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International media


A weekly look at the problems and pleasures facing journalists around the world and the power and responsibilities of news media.

A weekly look at the problems and pleasures facing journalists around the world and the power and responsibilities of news media.


Paris, France




A weekly look at the problems and pleasures facing journalists around the world and the power and responsibilities of news media.






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Community radio serves Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazaar

A Bangladeshi community radio station is servicing the needs of Rohingya refugees in the coastal city of Cox's Bazaar. Radio Naf employs both Rohingyas and local Bangladeshis to produce content that helps refugees live in the camps. And in those where there is no radio reception, listener clubs play the broadcasts. Radio Naf is a Bangladeshi community radio that started focusing on the needs of Rohingya refugees in August 2017, following the massive influx of people that poured into...


Anti-Semitism and censorship make headlines in Europe, Pakistan, Tanzania

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was forced to defend his stance on anti-Semitism, a question that also attracted headlines in France and Germany this week. While in Pakistan and Tanzania, there were concerns about censorship and Internet freedom. A Facebook comment posted a few years ago by Corbyn in which he backed an artist that graffitied a wall with Jewish bankers counting their money, is what has reignited the debate on anti-Semitism within the British Labour party. The Labour...


What is behind French website Mediapart's success?

Ten years ago, when a group of disillusioned French journalists decided to quit their jobs and start their own independent website, industry watchers were skeptical, as Matthew Kay reports. They said the public would never pay for news in the age of free information - and their project would fail. But a decade later Mediapart has become an industry leader - consistently setting the news agenda in France. Their investigations have unearthed corruption at the heart of French industry, led to...


Facebook data misuse scandal sparks calls for greater privacy

Trust in social media has hit a new low, following revelations that data of fifty million Facebook users, ended up in the hands of a UK data analysis company, and may have been used to influence Donald Trump's 2016 election and Brexit. Facebook this week announced new measures to protect users' privacy. The scandal has highlighted the challenge facing tech firms in ensuring personal information is not used for profit. Cambridge Analyica, the company at the heart of the privacy scandal...


French journalism schools question their written entrance exams

Spring is recruitment season for journalism schools in France, and each of the country's 14 accredited journalism schools receives hundreds of applicants each year for only a handful of spots. Some schools are rethinking their entrance exams to attract a more diverse group of students, and to diversify the media. (Click on the photo to listen to the report) In this piece: - Julie Joly, director of the CFJ (Centre de Formation des Journalistes), which has changed its 2018 entrance exam, from...


Is Samuel Sam-Sumana looking for political revenge in Sierra Leone?

Voters are getting ready for the upcoming elections in Sierra Leone on 7 March, as 16 presidential hopefuls for the country’s top job. Musa Tarawally of the Citizens Democratic party wants to bring back values through education and investment. One of the frontrunners is Samuel Sam-Sumana of the Coalition for Change party. The two-time former vice president under President Ernest Bai Koroma was unceremoniously fired from his post in 2015. RFI’s Laura Angela Bagnetto is in Freetown. She spoke...


Using local radio to tackle illegal migration in Africa

African radio journalists are being trained to report on illegal immigration – or irregular migration – in the hope that they can deter the local population from taking the dangerous migration routes towards Europe. Aware Migrants is a campaign by IOM (the International Organisation for Migration) to raise awareness of the dangers of illegal immigration. One aspect of the campaign consists in training journalists from community radios in Africa. A training programme took place at the end of...


Journalists in France should be wary of legislation against fake news, warn analysts

There were many reactions to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to make a law against fake news, including that it would infringe on free speech and would be difficult to implement. International Media looks into the legalities of such a legislation, and what it would mean for journalists in France. (Click on the photo to listen) Featured in this piece: - Divina Frau-Meigs, Professor at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, with a focus on media literacy - Florence G'Sell, a professor...


Watching Pakistan's female journalists

In this week's International Media, RFI's Fabien Jannic-Cherbonnel takes a look at a new study on the surveillance of female journalists in Pakistan.


What now for journalists in Zimbabwe?

In this week's International Media, Fabien Jannic-Cherbonnel takes a look at what is next for journalists in Zimbabwe just a few weeks after President Robert Mugabe resigned.


Website showcases women experts in French media

International media is casting an eye on France this week, and the status of female experts. Worldwide, only about 20 per cent of experts who appear in the media are women. France is right in the average. RFI’s Sarah Elzas looks at a website that is trying to change that number.


No Weinstein for Bollywood

The Weinstein effect where men in power are held accountable for their sexual misconduct has had a ripple effect across the world. But has it reached Bollywood, the worlds’s most prolific film industry? Three Indian journalists have examined how India's cinema capital and its media deal with sexual predators in B-Town. With at least 2,000 movies released each year, India’s Hindi film industry is the most prolific in the world. And Bollywood’s casting-couch policy is an open secret. It is...


What will Bulgaria’s EU presidency do for press freedom?

Bulgaria, with the worst press freedom record in EU, is to take over presidency in January. According to the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders [RSF], Bulgaria is the worst country in the EU country in terms of press freedom. In the last rankings it stands at a dismal 109th position out of 179 in the 2017 Press Freedom Index. This puts it on a par with Bolivia, Gabon and Paraguay. On January 1, Sofia will take over the rotating presidency of the European Union, but will it clean up its...


Spanish, Catalan media reflect polarisation of politics

The crisis in Spain around the declaration of independence of Catalonia continues. Madrid has jailed the former members of the regional government, accusing them of sedition. The crisis is political, and is playing out in the media, which has become even more polarised. In this week’s International Media, Sarah Elzas takes a look at the state of Spanish – and Catalan – media.


Native American journalists break free of mainstream media

Is a new era for Native American media in the United States opening up? Three Native American journalists talk about challenging stereotypes and bringing a nuanced voice to indigenous issues. They belong to a generation that believes in making things happen, despite all the odds, and not waiting for mainstream media to catch on. Native Americans once owned the land in the United States, it was theirs before the white settlers arrived. They are the First People, whom archaeologists believe...


Jordan muzzles media, Myanmar media targets Rohingya

In our weekly media program, we travel to Jordan where the media watchdog is being muzzled. We also go to Myanmar, where cartoonists and journalists appear to have lost their objectivity and take aim at Rohingya muslims, adding insult to injury to people who the UN and human rights groups say are being persecuted and forcibly evicted from their home lands.


When anti-terrorism laws are used to sacrifice free speech

Anti-terrorism laws are sometimes used to muzzle the media. Journalists Denis Nkwebo in Cameroon and Mohanad El Sangary in Egypt detail the challenges they and their colleagues face in trying to navigate deliberately opaque laws and not land in prison. Anti-terrorism laws were enacted in 2013 in Egypt and in 2014 in Cameroon. And one of the things that Denis Nkwebo and Mohanad El Sangary said to each other was how surprisingly similar their situations were. In both countries the laws'...


Journalists fear crackdown in India

Three weeks after the murder of outspoken Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh, the press in India fears their industry may be under threat. The high profile editor was shot dead outside her home in the southern city of Bangalore on Tuesday 6 September. Her death has sparked calls for greater protection of female journalists. Rarely has the death of a journalist sparked so much outcry in India. Soon after news of Gauri Lankesh's murder emerged, demonstrations and artwork sprung up in Bangalore...


How media and ethnic politics intertwine in Africa

Journalists Kelvin Lewis in Sierra Leone and Linus Kaikai in Kenya discuss how best to navigate the murky waters of ethnic politics, especially when reporting on elections. They found out that even though their countries were on opposite sides of the continent, they shared the same concerns over how political blocs play on ethnicity to win votes. Both Kenya and Sierra Leone are multi-ethnic countries where some politicians do not hesitate to manipulate voters along ethnic lines and fuel...


Murder in India, closure in Cambodia

In this week’s International Media, we go to India, where activists, politicians and journalists demanded a full investigation into the murder of Gauri Lankesh, a newspaper editor and outspoken critic of the ruling Hindu nationalist party whose death has sparked an outpouring of anger. Meanwhile in Cambodia one of the country’s last independent newspapers was closed with the disappearance of the Cambodia Daily. The newspaper announced on Sunday it was closing after 24 years after being...