USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, October 11 - 17, 2012

Media and Journalism

Internet and Social Media

Media and the Malala Yousafzai Attack

What's New from PeaceMedia

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Media and Journalism

Press Group Says Violence, Authoritarian Governments Threaten Independent Latin American Media
Violence and authoritarian governments are the biggest challenges to an independent press in Latin America, the Inter American Press Association said Tuesday at the end of its 68th General Assembly. IAPA said 13 journalists were murdered over the past six months in Mexico, Honduras, Brazil and Ecuador, "for the simple fact that they were doing their work."
See the full article (AP, 10/16/12)
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "Pedagogies for Peace in Post-Conflict and Fragile States" on October 18 at 9:30am.
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Swedish Journalists Tell of Time in Ethiopia Jail
Swedish journalists Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye have been speaking to the BBC about their time in prison in Ethiopia. They were recently freed after serving more than 400 days of an 11-year sentence. The pair were found guilty of entering the country illegally and supporting a rebel group, the Ogaden National Liberation Front ONLF. Their lengthy jail terms put the treatment of journalists in Ethiopia under the international spotlight.
See the full article (BBC, 10/16/12)
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Al Qaeda Leader Zawahiri Calls for More Mohammad Film Protests
Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri said a film made in the United States mocking the Prophet Mohammad showed Washington was waging a "crusader Zionist war" against Muslims and he called for more protests outside American embassies. Like in other messages released by al Qaeda's Yemeni and North African branches last month, Zawahiri praised last month's assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed four diplomats but stopped short of claiming responsibility.
See the full article (Reuters, 10/13/12)
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "Religion, Violence, and Coexistence" on October 22 at 10:00am.
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Is Mexico's Drug Violence Scaring Off the Next Generation of Journalists?
Grenades have exploded in newspaper offices. Reporters have been kidnapped and murdered, sometimes dismembered and stuffed into garbage bags. Several journalists have fled Mexico for their safety. It's not exactly a selling atmosphere for Mexican journalists, especially those in school who could opt to study business or technology instead of a craft that has become one of the most dangerous in the world when practiced in Mexico.
See the full article (Christian Science Monitor, Sara Miller Llana, 10/11/12)
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Pakistani Journalists Must Brace for Election Violence
Covering political rallies in Pakistan must be considered a dangerous assignment. One journalist was killed and three others injured on Sunday when gunmen opened fire on a Pakistan People's Party (PPP) rally in Khairpur in Sindh province. Asking the government to protect journalists or demanding that it end impunity has proven largely fruitless over the years. So journalists, their editors, and the media owners must prepare for potential violence from any quarter.
See the full article (Huffington Post, 10/11/12)
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Somali Journalists are Dying from Corruption as Much as Conflict
It's been a terrible year for Somali journalists. Fifteen of them have been murdered in 2012 so far - mostly victims of targeted killings. That makes Somalia one of the deadliest places to be a journalist. In all of these cases, the perpetrators have never been caught. Somalia is one of the deadliest places to be a journalist. Yet many are endangering themselves through bad practice.
See the full article (Guardian, Jamal Osman, 10/11/12)
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Internet and Social Media

Digital Diplomacy: Why It's So Tough for Embassies to Get Social Media Right
If there's one word to describe the state of digital diplomacy now, it's "messy." But the time is coming when governments will grow confident with their social media efforts. Part of what's driven the recent boom in digital diplomacy is as much an atmosphere of anxiety as of opportunity. "If we don't join that vibrant arena, we will become irrelevant," fretted U.S. State Department spokesperson Tara Sonenshine at the United States Institute for Peace earlier this week.
See the full article (Atlantic, Brian Fung, 10/17/12)
Click to read "USIP Hosts Conference Looking At Impact, Expansion of Virtual Exchanges," a USIP News Feature.
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Experts: Military Still Catching Up to the Benefits of the Internet
If members of the U.S. military and their families have seen major changes in their lives because of the Internet and related technologies, then they should expect even more upheaval, a group of tech experts said Thursday. The Internet will also create new security problems, as cybercriminals find ways to attack electric grids and water systems and as the Internet takes power away from national governments.
See the full article (Computerworld, Grant Gross, 10/11/12)
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Media and the Malala Yousafzai Attack

'Mullah Radio' Believed to Be Behind Attack on Pakistani Schoolgirl
The Taliban leader who apparently ordered the assassination of a Pakistani schoolgirl last week may not be well-known outside the remote, picturesque Swat Valley. But there he is infamous for his long campaign against female education. Fazlullah is also known as "Mullah Radio" for his use of a roving transmitter to broadcast lyrical rants against the central government in Pakistan, music, education and the polio vaccine.
See the full article (Washington Post, Dana Priest, 10/17/12)
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Taliban Threat Worries Pakistan Media
Pakistan's media have expressed alarm at Taliban threats to target journalists after critical coverage of the shooting of Malala Yousufzai. The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) said Taliban threats directed at the media were aimed at curbing the freedom of the press. Officials say the threats were uncovered in an intercepted phone call from a Pakistani Taliban leader.
See the full article (BBC, 10/17/12)
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After a Bullet in the Head, Assaults on a Pakistani Schoolgirl's Character Follow
As a Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the head by Taliban militants last week fights for her life in a British hospital, a battle to tarnish her reputation is being waged on social networks and news sites in Pakistan. In yet another statement to the Pakistani news media defending the assassination attempt, a Taliban spokesman claimed on Tuesday that young Malala Yousafzai was "a spy who divulged secrets" and "created propaganda."
See the full article (New York Times, Robert Mackey, 10/16/12) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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Taliban Threaten Journalists Over Malala Yousafzai Coverage
The Pakistani Taliban have reacted to the torrent of negative media coverage after their attempt to assassinate a 14-year-old schoolgirl by threatening journalists. Several Pakistani and international news organisations have been forced in recent days to take extra security precautions after receiving threats from militants that one news executive described as "specific" and directed against named individuals.
See the full article (Guardian, Jon Boone, 10/15/12)
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Malala Yousafzai, the Girl Shot by the Taliban, Becomes a Global Icon
The Pakistani Taliban (TTP) expected to silence her campaign, which she had carried out since the age of 11 through an online diary she wrote for the BBC. Instead, they created an international icon for girls' rights and made her known the world over simply as "Malala." As Pakistani politicians line up to condemn the shooting, commentators are pondering whether the tragedy can galvanize public opinion against the Pakistani Taliban enough to support a large military offensive against them.
See the full article (Atlantic, Ron Synovitz, 10/12/12)
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What's New from PeaceMedia

"Stefan Wolff: The Path to Ending Ethnic Conflicts" - TEDGlobal 2010
Civil wars and ethnic conflicts have brought the world incredible suffering, but Stefan Wolff's figures show that, in the last 20 years, their number has steadily decreased. He extracts critical lessons from Northern Ireland, Liberia, Timor and more to show that leadership, diplomacy and institutional design are our three most effective weapons in waging peace.
See the full video
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