USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup

 

United States Institute of Peace

 

Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, December 8 - 14, 2011

Media and Journalism

Internet and Social Media

What's New from PeaceMedia

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Media and Journalism

Iraq: Images of a War and its Toll
The American war in Iraq is over. The last U.S. soldier will be home by Christmas, and for the first time in a decade, no American service member is preparing for deployment in Mesopotamia. As America leaves the Iraq war, what has the war left America? These are the images.
See the full article (Washington Post, 12/14/11)
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Stop the War: A Graphic History - in Pictures
A new book from the Stop the War Coalition and Francis Boutle Publishers celebrates a decade of the Stop the War movement, from the 2003 demonstration against the Iraq war to this year's protests about Libya and Afghanistan, in photographs, posters, graphics, cartoons and art works.
See the full article (Guardian, Richard Norton-Taylor, 12/13/11)
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Anti-American Syria-based TV Channel Closes
A Syria-based TV station that provided an outlet to late Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi and strongly criticized U.S. forces in Iraq has gone off the air, owner [Mishan al-Jabouri] said Tuesday, because of the American withdrawal from Iraq and improved Syrian-Iraqi relations." Mishan al-Jabouri, a former Iraqi lawmaker and Damascus-based exile, said it was "no longer suitable" to have a Damascus-based channel run by Iraqi opposition figures and so he has closed Al-Rai TV.
See the full article (AP, Albert Aji, 12/13/11)
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Russia Media Managers Fired 'Over Anti-Putin Pictures'
The owner of Russia's top publishing house has dismissed managers over a magazine issue that alleged vote fraud and had obscene words aimed at PM Vladimir Putin. Tycoon Alisher Usmanov said he acted because of an "ethical breach" by the weekly Kommersant Vlast. But some media analysts said it was an attempt to stifle criticism of alleged vote fraud in the 4 December elections.
See the full article (BBC, 12/13/11)
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BBC Welcomes Pakistan PM Pledge to Look into Ban
BBC welcomed Sunday a promise by Pakistan's prime minister to investigate the blocking of the BBC World News channel in the country after it showed a documentary about the Taliban. The two-part BBC documentary "Secret Pakistan" shown last month accuses parts of Pakistan's intelligence service of complicity with Taliban militants fighting US-led forces in Afghanistan.
See the full article (AFP, 12/12/11)
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On Russian TV, a Straightforward Account is Startling
Regular viewers of government-controlled television were treated to a curious sight when they tuned in to the evening news on Saturday. Sweeping views of the tens of thousands of people who had crowded into a central Moscow square for a sprawling anti-Kremlin protest cut away to close-ups of groups of average citizens chanting, "New elections! New elections!"
See the full article (New York Times, Michael Schwirtz, 12/10/11) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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One Cambodian Journalist's Search for Justice
From 1975 to 1979 the Khmer Rouge killed approximately 1.7 million Cambodians. In the years since, motive and any kind of justice have been hard to come by. But one journalist has been slowly, patiently befriending ex-Khmer Rouge killers and coaxing confessions out of them -- on camera.
See the full article (NPR, 12/9/11)
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Good Morning, Afghanistan! Military Wants Kandahar Radio
It looks like the military is worried that Afghans haven't heard the good news about how the Taliban have been vanquished once and for all. It's setting up a new radio station, housed at the sprawling Kandahar Air Field, to spread the word. The command will provide the radio station with its broadcast facilities, equipment, connectivity frequencies, even an SMS update service. All the contractor will need to provide is the content -- provided it amplifies the military's message, of course.
See the full article (Wired, Spencer Ackerman, 12/8/11)
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Internet and Social Media

Syrian Regime Charges Blogger and Fires on Mourners, Activists Say
Razan Ghazzawi is the latest among dozens of activists, journalists and bloggers who have been detained since the revolt against President Bashar Assad began nine months ago, triggering a brutal crackdown that the UN estimates has killed more than 5,000 people and put thousands into prison. Ghazzawi, 31, had been documenting human rights abuses in recent months, and was arrested on 4 December at the border while on her way to Jordan for a conference on press freedoms.
See the full article (Guardian, 12/14/11)
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Somalia's Insurgents Embrace Twitter as a Weapon
Somalia's powerful Islamist insurgents, the Shabab, best known for chopping off hands and starving their own people, just opened a Twitter account, and in the past week they have been writing up a storm, bragging about recent attacks and taunting their enemies. "Your inexperienced boys flee from confrontation & flinch in the face of death," the Shabab wrote in a post to the Kenyan Army.
See the full article (New York Times, Jeffrey Gettleman, 12/14/11)*NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Live Streaming as Activism
Live streaming, the act of broadcasting a video to the Internet in close to real time, is quickly becoming a staple tool of twenty-first century protestors. From Occupy Wall Street to the Egypt election last week to the Russian election this week, activists use cell phones as weapons of transparency: not only documenting but broadcasting events as they happen.
See the full article (NPR, 12/9/11)
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Russian Web Gets Protesters' Word Out
Ilya Ponomaryov, a leftist member of the Russian parliament, said Friday that he has been visiting police lockups all over Moscow, asking people detained in this week's election protests what party or organization brought them onto the streets. None, they all told him. Via cellphone cameras and YouTube, people saw what they believed to be evidence of ballot-box rigging, and took to the streets in anger.
See the full article (Washington Post, Will Englund, 12/9/11)
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Malasyia's Freedom of Speech, Online and Off
There's an amazing array of media in Malaysia, in sundry languages and formats, but one thing unites nearly all of them -- they're strictly censored by the Malaysian government. But through a quirk of history there's one notable exception where real reporting can be read and it's a big one: the Internet.
See the full article (NPR, 12/9/11)
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Clinton Warns Against 'Disastrous' Curbs On Internet Freedom
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has warned governments against efforts to restrict the Internet within their national borders, saying such measures would be "disastrous" for human freedoms and the Internet as a whole. Aides said the top U.S. diplomat was referring to proposals on governing the Internet introduced by Russia, China, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan at the United Nations General Assembly in September.
See the full article (RFE/RL, 12/8/11)
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What's New from PeaceMedia

A Bad Year for Bad Guys: How to Topple a Dictator
2011 was a year of extraordinary people-powered resistance, starting with Arab Spring and spreading across the world. How did this resistance work so well? At TEDxKrakow, Srdja Popovic (who led the nonviolent movement that took down Milosevic in Serbia in 2000) lays out the plans, skills and tools each movement needs -- from nonviolent tactics to a sense of humor.
See the full video
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