USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, August 30 - September 5, 2012

Media and Journalism

Internet and Social Media

What's New from PeaceMedia

Media and Journalism

Why Didn't CNN's International Arm Air Its Own Documentary on Bahrain's Arab Spring Repression?
In late March 2011, as the Arab Spring was spreading, CNN sent a four-person crew to Bahrain to produce a one-hour documentary on the use of internet technologies and social media by democracy activists in the region. Featuring on-air investigative correspondent Amber Lyon, the CNN team had a very eventful eight-day stay in that small, US-backed kingdom. By the time the CNN crew arrived, many of the sources who had agreed to speak to them were either in hiding or had disappeared.
See the full article (Guardian, Glenn Greenwald, 9/4/12)
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Smiles and Barbs for Clinton in China
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived here on Tuesday night to a barrage of unusually harsh coverage in China's official news media over what they called American meddling in territorial disputes in the region - and then a strikingly warm welcome from the country's foreign minister. Articles and editorials in China's official media, as well as comments by Chinese analysts, contained unusual bite on Tuesday, including personal criticism of Mrs. Clinton.
See the full article (New York Times, Steven Lee Myers and Jane Perlez, 9/4/12) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Israeli Judge to Reporter - State Security Matters More Than Press Freedom
An Israeli court has ruled that state security is more important than freedom of the press and the public's right to know. A judge decided that national security trumped the rights of journalists because, without the former, there would be no state and therefore no newspapers. That was the conclusion to a case involving Uri Blau, a reporter who was sentenced to four months' community service under a plea bargain for possessing classified military documents.
See the full article (Guardian, Roy Greenslade, 9/4/12)
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Egypt Abuzz as Newsreader on State TV Wears Hijab
In what was called a first for Egyptian state television, a woman wearing a head scarf presented headlines in a newscast on Sunday, breaking with a code of secular dress that for decades effectively barred the wearing of Islamic head coverings. Under the secular authoritarians who preceded Mr. Morsi, state television functioned as a mouthpiece of the government.
See the full article (New York Times, Scott Sayare, 9/2/12) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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'Colors of Confinement': Japanese Internment Camp Photographs by Bill Manbo
Among items initially banned [in internment camps] were bombs, ammunition, implements of war, codes or ciphers, explosives and the humble camera. If anything, this is a testament to the incredible power of photography. Even one frame can change the tide of public opinion because photography has the power to add layers to our understanding of how events transpired and how people were affected.
See the full article (Washington Post, May-Ying Lam, 8/31/12)
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Filtered News is Good News During Tehran Summit
As leaders of the Nonaligned Movement were settling in for their two-day summit in Iran, capping off a week of events intended to showcase Tehran's global voice, they might well be remarkably unaware of goings-on in the country itself. That's because the country's media, dominated and heavily filtered by the state, has been ordered to forgo real news in favor of glowing reports on its international guests.
See the full article (RFE/RL, Frud Bezhan, 8/30/12)
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The Rise of Ad-Hoc Journalist Support Networks
Journalistic collaboration isn't just something that happens between newsrooms. Increasingly, journalists working outside of traditional news organizations are coming together to support each other in a range of ways, from offering safety advice when covering protests to sharing news tips, local resource recommendations and more. The lack of support and protection for journalists has made this one of the most deadly and dangerous times to be an independent journalist.
See the full article (PBS, Josh Stearns, 8/30/12)
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Internet and Social Media

Qatar's Al Jazeera Website Hacked by Syria's Assad Loyalists
The website of Qatar-based satellite news network Al Jazeera was apparently hacked on Tuesday by Syrian government loyalists for what they said was the television channel's support for the "armed terrorist groups and spreading lies and fabricated news". Al Jazeera took the lead in covering the uprisings across the Arab world, and Qatar, one of the Sunni-led states in the region, publicly backed the predominantly Sunni rebel movement in Syria against Assad's Alawite-led government.
See the full article (Reuters, Rania El Gamal and Erika Soloman, 9/4/12)
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Turkey Considers Temporary Social Media Ban
Perhaps India, where citizens cried foul after their government blocked hundreds of websites, was just the beginning. Turkey's Minister of Transport and Communication indicated his country can and might engage in similar censorship - though he downplayed its severity, saying he would only block sites like Twitter and Facebook for a few hours. Social media can cause "good things to happen," [he] said. "But it could also be used to provoke great masses and misguide them."
See the full article (Mashable, Kevin Collier, 9/4/12)
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Bradley Manning Trial Date Set for February 2013
A military judge presiding over the court martial of the WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning has set the date for what is likely to be the biggest whistleblower trial in US history. Judge Denise Lind set aside six weeks for the trial of the US soldier, between 4 February and 15 March. Manning faces 22 counts relating to charges that he leaked hundreds of thousands of secret US state documents, including war logs from Afghanistan and Iraq and diplomatic cables, to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks.
See the full article (Guardian, Ed Pilkington, 8/30/12)
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Pentagon Fighting Taliban on Social Media Front
The U.S. military is ramping up efforts to counter the Taliban's growing presence on social media sites by aggressively responding to falsehoods and reporting violations of the sites' guidelines on violent threats, experts say. The Taliban and other militant groups issue statements and video to create a perception of chaos in the country and to undermine the legitimacy of the Afghan government.
See the full article (USA TODAY, Jim Michaels, 8/29/12)
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What's New from PeaceMedia

"Cambodia: Country of Scars" - Link TV
This documentary about a train voyage through Cambodia features meetings with passengers on the roof and in compartments full of hammocks. It was only a short time ago that Cambodia lost a quarter if its citizens under the Pol Pot regime. The country was completely closed off from the world, and trains had stopped running. Now, there is a daily connection between the capital and the Thai border.
See the full video
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