USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, October 13 - 19, 2011

Media and Journalism

Internet and Social Media

What's New from PeaceMedia

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Media and Journalism

Angola Journalist's Supporters Raise $50,000
A group of supporters has raised $50,000 to pay the fine of an Angolan journalist who faces a year in prison for publishing accusations of corruption against three army generals, an NGO said. A Luanda court last Monday gave Tonet, editor of the newspaper Folha 8, five days to pay 10 million kwanzas ($106,000, 77,000 euro) in damages or spend a year in jail for having published a 2008 article which accused the generals of the Angolan Armed Forces of self-enrichment and power abuse.
See the full article (AFP, 10/17/11)
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Slide Show: The 8 Most Dangerous Countries for Journalists
Pakistan, Iraq, Libya and Mexico top the list of places considered the most dangerous for journalists to work, according to a list recently released by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers. Of 44 media workers killed thus far in 2011, Pakistan had the highest number of deaths at eight. Iraq came next with six, then Libya with five and Mexico with four.
See the full article (PBS, Larisa Epatko, 10/17/11)
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UN Human Rights Chief Calls for Journalists to Get Protection
Journalism is now regarded as one of the world's most dangerous professions. According to the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, the situation has become so bad that a strategy is required to protect journalists.
See the full article (Guardian, Roy Greenslade, 10/14/11)
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Tajik BBC Reporter Guilty but Freed; West Slams Trial
A BBC reporter in Tajikistan was sentenced to three years in jail on Friday for belonging to a banned Islamist group, but he was immediately granted an amnesty. There had been widespread Western criticism that Urunboy Usmonov's trial had been politically motivated.
See the full article (Reuters, Roman Kozhevnikov, 10/14/11)
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Media Skepticism About Iran Assassination Plot
The US government says it has thwarted an Iranian attempt to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the US, but some in the media have questioned the plausibility of the story. Brooke spoke to The Atlantic associate editor Max Fisher, who says the media are displaying an appropriate amount of skepticism in their reporting.
See the full article (NPR, 10/14/11)
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Is Pakistan Preparing for War?
If Pakistani news channels can be taken at face value these days, the country is preparing for war. Retired generals, ambassadors, and professors weigh in on the likelihood of U.S. attack with an unrelenting intensity. In the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden, such propaganda is everywhere. I have never seen it so virulent.
See the full article (CNN, Omar R. Quraishi, 10/13/11)
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Internet and Social Media

Syria Uses US Technology in Cyber Crackdown
As the autocratic regime in Syria brutally cracks down on a pro-democracy opposition, it is using technology developed by an American company, Blue Coat Systems, to suppress dissent and block access to the internet, tech experts say. The release revealed gigabytes of electronic records that Syria's government is using Blue Coat's devices to prevent its citizens from accessing social media, video-sharing, and other websites. By using the devices, the Syrian regime can block information about its abuses from getting out of the country and monitor web activity.
See the full article (Mother Jones, Hamed Aleaziz, 10/19/11)
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Can Social Media Undermine Democracy?
Facebook and Twitter are transforming politics around the world, but to what effect? They helped dissidents drive dictators from power in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. No doubt they will continue to help subvert despotic regimes. Will they also foster democracy in newly liberated nations? Or will they be balkanizing forces, empowering competing constituencies and making it harder for old democracies to function and new democracies to take root?
See the full article (Huffington Post, Dana Radcliffe, 10/18/11)
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Egypt's Top 'Facebook Revolutionary' Now Advising Occupy Wall Street
One of the key activists behind Egypt's "Facebook Revolution" is now giving advice to a new group of protesters: the Occupy Wall Street movement. The protesters in New York's Zuccotti Park often cite the mass demonstrations earlier this year in Cairo's Tahrir Square as their inspiration. So maybe it shouldn't be much of a surprise that Ahmed Maher, one of the leading figures in those Egyptian protests, has been corresponding for weeks with the Occupy Wall Streeters, whom he calls "our brothers."
See the full article (Wired, Spencer Ackerman, 10/18/11)
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What's New from PeaceMedia

Let us be Free - Discover the Journey
Discover the Journey is a team of journalists and storytellers who expose injustice facing children in crisis and advocate for change. They have been working with Resolve to tell the stories of individuals who have fled their homes because of Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) violence. This extraordinary project gives the very real and human story behind the shocking statistics of the impact of the LRA.
See the full video
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