USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, October 20 - 26, 2011

Media and Journalism

Internet and Social Media

What's New from PeaceMedia

**Click here to subscribe to USIP's Science, Technology and Peacebuilding News Roundup.**

Media and Journalism

Saddam Hussein Ordered Execution of Journalist Farzad Bazoft, Records Reveal
Saddam Hussein personally ordered the execution of the Observer journalist Farzad Bazoft to punish Margaret Thatcher and humiliate Britain, secret recordings released in Washington reveal. The late Iraqi leader insisted there could be no clemency for Bazoft, whom he described - wrongly - as "an Israeli spy working for the British."
See the full article (Guardian, Luke Harding, 10/26/11)
[Return to top]

Arab Spring: BBC Coverage to Face Impartiality Review
The BBC's Arab Spring coverage is to be evaluated in the latest in a series of reviews assessing the impartiality and accuracy of the corporation's output. Reporting of events in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and elsewhere via TV, radio and online will be probed. The findings will be published in Autumn 2012.
See the full article (BBC, 10/26/11)
[Return to top]

UA Professor to Nurture Free Press in Afghanistan
Criticizing the news media is a popular pastime in America. But could it catch on in, say, Afghanistan? Maybe one day, if Maggy Zanger has anything to do with it. The University of Arizona journalism professor has been tapped by the U.S. Embassy in Kabul to help nurture a free press in Afghanistan. Soon she'll travel to Jalalabad, a one-time Taliban stronghold near the Pakistan border, to help develop a journalism curriculum at the University of Nangarhar.
See the full article (Arizona Daily Star, Carol Ann Alaimo, 10/25/11)
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "Afghanistan in 2011: A Survey of the Afghan People" on November 15 at 9:30am. You can also watch the live webcast!
[Return to top]

Nigerian Islamists Claim Killing of Journalist
A purported spokesman for a Nigerian Islamist sect on Monday claimed responsibility for the weekend murder of a state television journalist, the first such attack targeting the media. Nigeria Television Authority cameraman and reporter Zakariyya Isa was shot dead Saturday evening in front of his house shortly after leaving a mosque in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, where the sect known as Boko Haram has carried out most of its attacks.
See the full article (AFP, 10/24/11)
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "Religion and Peacemaking: Reflections on Current Challenges and Future Prospects" on November 9 at 9:00am.
[Return to top]

Why Pakistan's Media Needs a Code of Conduct
Pakistan's media landscape has exploded over the last decade. But it is still the most dangerous place on earth to be a journalist and there are now calls for a strict code of conduct to protect the press and the public. Nosheen Abbas investigates the chaotic world of Pakistani journalism.
See the full article (BBC, 10/23/11)
[Return to top]

Egyptian TV Host Suspends Popular Program to Protest Censorship
A prominent Egyptian political talk show host on Friday suspended his program indefinitely to protest what he said were efforts by the country's military rulers to stifle free expression. The presenter, Yosri Fouda, has come to symbolize what many in Egypt see as the future of an independent and professional media after decades of control and meddling by the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak.
See the full article (AP, Sarah El Deeb, 10/21/11)
[Return to top]

Prominent Syrian Activist Flees, Reveals Identity
The Syrian government has barred most international journalists from the country, restricting coverage since an uprising began last spring. In response, Syrian activists have played a crucial role in providing information to the wider world. One of the most prominent is Alexander Page - an alias that a young Syrian used for his safety.
See the full article (NPR, Deborah Amos, 10/21/11)
[Return to top]

Egyptian Broadcaster Accused of Riot Reporting Bias
Egypt's main public broadcaster has been taken to task by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) for allegedly biased reporting of a Cairo riot on 9 October. The EBU's president, Jean-Paul Philippot, and director general, Ingrid Deltenre, have written to the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) to express their "extreme concern" about its reporting of clashes between Coptic Christians and Egypt's security forces.
See the full article (The Guardian, Roy Greenslade, 10/21/11)
[Return to top]

Afghan Cinema Clambers Back, Despite Neighbor's Influence
[In] the film "Neighbor," the alleged massacre of hundreds of Afghan migrants at a detention center inside Iran in the 1990s [is portrayed]. To acclaimed Afghan film director Siddiq Barmak, who produced "Neighbor," it was a story that needed to be told. But he says the Iranian authorities have mounted a determined effort to prevent the film from gaining wider distribution in Afghanistan -- with a measure of success so far.
See the full article (Radio Free Europe, Frud Bezhan, 10/21/11)
[Return to top]


Internet and Social Media

Twitter War with the Taliban
Bits of information - not just bullets and bombs - are in the thick of the fighting in Afghanistan. U.S. forces feared they were losing the information war to the Taliban and now are fighting back with Twitter - using those brisk 140-character messages to get out the other side of the story. "The Taliban were just constantly putting out false information and propaganda," said Lieutenant Colonel Jimmie Cummings. "Some of it was so wrong we finally had to start engaging, and backing up our information with the facts."
See the full article (CNN, Charley Keyes, 10/26/11)
[Return to top]

Egyptian Sentenced to 3 years for Insulting Islam in his Facebook Postings
Egypt's state media says a Cairo court has sentenced a man to three years in prison for postings on Facebook deemed to be inciting sectarianism and in contempt of Islam. The MENA state news agency said Saturday a the misdemeanor court found Ayman Mansour had intentionally mocked Islam and used "outrageous and scurrilous" language in describing the religion's holy book, the Quran, and its prophet and believers.
See the full article (AP, 10/22/11)
[Return to top]

Internet Role in Human Rights Gets Spotlight
Technology titans and political activists gathered [at the Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference] on Tuesday to find ways to ensure that the Internet is used as a tool for human rights instead of as a weapon of oppression. Engineers, entrepreneurs, and executives joined with political analysts, activists, and charity groups to delve into the increasingly vital role that the Internet plays in social reform. Threats targeted at the conference included Western technology firms cooperating with governments to censor what is shared on the Internet or track down people disliked by authorities.
See the full article (AFP, Glenn Chapman, 10/25/11)
[Return to top]

Confessions Of A Tunisian Hacktivist
[K3vin Mitnick] is a 25-year-old Tunisian cyber activist who has played a crucial role in the recent Jasmine Revolution in his country, which helped overthrow the previous regime and sparked the Arab Spring across the Middle East. He is a member of the Anonymous collective and the co-founder of Tunisian Blackhats. With his group, he has led the attacks against Ammar 404 (the nickname given to the state's Internet censorship) and more generally against censorship in his country.
See the full article (TechCrunch, Mouna El Mokhtari, 10/24/11)
[Return to top]

WikiLeaks Suspends Release of Secrets to Seek Cash
WikiLeaks - the online anti-secrecy organization whose spectacular leaks of classified data shook Washington and other world capitals and exposed the inner workings of international diplomacy - may be weeks away from collapse, the group's leader warned Monday. Although its attention-grabbing disclosures spread outrage and embarrassment across military and diplomatic circles, WikiLeaks' inability to shake the restrictions imposed by American financial companies may prove its undoing.
See the full article (AP, 10/24/11)
[Return to top]

Images of Gaddafi's Death Highlight Visual Distrust in the Digital Age
If anything could humanize Moammar Gaddafi, it was the before-and-after drama that emerged as images of the fallen dictator flooded the Internet and cable news. More is more, and speed matters in the authenticity game of digital imagery. The self-reinforcing surge of Gaddafi images and video erased doubts.
See the full article (Washington Post, Philip Kennicott, 10/20/11)
[Return to top]

On Facebook, NATO Chief Announces End to Libya War
This has to be a first in the annals of social media. The commander of NATO's Libya war has announced his intent to end hostilities through Facebook. In a short post on his Wall Friday morning, Adm. James Stavridis told the world, "I will be recommending conclusion of this mission to the North Atlantic Council of NATO in a few hours." Needless to say, we Like this. In this day and age, it's rare for wars to end at all. But now, major geopolitical announcements like the conclusions of hostilities occur through fora typically used for sharing goofy videos or telling people how tasty their sandwich was.
See the full article (Wired, Spencer Ackerman, 10/21/11)
[Return to top]


What's New from PeaceMedia

TEDxRamallah - One Story, One Film, Many Changes
Julia Bacha discusses her role as a filmmaker. Bacha is Media Director at Just Vision. She has won awards on films exhibited at the Sundance, Berlin, Jerusalem, and Dubai International Film Festivals. Bacha directed and produced Budrus, a documentary film about a Palestinian community organizer, Ayed Morrar, who unites local Fatah and Hamas members along with Israeli supporters in an unarmed movement to save his village of Budrus from destruction by Israel's Separation Barrier.
See the full video
[Return to top]

Click here to subscribe to USIP's Science, Technology and Peacebuilding News Roundup.

Did we miss anything?



Share this: FacebookDeliciousDiggMySpaceStumbleUponGoogleMicrosoftYahoo! BookmarksLinkedIn| Forward this to a Friend


Click here to unsubscribe