USIP's Media, Conflict & Peacebuilding Roundup


United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, October 18 - 24, 2012

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

Russia Demands Expulsion of Reporters, Envoys over U.N. Leaks
Russia slammed leaks to the media from a closed-door Security Council briefing on Syria on Wednesday, saying diplomats and journalists involved should be stripped of U.N. accreditation for the release of confidential information. Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin was angry that some diplomats conveyed to Reuters that the U.N.-Arab League mediator for the Syrian conflict, Lakhdar Brahimi, told the 15-member council that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had accepted Brahimi's plan for an Eid holiday ceasefire.
See the full article (Reuters, Michelle Nichols and Louis Charbonneau, 10/24/12)
[Return to top]

Call for Action to Protect Journalists
More than 40 global media organisations are demanding urgent action by governments and the United Nations to stop violence against journalists and to end impunity in attacks on the press. They issued a joint statement, which was delivered yesterday to UNESCO following a symposium at the BBC's headquarters in London to discuss the deteriorating safety situation for journalists.
See the full article (Guardian, Roy Greenslade, 10/24/12)
[Return to top]

Search for Common Ground Uses TV Soaps to Promote Peace
Peace building and conflict resolution conjure up images of persuading rival leaders to sit down at a table to talk. They don't often bring to mind producing a TV soap opera. But in 17 countries around the world, soap operas are one of the principle ways the nonprofit Search for Common Ground is breaking down barriers between religious, ethnic, and economic groups and building a basis for ending or averting violence.
See the full article (Christian Science Monitor, Gregory M. Lamb, 10/22/12)
[Return to top]

South Korean Activists Send Leaflets to NKorea
South Korean activists floated balloons carrying tens of thousands of anti-Pyongyang leaflets into North Korea on Monday, eluding police who had disrupted an earlier launch attempt due to threats from North Korea. North Korea's military warned last week that it would strike if the South Korean activists carried through with their plan to fly balloons carrying the propaganda leaflets across the border. South Korea pledged to retaliate if it was attacked.
See the full article (AP, Hyung-Jin Kim, 10/22/12)
[Return to top]

CPJ Calls Turkey 'World's Leading Jailer of Journalists'
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has condemned Turkey for being "the world's leading jailer of journalists." In a report issued on October 22, the New York-based group said 76 journalists were in Turkish jails as of August 1, adding that 61 of them seemed to be there as a direct result of their work. The report says the cases of the remaining 15 journalists are still being investigated by CPJ workers. The report also notes that 70 percent of those journalists were Kurdish.
See the full article (RFE/RL, 10/22/12)
[Return to top]

European Broadcasters Say Syria, Iran Jamming News Delivery
European broadcast officials say Syria and Iran appear to be behind the deliberate signal-jamming that has interrupted news delivered by satellite into parts of the Middle East. The Geneva-based European Broadcasting Union alliance says the jamming that began last week is an attack on the independence of news organizations. It said that the targeted jamming cut off radio and television content by broadcasters including the BBC, France 24, Deutsche Welle and the Voice of America.
See the full article (AP, 10/22/12)
[Return to top]

Syria's Media War: What You Need to Know
Reporting from inside Syria is becoming increasingly difficult for foreign journalists. But all forms of media - particularly Syrian state TV - are strictly controlled to serve the interests of the regime. BBC Monitoring's Mike Linstead explains how social media sites are becoming the new battleground for control of news and information as pro-government and anti-government activists use the internet to get their side of the conflict across.
See the full article (BBC, 10/20/12)
[Return to top]

The Gun and the Press in Pakistan
When news broke from Pakistan that a 14-year-old girl had been shot by members of the Taliban just for promoting female education on her blog, news organisations around the world jumped on the story. In Pakistan, however, they had to treat the subject with care. The Taliban warned local media to curb their reporting, or deal with the consequences. This is not just a story about one attack - it is a tale of how the journalistic environment in Pakistan has grown so dangerous.
See the full article (Al Jazeera, 10/20/12)
[Return to top]

After Attack on Malala, Taliban Threaten Journalists Who Cover It
The Pakistani Taliban sought to silence the teenage education activist Malala Yousufzai by shooting her in the head. They're also trying to stifle the widespread criticism of the attack in the news media by threatening journalists in Pakistan. The militant group's menacing statements have intensified fears among reporters in a country that is already one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist.
See the full article (CNN, Shaan Khan and Jethro Mullen, 10/19/12)
[Return to top]

Missile Crisis Memories
The Cuban Missile Crisis was one of the most politically tense moments of the Kennedy presidency, and one of the most memorable media moments of the Cold War. In an interview which originally aired in 2002, [On the Media] talks about how the media covered the crisis then, and how that coverage led to people drawing the wrong lessons from the crisis.
See the full article (NPR, 10/19/12)
Click to read "Looking Back on the Cuban Missile Crisis, 50 Years Later," a USIP On the Issues by Bruce W. MacDonald.
[Return to top]

Syrian Media Toll Rises Again
The heavy toll on news media covering the conflict in Syria has grown yet again over the past week. Mohammed al-Ashram, a cameraman for the TV station Al-Ikhbariya, was shot and killed on 10 October while covering clashes in the eastern city of Deir Al-Zour. Anhar Kochneva, a Ukrainian [and] fluent Arabic speaker [who] has publicly defended the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in TV interviews disappeared on 9 October after setting out for the city of Homs.
See the full article (Guardian, Roy Greenslade, 10/18/12)
[Return to top]

Coming to Terms With the Legacy of War
Spin the globe, point your finger and stop it cold. Odds are you've landed on a country that has, at one time or another, seen armed conflict or all-out war. As each new conflict unfolds, audiences around the world feed on a steady diet of images depicting violence and suffering. Some of those photographers have been honored with grants from The Aftermath Project, a nonprofit organization committed to the idea that war is only half the story.
See the full article (New York Times, Jesse Newman, 10/18/12) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
Click to read about USIP's upcoming event "The Missing Peace Symposium" on November 1 at 8:30am.
[Return to top]

War Reporters Train in the Bronx, Complete With Blood, Smoke and Gunfire
When photojournalist Tim Hetherington suffered a mortar shell wound to the groin in Libya in April of last year, he ultimately died of massive blood loss. In response to this, Hetherington's close friend Sebastian Junger founded Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues (RISC). The organization simulates real war-injury scenarios at the Bronx Documentary Center in order to train photographers and journalists in potentially life-saving techniques.
See the full article (Wired, Pete Brook, 10/18/12)
[Return to top]


Internet and Social Media

Afghanistan Telecom Sector Evolves After Decades of Conflict
Mohammad Harun Afzali, a university student in Kabul, Afghanistan, spends time surfing the internet, chatting on Facebook and Skyping with his relatives abroad. He may sound like an average youth in any developing country. But access to these services, which are almost taken for granted in developed nations, hasn't always been easy in this war-torn country. After three decades of bitter conflict and instability, its infrastructure was in ruins. But things have changed dramatically since then.
See the full article (BBC, Ethirajan Anbarasan, 10/23/12)
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

Iraqi Officials Venture into World of the Internet
Smiling shyly, Wassan Saleh admitted to being the face of a vast problem across Iraq's bureaucracy that officials are now trying to remedy: she had never used a computer. Her participation in information technology classes is part of efforts by university professors to help modernise Iraq's civil service. The lack of advancement in Iraq in the field of computers comes as a direct result of 30 years of war and sanctions.
See the full article (AFP, Mohamad Ali Harissi, 10/22/12)
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

Internet Anti-censorship Tools are Being Overwhelmed by Demand
Activists and nonprofit groups say that their online circumvention tools, funded by the U.S. government, are being overwhelmed by demand and that there is not enough money to expand capacity. The result: online bottlenecks that have made the tools slow and often inaccessible to users in China, Iran and elsewhere, threatening to derail the Internet freedom agenda championed by the Obama administration.
See the full article (Washington Post, James Ball, 10/21/12)
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

Twitter Gives Saudi Arabia a Revolution of Its Own
Saudi Arabia did not have an Arab Spring. But it has had a revolution of sorts. Open criticism of this country's royal family, once unheard-of, has become commonplace in recent months. Prominent judges and lawyers issue fierce public broadsides about large-scale government corruption and social neglect. Women deride the clerics who limit their freedoms. Even the king has come under attack. All this dissent is taking place on the same forum: Twitter.
See the full article (New York Times, Robert F. Worth, 10/21/12) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

Syrian Artists Gain Social Media Attention through 'Comic4Syria'
A Facebook page entitled "Comic4Syira", created by a group of young Syrian writers and artists, is gaining attention in the social media networks with 11,000 likes so far. More than 30 albums can be viewed showing Arabic and translated cartoon creations and comic strips of Syrian President Bashar al-Asaad, as well as comic stories with messages of brutality and death, and other true-to life experiences that transpired during the revolution.
See the full article (Al Arabiya, Noelle Manalastas, 10/19/12)
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

Twitter Diplomacy: Communicate With Caution
The use of Twitter as a diplomatic tool fits in nicely with the new sense of political empowerment that has accompanied the rise of social media. As Internet connectivity rates continue to grow, Twitter helps foster an unprecedented sense of community among members of the global public. This community expects to participate in -- not be mere bystanders to -- formulation and implementation of policy.
See the full article (Huffington Post, Philip Seib, 10/19/12)
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

Iran's Feared Intelligence Ministry Launches Website
One of Iran's most feared and secretive state agencies has softened its tone and pulled back the curtain on some of its activities. The country's Intelligence Ministry has launched a new website with a variety of content apparently aimed at informing, reassuring, and protecting ordinary Iranians. The move appears to be part of a larger effort by the Islamic republic to expand its online presence and confront what it has described as a "soft war" by its enemies.
See the full article (RFE/RL, Golnaz Esfandiari, 10/19/12)
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

Tweet Me to Your Leader: How the World's Big Shots Use Social Media
Call it Twiplomacy, Facebook diplomacy, weiplomacy, or simply digital diplomacy, the use of social networks has become an integral part of government communication. The new tools of the "21st Century Statecraft" -- a term coined by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton -- are rapidly replacing fax and telex, and are becoming as important for government leaders, ministers, and diplomats as the telephone, email, and diplomatic cables.
See the full article (Atlantic, Matthias Lüfkens, 10/18/12)
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

Twitter Bans Neo-Nazi Account in Germany at Police Request
Twitter said late Wednesday it has blocked a German group's account to users in that country at the request of police - the first time the company has implemented its targeted censorship policy. The censorship policy, announced in January, allows for Twitter to block content in certain countries when asked to do so by local authorities. Twitter also said it would post documentation of these requests a Web site that tracks government takedown requests sent to Web sites.
See the full article (Washington Post, Hayley Tsukayama, 10/18/12)
[Return to top] | [Return to section]

Sergei Udaltsov, Russian Dissident, Live Tweets His Detention
Sergei Udaltsov is no stranger to arrest. In December of 2011, the day of Russia's legislative elections, the dissident leader of the country's Left Front movement was detained in Moscow for organizing protests against Vladimir Putin. Yesterday, Udaltsov had another tangle with the State Investigative Agency, Russia's version of the FBI. This time, though, he published a public account of his arrest -- through his Twitter feed.
See the full article (Atlantic, Megan Garber, 10/18/12)
[Return to top] | [Return to section]


What's New from PeaceMedia

"Global Witness Discusses Conflict Diamonds" - InterMotion Media
Global Witness discusses the issue of conflict diamonds on Heaven & Earth. Global Witness does not agree with the industry's claims that 99% of diamonds are now conflict free.
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