovisual law that the government does not seem to want. 

GERMANY: Journalists warn German yellow press trying to shape EU’s media law

Euractiv: German yellow press is trying to shape the future European Media Freedom Act, and the European Parliament rapporteur is helping them, the president of the European Federation of Journalists, Renate Schroeder, told a conference in Brussels on Thursday (27 April).

GERMANY: The long way to the broadcasting fee (German)

Deutschlandradio: The licence fee is recalculated every few years. The exact height is decided in several stages. Here are the most important questions and answers about the current procedure and the criticism of it. 

GERMANY: ZDF reports financial requirements for the next contribution period (Press release – German)

ZDF: At the end of the month, ZDF registered the financial requirements for the years 2025 to 2028 with the KEF (Commission for the Determination of the Financial Requirements of the Broadcasters).  

ITALY: Rai Way launches Edge data center offering

Data Center Dynamics: The Rai Way Edge project, from the broadcaster’s infrastructure subsidiary Rai Way, will see the company offer a platform of 18 Edge data centers covering 20 Italian regions for a combined IT capacity of 3.4MW, as well as a 4MW data center in Milan and a 40MW data center in Rome.

RUSSIA: Press freedom: ‘Sooner or later, you have to leave Russia’

DW: Many independent media professionals left Russia after the war began in Ukraine and are now working in exile. Despite fears for their safety, a few still remain in the country. But for how much longer?

SERBIA: Independent journalism faces biggest crisis in years (Press Release)

IFJ: Following a visit to Belgrade on April 10 and 11 2023 to commemorate the murder anniversary of editor and publisher Slavko Ćuruvija, the undersigned international press freedom and journalists’ organisations today issue a stark warning over the state of media freedom and journalists’ safety in Serbia.

SLOVAKIA: Slovak Television will receive about 160 million euros per year from the budget (Czech) 

Lupa: The Slovak government approved the law on the future financing of Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS). As of July 1, television fees will end, and instead, national television will receive a subsidy of 0.15% of GDP.

SLOVENIA: “The strike grew into a social movement for the preservation of RTV Slovenia” (Slovenian)

RTV SLO: “The worst threats to independent journalism and media freedom are censorship, digital harassment and violence, intimidation and even physical violence,” which journalists at RTV Slovenia and elsewhere face on a daily basis, warned Helena Milinković.

SPAIN: RTVE broadcasts almost 4,000 monthly hours of programming with audio description, subtitles or sign language (Spanish)

El Confidencial Digital: The RTVE channels have broadcast almost 4,000 monthly hours of programming with audio description, almost 235 hours of programming in sign language and just over 483 hours of programs with audio description between February 27 and March 26, according to a RTVE’s response to a request for information made through the Transparency Portal.

SPAIN: RTVE joins the European campaign ‘Call to Europe 3’ in defense of open, free and free TV for citizens (Press release – Spanish)

RTVE: More than one hundred organizations and the media from all over Europe, including RTVE and the whole of the free-to-air television sector in Spain, have joined the third edition of the ‘Call to Europe’ campaign, to save our spectrum and maintain the presence of television in the UHF Band and be able to continue offering the free, open and free television service to all citizens.

SWITZERLAND: The SRG Annual Report 2022 is online (Press release – German)

SRG SSR: The 2022 Annual Report highlights topics that have occupied Switzerland over the past year – from the Russian attack on Ukraine to the departure of tennis star Roger Federer and the Federal Council by-elections.

UK: BBC stuck in TV and radio era without digital plan – MPs committee

BBC: The BBC is stuck in a “yesteryear” of TV and radio without a plan for delivering its services in a digital future, according to a report by MPs.

UK: Channel 4 launches new UK-exclusive content discovery campaign on Spotify (Press release)

Channel 4: Channel 4 today launched a new UK-exclusive campaign on Spotify, the world’s most popular audio streaming service, to help boost digital viewership and reach younger audiences. 

UK: King Charles coronation: what impartial broadcast coverage of the event would look like

The Conversation: King Charles III’s coronation will be broadcast to millions of people around the world. Many of those viewers will be watching on the BBC, whose impartiality when it comes to the monarchy has come under question.

UK: The Draconian IT Rules Will Infringe On Press Freedom

The Probe: In the UK, the government recognises the importance of critical thinking amongst the masses to identify fake news and promotes it through greater government access and explainer journalism. It is time the Indian government withdraws these amendments and probes where the fake news flows into the system.

UK: UK and Canada announce winner of 2023 Media Freedom Award Egyptian online newspaper Mada Masr wins joint UK-Canadian accolade for extraordinary commitment to high-quality independent journalism.

UKRAINE: IPI documents nearly 1000 media freedom violations amidst Russia-Ukraine war

IPI: Ahead of World Press Freedom Day on May 3, IPI highlights the nearly 1000 attacks on journalists and media and threats to press freedom it has documented in connection with Russia’s war on Ukraine. These attacks illustrate the tragic toll the war continues to take on journalists’ safety and on independent media.

UKRAINE: New media law sparks division

Euronews: Some say Ukraine’s new media law will combat Russian disinformation, others denounce an affront to freedom of the press. 

REGIONAL: How can the EU make good on its commitment to protect journalists? (Press release)

EBU: Tomorrow is World Press Freedom Day. This is an occasion to value the work of independent media and journalists, to call out abuses and urge politicians everywhere to ensure the best possible protection.

REGIONAL: IPI documents nearly 1000 media freedom violations amidst Russia-Ukraine war

IPI: Continued fighting darkens outlook for Russian and Ukrainian independent media

REGIONAL: Mixed picture for Europe’s press freedom in year shaped by war – report

Euractiv: Disparities between the rankings of EU states have declined in Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) 2023 Press Freedom Index, but the war in Ukraine has shaped many of the past year’s trends in the region. 

REGIONAL: ‘Threats are increasing’: the EU official on a mission to protect media freedom

The Guardian: Věra Jourová says her upbringing in former Czechoslovakia has inspired her work to ensure journalism remains independent.

REGIONAL: World Press Freedom Day: Statement by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union (Press Release)

Council of the EU: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.

ARGENTINA: They attacked with bullets the transmission plant of the LT3 radio station in Rosario (Spanish)

Télam: The LT3-Rosario radio transmitter plant, located in the town of Alvear, was shot at by two people who were riding a motorcycle and who passed by the place when two employees were carrying out repairs, since the same headquarters had been vandalized before. 

BOLIVIA: The ANP calls to defend free expression and journalistic work (Spanish)

Opinión: The Bolivian newspapers, represented by the National Press Association (ANP), call on citizens to defend the work and editorial independence of the media because they consider that only this condition guarantees the permanent search for the truth. 

BRAZIL: Proposed bill to regulate social media in Brazil raises discussion on freedom of speech and the fight against fake news

Brazil Reports: Backed by the federal government and a majority of Supreme Court judges, a bill that regulates social media will be voted on next week in Brazil’s Chamber. The proposal, known as the “fake news bill”, advances a Brazilian Law on Freedom, Responsibility and Transparency on the Internet.

COLOMBIA: Obstacles for journalists to access public information have increased: FLIP and CPB (Spanish)

Caracol Radio: The Foundation for the Freedom of the Press and the Circle of Journalists of Bogotá presented the “Survey on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information” in which they surveyed 585 journalists and 15 columnists to study the characteristics of the medium in which they work, the self-criticism, the environment for freedom of expression and attacks on their work.

COLOMBIA: Stories of peace: journalism beyond the newsroom (Spanish)

Radio Nacional: The importance of telling stories that make visible the resistance and strengthening of communities in territories affected by the conflict, through journalism.

COLOMBIA: The Government chooses the actress Nórida Rodríguez as director of RTVC (Spanish)

El País: The Government of Gustavo Petro has designated the lawyer and actress Nórida Rodríguez as director of the Public Media System (RTVC), after nine months of vacancy in the entity.

COLOMBIA: The mayor of Villavicencio stigmatizes local media (Spanish)

FLIP: The mayor of Villavicencio, Felipe Harman, has stigmatized journalists and the media through videos on his social networks. His behaviors are repetitive and have also spread to other city officials.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Pegasus spyware discovered on prominent journalist’s phone

Amnesty International: A high-profile woman journalist in the Dominican Republic has been targeted with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware, in the first confirmed case in the country, Amnesty International reveals in a new investigation published on World Press Freedom Day.

EL SALVADOR: The SIP rejects the restriction of access to public information in El Salvador (Spanish)

La Prensa Grafica: The entity also ponders that the independent media and journalists suffered restrictions and direct or veiled threats by pro-government deputies and senior government officials. 

HAITI: 2 Journalists Killed in Haiti as Gang Violence Spikes

AP: Two local journalists have been killed in Haiti over the past couple of weeks as rampant gang violence has gripped the capital of Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas.

GRENADA: Veteran journalist Odette Campbell has died

Loop Caribbean News: The Grenadian and Caribbean media fraternity was sent into mourning following news that veteran journalist Odette Campbell has died.

GUATEMALA: Journalist José Rubén Zamora goes to trial after nine months in prison (Spanish)

El Faro: The president of elPeriódico is accused of money laundering, blackmail and influence peddling, in a process full of irregularities, according to the defense, and where the Public Ministry (MP) obtained the evidence to capture him in just 72 hours. The journalist’s defense has argued that the MP basically violated the law to prove that Zamora did it.

GUATEMALA: The Limits of Joe Biden’s calls for Press Freedom

The New Yorker: After decades of exposing corruption in Guatemala, the journalist José Rubén Zamora has been jailed. Why can’t the U.S. help him?

GUYANA: Guyana’s government should ensure that journalists are able to do their jobs free from harassment

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the harassment and intimidation of journalists in Guyana through online targeting and disrespect from the administration. It further calls on the Guyanese government to reform its practices to give proper access to public information. Members of the press should be respected and free from scare tactics in their jobs, especially in a signatory country of the Media Freedom Coalition.

JAMAICA: Restructure or die!

Jamaica Observer: On Thursday, May 3, the organisation Reporters Without Borders is scheduled to release its World Press Freedom Index, ranking countries all over the world in relation to how free is their press.

PANAMA: TI warns of the “worrying” situation of press freedom in Panama (Spanish)

Infobae: Transparency International (TI) alerted this Tuesday about the “worrying situation that Panama is experiencing in terms of press freedom,” which is expressed in civil and judicial cases against the media and journalists in this country.

PARAGUAY: They present a draft law for the protection of journalists and human rights defenders (Spanish)

NPY: CODEHUPY and the Union of Journalists of Paraguay presented a bill that seeks to create an institution dedicated to the protection of journalists and human rights defenders in Paraguay.

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: Govt must uphold freedom of the press (Opinion)

Trinidad Guardian: Trinidad and Tobago’s improved World Press Freedom ranking by Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF or Reporters Without Borders) is a good international look for T&T, but does not tell the full story of media freedom in this twin-island Republic.

VENEZUELA: Panel sheds light on siege to press freedom after 25 years of Chavismo in Venezuela

LatAm Journalism Review: This December marks 25 years since Hugo Chávez was elected to his first presidential term in Venezuela, marking the beginning of an era that resulted in authoritarianism, a humanitarian crisis, and the erosion of the rule of law. During this period, which is still ongoing under the regime of Nicolás Maduro, journalists were censored and persecuted, the vast majority of newspapers closed their doors, official media became hegemonic, and government accountability practically ceased to exist.

REGIONAL: How Latin American Journalists Are Overcoming Hurdles in 2023

AS/COA: Despite threats and censorship, journalists across Latin America keep reporting. In light of Press Freedom Day, we cover regional examples and innovations.

REGIONAL: IAPA on World Press Freedom Day: The balance is “not very encouraging” (Spanish)

Swissinfo: The “loss of democratic spaces” in the Americas and the “precarious situation of sustainability and viability” of the media in the region mark World Press Freedom Day, which is celebrated tomorrow, May 3. May, according to a message released this Tuesday by Michael Greenspon, president of the Inter-American Press Association (SIP).

REGIONAL: The “monoculture”, a risk to avoid for digital media in the search for audiences (Spanish)

VOA News: How to capture solid digital audiences with news content? That is the challenge of the media in the Americas, both traditional and digital native, which must bet beyond the impulse that a viral note can suppose for its survival.

IRAN: Imprisoned Iranian women journalists receive UN press freedom prize

UN News: Three imprisoned Iranian women journalists – whose reporting helped spark the revolution surrounding the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody – are the recipients of an award that celebrates press freedom, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced on Tuesday. 

ISRAEL: World Press Photo Jury Blames Israel for ‘Lack of Press Freedom’ in ‘Palestine’

The Algemeiner: The World Press Photo Foundation — which has partnered with UNESCO to promote its vision of a “fairer world with a free press and freedom of expression” — recently peddled the claim that Israel suppresses the civil liberties of Palestinians in the eastern part of its capital, as well as the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

TURKEY: Erdoğan’s propaganda machine faces ultimate test

EU Observer: Today, more than 90 percent of the country’s media is owned by people with close ties to the presidential palace. 

TURKEY: Journalist allegedly beaten, mistreated in police custody: report

SCF: Journalist Sedat Yılmaz, who was detained on Saturday in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakır, was allegedly mistreated and beaten while in police custody, the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya (MA) news agency reported on Monday.

TURKEY: Turkey Arrests Four Kurdish Journalists Ahead of Crucial Elections

VOA: Four Kurdish journalists appeared in court in Turkey this week, accused of having ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

REGIONAL: Examining Press Freedom in the Middle East on World Press Freedom Day

Fanack: On World Press Freedom Day, it is imperative that civil society organizations and media outlets fight side-by-side for freedom of expression and free media.

CANADA: [Between Us] A public and independent broadcaster (Blog)

CBC/Radio-Canada: Catherine Tait provides an update on what’s happened this month at CBC/Radio-Canada.

CANADA: Controversial bill to regulate online streaming becomes law

CBC News: A controversial government bill to overhaul Canadian broadcasting laws to regulate streaming services has passed the final hurdle in the Senate and received royal assent Thursday evening.

CANADA: Indigenous Screen Office, APTN and Radio-Canada launch Early Stage Scripted Development Program (Press release)

CBC/Radio-Canada: APTN and Radio-Canada in collaboration with the Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) have launched a new pilot project to support Indigenous creators in the pre-development stage of their project. 

CANADA: Mayor stands up for ‘healthy, professional’ news media

SOOTODAY: Warning that Canada’s “real news” industry is in crisis, Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Matthew Shoemaker tonight issued a proclamation defending freedom of the press

US: Assessing the news media: trust, coverage, and threats to a free press

AP NORC: The public is worried about a variety of problems threatening a free press in the United States and around the world, though trust in the news media remains low.

US: Datacasting, ATSC 3.0 create new questions for pubcasters (Paywall)

Current: In a Q&A, lawyers Melodie Virtue and Brad Deutsch discuss what’s next for pubcasters experimenting with ATSC 3.0 and what questions are still too new to even have answers yet.

US: Donor conversion grows with addition of NPR Network option on (Paywall)

Current: “What this tells us, really, is we’re headed in the right direction.” said NPR CDO Leora Hanser.

US: Elon Musk threatens to re-assign @NPR on Twitter to ‘another company’

NPR: Elon Musk has threatened to reassign NPR’s Twitter account to “another company.”

US: Four ways consumer investigative journalism is changing local TV news

Reynolds Journalism Institute: Solutions oriented, community-focused reporting is making an impact and bringing in viewers.

US: Gov. Kevin Stitt vetoes OETA renewal, questioning public broadcaster’s long-term value

The Oklahoman: The broadcaster responsible for bringing “Sesame Street,” “Downton Abbey” and the “OETA Movie Club” into homes across the state is in danger of being shut down by Gov. Kevin Stitt.

US: Known for Laughs, DC Dinner Spotlights Risks of Journalism

AP: The White House Correspondents’ Association dinner — known for its fun albeit ferocious jabs at Washington — took a more solemn tone this year as President Joe Biden acknowledged the several American journalists under siege in authoritarian countries around the world.

US: Local Journalists join Pen Americas Arizona chapter for discussion on trust in media to mark World Press Freedom Day May 3

PEN: On Wednesday evening, May 3, PEN America’s Arizona chapter will mark World Press Freedom Day with a discussion by local journalists and editors on how they choose and cover stories in order to build trust with their readers and audiences. The public is invited to the free event.

US: The voices of NPR: How four women of color see their roles as hosts (Paywall)

Current: Leila Fadel, Michel Martin, Ayesha Rascoe and Juana Summers have taken over host chairs at NPR’s flagship news programs. They’re thinking holistically on how to lead when it comes to representative news.

2023 World Press Freedom Index

RSF: The 21st edition of the World Press Freedom Index, compiled annually by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), sheds light on major and often radical changes linked to political, social and technological upheavals.

A brewing storm: Journalists being sidelined in the age of AI, and AI-enabled disinfo On Wednesday, May 3, Maria Ressa sits down with Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Chris Wylie for a talk that’s centered around what has become the most talked about tech in 2023, artificial intelligence, spurred by the release of AI chatbot ChatGPT on November 30, 2022.

Blocked, censored, jailed or laid off: why it’s never been harder to be a journalist

The Guardian: On World Press Freedom Day, readers can make a difference to struggling independents via supporter models that beat the censors

Defending press freedom – essential pillar of democracy and human rights (Opinion)

The Gleaner: On December 17, 1986, journalist Guillermo Cano Isaza was assassinated in front of the offices of his newspaper, El Espectador, in my home country of Colombia. He was targeted because of the news stories he was pursuing as a journalist.

Global press freedom under ‘unprecedented’ attack, report warns

BBC: Journalists across the globe are coming under unprecedented attacks from governments, media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has warned.

Human Rights Press Awards Announce 2023 Winners

HRW: Reporting on the fifth wave of Covid that engulfed Hong Kong, the Myanmar military’s abuses against the Rohingya, and human trafficking of African students by Taiwanese universities are among the winners of the 2023 Human Rights Press Awards, Human Rights Watch said today. The awards are administered by Human Rights Watch and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

IPI marks World Press Freedom Day 2023

IPI: On World Press Freedom Day 2023, IPI celebrates our members around the globe for their game-changing journalism that holds the powerful to account and makes our democracies stronger.

Media freedom: journalism has crucial protective role as civic spaces threatened

IBA: A report published in March by global civil society alliance CIVICUS, which monitors civic space freedoms, has downgraded 15 countries – including several nations widely seen as democracies, such as the UK. The UK’s rating fell from ‘narrowed’ to ‘repressed’ after a year in which its government published a series of legislative proposals that threaten to restrict areas such as the right to protest.

Minecraft’s uncensored library provides virtual haven for press freedom fighters

HT: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has created a virtual library in the popular video game Minecraft, known as The Uncensored Library. 

Press freedom: Another step backwards, says IFJ

IFJ: As international organisations and media prepare to celebrate the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) says press freedom has taken another step backwards and freedom of expression is not the driver for other human rights that it should be.

Press Freedom Here and Abroad

Northern Express: The World Press Freedom Index assesses the state of journalism in 180 countries and territories. In 2022, a record number of countries—28 of them—were ranked “very bad” for press freedom, including Russia, China, and Iran, as well as North Korea, which placed dead last in the rankings at No. 180.

Recent Press Freedom Trends in Africa Have Analysts Concerned (Watch)

VOA: According to this year’s World Press Freedom rankings, the environment for journalism is bad in seven out of 10 countries worldwide. The yearly rankings published by Reporters Without Borders evaluates 180 countries. 

Tech industry allowing ‘deluge’ of misinformation: RSF

France 24: Journalism is being battered by propaganda and increasingly sophisticated fakes, aided by AI software and a failure of oversight from tech companies, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said Wednesday.

The press is in peril. Here’s how to save it

The Guardian: Reporters are being jailed, murdered and censored. But there is a ray of hope: reader-funded journalism is free to hold power to account, and it’s spreading

The press is not the enemy (Opinion)

The Dhaka Tribune On World Press Freedom Day, there is not much that can be celebrated.

Trust, diversity and independence: three key elements for a thriving press (Opinion)

The Guardian: Newspapers’ power is being eroded and disinformation is rife – but there is a way forward. 

World Press Freedom Day: African journalists threatened by security risks, misinformation & online violence

The North Africa Post: Safety, misinformation and online violence are the most critical threats facing African journalists today, analysts say on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day that is celebrated every 3 May.

World Press Freedom Day: Joint Declaration on Media Freedom and Democracy

Article 19: On 2 May 2023, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression launched their 2023 Joint Declaration on Media Freedom and Democracy. 

World Press Freedom Day: What IFJ affiliates are doing

IFJ: Many IFJ affiliates are taking action to mark World Press Freedom Day on 3 May. Here is a non exhaustive list of their initiatives.

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