USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup


United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, December 15 - 21, 2011

Media and Journalism

Internet and Social Media

What's New from PeaceMedia

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Media and Journalism

Iraqi Photographers Captured the Costs of War
As the war drags on - as it still does, for Iraqis at least - more and more of the images filling the public's mental slide show have been shot by Iraqis. Dozens of Iraqi photographers have come into their own in the nine years since the American invasion. This post features the work of five of them.
See the full article (New York Times, Anne Barnard, 12/21/11) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Report: 40 People, Including Journalists, Detained in Turkish Probe into Kurdish Rebel Links
Tuesday's detentions further increased concerns over press freedoms in Turkey - a predominantly Muslim democracy that seeks EU membership - where dozens of journalists have been jailed, mostly on anti-terror charges. They include journalists accused of aiding a hardline secularist network which prosecutors say plotted to bring down Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamic-rooted government.
See the full article (AP, 12/20/11)
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Finding Fault in the Palestinian Messages That Aren't So Public
A new book by an Israeli watchdog group catalogs dozens of examples of messages broadcast by the Palestinian Authority for its domestic audience that would seem at odds with the pursuit of peace and a two-state solution. But for many, the subject of incitement and media monitoring has become as contentious as some of the messages, especially since these pronouncements are often used to score propaganda points.
See the full article (New York Times, Isabel Kershner, 12/20/11) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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North Korean Propaganda Totally Hearts 'Great Successor'
North Korea's factional divides were hard to read before "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-il died. Now that his son appears to have taken over, Pyongyang is in lockdown mode. No one knows what's happening in the back rooms that really decide who runs North Korea. But here's one telling sign: the official mouthpieces are all singing the praises of the Dear Leader's chubby-cheeked boy, Kim Jong-un.
See the full article (Wired, 12/20/11)
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In the Images of War, Reflections and Lessons Learned
From the early days of the Iraq war, images from photojournalists on the ground provided a glimpse of the the triumphs and shortcomings of a conflict that polarized the American people. As photographers pack up their equipment to return home, one reflects in a post today on the Lens blog on the memories and lessons created while in Iraq.
See the full article (New York Times, 12/19/11) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Countering Extremism in Pakistan
As Pakistan struggles to deal with religious extremism, one group is trying to teach the values of tolerance and democracy. It's called Khudi (self-esteem in Urdu) and it uses social media, speeches at universities, and other campaigns to counter Islamic extremism in Pakistan.
See the full article (Al Jazeera, 12/19/11)
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Egypt News Media Clash over Cause of Violence
On the third day of clashes between security forces and protesters in the center of the capital, a new battle broke out Sunday between Egypt's state-run and independent media over whom to blame for the violence. Human rights activists called the government's depiction of the protesters as hooligans an official campaign of distortion intended to cover up the military's violence and bolster its image.
See the full article (New York Times, David D. Kirkpatrick, 12/18/11) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Journalist Is Shot Dead in Russia's North Caucasus Region
A prominent journalist from Russia's violence-plagued North Caucasus region was shot to death late Thursday as he left his newspaper, adding to a rising toll of journalists and human rights workers killed in the region in recent years. Khadzhimurad Kamalov, 46, was the founder of Chernovik, a popular muckraking newspaper that covered delicate issues like police abuse, corruption and Islamic extremism.
See the full article (New York Times, Michael Schwirtz, 12/16/11) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Pakistan Now Worst Killing-field for Journalists
With 16 still-perilous days left on the calendar, this year's number for journalists killed in the course of their work in Pakistan stands at seven. Pakistan's number contributes to a world total of 42. Given Pakistan's fractious state, and its inevitably blurred divisions between journalism and political activity (and even sometimes militia affiliations) we can probably expect the record to get worse among local journalists.
See the full article (Huffington Post, David Tereshchuk, 12/16/11)
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Internet and Social Media

Iran Moves Websites to Guard against Cyber Attacks
"The location of the hosts of more than 90 percent of Iran's governmental internet sites has been transferred inside the country," Ali Hakim Javadi, Iran's deputy minister for communications and information technology, told the official IRNA news agency. Javadi said more than 30,000 Iranian websites belonging to ministries and other government bodies had until recently been hosted by companies in North America and other countries.
See the full article (Reuters, 12/20/11)
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Al-Qaida Puts Out YouTube Preacher's Greatest Hits
Al-Qaida's Yemeni affiliate has unexpectedly released a final video from slain YouTube propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki. But don't expect an unreleased message from beyond the grave, Tupac style. It seems the only thing left of his preaching is the highlight reel.
See the full article (Wired, Adam Rawnsley, 12/20/11)
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Army: Manning Kept a Copy of His Chatroom Confession
Forensic investigators searching Bradley Manning's computers and removable media found a full log of the online chats Manning conducted with former hacker Adrian Lamo in which Manning described his alleged leaking of classified information. The testimony in the second day of Manning's Article 32 hearing - a hearing that will decide if his case proceeds to court martial - provided the first public overview of the government's case against Manning.
See the full article (Wired, Kim Zetter, 12/18/11)
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How Luther Went Viral
It is a familiar-sounding tale: after decades of simmering discontent a new form of media gives opponents of an authoritarian regime a way to express their views, register their solidarity and co-ordinate their actions. The protesters' message spreads virally through social networks, making it impossible to suppress and highlighting the extent of public support for revolution.That's what happened in the Arab spring. It's also what happened during the Reformation.
See the full article (Economist, 12/17/11)
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Stakes Are High as Army Begins Argument for Court-martialing Accused Leaker Manning
If his case goes to trial and he is convicted, Manning could face life in prison. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called Manning's alleged actions damaging and unfortunate. "I think that in an age where so much information is flying through cyberspace, we all have to be aware of the fact that some information which is sensitive, which does affect the security of individuals and relationships, deserves to be protected and we will continue to take necessary steps to do so," Clinton told reporters at the State Department.
See the full article (AP, 12/16/11)
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Al-Shabab's Tweets Won't Boost its Cause
Somalia's al-Shabab militants are now using Twitter. You can follow the account @HSMPress for pithy updates on their violent campaign to bring a rigorous version of conservative Islam to east Africa and beyond. Al-Shabab's tweeter is witty, sharp and articulate, and undoubtedly attractive to the odd aspirant jihadi. But its importance is overblown.
See the full article (Guardian, Jason Burke, 12/16/11)
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US-funded Internet Liberation Project Finds Perfect Test Site: Occupy DC
[Sascha] Meinrath runs a State Department-funded initiative to create an Internet in a Suitcase - the Voice of America of the digital age. If he has his way, Meinrath's project will lead to low-cost, easy-to-use wireless connections around the globe, all lashed together in mesh that can withstand the whims of dictators willing to pull the plug on the internet to quash dissent. With the emergence of an Occupy encampment in the nation's capital, Meinrath found a nearly perfect testbed for the pre-alpha software.
See the full article (Wired, Ryan Singel, 12/15/11)
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What's New from PeaceMedia

Geeks Without Borders: Hackers Unite for Global Good - Public Radio International
Over one weekend in December 2011, a number of so-called hack-a-thons-software-making marathons-took place around the world. They formed part of a movement called Random Hacks of Kindness, which gathers like-minded techies-self-proclaimed hackers for good-to collaborate and design crisis management programs.
See the full video
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