USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, October 6 - 12, 2011

Media and Journalism

Internet and Social Media

What's New from PeaceMedia

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Media and Journalism

Pakistan and Iraq Most Dangerous Countries for Journalists
Pakistan remains the most dangerous country for journalists to work in with eight killed there so far this year. According to figures from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, 44 journalists have been killed so far in 2011. That compares with the 66 killed in the line of duty or targeted because of their work for the full year in 2010, and 99 in 2009.
See the full article (Guardian, Tara Conlan, 10/12/11)
Click to read "Evaluating Media Interventions in Conflict Countries: Toward Developing Common Principles and a Community of Practice ," a USIP Peaceworks by Amelia Arsenault, Sheldon Himelfarb, and Susan Abbott.
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Zawahiri Celebrates 'Defeat' of America in New Video
In a new video, al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri celebrates the fall of Arab "despots," as well as what he calls "the defeats of their master America," including 9/11 and U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan. "[Osama bin Laden] attacked America at its core in the biggest attacks since Pearl Harbor," says Zawahiri in the 13-minute video, released on jihadist websites late Tuesday, and calls the U.S. "the symbol of murder in human history."
See the full article (ABC, Rym Momtaz and Mark Schone, 10/11/11)
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In Pakistan, News is Something to Control
In the United States, information is freely exchanged. That is often not the case in Pakistan, where I work as a journalist for a regional newspaper in my home province of Sindh and a freelance writer for a national English-language newspaper. Media companies in Pakistan are privately owned, but not necessarily independent.
See the full article (Arizona Daily Star, Veengas Yasmeen, 10/10/11)
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Making Peace Can Be a Real Battle
"Women, War & Peace" [premiered] on Tuesday, just days after one of its major figures, the Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee, shared the Nobel Peace Prize for 2011. While "War" is prominent in the series title, it's noteworthy that the women shown and the stories told have almost entirely everything to do with peace: women as nonviolent protesters, organizers, testifiers, educators.
See the full article (New York Times, Mike Hale, Jon Caramanica and Neil Genzlinger, 10/10/11) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Burma Censor Chief Calls for More Media Freedom
The head of Burma's powerful press censorship department has called for greater media freedom in his country. Tint Swe said censorship was incompatible with democratic practices and should be abolished in the near future. The comments will be seen as further evidence that the new civilian-military hybrid government is trying to soften its stance.
See the full article (BBC, Rachel Harvey, 10/8/11)
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The Secrets of Government Killing
Who can't America kill? The answer, as a matter of law, is simply unknown right now. That is an extraordinary thing, arising out of the new tactics and technology in use in the American offensive against terrorists and their networks. For the news media, it should be intolerable that the question goes unanswered. Yet, by the ground rules of press and government interaction now in place, the government opts not to say and the press, including The New York Times, is pushed back on its heels.
See the full article (New York Times, Arthur S. Brisbane, 10/8/11) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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New Charges in Russian Journalist's Death
On the fifth anniversary of the killing of Anna Politkovskaya, a crusading journalist who became famous for her coverage of the wars in Chechnya, a Chechen businessman was indicted here Friday for his role as an organizer of the crime. But investigators have not identified who gave the order to have her gunned down.
See the full article (Washington Post, Will Englund, 10/7/11)
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Journalism and a World in Transition: Wadah Khanfar's James Cameron Memorial Lecture
As the Arab spring demonstrates, news organisations must embrace new forms of people-centred media. The world is going through a period of major transformation particularly in the aftermath of the revolutions that swept across the Arab world. Collaboration among the various media institutions, including the sharing of resources and the exchange of expertise, will undoubtedly help us regain the initiative and revive respect for the media in the eyes of the public.
See the full article (Guardian, Wadah Khanfar, 10/7/11)
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Afghanistan: A Journalist's Personal Reflection
When I first began covering the Afghan war, I was 33 years old, weighed 175 pounds and still had a full head of hair. Ten years later, I am 190 pounds, shave my head to hide my receding hairline and have gray hair growing from my beard. What a difference 10 years makes in the life of a war journalist. But as much as my life has changed, for good or ill, the Afghanistan I flew into in the winter of 2001, has largely remained the same.
See the full article (CBS, Jeff Newton, 10/7/11)
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U.S. Watchdog Urges Release of Jailed Turkmen Reporter
A U.S.-based media watchdog demanded on Thursday the release of a radio journalist jailed for five years in Turkmenistan, saying his sentence was punishment for his independent reporting. Dovletmurad Yazguliyev, a local correspondent for the Turkmen service of the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), was sentenced on Wednesday on charges of inciting a relatives's suicide attempt.
See the full article (Reuters, Dmitry Solovyov, 10/6/11)
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Internet and Social Media

Internet Censorship Growth Hampers News, Study Says
A detailed study of Internet censorship in China and Iran shows that blocking techniques are changing rapidly and are becoming significant new obstacles for news organizations, governments and businesses. The study, being published on Tuesday, focuses on Internet blocking faced by Iranian and Chinese visitors to BBC Web sites during periods of political unrest in the two countries over the last two years.
See the full article (New York Times, John Markoff, 10/11/11) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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U.S. Order Targets WikiLeaks Supporter's Mail: Report
The U.S. government obtained secret court orders to force Google Inc and a small Internet provider to hand over information from email accounts of a WikiLeaks volunteer. The U.S. request included email addresses of people that Jacob Appelbaum, a volunteer for the campaigning website, had corresponded with in the past two years, but not the full emails, the newspaper said, citing documents it had reviewed.
See the full article (Reuters, Anthony Boadle, 10/10/11)
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Arab Bloggers Meet in Post-revolution Tunisia
They are bloggers, activists, and many of them train others in their community on how to find a voice on the internet, and become citizen journalists in their own right. The Third Arab Bloggers Meeting brought some of the most active cyberactivists in North Africa and the Middle East together in the Tunisian capital, where they shared ideas and strategies on how to make the biggest possible impact in cyberspace.
See the full article (Al Jazeera, Yasmine Ryan, 10/10/11)
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Arab Spring Galvanizers, WikiLeaks among Nobel Contenders
This year, it's anyone's guess with a record number of nominations -- 241 -- received by the Nobel committee. Of those, 53 are organizations, including WikiLeaks -- the website founded by Julian Assange that facilitates the publication of classified information and made headlines for leaking documents and videos related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
See the full article (CNN, Moni Basu, 10/6/11)
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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Up for the Nobel Peace Prize?
Mark Zuckerberg was named Time's Man of the Year in 2010. Could he be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize next? It may seem unlikely, but on Wednesday Thorbjorn Jagland, the chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, made some provocative comments that fueled speculation Zuckerberg could be a contender for the prestigious award.
See the full article (Los Angeles Times, Deborah Netburn, 10/6/11)
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What's New from PeaceMedia

Colombia's Gold Rush - Al Jazeera
Gold fever is sweeping across South America. Nowhere is it more lethal than in Colombia, where the gold rush has become a new axle in Colombia's civil war. Turf wars are erupting between paramilitaries, and leftist rebel groups fighting to take control of mining regions. It's fueling an old ideological conflict and has displacing hundreds of people. Al Jazeera's Fault Lines traveled to Colombia to speak to the people caught in the middle.
See the full video
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