NEWS DIGEST 15.05.2020: The media in the shadow of COVID-19

 

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Happy Friday!. This morning’s News Digest is brought to you by HEMNA’sHEM Journalism Portal” feed on Twitter. HoldtheFrontPage @journalism_news reports on independent media group Tindle Newspapers, which has put sixty per cent of its workforce (around 170 staff) on furlough leave as the COVID-19 pandemic hits it and other businesses hard in the UK. The group announced it will now be extending employee leave under the government scheme for another month. Tindle also plans to carry out a restructuring program at some point in the future. Employees are also being asked to use up at least 25 per cent of their accrued annual leave by June, HoldTheFrontPage.co.uk said – Publisher drops restructure hint as furlough for 170 staff extended (HoldTheFrontPage.co.uk)

The Panos Institute of Southern Africa, a Zambian-based non-aligned development organisation, reports that the Working Group on Cyber Laws and Digital Security in Zambia has urged telecoms providers to enhance cybersecurity policies for their customers as more people in Zambia turn to online transactions during the pandemic. As with many other countries, Zambian employees are working from home, which puts them at greater risk of cyber fraud and hacking. The demand by the Group was released by Panos on behalf of its Executive Director, Vusumuzi Sifile – Civil Society Working Group calls for enhanced cyber security during the COVID-19 response (Panos Institute Southern Africa)

LADbible @ladbible covers one of the UK’s most memorable celebrity moments of 2020, that of TV presenter Philip Schofield coming out as gay earlier this year. Comedian Charlie Brooker celebrated the occasion with a parody of Schofield’s announcement on the This Morning television show, which was relayed to viewers by his co-presenter Holly Willoughby. Brooker told LADbible: “In a bizarre ventriloquist act Holly Willoughby temporarily identified as Phillip Schofield to announce that they were now identifying as a gay man, which is as 2020 as it gets.” – Charlie Brooker Did A Parody Of Phillip Schofield Revealing He Was Gay (LADbible)

Nepal’s Freedom Forum, an national reporters’ rights and freedom of expression movement, has said that the global COVID-19 pandemic is causing disruption and crises to Nepali journalists and the media in general. Five journalists have already tested positive for the virus in just two days this month. Concerned media personnel are demanding more testing and availability of safety equipment to protect themselves. Freedom Forum executive chief, Taranath Dahal, observed: “Nepali media, especially the community media and small media, are now at the receiving end of COVID-19. At a time when journalists, working in the forefront, have themselves been tested positive to the virus, it undoubtedly mounted fear in entire media. The government should ensure the early tests among the journalists willing for it and proper treatment and distribution of safety gears. Similarly, efforts to save media in crisis are equally important. Collaboration and cooperation among the stakeholders working for journalists’ rights and safety, and government bodies are must to assist journalists and retain the active role of media in this hour of crisis.” – Nepali journalists facing COVID-19 menace; cooperation must to save journalists and media in crisis (Freedom Forum)

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reports on the forthcoming trial of seven journalists in Turkey over their coverage of the death of an intelligence agent of the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT) in Libya. On May 8, an Istanbul court charged the reporters, as well as a media office employee, with revealing secret information about state security or intelligence operations, a crime that carries prison sentences of up to seventeen years. Their trial is set for next month – Turkey charges 7 journalists over coverage of intelligence agent’s death (Committee to Protect Journalists)

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